MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 12, 2003
Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr., with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, and Ferrell Henry in attendance. Others present were County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett and secretary Linda Finch. Mr. Henry gave the invocation.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the meetings of June 30, July 8, and July 21, 2003, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
COMMISSIONER PHEIL IN HOSPITAL
Chairman Dowdy reported that Mrs. Pheil is in the hospital in Macon and is sorry that she is unable to be with us as she has had a bout with infection, and all Commissioners wished her well and hopes she will be back home shortly.
KEN SPIKES REGARDING DOCKWEILER ROAD
Ken Spikes brought a sketch of Dockweiler Road from Hwy. 280 to the old Seaborne Railroad, which is not paved, and advised that in front of the church on this road in very narrow and two pickups cannot pass. He stated that part of the road was widened in 1988 but it is about eight foot narrower now, and some of the road does not have ditches. He stated that he would give ten more feet of his property which will make twenty feet from the fence posts, and he will also will give up to forty inches from the wall of the church, and Commissioners can see if the man on the other side of the road will give up some land. He said he would like to work out something to get this road paved from Hwy. 280 to Listonia Road, and would like to put up a fence on part of this road soon, so he wants Commissioners to do something in the next two to three weeks because if he puts the fence back up, where it zigs back in on the drawing, he will not give any land. He also stated that there is shrubbery planted on the right-of-way in front of a couple of these houses. Mr. Gamble, Public Works Director, stated that the minimum right-of-way D.O.T. will participate in is sixty feet. Mr. Dowdy stated that this road is a problem, but we have tried to get the right-of-way on this road before but there was a property owner that would not sign several years ago, and he asked Mr. Gamble if we could do what Mr. Spikes was asking; Mr. Gamble replied yes but suggested they get a survey on the road to find out where everything is located, so they can look at the design and know if they will need a sixty or eighty foot right-of-way, and then they can get Mr. Pfeiffer to prepare the right-of-ways deed. Mr. Gamble advised Mr. Spikes that it might take a little while to get the surveyor out there, but he could put up the fence where he wanted it, and if they get the right-of-way, then the county would move the fence back. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that they could get the survey in two ways 1) find out if the people are interested in giving the right-of-way at all and then get the survey, or 2) get the survey and the stakes will be there so people can see exactly what you are talking about, and he would recommend to have the surveyor out there and stake it off so that there is not a misunderstanding as to what can and cannot be done. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to give Mr. Gamble the authority to get a survey on Dockweiler Road from the railroad to Hwy. 280, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE BID FOR RAIL SPUR TO SERVE US TIMBER COMPANY
Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of the Industrial Development Council, reported that they had the bid opening last Thursday for the construction of the rail spur for U.S. Timber Company, and advised that the funds for the rail spur are coming from an EIP grant from the state. He stated that there were two bidders, Railroad Salvage and Restoration out of Joplin, Missouri, and Folsom Construction from Cordele, and Railroad Salvage and Restoration came it at $8,400.00 less than Folsom Construction’s bid on the project. He reported that Stephenson & Palmer is the engineering company that prepared the documents for the bids, and after they opened the bids, they took them and validated that both companies can do the project and all of the bid information was accurate in accordance with the bids that were sent out, and they now recommend the Commissioners take the low bid from Railroad Salvage. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to accept the low bid from Railroad Salvage and Restoration, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
ANNOUNCE NEW COMPANY
Mr. Drennan reported that MBM Corporation has announced that they will be moving here, it is an eighty job project to start up and anticipate adding an additional one hundred jobs in the second year of operation, they will start distributing some time in November out of the old Patillo building at Ga. 300 and I-75, they are the largest food distributor in the nation, and this will be a great business corporation for our community.
ABANDON BOAT SLIP AT BAY BRANCH SUBDIVISION
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that the county has not made any effort to open the boat slips on Lake Blackshear, and a court decision a few years ago pretty much set out that the county really doesn’t have an interest in them, but in order to clear the title to the property of Dallas H. Margeson, the Commissioners will need to approve the execution of a forty foot strip Quit Claim Deed to Mr. Margeson, as he owns both sides of the boat slip. Mr. Henry stated that the Power Commission is in the middle of recertification and one of the things they indicated to being recertified is that we must have additional boat slips, and he asked if this was a possibility or is this something that one day we may be sorry we executed, and Mr. Gamble replied that this one would not be a good place for a boat slip. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the execution of a Quit Claim Deed to Dallas H. Margeson and giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the Deed, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE HEARTLAND BUILDING SYSTEMS RESOLUTION
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that at the last meeting, Commissioners approved a Resolution for a $250,000.00 Revolving Loan Fund, and he has a proposed Resolution to substitute for that one. He stated that they had asked for a $500,000.00 grant from One Georgia, and they actually received $250,000.00 so they had to come up with the other $250,000.00. He advised that the project will be $2.3 million at least, One Georgia will finance $250,000.00, Prime South Bank will be lending $1 million on the real estate, $500,000.00 on inventory and advance the $250,000.00 that One Georgia is funding, Peoples Bank will finance the equipment at $250,000.00, and then our $250,000.00 loan will be used to purchase real estate, operating capital, etc. He advised that the Heartland people will inject $75,000.00, Mr. Smith and Mr. Tanner will guarantee the loan and we will get life insurance on Mr. Tanner and a security deed and security agreement to everything, also, we will have a third lien on the real estate and a second lien on the equipment and receivables plus a second lien on the inventory. He stated that they are committing to develop a minimum of 150 full-time jobs which at least 51% will come from low to moderate income households, and the loan will be at 2% and interest only until October 1st and then amortized over 10 years. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to accept the amended Resolution to Heartland Building Systems with change from signature of County Administrator to Assistant Clerk, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
2004 LARP PROJECTS APPROVED
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that the only 2003 LARP project we will receive will be Cannon Road from Hwy. 280 to Dooly County line, and he has taken this road off of the 2003 list and added Lakeview Drive and Lakeview Circle in Wells Subdivision to come up with the 2004 LARP list. Chairman Dowdy asked if Commissioners wanted to change anything as we need to get this the D.O.T. before September 15th. Mr. Gamble stated that the D.O.T. usually approves about five miles of paving, and they choose what they will resurface. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the LARP list as presented and authorizing Chairman Dowdy to sign the list, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT FAMILY & CHILDREN BOARD MEMBER
Chairman Dowdy advised that after we advertized for a board member to serve on the Family & Children Services Board, we had only one name, and that was Betty Lynn Baker who is currently serving on this board. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to reappoint Betty Lynn Baker to the Family & Children Services Board with term ending June 30, 2008, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
WORKERS COMPENSATION DISCOUNT FORM SIGNED
Chairman Dowdy reported that we have a Workers Compensation Form that gives us 5% off of the bill if we have completed all the requirements, and he understands that we have done this. Motion was made by Mr. Harris giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the Workers Compensation Form, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
Sherrie Leverett, Financial Director, reported that this report is a real preliminary June 30th report, she also gave them a SPLOST worksheet to look at, and asked if the had any questions. Mr. Henry advised that he and Mrs. Leverett have been talking, they think they need to have a work session to go over the SPLOST funds, and Commissioners agreed to have a work session after the meeting this morning. Mrs. Leverett stated that it looks like all the funds are going to end up pretty much within budget, but they are still putting in some of the end of the year items.
BERTHA HARRELL COMMENTS
Bertha Harrell thanked Commissioners for the transportation system and the senior citizens building on behalf of the senior citizens, also DCUTS has a nice man running this system, plus courteous and professional drivers, and again thanked Commissioners for everything they have done for the senior citizens.
MR. NANCE COMMENTS
James Nance reported that a lot of work has been done by Don tenBensel in the Newtown area for the paving of the streets that will take place this year, he has been talking with people in this area, and they are excited about this possibility, and they wanted to thank the Commissioners for all the work they have done to make this a better area from the water and sewer to now the paving of the streets. Mr. Harris will go and pick up the big check for the paving of these streets in September.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mr. Henry to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mr. Henry to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
JUDGE PRIDGEN & JEAN ROGERS COMMENTS
Judge Pridgen and Jean Rogers, Clerk of Court, met with Commissioners to discuss the flooding of pipes in the basement last night that ruined a good many of Mrs. Rogers transcripts and records. Commissioners sympathized with Mrs. Rogers and assured her they would do everything possible to take care of this situation so it will not happen again, and to get her whatever help she needs to help clean up and save her records.
NAMING OF COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR DELAYED
Mr. Henry advised that concerning the employment of the new County Administrator, the Board has decided to delay this appointment until Commissioner Joyce Pheil is physically able to cast her vote, the projected time for naming a new County Administrator will be the next Commissioners meeting in September or before at a called meeting, if possible, as they all agree that it is most important that Commissioner Pheil be represented in the decision making.
APPROVE CONSULTING AGREEMENT WITH MR. PATE
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to accept the Consulting Agreement with Mr. Pate, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
WORK SESSION FOR SPLOST FUNDS
Mrs. Leverett gave Commissioners an analysis of the original budget of SPLOST funds compared to what has been spent and what each department has left after the proposed GSP transfer. She advised that her problem is she has people requesting things they don’t have the money for, and if Commissioners are going to approve them, they are going to have to have some other reallocation, and right now nothing has been done anything about reallocation of the software for the E-911 equipment; she stated that we need to do something about that transfer, and depending on what they want to do about Mrs. Baker’s additional request for the furniture, that is another $35,000.00 that is going to have to come from somewhere. She stated that she did a projection on the SPLOST account, and unless the economy does an abrupt turnaround between now and 2005, it will come in just a little over the $16 million projected. Mr. Pfeiffer recommended that the Commissioners let someone talk with each department and see if they are willing to give up any money. Commissioners agreed to let Mrs. Leverett get with each department and see if they are willing to give up any monies to go toward the E-911 equipment and furniture, and come back with a proposal. She also ask if she needed to find money for the coroner’s vehicle, and Chairman Dowdy stated that he doesn’t think the county needs to buy a car for $28,000.00. Mr. Henry stated that he has talked with Mr. Rainey and there is some problems, but nothing earth shaking that they have to decide today, and he suggested that Mr. Rainey come back after we get an Administrator and they look at his whole program, as Mr. Rainey thinks that the legislature may vote to eliminate the coroner position, and if that happens, it will cost the county a good deal of money. Mr. Henry advised that the sheriff has a used suburban, and Mr. Rainey is going to go down there and see if it is something he can get by with for now. Mrs. Leverett stated that she knew the Hatley Fire Station got a grant, and Chairman Dowdy advised that we did get a $10,000.00 grant a couple of years ago, and we are asking the Department of Agriculture for a grant now, and there is a good chance we can get some money from this grant, which we can add to the $10,000.00 we have and build a fire station. Mrs. Leverett asked if their would be a county match, and Chairman Dowdy stated maybe a little match but not a lot. Mr. Pate stated that Bruce Drennan and Brittany have submitted this grant. Mrs. Leverett ask about the renovation of the old State Patrol Building and where the money is coming from to pay for this, and Chairman Dowdy stated that several departments have agreed to give up about $873,000.00 for the State Patrol and they are hoping it won’t take all of this on the new building and the tower, plus IDC is applying for two RBEG grants. She ask about renovating the Tarver Building and stated that we have $116,237.00 in buildings left in the SPLOST maintenance account. Mr. Henry stated that he, Mrs. Leverett, Mr. Gamble and Mr. Pate have met once with the Board’s permission and discussed several items, and he thinks this has possibilities of being real good for our county as one thing that has disturbed him is he has to make a decision without having as much information as he think he needs, and this committee could spend a little more time than we as Commissioners have time to spend, and can make recommendations to the Board, especially about some of the bigger items. He advised that he would like Commissioners to think about this, and when we get a new Administrator consider having the Administrator, Finance Director, Director of Public Works and a County Commissioner as a committee that could study each proposal on some of the major projects and make recommendations to the Board. Mrs. Leverett stated that the Sheriff’s Department and Public Works has monies in their SPLOST funds that are un-designated, and Mr. Pfeiffer stated that when we get a new Administrator they need to tie down where the un-designated funds are going because they have got to be spent for the purpose that is authorized under the act. Commissioners authorized Mrs. Leverett to get with Mr. Gamble and go over and look at the furniture that Mrs. Baker wants for E-911, also, Mr. Henry and Mr. Harris will go, and if they feel there is a need for this, then they can approve the furniture with the Board’s blessings.
CITY DENY TO HELP COUNTY WITH REVALUATION
Chairman Dowdy reported that he has received a letter from the City of Cordele denying to participate with the county on the $70,000.00 we paid for the revaluation, and Mrs. Leverett stated that the Board of Education has requested that Mr. Quick and Mr. Trawick make a presentation to their Board. Mrs. Leverett stated that we did not have the $70,000.00 budgeted, so that is another $35,000.00 at least that will have to come out of surplus to balance the budget.
CITY AND COUNTY PERIODIC MEETINGS APPROVED
Mr. Henry advised that he had asked Mr. Pate to contact Mrs. Burnette and see if maybe we could compose a County and City Commission made up of members of each entity plus the County Administrator and City Manager and maybe meet periodically so we can foresee some of the things in the future and eliminate some of the differences we have, and he has received a letter from the City of Cordele saying they are willing to participate. Chairman Dowdy appointed Mr. Henry and Mr. Nance to serve on this committee along with our new Administrator.
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adjourn meeting at 11:45 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
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