MINUTES OF CRISP COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JUNE 8, 2004
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m by Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr., with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, and Ferrell Henry in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Phil Streetman, Pastor of Lake Blackshear Baptist Church, gave the invocation. There was also a moment of silence in honor of our 40th President Ronald Reagan, who passed away the previous Saturday, June 5th.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the minutes of the meeting of May 11, 2004, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
DECISION ON REQUEST FROM CAPITAL CITY TURF, LLC
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that we had the Public Hearing on the request from Capital City Turf, LLC last month, to rezone property in the Coney Road area from RS1 to RS2, which is a more restrictive zoning; she has had no complaints, and it fits with the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning in the area. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to grant the request of Capital City Turf, LLC, and rezone their property from RS1 to RS2, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF DCUTS GRANT FOR FY2005
Susan Arnett, Accounting and Human Resource Manager for DCUTS, reported that it is time to renew the Department of Transportation operating budget and application for the fiscal year 2005; the budget is for the purpose of reimbursement of funds, which come from the DOT, and reimbursements are determined by the amount of revenue produced by trips in a given year, and if the trip revenues fall below a certain level, reimbursements are made to the transit system. She stated that in addition, they are requesting a renewal of the Third Party Operator Agreement for FY 2005, there are no changes in the Agreement, and DCUTS asks the same terms as last year, which is the use of three 5311 vans, including the insurance, the use of office space for the transit system, and the use of the county fuel island in which DCUTS pays for the fuel. She reported that DCUTS has had a great success in Crisp County, they have provided 31,431 trips to local residents and have created seven new jobs. Mr. Crapse advised that it doesnít cost the county anymore than Mrs. Arnett stated, this amount has been budgeted, it is a very good service to the county, and he would recommend approval of the Contract for 2005. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the Contract for FY2005 with DCUTS and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the necessary paperwork associated with this, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
RIGHT OF WAY AGREEMENT ON RAY ROAD APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that we have a Right of Way Agreement between Crisp County and DOT on Ray Road, it is necessitated because of the request of the county to reduce the right-of-way on this road from 80 feet to 60 feet, this is just an agreement for the reduced right-of-way and it points out the responsibility of the county to coordinate for the removal of utilities, if there are any, and not to place utilities on that right-of-way. Mr. Pfeiffer has reviewed the Agreement, and will sign off on it as well. Motion was made Mrs. Pheil to approve the Right-of-Way Agreement with DOT on Ray Road, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO CRISP COUNTY POWER COMMISSION BOARD
Chairman Dowdy appointed himself, James Nance, and Ferrell Henry to a six month term on the Crisp County Power Commission Board from July 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004.
1ST READING - PROPOSED RABIES CONTROL ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have before them a draft Ordinance that implements the rules that were adopted by the Board of Health for rabies control in the county, this is only a first reading, and is available for review by the public. He advised that he has given a copy to the Board of Health, the Sheriffís Department, and Mr. Pfeiffer for their comments and to insure that we donít have any conflict with the Health Department rules, and that we cover the things we need to, and donít cover the things we donít need to cover. He stated that the proposed Ordinance is basically in two parts, one part covers the vaccination requirements, and the other part covers rabies prevention, and the intent of the Ordinance to allow the Sheriffís Department Animal Control to coordinate and work with the Board of Health in assuring that we have vaccinated animals that will not become rabies carriers in the county. He advised that it will be up for approval next month, and he asked Commissioners to review and make any comments. He stated that the Board of Health will have a Public Hearing on this, and also the Commissioners will have a Public Hearing this month, and he pointed out that this is not an Animal Control Ordinance or Lease Law, this is solely to deal with the problem of rabies, and it is a state requirement.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR SPECULATIVE BUILDING
Mr. Pfeiffer stated that at the last meeting the Commissioners approved an Intergovernmental Agreement for the speculative building that was sent to the City; the City has rejected that agreement and came back with their own agreement, which would have added the city water tower into the project and ultimately been a county expense in the 2006 SPLOST, and if that failed, the mill the county was going to add to pay for the speculative building would have included the water tower. He stated that this new agreement provides for the speculative building to be a county only project, and the water tower to be a city only project, and it requires the water tower to built by December, 2005, because by that time the speculative building will be built, and the IDAís planners have determined that the water tower is necessary in order to attract substantial businesses. Administrator Crapse reported that he and Mr. Pfeiffer did review the changes, there were some significant changes that resulted in the entire fiscal burden being on the county, even the water tower, which the city has exclusive rights for providing water within the city and they will get the revenues from the tower; so they feel like that is a city responsibility and they should be responsible for providing that service within the city. He advised that this agreement allows for that water tower to be paid for out of the portion of the SPLOST that the city will receive as a result of the 2006 SPLOST referendum. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that the ultimate obligation in this Contract is that the county would levy a mill to pay for the speculative building and the city pays for the water tower, if this can be done through SPLOST, if it canít, it is still something that is critical to the continued viability and growth of Cordele and Crisp County. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that one other difference in the agreement that the Commissioners approved at the last meeting, was last time the interest was going to be shared during the five years, that is no longer the case, the county will be paying all the interest on the spec building, if it is not occupied. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Resolution Authorizing the Intergovernmental Agreement, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY-2005
Sherrie Leverett presented the proposed FY-2005 Budget which includes a total budget of $19,927,239.00, which includes $12,234,022.00 for the General Fund, $1,673,048.00 for the Landfill, $275,119.00 for Waterworks, $61,200.00 for the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund, $5,618,350.00 for the SPLOST, $40,500.00 for Asset Forfeiture Fund, and $25,000.00 for the Law Library. She advised that this total is down $68,400.00 from the General Fund from the proposed budget they had last week. Administrator Crapse reported that one thing they took out was the $3,000.00 that was going to Probation; Judge Forrester told him yesterday that the county has no obligation to pay that money to Probation, also he received a letter yesterday from the Department of Corrections saying that they will no longer provide the county with a free work detail, it will cost $35,700.00 a year, this is not budgeted at this point, and he is writing a letter to the Department to request that they continue to provide us that detail at least this year because of itís impact on our current budget, and if he is not successful, we will have to work with this reality at a later date. Mrs. Leverett reported that the ad valorem taxes are included at the same level they were last year as they donít have the final figures from the Tax Assessor, and hopefully the digest wonít show a reduction. Administrator Crapse stated that he was at the Tax Assessorís Office yesterday and assessment notices should go out tomorrow, we will be able to get a preliminary consolidation sheet hopefully by the end of the week, and this will help to further refine the budget. He stated the budget has been advertised, now there has been a little reduction in the budget, thatís good and if that continues to hold, we will be in good shape; also, the Tax Commissioner has an appointment on July 29th to take our digest to Atlanta. Mrs. Leverett reported that the Public Hearing on the proposed budget has been set and advertised for 11:00 a.m. next Wednesday, June 16th.
Mrs. Leverett reported that Commissioners have the May report, which is eleven months of the fiscal year; the General Fund revenues are at 93% for the year or $11.3 million, and expenditures are about 85% or $10.3 million, so the revenues are still exceeding expenditures by about $1 million. The landfill tonnage is down by about 500 tons from the previous month, and it continues to drop, expenses are exceeding the revenues by about $700,000.00 but we have not transferred any money from the General Fund; Waterworks year to date income is $94,000.00, excluding depreciation; Cash balance overall is $11.3 million, $4.8 million in General Fund, $1.2 million in Landfill, $233,000.00 in Revolving Loan Fund, $4.5 million in SPLOST, and Waterworks has $417,000.00. She reported that we have spent $6.7 million year to date on SPLOST expenditures, and average monthly revenue on SPLOST is up a little.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT
Mr. Crapse reported: 1) he attending Clerks training, ribbon cuttings, workshops, meetings & spoke to the Baghdad Club; 2) the Youth & Family Resource Center is almost complete except for the parking lot, the final paperwork is still held up in DOT contracting and we are trying daily to shake it loose so that we can proceed; 3) the GSP building project is 97% complete with completion still scheduled for around June 30th, also the final paperwork in still held up in DOT contracting; 4) the tower anchors are now in and the scheduled operational date is still October 31st; 5) there were no new SPLOST expenditures authorized this month; 6) the work on cells 8 & 9 is now expected to be complete by June 17th, this will result in construction time exceeding the contract by 184 days and a total of $92,000 in liquidated damages from the contractor. Also the CQA Engineers cost overrun from last month was reduced by about $3,000 to $70,833 so the damages will at least pay for our increased out of pocket costs due to delays; 7) work on the Ball Park Complex continues; 8) all personal, residential and commercial assessment notices are out with the exception of Ag property. The Ag property revaluation is complete and those notices will go out this week between Wednesday and Friday. Our current plan is to review the latest date and advertise the 5-year History and proposed millage rate on July 13th, adopt the millage rate, with no tax increase on July 28th, and take the Digest to Atlanta on July 29th, meeting the August 1st deadline; 9) the Centennial Celebration Committee will meet tonight at 5:30 p.m., if anyone is interested, please feel free to join them; 10) the ACCG Commissioners Training Program is Thursday/Friday, June 10th & 11th; 11) the GA Chamber of Commerce Annual Congressional Luncheon will be on August 11, 2004 at the Agricenter in Perry, if you want to attend, please let us know; 12) Mr. Dowdy has been selected as the honoree for this yearís Watermelon Festival Roast at 7:00 p.m. on June 18th at the Retreat; and 13) Mr. Dowdy will also be the Grand Marshall in the Watermelon Parade, and we would like all the Commissioners to ride in the parade to honor his service to Crisp County and the community.
RDC RESOLUTION ON WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
Don tenBensel, Director of Middle Flint Regional Development Center, reported that the General Assembly passed a bill specifying that a state water plan be prepared by 2008, but they did not specify how it was to be done. He advised that Middle Flint RDCís position is that it should be done at the local level with the involvement of the water users within a particular area rather than the state hiring a consultant and doing it from the top down. He said the purpose of the proposed Resolution is to let the Legislature know of this, and if the RDCís are involved, it would be the establishment of Water Resource Boards in each of the RDCís, and would be composed of all of the water producers, or anyone that had a water permit, both public and private businesses. He advised that this Board would be directing the development of the plan, the RDCís would be there is assist and do the paperwork when needed, and they thought that they should give the local governments a chance to make their wishes known, and if Commissioners feel this is something they want to do, that is fine, or if not, it is strictly up to each county. He advised that the more local representatives you have, the more it will reflect the communityís needs, but that is not to say, if they get the right person at the state level that it canít be done. Administrator Crapse reported that he feels very strongly about this, we need to have every bit of input and influence that we can on this issue, particularly to protect our agriculture and future industrial development for our citizens and our community, and this is not like the work RDC does for us on comprehensive plans and other things, this is a support type opportunity to allow them to help the countyís put this together as a regional group, and it gives us the best opportunity to get some local input between now and 2008. Chairman Dowdy stated that growth of the community will depend on the water that is available. Administrator Crapse reported that the Resolution Commissioners passed a few months ago to encourage the development of a state wide plan passed, this is the next step, and he believes we should support giving local input to that plan. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adopt the Resolution on Regional Water Management Plan, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation and real estate, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CONDEMNATION
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adopt a Resolution Authorizing Condemnation of 0.036 acres on 10th Street in the Newtown section of Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
FILE PAPERS IN WALKER VAULT RLF
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that Walker Vault is substantially past due, he no longer has the required life insurance, we have made every effort we know to try to get this into compliance, and he recommends that the Board authorizes him to file a suit on the note, and to recover the money. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to allow Mr. Pfeiffer to file the necessary suit paperwork on Walker Vault, seconded by Mr. Henry, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adjourn the meeting at 11:29 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.