MINUTES OF CRISP COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JULY 13, 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. Roy Gibbs, pastor of Warwick Baptist Church, gave the invocation.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the minutes of the meetings of June 8th and June 29th, 2004, seconded by Mr. Henry, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - OUTDOOR WATER USE ORDINANCE
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that this is a Public Hearing on the Outdoor Water Use Ordinance, which EPD is imposing on entities that have approved water systems, Anyone that lives in an area that has an approved water system will go by these guidelines of watering their yard on certain days. She advised that at this time, it does not apply to individual wells, but that will probably come in the future, and we have to have this adopted by August 1, 2004. She stated that Commissioners can adopt the Ordinance on July 28th at their called meeting. Administrator Crapse stated that after the adoption of the ordinance, it will be publicized so we can get the word out regarding the outdoor water use schedule. He stated that the penalties for violations are first offense, warning; second offense, fine of $50.00; and third offense, fine of $300.00; and it also provides for such other remedies in accordance with the law that may be taken against violators. Chairman Dowdy asked for any comments for or against the Ordinance, and there were none. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to close the Public Hearing on the Outdoor Water Use Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPTION OF RABIES CONTROL ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that the Rabies Control Ordinance was discussed at the last regular meeting, we had a Public Hearing during the month, and in conjunction with this, we had comments from the Board of Health as well as the Sheriff’s Department, which were all incorporated in the draft that was circulated, and we have received no further comments from the public. Sheriff Donnie Haralson stated that this is a tool that they will have now that will certainly help the community because of the diseases that they will be able to control plus it is a humane thing for animals. Mrs. Pheil thanked the Sheriff’s Department and especially Captain Youngblood in answering the needs that the citizens of the community had in dealing with the stray dogs, especially the ones around the dumpsters. Sheriff Haralson stated that the program has been more successful than he ever dreamed, and there has been a good many more animals that they every anticipated. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Rabies Control Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Sheriff Haralson reported that this is a Memorandum of Understanding with our Department of Health, it has been worked on by the himself, his office, and the Health Department, and this essentially sets up Crisp County as the focal point in this district for bringing of items to control things, such as biological and chemical agents, etc., to our county, along with all the federal money and state money that goes with that in the event of an emergency. He advised that this is not a routine thing, it is a Memorandum of Understanding to handle emergency situations if somebody releases some kind of an agent in our community that affects our citizens or the surrounding citizens; it gives us the opportunity to provide a facility and volunteers whereby our volunteers would have the same privileges as law enforcement and other public safety personnel to be vaccinated up-front so that they can deal with all the logistics and handling of personnel. Administrator Crapse reported that the Sheriff has worked hard on this, we have the facilities to do that here, and it provides for support within our capabilities. Sheriff Haralson stated that they have enough confidence in us here in Crisp County to help facilitate some of the antidote for this, the positive side is that it will get our law enforcement and volunteers first in line to be vaccinated. Administrator Crapse said they have designated the Recreation Department building to be the location, he recommends this as this is another positive thing for our community. Mrs. Pheil stated that as a victim of the flood and everything they went through, she will always be grateful for how smooth everything ran during that time from the Sheriff’s Department, GEMA, volunteers, National Guard, and all the way to the Governor, and this doesn’t surprise her at all that they chose Crisp County for this. Mr. Harris stated that this speaks well of the county, Mr. Henry added that this is just another indication of working together plus hard work that is paying off, and another positive thing for our county , and Mr. Nance stated that the preservation of life is the most important thing and any time we can prepare, it will enhance our purpose. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding between the Columbus Department of Health and Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
AGREEMENT FOR MENTAL HEALTH DISABILITIES & DISEASES SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a routine agreement that has been done annually, and it is a simple contract that says that we will provide the $1400.00 a month for the services rendered to the county by the Mental Health Developmental Disabilities & Addictive Disease Services. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adopt the Agreement for Mental Health Developmental Disabilities And Addictive Disease, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried with Mrs. Pheil abstaining.
POLLING PLACE ADA ACCESSIBILITY UPGRADE GRANT
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a grant opportunity that came to them from the Secretary of State’s office through the Election Superintendent, Belinda Griffin. He stated this offers grant money with a match to improve accessability to the handicapped at our polling places; Mrs. Griffin, Lonny Coleman and himself visited the facilities that we have that were judged by the state to be the most in need of some additional services. He advised that Hatley, Tremont, and Coney each have a need for various services, primarily accessability by ramp for wheelchair access, meaning ramps, appropriate doors and level surfaces for parking, along with handicapped accessible bathrooms. He advised that they went out and accessed all the facilities and made a list of what would be needed to be done, Mr. Coleman is putting together an estimate of what it will cost to do these upgrades. He stated that the county has a choice as to how much money they can put into the program for match, and the maximum grant award is $20,000.00. He stated that the application must be submitted by July 31st, will be approved and awarded to the counties by August 31st, and the money must be spent within one year. He advised that this is not a budgeted item, since it just came in, he believes it is a very important item, and he recommends that if we are awarded this grant to authorize up to $10,000.00 out of the contingency fund in order to complete this. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to authorize up to $10,000.00 to match the grant for the upgrade of the polling places in the county, and giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the grant application, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
PROPOSED LARP LIST FOR 2005
Administrator Crapse reported that he and Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, took the LARP list from last year, struck out the projects the DOT had done as well as those that we paid for out of SPLOST monies for additional resurfacing, and looked at other roads that they thought were priorities for resurfacing, and used all this for rating the roads. Also, they felt that in the past, they had some difficulty in getting some of their worst roads resurfaced because of the fact that we were asking for too large of sections, as we are only going to get four or so miles a year from DOT. He advised that the LARP list Commissioners have is broken down into six priority categories, within each one has two to five roads in each category, and the function is to allow us to get the maximum amount of work done from DOT on the roads that we need the worst. He advised that one of the projects they have coming up is the work on Drayton Road, they want to widen the road and fix the railroad overpass before they ask for the resurfacing. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the LARP list to send to the Department of Transportation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR SPECULATIVE BUILDING
Administrator Crapse reported that when we started the process for the spec building, Mr. Pfeiffer did an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Cordele, we requested that they participate in a speculative building for the Cedar Creek Corporate Park, the City responded and said that they would like to participate but only if the county purchased a 500,000 gallon water tank for the city in conjunction with the project. He stated that we sent them an offer back that said that we would include that in the 2006 SPLOST as a city project and the county would include the spec building as a county project; apparently that proposal was rejected due to lack of money to up-front the cost of the water tower. Administrator Crapse stated that he and Mr. Pfeiffer met and made the suggestion that if it were a matter of cash on hand, the county might lend the city money to build the tower and the county would recoup it’s money from the 2006 SPLOST, if approved; this proposal was never presented to the City Commission but some city representatives responded, unofficially, that they thought the city could do this if the SPLOST passed, but they didn’t think they could pay for the tower if the SPLOST did not pass. Mr. Pfeiffer has prepared a new agreement, which asks the city, in response to the county’s loan, to build the water tower, allow the county to recoup that money from the SPLOST as a city project, if any event the SPLOST fails, the city will reimburse the county $100,000.00 a year over five years at 3% interest rate. Administrator Crapse stated that the County Commissioners believe that it is in the best interest of the citizens of the county to proceed with a spec building as well as the water tower providing service to the park, we want to offer the city the opportunity to participate in this for the advancement of the citizens of the city and county, however if this is not acceptable to the city and they do not want to participate in the advancement of the citizens of the county and the growth of economic development of the county and city, the Board of Commissioners will be prepared to finance the water tower, and if the SPLOST fails, to continue to finance this is the same manner as we would the spec building. Commissioners agreed that the county has to continue to grow and want to do whatever it takes to help provide jobs for the citizens of Crisp County, and hopes that the correspondence with the city will turn out positive. Bruce Drennan, Director of the Industrial Development Council, stated that about a year ago the city agreed to build a water tower in support of a very large project we had, the community committed to the Georgia Department of Industry Trade and Tourism that we would build the water tower for that specific project, we also iterated to them that we would build the water tower system regardless of whether we got the project or not for the possibility of attracting future projects. He stated that now we are sitting at the table a year later and we have not done that, and he thinks the County Commission efforts have been very positive in trying to move forward to put that water system in place. He added that the water system would provide fire suppression for an industry that would move into that park, it is a requirement to have a water tower from the insurance business, and he thinks we need an equal participation by the city and the county in this and all projects. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to authorize Chairman Dowdy to execute and deliver this Intergovernmental Agreement or an agreement that provides that in the event the SPLOST does not pass, that the county will not be repaid from the city but repaid from the raised county taxes, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ACCG - IRMA DISCOUNT VERIFICATION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to give Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the annual ACCG-IRMA Discount Verification of 5% discount on our insurance premium, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ADVERTISING OF 5-YEAR HISTORY AND PROPOSED MILLAGE RATE FOR 2004
Mrs. Leverett reported that the advertisement is the first step of the requirements set by the State of Georgia to begin the process of adopting the 2004 Tax Digest and setting the 2004 millage rate. She advised that we have to advertise the current proposed millage rate and digest, plus the five year history in the paper tomorrow to be able to set the millage at the called meeting on July 28th. She advised that the proposed millage rate is based on preliminary digest figures from the Tax Assessor’s Office, she doesn’t have the final figures yet, but she doesn’t expect them to change much. Administrator Crapse stated that the advertisement is the county wide five year history, this is what has to be published, and it does not include the special service district. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to advertise the five year history and proposed millage rate for 2004 in The Cordele Dispatch, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett stated that Commissioners have before them the preliminary June 30th report, we still don’t have all the revenues nor expenditures in and posted at this point, but it is looking like we are going to come within about 1% of what our projections were for the revenues and the expenditures. She stated that the cash balances are: General Fund, $4.8 million; Landfill, over $1 million; and Waterworks, about $426,000.00, also the CDBG balance, SPLOST balances plus a detail list of what was spent during June, along with the budget to actual is in the packet; also there will be some budget adjustments that we will make later..
R C & D COUNCIL REPORT
Mr. Harris reported that Crisp County is a member of the Mid South Georgia Resource Conservation and Development Council, they have had three meetings that he and Mrs. Pheil has attended, this is another source of income for our county, and it is very similar to the Regional Development Center. He stated that they have a mission statement that declares what these funds can be used for, which include building of spec buildings, county fire departments, etc. Mrs. Pheil stated that she is real excited about serving on this Council as it is a direct link to federal funds that we will be able to improve the quality of life for Crisp County. Crisp County has already benefited through other RC&D’s, so she is glad that all the Commissioners saw the need for us to participate.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended ribbon cuttings, meetings, parade, and “This is your Life” for Mr. Dowdy during the month; 2) the Chairman announced the acquisition of property for a Youth Ball Park Complex at the called meeting on June 29th, the design process is underway as is the approval process for the National Park Service Grant. He met with Antionette Norfleet, with the State Parks Office of the National Park Service for a site visit to the property; 3) SPLOST expenditures - Ball Park Appraisal - $5,500.00, Ball Park Land Purchase - $614,097.00, Hatley Fire Station - $10,000.00; and Newtown Streets Project - $99,041.00; 4) The Youth & Family Resource Center Building is complete and the parking lot is under construction with completion scheduled for August 24, 2004; 5) The completion of the GSP building has been delayed due to moisture content in the cement pad, they are holding on installation of floor coverings until the specified moisture levels are attained. The parking lot is also under construction with completion scheduled for August 18, 2004; 6) The tower delivery date has slipped fifteen days and is now due in next week; 7) The work on cells 8 & 9 is pending EPD acceptance. The contractor has not shown much interest in completing the punch list on the remaining work. In coordination with George Gay, he has instructed Hal Newberry to terminate the contract as soon as EPD releases the cells for operation and to deduct from remaining payments the cost to complete the work in-house, 100% of the liquidated damages and to retain any amounts owed to subcontractors until those obligations are met and all work completed; 8) The Centennial Celebration Committee will meet next on July 19th; 9) We continue to monitor and pursue our case with regard to “Love Stuff, LLC”, and they have been granted a continuance and our hearing date is August 20, 2004; 10) We received word from the Governor that he has approved our Byrne Grant funding request submitted by Sheriff Haralson in support of our Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force for $120,000.00; 11) We received Thank You letters from Angie Ellis and Freda Brewer for the efforts of the Commission on the Youth Ball Park Complex. We also received a Thank You note from Marlene Kimball, Chair of the Cordele Crisp Chamber Fireworks Committee, for the County’s support of the Independence Day Fireworks event; 12) Remember the GA Chamber of Commerce Annual Congressional Luncheon will be on August 11th; and 13) It’s time to start planning for the ACCG Fall Policy Conference, which is September 27-29, 2004, and please let us know your plans as soon as you can on this.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation and real estate, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henry, motion carried unanimously.
SLADE BRIDGE ROAD WATER PROBLEM
Chairman Dowdy reported that he has received a call from a lady that says people with a pivot system are pumping water in the fields and it is flooding Slade Bridge Road. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that if they are pumping water on the road or creating enough water that it makes the road a hazard, since this is a dirt road, then he thinks we have an obligation to do something. Administrator Crapse will check on this situation.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adjourn meeting at 11:53 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.