MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON JUNE 30, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ferrell Henry with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, and Brad Faircloth in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Faircloth gave the invocation.
ADOPT FY2006 BUDGET
Administrator Crapse reported that this is the final version of the budget for FY 2006, which runs from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. In the General Fund Budget Operations and Maintenance, we have $13,190,078, which will not result in a tax increase for FY 2006; Landfill Budget of $1,727,015; Waterworks Budget of $286,867; CDBG Revolving Loan Fund of $29,000; SPLOST Budget of $5,870,000; Asset Forfeiture Fund of $47,500; and Law Library of $25,000, for a total Budget of $21,175,460. He advised that all of the increases in costs were covered by our tax digest and growth in our community, and he recommends that the Board adopt this Budget. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the FY 2006 Budget, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT THE M & O MILLAGE RATE
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners need to approve the proposed millage rate to be published in the newspaper as required by law. The net M & O Millage is 11.327, the same as last year, and for the past five years we have had a steady decline or at least staying the same millage rate. This is the millage rate for the 2005 tax year, which is the money that supports our FY 2006 Budget: Real & Personal Property,$461 million; Motor Vehicles, $42 million; Mobile Homes, $11 million; Timber, $2.7 million; Gross Digest, $518 million; Exemptions, $62 million, for a net digest of $455,558,199. The Gross M & 0 Millage Rate is 15.328, less the Local Option Sales Tax rollback of 4.001 mills, leaving a net Millage Rate of 11.327. He recommends that we adopt the proposed Millage Rate for advertising in the paper. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the net M & 0 Millage Rate for advertising in the paper, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST TO E&R DUPLICATE MOBILE HOME TAX BILLS
Cricket Adkins, Tax Commissioner, stated that just for her information, every year she runs a report of how many transactions she does, and this year her office had 31,993 transactions, which include titles, transfers, and tags. She reported that every year they have a good many mobile homes, after tax due notices are sent out, that are either the mobile homes are no longer in the county, they have been sold , destroyed, burned, or have been billed twice. It reflects badly in the digest, and she would like permission to make the proper documentation and delete these mobile homes from the digest. She can do that by making a list and deleting them off the digest, and she asked Commissioners what their pleasure would be. Chairman Henry asked if there was a possibility some deleted mobile homes could be occupied, and she replied no, they would only be deleted if proven that they have been duplicated or if the person signed a letter stating they had moved it out of the county, sold it, or it had been destroyed. She advised that they have a man out in the field now looking for this information, and right now she has between 200 and 250 NODís, and more than that have been sold or should be taken off the digest. She says if she can take them off, it will reflect a more real digest, instead of inflating the digest with figures you cannot collect taxes on. She advised that each mobile home she takes off, she will keep documentation in her office, and at any time, anyone could come in and look at it, also the county auditors will go over it and approve it. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to give Mrs. Adkins the authority to make corrections as she determines on personal property and at least quarterly the Commissioners will get a report as to the amount and adjustments made, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE EZ CONTRACTS FOR HATLEY FIRE STATION
Administrator Crapse reported that we received a grant contract for the Hatley Fire Station from the ECEZ for $60,000, and Commissioners need to approve the standard contract with ECEZ. The county attorney has approved the contract. This allows the county to receive the $60,000 from EZ to erect the fire station building we have already purchased and complete the interior of the building to be located in the Hatley Community. He advised that this will greatly enhance the residents in that area in terms of their fire insurance, it has been slow coming, and he recommends approval of this contract. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the ECEZ contract, and allow the Chairman to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT TWO MEMBERS TO BD. OF ELECTIONS & REGISTRATION
Administrator Crapse reported that Bill Dorough has been appointed by the Democratic Executive Committee and Noel Williams, Jr. has been appointed by the Republican Executive Committee to be members of the newly formed Board of Elections & Registration. The Grand Jury meets in August, they will forward recommendations to the Chief Judge of Superior Court, Cordele, Circuit, who make the appointments for two members, however, they are still seeking an individual to be appointed by the Commission to be Chairperson. He advised that we advertised in the paper, but did not get anyone to respond to the advertisement, he thinks this is because this is a newly formed committee. People donít understand the ramifications, since we are in the process of moving from the Probate Judge being our Election Superintendent to a combined Board, with the responsibilities of the Election Superintendent and the Registrar. He encouraged anyone that would like to express their interest in serving as Chairperson of this Board to let it be known to them. The law requires that the Board meets once a month, and their job will be to assure that all candidates and all voters are treated fairly and equally within the county when it comes to elections. There will be a full time person in the Registrarís Office, an employee of the county, and they will do the work as the election supervisor for the Board of Elections & Registration. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve Bill Dorough from the Democratic Party and Noel Williams, Jr. from the Republican Party for certification from the Clerk of Superior Court to serve on the Board of Elections & Registration, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM ECEZ
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received a letter of support from ECEZ for them to receive another $400,000 grant, and he recommends the Board authorize the Chairman to sign the letter. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the letter of support for ECEZ for a $400,000 grant and authorize the Chairman to sign the letter, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
QUIT CLAIM DEED FOR REVOLVING LOAN FUND
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received a Quit Deed and Closing Statement on the Revolving Loan Fund that we have with Andrew Walker; Mr. Walker has agreed to the terms that the Board set at the last regular meeting, and this Quit Claim Deed will release our interest in that property and will provide for us to get our share of the proceeds from the sale of that property. He recommends that the Board approve the Quit Claim Deed and the Settlement Statement and authorize the Chairman to sign the necessary paperwork. Mr. Walker has also agreed in writing, to resume his regular payments he had originally, beginning in August. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Quit Claim Deed, only on the five acres, and give the Chairman the authority to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ROBERT PHILLIPS COMMENTS
Robert Phillips wanted to comment about the mobile home problem in the county. He advised that he received a bill that he owed $1300 on six mobile homes, he doesnít own but four, but he canít find out who made the mistake, the Tax Commissionersí Office or Tax Assessorsí Office. He had come in last fall to pay all of his taxes, he thought, but now he has this bill. Also, he found out that they said he had some property that had a fifa, and he sold this property to the county two years ago; at that time, everything was suppose to be checked out and paid up, and now he has a bill where taxes on that particular trailer has not been paid for five years. He doesnít understand why their system couldnít put their finger on every dime someone owes at any time. Chairman Henry advised that Commissioners didnít have an answer now, but we always want to hear from our citizens, and anything this Board can do to make all financial transactions work smoothly is what we want. Mrs. Pheil stated that she is concerned that when we paid Mr. Phillips that, if there were any back taxes owed, we didnít take that out of that check. She doesnít know what we need to do, but somebody needs to look at this. She is concerned that we have an opportunity to collect taxes, and we donít do it. Chairman Henry asked that this be referred to the Finance Committee to come up with a recommendation or something that would eliminate this from happening.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adjourn the meeting at 11:01 a.m., seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.