MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2005
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. 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, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Joseph Haugabrook, Pastor of the Greater Gum Creek Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Administrator Crapse led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meeting of August 9, 2005, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT FOR BILLBOARDS
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that this is the Public Hearing for the proposed Text Amendment to our billboard regulations. Commissioners received a packet where she has outlined the existing Ordinance with the proposed changes, and also the different sizes of the signs. She stated that on the existing signs, they cannot exceed 384 square feet nor shall the sign exceed 40 feet in height except when it is a billboard within 660 feet of an interstate highway, and the proposed amendment is to keep the billboards on the state and U.S. highway at the 384 square feet but will be v-shaped, where they can be seen from each side and not the double-backs. The request for the billboards within the 660 feet of the interstate is to increase them to 576 square feet, which is a 12' X 48', and that will limit two sign faces per travel per direction. DOT allows 1200 square feet, and the proposed is 1152 square feet. She advised that the other existing signs are not to exceed 40 feet in height, DOT allows up to 70 feet, but they can ask for a variance if they want to go higher than the 70 feet. Also, now the billboards have to be set back 40 feet from the right-of-way, DOT allows 10 feet, which is really more visible. Our existing ordinance says that billboards cannot be within 1000 feet of each other, and the proposed amendment is to locate them within 500 feet, what DOT allows, and what our old requirement used to be. She stated that the existing Ordinance has been in effect for five years, and this is the first time we have had a request to change it. She also advised that with the new Ordinance, if the sign is torn down or needs to be repaired within 50%, they can put it back as is, but if they change sign companies or if a new person comes in, they will have to go by the new regulations. Ms. Sangster advised that she has a letter from First Team Realty in support of this proposed text amendment. Chairman Henry declared the Public Hearing open, and asked if there was anyone that would like to speak in favor of the amendment. Bill Dorough, Cordele Farmers Market, advised that the billboards that were put out on I-75 last year has improved their flow of traffic by about 100% this year. Marlene Kimbrel, owner of First Team Realty and a retail store, advised that both of her businesses have billboards, and it wasn’t until recently that she realized that Crisp County’s Ordinance differs from the DOT regulations. She is concerned that we want to give all the businesses in the community full opportunity to be able to advertise in this way, and billboards do make a significant difference in bringing people off the interstate and bringing money into the county. Charles Bateman, Flint River Pottery, advised that he just recently realized that there was a difference between the county and the DOT regulations, and he thinks it is very important that sign companies, County Commissioners, and businesses understand each others problems and plights so that we might work more diligently together, the bottom line is to draw more people into the community. He advised that according to statistics, 62-65% of their business is off the interstate, but that it is also impacting the restaurants, motels and other businesses in town. One concern of his in with the signs being so far off the highway and the read time going by is short already, that he thinks the signs closer to the road would be read more often and will be a easier to read, and it is a win-win situation for all if we get our regulations in the right perspective. Chairman Henry asked for any other comments for or against the request, there were none, and he declared the Public Hearing closed, and advised that Commissioners would make their decision at the October 11, 2005 meeting.
SET THE BEER LICENSE FEE FOR 2006
Administrator Crapse reported that when Commissioners had their budget reviews this year, the Board allocated revenues for Beer, Wine & Liquor Licenses. The Finance Committee, himself and the Finance Director looked at this and discussed the idea to increase the Beer License Fee from $75.00 to $400.00, to be consistent with the Wine License Fee, and it was approved in the Budget. In order to allow them time to advertise and make this know to the retailers, he recommends that the Board officially set the Beer License Fee for 2006, at $400.00, and advertise this so that the people getting their Beer License in January will know well ahead of time. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to set the Beer License for 2006 at $400.00, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RESOLUTION FOR VOLUNTEERS & ELECTED OFFICIALS
Administrator Crapse reported that we were notified by ACCG, sponsor of our Workers’ Compensation Fund, that the county needed a Resolution to cover volunteer and elected officials. We did pass a Resolution in 1987 doing this, however ACCG would like us to renew this Resolution, and he recommends the Board approve the sample Resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Workers’ Compensation Resolution for Volunteers & Elected Officials and give the Chairman the authority to sign the Resolution, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPTION OF NATIONAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a standard Ordinance that has been requested through GEMA for each county to adopt, and the key to this is paragraph 5, which states that all Federal Departments and Agencies shall make adoption of the NIMS a requirement for providing federal preparedness assistance through grants, contracts, and other activities to local governments. This is a bookkeeping thing, and we are complying with these rules now, but they made it pretty clear that unless we adopt it, we are not going to get federal assistance in case of emergency, so he highly recommends that the Board approve this Ordinance. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE GUARD AND RESERVE
Administrator Crapse reported that the President of ACCG has asked that each county sign the Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve, and it does not change anything that they are not already doing. He advised that they will be given an opportunity at the ACCG Fall Policy Conference to present these county by county showing our support for the guard and reserve, he thinks this is a great idea and thinks the Board should adopt this Resolution. Mr. Crapse then read the Resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Commissioners agreed that this is a very appropriate way at this time to participate in this.
RESOLUTION TO AMEND AND RESTATE AND ADOPT THE UPDATED ACCG DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN
Administrator Crapse reported that this is the Resolution that adopts what is referred to as The New Model Plan for our retirement, and at their workshop, they went through the differences between our current Defined Benefit Plan and The New Model Plan. The reason for this is that the Board has made the decision that what we are in now, called the Third Restated Plan, is rather out of date, and also anyone who wants to make changes to their benefit plan must first adopt The New Model Plan. It is made necessary because of the changes the Commissioners have approved for the employees of the county which increases their retirement benefit monetarily and it also provides that an employee of thirty-five years service to the county can retire regardless of age without being penalized. He thinks this is a tremendous step forward, and he would encourage the Board to continue to seek every opportunity to improve our retirement for our employees, and he recommends the Board’s approval of the Resolution. Mrs. Pheil agrees that we need to do something with our retirement plan and quickly, and last Thursday was the first time she saw this plan, it is a very complicated issue, and she still has a lot of questions; she has talked to some people in public safety, and she would prefer that they see this agreement and make comments before she votes on this. Administrator Crapse stated that everyone he has talked to about this is in favor of it, they would just like it to go further, but this change was based on the $74,000.00 that the Board approved to implement this change for the plan, and there is nothing that says that the Board has to do anything today, or if they do, they can make changes to the plan at any time. Chairman Henry stated that if we are going to change it, rather than go ahead and approve this, lets table it as he agrees that it is rather complicated. Mr. Crapse advised that they looked at several options, but this is the option that they felt was affordable at this time. Mr. Nance advised that these are good changes, but there is some concern that Mrs. Pheil has, it may be a good thing to go back and look at this again. Mrs. Pheil stated that she agrees with everything Mr. Crapse said, but the people out their trying to keep their employees have some additional concerns, and she would like to look at their concerns before she makes her decision. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to table this until they have a work session to discuss this and then have a called meeting before the end of the month, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPTION OF CABLE FRANCHISE AGREEMENT WITH CITIZENS GATV & KLIP CABLE
Finance Director Leverett reported that they have both the Citizens Telephone and the Klip LLC Franchise Agreements to present for adoption today. The terms of the agreements were negotiated on the county’s behalf by John Howell, consultant, and as he stated in his report, both of these are ten year agreements with franchise fees set at 5% of gross revenues, both contain solid customer standards, the capacity to provide dedicated local government channels, and both are required to furnish free service to any county building located within 150 feet of the cable line. In addition to this, both of the agreements have a more inclusive definition of what gross revenues are and that should result in some increased franchise fees over the term of the agreement. She recommends that both agreements be adopted by the Board, and advised that there are representatives here from both cable companies if the Commissioners have any questions or comments. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adopt the Cable Franchise Agreements with Citizens GATV & Klip Cable, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Henry advised that the Commissioners would like to go on record to encourage the cable companies to do everything they can to offer more family programs. Mrs. Leverett advised that she would like to give Vickie Leger credit also, as she worked with her on this and did a lot of the leg work.
SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL AT THE STATE FARMERS MARKET
Administrator Crapse reported that Bill Dorough, Manager of the State Farmers Market, has requested that the county not charge the State Farmers Market for the tipping fees on the solid waste that is collected at the farmers market and disposed of at the landfill. It was standard procedure for many years that we not charge the farmers market for that service, however, over the years the volume has grown to such a level that it has become very extensive, we now have four containers out there that sometimes have to be dumped on a daily basis in the summer months. Earlier this year, we began to bill the State Farmers Market, after they had talked to Mr. Dorough and told him they would have to start charging for that service because 1) it was such a high volume to go into our landfill, and 2) because of some of the abuse that was taking place with people filling dumpters up with pallets etc. and the market didn’t seem to have the capability of policing those things. The market has been paying the bill for several months before the summer hit, when the summer hit and containers began to overflow, almost on a daily basis, those tipping fees amounted to almost $20,000.00 over the course of a couple of months. They have a request for relief by Mr. Dorough indicating that they had not budgeted for that kind of expense. Mr. Crapse advised that we have a good relationship with the farmers market as the Department of Agriculture contributes $25,000.00 a year to the market security during the summer months, not withstanding the fact that we are very sensitive to the fact that the landfill operates in the red and we need all the revenues we can get. Chairman Henry encouraged all to consider the relationship with the state department, they are providing the market for our community and our farmers, and just last year we asked and received permission not to pay something that we had not budgeted for, and he hopes that we would consider complying this one time in this situation. Mrs. Pheil advised that she is concerned because of the situation we are in at the landfill, and how we will handle future billing. Administrator Crapse reported that to help the market out and to be fair to the county tax payers, he suggests that the county relieve the market of those peak months, but expect the market to continue to pay and to budget for those high months from here on out. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to relieve the State Farmers Market of the extreme summer months of garbage this year, and expect them to comply with the monthly charge and make adjustments to take care of the high months from this point forward, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL AT THE 24TH AVENUE OVERPASS
Administrator Crapse reported that the DOT contacted him a few weeks ago indicating that they had a dispute with the contractor that was responsible for moving three buildings at the 24th Avenue Overpass, they didn’t know what they could work out with the contractor, and they didn’t want to assume any additional contracting cost on that job, so they were enquiring as to whether the county would take that C & D waste from those buildings at the landfill at no cost or at a reduced cost. He informed them that it was the current polity of the Board that we don’t take any more free garbage in the landfill, he could not make that judgement, but if they wished, they could bring it before the Board. The man was to get back with him before the meeting today if he had an official request, and as yet he does not have an official request. He stated that this is another situation where we want to work with our neighbors, but we need to protect our landfill and our financial assurance, so his initial call was that we could not accept that free C & D into the landfill. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to table this until we get a formal request, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
HURRICANE KATRINA RESPONSE
Administrator Crapse reported that we are all familiar with the many things that are going on in the gulf region, he discussed that the county was open to providing whatever assistance that was asked of us that we could provide within our resources. We did get a request for some assistance in both personnel, clothing and equipment; the Sheriff’s Department has sent two deputies, two reserve deputies, and two patrol units to Mississippi, but we have not received any other requests. The Sheriff’s deputies left yesterday and escorted a convoy from the Baptist Church parking lot with other items of assistance to the folks in Mississippi, it was a defined destination, designated by GEMA to provide this assistance. We also have a power crew from the power commission in the region, and all the officers at the Sheriff’s Department donated some uniforms, and through grant funds, they had just replaced all the SWAT gear, so all the old gear was sent, and public works provided a covered trailer. Commissioners commended all the people involved in helping the people in the gulf cost areas.
IDC/DA WORK REQUEST FOR LAND CLEARING & GRADING
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have a letter from the IDC Director Bruce Drennan, requesting assistance with the land clearing and rough grading of a site in the Cordele Industrial Park, all of our crews that could do this work is committed to the ball park scenario. He did get a call from the City yesterday, they have agreed to participate in the program, and given the county’s lack of assets, he would recommend that the Commission apply $7,000.00 from the contingency fund toward this project. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to allot $7,000.00 for assistance in land clearing and grading in the Industrial Park, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
CRISP AREA ARTS ALLIANCE REQUEST
Administrator Crapse reported he and Chairman Henry met with several of the Crisp Area Arts Alliance ladies to discuss their project, and they have indicated to them that they would have a list of items that need to be corrected along with items that they wish to purchase to bring the arts center to where they want it to be. Chairman Henry advised that we do have an aggressive Arts Alliance group, and they are working hard to provide this program to the youth in our community, and they have a beautiful building to do it in.
JOINT RESOLUTION ON CRISP/DOOLY JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Administrator Crapse reported that Dooly County Commissioners have agreed with the proposal of five board members for each county instead of the original four members each on the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that this just takes the Joint Development Authority from eight members to ten members and each county will appoint one more member, and the terms will the same. He advised that if this Board approves the Resolution, then it will go to Dooly County for their approval at their next meeting. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority Resolution changing the board members from eight to ten, and authorizing the Chairman to sign the Resolution, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP/DOOLY JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (2 SEATS)
Administrator Crapse reported that we had a letter from Joe Crenshaw and Bruce Drennan wanting to serve on the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority a couple of months ago when it was first advertised. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Joe Crenshaw and Bruce Drennan to the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority terms running from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2009, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE AREA AGENCY ON AGING (2 SEATS)
Administrator Crapse reported that we have advertised for the board members who would like to serve on the Area Agency on Aging, and we received one response from Hugh and Carolyn Lipscomb, who run their own community service agency and act as a team. They stated that they would both serve or either one would serve if it wasn’t appropriate to appoint two family members to the same board. He doesn’t think there is a rule anywhere that two family members can’t serve on the same board, but it is a little awkward to appoint a husband and wife to the same board. Mr. Faircloth stated that it seems like they have made a joy in their life helping and serving other people as a team, and if possible, he would like to encourage that. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to appoint Hugh and Carolyn Lipscomb to serve on the two vacant seats on the Area Agency on Aging, terms running for three years and expiring on September 30, 2008, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to appoint Don Tucker to fill the unexpired term of Bobbie Mason on the Crisp County Board of Family & Children Services term expiring June 30, 2006, also Mr. Nance and Mrs. Pheil will work with the Crisp County Board of Family & Children Services to come up with two more appointments to fill the unexpired terms of Grace Nixon and Dr. Wiley Wilson, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP COUNTY ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint J. C. Clark to fill the unexpired term of Jerome Outlaw on the Crisp County Zoning Board of Appeals term expiring December 31, 2005, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT VOTING DELEGATE FOR THE ACCG BUSINESS SESSION
Administrator Crapse reported each year the Board appoints a member to cast the county’s vote at the business session at the ACCG Fall Policy Conference later on this month. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to appoint Chairman Henry as the county’s voting delegate at the ACCG Fall Policy Conference, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
SOUTHEAST REGIONAL STORM WATER CONFERENCE
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a regional conference on storm water, he thinks the county should be represented at this conference on October 2-5, 2005, and he has indicated that he would be willing to go if that is the Board’s desire, and he would also like the opinion of the Board of sponsoring the Chairman of that Committee, Steve Bridges, to go to this conference also. Mr. Faircloth and Mrs. Pheil both would like to attend this conference as they both thinks it is very important that they gain as much knowledge as possible in this area. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to allow Steve Bridges to go to the Southeast Regional Storm Water Conference paid for by the county, along with Administrator Crapse, Mr. Faircloth and Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
CLEVELAND LEMMONS COMMENTS
Cleveland Lemmons thanked Commissioners for allowing him to speak. He advised that his problem is that he has been flooded out several times at his residence, it is a solvable problem, and every time it floods, it costs him a good bit of money. He stated that years ago, the area rain had a path where it came and was suppose to go under the bridge at 6th Avenue and 15th Street, but it is stopped up back there now. His concern is, if it is a problem back in that area, it is a city and county problem, and he would like for them to please look at it, and do whatever can be done. Chairman Henry advised that the county will certainly pursue this problem, and see if there is anything we can do, we will certainly do it.
WESTSIDE REVOLVING LOAN FUND PROJECT
Administrator Crapse reported that he has the Westside Revolving Loan Fund Project Policies and Procedures for handling that RLF money that we were awarded from the ECEZ, Mrs. Leverett has written the policies, and they pretty much go hand in hand with our other RLF rules. One thing that she did was try to cut down on confusion by making the numbers in the application, the same as the numbers on the application form. He advised that our total amount is $35,000 for this year, and maybe next year we can get more. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Crisp County Revolving Loan Fund Westside Project Policies and Procedures, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Leverett advised that once the Board approves this, we have to send it to USDA Empowerment Zone for their approval, and once it is approved, we will have $35,000 available for businesses in that area or anybody wanting to open up a business in that area, which includes on or near 24th Avenue West and 16th Avenue West, west of 8th Street.
APPROVE DOT CONTRACTS
Administrator Crapse reported that he has the standard DOT contracts Commissioners need to approve, two of them are for the work to be done on Drayton Road and the other one is called various roads which are the roads we asked for that were over and above LARP. The DOT Contracts are PR000-S008-00(090), Drayton Road; PR000-S008-00(092), Drayton Road; and PR000-S008-00(093) various roads which include Williams Road between Hwy 300 and Raines Station Road, Lakeshore Drive between Hwy. 300 and where Hurt Drive and Lakeshore Way intersect, Amboy Road between Cloverhouse Road and Wagonwheel Road, and the two streets in Arabi. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the DOT Contracts for Drayton Road and various roads and giving the Chairman the authority to sign the contracts, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
CONTRACT TO REPAIR CULVERT ON WATSON ROAD
Administrator Crapse reported that he has another contract to repair the culvert on Watson Road as that bridge was washed out during the Easter weekend. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the contract to repair the culvert on Watson Road, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Pheil reported that she is being bombarded with calls from individuals about the dumpsters, and in particular the dumpster at Hatley, and she was asked by someone to ask the Commissioners if they could take another look at that situation. Also, for a long time we have talked about how we are going to make things looks better regarding the dumpsters, and she is concerned that we have some areas with dumpsters on them that she thinks we can find a way to improve the way they look. Chairman Henry agreed with Mrs. Pheil, and asked Administrator Crapse to set up a work session so that the Commissioners can review this at our earliest convenience.
LIST OF ERRORS & RELEASE REPORT
Administrator Crapse stated that he has received from the Tax Commissioner a list of the Errors & Release Report that the Board authorized the Tax Commissioner to do on the Mobile Home Digest, and this is the first list that she has submitted. The lists will be available in the Tax Commissioners Office for anyone to review. Most of these are mobile homes that have been sold or duplicate bills, it does amount to a good bit of money, the report today is almost $30,000.00 that was erroneously on the Digest, and that it is why it is important to get it off so we will not be expecting to collect that $30,000.00.
Mrs. Leverett reported that this report is for the month of August, 2005 and includes revenues and expenses for two month’s of this fiscal year. For the General Fund, August revenues received were $701,219 bringing year to date revenues to $1,370,611 or 10.39% of budget. Expenditures for the month were $968,375 and year to date expenses at $1,876,669 or 14.23% of budget. Expenditures for the first two months are exceeding revenues by about 4%. We expect and prepare for the lag in revenues at this time each year and anticipate that it should turn around shortly as we begin to receive ad valorem tax payments. The Landfill Fund came within $1,000 of breaking even for the month of August with operating revenues of $121,622 and monthly operating expenses of $122,524. The Water Fund ended the month with $29,874 in revenues and $14,201 in operating expenses. The Landfill and Water Funds also had non-operating expenses (depreciation and debt service) of $19,494 and $22,170 respectively. The total tonnage received by the Landfill for the month of August was 4,205.16 tons with Onyx’s commercial waste account making up about 45% of that (1890.16 tons). The total tonnage was 5% less than the previous month of July but 54% more than August, 2004. Onyx’s tonnage is about the average we have been receiving from them over the past few months. The total water usage recorded for the month was up about 25% over the month of July with 6,849,000 gallons pumped. In the cash report, as of August 31, we had $4.2 million in the General Fund, $l.6 million in the Landfill Fund, $542,000 in the Revolving Loan Fund, $4.1 million in the SPLOST Fund and $517,000 in the Water Fund for a County Wide Fund Total of $11.1 million. Of that $11.l million, $720,000 is reserved for debt service and $4.1 million for capital projects. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts, we have six open loans at this time with a total outstanding balance of $1,175,030. IDA, Pless Peanut and Heartland Manufacturing are current. Circle J, Verrick Manufacturing, and Walker Vault remain delinquent. She was informed yesterday that Circle J has closed their doors and the power is turned off, and Eli from Central Bank, administrator of the loan with Verrick Manufacturing, told her that Verrick had paid them up to date but brought the county a check for only $2,500, which still leaves them at least one month plus the extra $1,500 for two months behind on the new arrangement. Mr. Pfeiffer advised that we have a shared first lien with the bank, and the only difference between the County and the Bank is that the County has interest in seeing jobs maintained, but it doesn’t mean you have to roll over. Administrator and Commissioners agreed that since we have a shared first lien, if Verrick is going to write a check, we need to get 50% of that check. Mr. Faircloth asked that Verrick come before the Commissioners and explain as to why they have not provided any financial information to us and any plans to which they are going to hold to their last agreement. Mr. Pfeiffer advised that he thought it would be appropriate for one Commissioner, the Administrator, the Finance Director and himself to meet with Eli and possibly Bob Evans, and come to a resolution concerning Verrick Manufacturing between the county and the bank. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth that the Administrator, the Finance Director, Mr. Pfeiffer, and a Commissioner be appointed to meet with Eli and Bob from Central Bank to discuss this situation concerning Verrick Manufacturing, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Pheil volunteered to be the Commissioner to meet with Verrick. Mr. Pfeiffer explained that the foreclosure has been done on Circle J as they have receive a letter and certified mail regarding this. The practical matter is a CD may be all we get as they didn’t have any real property, but they do have the guarantee of Jerry Franks of Tifton. He advised that Mr. Walker of Walker Vault is now two months behind, he sent him a letter reminding him that he made an agreement to do things that he has not done, and we will see what happens. Continuing with her financial report, Mrs. Leverett advised that 54 of the 60 months of SPLOST have been received for a total of $15,576,497, and as of August 31st, disbursements totaled $11,354,229. The current monthly average is $288,453. This report also includes the advancements made on the 2006 SPLOST Issue to date. As of August 31, we have advanced the City of Cordele $127,806 on their Water Tank Project, we have spent $124 on the new Spec Building Project, and $908 on the Judicial Center Project. We have spent a total of $155,248 for August expenditures in the SPLOST Fund. The largest checks for this went towards the Youth BB&SB Complex Project, about $46,000 and the City of Cordele’s Flow Pond Project, $76,000. Other projects included were the Department of Motor Vehicle Building, the Art’s Alliance Building, Radar, radios and lights for the new CCSO vehicles, re-sodding of recreation fields and Fire Department radios. The money spent on the Fire Department Radios is a cash match on a Homeland Security Grant. We should be getting 75% of that money back. The last report is the budget to actual revenues by fund and expenditures by departments, each department should be within 17% of their annual allowances, overall the General Fund and Water Fund are at 14% and the Landfill Fund is at 13%. As stated earlier, we always anticipate a sluggish cash flow this time of year, but our cash position is healthy and she doesn’t anticipate any problems. Although the landfill numbers did look somewhat better this month, the revenues are still not what they need to be to bring us into compliance for financial assurance.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) there were two new SPLOST expenditures approved this month, $478.75 for electrical work & $508.97 for flooring at the Arts building; 3) our Signature Community application was turned in on time, September 1, 2005. There were 57 applications for the five slots allocated for 2005. Our application was very good so I have high hopes that we will be selected. I would like to thank everyone that contributed, and especially Monica at the Chamber, Susan at the Housing Authority and Robert at the EZ who put in a lot of extra ordinary effort on this project; 4) as you all know by now we were awarded a $500,000 CDBG to begin the Northside water project. Don 10 will be here next month with the formal paperwork for that project. There is a workshop for the grant recipients on September 20 and 21, and the Big Check Presentation is on September 21, 2005 at 10:00 AM in Savannah; 5) the newly created Crisp County Board of Elections and Registration met on August 25th for the first time. One of the actions they took was to establish their regular meeting date, and that will be on the first Tuesday of the month at 8:30 AM. They will hold their meetings in the Commissioners meeting room until the Judicial Center is built and they are provided adequate space in this building; 6) we received a letter from the Office of Homeland Security, GEMA, on a new policy for allocating State Financial Disaster assistance. In the past when the County was declared eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance, the Federal Government would pay 75% of the recovery cost and the State would pay 25%. Under the new “Sliding Scale Formula” the Federal Government would continue to pay 75%, however, the threshold of $62,450 in damage would have to be reached before the State would participate at all and then only at the 10% level, and the damage would have to reach $1,874,400 or more before the State would participate at the original 25% level; 7) we are working with the Park and “Friends of the Park” to get water service from the park’s main line to the new veterans memorial; 8) we are continuing to work on the Financial Assurance at the landfill, but we remain out of compliance for financial assurance for 2004, which we were aware of previously with our audit. This year the auditors are working on the landfill portion of our audit first, so that hopefully we will show that we are in compliance for 2005. Once compliance is achieved we hope that there will not be cause for further action; 9) as always, we should do everything possible to improve our financial assurance and improve the bottom line at the landfill. Improving our paying waste stream is the best way to do that. Our remaining capacity report, that was completed just last month, shows that we have ll0.8 years of capacity remaining at the current rate of disposal. This means that we could double the daily tonnage at the landfill and still have five decades of capacity in the existing landfill; 10) Commissioners Pheil and Faircloth met with me, Pete, Chief Lunsford and the Arabi City Council on Fire & Rescue and Law Enforcement Services to the City of Arabi on August 15th. To this date, I have not heard from Arabi on this subject. I need this Boards guidance on if, how, and when to proceed; 11) the GDOT has responded to Sumter County’s request to re-prioritize the US 280 Widening between Americus and Cordele. In your packet is the current project list both east and west of Americus. The GDOT in their response states that they will”make efforts to re-prioritize” the projects east of Americus at the next Quarterly District Preconstruction Meeting. However, from the schedule we can see that ROW acquisition doesn’t begin on any section until 2009 which puts construction in the 2010-2015 time frame as a best case scenario; 12) on August 22, we received a letter dated August 9, 2005 from the City of Cordele. The letter stated that the utilities would be taken out of the City’s name as of September 1, 2005. I have spoken to the City Manager and some City Commissioners about this, but have not received any notice to the contrary; but I’m happy to report that as of this time the lights have not been turned off; 13) I have had several comments/complaints that the trees on the courthouse lawn are blocking the “Crisp County Courthouse” sign. As you know, it is hard to identify the building as a courthouse. Many people feel that the two trees blocking the sign should be removed, me included, so unless the Board has an objection, I would like your permission to have the two center trees removed. By common consent, Commissioners approved the removal of the two trees blocking the sign; 14) you can see from the Sheriff’s report in your packet that the recent Animal Control trend of picking up fewer animals has had a turn for the worse; last month 110 animals were picked up; 15) the GARDC Training Conference is November 9-11, 2005 at St. Simons; 16) Chamber of Commerce Retreat is on November 17, 2005, 8:30-4:00 at the Resort; and 17) the “Character Word” of the Month: DILIGENCE - Not to quit. Working hard in a careful, steady manner.
LETTER TO CITY OF ARABI REGARDING SERVICES
By common consent, Commissioners authorized Mr. Pfeiffer to write a letter to the City of Arabi to come to the table with a proposal regarding the fire and rescue and the law enforcement services, and if not, County is going to cut the services to meet the dollar figure that they are currently paying.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil, to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.