MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 11, 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. The invocation was given by Min. Pat Wilder, Evergreen Church, with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Administrator Crapse.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION-CHARLES HURT, W. M. DAVIS, JR., ROBERT POWELL & JEROME OUTLAW
Administrator Crapse read Resolutions commending and thanking Robert Powell for his service as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Jerome Outlaw for his service as a member and as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Charles Hurt for his service as a member of the Airport Board, and W. M. Davis, Jr. for his service as a member of the Board of Tax Assessors. Robert Powell and Jerome Outlaw were present to receive their Resolutions.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the minutes of the meetings of September 13th and September 29th, 2005, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DECISION - PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT FOR BILLBOARDS
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that this is the decision meeting for the proposed Text Amendment for the Billboards, we had the Public Hearing last month, and Commissioners can adopt the Amendment or they can make further changes. Administrator Crapse reported that at the Public Hearing last month, there were several individuals in favor of the Text Amendment and the Board also received a letter from the Chair of the Tourism Committee supporting the Text Amendment, and there were no comments opposed to the Text Amendment. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Text Amendment for Billboards, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR CONNIE CARROLL
Ms. Sangster reported that she has received a request from Connie Carroll (with the property owners authorization) for a Special Use Permit to locate a single-wide mobile home in an RS1 (Single Family Residential) zone district. Property located at 267-A Cork Ferry Road. In this zone district, double-wide mobile homes are a permissible use, and single-wide mobile homes are a special use granted by the Board. She stated that at this time, Mrs. Carroll is not sure if she is going to place a single-wide there, she may get a double-wide, but just in case she does purchase a single-wide, she will have permission to place it there. Chairman Henry declared the Public Hearing open, and asked for those to speak in favor of this request. David Conner, Mrs. Carroll’s brother and the property owner, asked that the Commissioners allow this request to help his sister in her circumstances. Mrs. Carroll stated that she would appreciate it if Commissioners consider her request, and she assured Commissioners that her mobile home would be neat, clean, and well taken care of. There were no others to speak in favor of the request, and Chairman Henry asked for anyone to speak in opposition. There were none in opposition, and Chairman Henry closed the Public Hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Special Use Permit for Connie Carroll to locate a single-wide mobile home in an RS1 zone district, also make sure the conditions which were stated in the review check list are met, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mr. Harris voting no.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR SBA TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
Ms. Sangster reported that she has a request from SBA Telecommunications Tower (with the property owners authorization) for a Special Use Permit to construct a 250' telecommunications tower in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property located north of District Line Road. She has provided the Commissioners with a review check list, and a representative from SBA Telecommunications Tower is here, she has all their information, and they have met the regulations of our Ordinance; the only variance that they are asking is for a 250' tower, our regulations call for a 200' tower. Troy Peter, representative from SBA, stated that he is here on behalf of Cingular Wireless, who has requested the 250' tower, to limit towers in the area. He advised that this particular area is agricultural in use, the sight will be in a timber wooded area, and will be removed off the main road, close to Hwy. 300. Ms. Sangster asked that they take the conditions on the check list into consideration, as we have had a tower approved and permitted that was never built, and we need these speculative towers built out within twelve months. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing and asked for anyone to speak in favor of the request. John Simmons, Southeast Towers, stated that they are working on basically the same corridor with Cingular Wireless, and they need this tower to do the electronic handoff as they move south through the 300 Corridor, and without this tower they would suffer. Chairman Henry asked for any opposition, there was none, and he closed the Public Hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Special Use Permit to SBA Telecommunications Tower along with the check list conditions, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR SITE ACQUISITION
Ms. Sangster reported that this is a request from Site Acquisition ( with the property owners authorization) for a Special Use Permit to construct a 250' telecommunications tower in an RR ( Rural Residential) zone district. Property located on Crossroad Store Road. She advised that it was only a couple of days after she received the request from SBA Telecommunications that she received the request from Site Acquisition, so she asked them to get together and coordinate this as they are both working with Cingular Wireless. They have also turned in all of the information required, they have met all the requirements of the Ordinance, and there is about three miles difference in these two towers. Chairman Henry declared the Public Hearing open and asked for anyone to speak in favor of the request. John Simmons stated that both towers are almost mirror images, they are lattice towers, and this is also in a forested area and part of the Hwy. 300 build out. Chairman Henry asked for any comments in opposition to the request, there were none, and he closed the Public Hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Special Use Permit for Site Acquisition along with the check list conditions, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS PAVING OF EVERGREEN CHURCH ROAD
Pat Wilder, pastor of Evergreen Church, stated that Evergreen Church Road is really an obstacle for the church and anyone that lives in that area. The road is always a problem, when it rains they cannot have church, and they have had several members to get stuck in the road trying to get to church even when it was not raining. She stated that their church makes a very large contribution to this community in the fact that they go into the projects and teach the children the word of God, morals, motivation, respect and dignity, love, and that it is important to get an education. It is hard for them to bring these children and their families to the church when it is raining. She stated that they have been here several times, they know they have opposition to the paving of this road, she feels that this is unfair; if Commissioners were to take the road under imminent domain, they will not take anyone’s home, their livelihood, and not even inconvenience them. She stated that they are just asking for the road to be paved from Fenn Road to the church and stopping at the county line, about one mile. Mr. Nance advised that the Commissioners have not opposed the request, it is obtaining the right-of-way from the property owners. Chairman Henry thanked Mrs. Wilder for her comments, and advised that they will certainly put it on the list and consider this request. Mrs. Pheil supports her request and personally she would like to do everything they can to support activities for the churches. Chairman Henry said that he doesn’t think the county has ever taken a road through the process of imminent domain, and this is a big battle. Administrator Crapse reported that there is some question on this particular road because of the nature of the road. DOT may not participate in a contract because of the number of residences that are on this road, and he doesn’t think the road would meet the DOT criteria for county contract, along with getting the right-of-way.
LIGHTS ON AFTER SCHOOL PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse reported that this is the annual Proclamation that affirms the Board’s support of after school programs in the schools and proclaims October 20th as Light On After School Day. He read the Proclamation. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Lights On After School Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
RED RIBBON PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse read the Proclamation for Red Ribbon Week, proclaiming the week of October 23rd through October 31st, 2005 as Red Ribbon Week, and calling attention to drugs and alcohol abuse in Georgia. Monica Simmons, Jerome Outlaw, and Phil Streetman were here on behalf of the Chamber Board, and Mrs. Simmons stated that the Chamber has been doing the Red Ribbon campaign about twenty years, they have a lot of agencies, groups and businesses involved in trying to get the word out, plus they are trying to do some new things this year. She appreciates all participation and co-operation, the character word of the month, in getting this done as drugs is a problem with our community, and we need to start with our kids. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Red Ribbon Week Proclamation, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - CLOSE OUT CDBG-03 NEWTOWN STREETS
Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing to close out the CDBG-03 Newtown Streets. Don tenBensel, Executive Director of the Middle Flint Regional Development Center, reported that the purpose of the CDBG was to pave the remaining dirt streets in the Newtown area, this has been accomplished with money that was available through the Department of Community Affairs and SPLOST. He advised that all the people in this area have benefitted from this, and it really looks great. Chairman Henry asked for any opposition to closing the Newtown Street grant, there was none, and Chairman Henry closed the Public Hearing. Chairman Henry thanked Mr. tenBensel for his efforts in this grant, and advised that this is just another area where the quality of life has improved in Crisp County.
CDBG-05 SPECIAL CONDITIONS
Mr. tenBensel advised that the county was successful in the CDBG FY-05 competition, the county has received the big check for $500,000, and we are ready to go through the grant papers. On the budget for this grant, it shows $144,000 of CDBG funds being used for acquisition, but on the special conditions, the Department of Community Affairs is saying that you can only use this money to pay for the physical value of what is there, of course the physical value is negatively, because the water lines are just going to be cut off and the wells are going to be closed out. We already had $40,000 of local cash going into the acquisition, that leaves us $104,000 short if we can’t use CDBG funds; we have thirty days to accept the grant and then work out the problems, and you can always turn the money back in. He advised that they had no indications that this was going to be a problem as they turned us down last year, and the only reason they stated was that we didn’t get an option on these wells. They are working on some possibilities, but at this time, we are $104,000 short. Mrs. Leverett stated that this also includes $154,000 of the GEFA loan/grant, and there is a possibility that we may not qualify for this money because there is a 104% ratio that we have to meet for the landfill since we have outstanding GEFA loans for the landfill. Her early calculations show that we meet that 105% ratio, but she has sent the numbers to GEFA for them to verify whether or not we meet that threshold, and if we don’t meet that threshold, that is another $154,000 that will have to come from somewhere. Administrator Crapse stated that he would like to believe that the game is not over, he has never had the opportunity to appeal one of these special conditions, but based on the review of the grant last year, he thinks if the Board would accept the grant as is and let us appeal that condition, we may be able to appeal based on that. Also there is an opportunity if we can get the proper support from board members at the EZ, A. J. Rivers or Susan Leger-Boike, maybe we can get some out of cycle funds to cover that cost. We have to accept the grant by the 21st of October, and if they choose, they can accept the grant and let the staff work on getting the rest of the funding or appealing the condition. He read the Resolution for the acceptance of the $500,000 CDBG funds. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Resolution authorizing the acceptance of the $500,000 and giving Chairman Henry the authority to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
ACCEPTANCE RESOLUTION & MIDDLE FLINT AGREEMENT ON CDBG-05
Don tenBensel advised that he has their standard administration contract with are a couple of additional items that are required by the Department of Community Affairs, such as time tables that were in the grant application. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to accept the Administration Agreement with Middle Flint RDC, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
MIDDLE FLINT AGREEMENT ON CDBG-06
Mr. tenBensel advised that if Commissioners want the engineers to get going on the CDBG-06 application, it is time to get started because it is due in April, and this just lets everyone know that Commissioners want to proceed with phase II of the sewer for Omar Heights/Northside area. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to continue with the application for Omar Heights/Northside area, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ENGINEERING & APPLICATION FOR EZ FOR THE SHORTFALL FOR CDBG-05
Jason Faircloth reported that he has the proposal for the engineering and survey on the CDBG-05, it will be 10% of the construction cost, estimated cost of $660,000 making the fixed engineering and surveying fees at $42,682. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that if the County is going to apply to ECEZ to make up the shortfall of the CDBG, they also need to authorize that application. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to authorize the county to make an application to EZ for the $104,000 grant shortfall and to accept the proposal from Regional Engineering for $42,682 on the CDBG-05 project, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION ON GA. MUTUAL AID GROUP FOR THE CRISP COUNTY FIRE DEPT.
Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief, reported that the Georgia Mutual Aid Group was established several years back and has been operating in the Atlanta area. He stated that just recently they waived the $500 membership cost, GEMA will be picking up this cost for all fire departments in counties and cities that wish to join, and this is a way to be a part of the state wide mutual aid pact.. In our time with disasters prevalent on our minds, we look at who is there to help, and how we are going to get help, etc.. If we had a disaster of trains, several vehicles, or chemical plants, it would overwhelm us even with our local response and mutual aid agreements with surrounding counties, and this would be big gun, so to speak. He advised that this group has assured him that they have their resources laid out, we would not have to respond if they called on us if we were not available to, but they would be able to help us with their resources if we had a disaster, and he would prefer to be a member of the group. Chairman Henry advised that he is sure that this will benefit our county, it is good planning, and the more planning we can do, the better prepared we will be. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Resolution on Georgia Mutual Aid Group for the Crisp County Fire Department, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPTION OF LANDFILL FEES
Administrator Crapse advised Commissioners that they have come up with a schedule of the landfill fees across the state and in our region, currently we are the fourth lowest in our region in tipping fees, and considering our landfill finances, he believes that it would be appropriate that we make a move to be more competitive with our region. He would recommend that the Board adopt an increase tipping fee of at least $30.65 to be effective in January, 2006, this would put Crisp County in the middle of the pact, but leave the fee for Randolph County the same until the end of the one year contract. Mrs. Pheil advised that the other landfills are not in the financial shape we are in at our landfill, she personally would like to see some numbers run as to what even one or two additional choices might generate at the landfill. She wants to be as low as possible, but said we have to be financially responsible at the landfill, and we may want to look at adjusting other rates at the landfill. Administrator Crapse reported that at $30.65, or a $5 increase, based on tonnage of 179 tons a day, our current rate, would increase $895 a day, but reminded Commissioners that the price alone does not solve our problem. Mr. Faircloth asked if this would hurt us in any way to getting where we need to be, or if we go up on our price, will it make us unattractive to others, and Administrator Crapse replied no, it would have to help, but we really need another 200 or 300 tons a day. It would make us unattractive if one wanted to go to one of the other landfills that cost less, but we still are going to be very competitive. Mrs. Leverett stated that if we increase our rates at all, then that shows EPD that we are making steps in the right direction. Chairman Henry advised that we have to consider that whatever we raise Onyx, since they pick up from our local people and bill them, that that will be a pass-on. Mrs. Pheil stated that it is really like deciding on which pot you are going to get it out of, if we don’t get it out of this pot, we are going to take it out of the general fund. Administrator Crapse stated that those supplements don’t count for financial assurance, charges do. Mrs. Pheil asked that we look at the other rates also, especially the sludge and grease traps. Mr. Crapse stated that he doesn’t know how much tonnage we get from these. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to increase the municipal solid waste at the C & D landfill to $33.50 a ton, inclusive of the $.65 surcharge by DNR, and the surcharge would float based on what that rate is, increasing the sludge to $43, inclusive of the $.65 surcharge, and increasing the grease traps to $46, inclusive of the $.65 surcharge, to begin January 1, 2006, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
VOTING EQUIPMENT INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that this agreement provides for the state to deploy the latest in election technology to the county at state expense; it is a system called Express Pole, and was introduced and reviewed by our Elections and Registration Board. This Board thought it was a great idea and will save a lot of time and effort as they will be able to tell right then when someone comes in and says they are registered to vote in another county in Georgia. He read the last sentence in the Secretary of State’s letter, which all but rules out any choice Commissioners have in this - “as such the terms, conditions and requirements of the Intergovernmental Agreement require your adherence, without deviation, in order to achieve uniformity throughout the state and for every Georgia voter”. According to this, he recommends that the county adopt this agreement as proposed. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Voting Equipment Intergovernmental Agreement, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
CONTRACTS WITH ARABI FOR FIRE & LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that he thought this letter from the City of Arabi was given to Commissioners earlier, but found out this was not the case. After Commissioners read the letter, Chairman Henry advised that he has a lot of questions concerning this letter, and he would like to consider tabling this so that they can go over this in depth. Mr. Pfeiffer reported that last month Commissioners asked him to write a letter to the City of Arabi asking for a meeting, and there has been a meeting. Administrator Crapse advised that this just came in over the weekend, and there are a lot of things we need to discuss in this agreement. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to table this decision until they can discuss this in a work session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
POLICY ON WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PAYMENTS
Administrator Crapse reported that the county’s current policy on payment of salary and leave benefits while individuals are receiving workers’ compensation benefits provides no incentive for one to return to work. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to make up some of the loss pay as a result of an on the job accident or injury to an individual so that they have money to pay their bills. ACCG and the county have subscribed to a workers’ compensation program that assures return to work as soon as the person is physically, mentally or emotionally able, even to the point of including light duty assignments, which may result in a reduced pay level for the individual. He believes that the Board should consider a firm policy of not paying salary or leave benefits when an individual is absent and receiving workers’ compensation. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to table the decision on workers’ compensation payments until they discuss this in a work session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
BUSINESS LICENSE/OCCUPATIONAL TAX
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have the proposed Business License/Occupational Tax Ordinance before them, and Ms. Leverett has prepared an attachment for Commissioners to go over. Ms. Leverett stated that she selected a business from each profitability class, ran the numbers on what that Business License would be based on the Ordinance that has been presented to them, and then she went over several classes and what it would cost them annually. She advised that if a contractor from another county, and purchases his license from that county, comes into the county and does work, they would have to register with us, and they would only pay the regulatory fee. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adopt the Business License/Occupational Tax to become effective January 1, 2006 or after, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REQUEST FOR TAX PENALTY RELIEF
Administrator Crapse reported that the Tax Commissioner received a letter from Alec E. Newsome, addressed to her as well as the Crisp County Commissioners, and she referred it to the Board of Commissioners. Mr. Newsome stated in his letter that he did not pay taxes for several years on a 1995 house trailer because he felt that the assessed value was far more than the value of the trailer, he is now offering to pay the back taxes, but they want to “penalize you almost three times of the taxes”, he said in his letter. Administrator Crapse stated that it appears that Mr. Newsome knew that the taxes were due but because he didn’t agree, he didn’t pay the taxes, he didn’t file an appeal, and he is now seeking to be relieved of the penalty and interest. The penalty and interest accumulated because of his own actions, not to any cause of the county, and because there was no error on the part of the county, because the individual clearly knew the taxes were due, and because the penalty and interest are clearly fair in accordance with state law, he recommends that the Board not relieve the lawful due penalty and interest for this taxpayer. Mr. Nance stated that it would be different if we didn’t have a process in place, but we do, and if he disagreed with the value, he had a right to appeal, but he didn’t. No motion was made, so the taxes, penalty, and interest are due.
PROPERTY TAX DEFERRALS FOR INDIVIDUALS SERVING IN IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN & PROPERTY OWNERS DISPLACED BY HURRICANE KATRINA
Administrator Crapse reported that the Tax Commissioner relayed to him a query from a tax payer regarding the deferment of property tax payments for soldiers stationed in Iraq, apparently this soldier’s spouse called with some difficulty. He said it is common practice for federal and state income taxes to be deferred for six months after the serviceman returns home, he is unaware of any precedence with regard to property taxes, but having been in this situation, it seems to him to be a reasonable policy. We also have at least one tax payer who resides in New Orleans, and that person will be having trouble receiving mail among other things, and based on this call, he thought the Board may want to consider a deferral of some period of time for individuals serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and property owners displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Pfeiffer asked that they table this request, as he needs to check and make sure this is legal. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to table this request until Mr. Pfeiffer can see if this is legal, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to appoint Sandra Duckworth to fill the unexpired term of Grace Nixon, term expiring June 30, 2007, and appoint Ann Greene to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Wiley Wilson, term expiring June 30, 2009, on the Crisp County Board of Family & Children Services, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ONYX PROPOSAL ON COMMERCIAL POLYCARTS
Administrator Crapse reported that he has been concerned with the co-mingling of paid and free solid waste going to our landfill since Onyx became involved in the collection of the City of Cordele’s residential waste. Onyx has responded to his concerns by proposing a flat monthly charge based on a survey of the 147 commercial polycart accounts, which they have in the county. These commercial accounts are small and don’t have a lot of waste, so they have a polycart like a residence, so when the driver drives up to the cart, there is nothing there to differ between a commercial cart and a residential cart, so it is hard for them to distinguish it. They have been trying to do this in running separate routes, which is an inconvenient from a business point to them. Onyx has collected the 147 carts, they weighed them at $40 a cart, multiplied that times 4.333 pickups a month for a total of 174 pounds per cart per month, making a total of 25,578 pounds divided by 2,000 equals 13 tons per month, and the 13 tons per month at the rate of $25.50 would come to $331.50, which they would send us a check for each month. They will keep the county a list of their updated commercial customers, and he thinks this is a reasonable proposal, subject to verification at a regular interval. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to accept the proposal with Onyx on commercial polycarts, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth abstaining due to personal business with Onyx.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, real estate acquisition, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
HIRE DAVID FOREHAND IN CIRCLE J CASE
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to hire David Forehand as the county’s attorney in the Circle J revolving loan fund case, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
DROP APPEAL WITH LOVE STUFF
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to drop the appeal with Love Stuff, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS KELLY ROAD
Chairman Henry advised that Don Atkins has called and requested that he meet with him this afternoon about Kelly Road, he wants the Board to be aware, and he is not sure if this is a city or county road. Administrator Crapse advised that it is part city and part county, and he thinks the end of the road is the county’s, and the area around MBM and Hwy. 300 is in the city. Commissioners concluded that the area of concern for Mr. Atkins is in the city, and Chairman Henry advised that he has talked with Jimmy Black, City Commissioner, and he thinks they can’t get it paved with just city efforts, and he thinks what he was hoping is that the county and DOT would help in trying to get that road widened and paved.
DISCUSS STREET LIGHT AT SOUTH END OF 3RD STREET
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have received a letter requesting the county to install a street light from the property owners at the south end of 3rd Street where the pavement ends, which intersects with an alley way. He has visited the site and observed the traffic conditions, there does not appear to be any traffic hazard at the location, and the request seems to be based on security concerns rather than traffic safety, and those concerns are not on public property. He would recommend that the county not get into providing private security lights as you will be inundated with requests, if approved. There was no motion made, so the request was denied, but Commissioners will look into placing a Dead End or No Thoroughfare Sign here.
FINAL PAYMENT ON THE NEWTOWN STREETS-CDBG-03
Administrator Crapse reported that last week he received a letter from Hal Newberry, engineer of the Newtown Streets project, recommending payment for Folsom Construction in the amount of $50,207.10, that amount is equal to the amount of retainage that is to be paid out on that project. He asked him to send him a letter why he is recommending payment, he has receive this letter recommending the final payment be made on the project with no liquidated damages. The contractor was 231 days beyond the contract, which he believes is unacceptable. If we reduce the overage by the total number of rain days, 45 days in the original contract and 63 days in the overage period, that still leaves 123 dry days over contract, that equates to $24,600 in liquidated damages. He advised that it costs money to put liquidated damages in a contract, and if you are not going to enforce it, why put it in a contract, and he knows there were weeks when there was sunlight and no work going on out there, but this is the Commissioners call. Mrs. Pheil asked what is the point if we are not going to require people to follow our contract, why put it in there, and she thinks that if we don’t take any action on this, then we are setting a precedent, and she is a little concerned why Mr. Newberry made this recommendation. Mr. Harris stated that he is an advocate of Folsom Construction and they are a local company that hires local people, he has sympathy for them and doesn’t want to hurt them, and he goes along with Mr. Newberry to go ahead and pay him. Administrator Crapse stated that probably 75% of the work in Crisp County goes to Rann Folsom, and he can retaliate any time he wants to and get his money back, and he doesn’t think the money is that important. When we awarded this contract to him, we sat across the table and said that this project needs to get done on time, will you do this on time, and he replied yes sir, no problem.
Mr. Faircloth stated that appreciates the diligence that is shown by the Administrator as far as trying to follow up on this matter, because the easiest thing to do is turn around and walk the other way, but he looked at what is best for the county and pursued that avenue, he appreciates that, but in this particular situation he thinks we should follow the recommendation of the engineer, and if there is a way for future contracts that we put it in the contract that we have the right that if they don’t do the work within a certain amount of time, we can hire someone to finish the project. Administrator Crapse replied we could have done that on this one. Mr. Nance said there were a lot of adjustments made and that made him feel for Mr. Folsom on one side, and the other side is him saying when he bid on the project that he could get it done in the time frame, so this is tough. Chairman Henry advised that it concerns him when we have contracts or agreements with people and they don’t fulfill their responsibility to the county, but he has sympathy with Mr. Folsom, he thinks he is an asset to our community, and he has worked with us before on some things; from the fact that the engineer made this recommendation and the fact that we have not been consistent in requiring vendors to comply with the contract, and he would ask that we consider leniency, this is a learning step, and we need to take some kind of positive step and whatever it takes to put in that contract to make sure they realize in the future, that we will go by the contract, and require every vendor to comply with the contract regardless of what they say. Mrs. Pheil stated that there seems to be feeling that flows over into revolving loan and everything else, that the county really isn’t an entity that you have to deal with. Mr. Faircloth stated that he hopes his thoughts doesn’t discourage the Administrator, the Finance Director, or our staff. Administrator Crapse advised that our job is to give you the recommendations and courses of action, we understand that there is politics involved here, but whatever you do, doesn’t reflect on what he thinks his job is or whether he did or good or bad job, he gave them the facts and they can do with it whatever they want, and it is not going to hurt his feelings if they say that’s the price of business, lets pay him, and move on. Mr. Harris say maybe he can negotiate a happy medium with Mr. Folsom, like maybe pay only half of the bill, and tell him we are not going to give in next time, and Administrator Crapse said they did that this time. Mrs. Pheil stated that the one thing that bothers her is the issue she is looking at and not who did it, and she feels like maybe they should be some penalty as a gesture to say that we are unhappy that this was done because it is really not fair to those people who did not get the bid. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to pay as recommended by Mr. Newberry, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mrs. Pheil abstaining.
WORK SESSION TOPICS
Commissioners agreed to have a work session on Thursday, October 27th at 9:00 a.m. Topics discussed will be sanitation, human resources, ball parks, recreation, Judicial Center, liquor by the drink, workers’ compensation, and Arabi fire and law enforcement services.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the first thing enclosed in the financial report packet today is the Executive Summary It includes the balances of revenues and expenditures as of September 30th which also ends the first quarter of this fiscal year. For the General Fund, September revenues received were $1,052,953 bringing the
quarterly revenue total to $1,785,650 or 13.54% of annual budget. Expenditures for the month were $788,999 and $2,703,967 or 20.5% as of the end of the quarter. Expenditures for the first quarter exceeded revenues by almost 7%. We are beginning to get some tax revenue in now and she expects the revenue numbers to show considerable improvement over the next quarter. The Landfill Fund finished the quarter with a year to date net loss of $166,988 including $58,484 in depreciation expense. The Water Fund finished the quarter with a year to date net loss of $20,569, including $51,741 in depreciation expense. The total tonnage recieved
by the Landfill for the month of September was 3432.75 with Onyx’ commercial waste account making up about 52% of that or 1800 tons. The total tonnage for the first quarter was 12,080.98 tons, up 27% or 2588.52
tons over the first quarter of Fiscal year 2004. Although this is an improvement it is still considerably short of the 300 tons per day needed to eliminate the margin of loss in the Landfill fund. The total Water usage recorded for the month of September was 6,439,000 gallons bringing the total usage for the first quarter to 18,765,000. On the cash report, as of the end of the quarter we had cash on hand of $4.5 million in the General Fund, $1.6 million in the Landfill Fund, $548,000 in the Revolving Loan Fund, $4 million in the
SPLOST Fund and $533,000 in the Water Fund for a County Wide Total of $11.2 million. Of that $11.2 million, $140,102 is reserved for debt service and $4 million designated for capital projects. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund report as of September 30th, we have six open loans at this time with a total outstanding balance of $1,170,990. IDA, Pless Peanut and Heartland Manufacturing are current. Circle J, Verrick Manufacturing and Walker Vault remain delinquent. Circle J has closed and the building has been vacated. We were able to recover a couple of pieces of equipment, but she doesn’t expect the value to be very much. We did cash in the CD that we were holding as collateral and received a check for $45,623 for that Friday afternoon. That payment is not reflected on your month end report. In the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report, 55 of the 60 months included in this issue have been received for a total of $15,879,393, and as of September 30th, disbursements totaled $11,467,615. The current monthly average
is $288,716. This report also includes the advancements made on the 2006 SPLOST Issue to date. To date, we have advanced the City of Cordele $127,806 on their Water Tank Project and we have spent $124 on the new Spec Building Project and $2,887 on the Judicial Center Project. Next is the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, which total $120,579 for the month of September. Of that total, $49,193 was expended on the Newtown Streets Project, $43,570 on the Water Tank Project, $10,463 on a new roof for the Health Department, $10,147 on the DMV remodeling project, $5,214 on emergency equipment for Sheriff’s Dept. vehicles and $1,979 on the new Justice Center. The last report in your summary is the budget to actual revenues by fund and expenditures by department for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Each department should be within 25% of their annual allowances. Overall the General and Water Fund Expenditures are at 21% and the Landfill Fund is at 22%.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several meetings and conferences; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) he coordinated with ACCG on Employee Retirement Changes following the Commissioners called meeting, however, they were unable to get the new actuarial information to him by this meeting. The documentation should be here for the November Commissioners meeting; 4) the County was notified that the Crisp County EMA is in compliance with the GEMA Performance Partnership Agreement and has been allocated $8,727 from GEMA; 5) we made the Board of Commissioners contribution to SGTC as budgeted for this year in the amount of $5,000; 6) water service for the “Friends of the Park” to the new Veterans Memorial has been completed; 7) we have received the “Notice to Proceed” on DOT County Contracts for Watson Road, Drayton Road and the other seven segments that the Board had requested from DOT last February. The DOT is also scheduled to be here on October 17th to complete the paving repairs to Cannon Road; 8) Commissioners Pheil and Faircloth and himself attended the Southeast Regional Stormwater Conference in Peachtree City. There was a lot of information gained about the Stormwater Community including a Southeastern Region Environmental Finance Organization located at the CVIAG that may be very promising. There was a lot of reference material and may ideas on Joining Stormwater Agencies and Stormwater Utilities established to fund Stormwater projects; 9) we have been advised that the Financial Assurance at the landfill will remain out of compliance for financial assurance for 2005. We will have to work closely with EPD as before on an adequate corrective action plan. As always, we should do everything possible to improve our financial assurance and improve the bottom line at the landfall. Improving our paying waste stream is the best way to do that; 10) the Chairman received a package regarding a nomination to the Middle Flint Workforce Investment Board. Unfortunately the package is not complete and there is not enough information to prepare a response. He will have to review this and get back to them later; 11) Citizens CATV has notified the Board of Commissioners of several changes in the Lake Blackshear CATV System; 12) Ken Lewis Appreciation Day, October 19, 2005, 9:30-11:00 am; 13) the GARDC Training Conference is November 9-11,2005 at St. Simons; 14) Chamber of Commerce Retreat is on November 17, 2005, 8:30-4:00 at the Resort: 15) the UGA Extension Service has appointed Sandra McKinney, CEA 4-H, as acting CEC effective November 1, 2005; and 16) the Community of Character Word of the Month is COOPERATION. Working together for a common purpose.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 2:52 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.