MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON MARCH 14, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, Joyce C. Pheil, and Brad Faircloth in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney David Forehand, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Brad Faircloth gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meetings of February 14th and February 24th, 2006, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
GIRL SCOUT DAY PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a Proclamation for Girl Scout Week, and yesterday was “Girl Scout Day”. He read the Proclamation, which declares March 12-18 as “Girl Scout Week”across the country and in Crisp County. Susan Childs with Girl Scouts of Southwest Georgia introduced Shelly Manders, Service Unit Manager, Girl Scout Leader, and the “cookie” manager in Crisp County; Kayla Manders, Girl Scout Junior; Lindsey Smith, Girl Scout Brownie; Stacey Smith and Alice Fowler, Troop Leaders. Chairman Henry thanked them for being here and recognized the importance of the Girl Scout Program. Ms. Childs stated that they serve well over one hundred girls in this community, with over ten troops, and girls range in age from 5 to 17. Mrs. Pheil thanked the leaders that give of their time, she was in girl scouts and two of her girl scout leaders had a lot of influence in her life, and she agreed that girl scouts are a vital part of this community. Commissioners Faircloth and Harris thanked the leaders for all the hard work they do in making our community a better place. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Girl Scout Day Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING ON EIP FOR NORBORD EXPANSION
Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of the Industrial Development Commission, reported that this is a pre-application hearing for Norbord expansion, it will be a $135 million investment by the company, will create eighty jobs in the plant plus another 150 ancillary jobs that will be out in the community. They are guaranteeing eighty jobs to begin with, which represents $3.4 million in annual payroll, the plant now has over $6 million in annual payroll, it will be the largest OSB (Oriented Strand Board) Mill in the world, once this expansion is finished, and they will produce over a billion board feet of OSB per year. He advised that they are applying for an EIP (Employee Incentive Program) Grant through the County. This pre-application hearing is one of the steps in the process with the Department of Community Affairs. The amount of the Grant that they are asking for is $393,600. He advised that the money will be used for road improvements into and out of the mill plus connecting to the city water system. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing officially and asked for comments from anyone in favor or opposed to the project. There were none. He then closed the Public Hearing, and thanked Mr. Drennan for the work he does for the community.
RESOLUTIONS AUTHORIZING THE FY 2006 CDBG APPLICATION & OBLIGATION OF FUNDS AND IN-KIND WORK FOR MATCHING & LEVERAGE CONTRIBUTIONS
Don tenBensel, Executive Director of the Middle Flint Regional Development Center, brought Commissioners up to date on year two of the Northside area redevelopment program, which is the start of a three year effort for sewer in that area. He advised that Regional Engineering has come up with combined figures for the project of about $1.3 million, which will mean portions of three cycles of CDBG. Realizing the history of the area, soil conditions, and the squeaking wheels, the engineer has made a recommendation that we start with the Omar Heights section, and we will get about 50-60% of this section the first year. The slope is to the east, so they are looking at a lift station on the east side of Hoover Street and this will tie directly into the city system. There are a total of 49 houses in the area, however because of the poor environmental conditions, nine of these are vacant, so there will be 40 occupied dwellings and 113 present residents that would be served. He has two Resolutions-one to apply for the monies and the other to commit the required match of $10,000 and $10,000 for leverage. There is also a commitment to provide county labor and equipment to clear the pumping station sites and to go through the alleys and clear so that they can run the sewer lines. Administrator Crapse reported that this is envisioned to be a five year program, last year we did the water, three years of sewer, and then we will try to follow that with the storm water and road improvements. This is very important for the area as it is one of the most neglected areas in the county, and this is the most productive way we have of improving these particular facilities in small areas; and we have known for years we have had a problem with raw sewage, low water pressure, and poor water quality. One reason for the low number of residents served is because anytime you start up you have a lot in the basic infrastructure, so that cuts away from the houses you serve, but in the second portion, there should be a large number of houses served because all of those monies will essentially go into home connections. He believes it is a great project, and he would recommend that the Board approve the Application as well as the commitment of the County to $20,000 plus the in-kind of $5760 for public works to do on the project. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the Resolution Authorizing the FY 2006 CDBG Application and Obligation of Funds and the In-Kind Work for Matching and Leverage Contributions, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF GDOT CONTRACT FOR PAVING AT THE DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that the Board has already approved this project, it was presented to the DOT in February, 2005, this is the formal contract work, and since it has been so long since the Board’s approval, he thought it would be good to affix the proper date of approval on the contracts so that it will be a record that the contracts were approved by the Board. This is the paving of the parking lots and the driving courses at the new Drivers License Facility that opened last month, and he recommends the Board approve this Contract for execution immediately. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the GDOT Contract for Paving at the Department of Driver Services, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
AGREEMENT ON E-911 SERVICE DELIVERY AND PAYMENT FOR SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that we were required by our previous E-911 Agreement to begin negotiation or studying the delivery of 911 services to the City of Cordele and the payment thereof, before January 1, 2006. They started this process back in December, they have moved along in the process, and the Board did approve, in principle, the Agreement that is in their packet. On March 7th, the City Commission met and agreed with the proposal that the County made to cover the increased cost of services, it does include an escalator on the anniversary dates, and he sent it over to the County Attorney for review. Attorney Forehand reported that the Agreement looks to be in order. Chairman Henry thanked Mr. Crapse for his work in getting this Agreement done, along with whomever he worked with at the City. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Agreement Relating to E-911 Amending Intergovernmental Agreement For The Delivery and Payment of Services, and authorizing the Chairman to sign the Agreement, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the General Fund finished the month of February with annual year to date revenuesexceeding expenditures by $1.4 million or about 11%. To date we have collected about 69% of the revenues we had projected for this year’s budget. Expenditures continue to exceed revenues on a monthly basis for the
Landfill Fund leaving us with a year to date operating loss at the end of February of $260,123, not including depreciation. Total tonnage received for February was 3,376.09, bringing the monthly average to approximately 3,775 tons. About 15% of the total tonnage received year to date is from the City of Cordele residential contract. The paying tonnage numbers continue to remain short of what has been estimated to generate the revenues needed to make this fund self sufficient. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $4.3 million dollars. The Water Fund ended the month of February with year to date revenues ex-
ceeding year to date operating expenditures by $60,158. This does not include non-operating depreciation expense of $120,753. With that included the Water Fund has a fiscal year to date net loss of $60,595. The total usage for the month of January was 2,957,000. Cash on hand at February 28, 2006, in the General Fund we
have $6.5 million, the Landfill Fund, 1.8 million, the revolving loan fund $412,000, the Splost Fund, $4.7 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $612,000 for a county wide total of $14,181,754. Of that, $153,074 is reserved for debt service, $52,165 is reserved for customer deposits and $4.7 million is designated for capital projects. In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for the month of February, including the current issue and advances on the 2006 issue, we spent $340,181.83 in SPLOST dollars. Major expenditures included $249,097 for the City of Cordele Elevated Water Tank Project, $1,213 on County Roads, $18,433 on the Hatley Fire Station, $17,381 on a new vehicle for Animal Control, $3,300 on the Youth Baseball/Softball Complex, $4,000 on the Justice Center project, $39,533 on Airport improvements and $7,225 on the DMV remodeling project. Next is the SPLOST budget to actual by category
summary report. We have now collected all of the monthly distributions included the current issue for a total received over the five-year periods of $17,605,206.14. We ended the issue with an average monthly collection of $293,420. This report also details the amount of 2006 Issue advances to date. As of February 28, 2006 we have advanced a total of $1,024,792 toward projects budgeted in the new issue, the largest of those being
the $1,000,000 for the City of Cordele, Water Tank Project. On the next page you should find the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan
Fund Accounts. As of February 28th, we have eight outstanding loans with a total balance due of $1,352,868. Of those eight loans, five are current and three remain delinquent. Circle J, Verrick and Walker have all been turned over to legal. As a matter of information, I have also attached copies of some recent correspondence we have received on Verrick and Walker. The last report included in your packet is the revenues by fund and
expenditures by department year to date report The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department. They should all be within 67% of their annual allowances. Most of our departments or divisions are within that margin. Overall, at the end of February, the General Fund was at 58%, the Landfill fund at 55% and the Water Fund at 54%.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events during the month; 2) there was one new SPLOST expenditure approve this month, which was the purchase of new GLOCK 40 weapons for the Sheriff’s Deputies; they have been ordered from the 2006 SPLOST for approximately $8900 pending trade in value; 3) we received a $2400 check for the Hands on Crisp project, which is a County-wide Volunteer Program to be run by the Chamber; 4) we have received several projects for the $24,681 in funding from the 2006 Congressional Earmark Program for a “Crisp County Westside Youth” project from the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention. I need to meet with Commissioner Nance and some Community leaders on recommending a project to the Board. The application is due April 17, 2006, but we need time to prepare the narrative and budget once the project is chosen and approved by the Board; 5) the resurfacing work on the 2005 projects is 90% complete, and the 2006 LARP Contract is scheduled to be let on April 21, 2006; 6) the Intergovernmental agreements for City of Arabi Law Enforcement and Fire Protection have been forwarded to their Attorney and should be signed tonight at their City Council Meeting; 7) the County Attorney has corresponded with Walker Vault with regard to swapping some land for a new solid waste collection site. Since this is in litigation we can discuss the details in executive session. I have also contacted John Woodard on a site and he said he would discuss it with us; 8) there is a short report on your desk showing the history of water leak adjustments for 2002 thru 2005. The adjustments in 2002 were for $2389 and have steadily declined to $628 in 2005. This is a good trend and I hope we can maintain this level, as there are bound to be unavoidable situations that will continue; 9) DCUTS is seeking individuals to serve on the Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program committee through March 31st. They have been awarded $198,236 grant to establish a coordinated regional approach to job access challenges in Crisp and Dooly counties. One project being considered is regular bus stops with covered bus stop enclosures. If you are interested, please see me for further information. I do think someone from Crisp County should be on the committee. Mrs. Pheil agreed to serve on the Committee and Commissioners will solicit other names; 10) we have not received any follow up on the Governors Discretionary Fund Grant for $125,000 to fund equipment and construct five enclosed Solid Waste Collections sites, or the request for additional current year road funds. Chairman Henry received a call to submit a request for local development funds that was confirmed yesterday. With the Boards consent, I will request a total of $50,000, including $10,000 for upgrading Weapons & Holsters for the Sheriff’s Department, $15,000 for Courthouse Security Upgrades, and $25,000 for continuing the Storm Water Utility Feasibility Study. I sent an e-mail to Senator Carter yesterday inquiring about the status of these requests; 11) there are two legislative issues that are hot right now; they are SR1040 Inverse Condemnation and a big proposal for the 2007 session to eliminate vehicle taxes paid when you buy a tag. The vehicle tag tax elimination could cost the County $1.4 million next year in lost revenue; SR 1040 could subject the County to law suits galore and millions of dollars in judgements, for every action that is taken by the Commissioners regarding roads, zoning, taxes, storm water, easements, etc., etc., etc.; 12) I also provided to you at your desk a directory of the DCUTS Board members. It looks like Crisp County is outnumbered 4 to 1 on the Board. This appears unfair from a system management prospective, so I have contacted DCUTS for a copy of the By-Laws concerning membership on the Board; 13) the Ball Park Project is progressing despite the rain delays. All of the trees that are programmed for removal are down and disposed of. 2400 feet of road is prepared and the parking areas will soon be ready. The soccer field area is at grade, but is being used for dirt storage at this time. All of the excess dirt should be removed by the end of the month, grading of the pinwheels should begin next week, the pond is within 4" of static capacity, and we are looking to go with the trade package bids on or about April 15th. All of this is subject to weather; 14) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) News Release for January 2006 shows the CPI has increased to 4.8% since January 2005; 15) I have been approached by an interested party about the purchase of the property at 207 Oak Street, at the Recreation Department. I informed them of the rules for disposing of surplus government property, and told them I would query the Board about the possibility of putting the property up for sale. My question is: does the Board wish to look into selling this property? It is not suitable for public occupancy at this time and is becoming more of a liability every day; 16) we received a Thank You note from Cathy Cox stopping by her office with an invitation to the Legislative Fishfry; 17) Local Development Fund Grant Applications are due in on Monday April, 3, 2006. Grant amounts are limited to $20,000 and require a 100% local match that must be available upon award. They can be used for Housing, Tourism, recreation improvements, but not general construction or basic services. Please let me know if you have any ideas. The first that comes to mind is the Skate Park. It will cost $40-50K, we have $5K from a private grant, and we have the rest of the match in the Recreation SPLOST Budget that is now available; and 18) the Character word for March is SELF-RESPECT: To like yourself and take good care of yourself. To demonstrate a positive opinion of yourself.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate and potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, 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.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 11:48 a.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.