MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON APRIL 11, 2006
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, County Attorney David Forehand, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Ray Burnette gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Henry welcome the guests in attendance.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meetings of March 14, 2006 and April 3, 2006, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
INTRODUCE NEW DIRECTOR OF LEISURE SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that several months ago the Board of Commissioners advertised for a new position in the County as the Director of Leisure Services, as a result of the advertisement, they received four very competitive resumes. He recommended to the Board that they select Brockey Brock as our Leisure Services Director. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Brockey Brock as the Director of Leisure Services of Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse stated that, assuming that he can get his family squared away, he will be on board as of next Monday, and he gave him a cell phone and a Commissioners Lapel Crest. Mr. Brock stated that he is proud, honored, and humbled to have the opportunity to serve in the field that he loves and has a very strong passion for. He is so amazed at the enthusiasm the Commissioners have for this community, he promised he will give his best, and hopefully we will have one of the strongest recreation departments in the state.
SENATOR JOSEPH CARTER REMARKS
Senator Carter advised that he is here today to give Commissioners and the community a brief report on the session that has just been completed, which was a very productive session. He stated that they had a number of difficult issues to wrestle with this year, not the least of which is imminent domain, which is important to the citizens of this state, and his opinion as one of the foundations of what makes this country great. He advised that the version of HB 1313, The Imminent Domain Bill, was not approved by the House with the changes that the Senate made, so the bill went into a “Conference Committee”, which included three members each from the House and the Senate to iron out those differences. He was honored to be on this committee, and what came out of those meetings was a Bill that still respects the property rights of private individuals, but will allow a mechanism for governments to acquire property with adequate compensation to private property owners, only when it is necessary for the benefit of the public at large. Also, there are mechanisms in the legislature that enable governments to clean up blight, areas that are traditionally thought of as slum areas, when it shows that the property has been abandoned and that it is conducive to crime along with showing a detrimental effect on the health of the area, etc. He reported that in the budget there is: 1) $10,000 to Crisp County to upgrade service weapons and holsters to the Sheriff’s Department; 2) $25,000 to fund a Stormwater Feasibility Study; 3) $15,000 for upgrades in Courthouse security; and 4) $25,000 for the City of Cordele to help in coordinating the computerized case management system to help bring them on line with the things that are going on in the court system. He stated that the Governor has not yet signed off on these, but he doesn’t think he will change any of these items. He advised that of all of the eight counties that he represents, he probably hears more from Crisp County and the people that work in Crisp County government than he does anyone else, and it is hard to do the job without feedback from the local level, and he appreciates all that the Chairman and the staff do here. Chairman Henry thanked Senator Carter, along with Representative Floyd, who have fought for Crisp County. Senator Carter thanked the County for a good job in putting on the “fish fry” in Atlanta, and Crisp County is recognized as being on the verge of an explosion, and people in Atlanta know that. All Commissioners thanked Senator Carter for the hard work he does for Crisp County, and also taking his time out of his busy schedule today to be here. Administrator Crapse informed Sen. Carter that they have been working on the Northside Water & Sewer Project, had applied for a $160,000 grant from GEFA, and just within the last couple of days they received a clarification that the county and city are too financially well-off to receive that money as a grant as opposed to a loan. They feel that the 140 or so landowners in this area can afford to be passed on this expense of a loan, which will probably add another $5 to $6 to their water bill that is set at $38 per month. He advised that the CDBG grant will pay for the infrastructure on most of this, and then it will be turned over to the city, but to approach the 140 or so moderate or low income households to ask them to pay such an exorbitant rate, they think will be a travesty. They were under the understanding that this grant would be based on the needs of the community, not the overall financial health of the county and the city, which puts us at a disadvantage. He advised that they have prepared a letter that they would like to present to him providing us some assistance in intervening with GEFA on behalf of our citizens that are in this area. They have also supplied him with a packet of all the meetings that they have had with GEFA personnel. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the letter for Chairman Henry’s signature to give to Senator Carter asking for support from GEFA on the Northside Water & Sewer Project, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously. Senator Carter advised that he would be glad to intervene on the county’s behalf.
PUBLIC HEARING - CLOSING A PORTION OF SIMMONS DAIRY ROAD
County Attorney Forehand read the Public Hearing procedures. Chairman Henry advised that Marvin Lewis has requested to close a portion of Simmons Diary Road, which is a connector road between Pateville and District Line Roads, there are no houses on this portion of the road, and Mr. Lewis owns land on both sides of the road. He stated that Commissioners have to decide if this road serves a public purpose. He opened the Public Hearing, and ask for anyone that wanted to speak in favor of closing a portion of Simmons Dairy Road.. Marvin Lewis stated that his reason for wanting to close the road is so that he can water his crops, it is a road that is not used very much, no houses are on the road, and there are some bad places in the road that would take a lot of work and money to repair. He advised that he will be happy to give the right-of-way on District Line and Simmons Dairy Roads so the roads can be paved, and will be glad to give permission to clear the corner of Pateville at District Line Road so that they can clear that out. He also provided a list of 47 or so names that live in this area in favor of closing the road. Cecil Bodrey, 198 Simmons Dairy Road, stated he would like to see the road closed, he thinks he speaks for all in his neighborhood, as it serves no purpose, it is an eyesore, it has become a dump, this part of the road stands in water when it rains, and sometimes it becomes a party place. Mr. Bodrey stated that if Simmons Dairy Road is paved, the response time for emergency vehicles would be increased greatly between Hwy. 33 and Hwy 300. Chairman Henry then asked for anyone that would like to speak in opposition. There were none, and he closed the Public Hearing. Administrator Crapse reported that we did receive three letters from concerned citizens in regards to the closing of the road, all indicate that they use the road to get from one road to the other and it would extend their length of travel by about 1/4 mile if this part of the road was closed. They think it makes it easier for trucks to enter Pateville Road, and they do not want to see the road closed. He read a quote from the Georgia Code regarding closing of a section of a road. Sheriff Haralson stated that when it rains, it is almost impossible to go down this road. He doesn’t think it will effect them, and it would help them in response time if Simmons Diary Road is paved, also, when a road is isolated it does attract people negatively and also there are problems of dumping trash. Carl Gamble reported that the intersection of Pateville Road is not a safe intersection, so it would help that portion, plus it will be a substantial cost to get that part of the road up to standard. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to close a portion of Simmons Dairy Road between District Line and Pateville Roads since it was not considered to be used substantially, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
SECOND AMENDMENT TO THE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that the Second Amendment to the Solid Waste Management Agreement has been reviewed by the County’s Landfill Attorney, Charles Jones, who has discussed it with the Solid Waste Management Attorney, and he sees no reason why the Board should not execute the Second Amendment.
Administrator Crapse stated that according to his review and the review they had at the last Solid Waste Management Authority, he believes that the Amendment is in order, and he recommends that the Board execute the Amendment. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the Second Amendment to the Solid Waste Management Agreement, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Pheil, Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Authority, informed those in attendance that basically this Agreement is saying that the county is not responsible for paying $93,600 each month, and Crisp County Landfill will not have to take the trash of all the thirty-nine participants of Solid Waste Management Authority unless we choose to take some commercial trash. Also, it takes the liability of the bonds away from the county and protects the county financially. She thinks it is a good thing for the citizens of the county.
ANNUAL CHILD ABUSE REPORT
Deborah Smith, Director of the Crisp County Family & Children Services, reported that she is required by HB1406 to report to them about child abuse neglect. Reports were received on 432 families, intervention was provided in a non-punitive way to protect the children and to strengthen the family, and close supervision of the homes by professional staff enables most children to remain with their parents. She stated that their goal is to strengthen families, and if they remove children from their families, they want to place them with relatives. Of the 432 reports, 49 were screened out, 383 were accepted for service, 100 were substantiated and opened, 37 were substantiated and closed, 22 were unsubstantiated and opened, and 224 were unsubstantiated and closed. They have reduced the number of reports by about 8% from last year, the reason she thinks these numbers are lower is because they have had a lot of communication with the community, they have been in the schools, and they have private contractors that work with them with the families. She stated that there are 521 children involved in these families, 309 were black, 199 were white, 4 were multi-racial, 8 were unable to be determined, and one was not indicated. She also had ten foster homes serving 93 children last year, six were in pre-adoptive homes, 29 were placed with relatives, 37 were with non-relative foster homes or emergency shelters, 12 in group homes, 3 in institutions, and 6 were at trial home visits. She reported that they only have twelve families that are actually receiving TANF, a temporary assistance for Georgia families. Their goal is to help these families to get training or learn what they need to know to become self-sufficient and be able to take care of themselves.
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION PROCLAMATION
Becky Shauf; Michelle Wall, Director of the Gateway Center; Ronava Boatright; and Angie Riett, Director of Healthy Families were present, and Mrs. Shauf advised that they would like Commissioners to sign the Child Abuse Prevention Proclamation. Administrator Crapse read the Proclamation proclaiming the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Crisp County and urging all citizens to protect Crisp County’s children and help prevent child abuse and neglect, thereby strengthening our communities. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Child Abuse Prevention Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK PROCLAMATION
Chairman Henry advised that Amy Lapeza is here today on behalf of the Crime Victims’ Rights Week, this being the twenty-sixth year of Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Mrs. Lapeza advised that their theme is strength and unity, and it addresses the strength that the community gains when they unite behind a common goal, which is the support of crime victims and prevention of crime in the future. She stated that she is an Assistant District Attorney and the Director of the Victims’ Witness Assistance Program, which join with law enforcement officers, DFACS, the Gateway Center, and all agencies throughout the community in trying to make sure that victims of crimes know that they support them as none asks to be a victim of crime. She advised that during Crime Victims’ Rights Week, they recognize the rights of those victims. They will be busy during that week conducting road blocks providing victims’ rights information in all four counties, they will have a proclamation ceremony followed by a law enforcement appreciation breakfast, they will have the annual candlelight vigil at the Victims’ Memorial Wall at the Sheriff’s Department to recognize and honor those that we have lost to violent crime, and this year they will have a balloon release ceremony. Administrator Crapse read the Crime Victims’ Rights Week Proclamation proclaiming April 23-29, 2006 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and honors crime victims and those who serve them during the week and throughout the year. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Crime Victims’ Rights Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
LIQUOR BY THE DRINK COMMENTS BY RAY BURNETTE
Ray Burnette, Director of Houston Baptist Association, met with Commissioners regarding liquor by the drink, and asked Commissioners if making liquor more available will make our community better? He and several pastors are here supporting him and they represent forty-eight Baptist Churches in Crisp and Dooly Counties; but he is really representing Ray Burnette who has a very strong conviction that liquor by the drink can do nothing but hurt us, and he doesn’t think this is a progress issue as his opponents said during the city election. He was told that Commissioners were going to bring this up as a possibility of not even making this a referendum to the voters, he doesn’t think it should be brought up at all. He advised that statistics show that for every dollar a city or county receives, it will cost $3 in enforcement and other applicable things, so money is not the issue. He doesn’t think by making alcohol more accessible to our citizens, it is going to help us. He stated that he has an obligation to the Kingdom of God to stand up and say that he doesn’t think this is going to help. Mr. Faircloth stated that he agrees with Mr. Burnette, except for two things: 1) making it more available meaning associated with 60% of food sales does not make it more available, it actually reduces the amount that they are able to consume, and 2) he has never gotten a letter about the first liquor store in our county, and if the Ministerial Association has such strong convictions about alcohol, why haven’t they gone after a dry county?
LIQUOR BY THE DRINK COMMENTS BY PAUL MECHLER
Pau Mechler stated that he is impressed with Mr. Burnette’s passion on the liquor by the drink subject, but this is not about drinking. We drink legally if we choose to within the county, and liquor is sold and consumed, and he has never understood what the difference is in whether alcohol comes from beer or wine or mixed drinks. He stated that if you consume too much you will become intoxicated, and you can get just as intoxicated on beer and go out and have an accident as you can on mixed drinks. His personal choice is not to drink, but his belief is a good sound Ordinance, similar to what we think we will have with the City, which will actually add controls to the serving of alcohol in the community. He thinks that is important, as it bothers him about brown bagging with liquor in a restaurant as their ability to consume as much as they want with no controls whatsoever; that is not a good situation. Lets give the owners of these establishments some authority to control how much drinking goes on, and make sure that people aren’t giving drinks to their underage children at a restaurant. This choice is about drinking responsibility and understanding that it doesn’t really matter whether it is beer or wine or a mixed drink, we are serving alcohol now. He calls for the Commission to consider passing an Ordinance to pass mixed drinks with all the normal rules and constraints as similar to what is being done in the City, and if necessary, allow us to go thru the referendum process and vote for that right within the community. Chairman Henry asked Administrator Crapse to share with the Board our options concerning this if we choose to take any action, and Administrator Crapse read the associated code section that addresses counties where package sales are legal, such as our county, and it is clear that the Board would have to have a referendum. Should the Board choose to do that, the Board would have to do this by Resolution for the purpose of liquor by the drink referendum. The Pre-Clearance letter to the Department of Justice would also have to be forwarded by May 18th. He advised that there is a provision in the state statue which says that “in the event the governing authority of any municipality or county coming under this provision of the code section does not adopt the Resolution directing the Election Superintendent to issue a call for the referendum provided in paragraph one of this subsection, then upon the written petition contain the signatures of 15% of the registered and qualified voters of any municipality or county coming within the provision of the code being filed with the appropriate Election Superintendent”.
CONSIDER LIQUOR BY THE DRINK REFERENDUM
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to consider a Referendum of liquor by the drink, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Faircloth advised that it is a mocking thing around the state when people want to know what is the debate over whether you sell it by the gallon or by the ounce. He would prefer to see, and it would make more logical sense, to have a referendum whether you sell it or you don’t sell it, up or down, dry county or a wet county with a pouring license. It has been his opinion that if we are going to sell liquor, the safest way is by the ounce, but his preference would be to cut it all out. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to put a referendum on the ballot to have a either a wet county with a pouring license or a completely dry county, seconded by Mrs. Pheil. County Attorney Forehand advised that the statue provides for an up or down vote has language that would go in a referendum and it does not contemplate the motion that Mr. Faircloth made, no doubt there is another procedure available for that, but he is not familiar with that and is not prepared to address that at this time. Motion was withdrawn by Mr. Faircloth and the second was withdrawn by Mrs. Pheil.
LIQUOR BY THE DRINK COMMENTS FROM RAY SULLIVAN
Ray Sullivan, pastor of First Baptist Church, stated that he is new to this area, and he is baffled about what he heard today as this is not an issue of progress, but the campaign was called the “campaign for progress”. He stated that this is an issue of alcohol not of progress, we already have alcohol in the county; he thinks this will increase the consumption of alcohol, and he would be in favor of an up or down vote on the referendum. He requested Commissioners to look at the studies, and put the best decision before the people. Mr. Harris stated that he thinks that the best thing to do is to make it available, as men have to control their own destiny.
TABLE LIQUOR BY THE DRINK REFERENDUM
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to table any decision regarding liquor by the drink referendum until Commissioners have a work session to review all the facts and statistics and come up with the best answer for the people of our community, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NUISANCE ANIMAL ORDINANCE
Sheriff Donnie Haralson, Animal Control Officer Jennifer Butterworth, and Captain Denise Youngblood met with Commissioners to discuss the proposed Nuisance Animal Ordinance. Sheriff Haralson reported that we have made progress in our community with our animal control, and would like Commissioners to consider adopting this Nuisance Animal Ordinance and start a process to deal with nuisance animals. He stressed that this is not a dog leash law. He advised that this is not for the dog that runs across your yard and does his business in your yard, but if they are tearing up your water pipes, taking clothes off the clothesline, destroying things in your yard over a period of time, it will give them a mechanism to get started. Captain Youngblood advised that since they started the animal services unit in September of 2003, they have answered 1,930 animal calls, have picked up 2,245 animals, 27 have been adopted within the county, and others have been eligible for adoption that were transported to Tift County or Albany animal shelters. She stated that we do have a dangerous dog law, however, the state of Georgia’s law says that the dog has to bite someone before they can do anything with that dog, and that is really not addressing most of the problems and complaints that they are having within the county. The proposed Nuisance Ordinance will help address this. Deputy Butterworth advised that they have one dog in an area that will literally terrorize the neighbors, he has attempted to attack and bite, but has not had the correct opportunity to do it yet, and this Ordinance will cover a dog like this as they don’t have to wait until the dog bites, plus they get continual complaints about dogs tearing up trash, and continually destroying people’s property. The Ordinance would provide that when a complaint is received, she would follow up on the complaint, recommendations would be made to the owner of the dog, they would also be informed that there could be civil proceedings, which would come through the Magistrate Court. If the problem was not corrected and they still get complaints, then this Ordinance would allow herself or the person that is complaining to bring it before an Animal Control Board, and they would decide how to handle the case. Sheriff Haralson stated that they are trying to be cautious here, and the bottom line is to have quality of life in our community, and the parents are going to have to be accountable to take care of their animals. He advised that if this Ordinance is not right, he would ask the Commissioners to leave a door open for them to be able to come back and correct it, as they are not out to hurt anyone. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Nuisance Animal Ordinance based on the review of the Sheriff’s Department and consider the administrative changes the Administrator suggested, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR TERRY & JANET NIDA
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that a request was made by Terry & Janet Nida for a Special Use Permit to locate a guest house in a RS2 (Single Family Residential) zone district. Property is located at 211 Ferry Landing Road. She has included in their packet the definition of a guest house, the Amendment that was made to the Land Development Code in July, 2005 as we added guest houses as special uses at that time, and she presented photos of the proposed property. She advised that when the building permit was issued, it was for a 27' X 42' three-car garage, and as the building progressed, they had approximately 800 square feet upstairs that they were going to make a recreation/guest house. This exceeds a normal accessory building as a garage because it can stand alone, meaning it has a separate septic tank, a kitchen, and bathroom, so they have to consider that as a definition of a guest house in that zone district. They meet all of the qualifications for a guest house, other than the placement of the guest house as the code calls for twenty feet to the rear of the main structure, and they are approximately thirty feet to the west side. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing, and asked for any comments in favor of permitting this Special Use Permit. Mr. Nida advised that he had nothing to add as Ms. Sangster has already explained their intention. Joel Owens advised that he owns the property directly behind and across the road from Mr. Nida, and he has no opposition to this whatsoever. Also, the covenant that they have in place in the community addresses any problems that might arise from a guest house. Chairman Henry asked for any opposition to this request, there was none, so he declared the Public Hearing closed. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Special Use Permit for Terry & Janet Nida in the RS2 zone district, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR RAYMOND PATTERSON
Ms. Sangster reported that a request was made by Raymond Patterson (with the property owners authorization) for a Special Use Permit to locate a Racetrack in a RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property located at the intersection of Tremont Road and Williford-Crossing Road North. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing. Ms. Sangster stated that she has received several phone calls about some land disturbing activity going on in the area. Jimmy Mumphery, Building Inspector, went out and took pictures, and there is approximately one acre that may have been disturbed with heavy equipment. In our Soil And Erosion Ordinance, anytime that you disturb more than one acre of property when it is not residential, you are required to get a Soil And Erosion Control Permit. She did send a letter to Jody McGinnis, property owner, and asked then to stop work and come in to her office and talk to her about the use. When they came in and explained what they were doing, it does exceed her definition of a private racetrack, because it is to be a quarter mile track in excess of the one acre. They told her the use was private, but if someone were to come by and ask to use the racetrack, they may allow it, and the definition in the Rural Residential zone district does classify this as a public racetrack. Brad Faircloth stated that he is sustaining from all the discussions of this request. Chairman Henry asked for any comments in favor of issuing the Special Use Permit. Mr. Patterson advised that he has been in and around this sport the majority of his life, but the biggest thing that brought this about is that they don’t have anyplace to go around here. His son-in-law has this piece of property that he said they could use and it was just going to be for their families use, but word got around and they have had a few calls from people outside the area wanting to know if they could come. He has been in the community all his life, they are not here to turn that end of the county upside down, they want a place that they can go and play. Chairman Henry asked for any comments from those speaking in opposition of the request. Becky Cooper advised that she lives on Brown Road, which is near to the proposed racetrack property, she has lived there for twenty-sevens years, she loves the quietness of the area, she feels safe for her child to ride his bike and wants to keep it that way. She knows the activities that might take place with the sport of racing that she does not want in her area, they are in a remote area, she trusts her neighbors, and doesn’t want any noise in her quite neighborhood. Donna Rousey also lives on Brown Road said that the racetrack is approximately 400 yards from her front door, they wont be able to have a relaxing weekend with a race car coming through their front door, she has lived at that property since 1977; he owns property elsewhere and if he wants to put it in his backyard that would be fine. They oppose any kind of racing, whether it is family and or someone else, as a race car is noisy. Gordon Easom who lives on Culpepper Circle, which is up the road from the proposed racetrack, would like their area to stay quite. He runs a farm raising cows, and he thinks the noise would devastate the neighborhood people, plus he thinks it would devastate the animals that are use to the quietness, as it may decrease the number of calves born because of the added stress and noise. Juanita Pitts has lived on Brown Road for thirty-two years and has never been afraid to live by herself, but with the riffraff that this would bring in, she would not feels safe, and the noise would be deafening. She thinks they can put the racetrack in an area where it would not affect so many people, and would like for their neighborhood to stay quite. Lamar Perlis feels that the peace and tranquility of the area holds above the private enjoyment of this specific site; Mr. Patterson is his friend and he wants to see him enjoy the privileges he has, but he does feel that this racetrack is mislocated. He has sold his secretary some land and a home on Williford Crossing and Tremont Road, which is immediately across the street from the racetrack, and she is there because it is quite and peaceful. He presented a drawing of 117 acres that he owns that he is going to sub-divide in the future in this area. Roy Pate lives on Brown Road, his property is adjacent to the racetrack, and will be about 200 or so yards from the racetrack. He moved from the city to the country for the peace and quietness, and they would like to keep it quite. Malloy Culpepper grew up in the community and owns property that adjoins this property, and he knows the racetrack will change the total environment of that community and he is not if favor of it. Jonathan Wilson, who lives just inside the Wilcox County line, doesn’t think the location is very good, the road on Williford Crossing turns into a dirt road with a bridge that has a load limit, and he thinks it would be dangerous, plus all the other things that go on with a racetrack. Malloy Culpepper stated that he was not in favor of anything that might increase the expenses of the county for patrolling this area or for extra emergency services. Mike Buford owns land on either side of the proposed racetrack, and his is in support of the neighbors in that area as the racetrack may be out of place. Ms. Sangster stated that in the Commissioners packet are the legal standards and criteria that they have to consider when they make their decision. There were no others comments, and Chairman Henry closed the public hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to deny the request for the Special Use Permit, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth abstaining.
BIDS FOR AUDIT SERVICES
Mrs. Leverett reported that in accordance with the Financial Policy that Commissioners adopted a couple of years ago, they are required to RFP the audit services every so often to make sure that we are getting the best services for our dollars. In February they developed and sent our an RFP for audit services, and also advertised on the ACCG website. They received four bids by the deadline, and Commissioners have a summary of the bids in their packet. The bids ranged from $240,000 for the three year period down to $115,900. She advised that they offered in the RFP a three year contract with an option for two additional years. She and Mr. Crapse have reviewed the responses, and they would like to make a recommendation that they contract with Mauldin and Jenkins, Macon, for the audit services for the three year period with the option for two the additional years at $135,000 for the three year period. They were not the low bidder but they have the most experience, and she believes they will do the best job for the county, and they come well recommended as they have a full staff dedicated to nothing but governmental auditing. She advised that this will save the county $105,000 for the three year period from what we have been paying. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to accept the Finance Director and Administrator’s recommendation of Mauldin and Jenkins for $135,000 for the three year period, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN CONTRIBUTION
Administrator Crapse reported that the Defined Benefit Plan Contribution for the county actuary has certified our 2005 actuarial report and recommended a contribution of $420,320 as opposed to some lesser minimum contribution. It is very close to the amount they had budgeted, within $1,000. This recommendation is in keeping with what the Boards’ commitment to improving employee benefits is as if you take the easy way out today, there will be payback tomorrow, and it is essential that we keep pace so that in the future years we don’t have a shortfall. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Defined Benefit Plan Contribution in the amount of $420,320, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR THE CORDELE STATE FARMERS MARKET SUMMER SECURITY
Administrator Crapse reported that this Agreement for the security at the Cordele Farmers Market is actually two Agreements, as the time frame overlaps our fiscal years. It remains the same as in preceding years, it is acceptable to the Sheriff, and he recommends the Board approve the two Agreements in the amount of $25,000. This will provide security at the State Farmers Market for this coming summer. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Agreement between the Department of Agriculture and Crisp County Commissioners, and making the Sheriff a party to the Agreement, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
RIGHT OF WAY AGREEMENTS WITH DOT
Administrator Crapse reported that the right of way agreements with DOT on Pateville, Coney, and Twin Pines Roads have already been approved by the Board and the Georgia Department of Transportation. This is simply a matter of protocol that the Board must certify the right of way, and that it has been acquired by the county. In the case of the Pateville Road right of way, it does belong to the City of Cordele, but we do have an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City. The County Attorney will get certification assurances from the City Attorney and then our Intergovernmental Agreement will allow us to pave that road. The other two projects are both county state aide resurfacing contracts, and this just tells the DOT that we have the right of way. He advised that we actually have the right of way on Pateville Road, but because the road will be widened that is why it has to be re-certified by the attorney. Motion was made by Mr. Faircoth to approve the right of way agreements on Pateville, Coney, and Twin Pines Roads, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
207 OAK STREET PROPERTY DISPOSITION
Administrator Crapse reported that Denise Hulsey came to see him about purchasing the 207 Oak Street property the county owns. He has researched as to why the county purchased the property a few years ago, and a review of the minutes indicates the property was acquired for $53,196 but gave no specific reason for acquiring the property. In discussions with Carl Gamble and Cary Cason, they indicate the property was purchased because it was available and because it was adjacent to the golf course, and at one time it was considered in the recreation plan to modify the golf course and possibly rearrange the site for the youth baseball complex. That plan did not work out with the FAA, and the ball complex is now well underway in another location, and the golf course is closed at this point and pending the use of some additional recreational opportunities, the Recreation Department has no planned use for the Oak Street property. Ms. Hulsey stated that she has talked to them before about purchasing this property as it was her grandmother’s house and has been in her family for about 95 years, until they moved to Atlanta. When she talked to them before, she was intending to move the house, but now she would like to acquire the house and refurbish it back to the way her grandmother wanted it to be so that she can eventually move here from Atlanta and stay. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to dispose of the 207 Oak Street property, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Pheil reported that at the time the county bought this property, we were land locked at the Recreation Department, and we were looking for land for ballfields at that point. The purchase of the land on Eighth Avenue and closing of the golf course have changed our priorities. Administrator Crapse advised also that the Commissioners were not able to come to an agreement to buy the other property next door to this property.
USE OF PROJECT PARK BY THE NEW HARVEST CHURCH FOR A CHURCH SERVICE
Administrator Crapse reported that the New Harvest Church has asked to use Project Park for a one day event on May 20th, pending the approval of a permit from the City of Cordele. The property is under the county’s leased property from the City, and he knows of no reason why the permit should not be issued by the City or the permission given by the County, he recommends that the church service be approved by the Board pending this issuance of a permit by the City. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the New Harvest Church service at Project Park on May 20th pending the issuance of the permit by the City of Cordele, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EIP GRANT LOAN TO SOUTHEASTERN FOREST PRODUCTS, INC.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to amend Paragraph #4 of the Resolution Authorizing the EIP Loan for Southeastern Forest Products, Inc. to read seven years as opposed to twelve years of monthly payments”, seconded Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
WESTSIDE YOUTH CONGRESSIONAL GRANT
Administrator Crapse advised that they have received two proposals from the Westside Youth Congressional Grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice. Delta Sigma Theta requested the money for a youth mentoring program providing mentoring services to ten to fourteen girls the age of fourteen to seventeen referred by the Department of Juvenile Justice caseload. The second proposal is from “LearnNetwork” for a truancy and intervention partnership for funding a three year program by providing Masters Degree interns to each of the grades nine through twelve to work with truancy cases at each of the four grade levels. He advised that originally they didn’t know who applied for this money, then they found out that it was money the county had applied for. It was actually for $850,000 for a gymnasium as opposed to $25,000 for the Juvenile Justice in Delinquency Prevention Office at the Federal level. Our application process would be to coordinate with the Community Counsel for their recommendation as to which one they would recommend. He thought he had talked to Kathy Garwood about this grant, but actually he had talked to her about another grant, but he talked with her last night, and she did not feel like she was in a position to make a recommendation without meeting with her Executive Board, but did say she could meet with them by the end of the week. He stated that the paperwork has to be complete on the grant by April 17th, and if the Board would like to give him authority to approve which ever one is recommended by Community Council, that would be fine as long as he hears by the end of the week. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to submit the paperwork on the grant as soon as they hear from the recommendation of the Crisp County Community Council, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the executive summary prepared for today’s packet includes a report of revenues and expenditures by fund for the 3rd quarter of this fiscal year which ended on March 31st. The General Fund completed the quarter with revenues exceeding expenditures by about 7.5%. Total revenues reported as of March 31st were $9.7 million and expenditures reached $8.7 million. Quarter to date revenues lagged expenditures in the Landfill fund by $275,608 leaving it with a year to date net loss of $395,368. However, the monthly tonnage reached a 2½ year high of 5,015.99 tons for March. 54% of this was delivered on the Onyx commercial (paying) contract. 14% was tonnage delivered on the City of Cordele residential contract, which of course, is non billing. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $4.2 million dollars. The Water Fund ended the quarter with revenues of $232,054 and total expenditures of $303,690 leaving is with at net loss at March 31st of $71,638. The total usage for the month was 4,051,000 gallons. Cash on hand at March 31st shows in the General Fund we have $6.1 million, the Landfill Fund, $1.8 million, the Revolving Loan Fund $410,000, the Splost Fund $4.8 million, and the Water Fund ended the month with$634,000 for a county wide total of $13,886,307. Of that, $154,028 is reserved for debt service, $52,460 is reserved for customer deposits and $4.8 million is designated for capital projects. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of March 31st. We currently have eight outstanding loans with a total balance due of $1,339,397. Of those eight loans, five are current and three remain delinquent. Circle J., Verrick, and Walker have all been turned over to legal. Next is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary reportfor the 2001-2005 Issue. As of March 31st, we have spent $12.3 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with approximately $3.6 million to complete the various projects associated with that issue. Following that is the first monthly budget to actual report for the new 2006 SPLOST Issue. The 1st of 72 distributions was received at $377,579. To date we have spent $1,038,396 on projects budgeted for this issue, most of that being the prepayment of the City of Cordele Water Tank project for $1,000,000. Next is the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures. For the month of March, including both issues, we spent $373,121 in SPLOST dollars. Major expenditures included $344,873 on County roads, $9,605 on the Judicial Center project, $8,999 on equipment for the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department, $4,000 on Airport equipment, and $4,541 on the Hatley Fire Station. The last report 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 75% of their annual allowances.Most of our departments or divisions are close to that margin. Overall, at the end of the 3rd quarter ending March 31st, the General Fund expenditures were at 66%, the Landfill fund at 64% and the Water Fund at 61%.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) the Intergovernmental agreements for City of Arabi Law Enforcement and Fire Protection have been signed and should be officially in effect if the L/E agreement has been signed by the Sheriff; 4) the County Attorney and I should be meeting with Walker Vault this week regarding a swap for some land for a new solid waste collection site. Carl is also pursuing the contact with John Woodard on a site at his farm to serve that area of the County; 5) I have made a second request of DCUTS for a copy of the By-Laws concerning membership on the Board; 6) the Ball Park Project is progressing with the first trade package bids to be released this week for the sewer & water; 7) a Local Development Fund Grant Application for $20K was submitted for building the Skate Park. This will be added to the $5K from the Tony Hawk Foundation, and the Recreation SPLOST Funds that are now available to complete the project; 8) the Deed is ready for the transfer of the Driver’s License facility to the DDS, it is on hold now until the paving project is completed just to avoid any complications in the future; 9) we have been advised by Beverly McElroy, Environmental Division Director, GEFA, that the GEFA Grant/Loan for the Northside Project does not qualify for a Grant because the City’s and County’s financial condition show that we can afford a 3% loan. Sherrie has recommended that we approach the City of Cordele about making the loan for the project, since they will be getting the long term revenues from the sale of water and the County will not receive any revenue. I agree with that recommendation and we will pursue this with Don tenBensel and the City of Cordele; 10) this evening at 7:00 p.m. EPD will be holding a Town meeting for farmers on the subject of Ag Water Use in the lower Flint. The meeting will be at The Lake Blackshear Resort; 11) there will be a Commanders briefing at 3:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday on the Easter Activities on Joe Wright Drive. The Commissioners are invited to attend if you wish; 12) Turner Associates has invited us to a presentation entitled “The Architect as Master Builder” on Saturday April 22, 2006, at 3:30 p.m. If you wish to attend please let me know today as our RSVP is already late; and 13) the Character word for April is CLEANLINESS: Not being messy. Picking up after yourself. Free from dirt; neat and tidy.
NEW VEHICLE FOR ADMINISTRATOR
Administrator Crapse reported that now that we have hired a new Leisure Director, part of the negotiations with him was that he could have the Administrator’s car if Commissioners would allow the Administrator to order a new vehicle. By common consent, Commissioners approved a new Yukon for Administrator Crapse from the state contract.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adjourn the meeting at 1:29 p.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.