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Meetings

MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 13, 2007

OPENING CEREMONIES

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Brad Faircloth, and William Culpepper in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney David Forehand, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. John Myric, pastor of Morningside Baptist Church, gave the invocation, and the Administrator led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

MINUTES APPROVED

Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meetings of January 9th and January 30th, 2007, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

DECISION Ė MAP & TEXT AMENDMENT TO THE ULDC REZONING NEAR THE AIRPORT

Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that the Public Hearing was held on January 24th on the rezoning that Commissioners initiated a request for in the vicinity of the Airport and the Youth Ball Complex. She showed the proposed map with a highlight of the area on Farmers Market Road that Monroe Hunt, property owner, requested be left as Heavy Commercial instead of Residential that they had proposed. She advised that there were thirteen at the Public Hearing and everyone was in good response to the proposed changes. Mr. Faircloth asked who requested the proposed changes, and she advised that a couple of the property owners in the area of Blackshear Road asked for the changes as their property is currently zoned Industrial, which prohibits any new homes, and if something happened to their home, they could not rebuild or replace it in the Industrial zone district. Also, in protection of the airport, Industrial is a bit strong, and the area across from the ball complex will be Office Institutional, which will allow for some commercial uses that will be compatible to the existing area now. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Map and Text Amendment to the ULDC rezoning of certain lands in the vicinity of the Airport and the Youth Ball Complex, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR HURST REPAIRS FROM CORONER

Administrator Crapse reported that this item was tabled last meeting to verify the ownership of the vehicle; he has verified that the vehicle belongs to the Rainey Family Funeral Home. The coroner had requested that the county reimburse him damages done to his vehicle when bodily fluid leaked. He thinks this is a dangerous precedent as he is contracted to do his job, just like any other contractor the county pays. Also, we are taking steps to alleviate this problem in the future as they are almost finished with a vehicle for him now. Mr. Faircloth, Mr. Nance, and Mr. Culpepper though that it would be in the best interest of the county to honor this request this time as after this, steps are being taken to alleviate this problem. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to honor the request of the coroner in repairing his vehicle in the amount of $3,233.02, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR STORMWATER UTILITY FEASIBILITY STUDY

Administrator Crapse reported that agreement for the Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study was tabled at the last meeting as he had just gotten the agreement and didnít have time to get it out for review. The proposed vendor has done projects in Southwest Georgia, which is very important in what we are looking at, and he recommends the Board approve Step 1 in the amount of $21,500 to do the Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study, with an option to fund Step 2 in FY08, which would give them time to budget the remaining $6,650 if necessary, based on where we stand with the study. We did receive a $25,000 grant from the state to do this. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve $21,500 for Step 1 of the Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study and budget $6,650, if necessary, in the FY08 Budget for Step 2, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Faircloth appreciates the vision and foresight of what is happening here in looking down the road at potential problems and trying to find a solution to them, and thanked the Administrator for the work he has done on this and his ability to be able to foresee potential problems and try to find solutions for it, and on top of this, get the grant money so that it doesnít fall on the backs of our taxpayers. Mr. Nance agreed that this is a step in the right direction to look at some of the issues that we might be facing, and hope that the citizens are aware of that and appreciate it. Mr. Culpepper agreed that water is a big issue, with the grant being available; we certainly need to take the money and put it to good use for the taxpayers of the county. Chairman Henry agreed with all the comments, and also thanked Senator Joe Carter for his support and help in receiving this grant.

APPROVAL OF 2007 GEORGIA DOT AGENDA

Administrator Crapse advised that Commissioners have in their packet a list of the roads that he and Carl Gamble have put together to take to the Department of Transportation on February 28th. This year we were only approved for 2.4 miles of LARP from DOT, which is less than 2/3rd of what we got last year and 56% less than what we got the year before. This year they have many and varied requests, from road paving to utility wavers, in order to find alternate ways to fund projects. While they were at ACCG last week, they went to the Transportation Policy meeting, and they were addressed by the Chairman of the Georgia Transportation Board, who said that over the next six years, they project $11.5 billion in revenue, but they already have $19 billion plus of projects committed, so projects are being cut statewide. He went over the list with the 2200 foot extension of Pateville Road being the first item in order to provide the road to Owens Corning, because they made their entrance to their property in a different place than we anticipated; 2) the asphalt surface on the road that runs between Pecan Street and Eighth Avenue where our new ballpark is; 3) the projects that were not approved in LARP and have a rating of better than 25-Sidney Wells, portion of Hatley Road, Brier Rabbit, Brier Patch, District Line and Pateville Roads; 4) wetlands mitigation credits on bridge projects of Hawpond at Deep Creek, Hawpond at Reedy Branch, and Amboy at Lime Creek; 5) Cypress Hill Road to ask when the paving will be finished; 6) I-75 Median Crossing at exits 102 & 104 to be painted medians instead of raised medians; 7) Drayton Road at the SCL Railroad Crossing widening; and 8) waiver of water line relocation on the Hwy. 280 Bridge at Lake Blackshear. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the DOT list, seconded by Mr.Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.

BEER & WINE LICENSE FOR CRIPE AND HARROD, LLC

Administrator Crapse reported that this is a Beer & Wine License for Cripe and Harrod, LLC, it has the same function as the Before & After that the Board approved a year or so ago, and they want to change the name to Rivers Rock Bar and Grill. The scenario will be the same except that they are considering adding lunch sandwiches. James Harrod had his background check, and there is a letter from the Sheriff recommending that the licenses be approved. There are two other principles in the business, which were not known at the time, and those two other principles are getting their background checks as we speak. Based on the letter from the Sheriff, he would recommend that the Beer & Wine License be approved, the fee has been paid, contingent upon those other two background checks coming back satisfactorily. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to grant the license pending the completion of the background checks on the other two principles, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.

DOT CONTRACT ON PATEVILLE ROAD

Administrator Crapse reported that he has the contract for .95 mile of base and plant mix resurfacing on Pateville Road beginning at SR 300 and ending 5000 feet north of SR 300 to support Owens Corning and traffic into Cedar Creek Corporate Park. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the DOT Contract on Pateville Road, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.

DOT CAPITAL CONTRACT FOR 5311 PROGRAM VEHICLES

Administrator Crapse reported that the 5311 Transit Program appears to be doing well here with the new Third Party Operator. The three replacement vehicles were scheduled for last year but they were delayed until the resolution of the Third Party Operator contract. The three vehicles cost $109,100, of this federal funds will pay $87,280, state funds will pay $16,365, and our local share will be $5,455. This is a great deal for the taxpayers of this county, and he would recommend approval of this contract. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the contract for the 5311 program vehicles, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.

CONCESSIONS PROVIDER FOR BALL COMPLEX

Administrator Crapse reported that at last monthís Recreation Advisory Board meeting, that Board voted to outsource the operation of the ball complex concessions, and with all we have going on at the last minute, he concurs with the recommendation. They think they will get a good product, and will have more variety if someone else does the concessions; we will negotiate our share of the profits. He would like to ask the Board to authorize them to solicit bids for the concessions operations at the ball park, as they donít think they could provide good service because of the short time frame of the major activity going on out there now, and they didnít feel like they could provide what a vendor can provide to the public this year. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to authorize the Administrator to solicit bids for the concessions at the ballpark, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

RESOLUTION & LETTER TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Administrator Crapse reported that he talked with City Manager Jean Burnett late yesterday, as she ask that Commissioners pass a Resolution and also send a letter to the Economic Development Corporation verifying that the county has passed the Resolution committing the money to the Pateville Road project as part of the Economic Development Administration grant match. We had an estimate of $781,000 contract that the Board signed on Pateville Road, which includes the $300,000 from the GA DOT. The extension will be another $360,000, so it will be about a million-dollar project when complete. He advised that this is not any new money; it is verifying that the county is going to participate in the Owens project. The City of Cordele is applying for a $1 million grant, they have allocated $980,000 for the required city match, and the county match is the roadwork, which comes to $781,000. The Resolution states that we are obligating the money. He read the Resolution, and recommends approval of the Resolution and letter. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Resolution and give Chairman Henry the authority to sign the letter to the Economic Development Corporation verifying that the county is committing the money to the Pateville Road project, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.

JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY WITH SUMTER COUNTY

Bruce Drennan, Director of the IDC, reported that he and the President of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce and The Development Authority, and the Chairman of the Sumter County Chamber talked last week about some opportunities that we have to work together on a regional basis for job creations and various things like that. They expressed an interest in putting together a Joint Development Authority between Crisp and Sumter Counties. He advised that Sumter County is working on a project with a company that is already there and will add between 80 and 100 jobs; the problem they have is they need water run to the facility, and Crisp County water stops about two miles short of where they are. That would be something that we would like to work on with them. He advised that to establish a Joint Development Authority requires introduction and voting on by the legislature, we have about ten days left on the cut off date of filing any new legislation in this session. They are asking the Commissioners to consider putting together a Joint Development Authority between Crisp and Sumter Counties with about eight people, Crisp County appointing four members and Sumter County would appoint four, and they would work on a regional basis just like our local Joint Authority. He stated that the advantage to this is that the One Georgia Authority has changed the requirements for their Equity Grants where now if you are a single county applying for an Equity Grant, they have reduced the amount you are eligible for to $200,000, where if you have a Joint Development Authority between two or more counties, you are eligible for up to $1 million, so from a financial standpoint, there is a great advantage for us to have that Authority. Also, the EIP and Edge Grants would be extended up to $1 million, where now EIP is limited to $500,000. He is asking the Board to proceed with the preliminary filing with the legislature, he will come back next meeting and let them know what they have been able to put together, and then ask for a decision at next monthís meeting. Also, they will be asking the Sumter County Commissioners to do the same thing this morning in their meeting. Administrator Crapse said this would give us access to more money for a project in support of our region. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to pursue the formation of a Joint Development Authority with Sumter County in accordance with local legislation to be prepared and submitted to the legislation, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

FINANCIAL REPORT

Mrs. Leverett advised that todayís report includes an executive summary for the month of January, 2007 as well as fiscal year to date. In the report of revenues and expenditures by fund, for the General Fund, we have monthly revenues of $2,626,958; year to date revenues of $8,897,926; monthly expenditures of $1,224,107; year to date expenditure of $7,270,291. The year to date revenues include approximately 87% of the amount budgeted for ad valorem tax revenue, pushing us to a net gain of revenues over expenditures for the seven month period of $1,627,635. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $101,189 in monthly revenues; $869,377 fiscal year to date; $108,446 in monthly expenses; $894,942 year to date. Expenses in the Landfill Fund are now exceeding revenues by a little over 3% year to date, leaving us with a net loss of $25,565 for the period ending January 31, 2007. The total tonnage received for the month was 3752.87 tons. Approximately 53% of that was received from Onyx under their commercial contract and 19% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. Monthly tonnage continues to lag behind FY 2006 averages by about 100 tons. The GEFA Loans are current at $4,030,475. For December, the Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $31,183; YTD revenues of $249,354. January expenditures totaled $24,583; YTD expenditures, $228,106 leaving it with a net gain at the end of the seven month period of $21,248. Water usage for the month was 5,059,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,773,554. Cash on hand at the end of January, in the General Fund we have $7,295,492, the Landfill Fund, $2,463,257, the Revolving Loan Fund at $19,871, the SPLOST Funds at $4,924,950, and the Water Fund ended the month with $864,804, giving us a county wide total of $15,568,374. Of that, $161,924 is reserved for debt service, $53,505 for customer deposits and $4,924,950 for capital projects. As of January 31st in the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST issue, we have spent $13,948,211 of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $3,685,113 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. In the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 issue, we have total collections of $4,224,793, total expenditures $3,061,450. We have now collected 11 of 72 distributions associated with this issue for a year to date monthly average of $384,072. In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues, disbursements totaled $110,089 with the largest amounts distributed of $98,640 on the BBSB Complex, $6,270 for Airport improvements, $2,850 on equipment for the Coroner, $1,727 on the Justice Center project and $450 on Public Safety for upgrades at the E-911 Center. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, with the IDA/Goldens loan now on the books, we are up to ten outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2,122,195. Seven are current, one is running about 30 days behind and two are seriously delinquent and have been turned over to legal. We, along with Ameris Bank, have selected the firm of J. Durham and Associates to handle the auction of the Verrick property. That auction is tentatively scheduled for March 24th. They will be handling the sale of the land, building, equipment and personal property that we own jointly with Ameris as a result of that foreclosure. They will also be including the property at 207 East Oak Avenue and 116 East 13th Avenue in that auction. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for July 2006 through January 2007. As of January 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 58% of their annual allowances. Overall, the General Fund was at 54%, the Water Fund at 41% and the Landfill Fund at 47%.

COUNTY ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT

Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) there were three new SPLOST expenditures approved this month. A service vehicle for the maintenance department to replace the 1985 truck with 300,000 miles, this was budgeted for $25,000 and the actual low bid price was $17,111. A computer for the County Coroner at $1,300 and Coroner specific software for $2,850; 3) the Coronerís renovated vehicle is just about ready to go. The mechanical work has been completed, the modifications to the box have been completed and the box is being resealed. Once that is complete, the lower portion of the box will be completely sealed with bed liner so that it can be washed out without damage to the vehicle; 4) GDOT has announced the Transportation Enhancement Grant window for 2007. Grant applications are due by 3:00 p.m. June 15, 2007. Winners announced in October 2007. 20% match required, we will submit an application this year; 5) work on the Youth Ball Complex is moving forward at full tilt. The curb and gutter work is nearing completion and we have started putting down the rock base. Sports lightning poles, racks and fixtures are being raised by CCPC; four up at last count. The construction of the concession buildings is underway. Season opening day will be Saturday April 24th at the new Ball Complex; 6) the Northside project continues to move forward rapidly with no major difficulties to date as far as I know. The first phase of water is scheduled to be done on time in 120 days. Engineering work on the first phase of sewer is also moving forward and the CDBG application for the second phase of sewer work is being prepared; 7) we received a letter from Larry Barnes in Meadow Park thanking the county for our support in getting some unsightly debris removed from some properties in the area. This is a constant issue in the area and Connie and Jimmy work hard all the time with the Clean Community Ordinance to correct these problems; 8) the County submitted a total of eight EZ Grant Applications from six different departments. This was well above the one or two that we usually submit. Overall this is a reflection of our intensified efforts to obtain funding support for county programs that are under funded or cannot be funded through the countyís internal funding mechanisms; 9) early this month we received notification from ACCG, and a letter from DOR, indication that there may be anomalies in the sales tax collections due to some procedural changes in the e-collections system. Sherrie has sent a letter to the DOR Commissioner, Bart Graham, requesting analysis of our collections prior to our FY-08 Revenue Projections; 10) he will be working with the Chamber and others on the Governorís $29million Go Fish Georgia program. He found out Friday that Crisp County & Lake Blackshear were left out of the plan; and 11) the Community of Character Word for the month for February is Kindness. Being friendly, considerate and willing to help others.

GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION

Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and pending litigation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.

COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION

Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 11:25 a.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.



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