MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 14, 2007
The meeting was called to order 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. Commissioner Culpepper gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
RECOGNITION OF STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
Brockey Brock, Director of Crisp County Leisure Opportunities, advised that they have two teams that won state championships this year and wanted to recognize them today; this was also the inaugural season of our eight and under pitching machine team. They hosted the eight and under state tournament, and the ten and under team won in Moultrie, and they went undefeated. Shane Napier and Blake Hobbs were the coaches for the 8 and under team, and Cary Purvis, in the absence of Head Coach Napier, introduced the ballplayers and parents. There was also one player present from the 10 and under team, whose coaches were not present, Dave Walls, Joe Wright and Joel Owens. All Commissioners thanked the players, parents, and coaches who worked hard to make these two teams winners.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meetings of July 10th and July 23rd, 2007, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MID-YEAR REPORT
Monica Simmons, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Bullock, Chairman, met with Commissioners to bring their Mid-Year Report. Mr. Bullock stated that they appreciate all the support the Commissioners give them, and the Chamber is everybody's. They set a goal this year of 500 members, and they have 488 members and are only twelve away from their goal, and they are happy with that. Mrs. Simmons reported that Commissioners have in their packets the annual report from last year, and a program of action for this year; they can look and see what their goals were for this year and also what they have accomplished. They also have a new tourism brochure, which is very eye-catching, plus a new retirement brochure. Chairman Henry and Commissioners thanked them for their hard work. Commissioner Faircloth stated that he has experienced first-hand the help the Chamber gave him in being able to sponsor the Coalition of Counties.
ANNUAL FORESTRY REPORT
Marty Fore and Roger Pollock, both Ranger 1's, were here to bring the annual Forestry Report. Mr. Fore advised that last year their wild fire count was down to 30 and burnt a total of 54.74 acres in Crisp County. All of them at the Crisp/Dooly/Macon County Forestry Unit, as they have merged with Macon County, were in South Georgia at least two to three weeks during their wild fires, and around 580,000 acres were lost just in timber alone down there. He thanked the county fire department for their assistance. He stated that also this year, there was a time during this driest period they were not issuing burning permits. Now the drought index is running between 500 and 600; 800 is the highest it can go, so it is still a dangerous situation and they appreciate all the effort the citizens have given them in working with them and helping keep the fires under control. Mr. Pollock thanked the Commissioners for paying for their Southern Link radios, as they really helped out with the South Georgia Fires.
PATEVILLE ROAD DRAINAGE PROBLEM
Sandra Johnson reported that they have a problem on Pateville Road with drainage, when it rains enormously, the water cannot drain off fast enough and it backs up into their store yard, their front yard, her neighbor's Mary Ray's yard, and sometimes it goes in the store. They have been trying to get the county to put another culvert on the south end of the store going under the road, and this has been going on since 1954. She advised that last week, Carl Gamble came out and measured the road and store and talked with Mr. Johnson, who could not be there today, and told him the road was 1/2 inch higher than the store. Mr. Gamble, who was present, reported that last week he did go out to the Johnson's and did some elevations between the drainage structure and the centerline of Pateville Road; it was determined at the time that the finished core elevation of the floor was approximately 1 1/2 inches lower than the centerline of the road. Chairman Henry asked if the road has been resurfaced lately, and Mr. Gamble stated that it was put on the resurfacing list to be resurfaced in 1992, but it still has not been resurfaced. Chairman Henry asked Mrs. Johnson when the slab of her store was poured, and she replied it was 1994 or 1995. Chairman Henry advised that they had laid the foundation of the store after the road was surfaced, and she had told him over the phone that the problem was after the county resurfaced the road, it caused the water to go into the building. She advised that Mr. Johnson told her when she moved there that when it rains so much, the water would go over the road, she wasn't there at that time, but Mr. Johnson thought the road had been resurfaced. Chairman Henry asked if there wasn't a pond on their property at one time, and she replied yes, but it never would hold water. Chairman Henry advised that he went out there, and because the pond has been filled in and some of the culverts on her property are not big enough to carry the water when it rains a good bit, that looks like the problem. Mrs. Johnson stated that Mr. Johnson bought the culverts and the county put them in. Chairman Henry advised that the Commissioner's procedure is we work with anyone that has a flooding problem and will assist them in correcting that problem, and the County will be glad to assist them, but it is going to take some cooperation between you all and the County for it to work. Administrator Crapse stated that we had a bad flooding situation when several hurricanes come through in the fall of 2004 and then a lot of rain on Easter Sunday in 2005, and we don't have any record of flooding in this particular area at that time. With the flat nature of the land, the problem with putting a pipe on the south end is that the water is not going to flow there as it is higher than the north end, what we would have to do to correct the situation is to start about 1,000 feet to the south of the current 30" cross drain pipe, dig the ditch a little deeper and run that grade all the way down to the pipe. To do that, we would have to replace those 16" pipes in front of the store and house, if the water is coming off the field and the 16" pipes won't let that water pass, it backs up, and now that the pond is not there, it has no place to settle. The 16" pipes are substandard size pipes and we don't put in that size pipes at all, and we don't have a record of putting in the pipes, but he is sure we permitted the ramps. He advised that they would be happy to get with the Johnson's and see what they can work out.
PUBLIC HEARING – SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR ARCHERY RANGE
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that she has a request from Suzi Giannoni and Mike Buford for a Special Use Permit to locate an Amusement or Recreational Attraction-Outdoor (Archery Range) in a RR (Rural Residential) zone district on Arabi-Williford Road. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing to consider the request, and asked for anyone who would like to speak in favor of the request. Mike Buford advised that he and his brother-in-law, Greg Giannoni, have been avid archery hunters for years, and this is something that gets you prepared to hunt, there is no real good place to have one (Archery Range) here, and the nearest one around is Dublin. This would be something that has shooting lanes and the lanes go into the woods, as you walk around the woods and shoot with the woods as the backdrop. They own the fields on each side of the proposed range, so there will not be shooting toward anyone else's property, and the nearest road would be 300-400 yards in any direction. He advised that this is a passion of theirs and they would like to share it with others. No one else spoke in favor of the request, and Chairman Henry asked for any opposition to the request, and there was none. He asked Mrs. Sangster to read the Review Checklist for the Special Use Permit. She read the Review Checklist and advised that she did add a condition that should be part of the motion that read: the metal storage that was permitted for agricultural storage on March 7, 2007 on the referenced property shall not be used or occupied as a commercial type facility in conjunction with this Special Use Permit. She advised that this building was built strictly for agricultural not for commercial type use, and indoor recreation is not allowed in that area, so we couldn't even permit the building for an indoor use in an RR zone district. Mr. Buford advised that they will use that building mostly for storage and a shop, but if they have a tournament there, this building is air conditioned, and it might be that somebody came inside to pay but there won't be any congregation in there. Mr. Faircloth asked if it was possible to grant the Special Use Permit without including that, and Administrator Crapse said they could do that but that the slab, steel, and building is not certified or inspected that is required for human occupancy. Mr. Giannoni stated that they were told on the concrete pads it is not necessary and that Mr. Mumphery would approve the concrete pads if we had the blueprints approved, the steel structure was approved and if there is a difference in commercial approval he didn't know that. They did pour over 70 feet of concrete there and was beyond specs. If they need to get somebody to sign off on it, that would be only thing, as he understands the County is trying to protect itself. If they have an archery range out there, it just makes sense to him that people are going to want to walk up and pay at a counter, it would be ridiculous to have set up a table outside; the structure is sound, if they have to go in and spend a few thousand dollars to drill to prove that the concrete is over three feet deep, then they will obviously do that, but under 2,500 square feet, you don't have to do it. The part that is enclosed is only 1,000 square feet, and he doesn't think the amendment should be added to the request. Administrator Crapse stated that part of that facility being indoors, it is not a permitted use, and it would require a text amendment and a change in the zoning in order to allow that. It was permitted back in March and everybody knew the conditions at that time, the pad can be inspected, but then you have a zoning issue. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to grant the Special Use Permit to include the condition that the metal storage building that was permitted for agricultural storage on March 7, 2007 on the referenced property shall not be used or occupied as a commercial type facility in conjunction with this Special Use Permit, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ACCG-WORKERS' COMPENSATION DISCOUNT VERFICATION
Administrator Crapse reported that we have reviewed the requirements for the ACCG Workers' Compensation discount, we have met all those requirements, and he would recommend that the Board acknowledge the requirements and certify the County's compliance along with authorizing the Chairman to sign the certification. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the ACCG Workers' Compensation discount verification and give the Chairman the authority to size the certification, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTIONS ON E-911 WIRELESS AND WIRE LINE CHARGES
Administrator Crapse reported that these two Resolutions, one for wireless and one for wire lines, verify that the 911 charges for both telephone services are necessary and that there will not result in excess funds in the 911 telephone service account. We do meet these criteria, and he recommends the Board approve both Resolutions. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve Resolutions Reaffirming the Necessity of the E-911 Charge on Telephone Subscribers and Wireless Telecommunications and give the Chairman the authority to sign both Resolutions, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PROPOSED LARP LIST FOR 2008
Administrator Crapse gave Commissioners a map which shows the LARP's projects that are funded by the state and the county contracts that they got last February when they went to see the DOT Commissioner. Also on the map are the LARP projects that were on the list last year but did not get LARP approval, which include Lakeview, Brer Rabbit, and Brier Patch Drives, Pateville, and District Line Roads along with roads that were added to the list around Swift Creek, and two sections on Antioch Road where we have some surface treatment roads that are about to be lost due to weather if we don't do something about them. He advised that the DOT only allows us to submit about eight miles of roads, this is a total of 8.10 miles, and he and Mr. Gamble believe that these are the roads that are in worst need of resurfacing. Mr. Gamble reported that the need for resurfacing is catching up quicker than the allocation of monies we receive. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the 2008 LARP List and the LARP Certification of Ownership Agreement and giving the Chairman the authority to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE IN REPLACING THE ROOF AT THE CONEY VOTING PRECINCT
Administrator Crapse reported that J. W. Atkins has submitted the request for assistance in replacing the roof at the Coney Voting Precinct on behalf of the Bethel Baptist Church on Coney Road. We are still researching this request as we think the county put a roof on this building about ten or twelve years ago, and it may be still under warranty. He advised that we do use this building regularly as a voting precinct, and we do participate so that it will stay in shape for a voting precinct. He advised that the work on replacing the roof is $3,988 for materials and labor. Chairman Henry asked if we had anything to refer to as far as percentages of assistance in situations like this, and Administrator Crapse stated that it was about 1/3 in participation years ago as the total bill was about $12,000 and the county gave $4,000. Mr. Culpepper advised that the pastor of the church had called him and advised that there was a lot of damage to the inside of the building because of the roof leak, and if the county would repair the roof, they would pay for the interior damage. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the repair of the roof at the Coney Voting Precinct not to exceed $3,988, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
LOCAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS FOR THE ARTS ALLIANCE AND A SOLID WASTE COLLECTION STUDY
Administrator Crapse reported that apparently these local assistance grant funds were authorized by the General Assembly in the 2007 Session. We sent our annual letter to our legislatures asking for some assistance, which included $35,000 to help with providing the morgue, $25,000 for Solid Waste Collection Feasibility Study, $15,000 for park and playground equipment upgrades, and $35,000 for access and ADA improvements to the Health Department. We got two back, one is for $5,000 for infrastructure, improvements, and operations at the Arts Alliance, and the other one is $15,000 to help fund the Solid Waste Collection Feasibility Study. He advised that they came in the mail; we didn't know they were coming, they are the standard local assistance grant contracts from the State, and he recommends the Board approve both of these. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Local Assistance Grants for the Arts Alliance and a Solid Waste Collection Study and giving the Chairman the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REQUEST FOR SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING FOR THE IDC
Administrator Crapse reported that, as they know, the IDC has been struggling to keep it's commitments due to the increasing demand for services. The IDC did request supplemental funding for $12,000 in March to be included in our budget, and the funds were approved for the FY-08 budget. There is a Blue Ribbon Panel that is studying the long range funding of the IDC operations and hope that will be in effect by January 2008. He would recommend the Board authorize the advance of funds that have been allocated to the IDC as requested. Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of the IDC, reported that three of the last five years that they have requested funding, they have come in October and November because of their financial situation and increased budget, they really do need the money, and they have made the same request to the City. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the advanced funding of $12,000 to the IDC, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REQUEST FROM GBI TO PUT A CONTROL STATION ON OUR TOWER
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a request from the GBI for permission to put a control station on our tower for their state-wide radio repeater system, and they need a small space about 100-150 feet up the tower. They have made the request prior to competition of their modulation study, and he would recommend the Board approve them installing this repeater system on our tower with it being on a non-interfering basis. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the request from the GBI to put the state-wide radio repeater system on our tower, with the condition that after the competition of the modulation study that it show no interference, and if there were any interference in the future, it would have to be removed, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
CONTRACT FOR SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received a post performance contract from the Regional Development Center. We had programmed $30,000 last year to do our 10-year Comprehensive Plan Update, which is always done in conjunction with our Solid Waste Management Plan Update. The state delayed the Comprehensive Plan until June 2009, but they did not delay the Solid Waste Management Plan update. It was due June 30, 2007, the RDC indicated that they would do that, and they forgot that we had taken the money out when we took out the Comprehensive Plan money, and they have asked for $5,000 to do the Solid Waste Management Plan update. He advised that it is a mandatory thing we have to do, he just doesn't appreciate getting the notification when they are ready for the check. He does have a Resolution Adopting the Solid Waste Management Plan, there are still a few typos that we have to get cleaned up, but it has passed State review, so now the County needs to formally adopt the resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Contract for $5,000 to Middle Flint Regional Development Center for doing the plan, accept the Solid Waste Management Plan, and sign the Resolution of Adoption, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the first page of the executive summary for today's packet includes the report of revenues and expenditures by fund for the first month of the new fiscal year for our three major funds. For the General Fund, total revenues received were $750,244, total expenditures were $849,428, and as a reminder, it is not uncommon for expenditures to exceed revenues during this segment of our fiscal year. It will most likely remain that way until November and December when we begin to see the results of annual ad valorem tax collections. Fortunately, our cash funds are strong enough to see us through these next few months without having to borrow money for daily operations. In the Landfill Fund, total revenues received were $121,054 and expenditures totaled $104,164, leaving the landfill with a net gain for the month of $16,890. The total tonnage received was 4,190.39 tons with 47% of that being delivered on the Onyx commercial contract and 15% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3,911,159. In the Water Fund, total revenues for the month were $39,916 and expenditures totaled $24,702, leaving this with a net income of $15,214. Water usage for the month was 8,281,000 gallons and the USDA bonds are current at $1,758,237. In the Cash on Hand Report for July, the General Fund had $5,311,934, the Landfill Fund at $2,718,890, the Revolving Loan Fund at $280,496, the SPLOST Funds at $5,647,101, and the Water Fund at $1,005,645, giving us a county wide total of $14,964,066. Of that, $169,831 is reserved for debt service, $53,705 for customer deposits, and $5,647,101 for capital projects. The Budget to Actual Report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of July 31st, we have spent $14.6 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $2.9 million to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. $1.7 million of that remaining balance is for county roads. In the Budget to Actual Report for the 2005 SPLOST Issue, July's distribution of $419,811 did show a significant increase over the past few months and brings our total collections to date up to $6,407,544 and improves our average after 17 months to $376,914. To date, we have spent $4,195,814 on projects budgeted under this issue. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Expenditures totaled $216,905 for the month of July with the largest amounts being $65,650 on the BBSB Complex, $61,797 on vehicles and equipment for the CCSO, $51,615 to the City of Cordele, $19,391 on Public Safety Equipment and $11,110 on County Roads. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, the number of loans outstanding remains at ten with a balance due of $2,056,800. Of those ten, six are current, two are 30 days delinquent but have made payments during the past month and two have been turned over to legal. I believe we have a legal issue on at least one of these loans to be considered during executive session today. The last report included in your packet is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first month of the fiscal year for all funds. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of July 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 8% of their annual allowances. Overall, in our three major funds, the General Fund expenditures were at 6%, the Landfill Fund at 7% and the Water Fund at 4%.
Administrator Crapse reported that: 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) There was one new SPLOST expenditure approved this month. We were able to locate another '07 Sanitation Truck, that he mentioned last month that will use our current fuel. It was actually less expensive than the one we got last month by $2.00 at a cost of $122,430. It will replace the 1991 model that was costly to maintain and had excessive down time. We also made the $57,512.68 lease payment on the Sheriff's cars; 3) The Northside Water project finished up with 165 meters according to Don tenBensel, and they are currently working on the documentation to turn it over to the City of Cordele. The first phase of sewer on the project is now underway and should be completed next spring. And best of all we were awarded another $500,000 for Phase 2, sewer of the project, so someone will have to go to Savannah to pick up the Big Check on September 7th; 4) The EZ Grant awards were announced on July 17th. Crisp County Government received three awards of the eight we applied for. $14,400 for the CCLO Scholarship Program, $17,800 for assistance with the Skate Park Project and $30,515 for the GIS Data Conversion through AgAmerica. The EZ will be hosting their annual Community Meeting in Crisp County at 5:30 p.m. on August 30th at the Ag Center. We had a good turn out last year, and we need to do it again this year; 5) We have found a firm to repair our racquetball court at long last. The repairs will cost under $5,000 and should be completed by early September; 6) Checks of our wells indicate that we are still OK at both sites and we continue to improve slightly as we move on. We will continue to monitor them closely until the “Drought" conditions are relieved; 7) The City of Cordele has requested that the Crisp County Board of Elections conduct elections for the City, and has passed the required City Ordinance. The City has requested pre-clearance with the US DOJ and will pay all expenses associated with the City Elections and/or results thereof; 8) I guess you all noticed the newspaper article on the Bibb County Courthouse. This is on top of last month's news about the fines imposed by the State of Georgia for an inadequate digest. Once again, we are ahead of the curve and our citizens do not have to go to that dance; 9) We received a really unwelcome letter from the Chairman of the State Transportation Board giving a sketch of where the GDOT is with regard to funding road and safety projects. The gist of the situation is: they were $444.7 million short of funds for FY-07, more than 200 projects stopped due to lack of funds, they are to complete many of these projects in FY-08, but that will cause cost due to inflation and construction to snowball, leaving us to conclude that State Aid funds will be scarce in FY-08. We will get our first real test with the response on our LARP list. Most of our projects have already been delayed until after 2011 in the STIP; 10) The ACCG Fall Policy Conference is Monday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 3, 2007. We need to register prior to the deadline of August 27, 2007. Please let Linda know if you will be attending; 11) We received a Thank You Card from the Crisp County Chamber for our participation during the 58th Annual Watermelon Days Festival this year. We also got a very complimentary letter on the Senior Citizen Center and especially Penny Coleman, the Center's Manager. Congratulations to Penny for all the good work with our seniors, by the way I now are one, my 62nd birthday was yesterday!; 12) As you remember, our Local Government Health Plan is doing well this year and we were able to keep rates the same as last year for both the employee and the County. Another thing that has been a success is the health maintenance or wellness program. We continue to have good results, and out perform other organizations in participation. That being said, we plan to continue the success and have scheduled another Health Fair for September 20, 26 and 27th. The format will be the same as last time, with door prizes so come out and support the event; and 13) The Community of Character Word for the Month of August is SCHOOL PRIDE. Keeping your school clean and pretty. Wearing school colors. Going to school events, like a football game. Proper delight or satisfaction in your school's achievements and status.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, real estate, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, 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.
PAY TAX COMMISSIONER
Motion was made by Harris to pay Cricket Adkins, Tax Commissioner, $8,514 pursuant to the terms of the compromise agreement drafted by the County Attorney and that the County Administrator will be authorized to sign on behalf of the County Commissioners, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINTMENT OF THREE TAX ASSESSORS
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to reappoint Harold Jackson for a four-year term, reappoint Jeffery Hunt for a five-year term, and reappoint Sammy Hill, Jr. for a five-year term on the Board of Tax Assessors, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT DR. TERESA KENDALL ON THE ANIMAL CONTROL BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to appoint Dr. Teresa Kendall as the veterinarian member on the Animal Control Board, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12:20 p.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.