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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. The invocation was given by Rev. Dr. Mason Davis, pastor of Pinecrest Baptist Church, and then the Administrator led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.


Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 8, 2008, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Henry stated that this is a special day for the Commissioners as we are here to recognize Cary Cason for the many, many years of great effort and work that he has done for this community and especially for our Recreation Department. He advised that this is Cary’s day, and we are proud of the things that he has done for our county and especially for the young people of our county. Administrator Crapse read a Resolution honoring Mr. Cason on his retirement, and thanking him for devoting 40 years of his life for the children and youth of this county. Also, the county football field located on 5th Street Extension will be named "Cary Cason Field" in his honor, the appropriate sign will be placed on the field, and the field dedicated to him on the opening day of Crisp County Football, 2008. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Resolution Honoring Cary Cason with all Commissioners signatures, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Cason stated that he has enjoyed every minute of working with the kids, he appreciates the support he has been given over the years through the County Commissioners; recreation in Crisp County has come along way from when he started, he is ticked to death and will try to enjoy his retirement the best he can. All Commissioners thanked Mr. Cason for his exemplary and dedicated service, and all stated that what stands out the most in their minds is that he remembers all kids names. Chairman Henry reminded all in attendance that this evening we are going to continue the celebration with a reception for Cary from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Recreation Department.


Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have in their packet background information leading up to the latest in the bonding for the hospital. Basically since the last action the Board took, there has been the Public Hearing held on the Hospital Bonds, and they were validated. Having had those bonds validated in a Public Hearing in the Superior Court, the Resolution before them now is authorizing the issuance of those Revenue Anticipation Certificates (Bonds). He recommends the Board’s approval of the 2007 and 2008 Series. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Resolution Approving the Issuance of Hospital the Bonds, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

REPORT ON CDBG ’06, '07 & '08

Don tenBensel, Executive Director of Middle Flint RDC, reported that they are continuing to work on the 2008 CDBG application; thanks to the low bid of the 2007 CDBG and some funds remaining from 2006, it looks like we will be able to, at this point, include all of the Meadow Park sewer in one year. He will be in the neighborhood surveying as they have to update this every third year; everything is moving forward, and he will be bringing the grant papers to the March meeting for their approval. Total cost project on the 2008 Grant is just over $700,000, $540,000 will be new money, which is based on the $500,000 grant and $20,000 each from the City and County. The engineer is estimating $117,600 remaining from 2007 after contingencies, and $51,600 from the 2006 project.


Administrator Crapse reported that this will be the third year that Crisp County is requesting a Hands on Georgia State Challenge Grant for Hands on Crisp, which is part of Hands on Georgia. This is the program that supports volunteers within the county and allows us to do a lot of things with volunteers, so he would recommend approval of this Grant for 2007-2008. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Hands on Georgia State Challenge Grant for 2007-2008, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that this year the EZ changed the rules on the EZ grants as we normally submitted three or four grants because of all our different departments and needs through the EZ. The EZ made a rule this year that each entity could only submit one grant, and the county was considered a single entity, so we are limited to one grant. The one grant that actually surfaced and came to us for submission was a grant that had been requested by the Board of Elections and Registration to add an ADA compliant restroom to the fire station at Hwy. 300. They have looked at some other alternatives to house the voting precient in that area, but that just didn't work. That is the first issue that we would need to ask the Board to approve The grant has to be in by 4:00 p.m. Friday. The remaining issue is that we have received requests from other agencies including Habitat For Humanity, The Arts Alliance, Dooly-Crisp Humane Society, and The Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of Darton College, for support of the grants that they are submitting to EZ. These are pretty routine things that he normally signs on behalf of the Board, but he felt that since the rules have changed, the Board needs to be aware of these, and since we were essentially competing against ourselves, be able to approve which letters, if any or all, that the Board wishes to support. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to apply for the EZ Grant for the ADA compliant restroom at Fire station #5 on Hwy. 300 and giving the Chairman or the Administrator authority to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Nancy Daniels, representing Flint Humane Society, stated that she is semi-retired and now works with animals. She read a letter stating that the citizens of Crisp and Dooly counties are in the process or organizing a Humane Society to provide care and shelter for dogs and cats in our area. They request from the Commissioners a letter of support for grant application, and funding of $30,000. They have been doing an experiment in Dooly County with the pound animals and they have had a good adoption rate. They definitely see a need for this in this area, and they think they can really help in both counties. This will be a non-profit organization; Dooly County has already given them $10,000, and they are asking for money according to people in the county. Mr. Nance asked what number they used to derive at the adoption percentage, and she replied twelve dogs. Marte Leville, Crisp County citizen, reported that both counties are in dire need and asked Commissioners to please consider this request and help them get this going. Sandra Windham, representing The Arts Alliance, stated that the reasons for the letters of support is because you financially support The Arts Alliance with $10,000, which helps pay the lights, water, etc. just to keep their building open. They would like a letter of support saying that they are using that money in the right fashion. She reported that they have many letters of support for the Arts Alliance, but the ones they must have are the ones who are financially supporting them. In 1994 a group of people looked at what was needed in Crisp County for the quality of life to be good enough that people would come and stay. Through the Industrial Council and the Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Alliance was established, and we have done a good job. She went over some of the programs they have brought into the county; they have done their part, and that was a slap in the face to think that they wouldn't get this document signed. They are asking for $35,000 from EZ, a portion of this is for salary and the other part is for arts education. No one was here to speak for Habitat for Humanity, but there was a letter in their packet from them asking for $60,000. No one was here to speak in favor of Darton College, which will be continued support for the operations of Darton College in Crisp County. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to give letters of support to all four organizations, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that this MOA is for the Board of Assessors ongoing maintenance of our new GIS tax maps that overlay our aerial photographs. Each time a parcel changes, the GIS data has to be updated in order to remain current, and this is a maintenance contract with Middle Flint RDC, who put the GIS program together. This was reviewed by the Board of Assessors, there is a letter in their packet indicating their recommendation that the Board approve the MOA with the RDC for maintenance, and he also recommends approval, Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the MOA for maintenance of tax parcel maps between Crisp County Board of Commissioners and Middle Flint RDC, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that this property tax refund request for Mattie Jo Wade has been reviewed by the Board of Assessors, and they have recommended the approval of request for tax years 2005, 2006, and 2007 in the amount of $74.38 covering all years, subject to the Tax Commissioner's calculation. He advised that this was an error in that the tax records carried the property at 34 acres and it was actually 30.12 acres as was discovered during a survey when the property was sold. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the tax refund request for Mattie Jo Wade in the amount of $74.38, subject to the Tax Commissioner's calculation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Henry reported that Commissioners have before them a proposed list of fees for use at the baseball/softball complex; these fees have been discussed and recommended by the staff. He recognized Joel Owens, who will be representing a group of citizens that don't agree with some of the things concerning the recreation department. He advised that first we will discuss the fees of renting the facility, and then Mr. Owens will be able to speak on this and other matters, if we have time. Administrator Crapse reported that we are only talking about fees for travel ball teams, not teams that are associated with our Recreation Department. He advised that they received some questions about using the fields, and they started working on what they thought would be an equitable fee for using these fields. They figured the average practice would be about two hours, and several other things involved in this: we have a new $3 million facility, and we feel that the facility needs to be protected at all times by a county employee. With a rate of $10 per hour for an employee and for two hours of practice, they felt it would be appropriate to charge $25. They think a monitor is needed to have access to the keys for the restrooms, to control the rules of the park, to keep our facility clean, to provide a good atmosphere, and control for safety issue of vehicles parking. He advised that someone has stated that they have certified coaches that will be there and could monitor these fields when they are there; administration thinks that if they are there coaching kids they do not believe they will be watching for people smoking, etc. as they don't believe there will be enough emphasis on the other things in the facility to make that a logical decision. We believe that we need someone there on the county payroll that is charged with and has the responsibility of protecting that facility as well as the people that are out there visiting that facility. He advised that the issue of the lighting has also come up. The Power Commission has done a study on the fields, and they found that the lights on the small pinwheels cost about $5.78 an hour, so we though that by charging $10 for the two hours, although we would be loosing a small amount of money, would be a reasonable charge for the lights. He advised that, in their talks with the people representing these teams, they felt that any time we make any type of rule, the immediate reaction is for them to find a way to get around it. Also, this group asked if we could do something with the price as they thought this was heavy, and if they could schedule in advance, would the county provide a discount. We replied yes we would; if they wanted 30 two-hour sessions, we would drop the price from $25 to $22 per practice. The fees would also go up if they wanted the bigger fields where more lighting is required, from $35 to $50 on the upper pinwheels, and $55 on the 360' fields. These travel teams are private organizations that select the individuals, and we are not allowed by statue to subsidize an organization that does not provide the same services to all the members of our community. They also require the local travel teams to submit a list of names and residents of all players and coaches, team insurance, and require that 50% of the coaches and players reside in Crisp County or a non-resident 25% surcharge be applied. He then presented an alternative plan where the teams will only pay $10 per practice for the lights, but in terms of paying for the monitor, the Board is within their authority to set a fee for the two-hour practice session if they think this is not a fair fee. Even the $25 per practice will fall short of us coming close to paying for the expenses for the field. Mr. Faircloth asked if we legally have to have a monitor, and Administrator Crapse replied no, the monitor is there for protection of our facility and the children, especially in terms of liability. Joel Owens, spokesman for the group of citizens present, wanted to talk to Commissioners about why their group thinks the charges are unfair. First of all, he does not coach travel ball, he is very involved in Little League and he has paid for more than 50 kids to play recreation baseball, basketball, soccer, and cheerleading for the last two years, and his interest is only about the kids. Our travel ball coaches are guys that have donated hours of their time to our recreation department over many years, they are all certified coaches, a requirement of the Crisp County Recreation Department, have to pay a $20 fee, and exposed to a background check. All of these guys coaching the travel teams will be coaching for the rec teams during the week, they are good enough at that time not to have a monitor, and in his opinion they are good enough not to have a monitor when they are coaching these travel teams. The point that is being overlooked is that the Recreation Department's entire direction is more about how much money we can make with it, how many teams we can bring from out of town, etc. That is great and we don't begrudge any money the county makes on our kids fields, but because you are doing that, our fields every single weekend are filled to capacity in the next 12 or so weekends, and that means that we can't practice or even bring our own children out there to practice. Also, these coaches spend money out of their own pockets to better these kids with these travel teams, and to say that these travel ball teams are private organizations where anybody that wants to start a travel team in the county is certainly able to do that. The last thing is precedence, as we have never been charged for using the facilities before. To him, it is also crazy to calculate how much every light bulb burns when we are talking about our youth. He would like to solve this problem and not make these guys scrap and scrimp every time they have a practice to come up with $30, $40, or even $10, when we don't even need a monitor, plus there will never be a time when there is so much going on that there is not at least several fields full. He suggests either a complete elimination of the fees because Dooly County let everybody practice on their fields, and they have even told these guys that they can practice up there for free, or a great reduction of the fees, or to pick a vacant weekend and lets host our first annual Crisp County Invitational Tournament for travel ball teams. He stated that we can let Brockey Brock line up a tournament, since he is so good at that, and do it every year that will fully fund the travel ball teams fees about two or three years in advance. Diane Atkinson asked if the tennis courts and other places around town charge a fee and have a monitor. Administrator Crapse replied no, and gave several reasons for that - you don't have to be on a specific team to go use the tennis courts, and some cases we are prohibited to have a monitor such as the skate park as anyone any age can equally use that facility and hurt their body if they want to. The difference in the travel ball teams is that everybody that might want to participate is not allowed. Mr. Owens advised that another thing that bothers them and is an exception to the rule that is not being enforced is that every night there are organized teams at the old Williams Field under county maintained lights that wear uniforms, that have people that referee the games and have been doing this for months; and there is no charge and no monitor. Chairman Henry asked if the travel teams were charged when they practiced at the old fields, Mr. Owens replied no, and Chairman Henry stated that is gone now, this is a philosophy and not a fee difference. He asked if they had been to the advisory meeting to discuss any of these requests. Mr. Owens said he thinks that one of the problems they have is that most of the things they go to Brockey with, there is never a decision made. He thinks the reason being that he has a lot of pressure on him to maybe meet budgets or he feels like a lot of people are looking over his shoulder, and it is "I have to check with Gene or the Advisory Committee or that is the Commission's job", and they never seem to get an answer; that is why they are here in front of you to talk about this and other things. Mr. Faircloth advised that we all want what is best for our kids and the county, and he thinks we can work something out. Mr. Culpepper stated that he thinks that Mr. Owens has a real good explanation for doing a tournament to showcase our county and our kids and have our own fundraiser to raise money instead of having to charge. Mr. Harris asked if one tournament could bring in enough money for them, and Mr. Owens advised with Mr. Brock's expertise and so many connections, one tournament would be plenty sufficient. Mr. Nance agreed that we all have a main goal at heart, and that is the kids; he commends the parents, and the only thing that kind of concerns him is the private organization part in that we have to be real careful and look at that. Administrator Crapse stated that we have never asked anyone to make a reservation to use the fields, we do plan to manage those fields, and what we have asked is if you want to take your child out there, give us a call and we will tell you which field is open to play on that day so that we don't have one field used more than the others. Also, we see a tremendous amount of vandalism out there already, and we think it is necessary to try to monitor who is out there, plus if there is a need for our recreation department teams to practice, a tournament will not conflict with that as we will find a way to make that opportunity available. The idea is not to hurt any child that is part of one of our programs, and we are not trying to skate the rules, we are trying to protect the county and be fair to all the citizens whether they are a participating or not participating in this program. Chairman Henry thinks that the general consensus of this Board is that any facility that will have children participating needs to be monitored for safety reasons. He also thinks the Board is not opposed to looking for an alternative plan to help finance this program, and if it is as simple as getting a weekend tournament, count me as a sponsor of that weekend tournament as the young people are worth it. He advised that we are going to work this out, but we are going to have to have open minds about this, as we are not going to turn this facility loose. He would like to suggest that Mr. Owens meet with Mr. Brock, Chris Greene, Chairman of the Recreation Advisory Board, and Administrator Crapse to come up with a recommendation to bring back to the Commissioners. Mr. Greene advised that the issue of a tournament being held in order to fund some of this was an option six months ago, and we haven't been able to get there with it to get that done, and as Chairman of the Advisory Board his main concern is all the children and no child being left out. There have been several options that have been afforded to them to try to solve this situation, but nothing has fit their needs at the time. Mr. Brock advised that he didn't want to rain on their parade, but the way those types of tournaments operate are gone. He stated that there are probably twelve organizations that do this and there are people that make money, and of the enormous fees that they have to pay on the weekend, the most direct cost is the umpires and the trophy's, so they are not making near as much as was reported, they may clear $4,000-$7,000, which is a good bit of money. As we speak, there are tournaments that we already have booked on weekends; if we try to have our own, as we used to do, these organizations are the ones that are all involved already, plus some of these organizations will not let you play with anybody else. He is willing to give it a try and do whatever it takes, but it is going to be very hard to do that and compete with the people that we have coming here. Michelle Wall stated that several of the parents and coaches have gone to the Advisory Board or at least called the Advisory Board and talked to them about some of these issues, and there were told they needed to ask the Commissioners. Chairman Henry advised that this Board does make the final decision, what this committee could do is get together and work out a recommendation and bring it back to the Board of Commissioners for final decision. Dave Walls asked what mandates them to have monitors there when the travel team is there versus if he wanted to go out and hit balls to his kids. Chairman Henry stated that he thinks that would have to do with numbers, and this Board and the Rec Board will make whatever decision to protect all our children. Chairman Henry closed with thanking all present for their endurance, professionalism, but most of all their support of the children; we will work all of this out one way or the other; we do care about your children, and we need to move forward and look for options. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to table the approval of the rate schedule and authorize Administrator Crapse, Mr. Brock, Mr. Greene and Mr. Owens to meet and come back with a recommendation at the next regular meeting, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Leverett reported that the state has passed a law that the cable and video companies can actually have a state franchise instead of negotiating individually with counties for services. AT&T is the first of those that has applied for that state franchise agreement; they do not have a current franchise with Crisp County as they do not provide any cable or video service here, but because they are applying for the state franchise, we need to adopt this Resolution. This will set our fee that the state will collect for us and send to us at the 5% rate of gross revenues, and to make sure that we will get this fee should they come into the county. This Resolution is a blanket resolution that will cover any application from any company, as we only have to do the Resolution one time; also, it is up to the cable companies as they have the option to apply for state franchise or they can continue to apply at the individual counties. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Resolution on AT&T Cable Franchise Agreement, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Henry reported that the Commissioners have discussed the issue of changing the name of Farmers Market Road back to Tremont Road as brought up by Mrs. Josie Greene. He advised that Representative Johnny Floyd called while he was in the office a few days ago, and he and Mr. Crapse talked with him, and basically what he told them was while he was a representative if the Board chooses to change the name of this road, he will do whatever it takes to get the name changed. His response to Representative Floyd was if we were going to change that name, or any other road name, then we need to have a pubic hearing. Administrator Crapse stated that Rep. Floyd indicated that he would do whatever the Board of Commissioners wants done, and Chairman Henry had advised that it had been brought up a couple of times before and there hadn't been a whole lot of enthusiasm for it, but if there was going to be a road name change, he felt like the Commission should have a public hearing to get input from the public and not just word of mouth from one point of view or another. Chairman Henry called for a motion and no motion was made. There was no motion offered, therefore by common consent, the Commissioners took no action.


Administrator Crapse reported that last week Norboard contacted him in regard to taking non-flurry ash to our landfill, and giving them a reduced tipping fee. There are two issues here: 1) we have always taken their ash, but for whatever reason, Veolia has told them they cannot take it to our landfill, they have to take it to Valdosta. That is against our ordinance and our agreement with Veolia that all trash created in this county that is not non-conforming trash has to stay in Crisp County; and 2) is whether Veolia brings the ash or any hauler brings it, or if they buy their own truck and bring it themselves. Whatever they do, they will save a lot of money over the tipping fee in Valdosta and our tipping fee, as well as not having to transport it all the way to Valdosta. Mr. Faircloth advised that they actually didn't believe that the ash itself fell under that agreement, as they questioned why would Crisp County want that particular ash with the contaminants in that waste, plus they actually own the landfill in Valdosta. Administrator Crapse advised that Norbord told him that non-flurry ash is nothing but ash from burning bark and scrap wood products, it is not a light ash, and not chemically treated. Motion was made by Mr. Harris that the disposal of non-flurry ash from Norbord remain the same, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Butch Atcheson reported that there is a grapevine going around that the property behind Ramada Inn is going to be developed and that the city and county have talked about building a holding pond and maintaining it for that development. If this comes before the Commissioners, would they look to see if they could build a pond downstream from there instead of on that property, because that would catch the run-off of part of the school system, 24th Avenue, and Old Holiday Inn coming through. He advised that a couple of weeks ago two inches of rain filled his pond up in less than three hours. Administrator Crapse reported that right now, that is city business and their regulations say that the water must be retained on the site; they would have an engineer look at it, and he will decide how big the pond should be. Since they have become subject to the Phase II Storm Water Regulations, which the county is not subject to, they have to follow that regulation with EPD. Water is not allowed to leave the site any faster than normal flow, so it is required that the water be detained on site, and then be released no faster than it's normal rate.


Administrator Crapse reported that we have the contract for the Phase III CDBG that Mr. tenBensel addressed this morning; it is $318,860 with Southern Allied, the same company that did Phase I, and he recommends approval of the contract for the Phase III sewer. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Phase III contract for sewer, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that he has a Proclamation for the USS Georgia Flag Project. A special Georgia Flag will be passing through here on the 22nd day of February, and it will be placed aboard the USS Georgia at it's Return To Service Ceremony.. He read the Proclamation stating that Crisp County is proud to join the other 158 counties in the state welcoming the crew members, families, and friends of the USS Georgia, we support those that serve on this ship and other ships and want to increase awareness of the investment Americans have made in the United States Navy, and proclaiming March 28, 2008 to be USS Georgia Day in Crisp County. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Proclamation for the USS Georgia Day, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Leverett reported that today's executive summary includes reports for the month of January 2008 as well as fiscal year to date. A lot of these numbers should be considered preliminary, as much of the data reflecting activity during the month has not been posted. In the report of revenues and expenditures by fund, the General Fund preliminary numbers show monthly revenues at $366,337; YTD, $8,302,590; monthly expenditures of $759,961; YTD, $6,660,315; leaving us with a net gain of $1,642,275. For the Landfill Fund, the numbers included in your report are basically just updated figures for the period ending 12/31/07, which show revenues exceeding expenditures by $13,247. The total tonnage received was 4232.93. This allowed the monthly average to inch ahead of last year by about 56 tons. Approximately 45% of January's tonnage was received from Onyx under their commercial contract and 17% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $3,805,597. The Water Fund numbers should be fairly close to actual for the period ending January 31st. We recorded monthly revenues of $34,888; YTD revenues of $245,472. January expenditures totaled $30,219; YTD expenditures, $229,024, leaving the Water Fund with a net gain at the end of the seven month period of $16,448. Water usage for the month was 6,143,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1,742,669. In the cash on hand as of January 31st, in the General Fund we have $8,675,714, the Landfill Fund, $1,891,459, the Revolving Loan Fund $218,192, the SPLOST Funds $6,941,819, and the Water Fund ended the month with $780,553, giving us a county wide total of $18,507,738. Of that, $176,696 is reserved for debt service, 54,640 for customer deposits and $6,941,819 for capital projects. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $15,015,046 of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $2,618,278 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. About 65% of that $2.6 million remaining is for road projects. In the 2005 SPLOST budget to actual report, January's distribution of $341,917.80 brings our collections to $8,788,790 and our monthly average to $382,121 for this issue. As of this report we have spent $5,008,770. In the monthly detail listing of the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues, disbursements of $167,961 went out in support of the Courthouse project in the amount of $76,284; the City of Cordele, $58,208; the BBSB Complex, $7,305; Jail Improvements, $6,750; the Town of Arabi, $5,910; the Airport, $4,998; CCSO Investigative Office Improvements, $4,500; the Animal Shelter $3,000; the Coroner's office $750; and the Hatley Fire Station $255. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts, as of January 31st we still have a total of ten outstanding loans with a balance due of $2,165,650. Six are current, two are delinquent, and two have been turned over to legal. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report. This report should be considered "review only". The %'s shown are definitely preliminary, we should have an updated report with more accurate numbers in a few days, and she will be providing that for you.


Administrator Crapse reported that: 1) he attended several meetings and events during the month; 2) there was one new SPLOST expenditure approved this month, which was for two Public Works trucks at a total cost of $44,970 on State Contract. The list price was $61,885; 3) Representative Johnny Floyd was elected by acclamation to the Transportation Board on Friday and will take office on April 13th, after the session; 4) Governor Perdue has announced a $50 million low interest loan for "local government transportation projects". This may be an indicator that State Aid assistance may soon be a thing of the past, as we have known it, to be replaced with loans instead of grants; 5) if you have not heard by now, both Mark Crenshaw and Tiffany Howard elected to remain on the Recreation Advisory Board when offered the opportunity, so all of the previous members have returned to the Board; 6) we did get a full front view of the new Courthouse that is being proposed by the Architect. This look is at grade and is within our $9 million ceiling. There are other options for more engineered stone and less brick as well as options to elevate the building and add steps to the front, all of which add $100,000 to $318,000 to the cost in excess of the $9 million. The architects and builders are meeting with the stakeholders this afternoon for hopefully the last time before moving to the Detailed Design Phase. Once this is done and all of our concerns are addressed, we hope to have a called meeting to get your approval to move forward, this will help a lot if we can move on prior to the March 11th meeting; 7) our meeting with the GDOT Commissioners is at 5:00 p.m. on February 6th. I recommend we meet at the Hotel and depart the Hotel at 4:00 p.m.; 8) the 21st Annual Legislative Fishfry is on February 7th. We will be there due to the GDOT meeting. The County Commissioners are scheduled to be greeters at the door between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. We will be staying at the Embassy Suites-Atlanta Centennial Park, and I have a packet of info for each of you; 9) remember the ACCG Legislative Conference is a quick turn around from the Fishfry on February 11th & 12th, with 11th being the training day. The reception this year will be at the top of the Floyd (20th floor); 10) the USS Georgia Flag project is going great. Enthusiasm is great. In addition to the Proclamation you did earlier, we have an official ships log page prepared, we expect JROTC from Crisp and Lee Counties, Bands, Color Guards, the Navy Chaplain, representation from the schools, VFW, civic clubs, State Park and more. Don't miss it; it will be at the Veterans Memorial at the State Park on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.; 11) the bailer/conveyor has now been completely removed from the bailer building at the Landfill; 12) the City of Cordele is writing a letter to the DCA Commissioner requesting that Cordele, and Crisp County, not be aligned with Columbus with the new RDC plan, but instead with Macon. I believe that you would all agree that in the best of the evils we would be better off with Macon and the I-75 Corridor if we can't stay like we are. One problem is that to remain a contiguous region, Dooly County would have to realign also. Would the Board like me to prepare a letter or take other action? No action was taken at this time; 13) we received the annual report from Georgia Veterans Services. There were $1,366,508,000 in direct payments to Georgia's 757,070 Veterans in 2006. This included $4,884,000 to Crisp County's 1,558 Veterans; 14) the Skate Park equipment is due on site on February 11th and the Skate Park is scheduled for completion on February 22nd, the same day as the USS Georgia Flag Ceremony; 15) you will remember the Fire Truck we had to replace a couple of months ago; well the carcass brought in $33,208 on GovDeals. That will go a good way to offset the cost of the new truck; 16) a minor issue has come up with the Evening Lions Club, as they have claimed ownership of the shelter that is on the new Courthouse property. It is alleged that they built the shelter and that City Commissioners Jimmy Black told them they could have it. Legally, it is the County' property, I believe, so I need the Boards approval to give it to the Evening Lions, they do provide a service to the County as the result of their work with the Watermelon Days Festival. County Commissioners claimed no interest in the shelter; 17) there is an agenda for the Reception in honor of Cary Cason on your desk; that is at 5:30 p.m. today at Crisp County Leisure Opportunities on 5th Street Extension; 18) there is also a packet on the Hotel for the Fishfry at your desk that contains your Room Confirmation Number, Hotel Information, driving directions and a map; 19) Captain Pete Chambers will be leaving this Friday to take a leave of absence for service in Iraq with a security contractor; and 20) the Community of Character Word for the Month of February is CHEERFULNESS. Happy and friendly to others. Good humored; bright and pleasant.


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


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


Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adjourn the meeting at 12:49 p.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.

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