MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON MARCH 11, 2008
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, and William Culpepper in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. The invocation was given by Commissioner Culpepper, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America was led by Administrator Crapse.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the minutes of the meeting of February 5, 2008, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
CDBG FY-2008 APPLICATION AND FUNDING RESOLUTIONS AND SDS COMPLIANCE LETTER APPROVED
Don tenBensel, Executive Director for the Middle Flint Regional Development Commission, advised that he is working on the application for the FY-2008 CDBG, which would be year four of the Northside Area Redevelopment program, and will be Phase III sewer. He advised that they are hopeful that at this point they will be able to complete Meadow Park in one year as they had some real good bids on the last two projects. The engineer is recommending that we take $117,000 of 2007 funds and a little over $50,000 of 2006 funds, still leaving adequate contingencies, to use in the 2008 project, which would make the project a little over $700,000. This also will include the city and county putting in $20,000 each, plus the county's manpower and equipment to clear the easements and the site preparation for the lift station site. He has also just about finished his household surveys. Administrator Crapse reported that there are a couple of Resolutions in their packets that will need approval; they are the standard documents for the CDBG applications. They are for approval to submit the application, and approval of the funding for the match, and leverage on the grants. The Service Delivery Strategy compliance letter also is included plus two new things, 1) the necessity to show that the Commissioners have read and understand the State Ethics Policy, which they will all have to sign, and 2) adherence to the Homeland Security Immigration Compliance Act. Under the rules, we must have our contractor's as well as ourselves certify that persons working on the job have legal status, another unfounded mandate. He advised that the Resolutions are standard, but there have been some minor changes to these as they came through, and for whatever reason the engineer has downgraded the county's in-kind improvements from $5,149 to $4000; he thinks this is about 1/2 days work, and he doesn't think we will be able to do that, so we probably need to revisit that. Mr. tenBensel advised that if they wanted to leave it up, that is fine also. Administrator recommended approval of the two Resolutions as well as the SDS clarification. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the CDBG FY-2008 Application and Funding Resolution and the SDS Compliance letter and authorizing the Chairman to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse advised that a letter has been sent asking that they transfer this money from 2006 & 2007 grants, but they need a letter from the Chairman saying that it is okay to ask for the transfer of the money, also.
REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND FOR GORDON PRESLEY INVALID
Administrator Crapse reported that this request from Gordon Presley was determined to be invalid by the Board of Assessors because Mr. Presley was not previously billed for a septic tank as he stated; he was billed for this the first time in 2007, and the correction was made prior to the 2007 bills going out. Mr. Presley has been notified of this by the Board of Assessors, but he left it on the agenda because he did write to the Board of Commissioners, and all we need to do is concur with the Board of Assessors. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to concur with the Board of Assessors on Gordon Presley's request, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
NEW COURTHOUSE SCHEMATIC DESIGN REVIEW
Administrator Crapse reported that they have before them the Executive Summary of the Schematic Design Space of the new Courthouse. He went over the highlights of the building floor plans and the general site layout. The building floor plans have been reviewed and approved by all of the stakeholders, and the project is currently on track for a $9 million construction budget, which includes the building, the design builders costs and contingencies, but it does not include furnishings, low voltage, wiring for telephones, FAX and data systems, or the security systems. It does include the landscape design but not the landscaping work itself. It will be a two-story building with an underground part for the sally port. The first floor consists of small courtrooms for the Probate and Magistrate, the jury assembly area, Magistrate, Probate, District Attorney, Juvenile Judge's suites, and witness rooms. The second floor will consist of Superior Court Judges and the Clerk of Court suites, witness rooms, Sheriff's Office, and deliberation rooms for the jury. He advised that the total cost of $9,061,415 is a little over our budget, but it is not out of character at this time, and we are still carrying some $800,000 worth of contingency. We also have ways, if necessary, we can save money; one is by eliminating 34 windows, which would be about half of the windows, second, we could go from assimilated stone at the bottom of the building to brick, and third, potential savings by going with a cheaper roof, and that one was rejected at this point. Plus there may be some other suggestions they will make. He advised that we are now ready to move into the detail design, and we need the Board's approval to accept the schematic design and authorization to move on with the detail design. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to accept the schematic design on the new Courthouse for discussion, seconded by Mr. Nance. Administrator Crapse reported that now would be a good time to schedule an open house or town meeting to let the public come in and look at the pictures and answer questions that the public may have regarding the new Courthouse. Commissioners agreed that this would be a good idea. Administrator Crapse said that there might be some small things we could do that won't cost us any money, but as far as the general office layout, there is one thing that they are going to do for the District Attorney. She has created some small office spaces, and they are building a mock-up of that space so she can go sit in that space and see if that is really what she wants. Also, in the design phase, we will see a 30%, 60%, and 90% drawing as they mature through, and once we get the 90% drawing, then will come the final construction documents. Right now we are actually looking to begin construction on July 7, 2008. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the schematic design on the new Courthouse and authorizing to go on with the detail design, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried.
SOLID WASTE COLLECTION & LANDFILL MANAGEMENT STUDY AWARD
Administrator Crapse reported that we have the tabulated bid sheets on the Solid Waste Collection & Landfill Management Study. We received six bids on conducting these studies, and they range from $24,000 to $148,973. In their review, they went over all the bids but really studied the ones that were within or closest to our budget, as we only budgeted $25,000. When he went through, he rated them one thru six based on content and price: the high bid seems to be way out of line on price and also the least detailed as to what they were going to do, and R. W. Beck was rated five basically because there were a lot of unknowns there and lots of exposure to additional charges. Even the $30,000 bid had a lower price, but it didn't rate as high based on the detail of what they were going to do. The others were relatively consistent and gave us what we wanted, but the low bid covered every thing that we asked for, it went in to sufficient detail as to how they were going to approach it, and he recommends Board approve the low bid of $24,000 from Environmental Business Services. Chairman Henry advised that the purpose of this study is to find the best alternative for the collection and disposal of household solid waste. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to award the low bid of $24,000 to Environmental Business Services for the Solid Waste Collection & Landfill Management Study, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT KATHERINE KELLEY TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH
Administrator Crapse reported that he was contacted by the Board of Health about the need to replace Emma Everett on the Board because of health problems, and she is unable to continue to serve on the Board. The Health Department sought a replacement to serve out the remainder of Mrs. Everett's term, which ends December 31, 2008. There is a letter in their packets from Katherine Kelley, a retired nurse, who is willing to serve, and he recommends the Board appoint Mrs. Kelley, if the Board sees fit. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to appoint Katherine Kelley to fill the unexpired term of Emma Everett on the Board of Health, term ending December 31, 2008, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Henry asked they we write Mrs. Everett a letter thanking her for her many years of service to that board, and Administrator Crapse advised that he would do so.
APPROVE PATEVILLE ROAD EXTENSION CONTRACT
Administrator Crapse reported that we received a DOT contract for the first .95-mile on Pateville Road, and then found out we needed to extend length a little further. This is the project that the DOT Commissioner approved when we were in to see him in February. The contract came in yesterday, and we are ready to continue this, and he recommends approval of the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Pateville Road Extension Contract and authorize the Chairman to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REPORT OF EASTER FEST 2008
Administrator Crapse reported that they have a letter from Dravian McGill, Chairman of the Crisp County Westside Leadership Team, on behalf of the Westside Leadership Team, Crisp Ministerial Association and the NAACP, requesting support from the county again for the Easter Fest 2008. The proposed budget is in the amount of $4,425. They have modified the contract from last year to reflect 2008, it is a budgeted item, and if the Board approves this, then the Board can enter into a contract for services with the Westside Leadership team. Mr. McGill thanked the Board, and advised that they know the kids are going to assemble, this year they are taking the same approach as last year and blocking off streets, hosting events for the kids and the community, and hoping to deter all of the negative images that have been in the past. He advised that the bright thing is about what will be happening leading up to next year's event in hopes of turning this into a festival starting on Saturday to take so much of the emphasis off of actual Easter Sunday. They hope they can keep things as they were last year, which was a tremendous success, and so much of that was in part to the contribution from the county. The funding that they do receive from the county is used to purchase food, games, and those type items for the kids, plus they have donated items as well. He also advised that there will not be a car show here this year. He stated that they will be back for a final report later, hopefully another positive report, and thanks again for what the Commissioners do. Chairman Henry thanked Mr. McGill for his leadership and guidance, and encouraged them as they have been in the past to continue to focus the attention on the religion end of this. Mr. Nance stated he appreciates what the Ministerial Alliance is doing, and we all have to work together for the best interest of our kids; there are mixed feelings about the kids gathering on Easter Sunday, and he appreciates what Mr. McGill said in his letter about trying to restore the dignity and pride for this holy day. He also appreciates the support of the County Commissioners, Sheriff, and staff in helping with the process of making the kids safe. Mr. Harris agreed with Mr. Nance comments into turning this from a negative situation to a positive situation, and Mr. Culpepper thanked the group for all the hard work they have done, and agreed with Mr. Nance of any positive opportunity we can give our kids is greatly appreciated. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to authorize entering into an Agreement with Westside Leadership Team for the disbursement of these funds, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
TRAVEL BALL AGREEMENT APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that, as directed, the committee consisting of himself, Brockey Brock, Joel Owens as the travel ball spokesman, and Chris Greene as the Recreation Advisory Board Chairman, met to discuss and hopefully find a solution to practice ball for private travel ball teams using public facilities and set fair compensation for that use. They also discussed the all star team transportation and Wednesday practice for our Leisure Opportunities sponsored events. Two alternatives came out of the meeting regarding the private travel ball team negotiations; 1) it was agreed that Crisp Leisure Opportunities would set aside a weekend for travel ball team or teams to host an invitational tournament, and they would have to rent the field and provide the staff monitor, use the contracted concessions, and all the revenue generated from the tournament would be the revenue for their teams to use to pay for the fields or for any other legitimate travel ball expense; and 2) it was presented that each travel team player pay a registration fee of $45, which is the same as the rec teams pay, to have the right to practice from February thru June when fields are available, and realized that the majority of those days that will be available will be on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. That will be approximately 22-25 practices that will be available for their use and after 25 practices the standard rate schedule would apply, which is the original rate schedule of $25 without the lights and $35 with the lights. From July through October, an additional registration fee of $45 per player would apply, more weekends would be available since there will be no Recreation Department baseball or softball going on within our on leagues, they would still be afforded 22 to 25 practices, and after 25 practices for that season, the standard rate schedule would also apply. The non-resident rule would apply and those nonresidents would pay an additional 25% or $56.25 per season. November, December, and January are considered no-play times and any play allowed during this time would be at the standard rate. The coaches would submit a rooster with verifiable names and resident addresses of all players and coaches. He advised that at the conclusion of that meeting, there was unanimous agreement amongst the four parties there that this was an acceptable and fair solution and that they would accept alternative two, but would like to have alternative one available to them. This was also agreed to by all parties. Brockey has gone through and expanded the number of practice slots that will be available for all the teams. When the meeting was over, Mr. Owens indicated that he was going to call the coaches and present it to them, and he thought that this was a great solution; he has not heard from Joel since that time, so he is assuming that as their spokesman, he made that deal. He did hear last night that there were still a couple of individuals that are unhappy, but it is his opinion that they elected their spokesman, they decided who would have the authority to make the arrangements; and he thinks we came up with a good solution for everybody. Also, the money that the travel teams have paid so far will be credited back to the $45 per child charge. He thinks this is a good agreement, and the Board should adopt this agreement as well as the original rate schedule. Mr. Brock stated that we actually have from February 1st thru March 10th of practice that these teams will get also. Chairman Henry applauded the committee, and stated that they have done exactly what this Board has asked them to do. Other Commissioners agreed and thought it was a good working agreement. Mr. Brock advised that all the coaches and each parent sign a Code of Ethics through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association before play begins. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the local travel ball team fee agreement as well as the standard rate schedule, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT FOR ALL STARS
Administrator Crapse reported that they have looked at options as to how we may participate in transportation for the all-star teams. The figures we have are based on one all star team per age group, but in the past the baseball and softball teams have been sending two all star teams to region play. For the District Level Tournaments only, through the School Board, it would cost an estimated $26,400 to provide the transportation for all sports one all star team per age group. They also looked at leasing private buses, one bus line was $52,800 and the other one was $63,888, in addition, they also looked at purchasing a bus for transportation and the cost was from $48,000 to $102,000 for one bus. This would not work because several age groups may be playing at the same time at different locations. Currently the rec department does pay the entrance fee for each team, $4,400, and we provide the all-star uniforms, $11,000. If we add to the $15,400 for the entrance fee and uniforms another $26,400 for transportation, he thinks this is getting out of the realm of budget do-ability. We have also done a scenario where we provide a monetary stipend of $100 per trip for each all star team, along with the entrance fee and uniforms, and potentially we add transportation of 88 trips for all star teams, this would cost $8,800 at $100 per trip for district play. If we had six teams going to the state level, if they advanced that high, would cost $1,200, and total for 94 all star trips would be about $10,000. With the baseball/softball season this year, the all-star teams would cost us approximately $4,400 for this fiscal year budget going with the stipend per trip, and would seem reasonable. Administrator Crapse advised that all four members in the meeting agreed that if the Board wanted to do something regarding travel expense for the all star teams, the stiffen alternative was the way to go. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the proposed participation stipend in the all-star program, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NO WEDNESDAY PRACTICE FOR CRISP COUNTY YOUTH BALL
Administrator Crapse reported that last week after the coaches drafted the kids for each team, they wanted to set practices on Wednesday. Mr. Brock took a survey from the parents of the players when they signed up and in baseball 49 parents said yes to practicing on Wednesday practices and 136 said no; in softball 46 parents said yes and 67 said no; and in tee ball 39 parents said yes and 75 said no, so in baseball 73% of the parents opposed Wednesday night practice, 67% of softball parents opposed, and 75% of tee ball parents opposed. In his mind, that tells him that if we are going to let the parents have some say as to what their kids do, then he would think that it would be appropriate to say that Crisp County Leisure Opportunities will not sponsor Wednesday practice for recreation teams. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to have no Wednesday practice for the county recreation teams, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes an executive summary for the month of February 2008 as well as eight months FY-08 year-to-date. The first report of revenues and expenditures by fund, in the General Fund monthly revenues of $638,236; year-to-date revenues of $9,930,929; monthly expenditures of $800,034; YTD expenditures of $7,568,607, leaving the General Fund with revenues at 73% and expenditures at 56%, a difference of $2,362,323 as of 2/29/08. In the Landfill Fund, we have $112,911 in monthly revenues and $975,865 in YTD revenues; $79,235 in monthly expenses, and $859,249 in YTD expenses, leaving the Landfill with a net gain of $116,616. The total tonnage received for the month of February was 3877.47 tons. Approximately 40% of that was received from Onyx under their commercial contract and 14% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. Monthly tonnage continues to exceed last years average by approximately 216 tons per month. The GEFA Loans are current at $3,788,860. For February, the Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $27,175; YTD revenues of $273,128; expenditures totaled $31,211; YTD expenditures, $262,338, leaving it with a net gain at the end of the eight month period of $10,790. Water usage for the month was 3,683,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,740,050. Cash on hand at 2/29/08 was $18,961,566. The largest deposits being $8.6 million in various accounts representing the General Fund and $7.3 million in SPLOST funds, which are reserved for capital expenditures as budgeted under the 2000 and 2005 SPLOST Issues. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $14,968,993 of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $2,664,330 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 Issue, we have total collections of $9,184,874, and total expenditures of $5,095,466. We have now collected two full years of distributions associated with this issue for a monthly average of $382,703. In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST funds, disbursements totaled only $86,947. Projects benefiting from SPLOST were $52,450 to the City of Cordele, $22,342 on vehicles and equipment for the CCSO, $5,333 to the Town of Arabi, $4,569 on the BBSB Complex, and $2,250 on the new Courthouse. The distribution chart included which compares the 24 distributions received under the 2005 Issue with the average monthly distribution of the previous 2000 Issue, show the December 07 sales is slightly lower than the December 06, but remains well above the average for the 2000 Issue. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund month report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts, we now have a total of nine loans with a balance due of $1,903,536. Of those nine, six are current, one is slightly behind, and two are seriously delinquent and have been turned over to legal. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the eight-month period. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of February 29th, due to several large expenditures yet to be posted, all departments and divisions should actually be less than 67% of their annual allowances. Overall, the General Fund was at 56%, the Water Fund at 45%, and the Landfill Fund at 57%.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events during the month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) we executed the Contracts on the Sheriff and Health Department on Friday at the Guaranteed Maximum Price within budget. We should get the Bonds and Insurance Certificates on Monday, and begin work; 4) Representative Johnny Floyd will be leaving the Legislature after the 2008 Session. It is anticipated that the Governor will call for a special election, but we don't know how he will do this. He could call for a special election within 30 days, or he could call for the Special election to be held in conjunction with the July Primary Election. At any rate, the “special election” will be non-partisan; 5) the 21st Annual Legislative Fish fry was great, I think we all had a good time, and we had the opportunity to informally lobby members of the General Assembly for our priority projects; 6) The USS Georgia Flag Ceremony was a great success. We had a couple of hundred people there, mostly from the CCHS ROTC, Band, and Chorus; 7) our meeting with the GDOT Commissioner went about as we had imagined. We were able to save the Pateville Road Project in FY-2008 and the City's 8th Avenue Project (between Pecan Street and Exit 102) and the Frontage Road Project (between Kelly Road and 24th Avenue) in 2009. There were no new 2008 or 2009 funds available, so in effect we received no new funding at all. This is quite a setback for our paving and resurfacing projects. The next funding opportunities will be in the FY-2009 Supplemental and FY-2010 regular budgets; 8) Crisp Regional Hospital received their “Certificate of Need” for their new 64-slice CT Scanner; 9) we received a letter from Hal Newberry, HHNT, our Landfill engineer, announcing his retirement in July. He has been our Landfill engineer since 1994. He is preparing all of our files and information for return to the County at this time. We will have to put together and RFQ/RFP to retain another engineering firm for the future. I hope we can do this over the next 30-45 days; 10) we received notice from the Bridge Contractor on the Hawpond Road bridges that the road would be closed at the Deep Creek Bridge on March 31st, weather permitting to replace that Bridge. When that is done they will move the closure to the Reedy Creek Bridge and replace it as well; 11) Senator Carter's office called yesterday requesting that we re-send our Local Assistance Request that I had forwarded back in January. I hope that that means it is time to work on local request, and that we might have those requests filled; 12) the Skate Park is now officially opened as of March 6th. We look forward to the kids having a good time for quite a while as they sharpen their skating skills. We appreciate the funding assistance we got from the EZ and the Tony Hawk Foundation as well as the citizens who voted for SPLOST to make this possible. Who knows, we may produce the next great skate-boarder like Tony Hawk; 13) we all have reservations at the Desoto Hilton for the ACCG Annual Meeting in Savannah for the 26-29th of April; 14) we received a “Thank-You” note from Monica Simmons for our part in the Leadership Crisp program. Just a reminder that the Leadership Georgia Class will be here this week March 13-15, 2008 at the resort; 15) we also received a “Thank-You” note from Rick Fallow, Chairman of the Legislative Fish fry Committee for our support of the Fish fry; 16) Tucker Price sent an invitation to the County Agent's “Georgia Farm House” during the ACCG Annual Meeting in Savannah next month; and 17) Community of Character Word for the Month of March is PATIENCE. To wait your turn nicely without fussing, skipping, or touching. The power to wait calmly without complaining.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 12:04 p.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.