MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 12, 2008
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 Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Nance gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led all in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of July 8th and the called meeting of July 24th, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Monte Fore and Leroy Reynolds with Crisp-Dooly-Macon County Forestry came to give their annual report for the Georgia Forestry Commission. Mr. Fore reported that Keep Crisp Beautiful put on a Smokey Bear birthday bash to show their appreciation to Smokey for everything he has done as Smokey is a big icon all over the world, and it was a big success. Last year they had the big fires in South Georgia, which were the largest fires in Georgia's history, and they want to keep this from happening so they do educational programs with children to teach them about fire prevention. He advised that the fire count between the three counties was around 83 wild fires last year, we have had some drought conditions, but we always seem to get that little shower of rain at the right time that keeps things from getting out of hand. Mr. Reynolds advised that he has been out in west Texas fighting forest fires as they just can't seem to get any rain in that area. Mr. Fore advised that they have a good working relationship with the Crisp County Fire/Rescue, and thanked Commissioners for the use of the Southern Link radios. Mr. Reynolds thanked the citizens of the community as we had a lot of called in burns last year and very few got out of control.
ACCG-WORKERS'COMPENSATION 7 1/2% SAFETY DISCOUNT VERFICATION
Administrator Crapse reported that back in June the Board approved the Resolution for the 5% discount on our insurance program; that is separate from the workers' compensation coverage, and in order to get our 7 1/2% discount for workers comp, the verification form has to be in by September 15th. The Board has to verify that we are in compliance and we accept the programs of the workers' compensation. He read the Safety Discount Verification Form, and recommended approval. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to accept the Safety Discount Verification Form for workers' compensation and give Chairman Henry the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTIONS ON E-911 WIRELESS AND WIRE LINE CHARGES
Administrator Crapse reported that we have two Resolutions, one is for the wire line and one is for the wireless phones. One Resolution reaffirms the necessity of the wireless charge of $1.00 in order to fund the enhanced 911 system, and the other Resolution reaffirms the $1.50 necessity of the wire line subscribers, and both have to be done every year in order remain eligible to collect the charges to E-911. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt both Resolutions on the E-911 wireless and wire line charges and authorized the Chairman to sign Resolutions, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PROPOSED LARP LIST FOR 2008
Public Works Director Carl Gamble and Administrator Crapse showed a map of the proposed LARP List for 2008. Administrator Crapse advised that the roads in the blue were on the LARP list that was submitted last year. He advised that last February we did not get any additional assistance from the GDOT like we usually do, so the list that is in the packet corresponds to the orange lines on the map, which will be submitted to DOT as well. He advised that DOT asked them to submit about six miles this year, and all of the roads on the list were submitted last year plus there was one small strip that was added to the list. We would have normally had these roads resurfaced on county contracts through state aide, but since the DOT didn't provide us any funding for that, we were unable to do that last year. He stated that if the Board approves this list, we would forward this to DOT for work in 2009. He advised that even though DOT asked us to submit around six miles, it is likely we will get somewhere between two to three miles. Mr. Gamble advised that when we send the wish list to DOT, they will then see how far the monies will go, which will be based on the price of asphalt, diesel fuel, etc., and that will determine how many miles will be approved. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the LARP list for 2008, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
SET DATE FOR THE NOVEMBER BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MEETING
Administrator Crapse reported that the regular meeting in November falls on the Veteran's Day Holiday, which he whole-heartily supports, and Commissioners might want to consider changing the meeting to another day in November. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to move the Commissioners meeting date in November to the third Tuesday, November 18th, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS BOAT RAMP IN EAST LINCOLMPINCH SUBDIVISION
James and Laura Lee Hurt, Greg and Lisa Eldridge, and Frank Lott met with Commissioners on behalf of some of the property owners who hold title in the A. J. Williams subdivision. Mr. Hurt reported that years ago Mr. Williams subdivided his river frontage, and they are here to talk about the east Lincolmpinch Subdivision. When Mr. Williams subdivided this property, he left accesses for the public on the plat of which have never has been taxed to him or to the adjoining property owners. Some of these have been opened up by the county and have put in boat ramps, like the one at Cedar Creek; that ramp is about 3 1/2 to 4 miles from the property they are talking about today. When Joe Williams sold the rest of the property this past year, the developers developed the off-road lots, and we have bought some of those lots that are not on the water. He showed the plat where Mr. Williams reserved this access, which is at the tip of the hairpin curve between lot 2 on the north and lots 3,4,5 on the south, 40 feet wide and about 300 feet from the pavement to the water's edge. He advised that they are asking the Commissioners to open this access that Mr. Williams gave to the county, which will give the people that are not on the waterfront access to the water. He also proposes that if they do open it that there would be no roadside parking and signs could be put up to keep people from parking on the side of the road to impact the neighborhood as little as possible. He stated that the people using this ramp could take their truck and trailers back to their lots, the people that own these off-water lots need access, and the county already has one dedicated. Mr. Hurt stated that Mr. Bailey give him a guess at building a boat ramp for the slab and crush and run road to go down to the slab of about $7,500, and he asked Commissioners to consider this request. Chairman Henry advised that when he received this information, he asked the Administrator to speak with Steve Rentfrow at the Power Commission, as they would have to get involved also, and advised that Commissioners will review the options and make a decision, as there are more facts that go into this instead of that one. He advised that there are several more spots like this on the lake, and they know the old slogan, what you do for one you have to do for all; also when people buy lots there, it is a given fact that they know that there is not water access to those lots. Mr. Hurt advised that they bought the lots knowing that there was access because it is platted. Chairman Henry advised that Commissioners will be glad to review this and get back to them at a later date, but it will take time since it involves two entities.
DISCUSS COURTHOUSE BID OPENING ON AUGUST 6TH
Administrator Crapse reported that on August 6th, they had a public bid opening for a number of bid packages for the new Courthouse. According to Addendum #2 that was presented by the Turner Special Projects, bids were to be received in a sealed envelope by 1:00 p.m. by Wednesday, August 6th. That bid opening was held and the bids are now in the hands of Turner Special Projects, and because some of the bids were so complicated and so many, they have not completed the tabulations yet. However, there are a couple of things that have come up. First, was a package that as they could see looks like it has been through the dark ages, showed up on the 7th at about 10:00 a.m. It is from Overhead Door Company in Atlanta. He has traced the tracking on the UPS site; this package was entered into the system on August 5th at 6:41 a.m., it was originally scanned in Doraville, Ga. at 2:48 a.m. on August 6th, but it wasn't sent out for delivery until August 7th at 7:16 a.m., which was past the bid due time, and it was delivered on August 7th. In this case, it was shipped by UPS ground, it was destined for delivery here on the 5th; however in his imagination, one should not ship anything ground on the 5th and expect it to be there by 1:00 p.m. on the 6th. He asked Commissioners if they wish to consider this bid or not, as it was put in the mail prior to the bid date of August 6th. There is another one, a Fed Ex delivery, which arrived and was signed for here on August 8th at 10:40 a.m. This package was picked up by Fed Ex on August 4th at 4:12 p.m., it arrived at the Memphis facility at 11:15 p.m., it left Memphis at 3:50 a.m. on the 5th, it arrived at the sort facility in Tallahassee at 5:43 a.m. on the 5th, it arrived in Albany at 8:49 a.m. on the 5th, it was sent out at 9:12 a.m. on the 5th, at 10:40 a.m. on the 5th they have it listed as a "delivery acceptation, customer not available or business closed". He showed Commissioners the package and under the sticker it read "was told not at this address, call shipper", but the label has the correct address. He said at 6:55 p.m. on August 5th it was returned to the Albany facility, it sat there until August 8th when it was dispatched at 9:19 a.m. from Albany and arrived here at 10:40 a.m. on August 8th and it was signed for by Virginia Nolley. He stated that in this case, he thinks this package was clearly in the system and should have been here on time for the bid, there is no way to prove who told them that we were not here. This is the straight facts, but the politics of this is the winning bid currently is around $122,0000 by Cordele Sash & Door; and this bid is for $92,000, which is a $21,000 savings. Chairman Henry advised that this Board has done everything we can to encourage local business. Administrator Crapse stated that we give local businesses a discount up to $25,000 if the bids are within 3%, the local bidder can get the bid if they match the low bid. Chairman Henry advised that our attitude is support for local vendors but, on the other hand, people that are legally eligible for consideration should be considered, in his opinion. Mr. Nance stated that he is interested in the legal angle because it seems to him that it is obvious Fed Ex somewhere or somebody was wrong, they company did everything they needed to for it to get here but it did not get here, but do we penalize the local people for doing everything they were suppose to because of the lower bid not getting here. To him it falls back on that company to make sure it was here; they should have been tracking it to make sure it got here. Administrator Crapse advised that the company knew it was missing as they called to check on it a couple of times, they just didn't know why. Mr. Nance advised that if that were his bid, he would have had someone drive it down here to make sure it got here, if he knew it was missing. Mr. Faircloth stated that he agrees with Commissioner Nance, but he would also like to hear the legal aspects of this. Mr. Lawson advised that this is the first he has heard of this, and he would like Commissioners to allow him to work with the Administrator, see all the information, and then advise them after he takes it all into consideration. Mr. Faircloth thinks that if we accept one, we will have to accept both the bids. Administrator Crapse advised that the last bid was for the sprinkler system in the building and that work is pretty far down the line. He also advised that another thing is when Cordele Sash & Door sent there bid in, they were required to have certification in doing this kind of work; and they did not send that in; they probably intend to hire a sub-contractor, we don't know who that subcontractor is. The company with the late bid is a company that does this every day, so there still is a question as if there is a qualified bidder because Cordele Sash bid will have to meet the qualifications of a sub-contractor. He advised that if the Board is comfortable to let the county attorney work on it, he can communicate with him, and when he gets an answer he will communicate it back to the Commissioners. All Commissioners thought it would be better to consider this from a legal standpoint as this will be the fairest way to go. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to table this and let County Attorney Lawson investigate, review the law and details, and bring back recommendation to Commissioners at a later date, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes a preliminary report on the County's financial position after just one month of the new fiscal year. In the executive summary for three of our major funds, in the General Fund we are reporting $454,692 in total revenue and $905,451 in total expenditures leaving the General Fund with a net loss at 7/31/08 of $450,759. It is not uncommon for expenditures to exceed revenues during the first and into the second quarter of the fiscal year. Most likely it will remain that way until November and December when we begin to see the results of annual ad valorem tax collections. (Or maybe even longer if the Governor postpones the HTRG distributions). Fortunately, for us, our cash reserves are strong enough to support daily operations until we begin seeing the revenues from those tax collections. For the Landfill Fund, total revenues received were $118,926, expenditures totaled $111,393 starting the landfill year off in the right direction, with a net gain of $7,533. The total tonnage received for the month of July was 4,088.36 tons with 45% of that being delivered on the Onyx commercial contract and 14% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.6 million dollars. For the Water Fund, revenues are $37,788 and total expenditures of $35,934, the water fund was also able to end the first month of the new year with a small net gain of $1,853. Water usage for the month was 7,751,000 gallons and the USDA bonds are current at $1,726,847. Cash on hand at July 31st in the General Fund we have $6,025,023, the Landfill Fund, $2,141,774, the revolving loan fund $423,791, the SPLOST Funds, $7,063,579 and the Water Fund ended the month of July with $819,717 giving us a county wide total of $16,473,883. Of that, $177,821 is reserved for debt service, $55,415 for customer deposits and $7,063,579 for capital projects. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $15.6 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with just over $2.0 million too complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Over 1/2 of that remaining balance is designated for County Roads. Next is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue, and thankfully July's distribution of $435,801, was a significant increase over last month and brings our collections to date, up to $10,995,206. The monthly average after 29 months is $379,145, slightly higher than last month and to date we have spent $6.5 million on projects budgeted under this issue. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Expenditures totaled $454,216 for the month of July, with the largest amounts being $162,529 on the Courthouse, $89,661 on the CCSO Construction project and vehicles, $69,656 on the Health Department Remodeling project, $51,796 on Jail improvements and $50,054 to the City of Cordele. Other projects also benefiting from SPLOST dollars were construction projects for both Animal Control and the Coroners office, the Town of Arabi and the BBSB Complex. Next is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of July 31, 2008. Our number of loans outstanding remains at nine with a balance due of $1,994,375. We did receive the 8/1/08 payment from the IDA/Goldens project yesterday, and that leaves us with one account slightly delinquent, two that have been turned over to legal and the rest are current. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for all funds. As of July 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 8% of their annual allowances. Overall, at the end of July in our three major funds; the General Fund expenditures were at 6%; the Landfill fund at 8%; and the Water Fund at 6%.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several events and meetings last month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) we executed the GMP #2 on the Courthouse that included the site work, paving concrete, curb, gutter, and striping to the low bidder that was at the GMP so we are still below budget at this point. We have pre-positioned the first 2000cy of dirt on the site and await the start of work next week. We received our Land Disturbing Permit on August 5th; 4) the new construction is complete at the Sheriff's Department and they have moved in. The remaining work is renovations to the previously existing structure. The Health Department renovations are also nearing completion and should be done shortly; 5) the Northside Sewer Phase I project is finished. Don tenBensel is currently working on the documentation to turn it over to the City of Cordele. The second phase of sewer on the project is now underway and should be completed next spring. The City of Cordele has accepted the Northside Water Project and I have sent the documentation for acceptance of Sewer Phase 1; 6) the Governor has proposed to withhold $428,000,000 in Homeowners Tax Relief Grants this year. The latest information I have indicates that the Governor does not have the authority to permanently withhold the funds authorized by the General Assembly, buy he can delay that payment until it can be reconsidered by the General Assembly in January after considering the States budget problems. This put us and other counties in the middle. If counties honor the grant now, and the General Assembly agrees with the Governor, the County must either eat the $350,000 that the State doesn't pay or go to the expense of rebilling all of the affected taxpayers as well as taking the political flak from the citizens. On the other hand if the County does not honor the grant and the General Assembly disagrees with the Governor and reauthorizes the grant the taxpayers would not be entitled to the grant credit. Cricket has already applied for our grant, and we still have time to see how this plays over the next 30-45 days, but the Department of Revenue seems to have thrown this ball into the Tax Commissioners court and left the Governing Authorities in an advisory role; 7) The GDOT has announced their new State Aid Grant Program. Carl and I will be going to a Training Workshop in Tifton on Friday August 29th to learn the details of how the program works. All we think we know now is that the allocation of State Aid funds will no longer be broken down by County as in the past. It will still be broken down by Congressional District and all Counties and municipalities will have to compete District-wide for road project funding; 8) we received word that the Darton College Downtown Cordele Campus decision is scheduled to be on the August Agenda for the Board of Regents. Let's all pray for a favorable decision; 9) as you all know we have received the Landfill Management and Solid Waste Collection Study Results. Now that our busiest season (Budget) is over for a few months, it's time to move forward on other fronts. I would like to schedule a workshop to get started on these tasks as soon as practical. I have attached a September calendar to my report with three suggested dates that are on September 4th, 11th and 17th. Please look at these dates and decide which is the best date. By common consent, Commissioners will have a work session on September 11th at 9:00 a.m.; 10) the ACCG Fall Policy Conference is Wednesday, October 8th-10th. We need to register prior to the deadline of August 31st. Please let Linda know if you will be attending; 11) the Hawpond Road remains closed at the Deep Creek Bridge; and 12) the Community of Character Word for the Month of August is PUNCTUALITY. On time, prompt, acting at the right time.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and potential litigation, 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. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 11:46 a.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.