MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 14, 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., County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Rev. James Kelly, pastor at Third Street Baptist Church, gave the invocation, Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and Chairman Henry welcomed all in attendance.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the minutes of September 9, 2008, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RED RIBBON WEEK PROCLAMATION
Chairman Henry advised that Monica Simmons is here today for the annual Proclamation of Red Ribbon Week and the awareness of the terrible impact of drug and alcohol abuse in our community. Mrs. Simmons reported that every year we proclaim a week in October, this year it will be October 23-31, 2008 as Red Ribbon Week, which is the week that is designated by the Governor, so every community around the state will also be holding activities and events during the same time. She thanked Commissioners for approving the Proclamation to proclaim Red Ribbon Week in our community, as we know how drugs affect our entire community; we want to make everyone aware of this and all work together to try to eliminate as much as we can and make this a better place to live. She advised that the annual kickoff will be at Crisp Academy on Tuesday, October 21st and brought ribbons for all employees and Commissioners. She advised that the theme this year is "Today is the day we make choices for tomorrow, say no to drugs". Administrator Crapse read the Proclamation. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Red Ribbon Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse reported that he has the Lights On After school Proclamation, which is also an annual proclamation celebrating awareness of the importance of children having a safe and friendly place to go after school. The Board of Education sponsors this every year, but they could not be here this morning. He read the Proclamation. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Lights on Afterschool Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
QUIT CLAIM DEEDS OF "PUBLIC ROAD AREA" TO ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that we have a request from three abutting property owners on Scenic Route for Quit Claim deeds. Administrator Crapse advised that a couple of months ago James Hurt addressed the Board to have the county build a boat ramp on Scenic Route on the eastern shore of Lincolmpinch; last month several citizens voiced their opposition to the boat ramp, and the Board voted to not to build or allow a boat ramp at this location. At that time, we received a request by the adjacent property owners for the county to quit claim the property to them. This property is a long narrow piece of land with no useful purpose for the county, and the quit claim deeds have been prepared relinquishing any claim to the property in favor of the adjacent property owners. There are three deeds in all to be approved by the Board, if you so choose, and he recommends the Board execute the Quit Claim Deeds in favor of the adjacent property owners and the county will take action to have the property placed on the county tax digest. He advised that there appears to be some question as to whether this is a legal action, he has run this through Attorney Lawson, and each deed has a statement included on those deeds which specifies in accordance with OCGA Section 36-9-3(h), that "the above described property is a portion of property which The Crisp County Board of Commissioners, during a meeting of such Board on October 14, 2008, found to be so shaped and so small as to be incapable of being used independently as zoned or under applicable subdivision or other development ordinances or land use plans, or as a street and the conveyance of which facilitates the enjoyment of the highest and best use of the three abutting owners' properties". It is in accordance with Georgia Statues, and there is also a power line easement that will have to be executed on behalf of Crisp County Power Commission. It also includes a plat for the Quit Claim that insures access to the property owner that would actually be cut off from public access if that were to be developed, and each of the property owners has agreed to the distribution of the property. He believes that the property in it's current location and it's current size and configuration is not in the best interest of putting a public facility there, and according to our building codes, it is incapable of having anything built on it because of set backs and a house cannot be built on a piece of property that size. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to execute the Quit Claim Deeds in favor of the adjacent property owners for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Nance advised that Mr. Hurt and individuals interested in building a boat ramp was of the opinion legally that this was two separate issues, one being building the boat ramp, which was denied, and the other actually deeding the public property to private individuals and they were of the opinion that the Commissioners could not quit claim public property to private individuals. He understands that Administrator Crapse has said that the county attorney has researched it and is saying legally this will not be a problem. He asked the County Attorney if there is a provision of the law that the county can actually quit claim the property, and Attorney Lawson stated that was correct, the county could quit claim the property. Mr. Harris advised that he has not been able to find this area of the lake, and he can't make any decision at this time. Mr. Culpepper advised that he has looked at this property, it is in a bad curve and bad situation; there are so many landowners in the area that are against this proposal, so he would have to agree with them. Mr. Henry advised that this is not a public hearing, so we will not hear from the audience. He advised that since the legality has been cleared, he is in favor of not allowing the boat ramp be built by the county nor a boat ramp be placed in that area because of the dangerous curve, the width and length of the property is not conducive of having a ramp there, and he supports the same process we have utilized in the past, and that is to vote to grant the quit claim deeds. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to execute the Quit Claim Deeds in favor of the adjacent property owners, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mr. Harris abstaining.
2008 CDBG ACCEPTANCE RESOLUTION & ADMIN. CONTRACT DISCUSSED
Administrator Crapse reported that Jarrod McCarthy with Middle Flint RDC is here today, and he has prepared the paperwork that is required for the CDBG 2008 Grant; the documents are standard documents that we execute each time we begin a CDBG grant. He stated that the Resolution is suppose to be done by the 16th to meet the thirty days after award period, but we do have a problem with this grant in terms of Special Condition #4, because it puts the county is a position of committing to another $159,000 if the state does not release that amount of money, which they have already approved. He was hoping that this issue would be resolved by today, however, it is not; it appears that statewide all departments are trying to cut off funding to the local level in order to use those funds for their internal operation. That means that if the Board signs this paperwork with that condition, it is a free pass that they don't have to provide that money, and therefore why should they under the current fiscal condition. Until this is cleared, he recommends that the Board not accept this grant under those conditions, and that we attempt to get that one condition cleared. Should that happen, he recommends the Board give the Chairman the authority to sign at that time. The second part is the Administrative Contract with Middle Flint Regional Development Commission, and if we don't have a grant, we want need a contract. Mr. McCarthy advised that there is some problem in the special condition, he knows that is a big concern for the county, but at this point, in order to be able to have the option of having the grant, we would need to go ahead and execute certain paperwork. He thinks that the point where we have some leverage to negotiate is in how we clear the special condition; he has been in contact with the Department of Community Affairs, and they are trying to work out something where they can have that special condition cleared and the county not have to put in that problematic wording in a letter that would have to be written. He advised that we would not have to say that we are guaranteeing that money if it is not released even though it has already been approved. Administrator Crapse advised that the question is do you want to say yes we will pay the money if they don't release the funds and then depend on them to release it. Mr. Henry stated that Commissioners appreciate Mr. McCarthy's efforts to try to work this out for the county, as this has been a great project for this county; if he puts his name on that paperwork, then we don't have any guarantee that we won't end up having to repay that amount. Mr. McCarthy advised that he is meeting with the DCA representative tomorrow, and if it would be convenient to take up the issue then, we could hold them to the fire then. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to execute the documentation tomorrow if we can remove the issue of liability and give Chairman Henry the authority to sign when this issue is resolved, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Administrative Contract with Middle Flint RDC contingent on signing of the acceptance of the grant, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CRISP COUNTY EMERGECNY MANAGEMENT ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse advised that this is a routine update of an ordinance that we do every four years when our emergency plans are updated with GEMA, and it covers actions, and who is responsible for all the various actions for handling various things that include resource support, hazardous materials, agricultural energy, etc. in case of an emergency. He recommends the Board approve the updated Ordinance. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the updated Crisp County Emergency Management Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION TO APPROVE THE EXCHANGE OF REAL PROPERTY
Administrator Crapse reported that, as Commissioners know, the Power Commission cannot own property in accordance with legislation other than in the county's name. This resolution approves the exchange of property between the power commission and an adjacent landowner. This is a long strip of narrow old right-of-way that is owned by the power commission that cuts through the adjacent property owners land, and is being exchanged for a piece of property which is contiguous to the power commission's property at the dam, and he recommends the Board adopt the resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Resolution Approving the Exchange of Real Property, and giving the Chairman the authority to sign, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE MOA BETWEEN CRISP COUNTY FIRE RESCUE & MCLB
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a Memorandum of Agreement Between the Crisp County Fire Rescue and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, and it allows the exchange of frequency, channel, and other protocol data to facilitate interoperable communications in the event of emergencies and/or mutual aide. He recommends the Board adopt the Memorandum of Agreement, as we have done this is the past; one time with the 800 MHz system, but more recently with the conversion to what is called the Albany Interim System on the 800 MHz. He advised that we will have to buy some new equipment at the end of 2011 and in 2013 in order to meet the governments digital goals in the system, but this is a standard agreement and doesn't commit us to anything in terms of dollars other than to support whatever equipment we choose to buy. It does allow us legally to exchange frequencies and communication so when we are in their area or they are in our area we can have seamless communication. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Memorandum of Agreement Between the Crisp County Fire Rescue and the Marine Corps Logistics Base and giving the Chairman the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS THE LANDFILL MANAGEMENT STUDY PHASE II
Administrator Crapse reported that last month the Board conducted a work session to discuss the landfill management solid waste collection study in more detail. As a result of those discussions, he is recommending that we continue the process by working with our consultant on a management and proposed operational contract so that we can lay out the kind of things that we would desire if we did outsource the management and operation of the landfill, but retaining the ownership of the landfill. From this proposed contract we would develop a request for proposal that would go out for open bids on that potential contract that would retain the county's control and ownership of the landfill. We believe putting the management and operations of the landfill under an outsource corporation would save us some money and extend the life on the landfill, and also help our financial assurance. It would not include the collection portion at this time. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve moving forward with the landfill management study phase II, which would be the development of a draft contract and request for proposal, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
PRESENT MR. CULPEPPER WITH CERTIFIED COUNTY COMMISSIONER PLAQUE
Chairman Henry reported that Mr. Culpepper has completed the required courses to be a Certified County Commissioner. He read the plaque honoring William as a Certified County Commissioner of Georgia, and presented it to him. He and other Commissioners congratulated Mr. Culpepper.
APPROVE MOU WITH CRISP COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that we have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Health Department to work with them and the Department of Public Health to designate facilities suitable for receiving, storing and dispensing the Strategic National Stockpile in the event of a public health emergency. One of the good things that come with this is if you are the county responsible in your district for this, then your first providers and critical people are the first one to get the immunization, etc. This is an update, as we have done this before, it runs from October 1, 2008 thru September 30, 2009, and he recommends approval of the MOU. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with the Crisp County Health Department, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RFP FOR DISASTER DEBREE REMOVAL AND DISPOSAL
Administrator Crapse reported that we now have a requirement that we send out a request for proposal for disaster debris removal and disposal. If we do put this in place, FEMA will provide an additional 5% of federal cost share, not to exceed 100%, to applicants that have a FEMA approved debris management plan and at least two pre-qualified debris and wreckage removal contractors identified prior to a disaster. FEMA will allow the applicant to retain any revenue from the recyclable salvage value of the debris as an incentive to recycle debris, and FEMA will also reimburse straight or regular time salaries and benefits of an applicants permanently employed staff that perform removal related activities. He advises that everybody has to apply for a worst case scenario or a category 5 hurricane; the chances of a hurricane reaches us in a category 5 stage is slim to none, but the fact is those are the guidelines that have been set up and those are the kind of things we must plan for to develop the amount of debris and things that have to be removed. He recommends approval of the plan. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the request for proposal for disaster debris removal and disposal, so that we will have it on record and therefore qualify for federal funds, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported the first page of the executive summary includes the preliminary report of revenues and expenditures for the County's three major funds for the first quarter of FY 09. In the General Fund, for the month of September we recorded revenues of $621,889 and expenditures of $877,856. YTD revenues totaled $1,277,573 and expenditures $2,840,483. Expenditures are now exceeding revenues by $1,562,910. This is normal for this period of our fiscal year. Tax revenue collections should be showing up shortly to help close the gab between those numbers. Cash reserves remain adequate to support daily operations. In the Landfill Fund, September revenues are $91,089 and expenditures are $110,083 pushing the YTD revenue totals to $307,063 and YTD expenditures to $316,666, leaving the Landfill Fund with net loss at the end of the first quarter of $9,603. The total tonnage received for the month of September was 3387.00 with only 41% (normally 50% or above) of that being delivered on the Onyx commercial contract and 15% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The monthly average at the end of the quarter is now 3602.62, which is about 300 tons off our average at last September. We are still seeing the tonnage drop every month, specifically in the commercial/Onyx area. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.6 million dollars. The Water fund recorded September revenue at $32,973, expenditures at $27,716. For the Quarter, revenues totaled $110,214, expenditures $97,402 leaving this fund with net gain at September 30th of $12,811. Water usage for the month was 5,297,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1.7 million. In the cash on hand, as of September 30, 2008, countywide we have a total of $15,840,661. Of that $15 million, $5.2 million belongs to the General Fund, $2.1 million to the Landfill Fund, $468,000 to the RLF, $7.1 million to the SPLOST Funds and $877,000 to the Water Fund. Following that is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of September 30, 2008. The Georgia Stair and Rail account was paid out this month dropping our total number of RLF loans down to eight with a total outstanding balance of $1,916,654. Of those eight, five are now current (Golden's Foundry payment has been received), and three are delinquent. We will need to discuss possible legal action regarding one of the delinquent accounts in executive session. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE as of September 30, 2008, we have spent a little over $15.6 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with just under $2.0 million for the remaining projects associated with that issue. After that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the new 2005 Issue. $450,843 was received and represents July sales and brings our issue to date total to $11,794,623 and our monthly average to $380,472. To date we have spent $7.3 million on projects budgeted under this issue. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Benefiting from the support of SPLOST dollars during the month of September were the Airport T-Hanger Project, $2,100; the BBSB Complex, $76,270; the Hatley Fire Station, $4,574; The Justice Center, $47,250; and the County Bridges Project, $4,250. The City of Cordele distribution of $62,398 and the Town of Arabi distribution of $6,345 were issued after the first of October and will appear on the next schedule. The last report included in your packet is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first quarter of this fiscal year. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of September 30th, all departments and divisions should be within 25% of their annual allowances. Overall, all three of our major operating funds were within that percentage, the General fund is at 20%, the Water Fund at 17% and the Landfill Fund at 22%. She advised that she received a call from the state saying that they received our paperwork on the Local Assistance Grant Contracts that Commissioners approved last month but advised that could not tell her when or if we would receive those funds.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) there was one new SPLOST expenditure approved this month. That was the $1,955 needed to complete the installation of the 19th Avenue Park playground equipment that was donated for the equipment by First Baptist Church; 3) the Sheriff's Department and Health Department renovations are completed and activities have returned to normal; 4) all is still chaos at GDOT. The Transportation Board voted last week to cut all funding for LARP and State Aid to help balance the GDOT books. Fortunately, the leadership of the General Assembly has told them that the proposal is dead on arrival, so hopefully the GDOT Board will reconsider that plan. Unfortunately, I believe whatever plan they end up with will not be good for local governments. The trend is clear statewide that State Agencies will not cut internal programs; until they have cut away all the local government funds that they can get away with. Judge Pridgen told me last week that the State had cut travel funds for the State Funded circuit administrative staff, and told the Judge to take it from their Circuit Budget, which is funded by the member counties; 5) another bid shoe will drop on Election Day if Amendment 1 to the Constitution passes, and I feel sure it will, and that could cost the County another $80,000; 6) LARP work on the FY-08 projects should begin this week, but the FY-09 LARP list has not been approved or released; 7) the first Hawpond Road Bridge at Deep Creek has been completed and is reopened. Work continues on the Reedy Branch Bridge on Hawpond Road; 8) we have submitted another 29 miles of road for the Off System Safety Program for this year, but funds have yet to be released for the FY-08 projects; 9) the water tap for the Water Fountain at the Skate Park will be put in this week, and the fountain installed; 10) the Board received a Thank You letter from the SGTC Foundation for your $5,000 contribution, and from the Family of Robert Bowen for the flowers; 11) my Bride, Jenny Sue, will be having back surgery on October 23rd so I plan to be out of the office on the 23rd & 24th, if all goes well I should be back to work on the 27th. As always, I will be available on my cell phone at all times to address anything that arises; 12) a reminder that the Political Forum is on the 16th, and the Public Safety Appreciation Dinner is on the 23rd, both at 7:00 p.m.; and 13) the Community of Character Word for the Month of October is COOPERATION. Working together for a common purpose.