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The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman A. James Nance, with Commissioners James D. Harris, Brad Faircloth, William Culpepper and Wallace Mathis in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. The invocation was given by Rev. Bobby Robinson, Pastor of Little Rock Baptist Church, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance.


Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the minutes of the January 13, 2009 meeting, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that last month we had the Public Hearing for the request from David Wildes to rezone a parcel of property, 2.908 acres, from RR (Rural Residential) to HC (Heavy Commercial) for the proposed use of a Construction Contractor with Machinery, Equipment and Storage building. Property located at 3417 Old Penia Road. She read the Review Checklist for the rezoning request. Chairman Nance advised that at the last meeting we had no opposition to this request, and Mr. Wildes along with Clark Henderson spoke in favor of the request. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve David Wildes request for rezoning 2.908 acres of his property from RR to HC, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


David Edwards, EMS Director, reported that he would like the Board's support in the trauma system in Georgia. He advised that in years past the legislature has chosen not to fund a trauma system to the point that healthcare related to this issue is in a terrible mess at present and especially south of Macon. He stated that there are fifteen designated trauma centers in Georgia, and only two within 150 miles from here - Macon Medical Center and Archibald Hospital in Thomasville. Two years ago, the Governor appointed a Trauma Commission, and he did fund $58 million in last year's budget for this, but that was basically to support the hospitals that were already in the system. These hospitals cannot continue to provide the service and other hospitals cannot afford to provide this service unless some kind of permanent funding solution is found. Some of the funding proposals are: super speeder fines, additional $10 fee on tags, etc. until they reach about $80 million. He advised that every county is paying for this in some way, whether they have a trauma center or not, because they have to transport patients to these centers. He advised that we did get some relief out of the $58 million to offset some of cost for trauma patients. They have applied for a grant to purchase an ambulance, he isn't sure when they will know if they were selected, but counties along the interstate are suppose to get priority funding because there are more fatalities on interstate highways. He stated that they do have an air service that is looking to locate again, somewhere in this area, and if this funding is approved, they will be part of the funding. He stated that the reason hospitals have not come on board to be a certified trauma care provider is the financial issue. They want to add about fifteen more hospitals in the system across the state, and they think it is imperative that this funding be approved so these hospitals can get on board and sustain the hospitals that are already certified. Administrator Crapse read the Resolution Supporting The Trauma Care Network in Georgia. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Resolution In Support Of A Trauma Care Network in Georgia, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that we still do not have anything in writing on the 08 CDBG; we have made some verbal progress on that, and he thinks that the $159,000 that the state wanted us to commit to before we accepted the grant will eventually get resolved. They have approved the extension of the '06 CDBG so things are moving forward, but not final yet. He advised that in Commissioners packets are the '09 CDBG Resolution Authorizing the Grant Application for $500,000, the Resolution Authorizing the Obligation of $20,000 in match and leverage in support of the Grant, and the Resolution Authorizing The Filing Of An Application for a $300,000 CHIP, Community Home Investment Program, Grant. The CHIP Grant is basically an agreement between the county and the homeowner, where certain qualifying repairs will be done, but the CDBG and Chip Grant money's do not conflict with each other. The CDBG Grant will be for drainage and streets in the Omar Heights area, and the CHIP grant would be in support of the housing intuitive. The fourth document is a Letter of Agreement between Crisp County and the RDC to administer and manage the CHIP Grant, as we have already done this agreement on the CDBG. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the CDBG '09 Resolution Authorizing Grant Application for $500,000, the Resolution Authorizing the Obligation of $20,000 in match and leverage in support of the CDBG Grant, the Resolution Authorizing The Filing of an Application for a $300,000 CHIP Grant, and the Letter of Agreement between the County and Middle Flint RDC to administer and manage the CHIP Grant, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Gerald Mixon, Middle Flint RDC representative, advised that several months ago the Department of Transportation contacted the RDC's around the state asking them to help promote increased use of bicycles. The state has offered to make monies available to purchase signage and posts for locally designated bicycle routes. He advised that after the state contacted them, they contacted the Superintendent of the Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, as they could see the potential for using this as an economic tool in addition to any interest that local residents may have in taking advantage of these designated bicycle routes. The Superintendent indicated that he has received a number of requests from visitors of where they can ride bikes, so in working with him, a local avid cyclist, and a DOT representative, they traveled the routes along and close to the lake. He presented the proposed bike routes, which have been approved by DOT, but the County Commission has to designate theses routes as local bicycle routes. He advised that these routes are the only ones that have been reviewed so far, and if they are uncomfortable with these routes or want to add some more, they do have time to make revisions as necessary. They do want to get the signs erected before the end of the state fiscal year, which will be June 30, 2009. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Faircloth advised that in looking at some of these roads that are designated, some roads look to be real busy such as Coney Road, which is also a narrow road. Mr. Mixon advised that he understands the concern, and that is a local decision that will have to be made, and safety has to be a concern also. He stated that a local avid bicyclist rode these routes, and they are actually riding these routes now even they are not designated as bike routes. Mr. Mathis stated that is it is a good idea but agreed that Coney Road and Cannon Road are narrow roads, and we don't want any bikers to get hurt. Mr. Faircloth asked what would be the liability on our part if we designated these routes as bike routes and an accident happened. Administrator Crapse advised that he can't say exactly but he has been concerned about Cannon Road ever since this first started because the trees are so close to the pavement already, and there are some safety hazards as this is not a bike path off to the side, it is using the road itself. The fact that DOT has approved the routes, takes a little of the liability pressure, but we know if someone gets in an accident, especially if it is not the bikers fault, people throw a wide net when they go to filing suits. The other side of that is people are riding anyway, this may encourage a few more people, but it will also alert people that it is a bike route. Mr. Culpepper asked if there was a mileage requirement for these bike routes, and Mr. Mixon replied no. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the proposed Bike Route 1 from Coney Road South to Lakeshore Way around Cork Ferry Road to Ray Road up South Cedar Creek back to Coney Road South, and Bike Route 2 from Ferry Landing Road down Coney Road South to North Cedar Creek Road to Scenic Route and back up Ferry Landing Road and as Designated Bike Path Routes in the county, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


SFC Stan Stalnaker, Post Commander of Georgia State Patrol, met with Commissioners regarding some needed radars for GSP Cordele. Administrator Crapse reported that in December Commander Stalnaker came to see him, and he had a request for assistance in purchasing two radars and one laser device. He went over some pretty amazing statistics with regard to the GSP Post 30 performance in our area, especially with the number of warnings that were given out, which tells him that they are not running a speed trap. The original request was for $5,985, which included some Genesis II radars. The Commander followed up with another letter requesting that those Genesis II radars be upgraded to Stalker Dual radars, which are what they use at the Sheriff's Department. He advised that as statistics show, the Post is doing a great job for us, we enjoy a great relationship with the Post, and he would recommend the Board approve the request for the desired equipment at $7,615, which includes the upgraded Stalker radars and the laser device, and since it was not budgeted to come out of contingency funds. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the two Stalkner Dual radars and the laser device at $7,615 for GSP Cordele to come out of contingency funds, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously. SFC Stalnaker thanked Commissioners on behalf of GSP Post 30 for their support.


Administrator Crapse reported that for many years the county has charged $85 a day for the use of cooler space at the hospital for morgue space, but the hospital decided to use this space for a pathologist instead, so we also stared using the cooler at Rainey Funeral Home and his fee was also $85. We have just built a new morgue facility at the LEC for $35,000, and we have received inquiries about using that cooler by neighboring counties. We need to set the rate to charge other counties for morgue space, and he would recommend the Board set the rate at $100 per day for each space if the space is available. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth for the County to charge $100 per day for each space in our morgue at the LEC, if space is available, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that we had to close the dumpster site on Hwy. 300 and District Line Road because of demand by the landowner. The property owner withdrew the alternate site that we had agreed on. We do have a couple of options that he would like Commissioners to look at. Because they has been no overwhelming calls since the closing of this site, one option is to just maintain the status quo and let everybody keep going to an adjacent site to dispose of their household garbage. He advised that they have identified a site that is in the center of three sites; Rocky Point, the intersection of McAfee and Antioch Roads, and the Hwy. 300 site. This proposed site lot is about three and a half acres located at Antioch and Raines Station Roads, and the landowner has offered to lease that site to the county for $100 per month to be used as a dumpster site or for any other purpose the county might like to use it. The McAfee Road and Rocky Point sites continue to be abused along with the Rocky Point site drawing a large number of buzzards plus it sits right at a recreation area; that is also one of the sites that the new license for the Power Dam requires the Power Commission to include in it's boundary as well on the one at Loren Williams Park. He is suggesting that they may want to close the sites at Rocky Point and McAfee Road and consolidate them all in the center site at Antioch and Raines Station Roads. This would facilitate a future move to going from either to manned sites or to curbed site pickups, as you would have to have two or three sites available for people to drop off things like sofa's, appliances, etc. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Culpepper advised that Rocky Point has always been an issue with a lot of people in that area plus it is only five feet from the water's edge. The Raines Station site is in a rural area and there is farmland around this site. He asked if this site would be available to purchase as this land has been for sale for quite a while. Administrator Crapse advised that we could purchase the land, but the individual indicated that he is getting about $20,000 a lot, which is a pretty high price, and there are too many options on the table to buy property this expensive. Chairman Nance asked if we weren't looking for making this a better site than what we have now, and Mr. Mathis advised that this would be a good location to mount cameras so it would be a good start at trying to develop this and see how it works out. Administrator Crapse advised that it is large enough that we could leave the natural vegetation to screen it from the road; we do plan to fence about an acre of this property and put crush and run on the ground. If we cannot man this site at first, we can at least put a sign that asks people to separate their garbage in separate bins. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the lease of the Antioch and Raines Station site at $100 per month and to consolidate sites from the District Line, McAfee Roads, and Rocky Point sites to this site, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that this same resolution was signed at the Power Commission, but because the Power Commission is an operating agency of Crisp County, it also has to be signed off the same way as they did the Nuclear Units. This Resolution authorizes Bub Denham and Steve Rentfrow to handle the deposits and withdrawals from the county's sub accounts in the MEAG Municipal Competitive Trust. This is basically county money that is in the MEAG Trust and as we move forward with the Sites 3 & 4, there are some advantages to add or withdraw money from that pot, and this makes them have access to that fund when they need it. He recommends approval of this Resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Resolution appointing Bub Denham and Steve Rentfrow as "Authorized Officials" to sign for deposits and withdrawals from the County's Sub-accounts in the MEAG "Municipal Competitive Trust", seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that he advertised for appointments to the Solid Waste Municipal Authority in the paper. He received a letter from Clark Henderson stating his willingness to continue to serve on this Board, and he talked to Kirby Wood this morning and he is also willing to continue to serve. He recommends we appoint both of these men back on the SWMA Board for four year terms, as no one else responded to the ad in the paper. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to reappoint Clark Henderson and Kirby Wood to the Solid Waste Management Authority for four year terms ending 02-13-13, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that the position of a member to the Region 4 Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities Addictive Diseases Board was advertised in the paper; Mrs. Josie Greene was the serving member on this Board but because of the Board term limits, she can no longer serve in this spot. He did receive a letter and resume from Stan Bowen willing to serve on this Board. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to appoint Stan Bowen to the Region 4 Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities Addictive Diseases Board, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Crapse reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs occupies a small space in the Courthouse, and the office serves Crisp, Dooly, and Wilcox Counties. He advised that their annual report states that there are 3,321 veterans in these three counties, 1,558 of those live in Crisp County; this past year they had 5,357 contacts with veterans, 1,704 federal veterans claims, and 92 state claims for a total of $14,956,000, with $5,051,000 came to Crisp County veterans. He stated that the Veterans Office has asked that we renew our agreement with them to occupy space in the Courthouse for $1 per year for the remainder of this year and next year, and he would recommend approval of the agreement. Mr. Mathis made motion for discussion purposes regarding this agreement, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. There was some discussion about giving the Veterans Office more space when the Courts move to the new Courthouse. That will be discussed in greater detail after all court offices moves out. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Agreement with the Georgia Department of Veterans Services to allow them to occupy space in the Courthouse for $1 a year through June 30, 2010, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Mathis reported that he had revived a phone call from someone about hearing conflicting ideas of what actually happened with the Gun Club and the Airport, and rumor is that the county just went out there and locked it up and didn't tell anyone; he doesn't think that is correct, and he wants the public to know what actually happened. Administrator Crapse reported that before the county did close it off, they did coordinate it with the Gun Club Officers. He advised that the Georgia DOT Aviation Branch notified us that because of the Gun Club activity, we needed to shut the Runway 523 down, and put out a notice that the northeast corner of the airport was shut down to aviation traffic. The Gun Club is located inside the space that the state and federal agencies require as a protected zone for aircraft approaching and taking off. The Gun Club should never have been there is the first space, as you are not suppose to put anything in this protected space; it is and it has been there many, many years. What happened recently was in November, he received a request to help the Gun Club with a trap field that they had just put in; they had put this trap field on county property facing the runway, and at that point he came to the Board and advised that they were on our property and in violation and they needed to get it moved. He proposed that the county help them re-orient that away from the airport because it was a site that our 4-Hers used to practice for their shotgun competition. At some point after this, somebody took some photos of this field, and the Aviation Branch immediately sent out a letter that we needed to shut down the northeast corner of the airport and shut down that runway. When we received a copy of the letter, we immediately contacted the Gun Club, and they voluntarily agreed to shut down. At their request, they said it would be better, and he agreed, that the county posts a sign there saying that the county had shut it down. We contacted the Aviation people to let them know we had shut the ranges down, and that did not satisfy them; they said that the only way we could keep the runway open is we padlock the facility and nobody could go in there, so that is basically what we did in order to keep that runway open. He advised that we are the only local airport in the state that has two active runways, and his fear was that if we shut that second runway down, we would never get it re-opened or never get any more state funding to work on that runway. Certainly we do not want people flying in or out of our airport, to get that notice that you have a no-fly danger zone over the northern quarter of the airport. We have no obligation to the Gun Club, the landowner allowed them there, but what he is trying to do is to assist the Gun Club and hoping that we could get some assistance from the FAA to help them relocate; we don't have a reading on this yet. They will give you assistance if you have to relocate a house or move a business, but this doesn't quite fit that mold. Mr. Mathis thanked him for the clarification, and advised that hopefully everyone will get the same story now.


Mr. Faircloth advised that he received a call last week advising that one of our employees had gotten hurt while moving furniture for the Recreation Department. He understood that they had gone somewhere to pick up some furniture from a courthouse and brought it back and stored in a county building; he wanted to know why we would we going out of town to pick up furniture to store. Administrator Crapse advised that he didn't know but he would call the Recreation Department Director and find out.


Mrs. Leverett reported that in the report of revenues and expenditures for our three major funds, the General Fund preliminary January numbers show monthly revenues at $3,023,008; YTD, $8,949,024; monthly expenditures of $972,468; YTD; $7,210,884. As of this report, about 85% of the 2009 Ad Valorem property Tax revenue has been received closing the gap between revenues and expenditures and pushing the General Fund into a net gain of $1,738,141 for the first time this fiscal year. The Landfill Fund monthly revenues were $80,658, YTD revenue of $665,410; monthly expenditures of $113,576, YTD $734,504, leaving the Landfill Fund with a net loss of $69,094 at 1/31/09. The total tonnage received for the month of January was 2975.46 tons, almost 1000 tons off last year's monthly average. Approximately 49% of January's tonnage was received from Onyx under their commercial contract and 18% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $3.5 million. In the Water Fund, we recorded monthly revenues of $32,789; YTD revenues of $242,586. January expenditures totaled $32,620; YTD expenditures, $242,116 leaving the Water Fund virtually breaking even with a small net gain of only $470. Water usage for the month was 5,420,00 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,710,766. In the cash on hand report as of January 31st, the General Fund has $8.1, the Landfill Fund, $2.3 million, the revolving loan fund $141,704, the SPLOST Funds, $5.4 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $930,378 giving us a county wide total of $16.9 million. Of that, $16.9 million $186,767 is reserved for debt service, $55,265 for customer deposits and $5.4 million for capital improvement projects associated with the SPLOST referendums. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $15.7 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.9 million to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Over half of that is designated for County Road Improvements. In the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 SPLOST Issue, February's distribution of $272,274 brings our total collections to $13.1 million and drops our monthly average about $7,000 from last month, down to $375,570. As of this report we have spent $10.2 million. The November, 2008 retail sales is down considerably from the previous month and from the same time period last year. Following that is a monthly detail listing of SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Disbursements of $87,983 went out in support of the City of Cordele for $56,763, the CCSO for $23,821, the Town of Arabi for $5,772 and the new Courthouse for $1,626. Following all the SPLOST reports, we included a schedule of LOST Distributions for your review. The distribution received in January representing November retail sales, was down 25% from the previous month and 20% less than January 2008. This was a significant enough drop that I thought we needed to bring it to your attention. The CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of January 31, 2009, is still reporting a total of nine outstanding loans with a balance due of $2.3 million. Six are current; three are delinquent and have been tuned over to legal. The last report of revenues by fund and expenditures by department preliminary report for January 31, 2009 is included, and all departments/divisions should be within 58%. Overall, for our three major funds, the General Fund is at 52%, the Water Fund is at 42% and the Landfill Fund finished the month at 50%.


Administrator Crapse reported that we have received our Retirement Plan invoice, and we had anticipated somewhere between $50,000 to $160,000 shortfall, and we are $118,249 over budget to pay the recommended contribution to the Retirement Plan. He recommends that we pay re recommended contribution because if we don't pay this year, we will be more behind next year. The minimum we can pay is $514,000 but that is $150,000 short of what we need, and he recommends we pay the full-recommended contribution. Chairman Nance advised that he knew Commissioners Culpepper and Faircloth met with the Sheriff and staff to talk about retirement contributions last week. Administrator Crapse stated that given we are $118,000 over budget, typically if we do that 1/4% bump-up we have done in the past, it will cost around $150,000-$160,000 and that would be added on top of this contribution, and he doesn't see that there will be enough money to go around with our reduced revenues at budget time. Mr. Faircloth advised that he thinks we need to look at these benefits, especially since statistics show the average life expectancy in public safety is a little over 57. Administrator Crapse advised that the big picture is going to have to be considered more this year than ever before because there are going to be harder choices, but we do need to concentrate on all our people. Chairman Nance stated that all the county employees are important, from the highest to lowest paid, and we have to treat all the same and everyone has a role to play. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the $747,026 as the recommended contribution to the Retirement Defined Benefit Plan out of contingency, if enough in that account, and if not to take it out of fund balance, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator reported that; 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) there was one new SPLOST expenditure approved this month, $23,821.11 for the purchase of a CCSO vehicle; 3) we are still waiting on the General Assembly to make their decisions on the '09 Supplemental and '10 regular budgets to see if LARP is funded, and if so, how much; 4) the same comment applies to the likelihood of reinstating the Homeowners Tax Relief that the Governor has put on hold; 5) work continues on the Reedy Branch Bridge on Hawpond Road, this should be completed soon. The contract on the Lime Creek Bridge on Amboy Road has been let this month; 6) our Grant Applications are in for 2010 State Aid Projects. The two projects were paving of a portion of Floyd Road in the "Dirt Road" category and paving of Byrds Mill Road in the "Economic Development" category. Total about $600,000. We checked on this when we met with the GDOT in Atlanta. They did not know where the process was, but to our dismay, stated that there probably would not be any funds available anyway; 7) we visited with Tommy Hauesler at the hospital in Atlanta, and he was able to come to the Fishery. As you saw in the paper, he came home for the weekend, but is now back in Atlanta for outpatient therapy for another three to eight weeks. Please take time to drop him a message of encouragement, although he could encourage us; 8) the Courthouse project continues on track. We have another meeting Thursday on the latest from the Fire Marshall, we resolved the front corridor egress issues and are now addressing conflicts between security and egress issues in the back hall "security area". Brickwork has begun, the exterior wall studs and sheathing are complete, and the interior framing is underway; 9) the CCLO night practice sessions appear to be going well and getting good participation. The weekend Travel Ball Tournaments started on Friday night, with a lot of folks here for the weekend that should have been a small bright spot for our local businesses; 10) we received a refund check from the Public Defenders Standards Council in the amount of $46,918.13 in unexpended funds, from FY-08, that will come in handy in funding our FY-09 commitments; 11) don't forget the many special events coming up; and 12) the Community of Character Word for the Month of February is PATRIOTISM. To show respect for the flag and where we live. Respectful devotion to one's country.


Motion was made by Mr. Harris to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate and personnel, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.


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


Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adjourn the meeting at 1:18 p.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.

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