MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 11, 2009
Chairman A. James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners James Harris, Brad Faircloth, William Culpepper, and Wallace Mathis in attendance. Also present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Faircloth gave the invocation, and the Administrator 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. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meeting of July 9, 2009, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
MEET RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMMISSION DIRECTOR
Administrator Crapse introduced Patti Cullen, newly appointed Executive Director of the River Valley Regional Commission in Columbus, formally the Middle Flint Regional Development Commission. He stated that she has a wide range of experience, twenty-eight years, in the planning profession in a variety of assignments in the local, regional, and state level. He also introduced Sarah Henry, who will remain as a deputy in Americus. Ms. Cullen advised that she was formally with Lower Chattahoochee Regional Development Center, they will continue to maintain the office in Americus, she will be housed in Columbus, and they hope that the merger will actually help them to be better able to serve and bring more talent to the community. She advised that they could call on them at any time when they need them. The Council, Mr. Faircloth represents Crisp County, will meet every fourth Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Buena Vista, which is the central area of the sixteen counties in the River Valley Regional Commission. She advised that another part of this merger is that the Governor appointed every Executive Director in Georgia to a Board that will also include the Chairman of each of the CouncilŐs to meet with the State Board members such as the Department of Community Affairs, DHR, DNR, etc. to talk about rural needs in your region.
ANNUAL FORESTRY REPORT
Carl Lowell, Supervisor, and Marty Fore came to discuss the annual Forestry Report. Mr. Lowell reported that they appreciate the use the of the Southern Link radios, they had a very good year this year regarding fires, and the biggest point he wanted to bring to Commissioners attention is that their coverage area has been reduced from three counties to two counties effective July 1st. They had been covering three counties, Crisp, Dooly, and Macon for the last five years, and now Macon County has been combined with Taylor County; this was done in an effort to reduce the amount of travel he does in trying to supervise these three counties. Mr. Fore advised that Crisp County Fire/Rescue plays a big part in working hand in hand with them, and it takes a joint effort in all working together, so he would like to extend thanks to them for what they do. Mr. Lowell advised that there were 23 wild fires in Crisp County that burned a little over 55 acres, which is well below the state average, which is about two acres per fire. In the three county areas, they recorded 665 miles of firebreaks, they assisted land owners with control burns, a little over 600 acres, and the estimated acres burned in the three counties were over 33,000 acres of permitted burns. He advised that this number has increased by about 5,000 acres per year; that is a number that they want to see increased as fire is the most valuable tool for the forest land. Mr. Fore advised that their cost for firebreak service is $90 per hour for use the fire plow, and $110 an hour for the use the harrow. Chairman Nance thanked them for the work they do in the county.
AGREEMENT ON E-911 WITH THE CITY OF CORDELE
Administrator Crapse reported that he has the E-911 800 MHz operating agreement with the City of Cordele; there is also a cover letter that goes with that to the City Manager, and a cost tabulation sheet. We are proposing that the additional cost of the upgrade be rolled into a community project for the 2011 SPLOST Resolution. We had put $200,000 in the SPLOST last time based on the situation that we were going to upgrade in 2011, and there may have been some early requirements we needed to meet. The whole time frame has moved up and in order to save about $400-500,000 over the next couple of years, the Board went ahead and did the upgrade at quite a savings, and the $200,000 didn't go very far. He is proposing that we include that in the next SPLOST referendum so that that capital expense can be included in the SPLOST as opposed to the general funds of the city and county. The things that have been added in the Agreement addresses the 800 MHz upgrade to the Albany 4.1 System, the filling in of the previous amendments and adding the new amendment effective July 1, 2009, and the change in the amount that is due from the City. The Agreement is for three years, and in 2012 we will re-negotiate the system. This upgrade is designed to carry us for ten years, but after the first three years, that 800MHz cost will come off, but we will have to do some things internally at E-911. He went over the cost allocation sheet over the three-year period. Also, there is additional cost per radio upgrade to the 4.1 system, based on the need for that radio or vehicle to have the automatic roaming feature. There will probably be a small percentage of the city of radios that need to have the roaming feature, as they don't go out of the county like the deputies, ambulance or fire vehicles. The cost of the upgrade per radio is $17.05 per year. He requested authorization of the Board for the E-911 Agreement with the City. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Agreement Relating to E-911 Amending Intergovernmental Agreement for the Delivery and Payment of Services, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
AWARD OF NORTHSIDE SEWER PHASE III CONTRACT
Administrator Crapse reported that they took bids on the Northside Redevelopment Phase III, and the bids were opened on July 21st in a public opening. There were five bids submitted, the review of the bids is included in your packet, and based on the engineers review and recommendation, he also recommends that the Board accept the bid of $365,010 from Coastal Plains Construction Company. He advised that this is another one of the CDBG projects that was done by the Regional Commission now, formally Middle Flint RDC. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to accept the bid from Coastal Plains Construction Company for $365,010 for Northside Sewer Phase III contract, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF THE GEFA LOAN DOCUMENTS FOR FUNDING THE CONSTRUCTION OF LANDFILL CELLS
Administrator Crapse reported that we have the Resolution authorizing the execution of the GEFA Loan Documents for funding of the construction of the landfill cells. The Board previously authorized the submission of the GEFA loan application, and this Resolution actually authorizes the acceptance of the loan documents and the terms and conditions. Mrs. Leverett reported that this is a requirement for the GEFA loan documentation packet, which will be for the construction of two solid waste cells and one C & D cell at the landfill at a cost of $2,766,304. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Resolution Authorizing the Execution of the GEFA Loan Documents for Funding the Construction of the Landfill Cells and to authorize the Chairman and Administrator to sign the documents in the loan packet, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth voting no.
ADOPT RESOLUTIONS AFFIRMING E-911 WRELESS AND WIRE LINE CHARGES
Mrs. Leverett reported that these are annual resolutions that has to be approved by the Board once a year authorizing the surcharge of $1.00 on the wireless and $1.50 on the wire lines that goes into the E-911 Fund. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to Adopt Resolutions Affirming the E-911 Wireless and Wire Line Charges, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, 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. For the General Fund, total revenue collections are $472,954 and total expenditures are $785,526. This is the time each year that normally starts the cycle where expenditures exceed revenues on a monthly basis. It usually remains that way until November and December when we begin to see the results of ad valorem tax collections. For now, our cash reserves are strong enough to support daily operations until we begin seeing the revenues from those tax collections. Next are the Landfill Fund numbers for the month of July. Total revenues received were $112,170; expenditures totaled $56,222 leaving the Landfill fund with a net gain of $55,948 at July 31st. The total tonnage received for the month of July was 3,771.72 tons. 43% of that was delivered on the Onyx commercial contract. With the use of 236.86 tons from the Sam Shortline Construction Project being applied to their allotment for free C&D, the City of Cordele's total free tonnage for July is up to 20%. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.4 million dollars. The Water Fund had revenues of $39,835 and expenditures of $7,636, and ended the month with a net again of $32,199. Water usage for the month was 8,548,000 gallons and the USDA bonds are current at just under $1.7 million. In the cash on hand at July 31st, the General Fund had $6,223,423; the Landfill Fund, $2,037,857; the Revolving Loan Fund $165,119; the SPLOST Funds $3,155,570; the Water Fund $1,031,209; and the E-911 Fund ended the month of July with $43,592, giving us a county wide total of $12,656,771. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue as of July 31st, we have spent $15.8 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $1.8 million to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Over 1/2 of that remaining balance is designated for County Roads. In the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue, July's distribution #42 of $294,057 brings our issue to date average down to $358,682 but more significant than that, it brings our year to date (6 months) average down to $259,224. This represents a 27% drop off the average for the first six months of 2008. If this rate continues over the 30 months remaining with this issue, our collections will not be sufficient to cover the overage on the Courthouse project without elimination of other projects ($1,158,648 will have to be cut). In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, expenditures totaled $456,772 for the month of July, with the largest chunk of that going to the new Courthouse, $427,212. This month's LOST Distribution was the lowest received in at least seven (7) years representing the month of June's retail sales. It was down to $138,217, which is about $30,000 off our monthly average for this same time last year. 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, 2009. We did issue one new loan during July to the IDA for the Sam Shortline renovation project. That brings our total number of loans up to ten with a balance due of $2,194,418. Of those ten, six are current and four are delinquent. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first month of the fiscal year for all funds. The summary report should show the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. However, because we have not adopted and posted the budget yet, only the actual amounts are showing.
APPROVE ADVERTISING THE 5-YEAR HISTORY
Mrs. Leverett reported that we do have preliminary numbers on the tax digest, we have analyzed those numbers and updated the 5-Year History for advertising; this is one of the first steps in the process of setting the millage rate and getting the tax bills out for 2009. We did not show an increase in the tax millage, it remained at 10.749 mills, total digest net of adjustment is $552,187,325, and the estimated amount of taxes that will be levied is a little over $5.9 million, which is about $55,000 less that last year if we collect 100%. She advised that it is not required that the county have a public hearing regarding the budget since we do not have a tax increase, but we always have one, and we will have that public hearing on September 8, 2009 at the regular meeting ahead of the adoption of the millage rate. The public hearing will be at 10:45 a.m. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the 5-Year History for advertising and approve the budget public hearing for the next regular meeting in September, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth absent.
DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS AMBULANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that last month we put a new ambulance into service, which was partially funded by the State Trauma Commission. Many years ago we donated a surplus ambulance to South Georgia Tech to be used in the EMT course, that unit is quite old now, and they have inquired about the county donating this just replaced unit to the school to replace the old one. The coroner, Jimmy Rainey, has complained about the vehicle he has now, and has asked that he be given that replaced unit from the Ambulance Department and trade-in his older unit. We spent a good bit of money retrofitting the other ambulance to fit the needs of the coroner, and he told Mr. Rainey that we would not be able to do that on this one, and he is fine with that. The coroner does have to transport bodies to the crime lab in Atlanta. Also, with our serious budget where every dollar counts, in reality we should sell the ambulance and recover what funds we can from it. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to allow the coroner to receive the just replaced ambulance and place the old unit from the coroner up for sale, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
RENAME NORTHWEST PARK
Mr. Harris advised that he would propose that the county rename the Northwest Park to the Alberta H. Anderson Northwest Park. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to rename the Northwest Park to the Alberta H. Anderson Northwest Park, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse advised that two out of the five nice CPR signs that were purchased for each of the parks have disappeared, and we did not replace them, as each one cost $130.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXEUCTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - FY-2010 BUDGET
Administrator Crapse reported that the Public Hearing on the FY-2010 Budget was advertised to give citizens and opportunity to comment on the proposed budget as presented to the Board. The proposed budget included changes that resulted from the budget work sessions last week and includes $965,211 in prior year fund balance; the budget is now balanced and is scheduled to be adopted at the September Commission Meeting. He advised that if the Board adopts the millage rate that you authorized to be advertised today, it will actually result in a net tax decrease for the county. Chairman Nance opened the Public Hearing for the FY-2010 Budget. The Administrator advised that the county-wide General Fund budget is $14,341,695; Law Library Fund, $31,000; Jail Fund, $159,000; DARE Fund, $25,000; E-911 Fund, $738,052; Northside Sewer Phase II, $10,000; Northside Sewer Phase III, $300,000; Hotel/Motel Tax Fund, $50,000; 2000 SPLOST, $250,000; 2005 SPLOST, $3,748,500; Water Distribution Fund, $390,500; Landfill Fund, $1,531,000; Community Development Block Grant, $72,500; Asset Forfeiture, $50,000, making a count wide total of $21,697,247. The total amount is not the same amount as we advertised, which is about $150,000 deduction from what was advertised in the paper. Mrs. Leverett stated that a copy of the budget is available for the public to view in the office of the Finance Director, Room 308. Lin Barnes asked that since EZ was terminating at the end of the year, is there anything in the budget for them. Administrator Crapse advised that there is nothing in the budget for EZ; we had requested some end of the year funds, but we did not get that. Mr. Barnes asked if the county had applied for any of the stimulus packages, and Administrator Crapse advised that the county has applied for about fourteen grants, so far we have not received any, and we really don't believe we will get any. Commissioners advised the Administrator and Finance Director to add back the 25% reduction taken from the District Attorney's office, making a total amount to the District Attorney's budget at $12,000. There being no further questions, motion was made by Mr. Harris to close the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE ACCG-GSIWCF SAFETY DISCOUNT VERIFICATION FORM
Administrator Crapse reported that we have received the annual ACCG Safety Discount Verification Form that basically says that the Board of Commissioners have read and fully support the requirements and activities of the ACCG-GSIWCF's Safety Incentive Discount Program, and that we verify that the county has fully complied with all of the requirements. He advised that we have complied with all of the requirements and this will allow us to receive a 7.5% discount on our workers' compensation insurance premium, and he recommends approval of the form. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the ACCG-GSIWCF Safety Discount Verification Form, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth absent.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) The Courthouse project continues to work down the "punch list". I have another walkthrough with the contractor tomorrow. Final completion is scheduled for August 19th. Landscaping is well underway and Low Voltage Wiring has been completed. The Audio, Data T/P and Security work are underway. The plaque for the inside the Courthouse and the Logo on the Marquis Sign may be slightly delayed just due to long lead times; 3) There were no new SPLOST Purchases approved this month; 4) I was notified by Congressman Bishop's Office that he had gotten $300,000 in the US House Budget for Improvements. This will be great if the funds make it through the US Senate; 5) All of the documentation is done on the Landfill Cell Construction and the Pre-Construction Conference was done last week, so work will begin this week on that project; 6) The Amboy Road at Lime Creek is closed for the bridge replacement over Lime Creek, and will remain closed until the project is complete; 7) We are scheduled to begin next week on the "Go Fish Georgia" Boat Ramps at the State Park; 8) The LARP List for 2009 was cancelled by GDOT, so we submitted the same list for 2010, as they remain the roads in greatest need of resurfacing. In late news, we have been verbally advised that 1.19 miles of resurfacing could be let in October, if it really happens, it will signal a trickle of dollars flowing out of GDOT for the first time in a long time; 9) Our paperwork for assistance from the Presidential Declaration on the flood/wind event has been submitted. The Public Works portion, submitted last week was for over $290,838.14, with the Sheriff the total is over $300,000; and 10) Community of Character Trait for the Month of August is VIRTUE. Choosing to live right: choosing excellence.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and real estate, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINTMENTS TO THE AIRPORT BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to reappoint George Gay and Carden Summers to the Airport Advisory Board for five-year terms running from July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2014, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE CRISP COUNTY DFACS BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to appoint Esther Gonzalez to fill the un-expired five-year term of Don Tucker on the Crisp County Board of Family and Children Services expiring June 30, 2011, and reappoint Ann Greene to a five-year term on the Board running from July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2014, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12:09 p.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.