MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JANUARY 12, 2010
Vice-Chairman William Culpepper called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners A. James Nance, James D. Harris, Brad Faircloth, 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. Mr. Culpepper gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
ELECT A. JAMES NANCE AS CHAIRMAN FOR 2010
Administrator Crapse opened the floor for nominations for Chairman of the Commissioners for 2010. Mr. Harris nominated A. James Nance, and there were no other nominations. Administrator Crapse called for the vote, and Mr. Nance was elected unanimously.
ELECT WILLIAM CULPEPPER AS VICE-CHAIRMAN FOR 2010
Chairman Nance asked for nominations for Vice-Chairman of the Commissioners for 2010. Mr. Harris nominated William Culpepper, and there were no other nominations. Chairman Nance called for the vote, and Mr. Culpepper was elected unanimously. Chairman and Vice-Chairman thanked Commissioners for allowing them to serve in these capacities again, and they both look forward to a great year. Chairman welcomed all in attendance.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the December 8, 2009 minutes, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
UPDATE ON WESLEY MATHIS
Wallace Mathis, brother of Wesley Mathis who was in a truck/train accident last Friday, reported that Wesley is recovering very well, was put in a regular room today, and he would be having surgery again on his leg due to some minor complications from surgery on Saturday. He advised that they still want to limit visitation until he gets some of his strength back, it is a miracle he is here, and they want to thank all the community for their support and prayers for Wesley during these last few days. He also thanked the Sheriff's Department, EMS, Fire Department, and State Patrol for the excellent job they did in taking care of Wesley last Friday.
APPOINTMENT OF COUNTY ATTORNEY
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Rick Lawson as the County Attorney for 2010, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE CRISP COUNTY POWER COMMISSION FROM JANUARY TO JUNE 2010
Chairman Nance appointed himself, Mr. Harris, and Mr. Faircloth to serve as voting members on the Crisp County Power Commission from January through June 2010.
APPOINTMENTS OF COUNTY COMMISSION COMMITTEES FOR 2010
Chairman Nance appointed: Mr. Faircloth with Wallace Mathis as alternate on the Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Nance on the Crisp Industrial Authority, the Board of Health, and the Crisp/Sumter Development Authority; Mr. Mathis on the Agri-Industrial Committee; Mr. Culpepper on the Recreation Advisory Board; Mr. Culpepper and Mr. Harris on the Mid-South RD&C Council; Mr. Mathis, Chairman, and Mr. Nance on the Landfill Committee; Mr. Harris, Chairman, and Mr. Mathis on the Water Committee; Mr. Faircloth, Chairman, and Mr. Mathis on the Public Safety Committee; Mr. Culpepper, Chairman, and Mr. Mathis on the Public Works Committee; Mr. Mathis, Mr. Nance, and Mr. Crapse on the Planning Committee; Mr. Nance, Chairman, and Mr. Faircloth on the Finance Committee; Mr. Faircloth on the Community Council; and Mr. Culpepper on the Stormwater Committee.
AMEND AND READOPT THE HOTEL/MOTEL RESOLUTION
Administrator Crapse reported that at this time we don't have a written Hotel/Motel Resolution as we were hoping to have the City of Cordele's Resolution so we can replicate it so we both entities could be the same page. The City has passed their increase from 3% to 5%, but their attorney is still working on the language for the resolution. He would recommend the Board adopt the increase, if the Board wishes, from 3% to 5% effective February 1, 2010, and authorize the chairman to sign the resolution when it is complete. He stated that it is important to have this in place for the Legislative Session. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to amend and readopt the Hotel/Motel Resolution with a tax increase from 3% to 5% effective February 1, 2010, and giving Chairman Nance the authority to sign the Resolution, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that included in the packet is an executive summary on the financial condition of the County's three major funds as of 12/31/09. In the preliminary report of revenues and expenditures by fund for the month of December as well as year to date, the General Fund reports revenues of $2,635,182 for December and $6,278,785 year to date; Monthly expenditures of $855,152 and year to date expenditures of $6,351,464. These numbers include about 47% of the 2009 property tax digest and are about 15% higher than this same time last year. Part of the reason for that is more timely disbursement of LOST and the property tax collections at 12/31 are up about 6% from what they were at 12/08. All of this has helped to close the gab between revenues and expenditures. It is now less than 1%. For the Landfill Fund, we are reporting revenues at $93,869 for December and $618,073 year to date; Expenditures finished the month at $55,579 bringing the YTD total to $517,198 leaving the Landfill Fund with a net gain at 12/31/09 of $100,875. This is up also, over 12/31/08 primarily due to the fact that we are booking revenue on everything that crossed the scales now. The total tonnage of 2836.41 is slightly up over last month, but down about 843 tons from Dec. 08, and drops our six-month average about 3% over last year, down to 3182.63. Of the tonnage received, about 51% was delivered by Veolia on their commercial contract and 21% under the residential account. The GEFA Loans are current at $3,288,987 and we have now drawn a little over $700,000 on the new loan for construction of the new MSW and C& D cells. For December, the Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $30,161; YTD revenues of $204,688. December expenditures totaled $15,522; YTD expenditures, $184,365 leaving the Water Fund up slightly over 12/08, with a net gain of $20,323 at 12/31/09. Water usage for the month was 4,392,000, about average for this time of year. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,680,597. The next page reports the cash on hand as of December 31, 2009. The General Fund, at $5.7 million, is down about 10% from 12/08; the Landfill Fund, $3.4 million; the revolving loan fund $221,345; the SPLOST Funds $3.4 million; and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.3 million giving us a county wide total of $14.2 million at 12/31/09. Of that, $107,402 is reserved for debt service, $56,358 for customer deposits and $3.4 million for capital projects associated with both SPLOST Issues. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE, as of December 31st, we have spent $16.1 of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.5 million to complete projects remaining under that issue. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual summary report for the 2005 Issue. Our 47th distribution of $314,186 brings our issue to date total to $16,740,178 and drops our monthly average down, slightly from last month ($419) to $356,174. To date we have spent $18.2 million on projects associated with this issue. The $1.5 million difference has been borrowed from the General Fund. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for both issues. December was a fairly large month for SPLOST disbursements, total $1,214,907. Projects benefiting from SPLOST revenues during the month were, Pateville Road, Striping of various other County Roads; the Cities of Cordele & Arabi; the new Courthouse; and Public Safety/800 MHZ radio community project upgrade. Next is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts at 12/31/09. The number of loans remains at ten (10) with an outstanding balance due at 12/31/09 of $2,157,170. Of those ten, five (5) are current and five (5) remain delinquent. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the period of July through December, 2009. This preliminary, summary report shows revenues received and the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department as well as the total for each fund. As of December 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 50% of their annual spending allowances. Overall, as of December 31, 2009, based on the data submitted to the Finance Department, the General Fund was at 44%, the Water Fund at 34% and the Landfill fund at 47%. The mid year FY 10 reports have been distributed to all the Department Heads and Directors and before the end of the month, we will begin distribution of the FY 11 budget request forms.
APPROVAL OF 2010 BUDGET CALENDAR
Mrs. Leverett reported that all indications are that we will be facing another difficult year regarding the budget, and she has the proposed 2010 Budget Ad Valorum Calendar for adoption. She advised that this is the first step in the property tax processing and the FY2011 Budget process. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve and adopt the 2010 Budget Calendar, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE BY-LAWS FOR THE AIRPORT ADVISORY BOARD
Administrator Crapse reported that he has the By-Laws for the Airport Advisory Board, it is short, and this Board is happy with their role and look forward to making some recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, and he would recommend approval of these By-Laws. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the By-Laws for the Airport Advisory Board, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
5311 CONTRACT WITH TPO FOR 2010
Administrator Crapse reported that each year we have to update our current Third Party Operator(TPO) Agreement for the Transit System provider. This agreement is the same that it has been in the past, just a few date changes and still at virtually no cost to the county, and he recommends approval of the 2010 TPO Agreement for the Transit Services. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the 5311 Contract with TPO for 2010, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
5311 APPLICATION FOR FUNDS FROM GDOT FOR 2011
Administrator Crapse reported that this is an indicator of the slow pace of getting things done right know, as we have just completed FY2010 application and now it is time for the FY2011 funds request. This is the application for the grant funds from Georgia Department of Transportation, which is basically 90% federal funds and 10% state funds to operate the Rural Transit System in the county. There are no differences from past years, except one exhibit was dropped out and the date changes, and is basically the same agreement we have had since the inception of the program. He recommends approval of submitting the application and authorizes the Chairman to sign. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the 5311 Application for Funds for the Transit System from GDOT for 2011 and authorizes the Chairman to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND FOR KATHY MALL
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a request for a tax refund from Kathy Mall for tax year 2008 due to an error in the tax valuation. The Board of Assessors has approved the error, and he recommends the Commissioners approve the tax refund in the amount of approximately $2,000 for Tax Year 2008 subject to the Tax Commissioners calculation of the exact amount of overpayment. He advised that this was a foreclosure and the individual bought the property and paid the property taxes; she purchased the property on January 31st and it was actually the bank's property on January 1st and the bank should have paid the taxes. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve a tax refund for Kathy Mall for approximately $2,000 for tax year 2008, subject to the Tax Commissioners calculation of the exact amount of overpayment, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND FOR HARRY & CHRISTINE KEIFFER
Administrator Crapse advised that he has a request for a tax refund from Harry & Christine Keiffer for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008 due to an error in tax valuation. They have a two-story house and there was some additional square footage that was included in the calculation that should not have been. The Board of Assessors has approved the error, and they can only go back three years, but they have been paying this since 2001. He recommends approval of a tax refund of approximately $802 total for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008, subject to the Tax Commissioner's calculation. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve a tax refund for Harry & Christine Keiffer for approximately $802 for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008, subject to the Tax Commissioner's calculation of the exact amount of overpayment, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND FOR PRESTAGE AUTO SALES
Administrator Crapse advised that he also has a request for a tax refund from Prestage Auto Sales, and this is another error in valuation. The dealer made a return and reported vehicles on his used car lot, which is not subject to inventory tax, and the Board of Assessors did not catch this when it was reported. They have caught that this year, realized that the cars on inventory were not taxable, The Board of Assessors has approved the error, and he and the Board of Assessors recommend approval of a tax refund for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008 in the amount of $1,457. 38, total subject to the Tax Commissioners calculation. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve a tax refund for Prestage Auto Sales for approximately $1,457.38 total for tax years 2006, 2007, and 2008, subject to the Tax Commissioners' calculation of the exact amount of overpayment, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
SET DATE FOR FEBRUARY COMMISSION MEETING
Administrator Crapse reported that since we have a conflict with the Association County Commissioners Legislative Conference, and based on their schedules, he would recommend the meeting be changed to the following Tuesday, February 16th at 10:00 a.m. since the Zoning Board meets at 9:00 a. m. on this date. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to change the regular meeting in February to February 16th at 10:00 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Mr. Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) There were no new SPLOST Purchases approved this month; 3) We have a meeting scheduled with the GDOT Aviation office and the technical engineers on Thursday to discuss the Airport/Gun Club project and how we move forward at this point. We hope to know a lot more after we meet with them and understand their project strategy; 4) I guess you know that work on the "Go Fish Georgia" Boat Ramps at the State Park did not resume last month. Right now the area is either part of the lake or an ice skating rink, depending on the temperature. When the weather improves, we will be able to dewater the area and hopefully let it dry out so that we can begin work, however, we don't have an actual schedule of when that will be; 5) The Landfill Cell Construction for the C&D Cell continues, and should be complete around the end of this month. Work on the MSW cells has stopped. Folsom has left the site and informed the engineer that he will not finish the job. We are now working on getting the necessary info to the bondholder so that we can arrange to get the job completed 6) We are beginning the realignment of the offices here in the Government Center, the Finance office is about ready to move into the old District Attorney space, next we will be moving the Elections Office into the old Probate Court space and then we will move the Tax Assessors into the old Clerk of Courts Space adjacent to the Tax Commissioner. These things can be done at low cost with just some cosmetic changes. The plan is to follow that with creating some office space for you, our Commissioners, to meet with your constituents and conduct business; and to make modifications and expand the Tax Commissioners office as time and resources allow; 7) We received our Annual Audit extension and the auditors are scheduled to be here on January 25th; 8) Qualifying fees for the 2010 elections and will be published this month. Fee for Commissioner is $360.00, School Board is $86.25; 9) The Amboy Road at Lime Creek remains closed for the bridge replacement over Lime Creek; 10) It's been cold, there was ice on the lake at my house on Monday and today morning. It looks like we have two more nights of sub freezing temperatures and then we will be back to normal for a good while, lows in the 40s, highs in the 60s; 11) Don't forget to check the Schedule of Upcoming Events, as there are a lot of things coming up soon; and 12) Community of Character Trait for the Month of January is RESPECT FOR OTHERS To be nice to others. Not to take things that are not yours. To care about how others feel. Not to be mean to someone who is different from you. To feel or show honor for the feelings and rights of others.
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 EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT CHARLES RUIS TO CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to reappoint Charles Ruis to a six-year term on the Crisp County Board of Health, term ending 12/31/15, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT KERMIT DOROUGH TO THE CRISP-SUMTER JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to reappoint Kermit Dorough to a four-year term on the Crisp-Sumter Joint Development Authority, term ending 2/28/13, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT TUCKER PRICE & JOHN WOODARD TO J.W. MANN SHOW BARN COMMITTEE
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Tucker Price and John Woodard to three-year terms on the J. W. Mann Show Barn Steering Committee, terms ending 12/31/12, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE CRISP COUNTY RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Michael Fraser and Charles Kerr to fill the expired terms of Freda Brewer and Jeff Wilson for three-year terms on the Crisp County Recreation Advisory Board, terms expiring 12/31/12, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Tiffany Howard to a three-year term on the Crisp County Recreation Advisory Board, term ending 12/31/12, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT HEW & CAROLYN LIPSCOMB TO THE AREA AGENCY ON AGING
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Hew and Carolyn Lipscomb to three-year terms on the Area Agency on Aging, terms expiring 12/32/12, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT CHARLES JONES AS LANDFILL ATTORNEY
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to reappoint Charles Jones as the County Landfill Attorney at a rate of $165 per hour, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE IMPROVEMENTS ON HWY. 280
Administrator Crapse reported that at the meeting in Plains a few days ago with Representatives Mike Chocas and Buddy Hardin, and Senator George Hooks, there was a consensus at that meeting that all the counties in our region would show a united front to the Department of Transportation on the basis of the interim Cordele Intermodel Facility, lobbying for improvements for Hwy. 280 to handle that traffic load. The representative from ACCG volunteered to write the Resolution for Crisp, Sumter, Webster, and Stewart Counties. He has that Resolution, and each county has a Resolution to be adopted, in support of that and the Resolution is to be sent to the DOT Commissioner. It doesn't specify anything specific, but it does urge the DOT to reallocate fundings to complete the Hwy. 280 widening project from Richland to Cordele in support of the Cordele Intermodel Facility. There is also a Resolution sent to each of the cities in those counties. He does believe the Regional Commission is going to do a similar thing for the counties west of Richland to the Alabama border, so that we will have a combined effort. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Resolution to DOT in support of the improvements on Hwy. 280 widening project in support of the Cordele Intermodel Facility, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE EDA GRANT WITH CITY OF CORDELE
Administrator Crapse reported that about two years ago we had a portion of an EDA Grant with Cordele in support of Norboard, which was to widen a de-celeration lane going west from the railroad track into the entry at Norboard. They are just now getting around to moving forward on this, and since Keck & Wood was doing the whole project, they could also do the engineering. He has a contract with Keck & Wood, he has reviewed and made a few changes, but it is mostly a standard engineering contract. There was a requirement in the contract that the county has liability insurance and name them as an additional insured along with property insurance on this property. In talking with them, he told them in regards to the liability insurance, we have sovereign immunity and that the DOT owns the property, not the county. Those two things have been taken out of the contract, and the other most significant one was a section that required the limitations on cost, which stated that it was in Exhibit F and there was not an Exhibit F in the contract. They have entered Exhibit F to show that our limit to this is the amount of the grant; in other words there is no match or contribution from the county and that the grant dollars cover 100% of the engineering and construction cost of the de-cell lane at no expense to the county. The amount that was allowed in the grant was $12,500, and he would recommend the county approve the contract with Keck and Wood. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Contract with Keck and Wood in the amount of $12,500 for engineering work on a de-celeration lane at the entry of Norboard, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE SPEED ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that the DOT has now decided that they are going to update the Speed Ordinances on county roads. The DOT goes out and engineers these roads periodically for changes to set speed limits. The Board has to adopt this Ordinance in order for the Sheriff to be able to use radar and lasers and endorse the speed laws, and if not they will not be able to write tickets. It is important to us that they have this Ordinance, and he recommends approval of the Speed Ordinance. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the County Speed Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ERROR ON LARGE VEHICLE TAX BILLS
Administrator Crapse reported that it has come to our attention that the ad valorum on sports utility vehicles, trucks, and other large vehicles bills that were mailed to individuals with birthdays in January and February are not correct. They show an increase, which is in violation of the law that says tax assessments had to be frozen thru 2011, so they are trying to figure out how to refund the people that were overcharged between $25 and $85 on their ad valorum vehicle tax.; he just wanted them to be aware of this situation if anyone asks them.
DISCUSS SPRING SOCCER
Administrator Crapse reported that we have a meeting Thursday with a couple of the soccer representatives to see what they might have in mind. The numbers have not changed that much, and there are a few things that we can do. The spring soccer is a non-competitive league, it is participation; we could cut out trophies for the kids and save about $300, could eliminate one coach per team, which would cut the coaches shirts down one-third, ask the coaches to pay the whole certification fee, and we could cut the cost of uniforms by buying t-shirts. The biggest savings would be to not have certified officials and replace them with local folks, also if they didn't have night games, it could save some on electricity. He advised that if you took all that into consideration, you might be able to save $2,000 to $3,000. We could ask this group to take responsibility of getting sponsors, but if they don't do it, we are still left holding the bag. The Board needs to make a decision to either support the spring soccer and/or do we support it partially and try to work with this group to see what we can get. Mr. Mathis stated that we have the goals and equipment already, so we wouldn't have to buy those. Administrator Crapse advised that was not an immediate cost but if you use them twice as much you will have to purchase new ones sooner, and what do we say when it gets baseball time and they say they want fall baseball, and same thing with cheerleading, football, or basketball, as it sets a precedent . Mr. Faircloth advised that he would rather spend the money on kids than a trip to Atlanta for a fish fry, and that is just his opinion. Administrator Crapse advised that we could work with them and if they are willing to take on the responsibility of the program and get the sponsorship it needs to buy the paint and do the things they need to do and schedule the teams, that pretty much takes all of our costs away. The Commisioners agreed that the best thing to do was to put the call in their court on Thursday. Administrator Crapse said we could make it work, it may not be to everybody's satisfaction.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12:11 p.m., seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.