MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JULY 15, 2010
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners 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. Commissioner Culpepper gave the invocation, 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. Culpepper to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of June 8th and the called meeting of June 29th, 2010, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE FY-11 GDOT LOCAL MAINTENANCE & IMPROVEMENT GRANT
Administrator Crapse reported that the Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) is the new DOT program that replaces LARP and State Aid. We have been allocated, according to the DOT, approximately $298,000, which is about half of what we were getting a few years ago. As we have done in the past, we pick up the roads that were left off the 2009 LARP list, which includes two portions of Antioch Road at 2.22 miles, 1.35 miles of District Line Road, and .65 miles on Tremont Road. He advised that if there is a possibility of completing a whole road they may give us a little more money, so the top three on the previous list, the two parts on Antioch Road and District Line Road, come to about $303,000; that extra $5,000 we have a chance of getting to complete that one road. He advised that we will pay for Tremont Road out of SPLOST money in order to get that job completed, and we would tie it to the DOT contract for the other resurfacing that will be done later. This has to be in to DOT by July 31st, and he and Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, are recommending that we do this with our allocated funds for this year. He also recommends that if the DOT does not put in the extra money to complete Antioch road, we put in the extra money, which would be about $5,000, and also the approximate $6,000 for the Tremont Road project. This is based on the DOT's latest estimate that it cost $85,000 a mile for resurfacing. Mr. Gamble reported that we no longer have LARP and state aid money, they are all in one pot now. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the GDOT LMIG list and authorize sending the list to DOT, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT MEMBER TO CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that we advertised in the paper for filling a board seat on the Crisp County Board of Family & Children Services; we received no response with regard to the advertising, but Dorothy Schofield has agreed to accept reappointment for another term. He would recommend the Board reappoint Mrs. Schofield for another 5-year term going thru June 30, 2015. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to reappoint Dorothy Schofield to another 5-year term ending June 30, 2015 on the Crisp County Board of Family & Children Services, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE CRISP COUNTY POWER COMMISSION
Chairman Nance appointed Mr. Culpepper, Mr. Mathis, and himself to serve for the next six months on the Crisp County Power Commission, terms ending December 31, 2010.
Mrs. Leverett reported that included in the Commission packets is a very, very preliminary report for June 30, 2010. This is the last month of FY 2010, and we still have accruals and other year-end entries and adjustments to record. Plus we have not received all the invoices covering June activities. In the report of revenues and expenditures for our three major funds, the General Fund recorded revenue so far in the amount of $637,627 bringing that year to date total to $13,396,122 representing 93% of annual budget. $1,107,162 in expenditures recorded for the month brings the year to date total to $13,658,771 or 95% of budget, leaving the general fund as of this reporting with expenditures exceeding revenues by $262,649 or about 2%. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $109,618 in accrued monthly revenue and $1,262,055 year to date. Monthly expenditures of $115,021; year to date, $1,192,091 leaves the landfill with a year to date net gain of $69,964. The total tonnage received for the month of June was 3,302.74 tons. Approximately 48% of that was received from Veolia under their commercial contract and 20% under the residential contract. Total tonnage for FY 2010 ended at 38,658.51 which is a little over 500 tons less than the previous year. The monthly average dropped about 44 tons per month. With the payoff of GEFA #1, the GEFA Loans are actually current at $2,836,951. The balance to date on the new construction loan is $1.3 million. For the month of June, the Water Fund recorded revenues of $40,827; YTD $408,349. Expenditures for the month totaled $34,418; YTD $468,795, leaving the Water Fund with a net loss at 06/30/10 of ($60,446). Water billed for the month was 8.4 million gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1.6 million. The Cash Report for June 30, 2010, shows the General Fund at $5.8 million,(down $1.1 million from June, 2009); the Landfill Fund, $1.7 million; the revolving loan fund $254,826; the SPLOST Funds, $2.5 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $991,000, giving us a county wide total of $11.3 million, down about $1.3 million from this time last year, most of which is in the General Fund. Next are the SPLOST reports. As of June 30, 2010, we have spent $16.2 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.4 million to complete the various projects associated with the 2000 issue. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue. To date we have total collections of $18.7 million, total expenditures of $19 million. Distribution #53 of $325,107 drops our current monthly average slightly down to $352,980. In order for revenue under this issue to be sufficient to cover everything budgeted as well as the overages on the Courthouse and the radio upgrade public safety project, that number needs to remain above $336,000. Right now, it is and we hope it continues to stay there. In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for both issues, total disbursements for the month of June were $75,550. Projects benefiting were the Town of Arabi, The City of Cordele, The Government Center, the Airport and County Roads. Next is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report. We remain at ten outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2.1 million. Five are current and five are delinquent. All the delinquents have been turned over to our attorney. The last report included is very preliminary revenue by fund and expenditures by department report. As of this report the, overall, the General Fund Expenditures were at 95%, the Water Fund at 120% and the Landfill Fund at 78%.
ELECTION CANDIDATES COMMENTS
Chairman Nance asked each County Commissioner candidate present if they had any comments to make. Farrow Baker stated that he appreciates being here, it has been almost ten years since he sat in those seats, and it has been a very informative meeting. We have a county second to none and probably the best citizens that you could compare to anywhere, and he thinks that we need to continue to work for the betterment of this community and our citizens. Trey Simms stated that he had been coming for three or four months now and everything the five of you guys do, ya'll do a great job; he looks forward to sitting up there and doing the job. The Commissioners take a hard job and make it easy on most days. Clark Henderson stated that he respects the deliberations and efforts that the Commissioners put into the things they try to do for the county as there is a lot of effort that goes into what ya'll do. As a candidate, he feels like they have done an excellent job; he wanted to come, like the other candidates, so that he could be up to speed on what is going on. Chairman Nance advised that we are glad to have the candidates here today, and stated that we are going to have challenges that we are facing in the future, and good luck to all the candidates.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There was one new SPLOST Purchase approved this month, which was a Sheriff's Department vehicle to replace one that was wrecked. This will be about $12,000 after the insurance payment 3) The acceptance test plan on the microwave system between Cordele 911 and Albany 911 and the Albany Hub were successful so we are now fully on the New Albany system; 4) We had the walk through with the Meadow Park Sewer project last Friday. The contractor is working on the "punch list" and we should be close to closeout; 5) SPLOST collection for May was up just slightly to $325,107, which still drags our average again this month. The only good news again is that it is the fifth month this year that we have been higher than the corresponding months in 2009; 6) On the SPLOST front for 2012 we have now balanced our recommendations with the projected 25M in collections although we started with over $43M in requests. We have made one major change resulting from input from the ACCG Attorney's input that we cannot spend SPLOST funds on the Darton project if it is going to be given to the Board of Regents and not remain property of the County, City or IDA. We are close to getting the draft agreement together, and it should be done by the August meeting; 7) The VA Office move to the second floor has been completed and we continue to get the offices for the Commissioners to use ready to go; 8) The "Go Fish Georgia" mega-ramps are in the water, the approach aprons completed and we completed the final grade of the parking area last Tuesday. The ramps are now usable and we are finished until DNR decides what they are going to do with the catwalks, accessories and parking lot; 9) The Roof repairs at Loran Williams Park restrooms have been completed; 10) Registration for the After School Program will begin next week as school starts July 30th. As discussed earlier we are using a minimum enrollment of 20 to conduct this program; 11) Registration for CCLO Football, Cheer Leading and Fall Soccer will also begin next week; 12) The Board received Thank You cards from the Chamber for the Board's support of the Watermelon Days Festival and the Fireworks; and 13) The Community of Character Trait for the Month of July is PATRIOTIC, expressed or inspired by patriotism.
THANK PUBLIC WORKS CREW
Commissioner Mathis thanked the Public Works Crew as they have done a good job with the work they did on the Inland Port and the Go Fish projects along with the parking lot by the monument at the state park. We appreciate our guys and the work they do on these sideline projects. Administrator Crapse advised that these projects divert from our primary mission, but they are very worthwhile projects, and Carl Gamble and his crew do a great job at whatever they do, and we do appreciate it.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate, potential litigation, and personnel, 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. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
REINSTATE FUNDING FOR HEALTH DEPARTMENT & DARTON COLLEGE
Mr. Faircloth advised that he received the email of the recommendations by the Administrator regarding the restoration of the Health Department funding of $40,000 that were taken out of the budget. He asked Attorney Lawson if he ever got to look at the statue that he was referring to at last month's' meeting to see what our obligation was as far as funding of that department. Attorney Lawson advised that he had not seen the statue. Mr. Faircloth called the Health Department to get another copy of that statue. Administrator Crapse advised that he is not recommending the changes he came up with, he is just accomplishing the task directed by the Board; he remains committed to the Budget that was adopted in the best interest of the county as a whole. The decision is totally the Board's decision, plus we have the un-funded request from Darton College also, and that would be additional cuts from some other departments. Mr. Faircloth asked what the total budget was for the Health Department, and Administrator Crapse advised that it is currently unbalanced with expenses of $761,422 and proposed revenues at $697,294 including the $90,320 from the county and $276,887 grant in aid from the state, prior-year monies of $173,053, family planning fees of $8,126, interagency transactions of $16,176, vital records fees of $35,000, and qualifying local funds of $97,732. He stated that Commissioners approved a page of price increases for Environmental Health a few months ago and none of those show up on this page as revenue. The other budget they sent included the $40,000 making the revenues of $738,674, which stills leaves them short of their expenses. If they were part of the county, they would have to have a balanced budget, and they do not. Chairman Nance advised that we could talk about this all day, but basically we have a proposed budget and we can choose to accept that, we can increase the mileage to accommodate this money, or we can take it out of reserves. Mr. Faircloth stated that what we chose to do is going to depend upon the weight of the statue. Attorney Lawson received the statue and advised that the statue is not a mandatory law, is just says that the county may cover those costs, and if you deem the budget was reasonable, you may or may not, it is not mandatory. Clark Henderson advised that he thinks the Health Department provides essential services; the Lions Club is buying a brand new camera and film for the children for vision screening at the Health Department as the one they provided years ago is old and you can't get parts for it any more. Mr. Mathis asked how much the mileage would go up if we added the $40,000 to the budget, and Administrator Crapse advised it would go up .074 mills, from 10.749 to 10. 823. It would show up as a tax increase, and since we have already advertised, that would delay our digest. He did say the reserves could sustain a $40,000 hit this year, but they are not going to have that liberty next year, and he also advised that we have a $64,745 penalty for over a million dollars the Tax Assessors failed to assess. He stated that the county assessment ratio was 33.73 and the ratio should be 40%; but you will not get penalized if you fall within the 36 % to 44% range. Because of this low assessment ratio, we will have to pay the $64,745 penalty along with lost revenue of a little over $1,046,000 making a total lost to the county of $1,155,540.66. He advised that it could have been prevented by keeping the assessments at the level they are suppose to be. The last time we hired a company to do our re-valuation in 2002, 2003, and 2004, we were assured from that office that once we paid the money for that, they would keep it up and we wouldn't have to do this again, but we are back into this again. The last time we did a re-valuation before this was in eleven years, now it has only been five years, and we are already this far behind in our sales ratio; because of that we forfeited $1,155,000 because you can't collect taxes if it is not assessed. Mrs. Leverett advised that we only have $150,000 in contingency, we know that we probably have a $65,000 fine out there, but she would say is it sounds like they want to find a way to fund the $40,000 back to the Health Department, and she would rather take it out of contingency than to take it out of surplus but remember that is a very low contingency. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to make a budget adjustment to fund the additional $40,000 for the Health Department and to also fund the $6,675 to Darton College coming out of contingency, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 11:31 a.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.