MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 10, 2010
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., 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. Rev. Phil Streetman, Pastor of Lake Blackshear Baptist Church, 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. Harris to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of July 15th and the called meeting of July 23rd, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTIONS AFFIRMING E-911 WIRELESS AND WIRE-LINE CHARGES
Administrator Crapse reported that each year we are required to review and affirm that the wire-line charges and the wireless charges for E-911 are required to support the E-911 operations. Those funds are exceeded with expenditures from E-911 and are supplemented by our general fund, so this is just affirming that those funds are still needed to support E-911. He recommends approval of the Resolutions.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve both Resolutions Affirming the E-911 Wireless and the Wire-Line charges, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DENY REQUEST TO ELIMINATE EQUIPMENT TAX FOR "U-COOK & EAT"
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received a request to waive the personal property tax for SanCheff, Inc. Unfortunately that is not permissible under Georgia Law, but a request was presented so he thinks the Board should take formal action; he recommends the Board deny the request on legal grounds, and he will notify SanCheff, Inc. of the same. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to deny the request to eliminate the equipment tax for SanCheff, Inc., doing business as U-Cook & Eat, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS SECURITY OF BALL COMPLEX FIELDS
Chris Greene, Chairman of the Crisp County Leisure Opportunities Advisory Board, reported that there has been an issue with the ball complex where some of our parents and citizens went out to use the ball fields, and on the occasions that they have gone out the fields have been locked to where they did not have access to the fields. This is an issue that he thinks needs to be addressed, as the Advisory Board's understanding was that there would be some fields left unlocked so that people could go out during appropriate hours and use the fields as family-type practice, not as a team practice. Mr. Faircloth advised that he was under the impression that we already did that. Mr. Culpepper advised that the Rec Advisory Board had been advised that some kids had been out there after the July 4th weekend and all the fields were locked. Mr. Faircloth made a motion to discuss this issue, and was seconded by Mr. Mathis. Mr. Faircloth advised that we definitely understand that the ball complex is suppose to be for the benefit of our kids and families, and he doesn't see any reason why they should be denied access. Administrator Crapse advised that he doesn't think that they are denied access, and he believes that all of the upper fields were open on that particular day; they were checked at 7:30, and there was nobody at the complex at those fields but they were open. He advised that there are good reasons for not allowing all nine fields to be open all the time as typically either the bottom or upper fields are open and the gates are open front and back, with all the fields in that particular pinwheel open but you do have to go up and look if there is nothing open on the bottom fields. Also, he believes that the incident in question has to do with a coach that was an all-star coach wanting to do a practice that had not been scheduled so that there could be a monitor there. He advised that the fields are closed at about 9:00 p.m. every day. Mr. Faircloth advised that he got a call one day and the person stated that there was suppose to be a ball field open and every field was closed. Mr. Culpepper advised that we had never actually put it in a form of a motion to keep the fields open, and he asked Mr. Faircloth if he would amend his motion to put on record that we keep a pinwheel of fields open. Mr. Faircloth stated that way if anytime our people come up to the field and those pinwheels are closed, then he thinks it needs to be noted that is a violation of what we put into place. Administrator Crapse advised if they wanted to leave the fields open after dark. Mr. Mathis advised that while we are sorting this out let's structure it so that we have it all worked out when we make the motion. Mr. Culpepper suggested that they are open during daylight hours. Administrator Crapse advised that if anybody has that issue again if they would call him, he would go out personally and check and make sure the fields are open. Mr. Mathis asked if there was any type system that could be worked out to let people know which fields would be open on which days. Administrator Crapse advised that when they have tournaments, they prep those fields the day before and they wouldn't want anybody out on those fields randomly messing them up, but if we open every day until 9:00, he thinks that adequate. Mr. Faircloth amended his motion to allow a pinwheel to be kept open all the time during the daylight hours at the ball complex, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CONTRACT FOR PROPERTY REVALUATION
Administrator Crapse reported that the Board of Assessors sent a memo about the Assessors' Contract for Revaluation after they met with the two lowest bidders after the bids were opened. They have recommended the low bid by G.M.A.S.S., Inc. of Norcross, Georgia. The drive-by cost would be $198,000, which is considerably under what we had budgeted, and verbally they agreed to the funding strategy of 25%, 50%, and 25% for the scheduling of the work, and Tim Quick, Chief Tax Assessor, wanted to make sure that is formalized in the contract. He advised that they had programmed around $340,000 over the three-year period, so that is a good deal of cost savings; this year we will save about $6,500. Mr. Faircloth asked if this would fix the problem and get where we need to be finally. Mr. Quick advised that their contract calls for when they are finished in May, 2012, that we will have a ratio of no less that 38.5%, a COD, which is one of the factors the state looks at, of not greater than 12 on residential and not greater than 16 on everything else, and the PRD would be 102; all of these would be within the state range. He stated that they are suppose to finish all the work, with the exception of mailing the assessment notices, on or prior to May 1, 2012, and that would get us in line. He advised that they will be in a better position to stay in line, their office is still under-staffed, and their office is trying to improve that and to train their folks where they will be able to do it in-house; that is the end they are working toward. Administrator Crapse asked if we had to wait until the end of this time period to implement the revaluation or can they do this in sections like we did before. Mr. Quick advised that, unless there is something new, nothing could be put on the digest anyway because all of the values are still frozen until January 1, 2012. This company will be updating the schedules they have now, which have not been updated since 2007, some neighborhoods have been updated, but the overall schedule actually has not been updated since 2005. Mr. Faircloth advised that he hopes at some point we can get our act together so that we can have a cohesive budget and digest and at the proper ratio. Chairman Nance advised it was not only that but what it costs the county. Mr. Quick advised that if you look at the overall cost of contracting it out to venders versus in-house staff, they have four persons in his office, including himself, and with the number of parcels that we have, the state revenue department and also the standards of the IAAO says that they should have between seven and ten employees, so they are understaffed. He stated that if you look at the difference in savings between those employees and contracting this out, we are still saving money; if we had a full staff like it is recommended, then we would spend more than the $198,000 over the period of time since the revaluation. Mr. Faircloth advised that we have been through a fine situation, but he doesn't actually blame the Tax Assessors' Office or Board, he believes that the state is looking at every reason they can to fine us and look every where they can to get more money from us. Administrator Crapse advised that the Tax Assessors' Office does have an Appraiser III in the office now, and the other employees are getting their schooling in, as it is necessary that we keep an Appraiser III there at all times if something were to happen to Mr. Quick. Mr. Mathis asked if we had a staff of five or six people, how would that compare with having to hire outside help; with local help we could keep that money here locally. Mr. Quick stated that he doesn't disagree with him, they tried that and he would like to have local folks doing that, but they just haven't been able to find anybody that wants to stay with them; if we had a qualified staff, then it could be done in-house. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to accept the Board of Assessors' recommendation and Contract with G.M.A.S.S., Inc. for $198,000 over a three-year period for Property Revaluation, 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 we are reporting $197,224 in total revenue collected and $914,096 in total expenditures. As a reminder, this is the time each year that normally starts the cycle where expenditures exceed revenues on a monthly basis and also a large percentage of the revenue received in July represents June activity and has been accrued to the previous month. Total revenues received for the Landfill for the month of July were $130,893; expenditures totaled $56,222 leaving the Landfill fund with a net gain of $55,475 at July 31st. The total tonnage received for the month of July was 3,973.81 tons. 37% of that was delivered on the Veolia commercial contract, and 12% under the residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.1 million dollars. In the Water Fund, we have revenues of $43,205 and expenditures of $35,063; the water fund ended the month with a net again of $8,142. Water billed for the month was 7,513,000 gallons and the USDA bonds are current at $1,660,926. Cash on hand at July 31, 2010 shows the General Fund, (down $1 million from a year ago) at $5,283,403 the Landfill Fund, (down about $520,000) at $1,517,879, the revolving loan fund $261,179, the SPLOST Funds, (down about $1 million) at $2,340,073 and the Water Fund ended the month with $1,017,560 leaving us with a county wide total of $10,420,095 (down about $2.2 million from July 2009). In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of July 31st, we have spent $16.2 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with about $1.4 million to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Following that is the 2005 SPLOST Issue. July's distribution #54 of $342,981 brings our issue to date average down slightly to $352,795 and our total collections to date up to $19,050,932. As of July 31st we had spent $19,235,053. This month's distribution is up about $17,000 over the previous month and also up $48,000 over July of 2009. For the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, expenditures totaled $73,642 for the month of July. In LOST distribution, July's distribution is up about $10,000 over June 2010 and about $23,000 over July of 2009 and the average is up over what it ran for calendar year 2009. On the next page 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, 2010. We have a total of $2.1 million in outstanding balances; ten loans, five current, five remain delinquent and have been turned over to legal. In the revenue by fund and expenditures by department report for the first month of the fiscal year for all funds, the summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. Everyone should be within 8% of budget. Overall the General Fund ended the month at 6%, the Landfill Fund at 5% and the Water Fund at 6%.
APPROVE RESOLUTION FOR LOUIS PERLIS
Bob Evans and Monica Simmons met with Commissioners, and Mr. Evans advised that they had been looking for a way to honor Louis Perlis, who was born and raised in Cordele-Crisp County, and they found a way to do this with a Distinguished Citizen Banquet that they are going to hold on August 19th. It will be at Pine Hills Country Club, and invitations have been sent to the Commission, and they invite local businesses and industries to sponsor that banquet. He advised that Mr. Perlis has been involved in the community, most of the shopping centers around Cordele are a result in his investment and generates a lot of taxes for us, and he was also a long time volunteer with the Chamber of Commerce and served on several of their boards. He and his brother were involved in scouting in 1932, and he will be presented the Golden Eagle Award that night, and they would like to recognize him not only for his contribution to the chamber but he also has donated the property downtown for our education center. Also, several months ago he bought the Pine Hills Country Club property when it went up for action and kept that with local ownership and has made a sizable investment in that property to update it. Mr. Evans advised that they would like to declare August 19th as Louis Perlis day, and they would like for one of the Commissioners to come and present him with the Proclamation. They had sent Administrator Crapse a list of his accomplishments, and he has a Resolution ready but they are still adding to that, so if Commissioners could pass the Resolution, they would like to edit it and add some additional things to it. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis it approve a Resolution Honoring Louis Perlis and give the chamber the authority to add to his list of accomplishments and naming August 19, 2010 as Louis Perlis Day, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO CRISP/DOOLY JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Administrator Crapse reported that Roxie Bagwell had turned in her resignation on the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority, and we have advertised in the paper for her replacement. We received one letter of interest, Karen Merritt, who has been very active in our community, and he would recommend that she be appointed to that position. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Karen Merritt to fill the unexpired term of Roxie Bagwell on the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority, term expiring 5/31/11, and also send Mrs. Bagwell a letter of appreciation for her years of service on this Board, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, real estate, 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. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT TWO MEMEBERS TO MEET WITH TWO CITY COMMISSIONERS
Chairman Nance appointed Mr. Faircloth and Mr. Culpepper to meet with two City Commissioners to discuss the E-911 Contract.
DISCUSS SPLOST PROPOSALS
Administrator Crapse reported that this updated SPLOST proposal kind of came from the meeting they had the other day. He felt like this was an opportunity because he kept getting all the feedback and people saying "this was a community project ya'll got to work together", but nobody was talking about anybody but the county. Over the weekend he put this paper together as he thought it would be worth pointing out if the community really wants to participate: 1) The beginning point has to be that the cities have not been formally advised as you all haven't formally accepted anything, that would mean that the $1.625 million in county funding plus the $500,000 from the city making it $2.1 million would have to be accepted as what the Inland Port is going to get out of SPLOST, which is 85% of what they asked for; 2) It is important that IDA agree that any land that is purchased with SPLOST funds, if that land is sold, then that money is returned to the SPLOST fund; and 3) That the IDA agree that the taxes would not be abated on the properties within the intermodel center unless specifically approved by the Board of Commissioners on a case-by-case basis. Mr. Faircloth thinks the Commissioners need to sit down and work out an agreement with IDA on this, and maybe we need to sit down with representatives of all the entities involved in help getting these projects here.
CHANGE SEPTEMBER MEETING
By common consent, Commissioners changed the September meeting to September 16, 2010 due to Commissioners Nance and Mathis being out of town on the regular meeting day.
APPROVE ADMINISTRATOR CRAPSE'S CONTRACT
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve Administrator Crapse's Contract for one year beginning August 10, 2010, with a salary increase of $995. 00 to $96,000, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried with Mr. Faircloth voting no.
DISCUSS AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM AT RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Mr. Faircloth advised that for the past several weeks he has gotten calls about when did we decide not to do the After School Program, and his response was that he didn't know we had decided not to do it; come to find out, there have been people there with checks in hand and then they were told we were not having the After School Program. He remembers that there was something about a minimum of kids but again with the amount of people that have called him about that, and not all of them have had checks in hand, but the response has been that we are not having it this year, and he didn't realize that. He asked if the increase in the cost to participate in the after school program in line with what other day cares, and Mrs. Leverett advised that she thinks they checked and it is in line with other facilities. Mr. Faircloth advised that the problem he has is if we are suppose to have something, and then we put a minimum requirement on it, he hates to think that there would be someone there saying that we are not have the program because they don't want to have it. Administrator Crapse advised that if that is what he is getting, they don't know what they are talking about because we started the After School Program when school started, and everybody that signed up was told that there would have to be a minimum of twenty to continue to provide the program, up front before they signed up. We have nine paying customers, the schools were late sending out the notices to the homes, so we extended the period to the end of this week, so that people would have an opportunity to find other places. As far as he knows, there has only been one person that had an issue with that, but she was told beforehand that that would be the case if we didn't get that participation. We didn't get the participation, it was suppose to have ended and we extended it for another week, and no additional person has come in to sign up. Mr. Faircloth asked if he wanted him to get the twenty, take them down there, and would that fix the problem, and Administrator Crapse advised that twenty with twenty checks would fix the problem for the week until they don't come back the next week. Mr. Faircloth asked if the After School Program is already closed, and Administrator replied yes according to the guidance he received from the Board. Chairman Nance asked if we had only nine kids to sign up, and Mrs. Leverett advised that we had nine kids that paid. Mr. Mathis asked if the program required any additional staff, and the Administrator replied one for every ten kids. Mr. Mathis asked if we wanted to do another round of signs up by Friday, and give those people that have called another opportunity. Mr. Faircloth advised that if they have already made other arrangements, they are probably not going to move; he also stated that we do have people out there that are in business doing this, and he doesn't want to be competing against them. He also suggested putting a video recorder camera in the office at the Recreation Department to see what is being said to these people. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to extend the After School Program until Friday, August 13, 2010, and if we don't have the twenty, we will close the After School Program, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) He attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There were no new SPLOST Purchases approved this month; 3) The contractor has completed his work on the Meadow Park Sewer and closeout documents have been sent to the City & County. All that is left is acceptance by the City and the project will be complete; 4) We received the results of our Sales Ratio Appeal and it resulted in no revisions, The Sales Ratio Remains 35.73 which is out of the 36 to 44 window. We should be OK for 2009 due to the Legislative Moratorium. We are still subject to the 2008 penalty, which I understand the State will actively pursue collecting in the near future; 5) As you heard, SPLOST collection for June was again up just slightly to $342,982, which still drags our average down again this month. The only good news again is that it is the sixth month this year that we have been higher than the corresponding months in 2009; 6) On your table is a copy of the Request for Review and Comment on Draft Criteria for the Transportation SPLOST project list. Please look this over carefully so that I can put together a response for the Chairman's Signature; 7) The offices for the Commissioners to use should be ready to go by the end of the week; 8) Registration for the After School Program was insufficient to continue the program, so Friday will be our last day, we only got 9 which failed to reach our minimum enrollment of 20 to conduct this program. We were delayed because two of the schools did not send out the info until last Wednesday; 9) Registration for CCLO Football and Cheerleading goes through the end of this week, and Fall Soccer is ongoing through next week; 10) The Community of Character Trait for the Month of August is SCHOOL PRIDE, Keeping your school clean and pretty. Wearing school colors. Going to school events, like a football game. Proper delight or satisfaction in your school's achievements and status.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 11:16 a.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.