MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON SEPTEMBER 16, 2010
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order, 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. 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. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 10, 2010, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE 2011 - 2015 PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION PLAN AND MOU WITH RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMMISSION
Administrator Crapse reported that back in 2003 the Board adopted the 2004-2008 Pre-Disaster Plan; that Plan by it title has expired and this Plan, 2011-2015 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan, is an update that has been facilitated and published by the River Valley Regional Commission. He advised that without this agreement, we will not be eligible for federal disaster funds if we were to have a disaster; he recommends the Board adopt the Plan. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan for 2011-2015 and also approve the Memorandum of Agreement with River Valley Regional Commission, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE OFF SYSTEM SAFETY PROJECT AGREEMENT WITH GDOT
Administrator Crapse reported that this program was discussed a couple of months ago, and the formal agreement needs to be approved. They have checked it, it has been revised by the public works director, and he highly recommends the Board approve the Agreement. He stated that the Off System Safety Program is a fully funded state program that puts safety markings, signage, and raised pavement markings on highways that are county owned and county maintained but have a 55 mile or greater speed limit. The five roads that are covered are about 29.25 miles of road. They will come in and replace all the signs, stripe the roads, and put in the raised pavement markings all for safety reasons. He advised that this will be the third year this has been in effect, but we have only had one year completed because of funding. Also, by 2013 we have to replace all of our signs in the county with the new high reflective signs, which will be required by the federal government. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Off System Safety Project Agreement with Georgia Department of Transportation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
AGREEMENT FOR TRANSFER OF ENTITLEMENTS
Administrator Crapse advised that this agreement will transfer $150,000 from Crisp County's FAA account, which is held by Georgia Department of Transportation, to the City of Covington. They are FY07 funds that could not be obligated by the DOT for Crisp County, and the funds were going to be lost if we didn't obligate them. This is an agreement that obligates the funds and agrees to transfer those funds to the City of Covington, and then $150,000 will be returned from Covington's account in 2010 funds to Crisp County for us to use for our airport improvements. This is just a swap-off to be able to spend the federal money and not have to turn it back in. He recommends the Boards approval. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to sign an Agreement to transfer the Entitlements to the City of Covington, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT OF VOTING DELEGATE TO ACCG LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
Administrator Crapse advised that during the upcoming ACCG Legislative Leadership Conference only one member from each county could vote on the ACCG policies for the upcoming session of the General Assembly in January. Chairman Nance advised that he would be the voting delegate to the ACCG Leadership Conference this year.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the executive summary prepared for today's financial packet includes a preliminary report of revenues and expenditures for the County's three major funds for the first two months of the new fiscal year. Based on information submitted to date, for the month of August, we report revenues of $631,403 and expenditures of $1,005,143 bringing year to date revenues to $719,886 and year to date expenditures to $1,972,388. These figures leave expenditures exceeding revenues by around 9% placing the General Fund in a deficit position at 8/31/10 of $1,252,502. Although we consider the lag between revenues and expenditures somewhat normal for this window of our fiscal period, this is a deficit increase of about $350,000 over where we were at 8/31/09. Cash reserves should remain adequate to support daily operations as long as we continue to be conservative with our spending. Accrued August revenues for the Landfill totaled $118,304, expenditures $92,378. YTD accrued revenues reached $249,220 and expenditures $174,534 leaving the Landfill Fund with a net gain YTD of $74,686. This is up slightly, a little over $10,000, from 8/31/09 and can be attributed primarily to the increase in tipping fees at 7/1/10. The total tonnage received for the month of August was 3466.90 tons with 51% of that being delivered on the Veolia commercial contract and 17% under the Veolia residential contract. The average after two months is down about 100 tons from the first two months of FY 10. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $2.8 million dollars & we have drawn $1.3 million to date on the new GEFA Construction loan. The preliminary numbers for the Water Fund show August revenue at $47,152, expenditures at $31,755. Year to date revenues totaled $90,357, year to date total expenditures $67,982 leaving this fund with net gain after two months of $22,376. Water usage billed for the month at 8,217,000 gallons was up about 2 million gallons over August of 2009. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,658,085. Cash on hand at August 31, 2010 shows the General Fund at just over $5 million, the Landfill Fund, $1.6 million, the revolving loan fund $267,700, the SPLOST Funds, $3.1 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $1,054,538 leaving us with a county wide total at August 31st of $11,098,628. Of that $11 million, $3,387,409 is reserved or restricted for debt service or specific uses such as capital improvements. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of August 31st, we have spent $16.2 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.3 million remaining for projects associated with that issue. For the 2005 Issue, our 55th (of 72) monthly distribution of $346,264 brings our total receipts to date under this issue to $19,397,197 and drops our monthly average another $100 down to $352,676. To date we have spent $19.3 million on projects budgeted under this issue. The final SPLOST report included is the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for both issues. Projects benefiting from the support of SPLOST dollars for the month of August were the Government Center, The City of Arabi, The City of Cordele, The Airport, County Public Works, Public Safety and the Sheriff's Department. Next is an updated spreadsheet on our Local Option Sales Tax receipts. This month's receipt, representing July retail sales of $162,744 is up about 1% over the previous month and shows and increase of about 5% over August of 2009. Following that is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of August 31, 2010. We added one new loan, $60,000 to the IDA, bringing our total outstanding loans up to eleven with a total balance due of $2.3 million. Of those eleven, six are current and five remain delinquent. The last report is a preliminary report of revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first two months of the new fiscal year. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of this report, the General Fund was at 14%, Landfill Fund at 12% and Water Fund at 11%.
Phil Berryman, 2010 Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce Chairman, acknowledged that the Commissioners have spent a lot of time and effort in the SPLOST discussions thus far, and recognizes the difficult job they have in making those decisions. He advised that they do have a lot of support for a couple of projects, the Inland Port and the permanent home for higher education in downtown Cordele, which will house the Darton College campus. Darton College is in their temporary home in the Industrial Park, and they are out of room, and they know that we have a SPLOST budget coming up where we have an opportunity to try and provide a permanent college campus. In tying into that we have the downtown business district that everybody knows has been decaying for years, and they don't see a better opportunity than this particular opportunity to enhance that and stimulate that growth while providing a great resource for our generations to come. He advised that with our Inland Port, everyone is aware that there are other communities that are starting to catch on to this thing and starting to move in some of those same directions. We have a port that is going to be open and operational in a couple of months but with the way that thing was originally thought through and planned, there is a lot of additional funding that is needed to make it fully where it can grow and expand and in five to fifteen years be able to handle all businesses that will be going through it. We see those limited windows, and for that reason we have a lot of interest in seeking whatever we can through SPLOST funding preferably, and obviously if not whatever alternate funding we got, just to make sure these projects do in the next few months become permanent and funded fully so that they can become a reality for this community. Wayne Martin, Executive Director of Crisp Regional Hospital, complimented Commissioners on how thorough they have been in looking at this and thinks that when we get through, we will have done everything that we can do to make the decision about whether or not this is a good thing for us; we know it is a good thing for us once you get past the money. We do feel like the hospital is a very important part of the community with an annual gross patient billing of $130 million, they collect about one-half of that, and they don't turn anyone away that needs help. They are prepared for the future, they have adequate space, and as good equipment that you would find anywhere you go, but they constantly need health care workers, and to have a school like Darton here would be a boost for the personnel requirements that they have. He advised that if they don't have enough nurses, they have to bring traveling nurses in, that concerns them because they are not always oriented to their hospital, plus they pay them about 1 1/2 times what they pay their nurses. Darton College has done such a great job in allied fields of nursing, and if we get Darton, it would certainly be a boost for their hospital and the entire community. Also, these two projects would do Cordele and Crisp County what the SPLOST did for the hospital, as we would never have been able to get where we are without that SPLOST. This was the first SPLOST that was passed in Crisp County, and they have never had to come to the county in the 24 years he has been here and asked for help to run the hospital. The county has been very good to them, supported our bond issue, and provide the money to make the ambulance service break even, buy the ambulances and medical equipment and pay the salaries, that has been a good partnership over the years, and we really appreciate that. With the number of jobs and good insurance both of these create, he thinks the revenue at the hospital would increase. He stated that with these two projects, how many other counties in Georgia would like to be faced with the problem that we have now. Mr. Martin stated that they are so strongly in support of it, they will participate at the level and maybe even more than that level of the budget Mr. Crapse passed out at the last meeting, and they are open to other things that they may can do. Paul Meckler, representing Marvair, stated that they employ approximately 150 people, and thanked Commissioners for the opportunity to express their support for Inland Port and the higher education facilities. He said he understands how difficult it is to try to figure out how to spend money when there are such limited resources, and in these tough economic times, there is no doubt in his mind that the best use for tax dollars is for projects that create jobs and educate people to fill those jobs. It seems that this will provide those additional tax revenues in the future to support the many additional needs that the county has in this growing budget. They are looking for support for the Inland Project as they expect within the next five years that over 25% of their business will be export through the port to such places as China, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia, and the port will help reduce their cost in a very competitive worldwide market. Marvair is 100% committed to made and manufactured in America. They feel that the Inland Port in supporting their expenses and helping hold down their costs will give them a unique opportunity to build products and sell to China rather than buying everything from China. In order for that to happen, we need the infrastructure to be in place, and there is a need locally to provide a portion of the infrastructure, and at the same time, they are looking for financial support for higher education. He has experience in how important education is when the economy is in the shape it is in now, and anything we can do to further people's education will make them more employable. He stated that the state and federal grant applications that are in place are critically important to this program, but they really focus on infrastructure outside of the county, like rail structure, between here and the port; he believes it is our obligation if we are going to be successful in this program to help support it by providing the local facilities we need to let the port go forward. He encouraged Commissioners to please consider any way to get the maximum number of dollars to get this completed. We need this immediately. Commissioner Faircloth stated that we have an opportunity on this decision to not only literally change the face and makeup of Crisp County where we no longer have to be in the top part of this state in those negative categories from STD's, teenage pregnancies, and infant mortality rates. Mr. Berryman advised that his primary business is Plant Manager of Helena Industries, and they have seen a great increase in import and export work, and ever since the Inland Port opportunity has come up, every customer that has come in either has already recognized that by their research on the internet or either they were greatly interested in it when they marketed it, and they see great benefits to their business. He advised that they have around 114 employees with a structure to grow, and he has people within their plant that really could advance their careers where they are today if they had better education to build upon that. He stated that there is a lot of questions as to how the higher education facility will be funded and how it will run once it actually get built. Our job as a county is to build the initial building, then the Board of Regents has it in their minutes that they will take this project over, and they have a commitment from Darton College that they will take it over from the administrative standpoint, very similar to what they are doing now, except now we are actually covering some of the operational costs, but they are going to take it over fully once we build it. When we get the building built, then the additional expansions and growth of that campus will be the responsibility of Darton College and the Board of Regents. He stated that he had a petition of signatures asking the Commissioners to please find funding in the SPLOST budget for these two projects. Chairman Nance thanked Mr. Berryman, Mr. Martin, and Mr. Meckler for their passion, time, and efforts for the community, appreciated the comments, and projects of this magnitude certainly require public and private partnerships. He advised that there is no Commissioner here that doesn't value and understand the significance and importance of the projects as that is why they spent time in Washington D.C. trying to lobby our congressman as well as obtain some funding and grants to advocate these projects. Commissioner Mathis stated that he doesn't know why everybody thinks that the Commissioners and Administrator are against these projects, what we have to do is try to manage the funding and get all the numbers balanced, plus achieve funding from businesses like the hospital and people as those commitments are welcomed and help further these projects. We want to put as much money into it as we can, but also retain as much SPLOST as we can for operating the county and city budgets. We are in tune of what is going on here, and thinks they will respect the fact that ya'll elected us to look after the money and try to do the best job as possible in making all of this work out. He stated that this shows that ya'll are dedicated to this community, and he appreciates them coming to show the visible support. Commissioner Faircloth said he heard what the message is coming from the community, that they want to see these projects done, you want to see us take action, you don't want to hear lip service, you don't want to hear how we appreciate you, you want us to take action and make this happen. Administrator Crapse advised that for those who really think he is against this project, he is going to invite them to join him as he had a personal check for $1,000 made out to Darton College Downtown Fund and placed it in a cup on the table, and advised if anyone wants to leave their check, please join him in putting in a check or pledge as this is going to take everybody to help. He stated that we have talked about private, public, and corporate donations, so he is not the first person to do that, as the hospital was the first to do that both on a corporate and personal level. This can be done, we can make this money, we can put together the plan to make it happen but we all need to work together, we are not against this at all, we want to see it happen, but there are other important needs in our county. Commissioner Faircloth asked what would be the problem of taking $7 or $8 million of the SPLOST and setting it aside for debt service and doing a GO Bond, as with a GO Bond, the public would have to vote on it and it will be a public buy-in on that, but it doesn't get any better writing a check than going to vote, it is their property tax that we are talking about. You will have the debt service for seven or eight years on the bonds so that we don't have to raise millage on the people during that time of up start, and in six or seven years this project is up and running and our SPLOST and LOST revenues will increase, he believes. We can do $12.5 million in bonds over fifteen years for 3%, and we could have that money to service the debt and still don't have to raise millage. Administrator Crapse advised that a GO debt is always problematic when the citizens are backing the money, once it becomes GO debt, then the Board has no choice but to support the millage rate to pay that debt. GO debt is an opportunity, but that is another request for money that is going to have to go on the ballot, which will also include the current SPLOST, Transportation Regional SPLOST, and the School System's 1%. Administrator Crapse stated that he also got some initial figures on a six and a fifteen year bonds, there is a lot of overhead in a bond, but he is not saying it can't be done, but he believes it is better if we pay cash. Chairman Nance asked what is the maximum amount we can borrow regarding bonds, as he knows we have the hospital bond, and Administrator Crapse advised that is depends on the digest and things like that, but it is close to around $20 million. Commissioner Faircloth said he could assure them that if this Board does not allocate the SPLOST money the way this community wants, you can just about count it dead because there are a thousand signatures out there that can put this thing down. Chairman Nance advised that he hopes we won't get in that situation like Bibb County. Bill Griffin asked if there was a money preference between Darton College and the port, and how would an individual make a contribution. The Administrator advised that they are asking people to make donations within their means, and the purpose of that is to open a special account and put those dollars in there so they will be available to help pay for this thing specifically, Darton College. Commissioner Mathis advised that one difference is that Darton College is going to be a building that we will somehow create funding for through SPLOST or whatever, and Darton is not going to pay us rent so it won't be a revenue swap off to return money back to the county. We hope with the Inland Port that there will be enough revenue generated with that infrastructure to offset any money that may be spent on this. Commissioner Faircloth stated that he thinks the LOST money that is going to be created by both projects is going to more than pay for themselves just in Local Option Sales Tax, so the fact that we are talking about trying to raise $10 million from the citizens of our county when we already have SPLOST and revenue to do it is an attempt to delay this project and bring it to a point where we cannot go forward as timing is of the essence on this project, and we need to go ahead and get assurance and a plan in place. Bob Evans, Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, stated that Darton College has a foundation and if people want to make a tax-deductible contribution designating it to the Crisp County Center, they can do that and it will help this project. He advised that what they need is a firm commitment for funding of these two projects by Crisp County in conjunction with the City of Cordele so that they can move forward; they have applied for grant money thru USDA and five other entities, and any money that they get from these grant applications will go into this project and will be SPLOST tax money that will not have to be spent. They can't move forward without this Commission making a firm written commitment that they are going to fund this thru SPLOST or grants or other means so that we can go forward. Mr. Evans advised their budget is $12.9 million, $10 million for Darton and $2.5 for the Inland Port project, which is about 1/2 of the SPLOST allocation. Other funding for other things like Health Department, Recreation and all these other things need to be considered and how they can be funded but we want to make a firm commitment that upfront the top two commitments for this SPLOST are these two projects. We have been talking about this for almost a year, and the last proposal we received from Mr. Crapse is about 30% funded of what we asked for of the projects, we are so far apart and yet we have not had a commitment. Chairman Nance reported that their has not been a plan from the Commissioners to get involved with SPLOST until recently, because initially there was suppose to be grant funding to help fund these projects. Commissioner Faircloth advised that with the $12.5 million bond and the GO debt, we have to have a commitment there, then it is on the community to go out and make this thing happen, and you also have a commitment on the SPLOST from the citizens; you have the money set aside for debt service so that you don't have to raise millage. Mr. Meckler advised that they are anticipating 3,000 jobs over the next five years, and all the families, tax revenues, sales tax expenditures, and payroll taxes will really blossom and multiply in itself as the jobs start coming, not to mention the quality of life in the community. Administrator Crapse advised that there are only two windows a year we can vote on the SPLOST referendum, in March and in November, and if we have it in November our current SPLOST would end on December 31st and we wouldn't be able to start the new SPLOST until the first of April as the SPLOST has to be approved at least one full quarter after the passed referendum. A GO Bond issue can be held in conjunction with any other election. Commissioner Faircloth asked if the committee could work with the March time frame if this Board approved that plan of action, and Mr. Evans replied yes, we just need a firm commitment from this Board. Commissioner Culpepper advised that this group elected them to be the stewards of the taxpayer's money, and as elected officials we have to watch out for the taxpayer's and others money as well; please bear with us as we want this to happen but we are trying to do our due diligence and try not to make hasty decisions. He has lost a lot of sleep over this but he does see things are picking up in sales tax revenues, and he hopes they continue to improve, but please be patient with us as we are not against it, we are just trying to do what you have asked us to do. Commissioner Faircloth stated that he understands the uneasiness of it and we are elected to make decisions, sometimes they are tough decisions and or not easy decisions, but you still have to have the courage to make them, you can't put them off and we have been in these discussions for quite some time. We've had these plans, the reason we haven't been able to come to a resolution and conclusion is because they have been waiting for some magic money to fall out of the sky or we gonna think were going to get it. Let's go ahead and put this plan into place then we can lobby anybody we want to lobby, let's get something we can build on and move forward with this without having to put this off and wait for people to get good and comfortable to make a good tough decision. Chairman would you accept a motion to move forward with this plan and setting aside the $8 million in SPLOST and $12.5 million GO Bond to take it to the people for a vote. Chairman Nance advised that he would not entertain a motion today, and if we put all of the energy, brain power with the intelligent and educated folks in this room imagine if we all worked together on trying to figure out a way to try to do these projects; Commissioners are committed to that and he doesn't want to hastily make a decision, but we are going to do what is in the best interest of our community. Without the opportunity to study the proposal that is before them, he will not entertain a motion on this today, and he would like the Board to get together for a work session with further analysis and discussion on this. The Board will need to set some priorities so that we kind of figure out and look at some areas that we can reassess first, so that we can make a decision on this; we know time is of all importance. Mr. Perlis advised that what he seems to have heard this morning is that this group seems to be asking the county to approve this process regardless of whether it is raising taxes, SPLOST, whatever funds are available, but what they need is a commitment from you all now so that they can be proceeding while you all decide which way it will be, they are asking you to commit irregardless. Chairman Nance advised that he will not entertain a motion today, we have a plan and we will work on it. Others in the audience stated that delaying on this matter would enhance the perception in this community that the Commissioners and Administrator oppose these two projects and they need to act now; Commissioners advised that is not correct. Chairman Nance advised that our SPLOST has already been itemized, and the Board is going to have to make the decision of how to restructure this. Administrator Crapse advised that the Board has sent a letter to Washington, D.C. signed by every Board member, every member of the Board of Education, all the Constitutional Officers in the County, and every member of the City Commission giving our support to the project, but you need to let these folks do their job and figure out how to pay for it. Commissioner Faircloth advised that a community meeting we listened to the Higher Education Committee ask us to find a way, he went and found a way that this can work, there is a plan here to set aside $8 million in SPLOST with a $12.5 million GO Bond debt. With $8 million set aside for debt service, that makes this plan work. Administrator Crapse advised that is not appropriate to bite off something like this without the review of the staff of this county as any plan needs to be reviewed with people who have experience in finance and bonding before we jump out and say we are going to do it. Chairman Nance stated that we have two good viable projects here, and we have an opportunity to really change the landscape for this community for years to come. Greg Turton asked if these two projects were the two top priorities for the Commissioners, and Commissioners agreed that they were a high priority. Commissioner Mathis stated that we are going to look at some hard figures and when we vote it will be something you can take to the bank, it won't be just a nice gesture. Mr. Meckler said to remember the passion of this community because it is going to require re-prioritizing where that SPLOST money goes to as there are many real and needy places to put it, but the community is saying number one and number two are these two projects. Chairman Nance advised that Commissioners would have to look at projects that we may be able to change around and the date we need to have a plan in place is by October 31, 2010. Richard Grogg stated that the community wants to hear that the Board supports the project for the amount requested and you can figure out how to pay for it in a work session, that is what the community wants to hear. Chairman Nance advised that is the purpose of a work session. Susan Leger-Boike stated that if this has been in discussion for over two months, why are they not prepared to make a motion to support it. Chairman Nance advised that this is the first time today that they have seen the bond proposal, and everybody on this Board is committed to making this community a better place. Commissioner Culpepper stated that Commissioner Faircloth and Trea Sims have worked on this bond proposal, and he is the only other Commissioner that has seen this proposal, it is a good proposal but that is the reason we are asking for a little more time to make our decision. Chairman Nance thanked all in the audience for coming, and advised that the Commissioners are committed to looking at these projects.
DISCUSS PARTIAL SETTLEMENT ON LANDFILL CONTRACT
Administrator Crapse advised that Charles Jones, Landfill Attorney, is coming today to discuss the landfill contract but is in court this morning and will be here as soon as he can. He advised that the bonding company, Merchants Bonding Company Mutual, has offered a partial settlement on the landfill contract. They have agreed to pay the difference between the price of the new contract and what we still have on hand to be paid out. Whatever we have left, if is $600,000 left on that contract, then they propose to pay us $544,871 to hire Peed Brothers to complete the contract, and then Peed Brothers would have their own bonding company. The sticking point now is that we have $500 a day liquidated damages in there, we have suffered damages and they have offered us $75,000 for our liquidated damages. The amount of liquidated damages we asked for was $174,000 in accordance with the $500 a day, and they are balking on paying that amount. Alec Newsome came in to see him yesterday, as he sold the sand to Folsom Construction, and he never got paid for it. We can't pay him for the sand that was not delivered, but for the sand he delivered on site will need to be paid for by the county out of these liquidated damages we receive. The other thing is that we don't know in the $544,871 if that includes the additional cost for the environmental work that had to be done and additional testing through the end of this contract. He advised that the testing was set up so that both contracts could run concurrently, so now that the projects are not concurrent, there will be additional engineering work that has to be done separately. They are not sure how much of that is included in their offer of $75,000. We haven't waived the liquidated damages, and theses damages still stay open to negotiation once the contract issue is settled so that we can get the work to go on out there. Mrs. Leverett advised that she has received a call from GEFA because we hadn't had any activity on our loan, and we have already passed the due date on the closeout of the loan. She advised that GEFA has pretty much demanded that we submit a new construction schedule. Administrator Crapse reported that we need to negotiate a reasonable compromise between $75,000 and $174,000, as the project is only about 24% complete. He would like Mr. Jones here before the Commissioners make a decision.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) He attended several meetings and events this month; 2) There was one new SPLOST Purchases approved this month it was a deputy vehicle to replace one that was wrecked, $15,440 after the insurance check; 3) The unbudgeted Defense Counsel Expenses to date paid to Attorney Jeffrey Grube for the Roger Lloyd case are $16,711.70. This is a 1994 Death Penalty Case appeal that was referred to a Senior Judge in Warner Robbins, he is ordering the payments, and there could be a lot more bills forthcoming; 4) As you heard, SPLOST collection for June was up again a slight bit to $346,264 ($3282), which still drags our average down again this month. The only good news again is that it is the seventh month this year that we have been higher than the corresponding months in 2009. LOST was also up $1543, to $162,774; 5) The "Go Fish Georgia" mega-ramps project will hopefully move forward again soon. We have a meeting with DNR on the 21st to determine where we can best spend the remaining $250,000 in State funds for the project. We think that the money can best be spent on the catwalks and other docks that will allow the ramps to be most useful. We will get more for the money if we can get the work done while the lake is down for the biannual draw down, and the parking area is deferred for now. We can always deal with the shore side amenities later, if the waterside is "tournament ready"; 6) Prior to the Washington Fly-in we were able to get support letters signed by 100% of the County Commission, the Cordele City Commission, the Board of Education and Constitutional Officers plus the Chief Magistrate. Also we sent out letters requesting funding assistance to the IDA, the UIDC, the Chamber, the Hospital Authority, the Power Commission, the Board of Education and the Cordele City Commission; 7) The GDOT Discretionary Fund Estimates on funds returned to local governments from the Regional Transportation Sales Tax have been released. The numbers look better than I expected, however, the numbers have more disclaimers and caveats than you can shake a stick at; and of course the word "Discretionary" means that the funds nor the formula are guaranteed by the Constitution, but subject to the discretion of the Georgia General Assembly. Nevertheless, beginning in 2013, the sales tax proceeds are estimated to be $917,398 for Crisp County, $12,938 for Arabi and $214,271 for Cordele, for a grand total of $1,144,607. This means that approximately 27.5% of the money collected in Crisp County will be returned to Crisp County, plus whatever "Regional Projects" are approved and funded in Crisp County; 8) We got good news from DCA; the 2010 CDBG for drainage improvements in Omar Heights has been funded in the amount of $500,000; 9) CCLO Football and Cheerleading Opening Ceremonies are this Saturday the 18th at 10:00 a.m. on Cason Field. Fall Soccer Opening Ceremonies are Thursday the 30th at 5:30 p.m. at the Youth Ball Complex. Come on out and enjoy the fun and games; 10) The Community of Character Trait for the Month of September is SELF CONTROL, To control the way you act. The control of your actions and emotions.
DISMISS LEISURE OPPORTUNITIES DIRECTOR
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to dismiss the Leisure Opportunities Director, as his services are no longer needed, seconded by Mr. Culpepper. Chairman Nance advised that we couldn't discuss personnel in open session, and he would like to do that so everyone would know what the issues are. Commissioner Faircloth also advised that we need to have a written policy on the background checks as far as coaches that Brockey Brock is requiring. There are people that he has approached and asked to resign from coaching, and Saturday is opening day, and if there was an issue on a background check of anyone of the coaches, it should have been dealt with long before now. We have seen this before with kids that were on an all-star team and practiced through the time and then they were told at the last minute that they couldn't go to the all-star game. It is total chaos. Bruce Harris, coach at the Recreation Department, stated that he signed up his five year old up for flag football this year; the season went on for two weeks, and his son hadn't received a call from a coach to let him know what team he was on but he know they were having problems finding coaches. He called the Rec Department and found out he was on a certain team. His wife took the son to practice and when she got home she told him that he was playing with the three and four year old team. The next week, they received another phone call saying that he was on a team with the five and six year olds. The son went to the next practice, and his wife told him that he had gotten knocked on his rear six or seven times as the coach lined them up and made them hit each other. He said that is not part of flag football, and he is upset because that is a safety issue, as they do not have pads on. He called Michael Pomirko and told him the problem about the coach and evidently he hadn't been supplied the rules, and his son did not want to go back. He was told that he would get the intern to go down and talk to the coach after the next practice. The next practice his wife said the intern rode by on the golf cart and never stopped. He made another phone call to Michael and told him his son was not coming back to flag football because of the safety issue, and he would like his money back. He is asking Commissioners for his $50 back, and the Commissioners need to investigate what is going on at the Rec Department because it is not being run right. Chairman Nance thanked him for his comments.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, legal issues, and real estate, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, 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.
PEED BROTHERS TO ASSUME ORIGINAL CONTRACT AT LANDFILL
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth, based on the recommendation of the Landfill Attorney, to allow Peed Brothers to assume the original contract at the Landfill and complete the work at the price they submitted and authorize the chairman and administrator to sign the paperwork contingent upon the quantities being there provided by the engineer, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
ASK FOR BROCKEY BROCK'S RESIGNATION
Commissioner Faircloth rescinded his motion he had made earlier regarding the dismissal of the Leisure Opportunities Director, and Commissioner Culpepper also rescinded his second on the motion. Commissioner Faircloth made a motion to ask that Brockey Brock be asked for his resignation as Crisp Leisure Opportunities Director, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 12:52 p.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.