MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 9, 2010
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order, with Commissioners James D. Harris, 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. Veterans Day being a couple of days away, the Administrator read the Veterans Pray and then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance, and congratulated County Commissioner elect Clark Henderson, as Commissioners are looking forward to have him join them in January.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the minutes of the October 12, 2010 meeting, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FROM JERRY & BEVERLY SPILLERS
Chairman Nance reported that our first item of business is a Public Hearing for a Special Use Permit from Jerry and Beverly Spillers to locate a Kennel, Pet Grooming, or Training Facility in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property located at 2885 Drayton Road. He opened the Public Hearing. Connie Sangster, Planning Director, read the Review Checklist Standards. Ms. Sangster showed the aerial site plan and drawing of the proposed kennels. She stated that she has received three letters from adjacent property owners who have no opposition to this request. Chairman Nance asked for anyone to speak in favor of the request. Beverly Spillers advised that there is not a facility like the proposed facility located in this area that she is aware of, and the closest one she knows about is 25 miles away. The proposed building will be climate controlled with a 4' X 5' area for each of the animals with an automatic opening for a private 10' run area for exercise. She is an animal lover, she wants people to feel comfortable leaving their animals with her, and she would like to have it built, if approved, within 90 to 120 days. Cricket Adkins stated that she is a neighbor of the Spillers, she has no objection to this as everything they have done to their property has been top notch, and she knows from watching her with animals that those animals will be well taken care of. Chairman Nance closed the Public Hearing, as there were no other comments for or against the request. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Special Use Permit for Jerry & Beverly Spillers in an RR zone district, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FROM DAO V. PHAM
Chairman Nance reported that we have a Public Hearing for a Special Use Permit from Dao V. Pham (with the property owners authorization) to add 4 new Poultry Houses to 4 existing "grandfathered" Poultry Houses in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property located adjacent to 1073 Muller Road. He opened the Public Hearing. Ms.Sangster reported that the existing Poultry Houses were built in 1995, and at that time we did not have any restrictions on Poultry Houses. In 2000 we did add a little more restrictions on Poultry Houses in our Land Development Code. She advised that Mr. Pham has 10 acres now where the existing houses are, and he wants to buy an additional 10 acres for 4 more chicken houses. She read the Review Checklist Standards. Chairman Nance asked for anyone to speak in favor of the request. Dao Pham stated that he would like to be allowed to add four more chicken houses; he would be getting the chickens from Tyson Foods, and his neighbors agree for him to add four more houses. Ms. Sangster advised that if the Board does approve this request, we have strict requirements in our code that Tyson will also have to go by; Mr. Pham does not have that information with him, as Tyson did not provide that information to him. Robert Worley, the closest neighbor, stated that he does not have any problem with it; he has purchased the land from him, and so far, he has done a great job with the houses that are there. Wayne Moore advised that he owns all the property directly west of this property, and he has no problem with it. Mr. Pham does a good job, is a good neighbor, and he is totally in favor of it. Chairman Nance asked it there was any opposition to the request. Ms. Sangster read one letter in opposition of the additional four chicken houses from David W. Worley, who requests the denial of the new chicken houses. There were no further comments, so the Chairman declared the Public Hearing closed. Mr. Mathis commended both parties today of explaining to their neighbors and working out things so that everybody can be on the same page before they get to the meeting. Mr. Culpepper stated that the chicken houses would be 1,000 feet from the nearest residence. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to grant the Special Use Permit in an RR zone district to Dao Pham, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FROM BARBARA DYKES
Chairman Nance advised that we have another Public Hearing for a Special Use Permit from Barbara Dykes (with the property owners authorization) to locate a singlewide mobile home in an RS1 (Single Family Residential) zone district. Property located at 1802 Blackshear Trail Road. Chairman Nance opened the Public Hearing, and asked Ms. Sangster to read the Review Checklist Standards. Ms. Sangster read the Standards and advised that there was a photo of the mobile home and site plan in the Commissioners packet. Ms. Dykes is planning on putting vinyl siding and shutters on the home. Ms. Sangster stated that in the RS1 zone district, it does require that you have a stucco-type skirting; administratively she can make a decision if the area is mainly like this one that doesn't have a lot of home sites, but since she is having to get a Special Use Permit, if Commissioners approve it, she would like for them to allow the vinyl siding for the underpinning. She did talk with the property owner, and he has no objection to that. Chairman Nance asked for any comments for or against the request, there were none, so he closed the Public Hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to grant the Special Use Permit to Barbara Dykes in an RS1 zone district and make the skirting exception stipulated by Ms. Sangster, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE TAX REFUND FOR ROBBIE BRIGGS
Administrator Crapse reported that Robbie Briggs has requested a refund or credit on his property taxes due to incorrect assessment of a well, which did not exist. The verification by the Board of Assessors is in their packet along with a memo from Chief Appraiser Tim Quick. He recommends the Board approve a credit or refund for the 2010 taxes for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 as calculated by the Tax Commissioner. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to accept Administrator Crapse's recommendation and approve a credit or refund for the 2010 taxes for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 as calculated by the Tax Commissioner, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NO ADJUSTMENT MADE FOR GEORGE LYON TAXES
Administrator Crapse reported that George Lyon has requested a refund or credit on his property taxes due to a high assessment value in 2008. Mr. Lyon was sent an assessment notice for the 2008 taxes, but he did not appeal that assessment within the 45-day period as provided by law. In March of 2009, Mr. Lyon contacted the Board of Assessors about his 2009 taxes, and the value was reassessed for 2009. On October 25, 2010 Mr. Lyon requested a refund or credit for his 2008 taxes to the Board of Commissioners. Administrator Crapse advised that these documents are in their packet along with a memo from Chief Appraiser Quick. The Board of Assessors has recommended that no adjustment be granted for 2008 because no appeal was filed, and when Mr. Lyon contacted the Board of Assessors, he only questioned the value, which was not a valid reason for appeal. He did not contend that there was an error in acreage or square footage or failure to get a notice or anything of that kind. Administrator Crapse stated that he thinks what happened here is where Mr. Lyon's property is, all around him the land was being subdivided for residential property, by speculation his property was reassessed on the assumption that it would be subdivided and developed, which did not happen. In reality, he has no basis in law for a refund, but it is up to the Commissioners as to whether this is a circumstance that they believe he should be refunded the money for 2008. These are the things that go on every day with the Board of Equalization where people file an appeal within the proper time frame. He would recommend that the Board follow the recommendation of the Board of Assessors and make no adjustment. Chairman Nance stated that we have the statue already set, so he doesn't see any way we can get around that. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to accept the recommendation of the Board of Assessors and make no adjustment to George Lyon's 2008 taxes, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes a preliminary report of revenues and expenditures by fund for the four-month period ending October 31, 2010. General Fund revenues for the month of October totaled $853,478, while YTD reached $2,297,545. Monthly expenditures were $1,075,300, YTD expenditures $3,979,968. YTD expenditures are running about 12% ahead of YTD revenues at 10/31/10, over $1.6 million. We continue to rely on cash reserves to get us through this "dry" revenue season. The 2010 ad valorem tax revenue has begun to trickle in. As of this report we have collected about 6% ($316,000). Accrued Landfill revenue for the month totaled $124,110, YTD $484,292. Expenditures for the month reached $82,337, YTD $362,784 leaving the landfill with a net income at 10/31/2010 of $121,508. At 4,061.91, this month's tonnage was the most received since July of 2008. 815 tons over the previous month and over 1,000 tons more than October of 2009. 36% of this month's tonnage was delivered on the Veolia commercial contract and 11% under the Veolia residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $2.7 million and we have drawn $1,380,387 on the new GEFA Construction Loan. The Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $38,316 and YTD revenues of $167,400. October expenditures totaled $37,613, YTD $145,648 leaving it, also, with a net gain at the end of the period of $21,752. Water usage billed during the month of October was 5,808,000. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,652,381 million. Next is the cash on hand report. In the General Fund we has just over $4 million, the Landfill Fund, $1.2 million, the Revolving Loan Fund $220,741, the SPLOST Funds, $3.3 million and the Water Fund ended the month of with $1,113,100 giving us a county wide total of just over $10 million. Of that $10 million, $3.6 million is reserved for debt service or restricted to special projects. Next is the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE. As of October 31st, we have spent $16.5 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with just over $1million to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue. To date we have total collections of $19,710,375 and total expenditures for projects associated with this issue of $19,480,565. This month's contribution of $300,799, is the lowest received since Dec. of 2009 and dropped our monthly average over $6,000, down to $345,795. Total SPLOST disbursements for the month reached $339,592. Projects benefiting were, the CCSO, the Cities of Arabi & Cordele, County Buildings, the Courthouse, the Airport and Public Works. Just like the SPLOST, the Local Option Sales Tax month's receipt of $141,375 was the lowest since December of 2009. It fell 4% from last month and over 23% from September of 2009. 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. We have eleven outstanding loans with a total balance due at 10/31/10 of $2.1 million. Of those eleven, five are current and six are delinquent. Following that is a list of licenses issued; we issued six new regulatory fee permits during the month of October. The last report is a preliminary revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the period of July through October 2010. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. All departments and divisions should be within 33% of their annual allowances at October 31st. As of this report, the General Fund is at 28%, the Water Fund at 23% and Landfill Fund at 25%. Mrs. Leverett advised that if you average the last nine months of the SPLOST monies we have received, which is the current year, the average drops to $298,000 and if you multiply that times 72 months, that is $21.4 million which is considerably less than what we budgeted for the new issue. Administrator Crapse advised that the whole issue to date, 57 months, will generate $24,897,000 and the new SPLOST is $25,275,000, and in the last two months, the average has dropped by about 14%.
EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION DAY & DINNER ON NOVEMBER 18TH
Administrator Crapse reported that the first notable event of the holiday season is our annual employee appreciation dinner on November 18th at 6:30 p.m., and it is also the time of year that the Board officially authorizes the annual Christmas Bonus for employees. It is a budgeted item, and traditionally it is paid on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and he would recommend the Board approve that expenditure. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Christmas Bonus, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Commissioners advised that they do appreciate the job the employees do and are glad that they are able to do this at this time, even thought some other things have been cut. Administrator Crapse stated that he appreciate the fact that they have cut things like pay increases, but this is a big moral booster and this will go a long way for these folks to have a happy Christmas. This is really important to our employees, and they really appreciate it.
ADOPTION OF THREE RESOLUTIONS FOR SPLOST
Administrator Crapse reported that because these Resolutions for the SPLOST have to fall in a certain order, we need to record the time on these three items. The first one is the Resolution Authorizing the Intergovernmental Agreement that will be put in place to allocate the SPLOST resources. These documents have to go with our pre-clearance information to the Department of Justice, so that is why they have to be in a certain order. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the Resolution Authorizing the Intergovernmental Agreement at 10:06 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse advised that the next one is the adoption of the Intergovernmental Agreement; the Board approved this last meeting, but we are doing it again at this meeting so that things fall into the proper time sequence. This agreement lays out the $25,275,000 and how it is broken down among the community projects, Crisp County, City of Cordele, and City of Arabi projects. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement between Crisp County, City of Cordele, and City of Arabi at 10:08 a.m., seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse reported that the last is the Resolution that Imposes the 1% Sales & Use Tax, which has to be approved by the citizens before it can go into effect. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Resolution Imposing the 1% Sales & Use Tax at 10:09 a.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Crapse reported that he 1) attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There were three new SPLOST Purchases approved this month, all previously budgeted, and all rolling stock, which included two Deputy Vehicles and one maintenance truck; 3) Unfortunately, we had another vehicle totaled that I emailed you about on Friday. It was an older car so it will not bring much in Insurance. We should have enough money programmed in SPLOST to replace it, but with the "crash" in receipts, things are getting too close for comfort; 4) Trends are sometimes useful and sometimes scary. In the case of sales tax proceeds, they are scary because they are trending down for the second month in a row; down another 4% to $300,799 in SPLOST and $141,375 in LOST; 5) Another down trend also hit in the last month which was our Insurance Premium Tax was down and $17,000 short of our budget; 6) Yesterday, the Grand Jury approved a 25% increase in Jurors expense allowance from $20.00 to $25.00 per day. Last year we spent about $24,000 on Jurors, which means about a $6,000 annual increase or $3,500 for the remainder of this year, assuming a December 1, 2010 effective. IAW O.C.G.A § 15-12-7b, increases are subject to the approval of the Governing Authority of the County. Several things to consider, the Jurors expense allowance has not been increased since 1998; you have just heard plenty about the current year revenues are diving; due to the current situation the increase could be considered with next years budget; a smaller increase could be approved ($1 - $4); next year could be better or worse than this year. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve an increase in Jurors pay to $25.00 per day beginning July 1, 2011, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously; 7) I spoke with Buddy Harrison, DNR, on Tuesday the 2nd to get an update on the "Go Fish" project and to advise him that the Lake was coming down. He had no new information on the project or a projected start date, all he could say was that he was still "working on it"; 8) Mediacom is having yet another round of rate increases for Basic, Expanded and Total Family Cable; the increases are $2.00, $1.00 and $3.00 respectively; 9) It appears that the voters of Georgia have dealt transportation funding two more body punches. The first is rather obvious which was to defeat the multi year contract provision for transportation projects. This will lead, I fear, to even more bad legislation trying to fund projects, and certainly to higher costs. The second punch was the defeat of the Trauma Network funding mechanism indicating that the voters are fed up with taxing themselves. I believe this was just a preview of the vote on adding and additional one-cent sales tax for regional transportation projects; 10) As of today, there are 126 days until our 2012 SPLOST vote. We are going to have to work extra hard to assure its passage, because we don't even want to think about the alternative; 11) On the better news front, a grant applied for by Crisp County EMA has been awarded to Crisp County in the amount of $42,500.00. This will allow us to cover the cost of "rebanding" our VHF radios at little or no cost to Crisp County; 12) So far we have gotten a good response to the ad for a CCLO Director. So far I have received 9 résumés or letters of interest and several phone inquiries; the application period is open through November 30th. One résumé is from as far away as Guttenberg, Iowa; 13) The Employee Appreciation Dinner will be on Thursday, November 18th, at the CCLO Banquet Room at 6:00 p.m. The "Big Christmas Tree Lighting" will be on Tuesday, December 7th at the Government Center. And, the Commissioner's Christmas Dinner will be on December 16th at Daphne Lodge; 14) We received a Thank You card from the Chamber for the Boards support of the Public Safety Dinner, and a Thank You letter from SGTC Foundation for the Boards contribution of $2,500; and 15) The Community of Character Trait for the Month of November is HELPFULNESS. To be useful in helping others.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 10:30 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.