MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 14, 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 Faircloth gave the invocation, and the Administrator 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 of November 9, 2010, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTIONS AND LETTERS HONORING COMMISSIONER FAIRCLOTH
Administrator Crapse read a Resolution Commending Kenneth Bradley (Brad) Faircloth for his six-years of service as a member of the Board of Commissioners of Crisp County, which publicly thanked him for his unselfish service to the Board and the community. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Resolution Commending Kenneth Bradley Faircloth, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Nance gave Mr. Faircloth a Commissioner Pin and also thanked him for his dedication and support to the Board, and stated that he has enjoyed working with him, he will miss him, wishes him well as he goes on to bigger and better things, and his prayers are with him. Commissioners Culpepper and Mathis also thanked him for his service, had stated that they had enjoyed working with him and getting to know him. John Delves, representing Sam Olens, and Governor Elect Nathan Deal, brought sincere wishes to Commissioner Faircloth and along with Bob Butler who will be the Labor Commissioner, and also Gary Black who will be Agriculture Commissioner. He advised that in addition to the Resolution that was read by the Administrator, these two letters sum it up pretty much, as these two gentlemen wanted to extend a personal greeting to Brad as he departs to Florida. He read a letter from Governor-Elect Deal thanking him for his public service, and thanked him for his help in their successful campaign for Governor as whenever he came to this region, Brad was always there to welcome and assist them. He also read a letter from Attorney General Elect Olens stating that he was honored to have his support in his campaign and how seriously he took his responsibilities as Commissioner for Crisp County, and thanked him for his leadership. Mr. Delves, on behalf of all of those candidates, extends his sincere thanks to Brad, and he presented Mr. Faircloth with two signed books and the two letters. Mr. Faircloth thanked the Chairman and the Board members for their comments, the Resolution, and the people of Crisp County, and stated that he is very excited about the republicans that will take leadership in January. He wanted the people of Crisp County to know how much he has enjoyed serving them as it has been enlightening, has changed his life, it is a great honor to serve the people, and he looks forward to learning even more about public policy. Phil Berryman, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, presented Commissioner Faircloth with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Chamber Board, and thanked him for the service to their Board as well as to his service to this community. Administrator Crapse advised that since Mr. Faircloth was not going to be at the annual Christmas Dinner, they wanted to present him with a collage print of artist painting by Marylene Williams of the three Crisp County Courthouses; he presented copy #1 of 100 in a frame from the county. Administrator Crapse also presented a small gift for Mrs. Faircloth. Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, thanked Mr. Faircloth for the support that he has always given the public works department as well as the other departments throughout this county, and thanked him not only from a county but a personal standpoint for what he means to him.
AMEND AND READOPT THE OUTDOOR WATERING ORDINANCE
Administrator Crapse reported that during the 2010 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 370 was signed into law requiring all cities and counties to adopt outdoor watering ordinances to be in effect by January 1, 2011, and incorporating the provisions of the Water Stewardship Act. We already have an outdoor watering ordinance in the county so we have amended it to include the provisions of the Water Stewardship Act in Article III of that Ordinance. He recommends the approval of the amendment and adopt the Outdoor Watering Ordinance, effective January 1,2011. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to amend and readopt the Outdoor Watering Ordinance, effective January 1, 2011, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE FOR TAX COMMISSIONERS OFFICE
Administrator Crapse reported that Tax Commissioner Cricket Adkins is here today to request a technology upgrade in her office and the associated system that goes with it. The initial unbudgeted cost of the hardware will be $11,578 plus hardware maintenance cost estimated to be $925 a month, and the company, Manitron, has agreed to install the software in January, perform the data conversion, installation, training, and maintenance for a one-time cost of $17,720 and an annual maintenance cost of $7,800. He advised that they are checking to see the best way to pay for this if the Board approves it, and some of the options are county building SPLOST, general fund, a lease-purchase to ACCG or any combination of those, whichever is the most cost effective or the best for the county. If the Board approves the expense, it would be approximately $17,128 in January, and $40,520 in next fiscal year. Mrs. Adkins reported that she has been on the same system since she has been in office thirteen years ago, and the last upgrade she had was in 2004. She had hoped to put off another upgrade until this coming budget year, but she doesn't wish to do that any longer because she has experienced several trying days and all of November she worked every weekend and also most of the Thanksgiving holidays discovering an error that the system did not transfer over to the general ledger. It was the amount of the check that she had given the county on the 15th. Also, last year when the state auditor was down, they found two different errors that were not as extreme as this last one, but she asked the software company what had happened and they said it was probably just an electrical glitch on one and they weren't sure about the other error. She feels like this is needed right now because of the systems wear and tear and also because the current company sold to a foreign company. This new company that she would like to go to is based in Atlanta, and she has talked to several Tax Commissioners that have changed over to this system, and they are very pleased. She stated that if she had waited until next June, she probably would not be able to change over until January of 2012, as January is probably the best month for them to make a change. Also, Commissioners will be involved in the digest and budget, and that would not be good to go into a new system when we are in the middle of the digest or when she starts collecting taxes. She advised that the new system seems to be a more friendly operational type system and has several more checks and balances as far as reports than the system she is on now. She didn't realize that she was in need of a new system until after the budget for this year was approved. She has received a windfall as they have settled the appeal with CSX Railroad and have received $85,000, which is more than she needs, and she hopes Commissioners will consider this. She stated that they are 5% over tax collections at this time of the year from last year's collections. Chairman Nance commended Mrs. Adkins for the job she does, and stated that this is an unbudgeted item, and we will have to find a way to try to pay for it.
APPROVE PERSONAL PROPERTY AUDIT CONTRACT WITH TBS
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a contract with Traylor Business Systems, which is a standard requirements contract that we have had for several years, which means that there is a budgeted amount and the expense can't exceed that amount. The program is still paying for itself with the money recovered by doing these personal property audits of national, regional and local businesses, and he recommends the Board approve the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the personal property audit contract with Traylor Business Systems (TBS) and give the chairman the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE THE PASS-THROUGH OF CIP FUNDS TO IDA
Administrator Crapse reported that in the process of working on the SPLOST Resolution, Crisp County Power Commission approved a $1.5 million contribution to the Cordele Inland Port (CIP) for the purpose of purchasing land for the port. The first installment, which is the first 50 acres at $7,500 an acre or $375,000, must be paid by December 31, 2010 to keep the options in-tack. The Board needs to approve acceptance of these funds for their purpose and paying out of these funds to the Cordele-Crisp IDA for that purpose as well. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the pass through of CIP funds to the Cordele-Crisp IDA, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND BY TOMMY & PEGGY HAUESLER
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received a request for a tax refund from Tommy and Peggy Hauesler due to an incorrect assessment of a farm implement shed that was actually on another property. The verification by the Board of Assessors by memo from Chief Appraiser Tim Quick is in their packet, and he recommends the Board approve the refund in the amount of approximately $81.53 for the tax years 2007, 2008, and 2009 taxes as calculated by the Tax Commissioner. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the tax refund by Tommy and Peggy Hauesler in the approximate amount of $81.50 for 2007, 2008, and 2009 taxes as calculated by the Tax Commissioner, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS TO CLOSE OUT FY-2010
Mrs. Leverett reported that she has the annual "clean-up" of the FY-10 budget. She stated that these are things that are approved during the year, and we usually just do it formally at one time at year-end. She went over the summary which included the General Fund original budget was $14,342,045 and we are recommending an increase in that budget of $23,507 to $14,579,554, most of that is due to unbudgeted grant activity, but we were able to reduce the withdrawal from prior year surplus from $974,591 to $417,900. Others included the Law Library increase of $11,600 to $42,600; the Jail Maintenance Fund increase of $59,350 to $218,350; the DATEF Fund decrease of $4,300 to $20,700; the E911 Fund increase of $13,100 to $751,153; the CDBG 06 increase of $67,800; the CDBG 07 increase of $82,850 to $92,850; CDBG 08 decrease of $189,300 to $175,700; the Hotel-Motel Tax Fund decrease of $29,100 to $20,900; SPLOST 2000 Fund increase of $671,450 to $921,450; the SPLOST 2005 Fund a decrease of $1,579,900 to $2,173,600; the Water Fund increase of $22,050 to $412,550; the Landfill Fund decrease of $248,200 to $1,282,800; the CDBG RLF decrease of $46,350 to $26,150; the Asset Forfeiture Fund increase of $44,800 to $94,800. She stated that included all thirteen funds of the county, and asked for the Board's approval on the budget adjustments to make it official. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the budget adjustments to close out FY-2010, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that included in their packet today is a preliminary Financial Report as of November 30th for our three major funds. The General Fund is reporting monthly revenue of $767,994; YTD $3,552,383. Monthly expenditures totaled $1,088,137; YTD expenditures $5,076,617 leaving the General fund with about a 10% shortfall of $1.5 million at 11/30/10. We are beginning to see the gap between revenues and expenditures shrink slightly as our digest revenue begins to trickle in. As of this report we have collected about 8% of the 2010 Property Tax Levy. (Lagging slightly behind last year, was at 11% at 11/30). We need to continue our conservative approach to spending until the end of the year. Hopefully by then, most of the revenue from the 2010 property tax digest will be collected and that "shortfall" gap will close completely. Preliminary numbers for the Landfill Fund show revenue for the month at $118,887, YTD $614,418. Expenditures for the month were $107,565, YTD $477,053 leaving the Landfill Fund with a net income of $137,365 as of November 30th. The total tonnage of 3,491.37 was up from November 2009 by just over 800 tons. Of that total, 44% was delivered under the Veolia commercial contract and 15% under the Veolia residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $2.7 million. The new GEFA loan draw down to date is $1,386,152. In the Water Fund, we are reporting November revenues at $35,189; YTD $203,052. Monthly expenditures of $32,969 YTD, $192,677, leaving this fund with a net gain at 11/30/10 of $10,375. Water usage for the month was 4,974,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,649,517. The cash on hand at November 30, 2010 shows our county wide at $10.5 million. Of that $10.5 million, $3.7 million is reserved or designated for special uses such as capital outlay, debt service and customer deposits. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE, we have spent $16.6 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with a little over $1 million to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Following that is the same report for the 2005 Issue. November's distribution of $301,020 brings the total collections for this issue after 58 months to $20,011,392 and drops our average another $770 down to $345,024. To date, we have spent $19,480,924 on projects approved for this issue. Next is an updated bar graph on the SPLOST distributions. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for both issues. The total SPLOST disbursements for the month of November were $102,520. Projects benefiting were the Cities of Cordele & Arabi, Public Works, the Airport and County Buildings. November's updated LOST distribution report, which represents October retail sales, was down about 3% from November of 2009 but up about $200 from last month. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of November 30, 2010, we still have 11 outstanding loans with a total balance due at 11/30/10 of $2,159,367. Of those ten, six are current five are delinquent. The final report is a preliminary report of revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the period of July through November 2010. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. At the end of November, all departments and divisions should be within 42% of their annual allowances for expenditures. Overall, our three major funds ended the month as follows: General Fund at 35%, Water Fund at 30% and Landfill Fund at 43%.
ADOPTION OF THE CRISP COUNTY PRE-DISASTER HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a Resolution that formally approves the Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan that we did several months ago. The last time Commissioners approved this, it was to submit it to GEMA for approval, as Commissioners can't adopt the Plan until FEMA and GEMA approval. Since we have now approval from GEMA and FEMA, the Board can formally adopt the plan, and the key point is you have to have this plan to be eligible for federal funds if there is a disaster. Colonel Billy Hancock stated that on behalf of Sheriff Haralson he wanted to wish the staff and Board a Merry Christmas. He stated that this is a plan that we have spent a good bit of time on with Arabi, the City, the County, public works, and finance people, and this identifies what the possible hazards are in this community and rates those hazards that we possibly could have over the next five years in this community. It also identifies each and every critical structure that we have in this community. He stated that the Administrator had spent a lot of time with them working and identifying those and the money it would take to replace them should we have a natural or other disaster in this community. They have completed this information and River Valley Regional Commission has complied the statistical data that shows how often those events have happened in this area, when they might occur again, and what frequency. GEMA and FEMA have approved this plan, and now with Resolutions from this Board, the City of Cordele, and the City of Arabi we can move forward and this will put us in a place to request federal funding if we did have a disaster. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Crisp County Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Plan, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. The Administrator reported that over the course of the past few weeks, the Sheriff Haralson and Colonel Hancock took some grant funds that they had applied for and had available and have provided us with a lap top computer with windows 7 on it and also PA systems for the two ball complexes. They had those dollars available and asked it they could do that for the county, and he wanted to thank both of them for thinking about us. This is an on-going cooperation that we have enjoyed for many years that many counties do not have. Chairman Nance, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, also extended their Christmas wishes as well to he and the sheriff, and thanked them for all they do for the county.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) He attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There were two new SPLOST purchase approved this month, these were new carpet in the old Tax Assessor's office for about $2,200 and $16,000 in Road SPLOST. The GDOT approved four resurfacing projects under the LMIG program. We were expecting to receive approximately $298,000 this year. The four projects totaled $347,000 and the GDOT agreed to put in $331,000 this gave us an extra $33,000 so for the additional $16,000 we can complete all four projects and not fall short; 3) I e-mailed Buddy Harrison, DNR, last Tuesday the 7th for an update on the "Go Fish" project and to advise him that the Lake was soon returning to normal pool. He has not responded to date; 4) This month's letter from Mediacom announced 19 new HD channels; 5) As of today, there are 92 days until our 2012 SPLOST vote. We are going to have to talk it up and turn out the vote; 6) We had 37 responses to the ad for a CCLO Director, from as far away as Missouri, Iowa & Ohio. We have reviewed the resumes and identified 11 for interviews all from within Georgia. These will begin on the 20th we hope. I will get a schedule of interviews out to you as soon as they are set; 7) We have had two proposals regarding the landfill: we have been asked by EPA to feature our landfill at the 14th Annual Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) Conference and PROJECT EXPO, January 19-20, 2011. I have provided you a poster and a sample brochure like the one they would produce for our landfill. Essentially, they would be helping to market the landfill to perspective private developers. Secondly, we received an unsolicited proposal to manage and operate the landfill. The company is one that is in all aspects of the landfill business, and is also interested in the LFG. Sherrie and I had a preliminary meeting with them last week and they are clarifying several points that we asked them to be more specific. First, do you want to participate in the LMOP EXPO, and second, when we get the M&O proposal clarified we will schedule a work session to review it with you; 8) There will be 11 County Board seats to be filled next month for seven Boards. The Ad will run in the paper December 16th & 23rd. I included a copy of the ad at your place, with the Boards listed, so you will have a head start on the January meeting; 9) The Commissioners Christmas Dinner is Thursday the 16th at 6:30 at Daphne Lodge; 10) We received a personal Thank You card from John Watford at SGTC for the Boards contribution of $2,500; 11) As a reminder to all, December 20th is the last day to pay your County Property Taxes without a penalty, 7 days and counting; and 12) The Community of Character Trait for the Month of December is GENEROSITY, willing to give and share, unselfish.
CHANGE RECREATION DEPARTMENT'S NAME BACK TO CRISP COUNTY RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Commissioner Faircloth stated that several citizens have communicated to him their desire to have the Recreation Department known as it used to be as the Recreation Department, and as it is stated on the outside of the building "Crisp County Recreation Department" instead of the Crisp County Leisure Opportunities (CCLO). Also the Recreation Advisory Board has also voted on this issue. Chris Greene, Chairman of the Recreation Advisory Board, stated that was the wishes of the Advisory Board that it be changed back to Crisp County Recreation Department, and he thinks that is how they are referred to across the state anyway. Larry Felton, Advisory Board Member, also stated that he would like to see the name changed. Administrator Craspe advised that he didn't have a preference except from the money angle as we have a lot of money tied up in stationary, logos, shirts, etc. Commissioner Faircloth advised that the transition didn't have to be immediate; we can approve it in the minutes and as we replace things through attrition, we can change it at that time. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to change the name of the recreation department back to Crisp County Recreation Department, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Commissioner Faircloth reported that the Crisp County Airport Board is seeking permission from the County Commissioners to give approval to aircraft owners to erect their own personal enclosed aircraft hangers on the Crisp County Airport. The airport property encompasses 600 plus acres, hangars would have designated areas and be positioned not to interfere with aircraft traffic or other vehicles; guidelines for aircraft hangars will be instituted by the airport board and all hangars will be built to code specifications. Hangars that are abandoned or unused will become property of the airport. He said that the airport board would like to have permission to oversee that and have those personal hangars built there. He thinks that it is a great investment where you have people that have planes that would build their own hangars at no cost to the county, and if they ever leave, stop flying, or abandon the property, that property comes back to the county. Chairman Nance asked the Administrator what the process was, and he advised that the process is pretty simple but for some reasons he thinks the Board should defer that until after Executive Session, as there are some personnel issues involved in that.
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. Harris, 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.
MOTION REGARDING PRIVATE HANGERS AT THE AIRPORT
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to allow the Airport Advisory Board to oversee and have the opportunity to let private owners of planes be able to build their own hangars on the airport property, motion died for the lack of a second.
MOTION TO REQUIRE BOARD APPLICANTS TO SUBMIT TO BACKGROUND CHECKS NOT RECOGNIZED
A motion was attempted to be made by Mr. Faircloth to require applicants to board appointments to submit to a background check, and Mr. Harris seconded the motion; however, Chairman Nance did not recognize Mr. Faircloth to take the floor for the purpose of making a motion, therefore the motion was not properly made and could not be acted upon.
APPROVE TAX COMMISSIONER'S REQUEST FOR TECHNOLOGY UPGRADE
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to fund the request from Tax Commissioner Cricket Adkins for technology upgrade in her office with Administrator and Finance Director to work out the particulars on that, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12:00 p.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.