MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JUNE 14, 2011
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order, with Commissioners A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson 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 Mathis welcomed all in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of the May 10, 2011, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE WATERMELON DAYS PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse read the Watermelon Days Proclamation proclaiming June 3rd through June 25th, 2011 as "Watermelon Days in Cordele, Georgia", that honors the watermelon, watermelon growers and brokers and its economic impact on Cordele and Crisp County. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt the Watermelon Days Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DENY REQUEST FOR TAX PENALTY & INTEREST RELIEF TO SAIF ULLAH & MOHAMMAD CHEEMA
Administrator Crapse reported he has received a request from both Saif Ullah and Mohammad Cheema for relief of penalty and interest on taxes; he sent the request to the Chief Tax Assessor and has also talked with the Tax Commissioner. The Tax Commissioner recommends disapproval of the request, and the Assessor's say that the property owners are responsible to make sure that the right address is on record, but because they don't have the authority to act, they have no recommendation. Administrator Crapse advised that there is no foundation for relief just because they had a wrong address on file or that they didn't know there were property taxes in the United States of America, so he doesn't think that is grounds for relief of penalty and interest. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to deny the request for tax penalty and interest relief to Saif Ullah and Mohammad Cheema, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CRISP COUNTY FIRE RESCUE RESPONSE POLICY
Fire Chief Ray Lunsford requested to alter the run procedure in the northern part of the county right above the city for medical calls. He advised that several years ago they started responding with the EMS to assist them in medical calls so that they could get to the patients, keep them alive, give CPR, take vital signs if the need too, and give comfort while the ambulance was getting there. In this particular portion of the county the EMS gets there before they do, and for safety reasons, like running through town with lights and sirens plus cut back on economics, such as fuel, he is asking that they discontinue the runs in the northern part of the county for about a two mile spread above the city. He has worked this out with the EMS, as they can respond a lot faster than they can, he thinks it would help us, and he doesn't think the citizens would see any difference at all as for as the medical care. He advised that anytime the EMS is busy and need their assistance, they will still be running; also anytime there is a vehicle accident or anything else that is gong on, they will still be running, this is just medical calls. He stated that once we have a station on the northern side of the county, we could probably help them again with medical calls as far as responding ahead of the EMS. Administrator Crapse advised that it is not the whole northern part of the county as we have the Hwy. 280 station that can go north in that area, and we have the Dorough Road station that goes north in that area, this is just a small window which from the location of the ambulance and the location of the fire stations, the ambulance gets there faster than we do anyway. It is providing no benefit to the citizens or to the county in that limited area. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve Fire Chief Lunsford's recommendation to discontinue about a two mile portion of the county right above the city limits for medical calls unless need by the EMS, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT CRISP COUNTY RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD BY-LAWS
Eric Bozeman, Crisp County Recreation Department Director, asked for approval of the Crisp County Recreation Advisory Board Bi-Laws. He stated that two months ago he submitted the Bi-Laws to the Recreation Advisory Board, they reviewed them for a month, and last month they approved the Bi-Laws and unanimously voted to submit them to the Commissioners for approval. They felt like it was real important to come up with a set of Bi-Laws to be clear about what their powers, duties, and goals were in relation to the Recreation Department. He advised that they felt like they have come up with a solid set of Bi-Laws that everyone can work with, Administrator Crapse has reviewed them, and also the Advisory Board Chairman, Chris Greene, would have loved to be here today but he is out of town. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Crisp County Recreation Advisory Board Bi-Laws, seconded by Mr. Culpepper and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Bozeman advised that they are very busy at the Recreation Department as they are in the middle of their softball camp that is going on through Friday, they have several adult fitness classes, senior classes, free play gym is going on Monday thru Thursday, both pools are open until the end of summer, next week they will have two GRPA district tournaments for 8 and under boys and girls, and the entire month of July they will be registering for their fall activities such as football, soccer, cheerleading. He advised that they started a zumba class last week and there were 50 ladies in the first class, they have a ladies toning class and hand drums class that have been going on several years, senior aerobic class, and pageant prep class. Mr. Henderson advised that the Recreation Department adds to the quality of life in Crisp County, it is so nice to see what is happening at the Recreation Department, and glad to have him here. Mr. Culpepper thanked him as he is dedicated to what he does and it shows.
DISCUSS WATER IN THE COUNTY
Administrator Crapse reported that he has asked Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, to talk about water as if seems that we have had a rash of wells going dry in the county, and the static water level on the county's wells dropped twenty feet due to the drought and the added condition of the number of irrigation wells that are running. We are not in any danger in our public wells as our wells are deep, but there are a lot of private wells that are beginning to go dry. Mr. Gamble reported that he has had several inquires in the last few days and they have had five new taps paid for, four applications mailed to individuals, and some meters that need to be so as the taps are already there so they can hook back up to the water system. He advised that an individual tap fee is $450, they make application and then the county has to call in for the locates, and it takes about three days to get this done, and then they schedule it to go in, and the total amount of time could take four to five days to get a water system going as it depends on how many is in line. If the existing service is already there and it is a reconnect, they can usually get it back in within a short few hours or no more than a day. It can be costly if you are not set up already but it would be cheaper than having to replace a well, and also if you are within 1000 feet of a public water system you are suppose to tie on to it if you have trouble with your existing well. He does want to caution individuals to not run water hoses from house to house as that can present a problem with your health. He advised that also there is a $35 security deposit for the meter for a homeowner and a $75 deposit for a renter, plus $17.50 a month for the service and $2.75 per 1,000 gallons per month. He advised that if anyone needs a tap put in or they have any questions about the county water system they can call 276-2650 or 276-2388. Mr. Gamble advised that regarding the roads through the LMIG program, Reeves Construction was awarded the contract through the Department of Transportation, and they have completed the two sections on Antioch Road, the one section on District Line Road from Hwy. 300 to Byrd's Mill Road, and the only section they have not completed is Tremont Road from Hwy. 257 to Penia Road. Administrator Crapse advised that we have to have our LMIG in by August 11th for next year if we want the DOT to let the contracts, which we find out is better for the county because they can bundle the bids and get a better price; we will be preparing a list for them to approve for either the July or August meeting to send in for next year. Also, the DOT will have a small letting in September and it is suppose to include the resurfacing of the Old Albany Road. Mr. Gamble advised that the off system safety plan, which is stripping and signage, has been completed except the reflectors that go down the centerlines of the road. These roads were Haw Pond, North and South Coney, Cannon, and Brock Roads, and it is a federally funded program. It costs no out of pocket money but we are required to clip the shoulders and remove the old signs once the new signs are installed. Mr. Henderson asked why they didn't continue resurfacing Tremont Road past Penia Road, and Mr. Gamble advised that was as far as the dollars would go with the number of miles we received. Chairman Mathis thanked Administrator Crapse and Mr. Gamble along with all the others that helped in preparing and welcoming the State Transportation Board to Crisp County. Administrator Crapse advised that the county has been participating in the off system safety program for about four years, and Mr. Gamble was asked to submit our next list for pre approval, so we will get it on the list up front because we have made good use of the program and put good projects on the list. You get rewarded in the long run in trying to do things the way DOT wants them done, you get a lot of advantage of that down the road. Mr. Gamble advised that the off system safety plan that was just completed was the list we submitted in 2009, the state is that far behind.
PUBLIC HEARING ON THE FY-12 PROPOSED BUDGET
Mrs. Leverett reported that part of the process required for adoption of an annual budget is to hold a public hearing, the notice for the public hearing on the FY12 operating budget was advertised in the local paper on June 2, 2011 and posted on the county's website as required by law. In summary, the FY-12 budget proposal includes the General Fund at $14,621,913, the Water Fund at $440,348, the Landfill Fund at $1,366,821, the Special Revenue Funds at $1,221,242, the SPLOST Funds at $4,239,000, for a county-wide total of $21,889,324. Chairman Mathis opened the public hearing for the FY-2012 proposed budget. He asked for any comments for or against the proposed budget, and there were none. Administrator Crapse advised that the Commissioners have a copy of the notice in their packet and it has been available for anyone to come in and review at the Finance Office. He advised that we are not asking for approval today as we have minor swings depending on things that happen during the month of June, and we typically schedule an adoption the last couple of days in June. Mrs. Leverett advised that they do need to set the date for the called meeting to adopt the budget so she can advertise it in the paper on Thursday. Commissioners set Tuesday, June 28th as the date for the called meeting to adopt the budget. Mr. Mathis closed the public hearing.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes the executive summary for the month of May 2011 as well as a preliminary financial report for eleven months of this fiscal year. First is the Cash Report for May. The General Fund has $5.7 million; the Landfill Fund, $1.4 million; the Revolving Loan Fund, $164,651; the SPLOST Funds, $4.9 million; and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.1 million leaving us with a county wide total of $13.4 million, which is up over May of 2010 by about $1.5 million, all of which is in the SPLOST Funds. The General Fund is actually down about $450,000 from this same time last year. Next is the preliminary report of revenues and expenditures for the month of May as well as year to date for our three major funds. The General Fund recorded revenue for the month at $1,206,053 bringing the YTD number to $13,548,131; $805,384 in expenditures recorded so far for the month brings that year to date total to $13,311,644. These numbers bring revenues to 88% and expenditures to 87% of annual projections and leave the General Fund with $236,487 in net income as of May 31st. For the Landfill Fund, we have $117,452 in accrued monthly revenue pushing that YTD number up to $1,865,952. Monthly expenditures of $76,233; year to date, $1,071,589 leaves the landfill reporting a YTD net gain of $794,363. As you know, $548,000 of this is from the settlement on the construction bond. The total tonnage received for the month of May at 3459.20, is down about 300 tons from last month but up by about the same number from May of 2010. Approximately 34% of that was received from Veolia under their commercial contract and 16% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $2.6 million and we have now drawn $2.1 million on the new construction loan. As of this report, we had recorded $103,196 in monthly revenue and $486,592 YTD for the Water Fund. Expenditures so far for the month totaled $169,885, YTD $566,342, leaving the Water Fund with a net loss of $79,750. These numbers include the cost of the repair to the waterline under the Hwy 280 Bridge and the revenue received from Citizens telephone, which was applied to that project. Water usage billed for the month of 8,484,000, is up considerably over May of 2010, over 3,000,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1.6 million. Next are the SPLOST reports. First is the budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue. To date we have total collections of $21,903,129, total expenditures of $19,482,739. Distribution number 64 of $330,317 drops our average slightly by only $189 down to $342,236, about $10,000 off what it was at May 2010. However, it is actually up, over last month by 3% and up also over May of 2010 by about 4%. At the bottom of the page is an update with regard to the cost of the remaining projects under this issue and the revenues projected for the remaining months, showing about a $133,000 shortfall. Also, we used that same average to update the revenue projections for the 2011 SPLOST Issue and the numbers show us falling short on funding those projects as budgeted by about $4.2 million. Next is the budget to actual report for the 2000 Issue. As of May 31, 2011, we have spent $16.7 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $954,000 to apply to the projects remaining under this issue. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Total disbursements for the month of May were $40,350. Projects benefiting from SPLOST funds during the month were the Crisp County Airport, County Roads, the Sheriff's Department, the Fire Department and County Buildings. Next is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts. We remain at ten outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2,067,487. Five are current and five are delinquent and have been turned over to legal. The SBA/Colony Bank loan with CIS, Inc., did close last week and our RLF loan, which subordinates that loan, should close one day this week. The last report included in your packet is the revenue by fund and expenditures by department. 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 Expenditures were at 88%, the Landfill at 75% and the Water Fund at 89%. The last report is a listing of new occupation tax or regulatory permit licenses issued during the month of May, and we issued one wine license, one beer license, six occupation tax certificates and seven regulatory permits.
REAPPOINT ESTHER GONZALES TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF FAMILY AND CHILDREN SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that the appointment was advertised in the paper, and Mrs. Gonzales has agreed to accept reappointment to that position, and there were no other respondents, so he recommends the Board reappoint Mrs. Gonzales to a five-year term ending June 30, 2016. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint Esther Gonzales to a five-year term on the Crisp County Board of Family and Children Services term expiring June 30, 2016, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT HAROLD JACKSON TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF TAX ASSESSORS
Administrator Crapse reported that this appointment was advertised in the paper and was for one seat. We have had two respond, Harold Jackson has requested reappointment and Larry Felton has requested appointment; both are qualified and he will reserve a recommendation. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Harold Jackson to a four-year term on the Crisp County Board of Tax Assessors ending July 31, 2015, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Culpepper stated that we try not to have citizens on more than one board at a time, Mr. Felton is on the Recreation Advisory Board and does an excellent job there with the kids, and he would like to see his stay on that Board.
REAPPOINT MULFORD ROBERSON AND KAREN MERRITT TO THE CRISP-DOOLY JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Administrator Crapse reported that these appointments were advertised in the paper for two seats. Mulford Roberson and Karen Merritt have agreed to accept reappointment, and Marlene Kimbrel has also requested appointment to one of the two seats. All individuals are qualified, and he has no recommendation. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Mulford Roberson and Karen Merritt to four-year terms on the Crisp-Dooly Joint Development Authority ending June 30, 2015, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT ANGUS W. CAMPBELL TO THE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY
Administrator Crapse reported that this appointment was advertised in the paper to fill the unexpired seat of Kirby Wood that expires on February 13, 2013. The only respondent was Angus W. (Wayne) Campbell who requested to be appointed to the seat. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to appoint Angus W. (Wayne) Campbell to fill the unexpired term of Kirby Wood on the Solid Waste Management Authority through February 13, 2013, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to send a Resolution to Mr. Wood thanking him for his service to this Board, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT TERRY COBB TO THE CORDELE-CRISP TOURISM BOARD
Administrator Crapse reported that this appointment was advertised in the paper, and the only respondent was Terry Cobb requesting reappointment to this board, and he would recommend the Board appoint Terry Cobb to a three-year tem ending June 30, 2014. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint Terry Cobb to a three-year term on the Cordele-Crisp Tourism Board ending June 30, 2014, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND REGISTRATION
Administrator Crapse reported that he has no information at this time; they are appointed and can stay until they are replaced. The Election Superintendent has requested a letter from the political parties as the timing just didn't work out because of their meeting and our meeting, but we should have this cleared up next month.
REAPPOINT WALLACE MATHIS TO THE RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMMISSION
Mr. Mathis reappointed himself to the River Valley Regional Commission for a one-year term that will run July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011.
DISCUSS FIRE TRUCK ACCIDENT ON HARDEMAN PROPERTY
Chairman Mathis advised that the fire department had an incident where the fire truck ran over a sewer line on Charles Hardeman's son's property on Story Road. Administrator Crapse has a contract that has a specified price on it, as earlier we had a couple of prices bouncing around; we now feel like we a firm price, and someone that says he will do the work. Administrator Crapse advised that he has a release of the county from damages in exchange for the repairs; we have a written price from the contractor that will do the work, which we will present to the landowner and give him a check for that money, and then the landowner can use that vendor or any other vendor he chooses, but we do have a fixed price in writing that will do the work. Mr. Nance asked if we changed that since the last time we talked as Mr. Walker had submitted some bids and we were going to work out an agreement with him. Administrator Crapse advised that we were trying to work out an agreement with him but the price went from $750 to $1495, and so we went out to see if we could get some other bids and we also had some issues with Mr. Walker in terms of not having a business license. We did find a licensed contractor and received a price from him for the repairs on Mr. Hardeman's system. He advised that he knows there is some question in Mr. Hardeman's mind on behalf of his son as to what happens if there is an overrun. We have a firm fixed dollar price from a contractor to fix the issue, and if he runs over that is going to be his problem, not owns or Mr. Hardeman's. Mr. Nance asked how much the contractor was willing to do the job for, and Administrator Crapse advised $1,350. Administrator Crapse gave Attorney Lawson a copy of the release and a copy of the quoted price to look over, and when he talked to Mr. Hardeman the other day, he was just a little concerned about the legal document and that sort of thing, and that is why he asked Rick to look it over; he can tell you if this is a proper legal form and releases the county based on the payment of the repairs on the septic system. Mr. Henderson stated that if this was an insurance claim, the adjuster would issue a check and they will get you to sign a release stating that you have received the money and you are satisfied. Charles Hardeman stated that he doesn't want to receive any money, he wants the county to pay the contractor because he has never seen the contractor, and if he gets there and says it is going to be more than that price, he doesn't want his son to get stuck with paying more. Mr. Henderson stated that if a contractor signs something saying he will the do the work for a certain amount, if it costs more then that, then the contractor would have to eat the difference. Mr. Hardeman stated that he doesn't know that the contractor has signed any paperwork, and if it was worded different or the dollar amount was not on there, he would sign it because he just doesn't know what it is going to cost. He also stated that the difference in the two prices that Mr. Walker gave was that when he first looked at it he was looking at a small portion of what he could see and then when he went to cut the grass, he saw that the other end was messed up. Mr. Hardeman stated that if the contractor signs the paper that he is going to fix it for that amount, then he has no problem to sign the release. Attorney Lawson stated that the release is in order. Administrator Crapse advised that they would get the contractor to sign the contract and sign for the release as well so that Mr. Hardeman will know that his signature is on both pages, and that way you can sign knowing that the contractor is going to get paid that amount. Mrs. Leverett advised that Mr. Walker has now paid his business license. Commissioners assured Mr. Hardeman that they are going to get this settled, and appreciate his patience.
DISCUSS ROCK ROAD
Johnny Atkins wanted to know about the dirt road, Rock Road, and what they are going to do about it, if they are going to put gravel on it and when it rains the water crosses the road in the bottom. Also, someone put in a sewer pipe on the road that is going into the woods, and that is a waste of time putting another pipe in there. Public Works Director Gamble advised that an individual property owner bought a driveway pipe there, and the place he is talking about in the bottom will unfortunately fill up and come back across the road when it rains. Chairman Mathis advised that Mr. Gamble is familiar with what they are talking about and asked Mr. Gamble that the next time he is down that way to call on Mr. Atkins and let them look at it together and see what they can come up with. Mr. Gamble advised that as far as the gravel that was put on the roads several years ago was put on under a DOT special project that went to the roads that had churches on them, that is not a viable option, and they will try to keep sand on the road. Administrator Crapse advised that right after they came to the Board the first time, they put sand on that road and the next day we had our last rain in the county and a lot of it washed away, but they will continue to work on that road. He advised that weather contributes a lot to the roads.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session for pending litigation and personnel, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) He attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There was one new SPLOST purchase approved this month, which is paving at Fire Rescue Station #5 for a total of $12,157.32; 3) The contract on the T-Hanger and Taxiway project at the Airport have been executed and returned to GDOT, and the 45 day review period on our DBE plan has passed, the Notice to Proceed is expected on or before June 30th with a pre construction conference the 1st or 2nd week of July, with work beginning in the second half of July; 4) We did great on our projects for the Regional Transportation SPLOST. All of our projects made the Unconstrained Project List. The Planning Director, Todd Long and the Regional Transportation Roundtable (RTR) Executive Committee will now whittle down the list to a fiscally constrained list that GDOT will deliver to local governments by August 15, 2011, followed by a couple of regional public hearings and a vote by the RTR. The final list will be delivered to local governments and legislators by October 15, 2011. Based on the GDOT Board visit to Crisp County, I think we will enjoy great success in the final list as well; 5) On the "Go Fish" project, the floating docks are in the water, but work is not complete on stabilizing them. The County's base and grading work is 90% complete; we will begin placing crush-n-run when grading is finished; 6) Just a reminder about the current drought and water use; the static water level in our wells in the month of April was 38 feet, in the month of May it was 58 feet, a drop of 20 feet in one month. Irrigation pressures likely the cause due to spring crops needing water. Last Tuesday through Friday we put in 5 new taps and got 4 more applications. We also got an additional 15 inquiries and three reconnects. This represents some 30 private wells that have gone dry due to the drought; 7) The repairs to the water line on the Hwy 280 Bridge are complete, and we have received our check from Citizens Telephone. The "Off System Safety Action Project" work is also complete except for the RPM's; 8) Resurfacing under LMIG is done on both sections of Antioch and the section of District Line Road. They should be moving to Tremont this week in conjunction with some other work on 257; 9) The RVRC has the State's redistricting software and has offered to come over and work with the Board to revise the local redistricting lines; 10) The mediation in the Shoreline Development Case was dismissed, but they have a few more days to appeal, if they don't appeal it's over. We still do not have any word on the landfill case disposition; 11) Real work is happening on the CIS site. Cross Ties and Rail are on site, some ties have been laid, fencing is up south of 13th Ave.; 12) There is no news to report on the Crisp County Higher Education (Darton) Committee, the issues regarding the building size and cost between the committee and Dr. Sereno remain unresolved at this point; and 13) The Rec. Dept. is having a free Softball Clinic conducted by the M/S & H/S Coaches over 60 kids participating, a sponsor provided T-Shirts and Kiwanis is buying lunch on Friday for the kids. And, there will also be a free Football Clinic with some pro football players coming up soon. We had a great USSSA Tournament (State Championship) last weekend and we will host the 7-8 year old GRPA District Tournament June 21-24.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the called meeting on May 26, 2011, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 11:43 a.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.