MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 14, 2012
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order with Commissioners William Culpepper and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Culpepper gave the invocation and 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. Henderson to approve the January 10, 2012 regular meeting and the January 24, 2012 called meeting minutes, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RECREATION DEPARTMENT TRACK PROGRAM
Eric Bozeman, Recreation Director, reported that an idea started for a track program about a year ago when they were looking at all their facilities, and they felt like the track was underutilized. It is used by people that walker and jog, but they felt like they needed to do something a little bit more geared towards the kids. He stated that there are a lot of agencies in our area and the state that have a track program, and if Commissioners approved, they thought they would do a registration, like they normally do, and have a period of four to five weeks of practice. They have two coaches and possibly another one that have track experience and have volunteered and are willing to help work with the kids. The ages will be from age 7 through 14, and these ages were set by the state to participate in Georgia Recreation Parks Association (GRPA) district and state levels. They will teach them how to run these events, find out what they are best suited for, and then they go to the district meet on April 14th in Americus. He stated that there was no added cost to enter a child in the district meet, the only cost would be if they qualify and go to the state meet, which will be held on May 4th & 5th in Carrolton, and they can only qualify for two events. The fee that they set and are asking the Commissioners to approve would be around $25.00, which would include a jersey, and if they qualify for two events at state, it would pay for that as well. He advised that the overhead on the program will be minimal as we will have volunteer coaches, we have a track already there, and other than a few minor things like batons for the relays and maybe a few shock puts is really all they need up front. Chairman Mathis stated that this is more than just running, and Mr. Bozeman stated that they have a couple of field events but not everything they normally would have at a track and field meet, there are just a couple of things that GRPA recognizes. Mr. Bozeman thinks it will enhance their programming in the spring, and stated that there are a lot of kids that don't play baseball and softball that might come in if we do something like this. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the proposed track program for the Recreation Department and set the registration fees at $25.00 per county participate and $31.25 for out of county participants, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Culpepper thinks this is a great thing and this is just one more service we can offer the youth in our community. Mr. Bozeman advised that they just finished registration for baseball and softball, and their numbers are over 400 again with about 38 teams participating. Next week they have two district events for basketball here for the 8 and under boys and the 10 and under boys and then the first weekend in March, they have the state 8 and under boys hers. We also have tournaments kicking off in the complex on weekends. Chairman Mathis stated that they appreciate the Recreation Department on the hospitality they showed at the employee luncheon. Mr. Henderson stated that the track program is a win-win situation, and they appreciate everything Mr. Bozeman is doing as he has really brought the recreation programs alive, as we do want to utilize all the facilities that we have.
DISCUSS AIRPORT FEES
Mrs. Leverett advised that the construction on the new enclosed hangars is now complete and available for renting, and it is time to set the fees for the new hangers. The Commissioners packet includes a proposal of rental fees and a copy of the minutes from the Airport Advisory Board meeting held in November recommending those fees. They recommended that we set a rate somewhere between $125 and $150 per month for the enclosed hangers and that the $75 fees for the open hangars remain as is. Based on their recommendations, we prepared a schedule for proposing that the rates be set at $150 per month for the enclosed hangars and $75 per month for the open hangars. We also included a rate of $350 per month for the maintenance hangar. Chairman Mathis asked if the hangars were ready to go and how many were they. Mrs. Leverett advised that there are six hangars and there is one small issue with one hangar regarding the concrete but they are repairing that this morning. Mr. Henderson asked how many open hangars we had, and Dub Cooper, Airport Manager, advised that we have thirteen open hangars. Mr. Henderson stated that we need to compete with other airports, and he noticed that the advisory board did not recommend any fuel flowage fee and everybody else is getting a nickel a gallon, and don't they think we need to discuss this. Mrs. Leverett advised that would be up to them as she based the schedule on what the advisory board presented to us. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt the advisory board's recommendation to set the enclosed hangar fees at $150 per month with the county and airport operator share that equally, leave the open hangar fees at $75 per month, impose a 5 cents per gallon flowage fee, set the maintenance hangar rent at $350 with the county's share at $300, and with the supplements that the county provides to the airport to remain in place and reviewed annually, seconded by Mr. Culpepper for discussion. Commissioner Culpepper asked the airport board if they discussed the flowage fee. Carden Summers, Airport Advisory Board member, stated that their board is not about the airport board and is about industry in Crisp County, and they are here to serve that industry and make it convenient. If we didn't have the airport, big industry would not look our way, and he thinks we have one of the best airports in the south; they would like to more airplanes out there and more people buying fuel. He stated regarding the flowage fee, the problem that exists is the fact that we don't have the volume of travelers to maintain buying fuel at a discounted rate. If you look at Tifton and Valdosta and other big communities that have the flowage fees, they have three times the volume of travelers in and out, not including the people that are based at the airport, plus they build that in to add extra funds either to the airport or the commission board for doing projects. Mr. Henderson advised that this fee would help with maintenance at the airport. Mr. Summers stated that every time a pilot leaves, the first thing they do is check the fuel cost on their route, and if your fuel is a great deal higher than any other rates, which our fuel is, they are going to by pass us. When Mr. Cooper buys fuel, he sets the rates according to the tank that is dropped at that time, and it takes a good while to empty that load. Every time we add another penny to the price, it detours people from stopping at our airport. Mr. Henderson stated if Americus has a 5 cents flowage fee and when they drop a tanker, the 5- cents per gallon is built into that rate, so why is ours higher without a flowage fee if these other airports are charging a flowage fee. Mr. Summers thinks it is totally on volume, and Commissioner Henderson did not agree and stated that he talked to David Pitts, and he says that Mr. Cooper doesn't pay for the tanker load but when he uses the fuel, he charges him for the fuel at that time, so that argument doesn't work either. Mr. Summers stated that they are an advisory board working for the commissioners; all we do is bring things to you that we think will benefit the airport and the fuel base operator, Mr. Cooper. We don't set his fuel prices, we can recommend but he has to make money so what he sets his fuel at is his business. The county built and owns those tanks. Mr. Cooper agreed that Mr. Pitts puts the fuel in the tank and allows him to use it and he pays for what he uses, and he doesn't change prices everyday, he changes it when they get a load of fuel. He advised that they are not always higher than other airports around here, sometimes they are cheaper. Commissioner Henderson asked about how much fuel the AirEvac helicopter uses, and Mr. Cooper stated around 1,500 to 2,000 gallons a month. Chairman Mathis asked what they were charging for fuel today. Mr. Cooper advised that it is $6.10 for octane and $5.75 for jet fuel, the people renting the hangars are paying $5.70 for fuel. Commissioner Henderson stated that if you go to Panama City for the weekend and you don't want to stop coming back, you are going buy your fuel at Panama City no matter what the price is, that just makes sense. Mr. Summers stated that there are so many airports to choose from, and they are trying to bring traffic into our airport. Mr. Henderson stated that the fuel alone is not going to do it. Mr. Cooper stated that there is not enough gallons going out to make much difference in the money you would make on the flowage fee as he probably sells about 12,000 gallons of each fuel a year and 5 cents a gallon will not cover the bookwork. Mr. Cooper and Mr. Summers stated that that is not going to help and all it is going to do is run everybody's fuel price up. Commissioner Culpepper removed his second to Commissioner Henderson's motion earlier, and it was declared dead for a lack of a second. Mr. Culpepper made a motion to adopt the proposed airport hangar fees and look at the 5-cent flowage fee next year but leave it at zero for flowage fee right now, but died for a lack of a second. Chairman Mathis asked if the flowage fee was discussed, and Mr. Summers stated they talked about all of this but they are just an advisory board but we are asking you not to impose a flowage fee on the airport. He stated that on $20,000 gallons, the flowage fees would be about $1,000. Mr. Cooper stated that all the people he talked to didn't have a flowage fee and let the airport board do some research before we talk about the flowage fees. Commissioner Henderson stated that he will do some research since he will have to make the decision. Commissioner Henderson made a motion to table this issue until further discussion as he thinks we need to include the flowage fee as part of the whole package, but died for a lack of a second also. Mr. Summers asked if the Commissioners wanted them to stay on as an advisory board if their recommendations and things that they bring to them is not something that they feel they need, do you need the Airport Advisory Board? Commissioner Henderson advised that he has a responsibility to the taxpayers of the county. Chairman Mathis stated that the adoption of the hangar fees is of utmost importance because this is a considerable amount of money, and he doesn't mind going back and revisiting the fuel flowage fee, but we need to get people put in these new hangars and people in them and paying for this. Commissioner Culpepper agreed that we have built these hangars and we need to get these hangars rented, and he doesn't want a flowage fee to stop us from collecting hangar rent as we spent money to get these hangars built for them to just sit out there just because we can't come to a decision. We can come back and look at the flowage fees but he thinks we need to go ahead and adopt the hangar fees. Commissioner Henderson stated that he thinks we need more information. Mr. Cooper stated that he has people lined up to move into the closed hangars as soon as they get permission from the commissioners. Commissioner Henderson stated that they think the fuel flowage fee is going to put the airport out of business, and he doesn't see it that way. Mr. Summers stated that they were not there to argue with the Commissioners, they are there to make the airport better; the advisory board discussed the flowage fee and because it was such a low amount and an add on as far as the price, that they would ask the Commissioners not to adopt it; that is as far as we got with the flowage fee. Commissioner Henderson asked if it was not much money, where is the problem, and if you only get two tankers a year, that is not much paperwork to do. John Gordon advised that he has talked with Mr. Henderson about the hangar fees and when he came to me he told me that he had already done his homework on the hangar fees, and you told me that the hangar fees should be around $350. He researched this and had these airports sign off on it so they would have good accurate information so you could make a good honest decision. You told me you checked this other, and if you are only talking about $1,000 a year for flowage fee, why don't you go ahead and set this what we have. You are making it like a federal government-type thing, like lets attach something to the bill so that it can flow through so that I get what I want. It is not about any individual, it is about this airport and businesses that can use this airport and want to come in here and be a part of it. You start taxing fees on it, they might decide to land somewhere else. You should move forward with what is proposed, and do the other later. He advised that they have the proposed rates from Douglas, Bacon County, Fitzgerald, Hazlehurst, Waycross, Tifton, Eastman, and Valdosta. Commissioner Henderson asked if none of them had flowage fees. Mr. Gordon stated that was not in the question. Commissioner Henderson stated that the flowage fee is on what they considered because you apparently looked at the flowage fee but decided that you didn't want a flowage fee because you had zero by it. George Gay, a member of the advisory board, said this was the first he had heard about flowage fee, and he has been at all the meetings, they may have discussed it among themselves but it is new to him. Mr. Summers stated that there are six people ready to rent the hangars, and if they want them to go back and research and bring back the flowage fees from the airports they have listed, they will bring it to them next meeting, tell us whatever you want us to do. Chairman Mathis stated that he is interested in the hangar fees getting adopted. Commissioner Henderson thinks we need to do everything at one time. Commissioner Culpepper stated that we are going to miss out on $900 rent a month for $1,000 or so a year. Commissioner Henderson stated that we have more than one opportunity a month to adopt something. Chairman Mathis thanked the advisory board for their time and interest. By common consent, it was tabled until a future meeting.
AWARD GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACT
Mrs. Leverett reported that as they discussed in the December meeting, we prepared and issued in early January an RFP for ground maintenance services for the Government Center, the Courthouse, and the Ag Building. We received two bids, one of those bids was disqualified because they did not include all the documentation that was required in the bid specifications. Basically we have one proposal. They have a copy of the bid sheet in their packet showing the amount of those bids. The one proposal that was qualified was from Hobbs Lawn Care in the amount of $2,656.67, and we would still save money by going this route versus rehiring a staff member. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to award the Grounds Maintenance Contract to Hobbs Landscaping for $2,656.67 per month, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Leverett advised that we would also need a motion to transfer the money from the salaries into the technical area to absorb those costs. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjust the budget to reflect this contract from salaries to technical services, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE 2012 5311 TRANSIT PROGRAM TPO CONTRACT
Mrs. Leverett reported that at last month's meeting, they approved the DOT 5311 Transit Grant Application for the year beginning July 1, 2012, and part of that application process includes the renewal of the Third Party Operator Agreement with Resource Management Systems(RMS). A copy of the revised renewal contract for 2012 is in their packet. There is no cost to the county other than the insurance on the vehicles. They have sent a final copy of this contract to the owner/operator of RMS, Tim Pinson; he agrees with all the terms and has signed the contract on behalf of his company. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the 2012 5311 Transit Program Contract between Crisp County Board of Commissioners and Resource Management Systems and authorize the chairman to sign the contract, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
UPDATE ON CURRENT ROAD AND OUTSIDE PROJECTS
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that 1) at the called meeting they had tabled the flashing beacons on Hwy. 300 at Crisp Academy to find out exactly what DOT's intent was. He has talked with them, and they stated that on the right shoulder on either side of Crisp Academy Drive they would install a post with a School Ahead Warning with a flashing light above and below the sign so that it can be well seen. There will be two signs with two sets of flashing lights on both sides of the school. There will be no initial cost to the county as far as the installation of the lights, but it would be a cost of $22 a month each or $44 a month for both or approximately $528 a year for both signs. These signs will be installed and maintained by DOT. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to authorize the chairman to sign the request for the traffic signals on Hwy. 300 to the north and south of Crisp Academy, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously; 2) they have now received our project identification number on our LMIG project for Tremont and Hatley Roads and it is in the project list to be let on March 18th; 3) our off system safety plan is still in process as it is such a large project, it is taking them a little bit longer to get it all put together; 4) regarding the Omar Heights streets and drainage improvements, they are about to get all the plats finalized and in the process of meeting with all the individuals now to see if everything is going to be acceptable to them. Once we get those plats acceptable then the county attorney can proceed getting the easements finalized along with River Valley Commission; 5) the Go Fish boat ramps installation of the boat pier should be installed somewhere toward the end of April; 6) they are working on the 10' additional right of way deed for the Old Hatley Road school project so they can have that right of way in place so when and if they widen the road they will not have any utilities in conflict with the road widening at that time; 7) Dublin Construction is taking bids from the local contractors getting ready to get started on the jail expansion; and 8) they are trying to get scheduled now with the individual that is going to pour the concrete at the Hwy. 300 fire station.. Commissioner Henderson thanked Mr. Gamble for the job that he does, he has been here a long time and we are fortunate to have him. Chairman Mathis thanked him for continuing to keep them informed on the school project as we want to wind up with the best we can get over there; they appreciate it.
PUBLIC HEARING Ð CHEXAR EIP GRANT APPLICATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that part of the Chexar EIP grant application process includes that we must advertise and hold a public hearing to inform and receive input from the public regarding the project. Chexar Networks, Inc. is a company that provides 24/7 check validation services to banks, large retailers, and other money transmitter-type businesses. They are going to be located in the Southgate Shopping Center, they have committed to the creation of 250 jobs within 24 months. To date they have 24 new employees undergoing training, and the building renovations should be complete within the next two weeks. She stated that once they occupy the building, their plans are to hire an additional 24 employees every two weeks until they reach the goal of 250 employees. The job creation factor that is in their plan is what qualified them for this grant. The grant loan application is for $470,000 and most of it will be spent on back-up generators and computers. The project has been pre-approved. She stated that once everything is finalized and the loan is drawn down for Chexar to purchase the equipment, the money would be repaid back into the county's local Revolving Loan Fund for the county to have available to loan out to future businesses for job expansions. The public hearing was advertised on February 2, 2012. Chairman Mathis advised that he was in this place of business last week, and they were probably 3/4 complete laying carpet, lights were being put in, plus they started renovating this building the Monday after Thanksgiving and as fast as they have moved thus far, in a few more weeks it is definitely going to be ready to put people in there. He opened the public hearing and asked for comments from the public in support of the project, and there were none. He asked for any comments against the grant application, and there were none. Mr. Henderson stated that he thinks that Chexar is a wonderful opportunity for the citizens of Crisp County and adjoining communities to have jobs, and he thinks that we are fortunate to have them here. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to close the public hearing on the Chexar EIP grant application, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that included in their packets is a preliminary report on the fiscal status of the County's three major funds as of January 31, 2012. Based on the information available we are reporting monthly revenues of $3.1 million; YTD, $9.6 million; monthly expenditures of $1,097,676; YTD $8.3 million, leaving the General Fund with a positive position of about 9% or $1.3 million. Over $2 million of the monthly revenue for January was received from property tax collections, and as of this report, a little over 82% has been collected from the 2011 digest billings. The Landfill Fund had monthly accrued revenue of $101,581, YTD $704,234, monthly expenditures of $80,169, YTD $595,521, leaving the Landfill Fund with a net gain of $108,713. Total tonnage received for the month of January was 3298.37 tons with approximately 41% of that being delivered under the Veolia commercial contract and 16% under their residential contact. The GEFA Loans are current at $2.4 & $2.7 million. The Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $37,767, YTD $289,857. January expenditures totaled $34,516, YTD, $259,308 leaving the Water Fund with a net gain of $30,549. Customer usage for the month was 5,029,000 gallons and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.6 million. In the cash on hand report, the General Fund had $7.8 million, Landfill Fund, $1.1 million, RLF $193,011, the SPLOST Funds, $7.1 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.3 million leaving us with a county wide total of $17.6. Of that $17.6 million $7.3 million is reserved or restricted for specific purposes or projects. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent almost $16.8 of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $843,703 to complete the various projects associated with this issue. For the budget to actual report for the 2005 SPLOST Issue, the good news here is that the final distribution collected under this issue of $369,475, representing December retail sales was up significantly; 23.6% over last month and 13.2% over Dec of 2010. Distribution #72 brings our total collections under this issue to $24.7 million and as of this report; we have spent $19.5 million on projects associated with this issue. Next is a monthly detail listing of SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Disbursements for January totaled $91,158, all in support of Crisp County Airport projects. Next is the Community Development Block Grant Revolving Loan Fund report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts. We remain with a total of eleven outstanding loans with a balance due of $2.3 million. Five are current and six remain delinquent. The next report is the preliminary report of revenues by fund and expenditures by department for the sixth month of fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. As of this report, all departments/divisions expenditures should be within 58%. Overall, for our three major funds, the General Fund ended the month at 57%, the Water Fund 42% and the Landfill Fund 38%. The last report is a listing of Business Licenses issued during the month of January; we issued one new business license and four regulatory permits.
APPOINT CLARK HENDERSON TO EZEC BOARD
Chairman Mathis appointed Clerk Henderson to serve on the EZEC Board.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE SCOTT UTLEY AS INTERMIN PART-TIME COUNTY EXTENSION AGENT
Chairman Mathis introduced Scott Utley, Turner County Extension Agent, who is going to provide services to Crisp County while they are searching for a replacement for Tucker Price. Chairman Mathis stated that he will work in Turner County like he is already doing but will come over to our county to help our people with any agricultural question or problem. They can call the extension department at 276-2612 and he will fill in the gap until we can get a replacement. Mr. Utley reported that is the role he is going to do here probably for the next four months. He knows extension has a big role in Crisp County; Mr. Price did a good job planning and has all the production meetings lined up and Jessie Bryan, extension department secretary, will be helping him as well. His plans are to be in Cordele on Tuesday's and with the volume of calls that Mrs. Bryan has been sending him, he can tell that he will stay busy over here as it is a busy time with planting season and things getting started. He also stated that the Crisp County 4-H club went to Rock Eagle and did a fantastic job. Mrs. Bryan stated that they have seven kids going to state conference this year. Dowdy White is the Georgia State Board 4-H president and two representatives will be on the Southwest District Senior Board Ð Courtney Blackwell and Amee Mehta. Commissioners congratulated those young people and thanked Mr. Utley for helping our county until they can get a replacement for Mr. Price.
REPORT ON COMMISSIONER HARRIS
Chairman Mathis reported that Mr. Harris has had surgery in Atlanta and is currently in Pine Hills Nursing Home doing rehabilitation. He is doing well and they look forward to him being back with them soon.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS AIRPORT FEES
Commissioner Henderson reported that he has Mrs. Nolley check on the flowage fee in Americus. He stated that Americus is pumping 6,000 gallons of fuel a month and they have .06 per gallon on flowage fee that goes back to the county. He stated that Mr. Pitts drops the tanker of fuel at the airport, and the only time Mr. Cooper pays is when he pumps the fuel out. He is not trying to upset the apple cart but Mr. Pitts told him he uses our tanks for his av gas storage, he doesn't care that he uses the gas for his personal use, but he thinks the county is entitled to something for those tanks. He is ready to vote, but he doesn't see why a nickel a gallon is going to put the airport out of business as far as the fuel. If Americus and Tifton can charge a flowage fee, why can't we? Mrs. Leverett stated that she has talked with Mr. Cooper and he says for the gallons he is pumping, it wouldn't be much. Mr. Henderson stated that every time that airvac helicopter comes in, they fill it up with gas. Mr. Lawson stated that if they were using 1,500 gallons a month for the helicopter that is $75 per month just for them. Chairman Mathis stated that they have time to finish going over that information that they gave us, and we will do that first. Mr. Henderson stated that he was ready to vote but he thinks the county is entitled to the 5-cent a gallon. Mr. Culpepper thinks we need to wait on this, as he wants to do some investigating also. Mr. Henderson stated that he couldn't understand that if it is such a little amount of money, why are they fighting it so hard. Mr. Pitts really should be paying storage fees for using our tanks; that is a private business that is using government equipment.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 11:01 a.m., seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.