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DECEMBER 10, 2002


Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr. called the meeting to order. Commissioners James D. Harris, Wallace Mathis, Joyce C. Pheil, Willie J. Patrick, County Administrator John S. Pate, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer and secretary Linda Finch in attendance. Mr. Patrick gave the invocation.


Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mr. Patrick and motion carried, approving minutes of November 11th with correction on page six, changing GEFA payments to GEFA notices, and also approving the October 21st minutes.


Connie Sangster, Assistant Planning Director, reported that Alice McKenzie is asking for a Special Use Permit to locate a Church or Place of Worship in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property is located on Story Road. Ms. McKenzie stated that she would like to build a 44' x 55' building on her property for a House of Prayer Church. Mrs. Sangster ask where she was going to place the Church as they had discussed that the front of her property is in the flood plan. Ms. McKenzie advised that it would be closer to the back of her property, and she has talked to some of the neighbors and they said they had never seen this property flood. Ms. Sangster asked if she had been to the Health Department to inquire about a well and septic tank permit, and she replied no. Chairman Dowdy ask if anyone would like to speak for or against this request. Hermis Posey stated that he would like to know more about this since he owns the property adjacent to her land, his granddaughter is going to build a house on his property, and he doesn’t want her to be disturbed at all hours; he made it clear he was not against a place of worship but the area she is talking about is in water, and he thinks is may be hard to get approval for a septic tank and well. Mrs. McKenzie stated that they would not disturb anyone, and if the neighbors complained, they know how to quiet down, and she has talked to Mr. Posey’s daughter, who lives out there, and she doesn’t seem to have a problem with this. Mrs. Pheil ask about the condition of the road going up to the Church, and was advised that it is a sandy dirt road. Mrs. Pheil stated that she is concerned about a Church being on a dirt road as she gets calls all the time from church members not being able to get to their church because of muddy roads, and she asked Ms. McKenzie if she had considered this, and she said she had been out there when it rained and didn’t have any problems with the road.

Motion by Mr. Harris, which died for lack of a second, to grant the request of Ms. McKenzie upon approval from the Health Department of septic tank permit.

Motion by Mr. Patrick, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, agreeing to table request until the January meeting, and advised Ms. McKenzie to go to the Health Department for approval of the well and septic tank permit on this property. Commissioners all agreed that it will be in the best interest for Ms. McKenzie to get this approval first.


Mike Cooksey and Quan Voe met with Commissioners to discuss abandonment of a forty foot strip of land on Scenic Route that goes between their properties that Mr. Cooksey had requested a couple of months ago. Chairman Dowdy asked if Mr. Voe had any problem with the abandonment of this strip of land and advised him that there will have to be an easement to the Power Commission for utilities. Mr. Voe advised that he did not have any problem with this. Mr. Pfeiffer recommends that the county abandon for road purposes everything south of the north line of Mr. Cooksey’s property on the plat across to the other side subject to the receipt of a power line easement that is satisfactory with the Power Commission.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, agreeing to abandon 40' strip of land, which is the line called L20 on the plat across south, between these properties on Scenic Route subject to the receipt of a power line easement that is agreeable to the Power Commission.


Don tenBensel reported that he has been meeting with Mr. Pate and Carl Gamble about what to do with the Block Grant application for 2003, and their recommendation is to go back in the Newtown area and sort of finish that up so when we leave everything will be in good shape. He advised that there is a section in the middle running between 11th and 13th north of Pateville Road that is entirely dirt streets with no ditches and it is pretty rough looking, and this is what they have tentatively been looking at; he feels like it is a good, sellable project particularly DCA likes the idea of building from previous work and this area has been approved twice already. He advised that with that in mind and knowing we had to have an engineer whichever direction we went, they advertised for any engineers that were interested in working with Crisp County on the 2003 Block Grant. He stated that there were six proposals, he has tabulated the results which Commissioners have in front of them, and they can go with someone today or they may want to pick a couple and interview.

Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, accepting Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble, Inc. as the engineers for the 2003 CDBG Grant.


Mr. tenBensel reported that on the Newtown Phase I, the contractor is finished, the lien release has been signed, the engineer has begun the year of warranty, and there is a close out hearing scheduled for this Thursday. He advised that Phase II is now under construction by Mike Harrison Construction Company, the last easements have been taken care of, and they will be proceeding with this project rapidly. The Youth and Family Resource Center site has been tied down to everybody’s satisfaction, so the final engineering design can proceed, and he can do the environmental.


Ray Lunsford, Fire/Rescue Chief, reported that he has five good running trucks and three reserve trucks, one of which is being housed at the landfill because of building space. He advised that he has a 1985 Model Ford that is a gas burner, costing money, and has a pump that you cannot get parts for, and he would like to try and sell it, either by going through a company or try to sell it to a municipality that needs a fire truck.

By common consent, Commissioners gave Mr. Lunsford permission to get the best offer he can for the vehicle and sell it.


Ricky Willingham, President of Southern Refuse & Recycling, reported that their company hauls out of five counties and they operate a transfer station for Wilcox County Commissioners. He advised that currently they are hauling waste out of Turner County, and they would like the same privileges that Onyx has as far as hauling waste from Turner County into Crisp County Landfill instead of hauling past Crisp County to Wilcox, also, that would be the only county’s waste that they would bring into Crisp County Landfill. Chairman Dowdy asked how many tons we are talking about, and he stated that he thinks it would be about 30 tons to begin with and maybe 75 tons a month later on. Mrs. Hendley ask if he filled out the credit application, and he stated that he had it but had not filled it out until he got approval from the Commissioners. Mrs. Pheil ask George Gay how much space was left in the Landfill, and Mr. Gay replied that he is concerned about the remaining capacity left and is concerned about getting these other two cells built before we run out of room, plus he invited all the Commissioners to come down and look for themselves. Mr. Willingham stated that he didn’t think the tonnage we are taking into the Landfill now would vary much, it would be just a different hauler. Mr. Gay stated that whatever Commissioners say is fine with him, and he thinks they can handle 30 or so tons a month. Mr. Pate stated that he does share Mr. Gay’s view, we may well have space problems before the end of the coming year, and if we have a delay with the contractor, we might get in a bind. Mr. Willingham stated that he could stay in contact with Mr. Gay and if there is some sort of delay or whatever, they could dispose of the waste through the transfer station and not create a burden, it just makes economic sense for them to dispose of it in Crisp County if at all possible, but would not want to create any problems for the county.

Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Patrick and motion carried, with Mrs. Pheil opposing, allowing Southern Refuse & Recycling to bring waste from Turner County into Crisp County Landfill for $25.50 a ton and to submit credit application to Accounting.


Luke Raines stated that Mike Talley from Stevenson & Palmer, who did the Cedar Creek Study, was here last month, and Mr. Talley indicated that there was water in his yard then and it wasn’t but a little over two inch rain. He asked if there has been any movement from Commissioners since the study as to contacting Norfolk Southern Railroad or contacting landowners indicated in the study about clearing their property. Chairman Dowdy stated that he is not sure, and the engineer agreed, that the bigger pipes under the railroad was going to help to solve the problem, what would help solve the problem more than anything else is to get on private property and clean some of it out to let the water get on out. Chairman Dowdy stated that Mr. Pate said there was no further money available from GEMA to do any further surveys, and he stated that Mr. Gamble thinks that if we get permission to get on some of the property in that area, he thought he could solve a lot of what the problem is; he thinks that is what we need to do. Mr. Gamble stated that he talked to Nesbitt Mathis a few months ago, and he is still not real responsive about this, and Wallace Mathis stated that Nesbitt has assured him that once the pipes are put in under the railroad tracks he would agree, but his contention is that once the creek is opened up, it is going to bring the water level up faster on those people in the back as it won’t have anywhere to go. Mr. Mathis stated that he thinks we need to send a letter to the D.O.T., GEMA and anybody that might have some kind of remedy for this, we need to send in a request to each one of them asking them to give us some perimeters and tell us how we need to do it. Mr. Raines stated that D.O.T. did a study last year and virtually the same thing is in this feasibility study. Mr. Pate stated that they think maybe the disaster mitigation plan that they are working on now might get us qualified and at least if we have some kind of emergency we will qualify for funds. Mr. Raines stated that he just wants to see a little movement in a direction of seeing about the problem out there because sooner or later we are going to have a five or six inch rain come in. Mr. Harris stated that he was at a state meeting of the Regional Development Centers, and it was brought out that RDCs are suppose to help counties with these type problems, and maybe we should talk to Don tenBensel about this and let them do some negotiating. Administrator Pate suggested that he work with Mr. Raines, they will write some letters to D.O.T., GEMA and anybody else and see if they can’t find a way to help with the problem, and or some available money.


Chairman Dowdy reported that we have put off hiring someone to build Cells 8 & 9 at the Landfill for about three months, and he thinks it is time to get started. Mr. Pate advised that they will not need the extra money for fuel since the cost of fuel has come down.

Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Patrick, with Mr. Mathis opposing, authoring Chairman Dowdy to accept the GEFA Loan Documents and award the contract to Mike Harrison Company to construct Cells 8 & 9 and execute all the necessary paperwork for construction of the cells.


Mr. Pfeiffer reported that each year the Commission is required to determine that the funds raised from the $1.50 charge is or is not sufficient to cover the cost of operating E-911, and if you reach a year where you have sufficient income from the charges, then you don’t continue to assess the charge or reduce the charge, but that is not the case this year.

Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, reaffirming $1.50 surcharge for land line telephone subscribers.


Bruce Drennan, IDC Director, reported that Southwest Georgia will again host the 2003 Red Carpet Tour, this is an opportunity to showcase our area, and they are asking the County Commissioners to fund $350.00 of the total $2,800.00 for our county, and they will also be soliciting $350.00 from City of Cordele, Chamber, IDC, IDA, UIDC, Development Authority and Power Commission.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mr. Patrick and motion carried, approving $350.00 for Red Carpet Tour.


Mrs. Pheil reported that she and Mr. Drennan has talked about the grant writer that is suppose to come on board in January and there are some details that need to be worked out in order to bring the proposal back to the Commissioners in January. Mr. Drennan proposes that he and Mr. Pate get together and basically work out the details on how this position is going to be structured. He thinks they would like to hire someone on a contract basis and essentially contracting with someone who would do some of the work the RDC does now but would not be in competition with the RDC, and they would set the priorities for the individual. He stated that one specific thing was like Mr. Raines was talking about with the water issue, they could equate that with an economic development project because if you look at the Georgia 300 Business Park, the drainage basin that is adjacent to the Business Park is the Cedar Creek Drainage Basin. He thinks it will take about two years for it build enough equity to begin paying for the investment for this position.

By common consent, Commissioners agreed for Mr. Pate and Mr. Pfeiffer to meet with Mr. Drennan and work out the details on the grant writer position and bring back to Commissioners in January.


Mr. Drennan reported that he has talked briefly with Mr. Gamble about some additional grade work at the spec building of the U. S. Timber project. Chairman Dowdy reported that public works has been tied up out there for a pretty good while, and we have to get on some roads for the county and we will try to help but maybe some of this money we will be getting in may have to hire somebody to finish up whatever is left out there.


Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, reappointing Roe Davis to the Hospital Authority for a five year term ending 12-31-07.


Mr. Pfeiffer reported that the legislature now requires all municipal corporations to have a Code of their Ordinances, this is the Code they have and are being asked to adopt effective July 10, 2002, the July 10th date is a cut off date so we could get the Codes printed. This Ordinance adopts Chapters 1 through 66 effective July 10, 2002, it provides that all Ordinances of a general and permanent nature enacted on or before July 10 are not included in here are repealed except the Ordinance adopted March 21, 2002 that did not get in here that is a critical ordinance so that would be continued in full force and effect relating to the Personnel Policies. He stated that unless another penalty is expressly provided, the maximum penalty is $1,000.00 or not more than 60 days in jail, which is the general law. Also, Section 5 provides that additions or amendments to the code when passed are deemed incorporated into the code and everything adopted since July 10, 2002 will be in the first supplement to the code, and the Ordinance becomes effective on adoption. He advised that this code will be on the Internet under the Municipal Code Corporation web site soon if not there now, and the county office will have information if anyone wants to purchase the code and supplemental.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mr. Patrick and motion carried, adopting Ordinance Adopting And Enacting A New Code For Crisp County, Georgia.


Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Mathis and motion carried, approving Holiday Schedule for 2003, same as in year’s past.


Chairman Dowdy reported that we have a letter from Sheriff Haralson advising that they are experiencing structural problems in the jail involving water leaks, and he is requesting between $15,000.00 and $20,000.00 from their SPLOST funds to make the necessary repairs.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, approving between $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 from the Sheriff’s Department SPLOST funds for repairs to jail facility due to water leaks.


Chairman Dowdy reported that they have a bid from Superior Work, Inc. for cost of asbestos abatement from the Health Department of $19,932.00. Mr. Pate reported that the Health Department will have to be closed for one week due to this work.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, approving cost of $19,932.00 from Superior Work, Inc. for asbestos abatement at the Health Department.


Mr. Pfeiffer reported that Walker Vault has two Revolving Loan Fund loans now, one was on a ten year amortization and a five year balloon that is coming due the end of this month, the other loan was for five years with a balloon; the Loan Committee is recommending that the remaining principle balance of these two loans be combined, and subject to a condition that all accrued interest be paid up to date, there be a seven year payout, not a balloon, with 3% interest the first year, 4% the second year and 5% thereafter. Mr. Pate stated that other than the fact we don’t have the amortization yet, Mr. Walker is very happy with the concept of it, but he has not said yes I will bring a check for the interest.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, approving Resolution Authorizing Consolidations & Re-Amortization for Walker Vault, if they catch up the interest.


Martha Hendley, Finance Director, reported that we are 1.31% within budget on the General Fund, we still have a good cash flow, cash balance is $2,818,742.00, Landfill cash balance is $2,139,550.00, we have $224,785.00 in Waterworks Account, SPLOST fund balance is $3,215,896.00 of which $786,000.00 of that is restricted to equipment purchases, and in the Revolving Loan Fund we $82,709.00 in investments and $126,911.00 in checking account giving us a total of $209,620.00. She advised that Mr. Pless called her this week and he is getting close to wanting his first draw. Mrs. Pheil ask if she had heard from the person that was past due on the Revolving Loan Fund account, and Mrs. Hendley replied that she has written them a letter and has not heard from them. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that he thought the bank was working on this loan.


Mrs. Hendley asked who was supposed to sign invoices on the Georgia State Patrol building. Mr. Pate reported that there has been one invoice from the engineer for architectural fees planning and they are going into the formal plans now and we may have another bill or so from them.

Motion by Mr. Patrick, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, approving architectural fees for the Georgia State Patrol to come out of the building projects portion of the SPLOST funds.


Mr. Pate reported: there has been discussions about building a Communication Tower as we are paying close to $2,000.00 a month rent, he would like to take bids on a new tower so that we can make a decision whether to finance it or how to do it but it looks like we can get a tower for about $175,000.00, and Commissioners authorized him to go ahead an advertise and get bids on a Communication Tower. Also, he wanted to publicly thank all of the employees who helped at the Christmas Party.


Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, agreeing to place a street light at the intersection of Scenic Route and Lincoln Pinch.


Mr. Pfeiffer reported that the arbitration for the Local Option Sales Tax is set to be held in Atlanta on December 19, Mr. Elliott has requested that the Chairman attend the hearing, and any other Commissioner that wants to attend may attend, as you don’t testify at these hearings. He stated that once we get the arbitrator’s decision, there will have to be a called meeting so Commissioners can decide on what they are going to agree to as far as signing the certificate as this has to be in Atlanta by December 30th or else there is no Local Option Sales Tax.


Mr. Pfeiffer stated that the E-911 Agreement with the City provides that they pay $75,000.00 a year for E-911 services, and if the Commissioners want to renegotiate this contract, they have to notify the City before the end of this month, but the agreement will actually start July 1.

Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, authorizing Chairman Dowdy to sign letter and send to the City of Cordele before December 31st advising them that the county would like to renegotiate the E-911 Agreement.


Motion by Mr. Mathis, seconded by Mr. Patrick and motion carried, agreeing to adjourn meeting.

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