MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON AUGUST 13, 2013
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order with Commissioners Wallace Mathis, Clark Henderson, Sam Farrow, and Larry Felton in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Chairman Nance gave the invocation, and Administrator Patton led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of July 9, 2013, and the called meetings of July 24, 2013 and August 2, 2013, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
HERBERT GLADIN'S COMMENTS
Herbert Gladin advised that on behalf of their group of concerned citizens, they took note that the Commissioners cast a vote at the last meeting and made a show of hands so that they could observe how everybody voted; they also noticed that there were subsequent votes in which the chairman said that because it was unanimous, there was no need for a show of hands, they agree with that but they want to ask that protocol be established to raise their hands on everything they vote on regardless of whether it seems necessary or not.
DENNIS FRASER'S COMMENTS
Dennis Fraser stated that a couple of meetings back he tried to speak at a meeting, and the chairman said that he was out of order, he disagrees with that, and that the Chairman said that they don't follow Roberts Rules of Order. Chairman Nance stated that he thinks he is misstating what he said as he never said that the county doesn't follow Roberts Rules of Order, he said that we have not officially adopted Roberts Rules of Order for our county. Mr. Fraser advised that one of the First Amendment Rights is Freedom of Speech and that is something we have not had in these meetings lately. Chairman Nance stated that was his opinion. Mr. Fraser advised that the Commissioners were servants of the people of Crisp County. He stated that last year the majority of property taxes went up, which put more tax revenue into the county's fund, and they also did away with the debt we had as far as collecting trash, but he saw in the paper that they are looking at going up on taxes, and he asked that they do not go up on taxes anymore, that they trim the budget.
Anna McIntyre, 4-H Extension Agent, reported they wanted to update the Commissioners on what they have been doing lately. She stated that they had 10 4-Hers' competing at state congress for project achievement, and they came home with five masters, three from their rifle team and two from project achievement. That is a wonderful accomplishment. They are now in the middle of their sponsorship drive and many people have received packets as an opportunity to support Crisp County 4-H with a financial gift, and they do appreciate the Commissioners support with that. She advised that they are preparing for their annual awards banquet, which is August 22nd , and invited Commissioners to attend, they would love to have their support plus the kids love to have them there. They will be going into the schools soon and looking forward to that and then it will be fair time. She thanked them for their time and opportunity to let them know what is going on with 4-H. Chairman Nance thanked her for coming.
APPROVE ALLOCATION OF REVOLVING LOAN FUND AS A MATCH FOR GDOT FUNDS FOR RAIL SPUR
Administrator Patton stated that the IDA had a meeting where they voted to ask a formal request to use up to $500,000 of our Revolving Loan Fund to expand the rail spur in the Industrial Park East. He advised that the Georgia Department of Transportation directors approved allocation of $500,000 to go towards the rail spur, and this would be the matching funds for the project. This is a vital piece of our Industrial Park as it connects our Inland Port with various industries, and our recommendation is you approve allocation of up to $500,000 from the Revolving Loan Fund to help build this rail spur. Chairman Nance stated that they have talked about this some time back. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the allocation of $500,000 of Revolving Loan Fund money as a matching grant for GDOT funds for the rail spur in the Industrial Park East, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Patton stated that the money would not be paid back but will be forgiven. Mr. Henderson stated that this is a win-win situation. Mrs. Leverett stated that she doesn't have the paperwork back from DCA allowing this to be a forgivable loan. Motion was amended by Mr. Henderson to reserve up to $500,000 from the Revolving Loan Fund to go toward the rail extension project to be used as matching funds for DOT and also to be designated as a forgivable loan pending DCA's approval, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
RENEWAL OF A MOA BETWEEN CRISP COUNTY FIRE RESCUE AND MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE
Fire Chief Ray Lunsford reported that the renewal of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Memorandum of Agreement is actually from the county and the Marine Base, and that is the reason for the Chairman's signature. He advised that if the Marine Base were to be called to come assist us, they would be able to patch their radio system and the county's radio system together so we could communicate, which is a big item with any emergency. He stated that if we were to send a truck to help another county or city, they could also patch through so that we could communicate with each other. It is a five-year renewal, and it is basically giving the Marine Corps Base authority to do that on our regular system, and all the costs have already been overcome. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Memorandum of Agreement between Crisp County Fire Rescue and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CHECK SIGNING RESOLUTION
Mrs. Leverett reported that basically this is a Resolution to update our signature cards with all of our local banks; we actually only have two checking accounts, payroll and accounts payable, but we still have to update the cards on all the other monies. Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to approve the Check Signing Resolution, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING THE NECESSITY OF THE MONTHLY E-911 CHARGE ON TELEPHONE SUBSCRIBERS
Mrs. Leverett advised that this is a Resolution reaffirming the necessity of the monthly E-911 charge on telephone subscribers, which is the landline charge in support of E-911 services. Every year we have to adopt a Resolution stating that the money is necessary to support E-911 operations; it is $1.50 per month per landline. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Resolution Reaffirming the Necessity of the Monthly E-911 Charge on Telephone Subscribers, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING THE NECESSITY OF THE MONTHLY E-911 CHARGE ON WIRLESS PHONES
Mrs. Leverett reported that this is basically the same Resolution except that this one addresses wireless communication and currently this fee is $1.00 per month, and the Resolution reaffirms the $1.00. The state has increased that fee to $1.50 because there now are more wireless phones than landline phones. In order to continue with the same level of revenues, they have increased that fee as well. We need to adopt the Resolution Reaffirming the $1.00, and then we can set a date for a required public hearing to up this fee to $1.50 per month. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Resolution Reaffirming the Necessity of the Monthly E-911 Charge on Wireless Phones, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously. Commissioners agreed to set the public hearing to discuss the $1.50 charge for wireless phones at the next regular meeting date of September 10, 2013.
APPROVE RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING THE NECESSITY OF THE MONTHLY E-911 CHARGE ON PREPAID WIRELESS
Mrs. Leverett reported that this Resolution is for the prepaid wireless phones, which remain at .75 per phone purchase, and reaffirms that. Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to approve the Resolution Reaffirming the Necessity of the Monthly E-911 Charge on Prepaid Wireless, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE NEW LIQUOR STORE APPLICATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that we have a request for a new liquor store license, Lakeside Beverage; the applicant is David Smith, and the store will be located at 2452C Hwy. 280 West. All the paperwork is in order, the background check has been done and the sheriff has approved his part of the application. There is one little issue pending with Planning and Zoning on the closing of a door, but that shouldn't hold up what they are doing today. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve a liquor store license for Lakeside Beverage located at 2452C Hwy. 280 West based on the sheriff's recommendation, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that included in the financial report is very preliminary report for the first month of the new fiscal year. Please be reminded that we have about a 30 day lag time in most revenues so a large percentage of the revenues received in July represents June activity and has been accrued to the previous month. The first page includes the report of revenues and expenditures for the County's General and three major Special Revenue Funds. Combined, these funds are reporting revenues received for the month of July at $118,494 while expenditures reached $1.3 million leaving us with a $1.2 million shortfall after the first 30 days of the new year. This is the time of year when cash flow is critical, as we are approaching that window of our fiscal year that normally starts the cycle of expenditures exceeding revenues on a monthly basis. We expect this trend to continue until the 2013 tax digest collections start to come in. For the month of July, the Water Fund recorded revenues of $49,375, expenditures of $37,580, leaving the Water Fund with a net gain of $11,795. Water consumption billed for the month was 6.7 million gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,553,663. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $127,765 in accrued monthly revenues and $105,210 in expenses for the month of July leaving the landfill with a net gain after the first month of $22,555. The total tonnage received for the month of June was 3,739.97 tons. Approximately 36% of that was received from Advanced under their commercial contract and 17% under the residential contract. The GEFA loans are current at $4.7 million. In the Cash Report, the General Fund (down almost $2 million from July 31, 2012) and special revenue funds combined ended the month with $5.3 million; the proprietary funds with $2.3 million; and the SPLOST funds $8.5 million leaving a County Wide total of $16.3 million. For the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of July 31st we have spent $16.9 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving $759,157 to complete the various projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 SPLOST Issue, total collections were $24.7 million; total expenditures $19.7 million leaving us with just over $5 million to complete the projects budgeted under this issue. Next is the 2011 SPLOST report. Distribution no.18 in the amount of $352,558 is up about 7% over last month but down 4% from this time last year and drops our monthly average down to $337,027, over $18,000 short of the monthly average needed to generate the original total revenue projected under this issue. Following that is the detail list of all the SPLOST Expenditures for the month of July. We spent $589,251; projects benefiting were Crisp County Roads, County Buildings, the Crisp County Sheriff's Department, the Darton Project and the Cities of Cordele and Arabi. This month's distribution of the Local Option Sales Tax of $169,301 is up, 7.61% over last month but down 1.96% over this time last year. For the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, total number of loans remains at eleven with a total balance due of $1,270,143. The last report is a very preliminary revenue by fund and expenditures by department report. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of this report, overall, the General and Special Revenue Funds combined are at 8%; the Water Fund and the Landfill Fund both at 7%. She stated that the 2013 end of year number is not going to be pretty, right now at about 99% of everything being booked, the revenues are about $1.2 million short of projections, a lot of that is in ad valorum tax because of the appeals plus jail per diem, fines, grant revenues were all short. The expenditures were actually $600,000 to $700,000 under the projections, but it still leaves us with about $650,000 net shortfall that is going to have to come out of reserves, which are dangerously low.
APPROVE INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES
Mrs. Leverett reported that she has a renewal of the Resolution authorizing the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Town of Arabi to provide fire protection services to Arabi. We have a station located in Arabi and the county provides 24/7 coverage for Arabi and the surrounding areas, and as part of that Arabi provides the building, pays the utilities, and we provide one man 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the truck and equipment. This is the same agreement that we had, it is set up for five years and this renews in another five years. She advised that County Attorney Lawson has looked over it and says everything looks fine. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Resolution Authorizing the Intergovernmental Contract between the Town of Arabi to provide fire protection services to the Town of Arabi and related matters, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE TENANT IN THE J. R. DOWDY, JR. BUILDING
Administrator Patton stated that we have a request from the Crisp County Community Council that they are allowed to have another tenant in the J. R. Dowdy, Jr. building. This organization does great things for our young people and help build family units, plus they have suffered severe funding cuts, and this is a way that they can keep operating without having to come to the Commissioners. We have the space, and they will get a little rent out of the tenant. This tenant is called Pacson, they are expanding out of Sumter County into Crisp County, and they provide study for people getting their GED's. He recommends that they allow this tenant into the building. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to allow Pacson to sublease space through the Crisp County Community Council which is located at the J. R. Dowdy, Jr. building, and any future lessors will have to come before the Commissioners for approval, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
DENISE FRASER'S COMMENTS
Denise Fraser wanted the Commissioners to realize that the County is not getting the tax funds coming in that they projected, and that also means that the business people are not getting the money to pay the taxes; he would like for them to recognize that also.
APPROVE RESOLUTION TO SET COUNTY MILLAGE
Mrs. Leverett reported that this is the Resolution needed to set the 2013 County, Special Service District,
State, and Board of Education tax rates for 2013 as advertised. She has received the school board's rate of 17.450, everything appears to be in order, and we need to adopt the Resolution and set the millage rate so the Tax Commissioner can take everything to Atlanta for approval. She read the 2013 Tax Levy Resolution setting the county millage rate at .010826, state millage rate at .000150, total county and state millage rate of .010976, unincorporated district special service millage rate of .001070, and school system millage rate of .017450. Mr. Henderson asked was the special service district millage rate reflecting the charge where the property owners in the unincorporated areas of the county will be paying less because of curbside garbage, and she advised that was correct. She advised that they do have some solid waste collection expenses in this physical year, but it was reduced from .001434 to .001070. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt the 2013 Tax Levy Resolution, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) he attended the MOU signing event between Inland Port and the Savannah Port Authority; 3) he attended IDA prospect meetings; 4) he coordinated several road complaints due to weather with public works: 5) he worked with Advanced Disposal for implementation of curbside service, which will begin September 9, 2013; 6) he had several meetings to discuss litigation matters; 7) he met with Georgia EPD to discuss issues at the Crisp County Landfill; 8) he met with consulting engineers to correct issues found at the landfill; 9) he attended two Darton College progress meetings; 10) the Veterans Day Committee, which he is a member, met to discuss the agenda for this year's celebration. The Governor will not be able to attend and be the guest speaker. They will ask the Georgia Adjutant General if he would be the guest speaker; and 11) he worked on updating several County policies and plans.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, litigation, and real estate, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
CHANGE POLICY AT RECREATION DEPARTMENT REGARDING PLAYING FIELDS
Mr. Nance reported that we have been charging local people and teams to use the recreation practice fields, and he would like for the County not to charge them for this unless they use the lights, otherwise they can request it and schedule it through the Recreation Department. This would not include an organized team as they would have to pay, this is just the local recreation teams. Mr. Henderson stated that they would have to clean up after themselves. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to allow the Recreation Department to change their policy of use of fields for practice of local people and teams at no charge, they will continue to schedule through the Recreation Department, and they expect them to clean up after use of the fields, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT BETTY LYNN BAKER TO DFACS BOARD
Administrator Patton stated they there is an expired board appointment on the Department of Family and Children Services Board, Betty Lynn Baker; the board is recommending that she be reappointed, and she would like to be reappointed also. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint Betty Lynn Baker to the Department of Family and Children Services Board for a five-year term ending June 30, 2018, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS LIQUOR SALES IN THE COUNTY
Mr. Mathis advised that some stores are complaining that they can't sell Sunday sales of alcohol. Commissioners discussed this issue. Administrator Patton stated that his opinion is that the Commissioners have the obligation under open government to give the people an opportunity on whether or not they want this as it would have to be on a referendum. That is not saying you support it, you are just giving the people the opportunity to decide what they want. He stated that this hampers growth in the county and crime rate and accidents do no go up with the sales per every study he has seen, plus we are missing revenue. You need to let the people decide. Mr. Mathis asked if they wanted to pursue trying to put it on the ballot. After more discussion, Administrator Patton will find out what the time frame is on getting this issue on the ballot in November and also find out what the difference is in stipulations between Sunday sales and liquor by the drink.
Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to adjourn the meeting at 11:35 a.m., seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.