MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 10, 2013
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. 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. Herbert Gladdin 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 November 12, 2013, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
DENNIS FRASER'S COMMENTS
Dennis Fraser asked that the Commissioners take into consideration some sort of public participation be put on the agenda for people that show up at the meeting and can sign up and be heard at that meeting, right now you have to do this ahead of time. He thinks this will improve the county because a lot of people can't schedule what they want to speak on in advance, and they will get more input which would help with the decision making in this county. He stated that we also need to do something to get the younger people involved in the county government. Mr. Henderson stated that he didn't want the people to get the perception that we design our meetings to keep people from speaking or telling us what they think, but the purpose of this meeting is to conduct the business of the county. Chairman Nance stated that they work for the people, he agrees there should be public participation but you need to have order and a system in place so that you can do things in an orderly and proper manner. Also, the staff has to have time if we have issues that need to be researched, and then the staff can present it to the Commissioners so that we know what is going on. He stated that he has been a Commissioner about sixteen years, and it has always been a practice of the Commissioners to allow the public to participate.
CRISP COUNTY-CORDELE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY REQUEST
Cliff Harpe, on behalf of Crisp County-Cordele Industrial Development Authority, stated in the county planning for next year's budget, they would like to help them in assisting them in moving forward with economic development, particularly of an industrial nature. He advised that they are at a point where several things have been going on for a lot of years that are starting to move forward as we now have Stella Jones in operation and about to become fully operational in the Cedar Creek Park, and partly with assistance from the county's RLF and state money they are in the process of beginning a railroad rehabilitation in the east part of Cordele that will allow a lot more train traffic comfortably. Specifically this is relating to the funding to operate the Authority. The Authority was able to make a sale of some property associated with the Inland Port that was not critical to the rest of the ability to expand and go to a full scale port operation, and there is a business operating at this location, which is another business that will be causing pressure on the rail infrastructure. He advised that they are estimating it costs about $150,000 to $200,000 a year to operate the Authority, and the Authority wants the Commissioners to work through this in their budget process, they will provide them the information that they need, and see that we can move forward to some type of funding system. Chairman Nance advised that he is familiar with the process and understands the significance and importance of economic development in our community and if we are going to continue to attract jobs and industry you have to be prepared; it takes money to operate the IDA and be prepared when the opportunity knocks. He asked if the IDA had the ability to levy a tax on their own. Mr. Harpe stated that this Authority was created as a special constitutional creature which means it has certain unusual rights and authorities that most local governments don't have but at the same time it is limited in how much it can change what it can or can't do. He stated in 1987 they changed the rules so that these local entities can only be amended by state-wide vote. The law says very specifically that this Authority can levy no tax money. Mr. Henderson asked if the Authority could levy bonds, and Mr. Harpe stated that the bonds they can issue by constitutional amendment are solely revenue bonds, which means that they pledge the revenue associated with the project to someone and that someone agrees to accept it if that revenue comes from that project and we get paid, and if it doesn't, then we don't get paid; the Authority cannot be liable on anything unless it is done solely for the Authority's own governmental purposes. He advised that even though we could issue a bond, the question is what if we don't have the power to come up with the money to pay it. Administrator Patton stated that most progressive counties do apply millage to their IDA's. Chairman Nance advised that they would take this into consideration as we work on our budget.
DISCUSS LAND BANK
Susan Leger-Boike advised that she is here to discuss the land bank, they believe this will be a good thing for our community as we will be able to address vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties by developing this land bank. The state-wide organization and Frank Alexander has written a resource manual for people to use in order to set up this program. The city has approved the Intergovernmental Contract, and it has been sent to the county; they are not asking the county for any money but it has to be a joint effort with the county and city. She advised that the city has budgeted money for startup funds and will have an office for it. She is asking that they approve the Intergovernmental Agreement and in that you will have the authority to appoint two people to the Land Bank Authority Board; she has two names of people that are genuinely interested in being on this board. She stated that the land bank is a governmental entity that focuses on the conversion of vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties and it helps to return these properties back into productive use. It is time for us to take a stand and do something in our communities and not let it continue to deterate and this is just one of the vehicles that can do that. Mr. Henderson asked if a preliminary has been done as to how much property is vacant, etc., and Mrs. Boike stated that they already have landowners that want to donate their property to the land bank, and this is a way to motivate some people to pay their taxes because if they don't then the property can be acquired. Mr. Henderson asked how they were going to take the property and are they going to let people that can pay their taxes just let it go to the land bank. Mrs. Boike stated that each situation would be separately but you also have to look at the overall good it is going to do for our community; you can't do anything until you establish the land bank and appoint a board and personnel. Mr. Felton stated that he didn't know much about this and would like to have a workshop on this first. Mr. Farrow asked if there would be a full-time director, and she stated she thought it would be a part-time employee to begin with and it will pay for itself eventually because a percentage of the taxes that are paid will come back to operate the land bank for five years and then the full amount of taxes would go back to the county and the city. Mr. Mathis asked if the land bank would have first bid on the property at the tax sales, and Mrs. Boike stated that she wasn't sure as she hasn't dealt with that. Mr. Patton stated that he thinks there is a way that the land bank would have first dibs on those properties. Chairman Nance thinks it is appropriate to have a workshop so they can address some of the questions that Commissioners have, and he thinks it is a good idea but there are some questions that we need answered before they make their decision. Mrs. Boike will set up a workshop for some time in January.
JOHN GLENN'S COMMENTS
John Glenn advised that he has two mobile homes on Pateville Road, and he wants to put in an electric service to run a well, and he was told that he couldn't put in more than a 60 amp service; he says they don't make a 60 amp service, and he can't get any water to these mobile homes. Chairman Nance stated that we have codes and rules that we have to enforce, and he agreed to sit down with him after the meeting as they can't really resolve it in this meeting.
APPROVE INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF ARABI FOR RESIDENTIAL SOLID WASTE COLLECTION SERVICES
Administrator Patton reported that he has the Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Arabi for the residential solid waste collection, this has been in service for two or three months but we have just got the agreement back. He stated that basically they accept the county's contract with Advance Disposal and our Ordinance, and the county will administrator it for them. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Arabi for Residential Solid Waste Collection Services, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE TAX REFUND FOR TERESA APPLING
Administrator Patton reported that Teresa Appling sent in a letter requesting a refund for 2010, 2011, and 2012 tax years as she had a well and septic system that became no longer in use when they went on city water and sewage. He sent it to the Tax Assessor's Office, they did note that she had gone on city water and sewer, and the estimated refund amount would be $149.16. This will be at the county's discretion if you wish to refund this as it generally is the property owner's responsibility to let the Tax Assessor's Office know if any changes are made to their property that affect their taxes, so there is no fault on the county in this case. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to refund an estimated amount of $149.16 to Teresa Appling for overpayment of tax years 2010, 2011, and 2012, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE MOTOROLA PURCHASE CONTRACT FOR E-911
Administrator Patton reported that this particular purchase had come up before our last SPLOST budget and the funds were put in the 2011 SPLOST to upgrade our E-911 system as the items become obsolete pretty quick and usually last about 10 years and these are older than that. This includes purchase of a NG E-911 Solution System which includes equipment, software services, and training with total cost of $262,652 with 30% down, 30% upon shipment, 30% upon installation, and 10% upon system acceptance. Ken Partain, Director of E-911, reported that this is to upgrade the phone system completely as now Motorola is coming about twice a month to keep this equipment running and operable, and this is a safety issue for public safety. Everything they will get is NG or next generation compliant as the state is going to this system to where every agency and every 911 center is able to take text messages, pictures, videos, and they can capture that. He advised that right now we are way behind in our capabilities to capture anything at all. This will be a purchase with trade in of old equipment. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Motorola Purchase Contract of $262,652, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE NEW E-911 CAD SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
Administrator Patton reported that this is the second part to the upgrade for E-911, and it is the hardware and software equipment installation maintenance needed for the new CAD system. The agreement will include the software license fees and technical support for an initial cost of $60,325, the annual renewal of the software license and recurring costs will be $15,475 and will be due one year from the date of the contract, hardware system fees of $51,501, and continued maintenance renewal for an annual cost of $3,300 which will be due one year from the date of the contract. This is also included in the 2011 SPLOST. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the new E-911 CAD Software Licenses Agreement with Synergistic Software, Inc., seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the first page of her report includes the report of revenues and expenditures for the County's General and three major Special Revenue Funds. Combined, these funds are reporting November revenues received at $1.4million and expenditures at $967,000. Year to date totals of $4.5 million in revenue and $6.5 million in expenditures leave us with a -12% shortfall of $1.9 million. The Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $41,316 and expenditures of $35,192; YTD revenues of $229,623 and YTD expenditures of $196,333, leaving the Water Fund with a small net gain after at 11/30/13 of $33,290. Water consumption billed for the month was 4,477,000 gallons and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting accrued revenue for the month of November at $94,668 and accrued expenses of $83,837 bringing year to date totals to $539,635 in accrued revenue and $566,362 in expenses leaving us with about a -2% net loss of -$26,728. The total tonnage received was 2746.40 tons. Approximately 41% of that was received from Advanced under their commercial contract and 15% under the residential contract. The GEFA loans are current at $4.6 million. At 11/30 our current monthly average on tonnage is lagging behind last year by about 150 tons a month. In the Cash Report, as of November 30th the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds combined are reporting cash on hand of $4.8 million; the proprietary funds at $2.4 million; and the SPLOST funds at $8.4 million leaving a County Wide total of $15.6 million. As of this report, we have received about 14% of the current year ad valorum tax revenue projections. In the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of November 30th we have spent $16.9 million leaving us with $743,778 to complete the various projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 SPLSOT Issue, total expenditures to date of $19.7 million leave us with just over $5 million to complete the projects budgeted under this issue. For the 2011 SPLOST report, distribution no. 22 in the amount of $312,166 representing October retail sales is down about -10% from this time last year. It brings the issue to date collections to $7.3 million and the monthly average down to $333,324. To date, we have expended $6.3 million. We spent $209,801 in SPLOST dollars during the month. Projects benefiting were, the Crisp County Airport, Crisp County Fire & Rescue, the Darton Project and the Cities of Cordele and Arabi. Next is an updated spreadsheet on the Local Option Sales Tax Distributions. Even with our extra percentage point, this month's distribution of $149,828.70 is down as well, -8.56% from November of 2012. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, we have six active loans with a total balance due of $1.6 million. The last report is the preliminary revenue by fund and expenditures by department report. Expenditures should be at 42% or below. As of this report, overall, the General and Special Revenue Funds combined are at 41%; the Water Fund is at 35% and the Landfill fund ended the month at 36%. She advised that they did close on the JMB Investments/Yoasis Project RLF loan which they had approved, and that will appear on the report for next month. Also, they began yesterday mailing out the 30 day delinquent letters on the garbage collection, and the audit is approximately 90% Complete.
APPROVE LIQUOR BY THE DRINK LICENSE APPLICATION
Administrator Patton reported that Theresa English has submitted liquor by the drink license application for The Olde Inn, and he believes everything is in order. Mrs. Leverett stated this is the first application for liquor by the drink, Theresa English is operating The Olde Inn and has applied for a pouring license for this location, and all of her credentials have been submitted and are in order. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Liquor By The Drink License Application, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING WILLIE B. PICKENS
Chairman Nance read a Resolution Recognizing Willie B. Pickens for his service to the Beulahland Baptist Church for over 40 years and the Crisp County community and designating December 29, 2013 as Willie B. Pickens day in Crisp County. Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to approve the Resolution Recognizing Willie B. Pickens, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) he attended the ACCG combined DB and DC Pension Fund Board of Trustees meeting at the Retreat; 3) he attended IDA prospect meetings. A new prospect is looking at Cordele/Crisp County and we are responding to their RBP; 4) the Darton College project is beginning to take shape, footings have been poured and conduit, water/sewer piping has been laid and the first floor foundation has been poured; 5) he attended the press conference at the Solid Waste facility for the new owners. They will be producing Ethanol and have a recycling operation; 6) he met with our consulting engineers to correct issues found at the Landfill. We are making progress with most of the issues at the Landfill. The weather has hindered us with completion of some of the issues; 7) they negotiated an approximately $32,000 contract to receive reclaimed dirt at the Landfill. We can use this for our daily cover which essentially means free dirt for our use. Additionally, we are in talks to receive some concrete from demolition projects that we can recycle into crush and run; and 8) he met with a representative from the Health Department to discuss solutions for upcoming state budget cuts to their department.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, litigation, and property, 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. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT MEMBERS TO THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to reappoint Jerry Carney and Wayne Taylor to the Crisp County Zoning Board of Appeals for five-year terms ending December 31, 2018, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT MEMEBERS TO THE CRISP COUNTY HOSPITAL AUTHORITY
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to reappoint Dr. Pannell and appoint Arthur Parker to the Crisp County Hospital Authority, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 12:05 p.m., seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.