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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. Rev. Ray Sullivan, pastor of First Baptist Church, 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.


Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that Billy Parker would like to re-open Parker's Flower Shop in the old building of Opal's Flowers and Cakes. Chairman Nance opened the public hearing for Billy Parker doing business as Parker's Flower Shop for a Special Use Permit to locate a Florist in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. Property is located at 2214 3rd Street South. Billy Parker reported that he would like to reopen what used to be the old Parker's Flower Shop operating the same business, which will be handling funerals, daily flowers, and he later hopes to put a few gift items in the business. He is trying to keep it at a smaller scale than they were at one time, and try to regroup his business and serve the people he has been knowing all of his life. Ms. Sangster read the ten standards that the Commissioners base their decision on. Chairman Nance asked if there was anyone to speak in support of the request. Hubert Gladdin stated that he supported the request. Chairman Nance asked if there was anyone who wanted to speak in opposition of the request, and there was none. He then closed the public hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the request from the Special Use Permit to locate Parker's Flower Shop in an RR zone district, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Felton to approve the minutes of the February 11, 2014 meeting, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.


Chairman Nance stated that the Board has not had an opportunity to meet since the passing of Sheriff Haralson, and he asked Rev. Phil Streetman to send out a prayer for his family and also for incoming Sheriff Hancock. Rev. Streetman prayed for Sheriff Haralson's family in their time of grief, and asked for wisdom and discernment of Sheriff Hancock and to protect him and all in public service. Commissioners thanked Sheriff Hancock for his dedicated service to the county and stated that they will continue to support our sheriff. Sheriff Hancock stated that this position is bitter-sweet, nothing is changing but we look forward to working with the Commissioners and citizens and will continue to be transparent.


Anna McIntyre, 4-H Agent, thanked Commissioners for having her and said she wanted to give a brief update on our youth. She stated that they had 28 youth from the middle and high schools that competed in project achievement two weekends ago, and we will have seven that is going to represent this county on a state level. This weekend they are taking 29 fifth and sixth grade students to compete in project achievement. She also invited everyone to the 4-K Rabbit Run on April 12th at the recreation department plus there will also be youth activities on that day. She also stated that several students have just returned from Leadership Day at the Capitol, where they got to meet our legislatures.


Mrs. Simmons thanked the commissioners for providing funding for the leadership class as it does cost money to put on this program. They have had Administrator Patton to speak at their government session plus they have the biggest class they have ever had at 34 students, and she invited them to attend the graduation.


Gerald Mixon with River Valley Regional Development Commission reported that since he met with them a month ago they are making continued progress with the development of the county's comprehensive plan. After receiving input from the public, responding from that input, and the direction of the county administrator, they have a document in front of them that he thinks is 98% complete as he will have a few more statistical tables to include. He will be meeting with the City of Arabi tonight and the City of Cordele next Tuesday night, and after those two meetings, the plan will be ready for submission to the state for review. If everything goes well, they hope to have the plan ready for adoption in June. If they have any questions or comments, Commissioners can let him know by next week. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the draft Greater Crisp County Comprehensive Plan 2015-2019, authorize the chairman to sign an accompanying letter, and adopt the Resolution, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Patton reported that because the Commissioners established the Recreation Department Advisory Board it is required that the Commissioners have to approve any amendments to their by-laws. The Recreation Department Advisory Board has asked for an amendment in order to facilitate the order of the Rec Advisory Board, they are requesting to add a sign up form to speak before the board. Commissioner Felton stated that he left the meeting before this came up, and he doesn't agree with this as if someone has a problem with a child they cannot wait until the next meeting. He thinks the commissioners meetings are totally different than when it comes to kids, and he doesn't know of any problem they have had. Commissioner Henderson stated that it is good for the people to give of their time on the advisory board, but we can't have but one person in charge, and we don't want it to get back to the way it was when he came on board. He hopes that a parent would feel comfortable approaching any of the board members if they have a problem and have them bring it up, as the board is to advise the Commissioners. Commissioner Mathis stated having a signup sheet and stating their purpose gives time to the staff to find out and research what the problem is before they get there, but we could shorten the form to two or three days. The person that comes to the board knows what is on his mind but there is no way Eric or the Board can know until that person speaks, that just gives them some time to do some research. Commissioner Felton said he doesn't think there is a problem, they have had some to voice their opinions, and someone got upset. He disagrees with this. Administrator Patton stated that he doesn't think there is a problem; the request is simply to add order so to give the staff time to research an answer at that time instead of waiting a month to respond back to them. Motion was made by Mr. Felton to table the decision regarding the Recreation Advisory Board By-Laws, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Patton reported that we are required to fill the EMA Director position vacated by Sheriff Haralson, and he recommends that Sheriff Hancock fill this position. Sheriff Hancock stated that he has been involved for the last 20 years in emergency management and holds a masters certificate in emergency management. We do have an upcoming project that is important in that field as we have a five-year mitigation plan, and if it is the pleasure of the board he will be more than happy to take that title and move forward with it. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to appoint Sheriff Hancock as the EMA Director and to allow flexibility with the salary that goes along with the title, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Patton reported that pursuant to O.C.G.A.-Section 21-2-131, the Board of Commissioners will need to set the qualifying fee for the office of Crisp County Sheriff to be filled by special election on November 4, 2014. He read the Resolution setting the Qualifying Fee for Crisp County Sheriff at $1,779.86. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Resolution Fixing and Ordering the Publication of Qualification Fees Pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 21-2-131, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.


Sherrie Leverett reported that we are experiencing a shortfall in revenues as projected for Fy-14, and they have been working on mid-year adjustments over the last few months to try to make sure we come in balance at June 30th. They have met with most of the Department Heads and Constitutional Officers, she has the detail budgets that have been reviewed, and they are now recommending these adjustments. In the General Fund, total budget adjustments of $334,074 dropped the original budget from $12,918,774 to $12,584,700; the Jail Maintenance Fund original budget of $215,000 with a deduction of $10,000 brings that fund to $205,000; E911 Fund original budget of $796,954 with a deduction of $99,041 bringing that final budget to $787,013; the Special Service District original budget of $1,592,916 with an increase of $25,753 bringing final budget to $1,618,669; and the Landfill Fund original budget of $1,585,999 with a deduction of $206,399 leaving final budget at $1,379,600. She advised that closer to the end of the year they will have the final adjustments to bring to them as well, and right now this will help us keep in balance for this fiscal year. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the mid-year budget adjustments recommended by the Finance Director, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.


Mrs. Leverett reported that the first page of the financial report shows the monthly and YTD activity for the General and three major Special Revenue Funds. Combined these funds are reporting monthly revenues of $710,564 and monthly expenditures at $1,000,040. Those totals bring YTD numbers to $11.0 million for revenues and $10.1 million in expenditures providing us with positive 6% revenue over expenditure balance of $881,852 at the end of eight months of this fiscal year. As of this report we have received about 90% of the 2013 Ad Valorem Tax Revenue projected. In the Water Fund, we recorded monthly revenues of $40,959; YTD $361,648. February expenditures totaled $32,736; YTD, $310,020 leaving the Water Fund with a net income of $51,628. Customer usage billed for the month was 4,262,000 gallons and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $91,570 in accrued monthly revenue; $874,354 year to date; $100,767 in monthly expenses; $914,379 year to date increasing the net loss to $40,025. The total tonnage received for the month of February was 2913.57. This is down considerably from the previous month, 1,422 tons, but up slightly from February of 2013 by 331 tons. Approximately 57% of that was delivered under the Advanced Environmental commercial contract and 17% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $4.5 million. We ended February with cash on hand of just over $6.0 million in the General and Special Revenue Funds combined, $2.8 million in the proprietary funds and just over $8.9 million in the SPLOST funds giving us a county wide total of $17.5 million. For the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $16.5 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $1.1 million to complete the various projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 SPLOST Issue, total collections remain at $24.7 million, with total expenditures $19.7 million leaving us with a little over $5 million to complete the projects included in this issue. Distribution no. 25, representing January retail sales, in the amount of $291,725.11, is up about 6% from January of 2013, it is down from the previous month of December but that is normal. To date we have collected over $8.2 million in revenue under this issue and expended $7.3 million. Projects benefiting for SPLOST dollars were Crisp County E911, Crisp County Public Works, Crisp County Recreation, Crisp County Public Safety, the Darton Project, and the cities of Arabi and Cordele. For the LOST receipts, this month's distribution came in at about 6.25% more than February of 2013. We ended the month of February with a total outstanding balance of $2.2 million for all of the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund accounts. The last report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of February 28th, all departments and divisions should be at 67% of their annual allowances. Overall, the preliminary numbers indicate the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds at 64%, the Water Fund at 56% and the Landfill Fund at 66%.


Administrator Patton reported that we have a Resolution for check signing authorization for the Crisp County Sheriff's Office to add our new Sheriff and Amy Westenfield as authorized to sign checks of the county on Crisp County Sheriff Office Accounts only. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Check Signing Resolution as presented and authorize the chairman to sign, 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 Legislative Conference in Atlanta and received updates on pending legislation in the Georgia Assembly; 3) he attended the ACCG Defined Benefit Board of Trustee's meeting. Our plan is in good shape and showing positive returns, and compared with other plans within the State we are doing much better; 4) he attended meetings with Synergy, Inc. to discuss possible grants that they may qualify for; 5) he attended Darton College progress meetings. Project is on time and on costs; 6) he met with our consulting engineers to correct issues found at the Landfill. We are making progress with most of the issues; the weather has hindered us with completion of some of the issues; 7) he attended a public hearing to get input for our comprehensive plan update; 8) they held mid-year budget meetings with Constitutional Officers and Department Heads; and 9) Crisp County has received a share of the $3.5 million dividend declared by the Board of Trustees of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia Self Insured Worker's Compensation Fund. Our dividend will be in the amount of $41,619 and will be credited towards our workers compensation premiums.


Motion was made by Mr. Felton to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, personnel, and real estate, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.


Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the local stipend of $5,000 for Sheriff Hancock, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.


Administrator Patton reported that one of the Tax Assessor Board Seats will come up at the end of this month, and we will go ahead and advertise for you to make the decision at the next meeting.


Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reject both lawn contract bids and consider bringing the lawn service in house if possible with a part-time employee for monetary savings, but died for a lack of a second.


Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to accept the bid of Hobbs Lawn Service of $2,816.07 per month, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried with Mr. Henderson and Mr. Nance opposing.


Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 12:16 p.m., seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.

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