MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON APRIL 8, 2014
Vice-Chairman Clark Henderson called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners Wallace Mathis, Sam Farrow, and Larry Felton in attendance. Chairman Authur James Nance arrived later. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Carl Gamble gave the invocation, and Administrator Patton led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Vice-Chairman Henderson welcomed all in attendance.
INITIATE A REQUEST FOR A TEXT AMENDMENT TO THE UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that from time to time we have to update the Land Development Code when the need arises, and she has had a request from a person wanting to open an Event Facility. All she needs today is for the commissioners to initiate a request for a text amendment to the Unified Land Development Code so she can start the process. She advised that we will have a public hearing at the next meeting, and if that is passed, we will then have a public hearing on what the people are proposing. Between now and the next meeting, she will get them a packet of some conditions that we will need to put on this type of event. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to initiate the request to start the legal proceedings in order to hold a public hearing for the text amendment of creating an Event Facility Category at the May 13, 2014 regular scheduled meeting, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on March 11, 2014 and the called meeting on March 31, 2014, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
CRISP COUNTY COMMUNITY COUNCIL UPDATE
Mrs. Sherry Evans advised that on behalf of the Crisp County Community Council Board of Trustees, she thanked them for their support. She presented them with a handout that highlights the emerging trends of our children and families and on April 14th they will address these trends within their annual plan; she invited the commissioners to participate with them. She stated that they have accountability as their family connection collaborative to address the socio-economic issues that our children and families face in Crisp County. They are currently in the city’s comprehensive plan and they would love to be in the county’s comprehensive plan with that accountability in place. Their intent is not just to have activities and programs that raise awareness, even though they do that, it is to impact the numbers. She asked commissioners to review the numbers and if there is anything specific they would like on their agenda, let her know. She also handed out a flyer of “The week of the Young Child” and advised that a block party for the children has been planned this Friday in celebration of this week, and asked the commissioners to attend and also for their continued support.
SHERIFF HANCOCK’S COMMENTS
Sheriff Hancock reported that he is trying to settle into the Sheriff’s position; he has talked with Mr. Patton over the last few weeks, and he wanted to let the commissioners know where they are at on some of the issues. He advised that in addition to their regular duties, the new school opened without incident this past week; they used extra manpower to watch the intersection of Old Hatley Road and Hwy. 300, and they had no accidents at that intersection. They also provided security at the softball tournament last month, and this Saturday they will have security at the “Rabbit Run” at the Recreation Department. He advised that they issued 404 traffic citations plus 32 warrants last month, and they produced over $150,000 in projected revenue off of the traffic citations, they served 249 warrants, 223 civil papers, and 35 subpoenas. Also they are now housing federal inmates and last month they had 22 inmates, with a total of 519 billable days bringing in $21,798 revenue, with total revenue on inmate housing since the first of the year at $73,967. They are working on lowering medical bills for the inmates as well. He advised that since he has taken over after Sheriff Haralson’s death, they have had no hiccups, all is running smooth, and he attributes that to the men and women that are at the Sheriff’s Office as nothing has changed. He thanked the commissioners for their support.
ADOPT NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH PROCLAMATION
Administrator Patton read the National Donate Life Month Proclamation. He advised that this Proclamation was requested by the Life Link of Georgia to recognize April as National Donate Life Month as an opportunity to share life-saving information about the need for organ and tissue donation in our community. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the National Donate Life Month Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT CRISP COUNTY GRIEVANCE POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Administrator Patton reported that about ten years ago, the National Department of Transportation required the adoption of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) which basically was to make all the buildings and roadways accessible to people with disabilities. Most states put this on the back burner because of the cost until four years ago when the Feds gave a warning to get it done or lose Federal dollars for road projects. The State passed that warning on to the local governments; Crisp County had not complied. This Policy and Procedure is a required part of the ADA Transition Plan. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Crisp County Grievance Policy and Procedure for Disabled Individuals pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE PERSONAL PROPERTY VERIFICATION PROGRAM CONTRACT
Administrator Patton reported that the proposed renewal contract with Traylor Business Services, Inc. to outsource the personal property audits for the Tax Assessor has been approved by the Board of Assessors. He advised that the FY 14 final budget amount cannot be determined as money will have to be shifted from here to cover the legal fees and the FY 15 amount is not available at this time since we have just started working on this budget. The dollar amount is in the cover letter on a case by case basis and is not a part of the contract, and it will be whatever monies are available in next year’s budget. Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to approve the contract with Traylor Business Services, Inc. to outsource personal property audits for the Tax Assessors within their budget limitations, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE OFF SYSTEM SAFETY PROJECT FOR 2014
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that our Off System Safety Project for 2014, which is for local routes not state routes, is funded through the Federal Government. The work consists of striping, signage, and rpn’s and it cost the county nothing but clipping the shoulders of the roads and other normal routine maintenance. The project consists of 33.12 miles and includes parts of eight roads: McKenzie, Dorough, Williford-Crossing, Penia, Old Penia, Dockweiler, Parker, and Twin Pines Roads. He advised that they are requesting that commissioners accept the contract from the Department of Transportation and authorize the Chairman to sign all the necessary documents. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to accept the Off System Safety Project Contract and authorize the Chairman and Administrator to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE PUBLIC HEARING FOR ROAD CLOSURES
Mr. Gamble reported that he has received a request from a property owner that recently purchased property on these roads, and he would like to close both of the roads. The first road is Allen Road, which was platted during the construction phase of I-75 but was never used; this is just a matter of clearing up a legal issue since this portion is not used by the County or its citizens. The second road is Carroll Road, which was a county road at one time but it has not and could not be maintained and it ties back to Allen Road. The property owner is Daryl Lewis. Mr. Gamble stated that the procedure is that the commissioners hold a public hearing first to get input from the citizens before we can officially close these roads. The public hearing will be held at the next regular meeting on May 13, 2014. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to initiate the process of having the public hearing on closing Allen and Carroll Roads, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Gamble asked the citizens to be patient in getting the roads safely repaired after the last rainfall. He also advised that they have received the minor modification permit at the landfill so they can place the dumpster inside the gate at the landfill. Mr. Henderson commended Sheila Southwell, who works at the scale house, for handling the citizen’s complaints at the landfill after we moved the dumpster inside the landfill gate as it was not her decision to do this but the Commissioners. Mr. Mathis also wanted to thank George Gay, Landfill Director for many years, who retired a few weeks ago.
TABLE CONVERSION OF RIDING MOWERS FROM GAS TO PROPANE
Administrator Patton reported that we have a request to convert four of our riding mowers at the recreation department from gas to propane. He stated that the savings to the county would be between $4,000 and $5,000, and conversions have been done for at least 30 years. He advised that with the addition of ethanol, it is cleaner on the engines, safe, and it will be no cost to the county for the conversion. Mr. Henderson stated that when he checked the other day propane was $1.90 a gallon and gas was $3.54 a gallon and a mechanic he talked to stated that the engines last longer and run cleaner with propane. Bill Moore, representative of Conger LP Gas of Tifton, stated that he is the alternative field sales manager. 95% of propane comes from the U.S.; the benefits are cleaner burning and less fuel prices. He advised that the way they are able to do this for the recreation department is because the cost per lawnmower to convert is $500 but there is also a $500 rebate that the Georgia Propane Gas Association offers to any entity that converts. The cost savings of between $4,000 to $5,000 that they came up with is based on the hours of mowing that Mr. Bozeman has provided that they do per year, and the fuel costs that you are currently paying, plus they will lock the price of the propane in for a year. Conger Gas has 8,000 customers so they are able to pre buy propane for a year. That is why they can offer the price for a year, and next spring they will re-evaluate the cost and it may come down or go up at that time. They will train the employees how to safely fill the tanks as you can’t spill this, and they will service the lawnmowers. They will actually bring a 250 gallon tank with a gravity feed hose to put at the recreation department, and provide about 15 cylinders as each cylinder gets about 4-5 hours of mowing time. Chairman Nance asked about the maintenance of the mowers, and Mr. Moore advised that they will do everything associated with the propane at no cost to the county, but the county would still maintain the regular maintenance of the mowers. Mr. Felton asked how much the lawn mowers spent on gas last year. Mr. Moore stated that the recreation department probably will save about $4,000 to $5,000 a year as he figured this based on the mowers that he has on the market that are tracked and on average they burned about 1.1 gallons an hour and on the number of hours the recreation department used the mowers per year is how he arrived at that factor. Mr. Farrow stated that some dealers say that when you go propane you are going to get a horsepower loss. Mr. Moore stated that he has not seen that happen, but at each engine change, you have to do an engine certification. Mr. Felton stated that if they went to propane they would have to haul propane and gas as the other equipment runs on gas. Mr. Moore stated as they move into buying new equipment, if it is not two or four cycles, he can convert all of those to propane. Mr. Henderson stated that in order for them to make a good decision, he thinks they need more information. Chairman Nance stated this is noteworthy to pursue as you are showing us an opportunity for the county to save money and them to make money; he is curious what the entire fuel budget of the recreation department is and then figure a percentage of that. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to table the decision for further study, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the first page in 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 $893,913, monthly expenditures at $967,583 bringing YTD numbers to $11.9 million in revenues and $11.1 million in expenditures providing positive 5% revenue over expenditure balance of $785,316 at the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year. In the Water Fund, we recorded monthly revenues of $42,775, YTD $404,423; expenditures totaled $31,730, YTD, $344,728 leaving the Water Fund with a net income of $60,145 at the end of March. Customer usage billed for the month was 4,188,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $110,082 in accrued monthly revenue, $984,436 year to date; $106,465 in monthly expenses, $1,034,526 year to date increasing the net loss to $-50,090 for the Landfill Fund. The total tonnage received for the month of March was 3518.38, which is up over last month, but slightly less than March of 2012. Approximately 50% of that was delivered under the Advanced Environmental commercial contract and 13% under the residential contact. The GEFA Loans are current at $4.4 million. In the cash on hand report, we ended the month with $5.9 million in the General and Special Revenue Funds combined, $2.7 million in the proprietary funds and just over $9.0 million in the SPLOST & TSPLOST funds giving us a county wide total at 3/31/14 of $17.5 million. The SPLOST report for the 2000 Issue, shows we spent $16.5 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.1 million to complete the various projects associated with this issue. In the 2005 SPLOST Issue, total collections remain at $24.7 million. To date we have total expenditures of $19.7 million leaving us with just under $5 million to complete the projects included in this issue. For the new SPLOST, Distribution no. 26, received in March representing February retail sales, in the amount of $315,876.11 is up about 8% over last month but down from March of 2012 by about 12%. To date we have collected over $8.5 million in revenue under this issue and expended $7.6 million. Projects benefiting from our Special Local Option Sales Tax penny for the month of March were Crisp County Airport, Crisp County Public Works, Crisp County Recreation, County Roads, County Buildings, the Darton Project and the cities of Arabi and Cordele. The updated schedule on our L.O.S.T distributions show this month’s receipt came in just over 8% more than last month but short of March 2012 by about 12%. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, we ended the month with a total outstanding balance of $2.2 million for all these accounts. The final report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department preliminary report for the nine-month period of July 2013 through March 2014. As of March 31st, all departments and divisions should be at 75% of their annual allowances. Overall, the preliminary numbers indicate the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds at 70%, the Water Fund at 62%, and the Landfill Fund at 75%. Mrs. Leverett reported that they will have a preliminary budget for commissioners at the next meeting, and if the board has any major changes or things that they would like to see in this year’s budget, now is the time to address that. Mr. Henderson stated that he would like to have a work session on the budget. Chairman Nance stated that would be good to give them an opportunity to hash some things out; he thinks that is a good idea. Mrs. Leverett stated that when she receives all the budgets, she will ask the Administrator to contact them to set up a date that is convenient for everyone.
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) the physical work on the CDBG 10 has been completed. All that is left is to close out paper work and a public hearing. He talked with Bob Robinson and this should not interfere with our new CDBG submission (New Town Area Sewer Project); 3) the Turner County Board of Commissioners and the City of Ashburn will be hosting the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall from September 4-5, 2014. They have formally invited them to attend the Opening Ceremony which will be held at 10:00 a.m. on September 5, 2014; 4) he attended meetings with Synergy, Inc. to discuss possible grants that they may qualify for; 5) he attended the Darton College progress meetings. Project is on time and on costs. They will work with the City on the demolition of the buildings on Wall Street. Expected timeframe will be on the third week of April to begin; 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 them with the completion of some of the issues. The well supplying the scale house has a blown motor (cost to repair is $1,600) and after reviewing it is better to tap on with Arabi to supply water to the scale house as the well water was not potable water. They have agreed and our water department will do the tap and meter; 7) he completed the ADA Transition Plan, 8) the Draft Comprehensive Plan has been submitted to DCA for approval; 9) he attended a Chamber meeting along with City Manager to discuss improvements/ideas that can be made to promote the Farmer’s Market that are no costs or low costs, and 10) the staff has begun next year’s budget preparation.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, real estate, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Farrow to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT HAL CARTER, JR. TO THE TAX ASSESSOR’S BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint Hal Carter, Jr. to the Board of Tax Assessors for a four-year term ending April 8, 2018, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
PAY ADMINISTRATOR’S MOVING ALLOWANCE
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to pay Administrator Tom Patton moving expenses of up to $8,000, with documentation that he incurred when he moved to Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 11:59 a.m., seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Tom Patton, Administrator
Authur James Nance, Chairman
&nbsp;&nbsp;&copy; Crisp County Board of Commissioners