MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON JULY 8, 2014
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, Attorney Kimberly Reid sitting in for County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Sheriff Billy Hancock gave the invocation, and Administrator Tom 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 June 10, 2014, and the called meeting of June 27, 2014, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
SHERIFF HANCOCK’S REPORT
Sheriff Hancock thanked Commissioners for the budget process and allowing them to be able to send detention officers to basic mandate school, if they would like to go once they have met some requirements, as it will mean they will be certified and able to carry weapons with them whenever they transport inmates to doctors’ offices, hospitals, other jails, and transporting federal inmates; it also means a pay increase for these employees once they get through the school. This will also help in cutting down overtime. He advised that they served 199 warrants, 240 civil papers, and 35 subpoenas last month; they had 114 hours in court, and transported 103 from the jail to the courthouse. The traffic division wrote 635 citations with 57 citations being written inside the city limits of Arabi, they had two DUI’s, six drug arrests, three misdemeanors, and apprehended five wanted persons. They have won a traffic stop case that netted a BMW and some firearms, so they have that vehicle that will be sold and the weapons to be put back in their arsenal or to trade plus $2,000 cash. They also won a civil forfeiture on $9,800 they seized along with a computer, and that money was also turned over to them last week. On the license plate reader they caught three no insurance, two suspended registrations, and eleven expired tags. He advised that the federal inmates in the jail generated $73,290 for June, they received $3,720 from Arabi, and $3,921 on phone commissions with a total revenue generated of $80,931 for jail revenue for June. With the city approval, they have spent two of the last three weekends walking the streets at night in the city limits where they have had some trouble, and they were met very respectfully of the people they met. Commissioners thanked Sheriff Hancock for the job he is doing.
APPROVE LEASE AGREEMENT WITH CITY OF ARABI FOR A SATELLITE SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Administrator Patton reported that at the last meeting, Commissioners agreed to a $1 a year lease agreement with the City of Arabi for a satellite Sheriff’s Office and emergency management center; that paperwork is complete, and it authorizes the Sheriff to sign the lease agreement along with the mayor of Arabi. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Lease Agreement with the City of Arabi for a satellite office for the Sheriff’s Office and authorize the sheriff to sign, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
CHARLES KERR’S COMMENTS
Charles Kerr reported that he is concerned about the kids in Cordele, and he knows Pickens Pool in particular is in really bad shape and has been for quite some time; stalls broken, lights don’t work, and other things, it is an eyesore, and he is concerned about this. Pools are good to have as kids can congregate and stay out of trouble during the summer, and we have other great recreation facilities. He advised that now with a couple of schools closing there will be virtually no schools on the west side; we need activities at Reid Park and in that area as we need to all work together for the boys and girls of the community. He would like Commissioners to look at Pickens Pool and other recreation facilities in the county as he had pictures of the pool area at Pickens Pool. Commissioner Henderson advised that the pictures show vandalism, and we don’t know what to do about that. Commissioner Felton stated that did not just happen overnight and it wasn’t vandalism, kids did not tear up these things, this came with time, and we should have already taken care of this. He has also addressed that this pool needs work at a board meeting, and we have the money to fix this pool. Chairman Nance stated that the pictures look deplorable, and no one should have to be in this environment; it does seem like we should have had some type of inspection before the pool is open every year; we will accept responsibility for this and apologize for this. Administrator Patton agreed that there was years of neglect at that pool, but if you go over there now you will see a lot of changes. He advised that there is a program that you can buy software that schedules all the buildings maintenance and when it is time for inspections; these repairs have to go back at least ten to fifteen years, and if we would have done the work then, it would not cost as much as it will now. Commissioner Mathis advised that we can say the rec director is not doing his job but another thing is to say that he asked for money to be spent and the request got denied, that is where it stops. Mr. Kerr stated that we need to take care of our facilities, especially ones that involve the kids. He is not here to criticize anyone; we just see a need that needs to be done. Sheriff Hancock advised that he will commit to the commissioners inmate labor that have painting capabilities and carpentry capabilities to do the labor if they will let him know what they want them to do. He stated that every day an inmate does labor they get a day off their sentence, and they also provide them funding for their store call and accessories that they might need inside the jail. He advised that they average six to twelve inmates on a regular basis as they maintain the entire jail facility, part of the park, and different buildings in the community.
TAMMY SIMS REGARDING RECYCLING
Tammy Sims advised that she recently started a business called Electronic Recycling, and she takes anything that has a power cord attached to it; it started out as a fundraiser for an individual and just got bigger. She is trying to be 100% recyclable, which include the glass from the TV and CRT monitors, and every other component of an electrical item. She would love to put containers around the city and county and start collecting this equipment as it is major that it stays out of the landfill as there is lead and mercury in the CRT monitors and TV’s. She advised that Georgia is not as big in recycling as other states, and she knows where to carry this equipment to get it recycled properly. She is going to work with Commissioner Mathis to get trailers put around the county, plus if someone can’t get it to her, she will pick it up herself. Chairman Nance thanked Ms. Sims for bringing this to their attention and wished her well.
REQUEST FROM PATRICK INVESTMENT CORP. TO REZONE PROPERTY FROM GC TO RR
Chairman Nance opened the public hearing. Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that she has a request from Patrick Investment Corp. to rezone property from GC (General Commercial) to RR (Rural Residential) for the purpose of a single family residence. Property is located at 2032 S. Hwy. 300. She stated that this church was built in 1991 after property was transferred from Patrick Investments to Lighthouse Baptist Church. At that time the zone district was Rural Residential. In 2000, Crisp County did a major rezoning and this property was rezoned from RR to GC; in 2003, the fellowship hall was built. In 2010 the property was no longer being used as a church, and the property was transferred back to Mr. Patrick. She advised that Mr. Patrick would like to use the fellowship hall as a residence. Jimmy Mumphery, County Building Inspector, has been out and checked it, but it was not built under code for a single family residence, and there are just a few modifications that will have to be done in order to use it as a residence. She advised that the Patrick’s have advised that they are going to use the sanctuary for storage. Glenn Smith, on behalf of Mr. Patrick, stated that a family is already in the fellowship hall, it does make a nice residence, and they would like the zone to be residential now. He advised that they have one meter now that reads the fellowship hall and the sanctuary, and they would like two meters. Ms. Sangster advised that would be up to Crisp County Power as you are allowed one residential meter and the second meter is commercial. She advised that you can’t mix residential and commercial, and that is why they are asking that they have it rezoned back to residential so he can rent the property and use the church as storage. She stated that she has also talked with the Smith’s that own property next door to the proposed rezoning, and they were under the impression that we were rezoning their property also, which we are not, we are stopping at their property line. If they rezone this back to rural residential, we are staying adjacent to rural residential, and if a commercial business comes along we can always change it back. Commissioner Henderson thinks it is a win-win for both parties. Chairman Nance asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak in favor of the request. Dennis Fraser stated that he would be in favor of the request and if he wanted to make a residence out of the sanctuary, the tax base would increase. Herbert Gladdin stated that he was in favor of the request and let the records go back to before the church was there. Chairman Nance asked if anyone in the audience wanted to speak against the request; there were none. Chairman Nance closed the public hearing and advised that they would make the decision at the next regular meeting, which will be August 12, 2014.
APPROVE POWER COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS
Administrator Patton advised that this is the recurring six month rotation for commissioners on the power commission board. Chairman Nance and Commissioners Farrow and Felton will be the new voting members for the period of July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014.
APPROVE CHECK SIGNING RESOLUTION FOR COLONY BANK
Mrs. Leverett reported that Planters First, which was one of the major holders of several of our deposits and bank accounts, came to them a couple of months ago to put the county on notice that they were making some pretty significant changes to their fee structure. They asked them to run some analysis and give some estimates as to what that was going to cost the county over a twelve month period; it was going to cost us upwards of $5,000 to $6,000 a year to continue doing business at Planters First under their new fee structure. Once we realized that was going to be a pretty significant cost, we talked to the other local banks, took bids and met with these banks to make sure that they could accommodate all the needs that we had, check the security requirements, etc. We will be moving the majority of these new accounts to Colony Bank, and as part of this process, Colony has asked for an updated resolution on signatures for these accounts. She read the Check Signing Resolution. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Check Signing with Colony Bank, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CURRENT 2014 TAX DIGEST AND 5 YEAR HISTORY OF LEVY FOR ADVERTISING AND SET CALLED MEETING DATE TO FORMALLY SET THE 2014 MIL RATE
Mrs. Leverett reported that this is the first step in the process of setting the 2014 Mil Rate, they have received updated tax numbers from the Chief Tax Assessor and the Tax Commissioner, and have an overall growth in the digest from 2013 of about $7.6 million, which results in about $84,000 in additional revenue; there was also some growth in the exemptions that eats up some of the $7.6 million in real growth. She advised that we do have a negative number on the inflationary growth which is resulting from the settlement of the appeals. With this negative inflationary growth, the calculations for the 2014 proposed millage rate comes to 10.830, which results in no tax increase for the county. The Forest Land Protection Act reduction calculation has increased considerably this year from $650,000 to almost $1.4 million. She advised that this is not an exemption that we won’t receive revenue from; the Department of Revenue will reimburse us a certain percentage of this instead of the tax payers paying that. The sales tax numbers were not quite as good over the last couple of years, so the sales tax rollback is also less this year, down from 3.371 to 3.327. She advised that they are not setting the millage today, they are approving the 5 Year History with a proposed millage for her to advertise; the calculated rate is 10.830 which should generate the same amount of revenue with a little growth in revenue of 1.37%. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the 2014 Tax Digest and 5 Year History of Levy for advertising and set the called meeting on July 29, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. to formally set the 2014 Mil Rate, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that with very preliminary numbers for June, we ended the month with $5.4 million in the General and Special Revenue Funds, $2.4 million in the proprietary funds, and $7.8 million in the SPLOST and TSPLOST funds giving us a county wide total of $15.5 million. In the General and three major Special Revenue Funds combined, these funds are reporting monthly revenues of $821,615 and monthly expenditures at $946,931 bringing YTD numbers to $14.4 million in revenues and $14.3 million in expenditures providing us with positive 1% revenue over expenditure balance of $130,739 as of this report. In the Water Fund, we recorded monthly revenue of $50,029; YTD $543,321. June expenditures totaled $33,281; YTD, $473,162 leaving the Water Fund with a net income of $70,159 as of this report. Customer usage billed for the month was 7,131,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. In the Landfill Fund, we are reporting $153,032 in accrued monthly revenue; $1.4 million year to date; $96,541 in monthly expenses; $1.3 million year to date leaving the landfill fund with a preliminary net income of $63,234 for FY 14. The total tonnage received for the month of June was 4619.49. Approximately 42% of that was delivered under the Advanced Environmental commercial contract and 11% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $4.3 million. For the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $17.4 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $229,681 under the original budget, 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 $20.3 million leaving us with $4.4 million to complete the projects included in this issue. In the 2011 SPLOST Issue, Distribution no. 29, received in June representing May retail sales, in the amount of $331,289 is up slightly, just 1%, from this time last year. To date we have collected $9.6 million in revenue under this issue and expended $8.4 million. The Final SPLOST Schedule includes a list of all expenditures for the month of June from all SPLOST Funds; projects benefiting from our Special Local Option Sales Tax penny, with a total cash outlay of $309,181, were the Crisp County Airport, County Buildings, Crisp County Recreation, E-911, Crisp County Solid Waste, Public Works, Fire Department, the Darton Project and the cities of Arabi and Cordele. The June L.O.S.T. distribution of $158,998.91 is also up slightly, just over 1%, from June 2013. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, we ended the month of June with a total outstanding balance of $2.1 million for all these accounts. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department preliminary report for the twelve-month period of July 2013 through June 2014 and as of June 30th, all departments and divisions should be at or below 100% of their annual allowances. Overall, the preliminary numbers indicate the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds at 94%, the Water Fund at 85% and the Landfill Fund at 96%.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) he attended the ACCG BD Board of Trustees meeting in Monroe, Georgia. Our retirement fund is still performing better than most state funds; 3) he participated in various Watermelon festivities to include the parade; 4) he attended Darton College progress meetings. Project is on time and below costs. We are completing the demolition of the buildings on Wall Street as we had agreed to do as in kind work for the college project; 5) 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. Many improvements have been made to move traffic in and out without having to tow them in and out; 6) he attended the ACCG Regional meeting in Sparks, Georgia with Commissioner Henderson. They received updates on services provided by ACCG to the counties of Georgia; 7) he attended the called meeting to adopt a balanced FY 15 annual budget; 8) he attended 4th of July events at Veterans State Park; and 9) he read a letter from the Department of Community Affairs congratulating commissioners on the recent adoption of the Comprehensive Plan update and awarded qualified local status to the community. Because we went through this process, it makes us qualified for state grants every year as some counties can only apply every other year.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and litigation, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT BOARD MEMEBERS TO CRISP COUNTY AIRPORT BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint Carden Summers and George Gay to 5 year terms on the Crisp County Airport Board, terms ending June 30, 2019, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 a.m., seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
Tom Patton, Administrator
Authur James Nance, Chairman
&nbsp;&nbsp;&copy; Crisp County Board of Commissioners