BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 11, 2003
- Call to order
Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr. called the meeting to order. Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, Ferrell Henry, County Administrator John S. Pate, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer and secretary Linda Finch in attendance. Mr. Nance gave the invocation.
- Minutes Approved
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, approving minutes of the meetings of February 11 and February 21, 2003.
- Resolutions for Kirby Wood and Kenneth Carter
Jerome Outlaw of the Crisp County Zoning Board of Appeals read Resolution Commending Kirby Wood, who was present, as a member and Chairman of Crisp County Zoning Board of Appeals from January 2, 1993 until February 11, 2003. Mr. Outlaw presented the Resolution and gavel on behalf of the County Commissioners, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Planning Department to Mr. Wood, and Mr. Wood thanked Commissioners and Planning Department personnel for their help in making his job easier. Commissioners thanked Mr. Wood for his service to the Zoning Board. Mr. Outlaw stated they also have a Resolution for Kenneth Carter commending him for his service on the Zoning Board from July 21, 1998 to February 19, 2003, and he will make sure that Mr. Carter gets the Resolution.
- Public Hearing - Tonya Coalson
Connie Sangster, Assistant Planning Director, reported that Tonya Coalson wants to place a mobile home in an RD Zone District where single wide mobile homes are special use permits. She stated that there was a single wide allowed in this area last year, and it was required that he have masonry underpin. She also advised that she has not had any objections to this request. Chairman Dowdy asked if anyone wanted to speak in favor or against this proposal, and there was no one to speak for or against this proposal.
Motion by Mr. Nance, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, agreeing to close the Public Hearing.
Motion by Mr. Nance, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, approving Ms. Coalson’s request subject to her complying with the stipulations proposed by the Planning Department which is consistent with the area.
- Public Hearing - Henry Reynolds
Ms. Sangster stated that Henry Reynolds owns a building on Joe Wright Drive, and he wants to turn it into a community recreation facility, the area is RD which is Multi-Family Residential and for a community facility it would have to be a special use, and Commissioners can grant it with stipulations or not. She stated that they have not been out and inspected it as far as codes, they wanted to do this step first, if Commissioners approve it then Jimmy Mumphery will go out and inspect the building. Mr. Reynolds stated that this facility will be used for weddings, family reunions and such, it will not be used as a club. Chairman Dowdy asked if there would be any acholic beverages served, and Mr. Reynolds replied no, he said he may have some kinds of parties but he will make sure that someone from the Sheriff’s Department is there. Mr. Nance asked if he had talked to some of the residents in the area about this facility, and he said he had and had a petition of some names of residents from that area that said it was fine to have this facility in this area. Mrs. Pheil asked if he had adequate parking, and he stated that he had enough acreage for adequate parking. Chairman Dowdy asked if there was anyone that wanted to speak in favor of Mr. Reynold’s request, and there was none. He asked if there was anyone who was opposed to Mr. Reynolds’ proposal. James Burnelle reported that he lived directly in front of this building, and asked what time was it going to close and how many times a week it would be used. Chairman Dowdy stated that he would have to vacate the premises by 1:00 a.m. according to the County Resolution, and Mr. Reynolds stated that it would just be when someone wanted to use it and it wouldn’t be used every day of the week. Mr. Burnelle stated that there have been some problems with noise in the past, and Mr. Reynolds advised that was when it was a nightclub and it will not be that anymore. Mrs. Pheil ask Mr. Reynolds if he was aware of the County’s Noise Ordinance, and Mr. Nance explained that in the past we did not have an Ordinance that dealt with people complaining about the noise, but now we have an Ordinance that can be enforced. Mr. Reynolds stated that if there are private parties, he would make sure that security is there and that they comply with the Noise Ordinance. Kirby Wood advised that they had the same situation come up in the Zoning Board, there is a homeowners association in this area, and he may want to talk to them and let them know exactly what he has in mind for this particular facility. Charles Hardeman said he lives in that area, and he doesn’t think Mr. Reynolds is going to be able to control the people and you are going to have alcohol no matter what. Mr. Reynolds stated that he has talked to a good many people in the area, they have signed his petition, and they don’t have any problem with this since it is not going to be a nightclub. Ms. Sangster said she has had a few calls and concerns, but no one has sent her anything in writing. Mr. Harris stated that he can see the need for this type facility but the experience of the years past is things start out as good intentions, out-of-towners come in, and then it is hard to control.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried; suspending decision until the April meeting, and let Mr. Reynolds get with Newtown Homeowners Association and explain to them what he wants to do. Also Mr. Reynolds will bring a copy of the contract that the people will sign, and Mr. Nance will work hand in hand with Mr. Reynolds and will go with him to talk to the homeowners and let them know what Mr. Reynolds intentions are.
- Resolution For CDBG Grant Application
Don tenBensel reported that the Commissioners voted a few months ago to apply for a 2003 CDBG which was to go back into the Newtown area and take the middle part between Joe Wright Drive and 13th Avenue down to Pateville Road and pave this section so when we leave the Newtown area we will have done most all we can do with CDBG monies. He advised that engineers Hodges, Newberry & Tribble have come up with some estimates which look like it will be about a $450,000.00 project instead of the $500,000.00 that is available. He advised that Mr. Nance has left the room because he is associated with the project and cannot enter into discussion or vote. Mr. tenBensel brought the Resolution to apply for the 2003 CDBG funds up to $500,000.00, they have had the required public hearing, the engineering is done, he just has to finish up some surveying and complete the writing part.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried with Mr. Nance still out the room; approving Resolution to apply for up to $500,000.00 for 2003 CDBG funds, giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the necessary paperwork, and authorizing Middle Flint RDC to apply for grant.
- Cash Match Approved For CDBG Grant
Mr. tenBensel reported that if you request over $300,000.00 of CDBG funds, you have to put in a 5% cash match to apply, but to be competitive you need to put in more, and in the Newtown Sewer the county put in just the $10,000.00 match because we had the 2.5 million dollars that the City of Cordele was putting in for their expansion of their Wastewater Treatment Facility, last year Commissioners contributed $15,000.00 cash, and he would like Commissioners to think about putting in $20,000.00 cash match this year. He advised that he has talked with Carl and the engineer, and we have about $17,000.00 of in-kind work that the county can do out there, we will count that but the more cash you put in, the more points you can get; also, you can take it out of SPLOST road projects.
Motion by Mr. Henry, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, agreeing if we are approved for the grant, we will put in $20,000.00 cash out of the SPLOST roads account plus $17,000.00 in kind work.
- Discuss Mike Harrison Price Request
Charles Jones, Landfill Attorney, said he has looked into the request from the contractor, Mike Harrison, regarding construction of the cells concerning the possibility of making an adjustment to the contract for fuel costs as fuel costs have increased dramatically since January, and there was a question of whether or not we could do that; he has looked at the contract and it does say that this is one of the things that you can consider. Mr. Jones stated Commissioners do not have any obligation to do anything, but if they consider anything they could handle it on a claims made basis as he can bring them an invoice for the increased fuel costs. Mr. Henry stated that he sympathizes with Mr. Harrison, but he would be interested to know how many other venders that we are under contract with that suffered because of this very same problem, and he would be afraid to vote for this without looking at our entire budgeted situation. Mr. Jones stated that he doubted that you would see this in any of the other contracts unless they are construction type contracts. Chairman Dowdy stated that we didn’t have to make a decision today. Mr. Jones stated that one of the criteria that you are to use when you consider a work change is whether or not the increase is based on the prevailing rate. George Gay, Landfill Manager, reported that Mr. Harrison has been working about a month on the construction of the cells, he does have a tanker on site with fuel in it plus he made his price good for about four months which was a good bit longer than he had to. Mrs. Pheil stated that he did honor that price for four months and she feels obligated to compensate him in some way, she likes the idea of him presenting an invoice, and with it looking like we may go to war she thinks is the reason behind some of this gas increase and that is an extenuating circumstance to her.
By common consent, Commissioners agreeing to table decision on Mr. Harrison’s request, and ask Mr. Harrison for an invoice before they make a decision on giving him an adjustment on his contract.
- Discuss City of Cordele C & D Waste
Mr. Jones reported that there is some concern about the City of Cordele not paying the County for the C & D waste that they deported into the landfill and what to do if they brought additional waste into the landfill. He advised that one of the things Commissioners can consider doing is putting them on C.O.D., if they bring the waste, they have to pay for it prior to the time they deposit it with us, and that would be his recommendation as they owe about $200,000.00 now. Mr. Pate said that this is about $60,000.00 more than when we filed the lawsuit. Mrs. Pheil ask if it would be appropriate for the County to amend their lawsuit to cover the charges since the lawsuit, and Mr. Jones said it would be and that is something that we will do.
Motion by Mr. Nance, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried; accepting Mr. Jones recommendation and placing the City of Cordele on cash on delivery in regards to their disposal of C & D waste at the county landfill and making the policy effective March 24, 2003 which is one week after the City’s regular meeting. Mr. Jones will send City of Cordele notice of the County’s intent.
- Accept Deed From Buddy Leger For New Fire Station
Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief, reported that a short time ago, Commissioners told him to proceed to work on the Hatley Fire Station project, Mr. Leger had promised us an acre of land, and we now have the deed for this acre at the intersection of Hatley, Brock and Arabi-Williford Roads. He advised that this corner has been cleared of the timber, and he ask that Commissioners accept this land for a new station location. Mr. Pfeiffer reported that if it ever ceases to be used for a public purpose, the land will go back to Mr. Leger.
Motion by Mr. Henry, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried; accepting deed from Buddy Leger and Mr. Pate will write letter thanking Mr. Leger for this property. Mr. Pate stated that he had invited Mr. Leger today so we could thank him, but he had to be out of town, he will be at the next meeting as he has a donation that he wants to make to the fire station. He also advised that we have a bill of $208.00 for professional services related to preparing the deed that he needs approval from the Commissioners to pay.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried; agreeing to pay $208.00 to Roberts and Ingram, Attorneys for professional services related to the purchase of this property.
- Discuss Ray Road
Bruce Gourly stated that he is not here to say anything negative about Ray Road, he is all for it, Mr. Gamble and his crew are doing a great job on it, he is here to encourage them to pave Ray Road as it is at a dead halt, all the plans now is to widen one side of the road and possibly come in and put crush run down and everyone here knows the reason for this is the opposition they have had on the west side of the road. He stated that when the equipment came in about two months ago, they were elated that they are finally going to get their road paved, then they learned that though the bouncing around of the individual that wasn’t the case, and he wants to know how long the Commissioners are going to let this individual hold all of them hostage. He said he thinks the county attorney can challenge him, don’t let him keep holding them hostage, lets put this road as top priority and pave it. He wants the Commissioners to fix the whole road now, not part of it now and then come back later, lets get the road finished now. Mr. Gamble reported that Commissioners have not approved the crush and run on this road, and if we can’t get it paved the crush and run would certainly help. Mr. Harris ask if the county could condemn the road, Mr. Pfeiffer replied yes, but he is not aware of the county every condemning a road, and Mr. Harris stated that he sympathists with Mr. Gourly and he thinks we need to try everything we can to get this road paved. Mr. Pfeiffer reported that Commissioners need to get a survey that shows exactly what the acreage is there, what fences or involved and so forth in terms of getting the right-of-way, and from that they can determine a cost and bring back to Commissionaires a recommendation, and then Commissioners can make a decision on what they want to do. He stated that in a condemnation, you get an appraisal of the property, you pay in at the time you file the condemnation the amount your appraiser says that the land is worth, then they have the right to take this to a special master and a jury ultimately to determine what the price is.
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, agreeing to allow Mr. Gamble to get the survey and appraisal on the west side of Ray Road.
- Listonia/Slade Drainage Projects
Mr. Gamble reported that the Slade and Listonia Roads are two separate locations but DOT has put them in one project. He advised that we received bids from Folsom Construction, Circle S and Smith Construction with low bid being from Folsom Construction for $32,000.00. He advised that they can begin on March 17th and have them completed within thirty days, and DOT will put approximately $21,000.00 in this project.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, agreeing to accept the low bid from Folsom Construction Company for $32,000.00 on the Slade and Listonia drainage projects.
- Hannah/Eddie Road Projects
Mr. Gamble reported that he received only one bid on the Hannah and Eddie projects, Folsom Construction was the low bid of $268,840.00 which is proportionally less than other bids that we accepted last fall. He advised that DOT will participate with $95,734.17 in these two projects and beginning date will be of March 20th.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried, agreeing to accept the bid from Folsom Construction Company for $268,840.00 on Hannah and Eddie Road projects.
- Hatley Road Box Culvert Project
Mr. Gamble reported that he has received two bids on the Hatley Road box culvert project, one from Folsom Construction and one from Southern Concrete. He advised that Folsom Construction Company was the low bid of $140,635.00 with work to begin by March 30th weather providing.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, agreeing to accept the bid from Folsom Construction Company for $140,635.00 for Hatley Road box culvert.
- Discuss 8th Street Property
Mr. Gamble reported that he has looked at the 8th Street building, and due to the number of window and door openings that are in front of this building, it is not economically feasible at this time unless Commissioners want to go in and do a good bit of work on the inside of the structure to secure the brick facade that is there now. He would recommend taking it down, and Chairman Dowdy stated that he didn’t think we had the $40,000.00 that was proposed to go inside this building and put a metal building in there. Mr. Pate reported that we had a request that an appliance dealer would like to buy thirty feet of property behind his building located adjacent to the courthouse parking lot, and if he could get that, he might be interested in buying the Williams building, and it is whether of not we want to sell county property.
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, giving Mr. Gamble and his crew the authority to remove the brick walls on the 8th Street building and leave the slab. Mr. Gamble advised that he will start removing this building next week.
- Discuss Swift Creek Abandonment of Property
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that some property owners on Swift Creek had asked for the county to abandon property on this road, he has talked to Carl and he said that while the county is not using this property as a roadway, it is used as a drainage. He advised that he will get back with the property owners and see what we can get, also we need to know what easements and where the location of our drainage is as to whether or not we would want to abandon any interest in there, as we may want to basically abandon everything except our easement rights to use that area as drainage.
- James & Ethelle Musslewhite Request
James and Ethelle Musselwhite met with Commissioners, and Mr. Musselwhite ask Commissioners if they knew where the name of the road they live on came from as nobody in that area knows any family with that name. Chairman Dowdy reported that when we were naming roads, the communies involved named the roads. Mr. Musselwhite stated that his wife’s parents and grandparents have been the only residents that have been living on this road continually, and they would like the road changed from Booth Road to Scott Road. Chairman Dowdy stated that they have requests from time to time to change road names but when you start changing road names, you have to change all the maps to make sure all the emergency vehicles get the correct information, so we have tried to stay away from changing road names. Mrs. Musselwhite stated that her mother and dad and family has been in that area over a hundred years. Mrs. Pheil stated that she talked to someone in that area an there was a Mr. L. G. Booth that ran a Monument Company that lived on this road, and they said in some situations the roads were already known by one name, and that the people naming these roads had reason and purpose for calling the road those names as there was a committee that went about purposely naming the roads in the county. Mr. Musselwhite stated that in years past other members of the family owned the property, and this past year their son bought the property and that is why they have not come forward before.
By common consent, Commissioners sympathizing with the Musselwhites and are thankful that they have been in the community so long, agreeing not to change the name of Booth Road.
- SPLOST Funds for Airport Forklift Approved
Chairman Dowdy reported that Mr. Cooper has requested the purchase of a used forklift from the Power Commission, Mr. Cooper stated that it was a good forklift and they often have need for this type equipment at the airport plus public works has need of one from time to time.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, allowing airport to purchase a used forklift from the Power Commission for $2,500.00.
- Ad & Job Description for Financial Director Approved
Mr. Pate went over the proposed job description that Martha Hendley and Mike Jackson, ACCG representative, had come up, and advised that he was asked that under major duties we strike “prepares and conducts performance evaluation of subordinate staff on an annual basis” as we are not presently doing that. Mr. Nance stated that we had talked some time ago about some type of performance evaluation so that whereby each employee and management would have something to go on. Chairman Dowdy stated that if we followed the job description here we never would have gotten Mrs. Hendley, he thinks we have to be careful on what we have in the ad as we might eliminate some people that might be a good director; Mrs. Hendley did us an excellent job as finance director and he thinks someone can come in an do us a good job without having three to five years experience. Mr. Nance advised we put preferred instead of required in the description. Mrs. Pheil advised that she wants to make sure we have the best person possible for the job of handling our money because if that person did not do things correctly they could send us to jail because the buck stops at the Commissioners. Mr. Henry suggest that we consider sending the advertisement like it is for a two week period, after two weeks lets evaluate, not interview, and if at that time the consensus of the Commissioners is that we don’t feel good about this we can extend it for two more weeks and adjust the qualifications as this will give us an opportunity to see what kind of interest we have out there. Mrs. Pheil stated that she does not want to give the impression to her constituents that she is limiting their employee to a local person and wants to expand the coverage area to maybe Macon, Albany and Columbus.
Motion by Mr. Henry, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried, changing the job description of the advertisement to read as follows: Recommended qualification are a degree from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in accounting, business administration, finance or related field, and at least three years progressive experience in finance administration including direct supervisory experience related to public financial administration is preferred. It will be advertised in The Macon Telegraph, TheAlbany Herald, The Cordele Dispatch and ACCG web site for two weeks and will take applications until the position is filled.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, adopting the job description with changes.
- ACCG Constract for Financial Person Approved
Chairman Dowdy stated that all Commissioners have a copy of the proposed Contract with Association County Commissioners of Georgia for the hiring of a financial person to help the County until we can hire a Financial Director. Mr. Pfeiffer stated there is a Resolution to go with this Contract if the Commissioners so desire to approve the Contract.
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, adopting Resolution and Contract with Association County Commissioners of Georgia.
- Administrator's Report
Mr. Pate reported:
- Budgets requests are out and are suppose to be back in by Friday, March 14th, he and Mr. Jackson’s objective is to have work sessions the first week in April and plan to finish the budget by June 15th.
- Health Department asbestos abatement removal is complete and we came in $2,500.00 under budget due to scheduling they did on air testing.
- We have about another month on Robert Phillips property.
- He has talked with Dr. Widner, he has not given him a figure on what he wants for his property as he is not sure the City will let move and reset up his practice in a fashion that he can afford to do with all the new requirements, and Mr. Pate will see what he can work out with Dr. Widner.
- FAA has approved the layout for the Recreation Department ballfields at the golf course and will allow us to light the field with a maximum height of 26 feet, some adjustments will need to be made on Runway 5, but we may not want to do this right now until we get some other issues resolved that he will bring up in Executive Session.
- He showed the position of the new Youth & Development Center on 5th Street, public works will have to clean out the old Elks Club foundation and around that pool and put dirt in there.
- He has a price on Cedar Creek detail study for extending those studies, Stephenson & Palmer’s bid is $25,000.00 and the only restriction in the study is that they will have to get on Mrs. Birch’s property to survey. Mrs. Pheil pointed out that it is her understanding that if there is a disaster declared in the state, then we would be eligible to apply for funds for the Cedar Creek project, but in order to be ready to apply for those funds, this will need to be in place. Mr. Pate stated that this would be part of the disaster mitigation plan we are working on, and if we had a state wide disaster, then we would be eligible to apply for funds to do the project.
- Planning Department to Receive Blue Truck
Mr. Pate reported that the work session brought out that several departments need vehicles, and the consensus was to have them put them in the budget for the coming year, there may be three or four and there may be some switching around that we may need to do; although there is one issue of a new truck that is available, he was asked to call on what to do with the truck that was bought for the County Administrator.
Motion by Mr. Nance, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, turning over the blue Silverado truck bought for the County Administrator to the Planning Department.
- Bonus for Connie Sangster & Jimmy Mumphery
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, approving a $1,000.00 bonus’ for Connie Sangster and Jimmy Mumphery for additional duties during the time we had no Administrator or secretary.
- Publicly Thank Carl Gamble
Mr. Henry reported that last meeting he was concerned about the appearance of our dumpsters and garbage and trash in the county, and he has seen some tremendous improvements, he would like to thanks Carl Gamble publicly for this extra effort as with the rain and everything, he has really been handicapped the last month but he has seen a tremendous improvement in the appearance of the dumpsters. He stated that he and his staff have worked extra to get it done, and he hopes this is a sign of good things to come. He advised that he has more to do than run around and directing garbage collections, and he would like to tell Carl and his staff thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty.
- Go Into Executive Session
Motion by Mr. Henry, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried, agreeing to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate and personnel.
- Come Out Of Executive Session
Motion by Mr. Henry, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried, agreeing to come out of Executive Session.
- Approving Resolution for Exempt Executive Positions Under the FLSA
Motion by Mr. Harris, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, adopting Resolution designating the Finance Director, Public Works Director, E-911 Director, Parks and Recreation Director, Fire Chief, EMS Director and Landfill Director as salaried positions and are exempt executive positions under the FLSA and shall no longer receive overtime compensation.
- George Gay Receive $4,000.00 Additional Salary
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried, adjusting salary of George Gay a total of $4,000.00 to eliminate overtime.
Motion by Mr. Nance, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried, agreeing to adjourn meeting.