BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
APRIL 8, 2003
- OPENING CEREMONIES
Meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr. with the following Commissioners in attendance: Vice-Chairman James D. Harris, Members A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, Ferrell Henry. Also present were County Administrator John S. Pate, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer and secretary Linda Finch in attendance. Mrs. Pheil gave the invocation.
- MINUTES APPROVED
Motion by Mr. Henry to approve the minutes of the March 11, 2003 meeting was seconded by Mr. Harris and passed unanimously.
- JUDY GRIFFIN COMMENTS ON RAY ROAD
Judy Griffin stated that she lives on Ray Road and advised that due to some really bad rains lately along with them starting to widen the road has really put this road in really bad shape. She stated that with the road in the shape it is in, if there is an emergency she doesn’t know if the emergency vehicles can get in there. She advised that she and a neighbor, Jane Beard, let people drive through their back yards to the dirt road behind Mrs. Beard’s house, and they got in and out this way for several days. Her husband has helped numerous vehicles get out of the mud, and at times two or three vehicles have gotten stuck trying to pull out vehicles. She showed pictures that she had taken during some of the bad rains. She stated that she is here to plead on behalf of her and her neighbors that the Commissioners give this more consideration and take whatever steps are necessary to do what is right. Chairman Dowdy stated that when they started the road, it was dry weather, we don’t have control over the weather, they are trying to make things better for all of them, and they will try to do the best they can. Mrs. Pheil made the motion to acquire a temporary easement so Public Works crew can repair Mrs. Beard’s and Mrs. Griffin’s back yards, seconded by Mr. Henry and carried unanimously.
- DECISION ON HENRY REYNOLDS REQUEST
Connie Sangster, Assistant Planning Director, advised that Mr. Reynolds was not present. Mr. Nance stated that after the last Commission meeting, he has met with some of the members of the Homeowners Association that Mr. Reynolds was suppose to talk to, and they are not in favor of having this in their area, and Mr. Harris stated that he has had several people speak to him about this request, and they don’t want this in their neighborhood. Mr. Harris made the motion to deny Mr. Reynolds request, seconded by Mr. Nance and carried unanimously. Ms. Sangster will notify Mr. Reynolds that his request has been denied.
- PERMITTING OF INERT LANDFILL
Hal Newberry, engineer, and George Gay, Landfill Director, met with Commissioners to discuss: 1) permitting of a inert landfill, and 2) completion of borrow area #3. Mr. Newberry advised that they are recommending to permit the old borrow area around the water tank which is just sandstone rock material as an inert landfill, and this would allow Commissioners to reclaim that area with inert material, old asphalt, concrete rocks, stumps, yard trimmings etc. since the old inert landfill is just about filled. He advised that Commissioners could go ahead and start land filling with inert material as you have thirty days to get a one page application in to the state which includes documentation of zoning compliance and an erosion and control plan, and he would take care of this. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to allow Mr. Newberry to apply for a permit and Mr. Gay to start a new inert landfill, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- YARD WASTE DISCUSSED
Mrs. Pheil stated that she has been approached by some citizens in the Lake Blackshear area, that clean their yards on Saturdays, about putting something out in that area to place their yard trimmings in since the landfill is closed on Saturdays, plus it is a long way to carry their yard materials to the landfill. She advised that she would like for the Commissioners to have an alternative way of handling that material like another colored dumpster or something. She stated that a good many people are not going to go to the landfill to dump their yard waste. Mr. Henry advised that he sympathizes with this situation, and if we can do this without spending a whole lot of money, he would consider adding some alternative hours on Saturdays or add a dumpster specifically for yard waste to make it easy for the people. Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, stated that they have tried many things over the years, one was the placing of dumpsters with bold lettering on the side for limbs and yard waste only on the sites of the other dumpsters, and one of the problems they had is when they started to pick it up it was full of household garbage so we defeated our purpose of trying to keep it separated. He advised that there are some other solutions, and he would like to be able to put some things together and present it to Commissioners before we get into this too deep as this is a problem around the county. By common consent, Commissioners authorized Mr. Gamble to bring back some solutions to present at our next regular meeting.
- COMPLETION OF BORROW AREA #3
Mr. Newberry stated that the borrow area on the west side of the landfill, known as the Marvin Lewis track, was permitted a few years ago, after it was permitted, the county developed the largest part of the borrow area but there is a five-acre track of this borrow area that was permitted but was not developed. He advised that they thought that with this contractor building Cells 8 & 9, this would be a good time to go ahead and develop this as a borrow pit, they have good prices from the contractor on moving dirt, and if they wanted to give him a change order to go ahead and clear that, install a silk fence, install a small dam, then they would have that borrow area developed. He advised that the cost using the contractor’s unit price would run about $12,000.00. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to execute a change order to allow Mike Harrison Construction Company to develop this borrow area, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- DISCUSS CELLS 8 & 9, NEWTOWN SEWER SYSTEM & HWY 280 BRIDGE REPAIR
Mr. Newberry reported that on the construction of Cells 8 & 9, they were slow for several weeks by the wet weather, then they have had two weeks of good dry weather, the site has been cleared now, grubbed, top soil stripped off, and they are just to start moving some dirt to build the new cells. On the Newtown Sewer Project, the same thing is going on there, the dry weather has allowed them to get in there and get some things done, they are making some pretty good progress now, they have had a number of legitimate complaints concerning driveways and settlement of trenches, and they are trying to get those taken care of. He stated that Wendell Carter, Water System Operator, advised him that he has talked to a contractor about making the repair on the Hwy. 280 bridge, as the water main support that is suspended from the bridge had pulled loose from the concrete deck in five or six places and allowed the pipe to drop down, pipe was still intact but it was close to being lost. Mr. Pate stated that they determined that this was an emergency, he has authorized the repairs of about $5,000.00, and they are well along in repairing this problem.
- DISCUSS PLACEMENT OF SIGNS FOR EMERGENCY VEHICLES
Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief, reported that we have a proposed Ordinance that will allow them to place numbered signs in front of residences and businesses in the county, and they would ask Commissioners to approve this especially for the emergency services as the EMS, Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department have a great need in being able to find the homes in a quick mode. Mr. Henry stated that he appreciates Mr. Lunsford’s hard work in softening the wording of the original Ordinance, and he made a motion that we accept the Fire Chief’s amended Ordinance, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Lunsford stated that he will supervise the Explorer Scouts, young teenagers in his department, who will be placing the signs, and would like to do this at a cost that is allocated in the SPLOST funds, also, they are going to try to leave a pamphlet or door hanger on each place to let the people know that the sign has been installed and explain the reason that it is there. Mr. Pate thanked Mr. Lunsford for the good work he does with the Explorers, and Mrs. Pheil stated that she went down and watched them during their open house, and she would also like to personally thank him for the work he is doing and thank the young people for the effort also.
- SPLOST REQUEST FOR RECREATION DEPARTMENT APPROVED
Cary Cason, Recreation Department Director, reported that the playground equipment has been well received that they have just completed at all the parks. Mr. Harris advised that the residents around Northwest Park would like a bar-B-Que grill and swing set for this park. Mr. Cason replied that he would work on this and brought a list of maintenance items that need to be done, 1) roofing work at Northwest, Harmon, Reid, and Rocky Point Parks in the amount of $4,055.00, and 2) golf course greens gas mower from Georgia Turf & Tractor for $18,500.00 making a total of $22,555.00 coming out of SPLOST funds. Mr. Henry asked if he went through a bid process for the mower, and Mr. Cason stated that when you bid a John Deere, you can’t actually bid against another John Deere dealership because they have exclusive territory, and the reason they opted for the John Deere is because they think it is a better product, they can order parts locally, and they have a maintenance shop here and in Tifton. Motion by Mr. Henry to accept both requests for the Recreation Department making a total of $22,500.00 coming out of the Recreation Department SPLOST funds, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- WATERMELON DAYS PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Mr. Pate reported that the Chamber of Commerce has asked that the Commissioners approve the Watermelon Days Proclamation. Mr. Pate read the Proclamation proclaiming June 21st through July 12, 2003 as “Watermelon Days” in Crisp County, Georgia and wanting to honor this event. Motion by Mr. Harris accepting the Watermelon Days Proclamation and authorizing Chairman Dowdy to sign Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- CRIME VICTIMS RIGHTS PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Chairman Dowdy reported that we also have the Crime Victims Proclamation proclaiming April 6 through April 12, 2003 as Crime Victims Right Week. Motion by Mr. Henry accepting the Crime Victims Right Proclamation and authorizing Chairman Dowdy to sign Proclamation, motion seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- NATIONAL PRAYER DAY APPROVED
Mr. Pate reported that in 1988, Congress established the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer, and suggested that the Commissioners support and go on record as encouraging the people of all faiths in Crisp County to participate in their chosen way to worship in the National Day of Prayer on May 1, 2003. Motion by Mr. Henry, supporting National Prayer Day as May 1, 2003, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- MARKET SECURITY CONTRACTS APPROVED
Chairman Dowdy reported that we have two contracts for security at the Farmers Market, the same as in years past, from the state; the state contributing $25,000.00, and the county will match with the same amount. He advised that because it is two different fiscal years for the state, this is why we have two different contracts. Motion by Mr. Harris, to approve both contracts from the state for $25,000.00 for security at the Farmers Market, seconded by Mr. Nance, and motion carried unanimously.
- APPOINT ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS BOARD MEMBER
Motion by Mrs. Pheil to appoint Mark Brubaker to the Zoning Board of Appeals to fill the unexpired term of Kenneth Carter, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- RECREATION DEPARTMENT ADVISORY BOARD
Mr. Henry stated that we are very fortunate to have several people wanting to serve on these boards, and he hopes that we can consider options in the future to make additions to boards when people want to help serve our community, he thinks we need to find a way to, not only show our appreciation for it, but also allow them to serve on these boards. Mr. Nance nominated Chris Greene to the Recreation Department Advisory Board, Mr. Harris made a motion to close the nominations and Mrs. Pheil seconded this, and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Pate will write letters to all persons willing to serve on these boards that was not accepted thanking them for their support. Chairman Dowdy stated that he would like to see the other names filed, and the next time something comes up, we can contact them and see if they are still willing to serve.
- WRITE RESOLUTIONS TO DAVID PITTS AND BILLY RUIS
Motion by Mr. Harris to write Resolutions thanking David Pitts for serving on The Development Authority and Billy Ruis for serving on The Recreation Advisory Board, seconded by Mr. Nance, and motion carried unanimously.
- HATLEY COMMUNITY FIRE SERVICE DISCUSSED
Mr. Henry stated he would like to thank and recognize Buddy Leger who donated an acre of land to be used for a Fire Station in the Hatley community, and Mr. Pate stated that he was to come to this meeting but something came up and he wasn’t able to, but he will get him here at the next regular meeting. Mr. Lunsford reported that Herbert Hughes has agreed to house a tanker in this area until the Hatley Road problem has been cleared up.
- ACCEPT REVOLVING LOAN COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that the Commissioners had a request from Circle J Enterprises for a substitution of collateral on a guarantee, the Revolving Loan Committee has met with the people of Circle J, also, Mrs. West and Mrs. Pack, her counsel is here today. He stated that the situation is one of the pieces of collateral for this loan is the residence of Mrs. West, who wants to sell this residence and will offer the county three properties for a substitution of her collateral; based on the meeting with the RLF committee, this loan has always made payments on time, it is current, they have met their employment promises, last year they built 36 units and had sold 34 prior to the end of the year, and this year they are projecting that it is possible they can do as many as 75 units, so the business is doing well. He said there are some things that the committee would like to assure that the county is properly protecting its’ collateral position, but the committee is recommending that the county approve the Chairman entering into a modification agreement that would be signed by all the guantors. Motion by Mr. Harris to accept the recommendation of the RLF committee approving conditions in a modified loan agreement that would allow for the substitution of the collateral, protect the county’s interest, and make sure that all the information that the county is receiving is what it needs, and giving Chairman Dowdy the authority to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- PURCHASE COMPUTER SOFTWARE FOR E-911
Mr. Pate reported that this was thoroughly discussed in their work session, and we need to make a decision on whether or not to purchase this software in the amount of $307,500.00 by June 1st. He advised that we will get a trade-in of $130,846.00, which is what we paid for the original software, as due to some changes in the structure of that software, Motorola has elected to give the county full credit of what was paid for that software when we bought it five years ago, making total of $438,346.00. He also added that the estimate is $15,000.00 for the flat file tie-in for the Sheriff’s Department so they can query the computer and not have any handwritten reports, and the City will also be given the same opportunity to buy their own software for the same price. Amy Westenfeld of the Finance Department stated that Wachovia Bank will allow the county to purchase this software on our reserve account. Motion by Mr. Harris to authorize the execution of the contract by the Chairman with Motorola in the amount of $307,500.00, with 30% of net total due now, for computer software for E-911 which brings our software up to date, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- CDBG & EIP PROPOSAL APPROVED
Bruce Drennan, IDC Executive Director, reported that they have tallied the scores of the engineering consultant and the consultant to administer the grant in the construction project for the rail spur for U.S. Timber Corporation, and they expect that the grant to be issued within the next two weeks. He advised that the committee met and reviewed the consultants and also the engineer scored this, and they have a recommendation for the engineering company and the consultant that Mrs. Pheil has agreed to read. He stated that they looked at the past performances as they relate to work with similar projects like this one, and their recommendation is based on the review of these companies and their experience. Motion by Mrs. Pheil that based upon the review of the proposals received, the scoring of the six criteria on the worksheets and all discussions of the proposal, that Crisp County hire Stephenson & Palmer Engineer, Inc. as the engineering consultants and Bob Robertson & Associates, Inc. as the administrative consultants to design and to complete this CDBG project for Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Drennan stated that this will be a $500,000.00 grant from the Department of Community Affairs, about one-half will go for the construction of the rail spur and the other half will be administered as a revolving loan, the company will borrow the money from the county, it will be repaid to the county as any other revolving loan fund and will ultimately will be put back into the coffers of Crisp County. Mr. Drennan thanked the county again for all the work they have put into the U.S. Timber project, they could not have done it without the County Commissioners and especially Mr. Gamble and the public works crew with the work they have done on site out there.
- DISCUSS MOSQUITO PROBLEM IN THE COUNTY
Mr. Pate reported that regarding the mosquito problem, he thought he needed to see if there was something that we could do to help the community, he has checked into aerial spraying, and to spray the county one time would cost one million dollars, he has Dub Cooper and Sam Farrow looking into the possibility of spraying selected areas and give us a per acre cost to do this. He has found a granular product called Pre Strike that he would like to make available to the citizens to buy at cost for about $12.25, and he has made arrangements, with Commissioners approval, to be made available at B & W Farm Center and Hatcher Pecan & Seed Company so the citizens can pick them up there. He stated that the county will have to buy the product and put it in the store, and if not bought the county can return the product to the manufacturer for a credit. He advised you can put this in standing water, and he wants to print some literature and give to the citizens to give them some ideas of what else they might do to help themselves. Mr. Nance was concerned of whether or not we would be endorsing this product as the Board of Commissioners, and Mr. Pate stated that this is what the Power Commission uses to throw in standing water, and we will make it clear that we are not endorsing this product. Mrs. Pheil agreed with Mr. Nance and stated that there were parents out there that couldn’t afford to purchase this product, and Mr. Henry asked Mr. Pate to get in contact with some other south Georgia counties to see if they have any suggestions that would be helpful to our citizens. After more discussion, Mrs. Pheil made a motion to table this until Mr. Pate schedules a workshop to discuss this in more detail, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Mr. Pate reported: the State Patrol plan is about 60% complete and should have that plan in about four to six weeks, there is no plans available for the Department of Motor Vehicle building, they have measured the building and are working on the plans for this now; he has solicited bids for the tower and will have a bid opening on May 1st; and Verizon started collecting the $1.00 surcharge on cells phones on April 1st, Southern Linc will start May 1st, and Alltell will start June 1st.
- FINANCE REPORT
Mr. Pate reported that the revenues for the year are about one million dollars more than we have spent, we are slightly under budget, tax revenues are at 92.3% collected, and we seem to be in pretty good shape overall. He has given Commissioners a preview on the SPLOST fund, it is preliminary, and he would like to audit that and make sure it is okay. Mr. Henry would he would like for Commissioners to review the garbage and water contracts when we have our workshop.
- RESOLUTION FOR LINDA CLEMENTS
Motion by Mr. Henry to prepare a Resolution for retiring Extension Department secretary Linda Clements and invite her to the next regular meeting, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- DISCUSS LEASH LAW
Eva Fletcher reported that she has a problem with dogs, she lives on Valhalla Road and dogs are running rampant out there. She advised that one lady that lives in this area walks her four dogs just about every day and her yard is their bathroom, her dogs are not the only ones, she has a granddaughter who is terrified of these dogs, and she would appreciate anything that could be done toward solving of this problem. By common consent, Commissioners agreed to talk about this is their upcoming work session, and Mr. Pfeiffer stated that he can get a draft proposal of an Animal Control Ordinance to each Commissioner before the work session so they can see the ramifications and so forth and make a decision then. He advised that if the dogs have a propensity to bite or considered dangerous, you call the Sheriff’s Department and they will come and check the animal out.
- GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mrs. Pheil, to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mr. Nance, to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- MR. PATE ELECTS NOT TO BE REHIRED
Mr. Pate stated that he is electing not to be hired at the end of his contract and that he will propose to consult for the Commission to help the new Administrator in the transition. Motion by Mr. Harris to accept Mr. Pate’s proposal, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Henry spoke for the Board of Commissioners and reluctantly approved Mr. Pate’s proposal and wanted to thank him for the hard work he has done in the short period of time he was here.
- SET WORK SESSION FOR LANDFILL COMMITTEE
By common consent, Commissioners set this Thursday at 3:00 p.m. to have a Landfill Committee meeting which will include Mr. Pfeiffer, Mr. Jones, Mr. Newberry, George Gay, and the two Landfill Committee Commissioners.
- GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss Real Estate, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mr. Nance to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously.
Motion by Mr. Nance to adjourn meeting, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.