BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
JUNE 10, 2003 MEETING
- OPENING CEREMONIES
Meeting was called to order at 9:00 A.M. by Chairman J. R. Dowdy, Jr. with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Joyce C. Pheil, and Ferrell Henry in attendance. Others present were County Administrator John S. Pate, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Financial Director Sherrie Leverett and secretary Linda Finch. Mr. Harris gave the invocation, and Chairman Dowdy and the Commissioners welcomed Mr. Pate back to work after a short illness.
- MINUTES APPROVED
Motion by Mr. Henry to approve the minutes of the meetings of May 7 and May 13, 2003, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- APPROVE REZONING OF SLETH ENTERPRISES
Connie Sangster, Assistant Planning Director, read the standards and comments of the proposed rezoning request for Sleth Enterprises, Inc., who want to rezone property located off Farmers Market Road from (RR) Rural Residential to (HC) Heavy Commercial. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to change the rezoning of this property off Farmers Market Road from RR to HC, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE REQUEST - SLETH ENTERPRISES
Chairman Stated that this is a Public Hearing request from Sleth Enterprises, Inc. For a Special Use Permit to locate a Warehouse/Indoor Storage Facility in an HC (Heavy Commercial) zone district. Doug Sleth, owner of Sleth Enterprises, Inc., reported that they are looking at locating a 6,000 to 7,000 square foot metal structure, concrete slab building, primarily for storage of both frozen and dry good products that they currently service in South Georgia, and he showed a drawing of what it would look like. He advised that currently they have two trucks that service this area, as far as traveling to this building, there will be those two trucks and a once a week delivery truck of the products. He stated that if this is approved and everything goes like it should, they will open in the fall. There being no further comments, Chairman Dowdy closed the Public Hearing. Motion by Mr. Harris to grant the request from Sleth Enterprises, Inc. for a Special Use Permit, seconded by Mrs. Pheil and motion carried unanimously.
- IDC COMMENTS
Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of IDC, introduced Brittany Leggett as the new grant writer for the IDC and County, she has already started working on the grants for the communications tower, State Patrol headquarters, Hatley Community Fire Station, and the expansion of South Georgia Technical College. All Commissioners welcomed Ms. Leggett and advised that they will assist her anytime she needs help, and also thanked Mr. Drennan for the job he is doing. Mrs. Pheil also gave a special thank you to Mr. Gamble and his department for the work out at the site in the Industrial Park along with several other projects the county has been involved in lately.
- EMA CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT
Gary Rice, GEMA Field Coordinator, said it is always good bringing money back to the communities, but being able to recognize someone for doing an outstanding job and completing training that betters them in the field that he works so closely with has got to be one of the most rewarding parts of his job. He presented a certificate from the Federal Emergency Agency to Fire Chief Ray Lunsford for his completion of the Professional Development Series, a seven class, not required training, which signifies a commitment to professional partnership in the emergency management field. He also thanked Chief Lunsford, Donnie Haralson and Billy Hancock as he has never had a request that they have not helped take care of for him, plus he thanked the Commission for backing the EMA Agency here because this county stands with the best of the counties, and it is his pleasure to present this Certificate to Chief Lunsford. Mr. Pate thanked Chief Lunsford for his work with the Explorer Scouts and other community work.
- APPROVE ROOF REPAIRS FOR FIRE STATION #5
Mr. Lunsford reported that he has had some difficulties with the roof leaking at Station #5 on Hwy. 300, they have tried three different techniques of stopping the leaks, and the last series of rains have showed them that they haven’t been successful in stopping the leaks. He advised that they would like to go on top of the present roof with another roof at a cost of $9,061.00, which will have a twenty year guarantee; he has the money in the budget to do this that has already been approved, but since it is a great amount, he wanted to get approval from the Commissioners before he started. Motion by Mr. Henry to grant the request of replacing the roof at Station #5 for a cost of $9,061.00, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- ARTS ALLIANCE REQUEST APPROVED
Diane Langston and William Bailey met with Commissioners to discuss the Arts Alliance. Ms. Langston passed out a diagram of the proposed plan for the Crisp Community Arts Center, which will include office space, large classroom, conference space, gallery space, performance space with a built in stage, kitchen and lots of storage. She advised that they will be able to seat one hundred in the performance area and with the folding partition they can seat another thirty, which is a good number for this size community. She advised that the total square feet of the building is 4,254 of heating and cooling space and the porch is another 400 square feet; at present they are working in two small offices and don’t have any visibility, and they feel like this building will allow them to increase their services to the community. She stated that the Building Committee and the Board of Directors are really happy with this plan, they know the lot is big enough for the building, and the First Baptist Church has sent them a letter stating that they can use their parking lot for parking, and they would like for Commissioners to approve to have the survey done by Mr. Faircloth plus they want Mr. Parker, the architect, to go ahead and get the official drawings done. Mr. Bailey reported that the building will cost an estimate of $90 a square foot, which would be an approximate cost of $418,000.00, and at the current time they have about $215,000.00 in funds allotted to them, $160,000.00 remaining in the allocated SPLOST Fund as well as a grant from the Southwest Georgia Empowerment Zone for $55,000.00. He advised that they could go ahead and get started on this project, they would certainly like to have enough funds for when they get started to go ahead and complete in a timely matter, and that is why they are coming to Commissioners for a request of $200,000.00 in current SPLOST Funds to complete the center. Chairman Dowdy stated that there was no specific amount allocated to the Arts Alliance in the last SPLOST, and since it came thought the Recreation Department the first time, it would have to come from them this time. Mr. Pfeiffer reported that this project is a Recreation Department Project, the building that would be built would belong to the county and there would be a contract between the County and the Arts Alliance for the use of the building, and the Arts Alliance would need to go through the Recreation Department to see what their allocation of funds are. He advised that there are a couple of things that the Commission needs to address, 1) long-term easement from First Baptist Church because if the parking spaces go away, you will have a building without parking spaces which would defeat the purpose of having the performance, and 2) that this request go through the Recreation Department Advisory Board and make sure that everybody on board has the right time lines and that the money is going to be available as the Rec Department has determined that certain aspects of their protected five year plan is not going to be doable during the five years as the Commission is going to use some of those funds for the Georgia State Patrol Building. He advised that the ultimate decision is the Commissioners, but since this is coming out of the Recreation Department SPLOST Funds, the Advisory Board needs to hear from the Arts Alliance. Motion by Mr. Henry to approve the request for the survey coming from the Recreation Department SPLOST Funds and allowing Mr. Gamble to represent the county in the coordination of this project, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously. The Arts Alliance will take their request to the Recreation Department Advisory Board for their comments, and then bring back to the Commissioners.
- YOUTH & FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER
Don tenBensel, Middle Flint RDC representative, reported that the County’s 2002 Community Development Block Grant is the Youth & Family Resource Center to be located out by the Recreation Department, the bid opening was last Thursday, they had seven bids and they were all above what they had assumed that it would cost, the low bid was $497,900.00, which is about $44,000.00 above the cash we had available combining the CDBG Grant and the local cash. He advised that he, the architect, Mrs. Pheil and Mr. Gamble looked at different options, they have worked out handling some of the items such as drainage, curb, gutters and sidewalks with Public Works SPLOST funds to make up the $44,000.00 shortfall, so the Architect, who could not be here today, would like to recommend that the project be accepted. He stated that there is one very important reason why he would second his recommendation and that is that the DCA is making their final rankings on the 2003 applications, and in order to be awarded the 2003 grant for the street paving in Newtown area, the county has to have the 2002 under contract, and to take time to go back and rebid this project would be about six weeks, it is doubtful we would get a lower bid anyway, and if the county is willing to shuffle some of the SPLOST money, that seems to be the best way to get this thing moving. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to award the contract to W BM Construction and approve SP Design as the Architect, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried. Mrs. Garwood reported and invited everyone to the ground breaking ceremony on June 27th at 9:30 A.M. at the site.
- APPROVE AUTHORIZING RESOLUTION FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Steve Dorough, Director of DCUTS (Dooly-Crisp Unified Transportation System), reported that we have a state contract that is expiring at the end of this month, plus the Public Transportation Contract with the county as the Third Party Operator will expire in November. He reported that they have eight full-time employees that is providing transportation to the public as well as the DHR routes, they have provided 11,497 trips in about six months, which is well above their project goal. He went over all the programs that they are working with, and stated that they are putting decals on the vehicles promoting Crisp County as the Watermelon Capital of the World plus they are working with the Department of Labor at the Farmers Market to provide transportation during the market season. He advised that they are not asking for anything additional beyond the original contract agreement, which was the county to provide three vans, provide the insurance on these vans, provide office space and also the use of the fuel island at the county, which they would pay; this agreement does not come up until November and at that time, he hopes it will continue to be their agreement. He did state that they would like to synchronies these contracts so that they will come due at the same time next year. He advised that on the DOT part, there are two major things that need to be done, 1) it has to be ratified by the Board of Commissioners and signed by the Chairman, and 2) an ad that has to be run in the local paper one time, and then submitted to the state for approval for the new year. Chairman Dowdy asked Mr. Dorough if he was pleased with the revenue that is coming in, he advised that he is pleased but he is concerned that DHR revenue has decreased in the last six to twelve months because of state budget cuts, but he has been reassured that they will start receiving close to the levels they were at a few months ago very soon. He stated that other than that, everything has gone well, they plan on having an open house at the Watermelon Park in which they will provide a free ride to the Farmers Market after the parade that Saturday. He advised that they are running three full time vans right now and a couple of part-time vans, he has an opportunity to obtain two used vans at no cost to the county, and he wanted to know if it would be possible to provide the insurance to these two vans, which run about $800.00 per year per van plus using the fuel island. Mrs. Pheil stated that the other counties are envious to Crisp and Dooly Counties regarding the transportation system, and he is becoming know as the “transportation guru” of the state. Motion by Mr. Nance to adopt the Authorizing Resolution and designate the Chairman as the proper signatory, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously. Motion by Mr. Henry to add the insurance cost of the two new vans along with the other three vans in the upcoming budget, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- DISPOSE OF WRECKED CAR FOR E-911
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that the E-911 car was involved in an accident, the other party’s insurance company has deemed that since it was a 1991 Cutlass, that it would cost more to repair it than it was worth and will declare it a total loss. He said the best settlement he has gotten is $2,392.00 for them to give us a check and them take the car. Motion by Mr. Henry to accept the insurance amount of $2,392.00 for the E-911 car, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously. Martha Baker will drive the Ford Bronco that originally was in the Planning Department.
- DISCUSS STATE PATROL BUILDING AND LAND
Mr. Gamble stated that the architecture wanted to know how much land is going to be used for the Georgia State Patrol Facility. Mr. Pate stated that there are some issues that need to be resolved about the communications tower regarding the fall radius, as soon as we get this report back then they can spot the tower and that will give us the figure on what we can do about the State Patrol Building. By common consent, Commissioners gave Mr. Pate and Mr. Gamble the authority to work this out and give the State Patrol whatever acreage they need, and giving Regional Engineering the authority to do the site surveying.
- ROADS UPDATE
Mr. Gamble reported that Floyd Road from Musselwhite Road to Hwy. 90 has been resurveyed, the paperwork has not been finished, they have a June 30th completion date on the Hatley Road box culvert project, and Culpepper, Floyd and Harper Roads are primed. Chairman Dowdy reported that the Commissioners have discussed getting Evergreen Church Road surveyed and let Mr. Pfeiffer get up a right-of-way deed and turn it over to Pat Wilder, who has complained again about this road, and see if she can’t get the property owners signatures. Mr. Gamble stated that he has looked up the property owners on this road, and there are four. Mr. Pfeiffer recommends that the county have the survey complete first so you know where the road will be going, and then ask the property owners for signatures, he said otherwise so many times you have people who agree to something, but then when they find out that the road has been shifted to accommodate someone else, they get upset and view it as the county going back on their word. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to have Faircloth Surveying do the survey on Evergreen Church Road, once the survey is complete, Mr. Pfeiffer will prepare the right-of-way deed and turn it over to a property owner and see if they can get the other signatures, plus send notices to the property owners of what is going on, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously. Mr. Henry reported that Mr. Gamble received a letter of accommodation, and we want to thank him for his corporation with the IDC and everything else he does for us.
- GEORGIA VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK MEMORIAL
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that we have an Agreement from the Department of Community Affairs for granting of $50,000.00 of state funds to be used for constructing a monument at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park, and once we get the funds in, we will need to have an agreement with the sub recipient to make sure they comply with this agreement. Motion by Mrs. Pheil to accept the grant and authorize the Chairman to sign the grant, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- DISCUSS DOG LEASH ORDINANCE
Mr. Pfeiffer stated that he was asked to come up with a Leash Ordinance, and he has prepared the most simplest most straightforward Leash Ordinance that he could cut and paste out of the ones he has looked at. He advised that the county has to decide if they are going to have an Animal Control Officer, is he going to have the equipment necessary to do that job, and in what department is it going to be located. Mr. Pfeiffer recommends that someone talk with the City of Cordele and find out what the estimated costs will be. Mr. Henry noted that just this last weekend we had some incidences with dogs, and Sheriff Haralson stated that they had 234 calls last year concerning dogs, and this year it looks like it will double the amount of calls, which ties up a good bit of time with his deputies. Commissioners authorized Mr. Pate to bring back some options next month after he talks with the City and looks at the whole thing and see what it will cost.
- FEE APPROVED FOR SHERIFF’S DEPT. TO GET ON NEW E-911 COMPUTER SYSTEM
Billy Hancock reported that E-911 is changing their software system for report writing, now their cards will not be done by hand as previously and they will not have what they need to do their incident reports, and they were ask to see what it will cost to make their computer compatible with E-911, and the quote for that is $5,000.00. Mr. Pate advised that the cost of the bid of the software was reduced by about $12,000.00, so if they wanted to use a part of the savings for the cost of this, they could. Motion by Mr. Henry approved this request of $5,000.00, with payment, like the software system, to come out of the Wachovia lease of the SPLOST funds, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- PARKING SPACES FOR TRAINING CENTER APPROVED
Sheriff Haralson reported that the backup Emergency Operations Center and Training Facility for Public Safety is pretty much complete as they are waiting on a punch out with the architect, he spoke with Mr. Gamble about clearing this out, and both agreed that when they pave Eddie Road they could pave a few parking spaces for the Training Center at little cost, if the Commissioners approve, as this would be beneficial to them. Motion by Mr. Nance authorizing the paving around the Training Center when they pave Eddie Road, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- APPROVE JUVENILE JUDGES’ HEALTH INSURANCE
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that we have received a bill from Ben Hill County to pay 37% of the Juvenile Judge’s health insurance, it is required by law that the county the judge lives in carries the health insurance and the other counties share in the expense based on population. He advised that this just started the first of June, they are billing quarterly, and it is $512.16 from June 1st to September 1st. Motion by Mr. Harris to approve the quarterly bill of $512.16 for the Juvenile Judge’s insurance, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.
- APPROVE AUTHORIZING RESOLUTION FOR SIGNATURES
Motion by Mr. Nance authorizing the Resolution allowing all Commissioners to sign checks, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- FINANCIAL REPORT
Sherrie Leverett, Financial Director, reported that this month the expenditures exceeded the revenues by about $282,000.00, but year-to-date we are still ok, and she asked if anyone had any questions. Mr. Henry asked why she thought the expenditures were more than the revenues, and Mrs. Leverett stated that there were some big projects that came in above normal plus we paid the insurance premium. She asked about having one more budget work session, and Commissioners agreed to have another budget work session at 1:00 P.M. tomorrow, June 11, 2003. Mrs. Pheil asked Mr. Pfeiffer if he was doing anything about the past due revolving loan, and Mr. Pfeiffer replied yes.
- GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mrs. Pheil to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
- COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion by Mrs. Pheil to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
- STATEMENT FROM COMMISSIONERS REGARDING LITIGATION
Mr. Henry announced that it is with regret that we have received information from the City of Cordele’s Attorney that the City is not interested in mediation concerning the litigation between the County Commissioners and the City Commissioners, we had hoped as a Board that we could solve this misunderstanding out of court, but it is apparent that the City doesn’t share the same feeling, and we will move forward from here with our litigation.
- EXECUTE DOCUMENTS WITH COMMUNITY NATIONAL BANK
Mrs. Pheil made a motion to authorize the Chairman to execute any and all documents necessary to resolve the matter with Community National Bank, seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried.
Motion by Mr. Henry to adjourn meeting at 11:18 A.M., seconded by Mr. Nance and motion carried unanimously.