MINUTES OF CRISP COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON APRIL 13, 2004
The 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 Gene Crapse, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Bill Kent, Pastor of Penia Baptist Church, gave the invocation.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the meetings of March 9, March 22, and March 25, 2004, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
FY-03 AUDITORS REPORT
Chess Cawthon of McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Company, reported that the last fiscal year was a year of transition as the DCA Chart of Accounts & GASB34 Financial Report was implemented, because of this, the financial report they have before them is different than what they have seen in the past. He stated that the county continues to be financially strong, their opinion is a qualified opinion, which means there is an exception, the same opinion that they have had in the past in that the report does not include the Solid Waste Management Authority. He advised that by law the Solid Waste Authority reports are required to be presented because they are a component unit of the county, but because of the uncertainty with the revenues, expenditures, receivables, payables, and waste volume, it precludes their inclusion in the audit report. He stated that there is a positive fund balance in every fund except the Landfill, which had a deficient balance of $417,000.00; the county had a net increase of fund balance of $357,000.00, the General Fund increase was about $92,000.00, Special Revenue Funds increased by about $58,000.00, Sales Tax Projects increased $498,000.00, Water System decreased by about $135,000, Landfill decreased by $226,000, and the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund increased by $70,000.00. He also went over highlights of the report of the Single Audit, which is a report on the compliance and internal control. He stated that there were a couple of reported conditions that we have had in the past that has to do with the county not having a financial policy, which he understands Commissioners are working on at present, but on the whole, things look very good.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE REQUEST FOR SAM MCGEE
Ms. Sangster, Planning Director, reported that she has a request from Sam McGee, resident on Exa Avenue, to place a single wide mobile home on his lot, and single wides in an RS1(Single Family Residential) Zone District require a Special Use Permit. Yvonne Gloss, daughter of Mr. McGee, reported that they have found a 2000 Fleetwood, 16" X 80", mobile home that is in good shape that they would like to place on his lot, there is a house there now that is in really bad shape, and the family cannot afford to place a double wide here. She also stated that there is already a single wide next to his property, and they would like approval to put this single wide on his lot. Ms. Sangster reported that the criteria of the standards for making the decision is pretty much standard, and the main condition is masonry type underpinning and a 6" X 6" front porch. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to grant the Special Use request to allow a single wide in an RS1 Zone District, with masonry underpinning and 6' X 6' front porch, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried with Mrs. Pheil abstaining, due to Mr. McGee being related to her husband.
PUBLIC HEARING - REQUEST FROM JERRY BRADEN
Ms. Sangster reported that she has a request from Jerry & Annamaria Braden, with the property owner’s authorization, to rezone property from I (Industrial) to RM (Multi-Family Residential) for the purpose of constructing multi-family housing for seniors 55 and older; the decision cannot be made until the next meeting. She reported that the property is located at 1304 Blackshear Road, across from Cordelia Manor, 3.70 acres is in the county, and they propose to place twelve units on the county property, with the balance of the units coming from property they are purchasing from the Hospital Authority. Mrs. Braden reported that they are working on a proposal to submit an application to DCA for tax credits, they have an option to purchase the tract from the Hospital Authority, which is a very confining site, so they also have an option to purchase the tract in the county from John Glenn. She stated that they are proposing to put most of the units on the Hospital Authority tract with the balance on the county tract, and she passed around pictures of a complex that they finished last year in Bainbridge. She stated that they would also like the Commission to pass a Resolution of Support, which is one of the requirements of the DCA application, plus she will need a letter advising that it is zoned properly for this type use. She stated that Jean Burnett did give her a letter saying that they could tie into the City water and sewer system. Ms. Sangster stated that if the Commission approves the request, they will annex into the City, but they get more points by being permitted in the County first. Chairman Dowdy asked if there was anyone that was here to speak in opposition of the proposal, and there was none. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to close the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Dowdy advised that they will make their decision of this request at a called meeting on April 28, 2004.
TEXT AMENDMENT TO SOIL & SEDIMENTATION EROSION CONTROL PLAN
Ms. Sangster advised that as part of the Unified Development Code, it is time to amend & adopt the Soil & Sedimentation Erosion Control Plan, anytime you make a change, it is considered a Text Amendment. She advised that on April 28th, we will hold a Public Hearing on the amendments, and then, if everything is satisfactory, at the next regular meeting, they can adopt it or make changes, as it has to be submitted to EPD by July 1, 2004, in order for the County to stay certified as a “Local Issuing Authority”. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to make a Text Amendment to the Soil & Sedimentation Erosion Control Plan, seconded by Mr. Harris and motion carried unanimously.
MOSQUITO/MOSQUITO CONTROL INFORMATION BRIEFING
Ken Lewis, County Extension Director, stated that his phone is beginning to ring a good bit concerning mosquitos, and Mr. Crapse has asked him to do a mosquito presentation. He gave some educational information about mosquitos and advised that when mosquitos are not at work they like to rest in cool, dark protective areas such as tall grass and shrubbery, they are a nuisance and carriers of certain diseases, especially the West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is spread by the Southern House Mosquito, a multiple host feeder, it breeds in foul, stinky, stank water, sewage, contaminated animal waste water, storm drains, and also stagnant water you might find in a tin can, bucket, old tires, etc. He stated that there are several control options, but it needs to be a package deal, as doing one without the other is not very effective: 1) take away the breeding sites, anything that holds water for more than two days; 2) prevent the contact, wear light colored clothing, stay indoors during dawn and dust, and use mosquito repellent with deet; 3) treat where they hangout, such as thinning the shrubbery, cut tall weeds around the house, and spray, Malathion is a good choice; 4) make sure ponds or permanent structures have fish or minnows as they will eat the larva, or those areas that fish aren’t handling it, or you can’t drain, you can use larvacide; and 5) use bio-friendly surface films. He stated that the most popular thing is to spray, but the spays are highly effective in killing the night flyers, but not very effective in killing day mosquitos, it is the most expensive option, and if you aren’t doing the other things, it is not very effective. He advised that if you do ground spraying, you have to spray on a grid and within three hundred feet of each dwelling, so it is not very effective in the county. He stated that to him spraying is the last resort, the best effect is team work effect, clean up the breeding areas, clean up or treat the resting areas, alter our behavior to avoid the peek exposure time, and if we can’t drain water, then larvacide is fairly effective. He advised that he plans to be on TV on Wednesday, and he will get with the Dispatch and do some educational things homeowners can do themselves in their effort to fight the mosquito problem.
VICTIM’S RIGHTS WEEK PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that Commissioners have a sample Proclamation for Victim’s Rights Week in their packet. Colin Scott, liaison of crime victims through the District Attorney’s Office for Crisp and Dooly Counties, reported that they will have the reading of the Proclamation on the Courthouse steps on April 21st, like they have had in the past, in conjunction of the Victim’s Rights Week, which will be April 18th thru April 24th. He stated that they also will have roadblocks on Monday to pass out information on Victim’s Rights Week, and they will have a candlelight vigil at the Memorial Wall at the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday to recognize the victims of crime who are no longer with us. He said the purpose of this week is to make the community aware that the victims of crime do have rights, they do exist in this community, and it is our responsibility as a community to make sure that these victims are served properly and treated with respect and dignity. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the Crime Victims’ Rights Week Proclamation and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Deborah Smith, County Director for Crisp County Family & Children Services, stated that by law they are mandated to report the figures of child abuse and neglect, she handed out their annual report, which were reports that were made to child protective services during the fiscal year July 1, 2002 thru June 30, 2003. She reported that April is the awareness month of child abuse and neglect, and at the Community Clubhouse there is a display of pinwheels of every report of child abuse in the county. Mr. Harris asked if they had any cases of adult abuse, and she replied yes. Mrs. Smith read the Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation designating April to be National Child Abuse Awareness Month, and a good time to renew our commitment to keeping children safe. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
GEORGIA RETAIL WEEK PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that Monica Simmons could not be here today, but before them is a proposed Georgia Retail Week Proclamation, which is an annual statewide effort to recognize the 1733 retailers that provide services to our county and to Georgians all over the state, as retailers employ 12.5% of the non-agricultural workforce, and they collect our LOST and SPLOST tax. He reported that Governor Sonny Purdue put out an Executive Order, and this is the follow-up that each of the counties and cities has been asked to do. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the Georgia Retail Week Proclamation and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that this will be the first official act of the Centennial, this is a Proclamation that recognizes the 100 years of the organization for the Daughters of the Confederacy and recognizes their achievement and status of being in this organization. He stated that this is the oldest historical heritage organization in the United States. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the United Daughters of the Confederacy Proclamation and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Henry, motion carried unanimously.
CRISP COUNTY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION COMMITTEE AGREEMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that there is another meeting planned for this afternoon of the Crisp County Centennial Celebration Committee, and everyone is invited to attend, as they plan the events. He advised that at a meeting last month, Commissioners approved $2,500.00 seed money for the Centennial Committee to get started. He advised that they have before them a simple contract that allows the Commissioners to contract with this committee in order to allow them to provide services to the county in exchange for the county contribution to the Centennial, and it was approved by Mr. Pfeiffer. Mrs. Pheil, a member of the committee, stated that she is excited about this centennial celebration, they have had good participation at the meetings, they want to showcase Crisp County as it becomes 100 years old, and they are working on planning a lot of activities. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the Contract for the Provision of Services by the Crisp County Centennial Celebration Committee and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Contract, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
KEEP CRISP BEAUTIFUL RESOLUTION APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a proposed Resolution and contract for services with the Chamber of Commerce to be provided by Keep Crisp Beautiful, which will now be an operating agency of the Chamber of Commerce. He stated that because of the change in the relationship since the 1991 setup, Mr. Pfeiffer thought it would be appropriate to have the Resolution which spells out the reorganization, with the second page being the agreement for the County to provide support to Keep Crisp Beautiful at the rate of $1,000.00 a month, in exchange for services to the County to provide litter control, recycling services, education and training, coordination of programs, and cleanups in the county, beginning July 1, 2003. The county will continue to give them office space at Public Works, as in the past. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the Resolution and Contract Redefining the Relationship of Keep Crisp Beautiful and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Contract and Resolution, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS TOWER CONTRACT WITH CSSI
Administrator Crapse reported that the Board authorized the purchase of the tower a few meetings ago, they issued a purchase order to Communications Systems Services, Inc. to purchase the tower, and upon receipt of the purchase order that was issued on March 15th, they received an invoice from the company for the first 30% payment of the tower, which was as agreed upon last September, and they paid that invoice on March 25th. He stated that he got a call from the tower company saying that the supplier of the tower had been bankrupt, which they knew about, but it had been bought out by another company, and the other company was not going to honor the price quoted on the contract. He advised that the company has yet to provide him with a figure for the increased cost, but Walt Blake, consultant, mentioned the sum of an additional $10,000.00. He said they went back and checked the records, the contractor agrees that in our RFP, it stated that the price quoted had to be good until April, 2004, and the check that we sent on March 25th has been cashed by them, and in his and Mr. Pfeiffer’s opinion, that constitutes a valid contract, and that any dispute on the price that they have to pay their vender for the tower is between them and their vendor. He advised that the difficulty is they haven’t gotten this worked out, and as far as they know they haven’t actually placed the order with the company that they were going to buy the tower. He advised that they are working on this, and will let Commissioners know as soon as they get a response from the tower company, he has informed them that we believe that we have a valid contract, and we will pursue this as it goes. He stated that this may result in a little delay, and if we can get this resolved by the end of the month or shortly thereafter, the tower can still be here by the first of July, and we can still have it up and running by the end of October, which is what our current planning date is.
MEAG CONTRACT EXTENSION TO 2054 APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that Mr. Pfeiffer has reviewed the Contract with MEAG for and extension, and he has prepared a Resolution for the Commissioners, because the Power Commission is an operating arm of the county, it is required that the County approve the Contract as well as the Resolution authorizing the Contract and authorizing the Chairman to sign. He reported that the Contract has already been approved and signed by Chairman Tucker of the Power Commission, plus it requires the signature of the Chairman of the County, along with a MEAG representative. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the MEAG Contract Extension and Resolution and authorize Chairman Dowdy to sign the Contract and Resolution, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
FINANCIAL POLICIES APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that this Financial Policy does organize the County’s financial operations and provide the vehicle that will get the auditor’s comments off of our annual audit report. Mr. Henry stated that he thinks this is something that was needed, and the Committee had good leadership with Mr. Crapse and Mrs. Leverett. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Financial Policies, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that Commissioners have before them the third quarter report for this fiscal year; In the General fund, the revenues are exceeding the expenditures by $1,300,000.00 year-to-date, and overall we are within the budget expenditures, the Landfill has a negative balance of about $80,000.00 including the depreciation, Waterworks is also showing a loss of about $85,000.00 including depreciation, total cash at the end of March is $11.5 million, which includes SPLOST and the restricted asset accounts, which is up about $675,000.00 from this time last year. She reported that the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund still has delinquent balances from four businesses, and we spent $202,494.00 from the SPLOST Account for March. Mrs. Pheil asked how the budget process was coming, and Mrs. Leverett replied that she has all the departmental requests in the system, and they are in the process of going over those with the Department Heads and Constitutional Officers, and May 11th will be the first work session.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended a good many meetings, etc. this month; 2) the Youth & Family Resource Center is about 70% complete, and the request for contract info on the paving has been forwarded to DOT, and we expect to have the documentation for a RFP on the parking lot soon; 3) he met with the building folks from Atlanta and the architect on the GSP building last Tuesday, all are pleased with the project as it has progressed so far, the “blue” roof should start going on this week, the brickwork is 99% complete and we are working with the city on the water and sewer hookups, and the total project is about 40% complete with completion scheduled for around June 30th; 4) the Centennial Celebration Committee has met twice since the last Commissioners Meeting and will meet tonight, if anyone is interested in helping on this committee, please feel free to join them, officers have been elected and many subcommittees have been formed, and the Logo contest is in progress now; 5) there was one new SPLOST expenditure authorized this month for $2,000.00 for a planned upgrade for the Airports Instrument Approach System; 6) the work on cells 8 & 9 at the landfill if finally in the position to see the end of the tunnel, the plastic liner is in place and two feet of sand is being placed in the cells. This is the final phase for completion of the cells before we can open them for operation, and hopefully we should be starting to use the cells by the end of the month, and the project should be closed out next month; 7) we have been notified that the Landfills passed the Financial Assurance Mechanism for FY-2002 and that they are in compliance until June 30, 2004; we continue to work on getting the closure certificate on the old landfill and this will begin to improve our liability for post closure support and help our future Financial Assurance; 8) on April 5th we filed our “Petition for Injunctive Relief” in Superior Court requesting that the court direct “Love Stuff, LLC” to close their business or alter it’s character to comply with the Crisp County Unified Development Code. The Judge has set June 3, 2004 for the hearing on our request; 9) all officers and departments have submitted their FY-05 budget requests, they are now being reviewed, and we have scheduled the first budget workshop for May 11th in conjunction with the regular Commissioners Meeting as was scheduled in the annual budget calendar; 10) we received two copies of the CDBG-CHIP Grant Application that was submitted by the Housing Authority on behalf of Crisp County. Susan Leger-Boike and her staff put a lot of work into the application and it is on file here for Commissioners review; 11) a copy of the Cedar Creek Study has been forwarded to the IDC along with our request that they include seeking grant funds to implement the recommendations in their current program of work; 12) work on the Ball Park Complex continues, he should have a rating matrix for the sites ready to go to the Recreation Advisory Board and to Commissioners this week, he visited many sites this past month, and he is meeting with the IDC on another site on Wednesday, so a lot of progress has been made on this project this month; 13) we received two “Thank You” letters this month, the first was for putting out the 911 address signs, and the second from Governor Sonny Purdue for the time and hospitality that was extended him when he was here for “Saturdays with Sonny”; 14) 2004 ACCG Policy Committee Sign-up is due, he has provided each of Commissioners with information and a sign-up sheet, if they would like to sign-up for a committee(s), please indicate and turn in sheet to Linda or me, and he intends to sign-up for an area that is not covered by a Commissioner; 15) the ACCG Annual Meeting is in Savannah at the end of this month; and 16) ACCG Commissioners Training Programs are Thursday, May 20th in Macon, and Thursday/Friday, June 10th & 11th at Callaway Gardens if they need to attend.
Carl Gamble reported: 1) they are working on Slim Road; 2) sent paperwork to DOT for continuation of contracts that they received in February, and they are preparing the contracts; and 3) stripping on county roads is almost complete.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, personnel, and real estate, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PURSUE COLLECTION OF DEFICIENT RLF ACCOUNTS
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to authorize the County Attorney to pursue collecting of the delinquent revolving loan accounts, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT TAX ASSESSOR
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to appoint Gladys Bishop to the Crisp County Board of Tax Assessors with term expiring March 31, 2010, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Floyd Hudgins, Tax Assessor member, stated that he appreciates the privilege that he has had to serve on this Board. Commissioners thanked him for serving on this Board, and what he has done for the county.
JOHN WOODARD COMMENTS
John Woodard reported that he has heard rumors that a person is pushing hard to move the NRCS office to Vienna after Joel Wood has retired, he would like this office to stay in Crisp County, and would like the Commissioners to write a letter to U. S. Representative Jim Marshall and John Glover, Acting State Conservationist, to keep this office in Crisp. County. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to write letter to U. S. Representative Marshall, Georgia Representative Sanford Bishop, and Interim Director Glover plus the two members of the FSA Board that Mr. Crapse knows very well, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to adjourn meeting at 12:00 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.