MINUTES OF CRISP COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON MAY 11, 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 Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney Guy D. Pfeiffer, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and secretary Linda Finch. Rev. Eve Tomberlin, Pastor of Peavy United Methodist Church, gave the invocation.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the minutes of the meetings of April 13 and April 28, 2004, with change, seconded by Mr. Henry and motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTIONS FOR EMS & EMT OF THE YEAR
Each Commissioner commended the EMT’s and congratulated them on the recognition of the awards they received as being the best in the twenty-eight county area of our region by providing quality care for the citizens of Crisp County. Administrator Crapse read the Resolution Commending the Crisp County EMS for being named Southwest Georgia Region Eight EMS of the Year 2004. David Edwards, Director, introduced the EMS personnel that were present, and on behalf of those employees, he thanked the Board of Commissioners for their support as they couldn’t function without them. He stated it was a pleasure to have employees like them as they make his job easier, they are well trained, and well qualified. Administrator Crapse then read Resolution Commending Connie Laster for being named Southwest Georgia Region Eight EMT of the Year 2004. Mr. Edwards stated that Ms. Laster is just representing the whole group, she agreed, and he doesn’t think there is a person on his staff that is not in the same caliber as Ms. Laster, and advised that we are fortunate to have her, as well as the others on his staff. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the EMS & EMT Resolutions, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION FOR CRISP COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL JROTC
Each Commissioner commended the young people in the JROTC program that was present, along with the ones that were not present, and thanked them for the good work and honor that they have brought to the school system and the community. Administrator Crapse stated that it was quite impressive to know how much these young folks have done, and he read the Resolution commending the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) on their many awards, along with their instructors. LTC (Ret) Dennis Harrison, instructor, stated that it is a great honor for Commissioners to recognize these kids, they work hard, and they sacrifice a lot of time to make those achievements. Battalion Commander Demarcus Henderson, on behalf of Crisp County High School JROTC, presented Commissioners with a picture of the group as a token of appreciation for offering to give them a chance to be recognized. SFC (Ret) Royzell Cooper, High School Principal Michael Overstreet, Chairman of the Board of Education Lydia Adkins, and Board of Education member Troy Pullin were present for the ceremony and were recognized. LTC Harrison stated that he visits a lot of high schools, and a high school JROTC program or any academic subject could not be successful without the support of the Board of Education and the Principal, and of the school systems that he talks to, they are envious of Crisp County because of the support that they get from the Board of Education, the Principal; and that is what makes this program for these kids, and this shows that the County supports this program as well by this recognition today. Principle Overstreet and Chairman of the Board Lydia Adkins thanked Commissioners for recognizing the cadets and stated how proud they are of the staff and cadets and the job they do in being a good role model to other students.
RECOGNITION OF FLOYD HUDGINS
Chairman Dowdy recognized Floyd Hudgins as being a member of the Crisp County Board of Assessors for twelve years, and advised that Commissioners appreciate all that he has done on this Board. Mr. Hudgins stated that he appreciated the opportunity to serve the county, he hopes the Board will continue to carry on the work in a fair way to the people, and he thanked Commissioners for taking the time to recognize him. Administrator Crapse read the Outstanding Service Award for Mr. Hudgins. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Outstanding Service Award, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NATIONAL HOSPITAL WEEK PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse read the National Hospital Week Proclamation recognizing May 9-15th as “Hospital Week” in Crisp County and urges all citizens to support the continued dedication of Crisp Regional Hospital.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the National Hospital Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
“WATERMELON DAYS” IN CRISP COUNTY PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse read the Proclamation of “Watermelon Days” in Crisp County proclaiming Crisp County as the Number One watermelon county in the state of Georgia, and proclaiming June 12th through July 10th, 2004, as “Watermelon Days” in Crisp County, Georgia. Mrs. Arlene Holmes, Chairman of the Watermelon Committee, and Monica Simmons, Director of Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, were present. Mrs. Holmes stated that without the county, there wouldn’t be a festival and thanked Commissioners for helping with the festival, and Mrs. Simmons thanked Commissioners for all their support in the Chamber projects, and the watermelon festival is the biggest project they do every year. Mr. Henry thanked Mrs. Holmes for her active part in the watermelon festival, along with being very active in several other activities as well. Mrs. Pheil thanked these two ladies as well as all volunteers that help put on the watermelon festival. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the “Watermelon Days” In Crisp County Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - SOUTHEAST TOWERS, LLC
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that she has a Special Use Request from Southeast Towers, LLC for Cingular Wireless (with the property owner’s authorization) to locate a Transmission Tower in an RR (Rural Residential) zone district. The property is located on Maxie Road, and the decision can be made today. Yanisa Buice handed out a package of the things they do, first thing is they locate the property they are interested in, and the first property they looked at was in the runway path of the airport and FAA & FCC would not approve it. She showed the location on the county tax map of the property of Jesse Dorough on Maxie Road of where the tower is proposed, along with the county towers that are within that vicinity; the closest tower is about two miles away, so they are trying to fulfill a need for a dead spot that is in the county, plus she went over the engineering map of what areas will be covered. She stated that they originally applied for the tower to be 195 feet, the FCC & FAA has approved 175 feet, and they are clear of any runway patterns of the airport. She showed the tower drawing, which will accommodate up to four carriers, a side view of the compound, along with a copy of their insurance and bonds. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to allow for the location of the tower and approve the Special Use Request, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - CAPITAL CITY TURF, LLC
Ms. Sangster reported that she has a request from Capital City Turf, LLC to rezone property from RS1 (Single Family Residential) to RS2 ( Single Family Residential). Property is located approximately 5,000 feet west of Coney Road and 1,355.62 feet south of South Cedar Creek Road, containing approximately 293.757 acres, and also property located south of Cedar Point Drive containing 128.439 acres; Commissioners will make the decision next month. Chuck Harper reported that they are proposing to build a subdivision on this land, there will be no roads built, as the lots will be on South Cedar Creek or Cedar Point Drive. He advised that the south side of Cedar Drive will be sold in one large tract or up to three small tracts, but they want to change the zoning on the whole acreage to protect the subdivision homeowners. Ms. Sangster stated that she has had several calls, but when she told them this would be an upgrade zoning, they said there was no problem. Chairman Dowdy asked if there were any comments from the public, and there were none. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to close the Public Hearing, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Commissioners will make their decision at the regular June meeting.
APPROVE THE AMENDMENTS TO THE SOIL & EROSION SEDIMENTATION PLAN
Ms. Sangster stated that at the last meeting, Commissioners approved a Text Amendment to the Soil & Erosion Sedimentation Control Plan, and now they need to adopt it. Mr. Pfeiffer reported that they are still in the process of conforming the paragraph numbers and headings, etc.,. He advised that they have a proposed Soil & Erosion Sedimentation Control Ordinance with the changes, they are being asked to vote to amend the Crisp County Unified Land Development Code by deleting Section 10.04 and substituting this Ordinance in lieu of that as the new 10.04, as the state has added a number of provisions to this. Ms. Sangster stated that the main change was the $40.00 per disturbed acre permitting fee that was discussed at the last meeting, where it used to be just a flat $25.00 fee. Mr. Pfeiffer stated that the public hearing was held, there was no negative comments, and he recommends Commissioners adopt the Amendment. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt an Amendment to the Crisp County Land Development Code to change Section 10.04, which relates to soil erosion & sediment control, seconded by Mr. Henry, motion carried unanimously.
SECURITY AGREEMENTS FOR FARMERS MARKET
Chairman Dowdy reported that we have the two Security Agreements with the Farmers Market, and they are the same as they have been for several years. Administrator Crapse reported that there are two agreements for $12,500.00 each, because there are two fiscal years involved, and this is money the state puts in for security at the Farmers Market for the summer season. Motion was made by Mr. Henry to approve the two Security Agreements for total of $25,000.00 with Georgia Department of Agriculture for the Farmers Market, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR SPECULATIVE BUILDING
Mr. Pfeiffer reported that the Crisp County/Cordele Industrial Development Authority wants to build a 100,000 square foot speculative building to get on the list of potential buyers in the state, cost of the building is between $1.6 to $1.95 million; IDA has a One Georgia Grant for $500,000.00 and a RBEG Grant of $99,999.00 toward this project, plus they have some other funds that they believe are going to become available to them, along with the local banks agreeing to lend $1 million on a five-year basis to complete the project. He advised that in order for this to happen, they need a guarantee that someone is going to pay the interest on this along with the permanent financing, as IDA does not have funding for this. He stated that the proposed Intergovernmental Agreement is between IDA and the City of Cordele and Crisp County, and in the Agreement, the City and County agree that the 2006 SPLOST proceeds, if passed, are to be used for the cost of the construction of the project, with the amount being apportioned between the City and the County in accordance with the populations, and the City and County will equally fund the interest payments along with any other expenditures made to complete the project through the 2006 SPLOST proceeds. He advised that because of the change in the SPLOST laws, the county needs the city’s prior agreement. Also, in the Agreement, the County agrees that it will lend to the IDA from it’s Revolving Loan Fund, the amount that they receive back from the speculative building that was just sold or leased, and in the event that the 2006 SPLOST is not approved by the voters, they will grant the request of the IDA to levy not more than one mill of county wide ad valorem taxes for financial assistance to pay off the loan, and this only comes into play, if the building is not occupied by the end of the fifth year. Chairman Dowdy advised that he thinks this is something Commissioners need to proceed with or the county is going to get left behind, and you tie the hands of the IDC Director if he doesn’t have something to show. Cliff Harpe advised that Industry and Trade’s figures indicate that 80% of the prospects initially are interested in seeing communities have existing buildings, they may not actually go into the building, but they will make a look because you have one, and the reason they went with the bigger speculative building, is there are not as many communities that have the bigger building and you are not competing with as many communities for the bigger projects. Administrator Crapse reported that this has has been coordinated with the City of Cordele, and it will be on their agenda for their next meeting. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to authorize the Intergovernmental Agreement and authorize the Chairman and County Administrator to execute and deliver the Agreement, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS MADE TO MIDDLE FLINT RDC BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to reappoint James Harris and Jeff Couturier to one-year terms on the Middle Flint Regional Development Center, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
Sherrie Leverett reported that Commissioners have before them the April report (10 months of the current fiscal year), we are overall just under budget, revenues have exceeded the expenditures in the General Fund by a little over $1 million, year to date; Landfill expenditures are exceeding the revenues by about $70,000.00, not including depreciation; and Waterworks revenues are exceeding expenditures by about $76,000.00, not including depreciation. She advised that the total cash balance of all funds is $11.02 million, the lease agreement on the SPLOST has been closed out and that balance was applied to the loan and it will pay out about 3.5 months early, and SPLOST funds are up a little with average about $274,000.00 per month. Mrs. Leverett stated that some of the accounts that were in arrears in the Revolving Loan Fund Account have made some partial payments, and the delinquent accounts have been turned over to legals. She advised that in April, $162,630.00 was spent out of SPLOST funds, plus $10,612.00 out of the 1996-2000 SPLOST for the engineering report for the Arts Alliance, and reminded them of the budget work session after the meeting today.
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several meetings during the month; 2) the Youth & Family Resource Center is about 90% complete, and as soon as the scaffolding is removed, we will finish the grading for the parking lot. The final paperwork has gone to DOT, and the order to proceed should be here in a couple of weeks; 3) The GSP “blue” roof is on and the building project is about 65% complete with completion still scheduled for around June 30th. We are almost complete with the grading for the parking lot, the final paperwork has gone to DOT, and the order to proceed should be here in a couple of weeks; 4) we have resolved the contractual issue with CSSI and the tower has been ordered at no additional cost to the County; 5) 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; 6) the work on cells 8 & 9 continue to be delayed, the end is in site, but looks to be slow in coming. The contractor ran out of sand and is about 25% short in cell 9, the leachate pipe and gravel is also only 50% complete in cell 9. The engineers feel that it will be better to complete both cells before opening the cells for operation, and advises that we have air space to do that; 7) there was one new SPLOST expenditure authorized this month for $11,004 for Fire & Rescue equipment previously allocated for SPLOST funds. A detailed list of SPLOST payments made during the month and the status of SPLOST funds is in your Financial Report; 8) we continue to monitor and pursue our case with regard to “Love Stuff, LLC”, and our hearing date is still scheduled for June 3, 2004 in Superior Court; 9) the CDBG-CHIP Grant and 2004 CDBG North Side Water & Sewer Applications are still pending. Award announcements are expected at the end of July. Based on the request verses the funds available, it looks like 20-25% of the CHIP applications and 35-40% of the CDBG projects will be funded; 10) the Grant search for the Cedar Creek Study has been included in the IDC’s current program of work, but search has been unsuccessful to date. I provided Brittany some info on Non-Point Source Water Pollution Grants that may be applicable to this project; 11) work on the Ball Park Complex continues. I met with the Recreation Advisory Board last week, and we have narrowed down our primary sites of interest and are now reviewing the financial data regarding the sites; 12) the Water Works had its annual comprehensive inspection by DNR. All areas were “ in compliance” and there were no violations or deficiencies noted. Congratulations to Wendell Carter on a job well done for Crisp County and all our water system customers; 13) Gladys Bishop was sworn in last week and attended her first Board of Assessors meeting; 14) we received our 2003 sales ratio study with an overall ratio of 40.04. This is very good, with an optimal ratio of 40.00 within a range of 36.00 to 44.00; 12) the Ag property revaluation is officially 38.3% complete based on their billing April 21. At the Board of Assessors meeting they reported 70-75% completion last week. They have about two weeks to go and the date will go to the assessors for review and edit. They assured them that they would have good numbers to go with by the end of May; 16) the Chief Assessor plans to work on the mobile home inspections/digest as soon as the personal & commercial property is done, and that is due by the end of this month; 17) Ray Lunsford was selected to evaluate Federal Firefighter Grant applications, and he will be in Maryland until Wednesday. This will help us in the future, and the Feds are paying the bill; 18) we received two “Thank You” letters again, from Floyde & Betty Greene for all the help and love that was extended them when their home burned on March 22, 2004, and also Braden’s for assistance with their private housing grant; 19) the Centennial Celebration Committee met two weeks ago and will meet tonight at 5:30 P.M. If anyone is interested, please feel free to join us; 20) Secure Health, our Health Plan Administrator, is having an “Open House” on May 20th at 4:00 p.m. in Macon; 21) Just a reminder on the ACCG Commissioners Training Program, Thursday, May 20th and Thursday/Friday, June 10 & 11; 22) the Crisp County HS Graduation is May 21, 2004 at 8:00 P.M.; 23) The GA Chamber of Commerce Annual Congressional Luncheon will be on August 11, 2004 at the Agricenter in Perry; 24) the first budget workshop will follow this meeting, and there are several other items to note in your Schedule of Events; and 25) WALB-TV Station in Albany will have a live broadcast in Cordele this Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
BID APPROVE FOR GSP & FAMILY & YOUTH PARKING LOTS
Administrator Crapse reported that nine bid packets had been picked up from Public Works and three of these turned in a sealed bid for the Georgia State Patrol and Family & Youth parking lots. Ash Surveying & Construction bid $65,900.00 at the GSP site and $58,900.00 at the Family & Youth site, making a total of $124,800.00; Folsom Construction Company bid $120,000.00 at the GSP site and $111,500.00 at the Family & Youth site, making a total of $231,500.00; and Owens & Son Paving bid $59,919.25 at the GSP site and $48,640.50 at the Family & Youth site, making a total of $108,559.75. He advised that the bids were read and recorded in a public bid opening, and the bidders were informed that the decision would probably be made today; he and Mr. Gamble have been doing their research in terms of their credentials and contract performance and on-time performance on the two contractors (Ash and Owens) that they were not familiar with. He stated that neither of the two contractors are on the pre qualified bidders list of the DOT, this was not a requirement since this is not a road, and they have asked for reference information. Mr. Gamble reported that both companies have had problems with completing the jobs within the time frame, but DOT will inspect them, they will have to meet all the requirements, and they both had pretty good references. Administrator Crapse reported that one of the key factors we are talking about is around $16,000.00 difference in price or 12% of the contract, there seems to be some difficulty with both of the contractors with regard to timely completion, but it will be DOT inspected, DOT will not pay their share of the contract until the work is done correctly, therefore we won’t pay until the work is done correctly, and he thinks we should accept the lowest bid. Motion by Mr. Henry to accept the recommendation of the Administrator and give the bid to the lowest bidder, Owens & Son Paving, at $108,559.75 for paving of the parking lots at the GSP Building and the Family & Youth Building, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Administrator Crapse reported that the engineering consultant that is working for the county at the landfill on cells 8 & 9 has sent a letter to Mr. Newberry advising that their cost overruns are now $74,096.00, and they want the County to approve this amount; these monies are in retainage along with the damages to be collected from the contractor, and there is enough money to cover this. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the engineering consultant bill from BLE, Inc. in cost overruns of $74,096.00 on cells 8 & 9, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
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 Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henry to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Commissioners, Administrator Crapse, and Finance Director Leverett went over the proposed budget that the Administrator and Finance Director had prepared according to the budget requests from each department.
There being no further business, by common consent, Commissioners adjourned meeting at 3:00 p.m.