MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 17, 2005
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, Joyce C. Pheil, and Brad Faircloth in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and secretary Linda Finch. Mrs. Pheil gave the invocation.
PUBLIC HEARING - EIP GRANT APPLICATION FOR MBM
Chairman Henry opened the EIP Grant Application Public Hearing for MBM Corporation Administrator Crapse advised that the county has applied for a $500,000.00 Employment Incentive Grant for MBM Corporation to increase the number of employees in their facility. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to get any public comment. He reported that MBM is a distribution warehouse for restaurants, in particular Captain D’s and distribute to Captain D’s restaurants all over the southeast, and they are in a process of expanding that operation. In order to accommodate this, they are requesting this Employment Incentive Grant of $500,000.00. Chairman Henry asked for any comments in favor of the grant. A man asked if there was any language in the grant that stipulates that the local employment pool is part of the requirements for the county to obtain the grant. Administrator Crapse replied yes, it is all tied together, but with regard to the Empowerment Zone, it is very much their economic benefit to draw jobs from within the Empowerment Zone, he thinks a minimum of 50%. Chairman Henry asked if there were any comments opposed to the Grant Application, and there were none. Chairman Henry closed the Public Hearing.
LIQUOR, BEER & WINE LICENSE APPROVED FOR ALTON HAYSLIP
Administrator Crapse reported that Mr. Hayslip has completed his county application for liquor, beer & wine license, on Hwy. 300 at Smoak Bridge, we have the Sheriff’s Department letter recommending approval for the license, it is in an appropriate zone area, and he recommends approval of the license for Mr. Hayslip. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the liquor, beer & wine license for Alton Hayslip, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried with Mrs. Pheil abstaining because the Hayslip’s have been good friends of hers and worked in her campaign very hard and she doesn’t want the misconception that she is returning favors.
GEFA GRANT/LOAN APPLICATION FOR NORTHSIDE WATER & SEWER PROJECT
Don tenBensel, Middle Flint RDC Director, handed out a preliminary report for the Northside Water & Sewer Project and an explanation of the GEFA program, stating that the medium income for Crisp County and Cordele is such that we are eligible for these funds. He advised that since we are a “disadvantaged” community, they will write off 3/4 of the loan, so there is no long term debt. This will give the county an extra $120,000.00 for this project. Mr. Bodwell is the person responsible for the GEFA loan, and he will be here at the next regular Commission meeting to answer any questions.
PUBLIC HEARING - CDBG GRANT APPLICATION
Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing for the 2005 CDBG Grant, and asked if anyone would like to speak in favor of the grant. John Woodard stated that he has been in favor of getting something done in this area for a long time on this side of town, and he thinks that they are entitled to it as they pay taxes in the county, and he doesn’t want it put it off another ten years. There were no others that spoke in favor of the grant. Chairman Henry asked if there was anyone who would like to speak in opposition of the grant. Randy Welch stated that the county environmentalist should condemn the septic tanks that are polluting the ground and make them bring them up to code. Also regarding the water contamination from septic tanks, he stated there might be one or two in that area, and it is not as bad as the county says it is. There are other wells than Mr. Truluck’s, and they think their wells should be bought like Mr. Truluck’s if they want them to be annexed into the system. He thinks that when everything is complete, it will be passed onto the city, and they don’t want it. Other people in the neighborhood are not all for this system like ya’ll think. He does not want the water or sewer. Frank Devane stated that he is opposed, and he thinks if they buy one well they should buy them all. Mrs. Frank Devane said they have been out in this area for 46 years, and they are opposed to this grant project. There were no other comments, and Chairman Henry closed the public hearing. Don tenBensel stated that when they surveyed out there, they found that 83% of the people out there were classified as low/moderate income, which means that their work does not stop at the property line, they run the line all the way to the house and hook it up and there is no expense to 83% of the households other than a deposit fee. Chairman Henry thanked all the individuals who spoke either pro and con on this, and advised that the County Commissioners are here to do what they can to help the people of the county.
UPDATE MOU WITH UGA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
Ken Lewis, Director of Cooperative Extension Service, reported that the Cooperative Extension Service nationwide is a cooperative effort between the state, federal, and county governments. He has a Memorandum of Understanding with the county, and it is the same as the one the Commissioners signed in 1997. The Memorandum’s stay in effect until someone decides to change them or names change, and stated that the Commissioners have been very good to them in the past, and they appreciate that. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with UGA Cooperative Extension Service and authorizes the Chairman to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
5311 TRANSIT OPERATING CONTRACT WITH GDOT
Administrator Crapse reported that we have the standard contract for the 5311 Transit System with Georgia Department of Transportation for DCUTS. Stephen Dorough has indicated that this is the same agreement as in years past, it simply updates the budget for the current year. It is no cost to the county, it allows them to recoup any money that they lost out of their operation from GDOT, and he recommends approval of the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the 5311 Transit Operating Contract with GDOT, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
TAX REFUND FOR HEARTLAND BUILDING SYSTEMS APPROVED
Administrator Crapse reported that in a previous meeting, Heartland Building Systems had requested a correction to their taxes because the abatement had been done incorrectly; $175,000.00 of that property belonged to the Industrial Development Authority and they were being taxed on property they did not own. On the advise of the county attorney, he wrote Mr. Tanner a letter and told him that the corrective action was to 1) pay his taxes in full, which he did; 2) submit a corrected copy requesting the correct figures on the property he owns versus that which belonged to the Development Authority, which he did; and 3) once that was completed, to request a refund from the Board of Commissioners, which he did. Upon receiving that package, he talked with the county attorney, he agreed that all was in order, we should proceed with the refund, and the Tax Assessor’s will calculate the property figures for the refund based on the corrected values of the property. He also referred this information to the Tax Assessor’s Office, they responded that they have reviewed the documents and compared this with other information Mr. Tanner had submitted, and Mr. Quick, on behalf of the Tax Assessors, said that he must also correct his Federal Income Tax return, and they did not recommend an adjustment at this time. He contacted Mr. Tanner, who advised that he was a CPA, and he did these things not only for himself but other individuals and companies who were involved in Revolving Loan Funds. He stated that in accordance with the tax law, where the property becomes his at the end of the term, it would be considered, from IRS point of view, the same as a lease-purchase and entitled to depreciation on his property. He contacted Cliff Harpe, attorney for the IDA, and he did not have any objection to this. Administrator Crapse advised Commissioners that Commissioners could 1) deny the refund; 2) grant the refund; 3) table this until the next meeting and wait until Mr. Pfeiffer can be here, or 4) approve the refund, subject to Mr. Pfeiffer’s review and approval. He recommends the final one. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approved the refund based upon the attorney’s review, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
CRISP COUNTY YOUTH BALL PARK COMPLEX PROPERTY
Administrator Crapse announced that on February 15, 2005, the ball park property did close, the county now owns that property, and we can move forward. He has received a letter from the Department of the Army stating that they have review the property, and they have determined that the wetlands on the site are isolated and non jurisdictional, we can move anything in this area and will not be violating any environmental or federal statues. He said they are working on getting some signs posted out there, and as soon as they get some preliminary drawings, they will get something out there and start working on that property. Administrator Crapse advised that the purchase price was $656,156.06, which came in below the budget, and the additional dollars will go into facilities of the park. He thanked Dr. Charlie Greer, Martha Jane LaPorte, Greer LaPorte, and Anthony LaPorte, because without all four of them, we couldn’t have put this deal together.
105 FLOYD ROAD FOUND IN CONTEMPT
Administrator Crapse reported that we have received the rulings with 105 Floyd Road. Judge Chasteen granted both motions for contempt for Mr. Ross Winter, he has been ordered taken to jail for twenty days unless he pays a fine of $500.00 within ten days, and 105 Floyd Road, Inc. has been ordered to purge themselves from the contempt or pay a fine of $200.00 a day, within ten days. He expects they will appeal these judgments in Superior Court to Supreme Court.
CITY MINUTES & AGENDA RECEIVED
Administrator Crapse reported that he has received the February 1st meeting minutes and the February 15th agenda from the City of Cordele, in accordance with what they had discussed at the Commissioners retreat. He has forwarded the agenda for the called meeting today, the wish list that he sent our Legislatures as well as the federal wish list he sent to Sanford Bishop.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 5:25 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.