MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON JUNE 29, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.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. Chairman Henry gave the invocation.
DISCUSS BALL PARK BIDS
Administrator Crapse reported that they have compiled the bid sheets on the ball park, the total bid price assuming all the low bidders was $1,611,000, and also they have a letter from SP Design, which is a synopsis of review on the various contractors. They have checked out all of the bidders, and all bidders are qualified and references are good and most have worked with SP Design before. There is one exception that the Board needs to address, that is on package 2B - Site Domestic Water Supply and Sanitary Sewer. Earthscapes was the low bidder on that particular package however they bid two packages, packages B & C, and on packet C they were $200,000 higher than the low bidder. They will only accept bids together, so therefore they have withdrawn their bid essentially from package 2B unless they get both packages. The next bid is from Folsom Construction, which is $28,000 higher than the other bid. The Board has a couple of options; 1) you can accept that bid as being the only remaining qualifying bid, or 2) you can reject any or all bids and then rebid the package; rebidding the package is possibly risky as we may not get any bids or they may be higher than where they are now. He advised that they could mitigate that price increase, if needed, by trading off some other things, and since this is a water and sewer situation, we may be able to negotiate with them on having public works do some of the trenching or digging or something like that which would reduce the cost. Also we have a potential option as they re-computed the lighting on the fields, the original spec was based on 80% efficiency and that spec has recently been reduced to 70% efficiency. If we put up a few less lights we could still meet that 70% threshold and that would save somewhere between $7,000 and $10,000. He would recommend that the Board approve all the low bidders, with the exception of Package 2B and accept the second highest bid of Folsom Construction and then try to work with them as much as they can by offsetting some work. He advised that the water well is important as everything begins with the water and irrigation so that we can get grass in the ground by August 31st, so we need to move forward as soon as possible, and the buildings-concessions and maintenance buildings are not in these packages.
Administrator Crapse stated that they put a plan revision together after they opened the ball park bids and found that they were approximately $800,000 over budget; they need to know the budget implications on this before they vote on the bid packages. Mrs. Leverett advised that they are asking for a budget adjustment on the 2000 SPLOST issue, which covers the years 2001-2005. The revenues for that issue came in over budget, they are asking for budget adjustments on the revenue side, which will increase the revenues up to what the final total was of $17. 6 million, and then add the same numbers on the expenditures side. On the expenditures side, they are asking for $56,000 to be added to county buildings, $24,000 to be added to the EMS, $100,000 to be added to fire and rescue, $100,000 to be added to IDC, $200,000 to be added to public works, $488,216 to be added to recreation, $50,000 to be added to the Sheriff’s Department, and $174,275 to be added to the City of Cordele, and $40,833 will be added to the Town of Arabi per the Intergovernmental Agreement. Most of those adjustments are adding back to those department what we took away from in the previous reallocation on the GSP. She advised that they had already given back to the Sheriff’s Department and EMS a portion of what they had originally given up in an overage of some grant money that we didn’t have budgeted. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the budget for the 2000 SPLOST in accordance with the schedule presented, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE BALL COMPLEX BIDS
Administrator Crapse went over the bid package analysis for the ball park complex and reported that the current cost estimate based on the bids was $1,611,506, because the bid did not include the buildings they have included $250,000 making a total of $1,861,506 which included the engineering and architectural fees, add in a 5% contingency and taking out what they have already paid in engineering fees making the total cost of what is remaining at $2,023,196. Looking at the funds available to the Recreation Department, the balance of the 2000 SPLOST is $1,002,553, total of 2005 SPLOST is $1,005,000, and with the 2000 budget adjustment just made of $488,216, total available for Recreation SPLOST for the next five years is $2,495,769. The cost of Phase 1 is $2,023,196 and would leave $472,573 for the balance of Recreation Department projects. Of that amount we anticipate $200,000 for maintenance equipment to maintain the ball complex plus we have committed to construction a skate park at a cap of $100,000, which leaves $172,573 for remaining capital projects. Brockey Brock, Director of Leisure Services, stated that he appreciates the cooperation of the elected officials along with Mr. Crapse and staff that put this together so we can make this happen as he know this is something that the citizens want. If this is adopted he thinks they can still improve some of the facilities they have. Chairman Henry stated that the people voted in 2000 that they wanted this project, and they came back in 2005 and 94% voted for this project, so he thinks that this Board is compelled to make sure that this project is done and done in a quality way. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to accept all the low bids and also accept Package 2B with Folsom Construction Company, giving the Administrator the authority to work with this one, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPTION OF FY-2007 BUDGET
Mrs. Leverett read the Resolution adopting the FY-2007 Annual Budget. Estimated revenues and expenditures are: General Fund at $13,568,854, Water Fund at $378,844, Landfill Fund at $1,727,516, CDBG Revolving Loan Fund at $43,000, CDBG Northside Water Fund at $460,000, Law Library at $25,000, Asset Forfeiture Fund at $50,000, Special Local Option Sales Tax Fund at $5,532,333, making a total FY-2007 budget of $21,785,547. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the FY-2007 Budget and authorize the Chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Bruce Drennan, Director of Cordele-Crisp IDC, reported that this is more informational than anything else, it is a project that they have been working on close to a month but in the last week it has really taken on a significant time factor. This is Project Gold, the company is already in the foundry business and they are looking at buying a facility here and reopening it as a foundry, employing approximately 100 people, with an annual payroll of around $4 to $4.5 million a year. Where we all enter into this is that we are asked to help in negotiation of the purchase of the building, but at present we don’t know what the financial structure is going to be. They have requested an Edge Grant to support the purchase of this plus they are entertaining an EIP Grant. Ultimately they want the company to buy the building and they would infuse some grant money to help bring the cost down, they are now negotiating with the owner for the purchase price of the building and some of the equipment. He is here today to alert the Board that The Developmental Authority may ask for some Revolving Loan Fund money in the next couple of weeks, if this materializes. He advised that for a long range growth for their company, coming here is the wisest decision, but from a financial standpoint they may stay in their current foundry, they have to make sure they can get in at the price they need to get into the building. The design of the equipment will be a little different if it goes into this facility and because of that, they have put the design changes on hold, so the equipment is going to be redesigned to fit this facility here if we can get the purchase price and cost of equipment down to a level that they feel financially that they can afford to do it. He just wanted to give them an update on this, if they come later and request some money, it will not catch them by surprise.
5311 TRANSIT SYSTEM TPO BIDS
Administrator Crapse reported that yesterday was the closing day on the proposals for the 5311 Transportation System Third Party Operator. We had two proposals submitted, one of those proposals was submitted by our current provider, DCUTS, and the other proposal was submitted by Resource Management Systems, Inc.(RMS). He and Mr. Henry opened the bids yesterday at 2:00 p.m., and they went over the bid proposals. In reviewing the proposals, they were really trying to look at the things that was specified in the RFP as those things that would be the selection criteria for the winning bidder. There were five of those criteria: 1) with general experience in transportation service and delivery service with specialized service for the elderly and handicap, 2) qualification and experience of key project personnel, 3) fleet management capability, maintenance dispatch and training and supervising, 4) competitiveness of price relative to the level of service, and 5) financial stability. In reviewing the bids, you all know that our relationship over the years has been very good with DCUTS, and their contract runs out tomorrow. RMS has been in business since 1988 and are currently serving four other counties in the 5311 program, and they are a for-profit company. In regards to the fleet management capability, he doesn’t think DCUTS has any on-staff maintenance, but they get service through our local businesses, and RMS does have their own certified mechanic on staff. On the competitiveness of price, the proposal from DCUTS would require a local share from the county of $29,248 per year, and RMS proposal will assume all costs associated with the system and not request any funding from Crisp County. RMS’s proposal would require a budget adjustments from the D.O.T. in order for them to operate more hours and increase their revenues and costs. The fares in the DCUTS proposal are spelled out, but the fare structure has not been fixed but they propose that the fares be set cooperatively between RMS and Crisp County. Mr. Faircloth asked how it would be different from a non-profit and for-profit business. Administrator Crapse reported that a non-profit organization has limitations on the way they can use the money that is derived from and collected, that money has to be accounted for and used exclusively in Crisp County, and a for-profit company has more liberty because they can move monies from one operation to another operation. Mr. Faircloth advised that it looks like the fares in the RMS proposal should have been in place when they bid. His concern is are we going to take this cost and throw it on the back of the seniors in the rider ship, now he can’t compare the two because one of the deciding factors in his mind is how it is going to effect the people that are riding. Administrator Crapse advised that if the Commission chose to pursue this, that could always be a stipulation of the proposal, that the fare structure be acceptable to the Board prior to implementation. He reported that the final criteria, financial stability, and with regard to RMS, they have stated in their proposal that the company has approximately $1 million in annual revenues and has no long term debt. Administrator Crapse stated that if the Board engages a Third Party Operator other than DCUTS, there will be bumps in the road, as always when you make a change, and things will have to be worked out over the next few months. He advised that Commissioners have three options: 1) to select a TPO consistent with the financial obligations of the county, and considering the price $29,000 versus zero; 2) engage DCUTS for $29,000, which at this point is not budgeted; and 3) try to work out some type of option or transition agreement with DCUTS and try to extend the contract for some period, like ninety days, and see at that point if DCUTS can be competitive and return to the old agreement, which is nothing. His point of view would be to take the best value for the county as it stands right now with RMS as the low bidder, subject to whatever conditions the Board would like to establish regarding fares. Mrs. Pheil stated that this is a tremendous dilemma for her, once again she has to draw from the whole picture, and being appointed as the Commission’s representative on the DCUTS Board, she feels some commitment to relate to them regarding the information she has accumulated since she has been on this Board and that is the financial stability of DCUTS scares her. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to discuss the 5311 Transit System TPO bids, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Henry stated that he has no interest in changing anything that works, our fear here is that it is not working. The history of DCUTS has been they came once a year and asked for our continued support, we applauded them and sent them on their way, so when we get in a situation where there is a red flag that goes up, we respond this way as this is what we are elected to do, to protect the money that comes through this government, and this is very difficult. The thing he likes least hearing is that whatever we do, it is going to be a crucial period for our citizens, and we have to keep in mind our citizens that are going to be utilizing this service. Robert Cooke, Director of the Empowerment Zone, stated that they have been a supporter of DCUTS from the beginning. He is a little concerned about what is going to happen in twelve months, they have seen the situation DCUTS is in and they know the reasons for it. He appreciates the fact that the for-profit company can come in and do it for zero now, he doesn’t have enough information to know what that will mean in a year. If DCUTS is gone and we only have one vendor, what does that mean in a year, he just doesn’t know. The Empowerment Zone has an interest in maintaining DCUTS in the fact that they serve both Crisp and Dooly counties, they will support public transit in both counties, and the staff will continue to look for funding for DCUTS and all of their other non-profits. Mr. Harris asked Mrs. Arnett if DCUTS maintains the contract did she think that they could be back on their feet in three months, she replied no because they won’t get reimbursements until the end of September. Chairman Henry asked what about six months, and she replied that she feels her financial stability will be a lot better and she will be working on having the system turned around. Mrs. Arnett stated that her financial stability is better because she went to Middle Flint and renegotiated her rates. Mr. Harris stated that he wants to keep every dime we can in Crisp County, he likes to see people working in Crisp County, and if DCUTS can turn their system around in six or seven months to as it once was, he would like to see them keep the rider ship and keep the money in Crisp County. Mr. Cooke stated that Mr. Harris is a member of the Empowerment Zone Board, there is an Empowerment Zone Board meeting tonight, and he could request $15,000, the six month figure, from the Empowerment Zone contingency funds to allow DCUTS a chance to work with Crisp County and a chance to stabilize. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth that the current DCUTS Contract be extended until December 31, 2006 contingent upon the EZ support for $2,500 a month for six months to offset the cost of operations, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harris will make this request tonight at the Empowerment Zone Board meeting.
SURPLUS/TAX SALE PROPERTY
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to have an auction on the properties the county owns on Oak Street and 6th Avenue, setting the reserves of the fair market value of the property in accordance of the Tax Assessor, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY ON 20TH AVENUE WEST
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a letter from Harry Hurt on behalf of an individual who is also trying to acquire property that is owned by the county. This property was first assigned in 1906 to Lizzie Foster, the property has never been maintained, and the people interested in the property are the people that lives next door. The situation being that back in 1947, Mrs. Foster couldn’t pay her taxes and Sheriff Pitts took possession of 20' off the east side of that city lot, which is 50' X 150'. Now we have a lot that belongs to two parties, twenty feet that belongs to the county bought for $21.30 including all the taxes and add ons, and thirty feet that belongs to the heirs or assigns of Mrs. Foster. Mr. Hurt wants to figure out a way that the people next door will be able to buy the lot, and the fair market value of the lot has been established at around $37, property being 805 20th Avenue West. The owner of the other part of the property is just listed as a church. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to allow the county attorney to work with Harry Hurt to check out this property and bring his recommendation back to the Commissioners, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried.
MILAGE ADOPTION SCHEDULE
Mrs. Leverett reported that late yesterday she received the final consolidated sheets of the Tax Digest from the Tax Assessor, she will prepare the 5-Year History advertisement, which will be somewhat different on the first one they approved, based on the new numbers. She will advertise the Public Hearing and adoption date either Friday or Monday, she has talked to the Board of Education, their Public Hearing to set the millage will be July 18th. We have to have theirs prior to us setting ours as it is incorporated into our Resolution. That will give us time to get everything ready by our called meeting set for July 21st to hold a Public Hearing and adopt the Resolution to set the milage rate.
REPORT ON BALER/CONVEYOR SALE
Mrs. Leverett reported that the baler and conveyor was placed with GovDeals for an on-line auction, the baler and conveyor has sold for $100,001 purchased by Berry Iron & Metal Works out of Virginia, a metal recycling facility. They will have thirty days to come and disassemble and move the conveyor and baler, and they have until tomorrow to bring her a check> This money will go into the Landfill Fund.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 p.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.