MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2006
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, and Joyce C. Pheil in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney David Forehand, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Mrs. Pheil gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the minutes of the meetings of August 10th and August 23rd, 2006, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVAL OF BID FOR FY-05 NORTHSIDE WATER PROJECT
Administrator Crapse reported that they had the bid opening on July 29th on the FY-05 CDBG Northside Water Project, and the apparent low bidder at that time was Little River Contractors at $494,125.50. Regional Engineering, on behalf of the county, has checked a wide range of sources not provided by Little River Contractors, and concluded that the company does excellent work, has done many successful jobs satisfactorily completed, including many CDBG projects; he recommends the Board award the contract to Little River Contractors, low bidder on this project. Don tenBensel, Executive Director of Middle Flint RDC, reported that they have worked with this company on previous CDBG projects in our area, and they do good work. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to award the bid for the FY-05 Northside Water Project to Little River Contractors, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
AWARD & STATUS OF FY-06 CDBG Northside Sewer
Mr. tenBensel reported that the county has received the notice on the award of $500,000 to start the sewer project in the northside area. He advised that the recipients workshop will be next week in Atlanta, he will be there, but there needs to be someone from the county to pick up the big check on Friday. He will be back at the October meeting with the paperwork and for the Board to accept the grant. Chairman Henry advised that he will pick up the check.
LETTER OF AGREEMENT ON FY-07 CDBG
Mr. tenBensel reported that it is time to get started on phase 2 of the Northside Sewer Project, and as long as we can keep rolling, we need to do it, and he has already made contact with the engineer to get started on the preliminary. He advised that all the household surveys will have to be re-surveyed. Mr. Nance has helped him with the surveys in the past, and he has agreed to help again. He will get with the engineer to pick the most reasonable area since they will not be able to do the whole project this time. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Letter of Agreement on the FY-07 CDBG and give the Chairman the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
WINE SALES BY THE BOTTLE AND WINE SALES LICENSE PERIOD
Administrator Crapse reported that in our current alcohol ordinance, wine can only be sold in restaurants, and we have a number of establishments that do sale wine by the bottle and wine coolers that have been issued a wine license, normally where beer is sold. Coming up on our new year and working on the liquor by the drink ordinance, there were some differences that came to his attention. He advised that he has come up with an amendment to Article III in the Alcohol Ordinance, and the amendment would allow the sale of wine by the bottle for consumption off premises at stores that are licensed to sale beer if they also purchase a wine license. It does not change the sale of wine in restaurants or package stores, but it does say if you have a beer license, you may also buy a wine license to sell wine in that same store. Chairman Henry asked if this was going to cost the retailer any additional fee, and Administrator Crapse replied no, the stores are buying the wine license now, they are just selling it outside of what the Ordinance allows them to sell. He advised that if the Commissioners want to keep the Ordinance the way it reads now, then we would have to pull all of these products out of the existing stores that sell it now, and not re-issue wine licenses. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Amendment to Article III (Wine) of the Alcohol Ordinance, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
BEER & WINE LICENSE APPROVED FOR AMANDA JO COOK DBA MY PLACE
Administrator Crapse reported that the application for the beer and wine license for Amanda Jo Cook is included in Commissioners packets as well as the letter from the Sheriff recommending that the licenses be issued. Beer and wine fees have been paid by Ms. Cook, the premises is located at 566 Farmers Road, and he recommends approval of the license for Amanda Jo Cook. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve beer and wine licenses at My Place for Amanda Jo Cook, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT THE DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING POLICY FOR DCUTS
Administrator Crapse reported that the Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for the 5311 Transit System, DCUTS, is mandated that it keep pace with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The policy has been updated and reviewed and approved by RLS, who has been retained by the Federal Transit Authority for the purpose of reviewing the documents and approving compliance with the federal law. He recommends approval of the Revised Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for DCUTS. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adopt the Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for DCUTS, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT VOTING DELEGATE FOR ACCG BUSINESS SESSION IN ATLANTA
Chairman Henry appointed James Harris to be the voting delegate for the ACCG Business Session during the ACCG Fall Policy Conference from September 25th thru September 27th, 2006.
AMENDMENT ONE TO THE ACCG DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN FOR CRISP COUNTY
Administrator Crapse reported that this amendment basically adopts the ACCG changes to the New Model Plan, which Commissioners adopted last year when the major changes were made. He advised that this amendment is to keep up with the IRS changes that was made regarding retirement plans, specifically this change makes it possible for the plan to collect overpayment of benefits from future payments due. He explained that if there is an error and someone gets paid more than they should have, this allows the plan to recapture that money from future payments due. He recommends the Board adopt the Amendment. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt Amendment One to the ACCG Defined Benefit Plan for Crisp County, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
AMENDMENT ONE TO THE ACCG DEFINED BENEFIT PLAN FOR CRISP COUNTY-ADOPTION AGREEMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that when the county adopted the ACCG Defined Benefit Plan, there is an Adoption Agreement which tailors the plan for Crisp County specifically. One of the things the Board funded and agreed to during the budget process, was to increase the multiplier from 1.25% to 1.50% for retirees, and that is what this particular Amendment to the Adoption Agreement does. He recommends adoption of this Amendment to our Adoption Agreement putting it into effect January 1, 2007. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to adopt the Amendment One to the ACCG Defined Benefit Plan for Crisp County-Adoption Agreement effective January 1, 2007, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
FAA ENTITLEMENT GRANT SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM AGREEMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that the Georgia Department of Transportation, Aviation Program Office, acts as our agent to facilitate our General Aviation Entitlement Grants that we get from FAA for the airport. The agreement allows the Georgia DOT to access a $150,000 grant for the purpose of constructing our new T-Hangers at the airport. 95% of the money is federal FAA funding, 2.5% is Georgia DOT funding, and the remaining 2.5% is from local SPLOST funds, which are allocated for this purpose. The DOT also administers the federal grants at no cost to the county, and he recommends Board’s approval of the agreement in order to facilitate the grant from FAA on our behalf. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the FAA Entitlement Grant Sponsorship Program Agreement in order to facilitate the grant from FAA, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - REQUEST FROM LLOYD RAMSUBICK
Attorney Forehand went over the criteria that Commissioners would base their decision on this and the next Public Hearing, and he also said that the Code provides that the Board consider several factors, and he read these factors. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing for a request from Lloyd Ramsubick dba/Sun America Realty Corporation to rezone a parcel of property from RR (Rural Residential) to GC (General Commercial. He advised that both of these requests are Public Hearings, and the decisions will not be made today but will be made at the regular Commission meeting in October. Connie Sangster, Planning Director, stated that the property is described at 47.508 acres and being located on the north side of Hwy. 280 East and East of Cape Road. Ms. Sangster read the list of uses that Mr. Ramsubick is proposing, if the area is rezoned to General Commercial, those uses include business and professional offices, insurance company, real estate office, bakery, bank, Savings and Loan or Credit Union, and retail stores, and these type businesses are not permitted in the current zoning. She advised that the majority of the property in this area is rural residential with a lot of homes in this area, except the two or three businesses that are grandfathered in. The Comprehensive Plan from 1992 to 2012 shows property in this area as residential, and she showed a site plan of the property. Chairman Henry asked for anyone to speak in favor of this request. Mr. Ramsubick, owner of the property, reported that he purchased this property for developmental purposes and he thinks the property is most suitable for commercial business as there is a major highway, railroad is to the north, and there is a huge frontage of road property, especially on Hwy. 280 East. The building he proposes would consist of several businesses, will be nice looking, will have no negative impact on the area, and he asked that the Commissioners rezone this piece of property to General Commercial. There was no one else to speak in favor, so Chairman Henry asked for anyone that wanted to speak against the rezoning. Bruce Drennan, representing his mother-in-law that has property in this area directly to the west of the proposed rezoning, stated that he doesn’t think this rezoning is consistent with the current Comprehensive Plan, and he would like to see more of the plans and what businesses are going to be in the building. His family has a vested interest in their property and would not think this would be in the best interest of the citizens in this area. Carl Gamble, homeowner in the area, stated that he is all for pro-growth but he thinks we need to conserve our farmlands. He advised that there are many businesses in town that are sitting vacant and that they could use, and he hopes Commissioners will preserve this as a residential area. Chairman Henry stated for the record we have a letter from Lucious Farrow in opposition to the rezoning. Amy Bryant, on behalf of Drexel Chemical, stated that this zoning does not meet any of the legal standards, and the property is not compatible with the zoning in neither this area nor the Comprehensive Plan for the county. She advised that if this business doesn’t succeed, then the land and buildings would be vacant and is too far out of the city to attract many businesses. She advised that the property owners do not want this, it is dangerous, the elevation and curve of the road will have to be approved by the DOT, and there are lots of other places to put a shopping center. She asked that the Board deny this request. There were no others to speak, Chairman Henry closed the Public Hearing, and advised that the decision will be made the 2nd Tuesday in October.
PUBLIC HEARING - REQUEST FROM ARCHER WESTERN CONTRACTORS, LTD.
Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing, and advised that this is a request from Archer Western Contractors, Ltd. (with the property owners authorization) to rezone a parcel of property from RR (Rural Residential) to HC (Heavy Commercial) for the purpose of locating construction machinery and equipment to operate a batching plant for the widening of I-75. He said the decision will be made at the next regular meeting. Ms. Sangster advised that the property is described as 21.021 acres and being located on Old Penia Road, east of Old Nesbitt Road on Sam Crenshaw’s property. This property is adjacent to the old Harvey’s warehouse, there is a residence in the area, but the property owner has no problem with this business. She advised that the future land use shows the property as industrial, and if approved, the applicant will have to come back to the next meeting and get a Special Use Permit. She showed them the site plan. Chairman Henry asked for anyone to speak in favor of the rezoning request. Russell Lauria advised that they have a contract for 3 ½ to 4 years on this property during the widening of I-75 in Crisp County. They need access to the railroad, they looked at several existing sites in the Industrial Park which wasn’t suitable for them, and advised that overall the project will employ 250-300 people. They will do about $500,000 to track improvements to the railroad and it will be left behind when they complete the project. Chairman Henry asked if anyone would like to speak in favor of this project. Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of IDC, reported that he has worked on this project with them, and the number of jobs and economic benefit it will bring to the community for 3 to 4 years will be a good plus, and it will be a good marketable property after they leave. It is adjacent to the Industrial Park, it is a natural fill and fits with the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and he supports it. Carl Gamble supports the request but asked the Commissioners to consider the stipulation of the roads. There were no others to speak, Chairman Henry closed the Public Hearing, and advised that the decision will be made the 2nd Tuesday of October.
APPROVE QUIT CLAIM FOR JONES/BARRY
Administrator Crapse reported that this quit claim request from Jones/Barry on Swift Creek Road was tabled for further review last most. He thinks the quit claim deed is in order now as this property was never platted, it is not a build able lot as the water must flow thru this property to get to the lake. The deed will give to both property owners, it will be put on the tax role, and the land must remain free for access, but the property owners will be able to maintain their part of the lot. He also advised that this lot was never intended to be a recreation area. Motion was made by Mrs. Pheil to approve the Quit Claim Deeds for Jones/Barry giving to both property owners, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
LIGHTS ON AFTER SCHOOL PROCLAMATION APPROVED
Administrator Crapse read the annual Lights On After School Proclamation resolving that the 21st Century Community Learning Centers call on the citizens of Crisp County to assure that every child has access to a safe, friendly place where the lights are on after school, a national celebration will be on October 12, 2006, and that the County endorses Lights On After school! Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Lights On After School Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
DON ADKINS COMMENTS
Don Adkins and Ben Lockhart, engineer with EMC Engineering, met with Commissioners to discuss the development around the Hwy. 300 & I-75 Connector. Mr. Adkins advised that in working on this development, they hope to create 100 plus jobs, they have several businesses under contract or that have already closed. He advised that they have encountered some obstacles in the infrastructure area, and they are looking and exploring different ways to help bring the infrastructure into the underdeveloped areas. Mr. Lockhart advised that their main problem is around the Hwy. 300, I-75 & Hwy. 90 area, and mostly to do with the sanitary sewer system. They are 2500 feet away from the sanitary pump system of the city’s which will be an expense, and they have checked with the owners of the golf course to see if they can tap into their system and it will a considerable higher price. They are looking into the possibility of putting in a regional lift station to serve a bigger area, but this would cost a considerable amount of money also as they would have to secure the easements and cost for the 2500 feet plus a retention pond. He asked if Commissioners would consider helping with some of the costs as the new development in this area will bring in a considerable amount of taxes. Chairman Henry thanked Mr. Adkins and Mr. Lockhart for sharing this with the Commissioners, and advised that this Board will consider any proposal, and also advised them to utilize the Commission to the best of their ability. Commissioners will then decide if and what they can do. Other Commissioners thanked them also for their endeavor, and think what they are doing is favorable to the county.
CONTRACT FOR SERVICES BETWEEN SOUTHWEST GA. UNITED EMPOWERMENT ZONE, INC. FOR DCUTS & NORTHSIDE AREA REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Administrator Crapse reported that he has both Contracts for Services for Bridge Funds for DCUTS & the Northside Sewer & Water Project between the Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone & Crisp County. Both of the projects have been approved by the Board previously, and David Forehand has looked over them and he has brought to his attention several things with regards to the contracts, particularly with DCUTS, those being mostly liability issues. He advised that the Federal Transit Authority requires that we maintain insurance and cover liability on the three vans that the county owns that DCUTS use, which we do, so that coverage is in place. Also, the fares are not mentioned in the contract, because the contract really is between EZ and the county, so this won’t interfere with the operation of DCUTS. The third issue the attorney raised was the dispute resolution issue, and although there is always concern, we are a third party passthrough on these as all we do is pass the money on to DCUTS. He thinks all the issues have been addressed, and he is convinced that we have the appropriate policies in effect to take care of the things our attorney was concerned about. On the Northside Contract, the attorney had issues there that have to do with liability, and we will handle these in the same way we do the CDBG. He believes the contracts are in order, and he recommends the Board sign both contracts. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Contracts with Southwest Georgia Empowerment Zone(EZ) for the provision os these funds for DCUTS and Northside Area Redevelopment Program, seconded by Mrs. Pheil, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the executive summary prepared for today’s financial packet includes the report of revenues and expenditures by fund for the first two months of the new fiscal year. The General Fund finished the month with year to date revenues of $487,291 and year to date expenditures of $1,965,119. She reminded them that this is our “slow” season for revenue receipts and all this should even out as soon as we start collecting property taxes. Reserves are sufficient to support daily operations until we begin seeing some of that anticipated tax revenue. Next are the Landfill Fund numbers for the same period. Total year to date revenues received were $354,308 and expenditures totaled $245,954. Adding the additional $26,613 in year to date depreciation costs leaves us with a net gain after two months of $81,740. This includes $100,000 for the sale of the baler. The total tonnage received for the month of August was $5,073.54 tons (almost 1000 tons more than the previous month) with 39% of that being delivered on the Onyx commercial contract and 12% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $4,146,872. At the bottom of the page are the Water Fund numbers. Year to date revenues totaled $88,537, year to date total expenditures $78,313, leaving the Water Fund with a net gain of $14,224 at August 31st. Water usage for the month was 6,960,000 gallons. Cash on hand at August 31st, in the General Fund we have $4,677,746, the Landfill Fund at $2,218,603, the Revolving Loan Fund at $446,309, the SPLOST Funds at $5,602,197, and the Water Fund ended the month with $738,923, giving us a county wide total of $13,683,779. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of August 31st, we have spent a little over $12.5 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $5,095,216 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. In the 2005 SPLOST Issue budget to actual report, we have now received six monthly collections on this issue for a total of $2,390,773, which brings our monthly average up to $398,462. To date we have spent $1,619,613 on projects budged under this issue. On the month detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues, expenditures totaled $280,647 for the month of August with the largest amounts being $151,932 on the BBSB Complex, $62,698 on weapons, vehicles and equipment for the CCSO, $31,078 for improvements to the Library, $8,197 on the City of Cordele Flow Pond project, $22,764 on roads, and $3,849 on equipment for the airport. Nest is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of August 31, 2006. Currently we have nine outstanding loans, with a total outstanding RLF balance at 8/31/06 of $1,489,619. Of those nine, six are current and three remain seriously delinquent and have been turned over to legal. The last report included in your packet is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first two months of the new fiscal year. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of August 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 17% of their annual allowances. Overall, as of August 31st, all three of our major operating funds, General, Water and Landfill are reporting 14%.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported: 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) there were three new SPLOST expenditures approved this month, which were $19,391.17 for the 800 MHZ radio system upgrade and Interoperability Program, $12,000 for the E-911 portion of the upgrade, including a training console at the LETC, and $66,200 for the Crisp County Power Commission’s materials and crane rental to put the sports lightning in place; 3) the Youth Ball Complex Work is rapidly moving forward; wire is being hung on the post, the well should be connected to power by today and irrigation testing is underway. The conduit and cable for the Sports Lightning is also underway by the Crisp County Power Commission. The Georgia ASA Baseball Commissioner has already contacted Brockey about hosting as many as nine weekend tournaments spring & summer 2007; 4) the insurance company has released the funds to complete the work involving the Diesel Fuel spill at the landfill. Work is progressing under EPD guidance and he is expecting a letter with an action plan on the work tomorrow; 5) the Board received two more “Thank You” cards from Clayton County 4-H for the presentation he made to the 4-H Rural-Urban Exchange Program; 6) all of the utilities have been removed from the old Boys & Girls Club behind the Health Department and all of the serviceable fixtures removed for reuse as appropriate. He expects that we will be able to start the demolition of the building in October; 7) the Courthouse security project is progressing with some equipment in place and the rest ordered and expected in soon. We are working to schedule the photos for Security Badges within the next few weeks. He is happy to report that we received the check for $11,250 yesterday, which is 75% of the Local Assistance Grant. We will get the remainder of the $15,000 when the security upgrade work is completed; 8) the Southeast Storm water Association has received a grant to survey Storm water Utilities through the Southeast. The study should be completed by June of 2007 for distribution to Association members. Even better we received the check for $18,750 yesterday, which is 75% of the Local Assistance Grant, to have our own Storm water Survey done. We will get the remainder of that $25,000 when the Survey is completed; 9) the latest update he has on the new ambulance delivery is the end of September. Once that vehicle is in-service we will be working with the Coroner to modify the vehicle for his use. I have assured him that we will do anything he wants, within reason, to get the vehicle ready for him as soon as possible; 10) our 2006 County Ad Valorem Tax Digest was formally accepted by order of the Commissioner of Revenue for the collection of 2006 Ad Valorem taxes. 2006 Tax Bills should go out on September 25th; 11) the Bid Opening on County’s State Aid Road Contracts is on September 21st at 2:00 p.m. and the current LARP contracts have been let and are scheduled to be completed by the end of November; 12) he has coordinated with the EZ and Ag America with respect to the GIS data conversion for our new digital aerial photos. Ag America will have this in their program of work for the EZ Community Input meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Ag Center. He plans to be there to support this and other County Issues. Ag America also identified $4,800 that is available now to begin work on the project. He will be co-ordinating this with the Assessors office to see how we might get started; 13) in October we should be starting the clearing and utility relocation on Drayton Road to begin the road elevation on both sides of the R/R tracks; 14) he is still incorporating the changes suggested at the Commissioners Work Shop into the draft Liquor by the Drink Ordinance. He hopes to have it done for their review prior to the October Commissioners meeting; 15) he is also trying to set up an appointment with the city of Arabi to discuss the Norfolk Southern rail siding extension so he will have to get back with them after that takes place; 16) he has been asked to be on the ACCG Indigent Defense Task Force. He expects that they will have a couple of meetings in preparation for the 2007 Legislative Session agenda; 17) this past weekend he began putting together the documentation required to proceed with the Design and Construction of the Judicial Center; and 18) the Character Trait for September is Courtesy. Saying “please, thank you, I’m sorry, yes ma’am, no ma’am. Polite, well-mannered behavior toward others.
By common consent, the meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.