MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON MAY 23, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners Brad Faircloth and William Culpepper in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Mr. Faircloth gave the invocation.
DISCUSS BUDGET CHANGES THAT WERE RECOMMENDED BY ADMINISTRATOR & FINANCE DIRECTOR
Cricket Adkins, Tax Commissioner, reported that she sees two things that were changed when she received her budget back, that she would like to discuss with Commissioners. First, in the education she had added $1,000 more to this yearís budget because she wanted to go to the Summer Conference in St. Simons; she has only been to one Summer Conference since she was elected, but this year none of the bills had been signed when they went to Athens, and she feels like there will be a lot to be learned at this Conference. The other thing is she had asked for merit raises, along with the cost of living increase, for two of her full-time employees and for her part-time employee. Administrator Crapse reported that they donít have any problem with the merit raise for the full-time employees but they do treat the part-time employees differently; and he has assured Mrs. Adkins that we will pay for her trip to St. Simons Conference, but before this year, they had never used more than $1000 in any given year, that is why they left it at $1000 like it had been in previous years.
Sandra McKinney and Tucker Price, Extension Department employees, met to first say thank you for adding an additional $12,000 in this budget to fund the Family and Consumer Science position. Every dollar they put in for extension, it is more than matched through the state and federal funds. Mrs. McKinney reported that their budget is not quite $12,000 over last years. Because they have funded the Family and Consumer Science position, it has opened the doors to so many other more resources; Crisp County is number 4 is the state with families of poverty, and we will now be eligible for another employee, which will be federally funded, to help families of low income prepare food, buy food, and help them to be able to expand their dollars for food plus it will also reach pregnant women. With this new employee will come some additional office supplies, and this is the reason they asked for a lisle more money in office supplies. Mr. Price reported that he submitted his travel last month, and he only received part of his reimbursement back. He talked with the Finance Director and Administrator and they explained that since he is not driving the county vehicle, he was cut from .445 cent to .285 cent a mile, difference of about $160.00. Mrs. Leverett advised that they have three rates for mileage reimbursement; 1) if there is no county vehicle available you get the .445 mile; 2) if there is a county vehicle available but you had rather use your own vehicle it is .285 mile; and 3) if you drive a motorcycle it is a different rate which we never use. Mr. Price advised that he did not know he was supposed to use the county vehicle until last evening when they had a very informative meeting with the Administrator. He also would like a truck for the type work he does instead of an explorer when the time comes for a new vehicle, which he hopes is real soon. Administrator Crapse reported that there was not a lot of communication between Ken and Sandra and she had never seen the Memorandum of Understanding until last night. He did tell Mr. Price that we would work with him in trying to put a vehicle in next yearís budget for him, and assured him that if something happened to the explorer, we would replace it before them. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reimburse Mr. Price the .445 a mile for travel on his previous bill, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Tim Edison, Public Defender, and Mary Jo Cox, Administrator, met to discuss the Public Defender Budget. Mr. Edison reported that the first thing they want to talk about is their attorney position, they have not filled this position, the county funds it, and he understands that there might be a problem sending money if we donít have an attorney in a position. Actually, he just got his official letter yesterday, so they are going to advertise the position and it should be filled soon. The second thing is that they asked for extra funds for an administrative assistant; specifically they asked for $18,000, which will be divided on a pro rated basis between the four counties of the circuit, and the amount Crisp County will owe will be $11,173.16 assuming that all four counties approve it, Dooly County is the only county that they have been to, and they have approved their budget. He advised that health insurance is going up and there is nothing he can do about that, and with that along with the extra administrative assistant they are looking at a total for the four counties of $30,557.83; pro rated share for Crisp County will be $13,445.44. The reason they are trying to get an assistant administrator is right now they have sixteen hundred cases come through, and one Administrator cannot do all their workload. Ms. Cox stated that hopefully when the new Justice Center is built, maybe they can be housed in the courthouse, so those monthly lease expenses of $900 could be cut out. Administrator Crapse reported that in the original documents they submitted for the public defender budget, they began at $72,000 a year, and we were told our responsibility was to provide space, office, and the state would handle the people. They worked with the last public defender and the budget got up to $111,000 and we also have a $10,000 contract. Now they are asking us to pay for four people, and that was not our deal at the time we got into this; we are willing to fund them at the level we gave them last year, but that is it. He further stated that the Commissioners do embrace this program whole heartily, but everybody is coming to the county for additional funds after the state cut funding. He assured them that this Board will seriously consider their request in the situation that they are in. Mr. Edison asked for any consideration that they could give them.
Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief, met with Commissioners to discuss his budget. He asked about the study that was done on salaries a year ago, as he feels his firemen are sorely underpaid. He also asked about the training officer that he had put in the budget that was cut, plus the equipment he had added as he sorely needs a fire truck. He advised them that Administrator Crapse asked him to apply for a grant for a truck, and he has done that, but his vehicles have a good many miles on them. Administrator Crapse agreed that we do have a problem with our equipment, fire trucks are expensive, but they are going to have to be replaced eventually. Mr. Henry advised that he hopes their priority in the future would be to make sure we have adequate equipment and utilize the SPLOST for this. Mr. Faircloth stated that he would like to have a work session on this to see what we can do to have some kind of plan to improve things over the years.
Brockey Brock, Crisp County Leisure Opportunities Director, met with the Board to discuss his budget. He reported that public swimming pools are one of the biggest costs in public recreation, such as $40,000 this year in maintenance. Administrator Crapse stated that the biggest costs of these pools are the certified lifeguards and adult supervisors, which you have to have. Mr. Brock advised that they added vehicles as a new expense as they will need two new vehicles; there was a big change in the participation recreation as they are asking for a full-time employee to help with the cultural arts; this was left in the budget, he just wanted them to know. Another line that will jump out is the contract labor, meaning referees and umpires; they are going to try to train umpires in off-season; this was also approved and he just wanted them to know. There is a good bit in buildings as they would like to try to replace all the carpet in the building and try to get a shelter for the playground outside the building. He is satisfied on everything except the supplies, which are at $48,000, and that is what it will cost for herbicides and pesticides to do what was programmed for them to do on those fields. Chairman Henry advised that Tucker Price said that he would be willing to help any way he can on those fields, and we do need to utilize him. Chairman Henry asked if there was any money in the budget for landscaping the ball fields, he replied no, but we need to look at landscaping it in the near future.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adjourn the meeting at 4:53 p.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.