MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON OCTOBER 9, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, Brad Faircloth, and William Culpepper in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., County Attorney David Forehand, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Nance gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
WELCOME BACK MR. HARRIS
The Chairman and other Commissioners welcomed Mr. Harris back after his short illness. Mr. Harris thanked all for their support and prayers while he was out.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the meetings of September 11th and September 25th, 2007, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
RED RIBBON WEEK PROCLAMATION
Monica Simmons, Executive Director of the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, reported that they are going to celebrate Red Ribbon Week October 23-31, 2007. They will have a kick-off on October 22nd at Southwestern Elementary School, and they would like to invite the Commissioners to the kick-off and to participate in the activities that will be going on that week. She advised that their theme will be "don't monkey around with drugs", they will have ribbons, pencils, and stickers for all the kids in the school system, day cares, and for all of our citizens. She brought some ribbons for the county employees and Commissioners, and advised that the county has been participating in this program since 1988, which was when the program actually started. Administrator Crapse read the Proclamation. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Red Ribbon Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NATIONAL NURSE PRACTITIONER WEEK PROCLAMATION
Pat Stowe and Lisa Faircloth, Nurse Practitioners, met with Commissioners regarding National Nurse Practitioner Week. Administrator Crapse read the National Nurse Practitioner Week Proclamation acknowledging that they have provided high quality health care for over forty-two years, there are around 120,000 practicing Nurse Practitioners in the United States, and proclaiming November 11-17, 2007 as National Nurse Practitioner Week in Crisp County. Mrs. Stowe stated that they appreciate the opportunity to serve this community; they think they do a good job and are an asset to the medical community, and there are about ten to twelve nurse practitioners that serve Crisp County. Chairman Henry thanked them for the work they do for our citizens. Lisa Faircloth, wife of Commissioner Faircloth, advised that she has just recently been certified in urology, and thanked Commissioners for recognizing and supporting them. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the National Nurse Practitioner Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a Proclamation for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. He read the Lights On Afterschool Proclamation, a national celebration of afterschool programs, which will be held on October 18th, plus it promotes the critical importance of quality after school programs, and assures that every child has access to a safe, friendly place where the lights are on afterschool. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Lights on Afterschool Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING – REQUEST FROM GBT MANAGEMENT, INC.
Chairman Henry reported we have a Public Hearing to consider a request from GBT Management, Inc. (with the property owner's authorization to rezone property from RM (Multi Family Residential) to HC (Heavy Commercial) for the purpose of general business office space and mini warehouses and other related purposes for that zone district. Property is located east of 1212 East 13th Avenue. Decision can be made at the November 13, 2007 meeting. Ms. Sangster, Planning Director, advised Commissioners that they have a sketch plan that Greg Turton has provided of the proposed buildings on the 3.5 acres that they are asking to rezone. The surrounding property is in the City of Cordele and that zoning is Intensive Industry, and the proposed rezoning will be compatible to the city's zoning. Chairman Henry opened the Public Hearing and asked for any comments in favor of the request. Greg Turton, owner of GBT Management, Inc., said that they think there is a need in Crisp County for nice office space in front with a storage building on the back of the property. This came up when they discovered that they would have to move a storage building that they owned on another piece of property that they do not own. He thinks the three acres or so will accommodate about six buildings, and the build out to begin with will be to build two buildings there, which will be to the east of the present storage buildings located on 13th Avenue now. No one else spoke in favor of the request. Chairman Henry asked if there was anyone to speak in opposition to the request, and there were none, so he closed the Public Hearing and advised that the decision will be made at the November meeting.
RIGHT OF WAY PURCHASE FOR BRIDGE PROJECTS
Administrator Crapse reported that last month we approved about five right of way purchases, and Mr. Forehand's office has those pretty much ready to close; these right of way purchases today will complete all the parcels that had to be put together. For about $16,000 we are going to get about $3.5 million worth of work done in Crisp County on those bridges, and this will help us get on with these bridge replacement. As everything else is being slowed down, the bridge replacements have developed a high priority in DOT. He recommends that the Board approve the funding for the bridge projects that has been recommended by the licensed and approved negotiator. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the purchase of the remaining right of ways for the bridge projects, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to allow a Commissioner and Administrator to sign deeds to consummate these closing transactions, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, advised that on October 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at South Georgia Technical College, there will be a detour meeting to show the detours that will be taking place during these bridge projects, and DOT will be there to receive public input, and the public is invited to attend.
RESOLUTION AND AMENDMENT FOR THE CRISP COUNTY PENSION PLAN DOCUMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that in order to incorporate a change in our pension plan, there has to be an amendment to the plan and also an amendment to the ACCG Defined Benefit Plan. During the budget workshops several months ago, the Board approved using some of the excess funds that were dedicated to personnel last year to fund this improvement in the pension plan. He commended the Board with this change, and stated that we are in site of what he considers a real goal, next year the multiplier will go up to 1.75 %, it has improved about 75% over the last four years, and this really helps in several different ways for our employees. He recommends approval of both plan documents. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the Resolution and Amendment for the ACCG Defined Benefit Plan and the County Pension Plan Document and authorize the Chairman to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
MOU WITH THE COLUMBUS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Administrator Crapse reported that this is a program that the county started about three years ago, where a national strategic stockpile is held in each health district, ours is in Columbus. This MOU with Columbus Department of Public Health allows them to send those materials for distribution to Crisp County to become the central point of distribution of these medications in the event of a national emergency, like the pandemic flu, where there is a need for surge in public health, medications, and immunizations. The real positive side of this is, in exchange for this service our first responders, public safety people, and all those involved in this effort will get the first immunizations and the first medications because they are going to be the distributors. This is the same agreement that we have had for a couple of years, it just needs to be updated annually, and he recommends approval of the MOU. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the MOU with the Columbus Department of Public Health on the Strategic National Stockpile, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT TO THE CRISP-SUMTER COUNTY JOINT DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Administrator Crapse reported that we have advertised in the newspaper soliciting community service from our citizens, which included citizens to serve on the Crisp-Sumter Joint Development Authority and the Crisp County Animal Control Board. With regard to the Crisp-Sumter Joint Development Authority seat, we received one letter of request to serve in that position, and that was Kermit Dorough. Don Tucker was the member on this board but he has submitted a letter of resignation due to his health. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Kermit Dorough to the Crisp-Sumter Joint Development Authority to fill the unexpired term of Don Tucker, term expires 2/28/09, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS CRISP COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL BOARD MEMBERS
Administrator Crapse reported that unfortunately we had no individuals to submit their letters for the Crisp County Animal Control Board. He advised that persons on this board would be the arbitrators with regard to the potentially dangerous dog hearings and make a decision whether or not to classify a dog as a potentially dangerous dog. He advised Commissioners to solicit and see if they can find someone who will be willing to serve on this board.
CONSIDER 4-YEAR TERMS FOR COMMISSIONERS
Chairman Henry reported that all the Commissioners have had an opportunity to look at the proposed Resolution regarding 4-year terms for the Commissioners, and he asked for any opinions from the Commissioners. Mr. Nance advised that personally he would like a little more time to consider making this change as he hasn't had a chance to discuss it with any other Commissioners, and he would like the opportunity to kick it around and get a sense of what the other Commissioners feel about it before he made his decision. By common consent, Commissioners tabled the 4-Year term for Commissioners decision until they can study it and discuss it more in detail among themselves.
NORBOARD EXPANSION EIP
Administrator Crapse reported that this as a formality we need to accept the EIP Grant for the Norboard Expansion. We did receive the big check and had the picture made at the last meeting, we just didn't approve the grant formally with a vote. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to accept the EIP Grant for the Norboard expansion and giving Chairman Henry the authority to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
RLF ADVANCE TO GOLDEN'S FOUNDRY
Attorney Cliff Harpe reported that he is here today to discuss dealing with the loan from this agency to Crisp County-Cordele Development Authority, which in turn proceeds have been provided to Golden's Foundry in exchange for a lease with Goldens. We are hear to discuss subsequent advances; originally there was a promissory note and loan agreement entered into for $975,000 with Golden's Foundry, clearly at the time, it was anticipated that there may be future advances of approximately $370,000 and that was limited to the extent that the holder meet many conditions, and Crisp County acquired additional funds through repayment of existing obligations owed to the Revolving Loan Fund. Our understanding is that there are some additional funds available in the RLF, Golden has requested them, and we are trying to move forward and get this done. Mr. Faircloth asked if we have to have any new documents or anything new, and Administrator Crapse advised no as far as a promissory note or loan agreement, but in his opinion we do need something that says Golden's received another $200,000, the payment is going to be re-amortized and this is your new payment. The payment will change because there is more money involved, and the time of the loan can't be extended longer than the original 120 months. Mr. Harpe advised that the Authority would actually, depended upon the nature, either draw request form or an addendum to the promissory note. Mr. Forehand advised that the original note provides that there might be additional advances, and if there are, it just has to be re-amortized on the basis of the original terms, and we can achieve this is a simple document that is set for the re-amortized payment amount, and we can get the Authority to ratify it. Bruce Drennan, Executive Director of the Cordele-Crisp IDC, reported that Golden's has lived up to their original commitment as they have created the number of jobs they said they would create at this time, and there is also OneGeorgia Authority money in this project, and they have signed a fall-back agreement stating that they will commit the number of jobs they said they would and if they don't, there is a repayment schedule they have to make to OneGeorgia. Mr. Forehand stated that when this transaction went forward originally, the county's lien position was second behind CV&T Synovis Bank's original $7 million loan, and there was contemplation that the additional advances by the county might be applied in reduction of that debt, and asked Mr. Harpe or Mr. Drennan if they knew if that was going to happen. He advised that it was not a requirement, but if it did happen, we need to know so that we can reduce the amount by which we are behind the bank. Neither of them knew that answer but would find out. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to authorize the release of an additional $200,000 on the Golden's Foundry loan, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that in the General Fund, for the month of September, we recorded revenues of $300,284 and expenditures of $837,565. For the quarter, revenues totaled $1,128,855 and expenditures $2,673,424. Expenditures are now exceeding revenues by about 11.5% or $1,544,569. This is normal for this period of our fiscal year. Tax revenue collections should be showing up shortly to help close the gap between those numbers. Cash reserves remain adequate to support daily operations. In the Landfill Fund, September revenues were $93,963 and expenditures of $101,510 pushed YTD revenue totals to $341,077 and YTD expenditures to $347,804 leaving this fund with a net loss at the end of the first quarter of $6,728. Total tonnage received for this month was 3320.03 tons with 53% of that being delivered on the Onyx Commercial contract and 15% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The average at the end of the quarter is now 3912.25, about 90 tons less that the final monthly average for last fiscal year. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.86 million. The Water Fund recorded September revenue at $33,774, expenditures at $29,340. For the quarter, revenues totaled $113,057, expenditures at $91,181 leaving this fund with net gain of $21,876. Water usage was 5,944,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.7 million. County wide cash on hand is $15,205,020, of that $15 million, $4.6 millions belongs to the General Fund, $2.9 million to the Landfill Fund, $6.2 million is reserved for Capital Projects/SPLOST Funds, and $180,000 is reserved for debt service. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, as of September 30th, we have spent $14.7 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $2.8 million to projects associated with that issue. In the budget to actual report for the 2005 SPLOST Issue, the 19th monthly distribution of $464,933 brings our collection total to $7,279,248 and our monthly average up to $383,118. To date we have spent a little over $4.4 million on projects budgeted under this issue. In the monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST fund expenditures for both issues, benefiting from the support of SPLOST dollars during the month of September, 2007 were the Airport T-Hanger project, $2,100; the BBSB Complex, $76,270; the Hatley Fire Station, $4,574; the Justice Center, $47,250; and county bridges project at $4,250. The City of Cordele distribution of $62,398 and the Town of Arabi distribution of $6,345 were issued after the first of October and will appear on the next schedule. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, currently we have ten outstanding loans, with a total outstanding RLF balance of $2,017,212. Of those ten, six are current, one is thirty days past due and three remain seriously delinquent and have been turned over to legal. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the first quarter of this fiscal year. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of September 30th, all departments and divisions should be within 25% of their annual allowances. Overall, all three of our major operating funds were within that %, the General Fund at 20%, the Water Fund at 16%, and the Landfill Fund at 23%.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported that: 1) he attended several meetings and events during the month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditure approved this month; 3) the Public Hearing on closing the Hatley Precinct was conducted at 10:00 a.m. on October 4, 2007. The members of the Board of Elections and Registration were present along with the Election Supervisor. There were no citizens in attendance and therefore no one speaking in favor of or in opposition to the proposed closure of the Hatley Precinct; 4) there will be Public Hearings on the 15th and 16th of October in Fort Valley and Albany respectively on the State Water Management Plan. There are multiple conflicts on the 16th, so I would recommend someone attend on the 15th, 6:00 p.m. at Fort Valley State; 5) there is a Public Hearing on Tuesday, October 16th, 6:30 p.m., at the Houston Baptist Association Center to discuss the 2007 CDBG activities in the Phase 2 Sewer Project. This conflicts with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) Tax Reform Meeting at Albany State from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. There is no requirement for Commissioners to attend the Public Hearing; it is conducted by the RDC; 6) there is a Public Hearing on Friday, October 19th; 10:00 a.m. on the Norboard EIP Grant here at the Courthouse. Again, there is no requirement for Commissioners to attend; Bruce Drennan and the Grant Administrator will conduct the hearing; 7) Troy Pullin has been appointed Legislative Liaison for Crisp County Board of Education. He has requested that someone from the City and County attend the Georgia School Board Association 2007 Advocacy Workshop to “Get Fired Up” on HB 900/ GREAT Plan for Georgia. The purpose is to discuss coalition building on this issue. The Workshop is on October 22nd in Dublin at the Heart of Georgia Technical College beginning at 8:00 a.m. There is a fee of $125 to cover lunch, refreshments and materials. I recommend that someone attend from Crisp County; 8) The City of Ashburn and Turner County are hosting a Regional meeting on the same subject matter at 6:00 p.m. on October 25th at the Turner County Civic Center, and have invited our cities, county, and school boards and legislators in the region to attend. Unfortunately, this conflicts with our Public Safety Appreciation Dinner on the same time date and time. I do, however, recommend that someone be designated to attend from Crisp County; and 9) the Community of Character Word for the Month of September is SPORTSMANSHIP. Being nice whether you win or lose. The ability to take winning or losing without gloating or complaining.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adjourn the meeting at 10:43 a.m., seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.