MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON MAY 13, 2008
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 Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. The invocation was given by Rev. Antwoin Yowe, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America led by the Administrator.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the meetings of April 8th and May 8th, 2008, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
CDBG 2008 NORTHSIDE SEWER PHASE III & CDBG 2009 APPLICATION AGREEMENT
Don tenBensel, Executive Director of the Middle Flint Regional Development Center, stated that he has provided each Commissioner with the county's application for the 2008 CDBG, Phase IV of the Northside improvements; a summary of the project, budget, and a map that shows what is being proposed this year and also what has been accomplished. He advised that this is just for their information; everything is proceeding at DCA as they are in the review stage of the applications now, and he suspects that it will be toward the middle of August before we find out if we has been awarded the 2008 CDBG Grant. The other item he wanted to discuss is the Grant Development Agreement for the 2009 CDBG; once the sewer is complete in the Omar Heights area, and based upon a meeting Administrator Crapse had with the engineers, their recommendation will be to go ahead and attack one area for storm drainage and streets at the same time. Since the work will be done in Omar Heights first, it would seem logical for that area to be the target area and use that as focus for the 2009 application. If Commissioners are in agreement with that general goal and want Middle Flint to do the work, he would ask that they affirm the same agreement that they have in years past. He advised that the agreement basically states that Middle Flint will prepare the grant for no charge as long as the Commissioners agree for them to administer it once it is approved. Administrator Crapse advised that he believes that the natural follow-on and assuming that the Meadow Park sewer phase is completed, would be the same as we did in Newtown, with the storm drainage and streets. In talking with the engineers, if we did storm drainage in one phase and then the streets in another, it became pretty obvious that everything would be torn up for twice as long, and that is why they thought it would be better to do the storm drainage and the streets in Omar Heights first; then the last phase would be storm drainage and streets in Meadow Park. He advised that the Department of Community Affairs has received about $68 million worth of requests on the 2008 CDBG's, and only about 1/2 of that in dollars to spend, so more than half of the requests received will be turned down. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the CDBG 2009 Application Agreement Northside Redevelopment Phase IV, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
NEW COURTHOUSE DESIGN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
Administrator Crapse reported that John Lichtenwalter from Turner Special Projects Division and Anthony Turpin from POH are present to go over the details of the design phase plans for the new Courthouse, plus Mr. Turpin will give a virtual tour of the new Courthouse. Mr. Lichtnewalter advised that he wanted to go over the summary of the design development of where we came from and where we are now and hopefully proceed into the construction document phase. The first part is the budget and with the price of oil going up, they see some escalation issues and the cost of steel going up again. With that in mind, he stated that we are still within budget right now. They had their subcontractor information meeting last week and had about 20-25 subcontractors and vendors, and they are trying to secure as much local participation in the project as they could, and they will submit to the county within the next two weeks an overall subcontractor listing. They anticipate starting construction around July 10th, and in order to get ahead of the structural steel price increase, they are bidding that this work, they do not need this from a schedule standpoint, they just wanted to lock it into the vendor pricing. The subcontractor that is presently doing the work at the hospital is bidding on this project, there is also another regional subcontractor bidding, and a couple of subcontractors out of Atlanta that are bidding. He advised that major changes that they have encountered in the design development stages are really just two; 1) they have pulled the underground version of the sally port out of the building and raised it strictly for financial consideration. They have realigned the entrance to the sally port because if the entrance had stayed where designers originally planned, the utilities underneath Sixth Avenue would have to be relocated, which would be a great expense; and 2) they have also reduced the number of windows. Those are the only major variances from schematic to design development, and they are here today to answer any questions Commissioners may have, and to assist in the design development review and approval. He advised that POH has completed a three dimensional moving rendering of the building, which shows the exterior and the courtroom interior. Administrator Crapse reported that a couple of things that are still listed on their decision sheet and are pending items that do involve money are: 1) to provide a brick accent color as opposed to the simulated stone on the building and could save about $50,000; 2) to use a TPO roof as opposed to a modified roof, which would save about $23,000; 3) to save one black walnut tree we can pay another $41,000 to move the street; 4) drywall versus ceramic tile on the plumbing walls in the bathrooms; 5) using crushed concrete versus graded aggregate base for the paving base; and 6) using brick versus glass in the first floor windows would save about $11,000. He wanted the Board to be aware of these issues and make the decision that we need to make. He would recommend that 1) we keep the simulated stone on the building as he believes the brick would take away from the look of the building; 2) he doesn't think we need to reduce the quality of the roof; 3) he doesn't think one tree is worth $41,000; 4) he thinks the ceramic tile is the best long term way to go on those plumbing walls; 5) builders and designers agree that the crushed concrete is a better produce plus we hope we can acquire this locally; and 6) he thinks using the brick on the first floor would have a bad effect on the appearance of the building. The only one of the six that he would recommend county do is to use the crushed concrete instead of the graded aggregate base for the paving. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the design build plans for discussion purposes, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse stated that since we have a local producer here that does the crushes concrete, and the fact that the cost of that material is about 1/4 the cost in the end and 3/4 in transportation, we stand to save a considerable amount of money and get a better product as well. Also with regard to the black walnut tree, with the footprint of the building and to get the driveway coming into the sally port, it was an unintentional side effect of moving the sally port outside, but moving it back inside will be more than the $41,000 because we would have to have more concrete to buy and paving to do. He advised that they did move 79 trees to the ballpark and some of those will be moved back when construction is complete, but there is a limit to how much a single tree is worth. Commissioners all agreed we have a good process and continue to move forward. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the design build plans and move into the construction phase, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Turpin went over the virtual tour of the new Courthouse exterior and interior courtroom.
DONATION OF A "LAW HISTORY AND TEN COMMANDMENTS" PLAQUE FOR THE NEW COURTHOUSE
Administrator Crapse reported that there has been a request from a local organization that would like to donate a rather expensive plaque, which is a law history and a representation of the Ten Commandments. Because it is pretty expensive, they wanted to get the Board's permission before they ordered the plaque. He advised that the Supreme Court has approved posting the Ten Commandments in a government building so long as they are in the context of history, and that is what this is designed to do. If Commissioners approve this, it will be placed in the main lobby of the new Courthouse. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to grant permission of the donation of the "Law History and Ten Commandments" Plaque for the new Courthouse, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harris questioned about potential objections from the public concerning the plaque in the courthouse, and Administrator Crapse replied that there is potential objection to this, however since this particular presentation with the law history has been tested in the courts, he doesn't believe that it could be successfully challenged.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN FY-08
Administrator Crapse reported that in their packets there is a current income and expense summary of our health insurance plan; the beginning balance was a little over $1 million, and it is anticipated to remain above $1 million at the end of this year. Typically we establish an attachment point and we fund for 75% of that attachment point, so with the current plan we have, and the current cost to both the employees and employers, it is projected that we will still be over the $1 million balance at end at the end of the year. If we go to a worst-case scenario, that would be 100% of the attachment point, and we will still maintain about a $600,000 balance at the end of the year. He advised that we have been striving to reach this $1 million reserve because of emergencies that we have from time to time, we have now maintained that for two years, and given that we have a fall back plan that would still leave us with $600,000 at worst, he is recommending that we keep the health insurance rates as they are for both employer and employee for the health plan year to end in June 2009. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to keep the present health insurance rates the same for another year and to bind the insurance coverage as soon as possible, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
PRELIMINARY FY-2008 BUDGET PRESENTATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that Commissioners have today the preliminary worksheet of the major funds for the FY09 budget based on the requests received for funding for FY-09, and followed by review with the departments and divisions. The General Fund is unbalanced at this time with expenditure requests exceeding revenues by $419,103, E-911 Fund is balanced at revenues and expenditures equaling $747,854, Water Fund is balanced at $400,800, and the Landfill Fund is balanced at $1,262,958. She advised that we are required by statue to adopt a balanced General Fund budget, so we will continue to try to balance this budget. A copy of the proposed budget worksheet is available to the public in the Finance Department, Room 308. She advised that according to the budget calendar, on June 10th they hope to make an official presentation to the Board in hopes that it will be balanced, the Public Hearing is scheduled for June 18th, and hopefully on June 27th they can adopt the final budget. She advised that if the Commissioners have any questions, she can answer them now or they can come by her office. Chairman Henry advised that we have been extremely fortunate that we have not had to raise taxes in the last few years. Administrator Crapse reported that our Moody's rating is at AAA, which is extraordinarily good, and we are at a point that we need the Board to consider some funds for expenditures that we know we are going to have in the future, so that those funds are not perceived to be fair game. Also, the Landfill is solvent now and has been that way for the last eighteen months, that is good, but we also have four GEFA Bonds now, and we believe that it is going to be necessary to pay off one of those GEFA Bonds now or either by the end of FY-09, as this is when we are going to have to start borrowing money for the next two cells. Because we have a good reserve fund, we have reached a point, where we have the recommended amount of reserve funds, and so that gives us an opportunity to use some of those prior year funds because we no longer need to build up our reserves any higher. He advised that they are engaged with year end purchases now that will reduce some of that $400,000, but whatever we have left at the end of the year, we can move that into our budget as prior year funds. They are working with all these options to try to get the $400,000 down and to resolve some of the bond indebtedness before we have to borrow more money. Mrs. Leverett advised that we would have at least one and maybe two work sessions before the budget is adopted.
RESOLUTION FOR NAMING THE WESTSIDE POOL FOR MR. PICKENS
Administrator Crapse reported that they were contacted by Antwoin Yowe about naming the Westside Poll for Willie Pickens. He talked to Mr. Nance about this, he was very supportive of this idea, and basically Mr. Nance wrote the Resolution that he is presenting today. Mr. Pickens has had a distinguished career as an educator, and also with his thirty-six years of work with the Recreation Department as Supervisor of the Westside Pool. He advised that most people have always thought it was the Pickens Pool, and he thinks it is known as this because of the effort he has in guiding and helping our youth that we hired as well as the kids coming to that pool; so it seemed like a really great opportunity to recognize Mr. Pickens. He read the Resolution recognizing and renaming the Westside Pool as the Willie B. Pickens Pool. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Resolution Recognizing Willie B. Pickens and Renaming the Westside Pool as the Willie B. Pickens Pool, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harris stated that he has always known it as Pickens Pool and he definitely deserves this honor. Mr. Nance advised that Mr. Pickens is well respected and loved by all that know him, he always showed respect for everybody as he always called you Mr. or Mrs. plus your last name, and he appreciates the Board's consideration. Administrator Crapse reported that they are going to have a ceremony at the pool when they open the pool, and present him the Resolution.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Leverett reported that today's packet includes the executive summary for the month of April 2008 as well as year to date. First is the report of revenues and expenditures for our three major funds. The General Fund recorded revenue for April in the amount of $520,586 and brings the year to date total to $11,283,678, representing 83% of annual budget. $825,088 in expenditures recorded for the month brings that year to date total to $10,574,866 or 78.20% of budget and leaves the general fund at the end of April with revenues exceeding expenditures by $708,813. For the Landfill Fund, we have $94,561 in monthly revenue and $1,163,255 year to date. Monthly expenditures of $54,643 and year to date of $1,083,588, leaving the landfill with a year to date net gain of $79,667. The total tonnage received for the month of April was 3415.13 tons. Approximately 47% of that was received from Onyx under their commercial contract and 17% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The Onyx tonnage continues to be less than average, about 200 tons off the monthly average for last fiscal year. The GEFA Loans are current at $3,726,715. The red flag here is that the Onyx tonnage, which is our largest "paying" customer, continues to be less than last year's averages. 213 tons less than April 2007, and 135 tons less than the final monthly average for FY 2007 which equates to over $4,000 month in revenue. The Water Fund recorded revenues of $34,614; YTD $336,783. Expenditures for the month totaled $7,585, YTD $317,408É. leaving the Water Fund with a net gain at 4/30/07 of $19,375. Water usage for the month was 6,797,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1,734,790. In the Cash Report for April, the General Fund has $8,197,059; the Landfill Fund, $2,078,114; the revolving loan fund, $531,291; the SPLOST Funds, $7,223,673; and the Water Fund ended the month with $817,617, giving us a county wide total of $18,847,755. Of that, $179,274 is reserved for debt service, $54,814 for customer deposits and $7,223,673 for capital projects. In the SPLSOT report budget to actual for the 2000 Issue, as of April 30, 2008, we have spent $15.4 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $2,232,783 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Over 1/2 of that balance, $1.2 million is designated for County road projects. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category report for the 2005 Issue. To date we have total collections of $9,829,165, total expenditures of $5,419,621. Distribution #26 (of 70) in the amount of $372,837 received in April makes our current monthly average $378,045. April's distribution did help the looks of our graph with the entry, not the highest distribution, but certainly above the 2000 issue average and about $42,000 over February 2007 and over $100,000 more than last month's. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. Total disbursements were $181,366. Projects benefiting from SPLOST funds for the month of April were Animal Control, the Town of Arabi, the BBSB Complex, County Roads & Bridges, the CCSO/office improvements, the City of Cordele, the Coroner, the new Courthouse, the Detention Center, the Health Department and our Public Works Division. On the next page you should find the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts. We remain at nine outstanding loans with a total balance due of $1,870,922. Six are current and three are delinquent. The report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department report as of April 30, 2008. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. At the end of April all departments and divisions should be within 83% of their annual allowances. Overall, the General Fund Expenditures were at 78%, the Water Fund at 55% and the Landfill fund at 71%. She also presented the Board with a certificate expressing appreciation to us for our participation in the Crisp County High School Work-Based Learning Program for the 20007-2008 year. This is in recognition of an opportunity we have provided for Debra DeVane to work as a part time clerk in the Finance Department.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) work continues to go well with the work at the Sheriff and Health Departments. The work is approximately 25% complete, ahead of schedule and under Budget; 4) we received good news from the PSC regarding the violation letter we had received. Based on our rebuttal of the facts, upon further review, they have withdrawn the letter and dismissed the violations; 5) DNR has notified us that the EPD Fee for Solid Waste increases from $.65 to $.75/ton effective July 1, 2008. In accordance with our pricing structure our Landfill rates will go up by $.10/ton on July 1, 2008; 6) the GDOT has approved our entire list of projects for the "Off System Safety Program" with a value of $65,806.75, that includes RPM for all 25.56 miles; 7) the Crisp County EMA received a $32,999 Grant from GEMA and purchased a 4WD Tahoe for use by the EMA; 8) Crisp County Government turned out to be the biggest looser with the EZ Grant Awards. The EZ passed out $623,186 in Grant Awards this month. Crisp County received $0. The organizations we wrote support letters for received a total of $96,000 and the governments of Vienna, Pinehurst, Byromville and Dooly County received $103,500. Commissioners agreed to respond to their disappointment of Crisp County nor Cordele receiving any grant funds from EZ; 9) the "Women of Excellence" is holding a 2008 Women's Conference entitled "Far and Beyond" at the Recreation Center on May 16-17, 2008. They have asked that a County Commissioner say a few words welcoming the ladies to Crisp County at 7:30 p.m., this Friday, May 16th. James Nance volunteered to welcome the Ladies; 10) This is You Life honoring Buddy Leger is on June 20th; 12) Chief Lunsford is continuing to work with the Fenn Family on property for Fire Station #7; 13) the Haypond Road remains closed at the Deep Creek Bridge replacement; 14) we received a Thank You from the Country Inn & Suites of Cordele for our support of their Grand Opening; 15) don't forget the Power Commission Work Session that follows immediately after this and lunch will be provided; and 16) Community of Character Trait for the Month of April is CREATIVITY. Using your imagination to make something or to solve problems. Having imagination and inventiveness.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adjourn the meeting at 11:37 a.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.