MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON JULY 24, 2008
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Chairman Ferrell Henry, with Commissioners James D. Harris, Brad Faircloth, and William Culpepper in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr., Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Faircloth gave the invocation.
APPROVE RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE MILLAGE RATE FOR 2008
Administrator Crapse reported that the proposed Resolution sets the county's millage rates; County Millage Rate will be 10.749 mills, State Millage Rate is .25 mills making total County and State Millage Rate at 10.999, Unincorporated District Special Service Millage Rate will be 1.340, and School System Millage Rate at 16.450. Mrs. Leverett stated that this is the final step in the process for Commissioners for them to be able to prepare the packet to deliver to the Tax Commissioner so that she can deliver it the State Department of Revenue before the August 1st deadline. She advised that the packet includes the Resolution, Certificate of Resolution, PT 32 and PT 35, and the insurance premium designation letter. She advised that the tax rate stayed the same as last year and the only increase is due to real growth, and there will be no tax increase. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the 2008 Tax Levy Resolution and authorize the Chairman and Administrator to sign the necessary paperwork needed for the Tax Commissioner, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
COURTHOUSE UPDATE AND APPROVE GMP #1
Administrator Crapse reported that when the Board approved GMP #1 on the new Courthouse a few weeks ago, there was an error in transposition of the numbers from one page to another in the paperwork, the correct price was reflected in the package, but not on the document that was signed. The reason he asked John Lichtenwalter, Turner Construction representative, here today is to come up and explain this because what the bottom line is in the document that we are asking the Chairman to sign at this point is actually $388,000 more than the document he signed before. He advised that even though it is a typo, down the road from now if somebody reviews those records and it shows that he and the Chairman signed the documents that increased the price $388,000 without consent of the Board, all kinds of speculation could take place. Mr. Lichtenwalter apologized for putting Administrator Crapse in the position of having to bring this back to Commissioners. He concurred with the Administrator that this was a typo error on the piece of paper that the Chairman and Administrator signed, but the numbers that supported it were correct. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the revised GMP #1 Letter correcting the typo and authorize the Chairman and Administrator to sign, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS COURTHOUSE FLOOD STUDY & APPROVE GMP # 2
Administrator Crapse reported that we went into the design of the new Courthouse and made a number of assumptions, one of those was that the flood plain presented on the surveys would be essentially correct, if not exactly correct it would not have a great impact on the project. The part that they thought might be in the flood area was north and east of 6th Avenue, which was only scheduled to have a parking lot and a detention pond on it, and there were engineering ways to fix that in terms of the 100-year flood plain so it wouldn't impact that. The City of Cordele, prior to issuing the permit, required that a flood study and wetlands delineation be done. The wetlands delineation was done and it was better than we anticipated because we had no wetland that reached out beyond the bank of the ditch. The bad news came with the flood study, which increased the 100-year flood from the 292 foot level that we had been planning and building on, to the 295.5 foot level, a 3.5 foot difference. By City regulations, we have to build one foot above the flood elevation, so that means instead of being able to build the building on grade, now half of the building is in the flood plain; so we are going to have to raise the building up by bringing in dirt. That is going to result in an additional cost, and right now we believe that addition will cost around $72,000, and that is including the county providing the dirt and delivering it to the site. Also, that created an issue with the handicap ramps as we were initially told that the back entrance or employee entrance did not have to have a handicap ramp as long as there was handicap access to the building, but then we got a call that advised that they will have to have a second handicap ramp at the employee entrance because of the fire code. This being because there will be only two exits from the building and if fire was engulfing the front door, there would be no way for handicap people to get out of the building. This will add an estimated $23,000 to the total, plus the incline on these ramps will be necessary to install handrails and probably require a flat portion in the middle as you can only go so far before you have to provide a flat space to rest. This brings the cost at an estimated price with both additions to about $100,000; there is about $180,000 in our contingency money and hopefully we can absorb the $100,000 here and not have to increase the cost of the project. He advised that Mr. Lichtenwalter has the GMP #2 that does include the site work, but does not include the impact for the flood study, it has gone up about $28,000 from the last time, but we are still within budget. He advised that we need to get this GMP in motion as soon as possible as the cost of asphalt has escalated $13,000 since the detail design was approved, so we need to lock that price is soon, the way we did the steel. Mr. Lichtenwalter reported that they have brought a trailer down and is on site, but they will not do anything else until they have the land disturbance permit, which they are hoping will be a week's review. He advised that overall without the flood study, we are $23,000 under anticipated budget, and right now there is roughly $196,000 left in contingencies plus the $23,000 that we are under budget, and they have added in the budget the $6,300 to the City water tap and sewer tap fees, which they didn't have before. Administrator Crapse advised that there were a couple of positive things that came out of this; it does elevate the building from a perception point of view, and also eliminates an issue we had with natural light of the windows on the north side of the building as it will make the windows that were not going to be full windows, closer to full, if not full, as opposed to having short windows in the Probate and Magistrate offices. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve GMP #2 understanding that it does not include the flood study and authorizing the Chairman and Administrator to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS CRISP COUNTY NEEDS & ISSUES WITH SENATORIAL CANDIDATE HORACE HUDGINS
Chairman Henry welcomed Horace Hudgins, Senatorial Candidate, to Crisp County and the Commissioners meeting. Mr. Hudgins advised that he appreciates the opportunity of being here today and looks forward to working with them, if he is elected, and he will help and support the Commissioners in every way he can. Administrator Crapse went over our county's needs and issues as he had the other two candidates that have already met with Commissioners (see 6/27/08 minutes). Mr. Hudgins advised that he feels that it is a plus for the Senator and Representative in a district to work together in both the House and Senate. Administrator Crapse read letter from Dickey Crosby advising that he has a prior commitment and not able to attend the Commission meeting today.
RESOLUTION HONORING PHIL STREETMAN
Administrator Crapse reported that the Kiwanis Club is honoring Phil Streetman today at noon, and they have asked the Commissioners to present him with a Resolution. Administrator Crapse read the Resolution honoring and commending Mr. Streetman in conjunction with the Cordele Kiwanis Club for his exemplary dedication to providing, spiritual guidance, public education and public awareness to the Citizens of Crisp County and all of South Georgia, and on this occasion of his receiving the Kiwanis Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless efforts, exceptional leadership, his lifetime of outstanding, devoted and loyal community service to Crisp County and its Citizens. All Commissioners felt Mr. Streetman was very well deserving of this Award. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Resolution Honoring Phil Streetman, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION OF JOINT WORK SESSION WITH CITY COMMISSION FOR PRESENTATION BY THE EZ
Administrator Crapse reported that Robert Cooke, Director of the EZ, has requested that the City and County participate in a joint work session to be presented by EZ on the Cordele Westside Renewal Project. He advised that Mr. Cooke told him that the purpose of the work session is that they are trying to get the City and County to back $6 million worth of bonds to do this project. There will be a joint session at 6:00 p.m. on July 29th, and all Commissioners that can attend, need to do so to ask questions. He doesn't know exactly what this entails, but there was some talk of taking off of the tax rolls 266 properties and an approximate value of $4 million never to be returned and it will affect the county. He also asked what they were going to do about the disposal and landfill fees of the houses being torn down, and he was advised that they wanted to talk about that. Administrator Crapse stated that we cannot meet financial assurance and take that much more free garbage, plus there are several others ways that it will cost the county. Also, if we back another $6 million more debt, it is likely that our bond rating will drop from AAA to AA and that would mean that when we borrow money, it will cost us more. Chairman Henry advised that he would be out of town that day, and encouraged all Commissioners that could to attend.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adjourn the meeting at 11:32 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.