MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 9, 2008
Chairman Ferrell Henry called the meeting to order, 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. Rev. Warren Williams, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church, gave the invocation and Administrator Crapse led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Henry welcomed all those in attendance.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of November 18, 2008, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
TABLE DECISION FROM ASHFORD C. VENTURES, INC.
Administrator Crapse reported that the county has received a letter from Ashford C. Ventures asking the Board to defer or table the decision on this rezoning project of Mr. Ashford to give him additional time to do some wetland delineation and flood study on this piece of property, and he recommends that the Board table this item until he is ready to go forward. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to table the decision from Ashford C. Ventures, Inc., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE ADOPTING AMENDMENTS OF THE UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE OF CRISP COUNTY
Administrative Crapse reported that we will be discussing a combination of things, which include a decision meeting on the policies, procedures, standards and adopting amendments to the Unified Land Development Code pursuant to the requirements of the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law. It includes three different items, and the public hearings for these requests were held on Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Taking these in order, he advised that the Board heard extensively from Charles Wells and also accepted a written statement from Mr. Wells as part of the record. Mr. Wells felt that the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law was violated in 2000 when the county had it's last rezoning; the county actually did not violate the Law but Mr. Wells questioned the method of notification for that provision and felt the county should do more. The county goes above and beyond the legal notification required and will continue to do so. He recommends that the Board readopt the policies and procedures for calling and conducting the hearings on the proposed zoning decisions. Motion was made by Mr. Nance for discussion only regarding the amendments of the Unified Land Development Code, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harris asked Attorney Lawson if legally we were all right in adopting these amendments, and Attorney Lawson advised that he reviewed the Resolution just for the form but did not review the actual procedures. Connie Sangster, Planning Director, advised that we are in the process of updating the Land Development Code and when you update this, part of the procedures and policies of how we conduct our meetings and how the Board makes the decisions are included. Administrator Crapse advised that Mr. Ross, consultant, is here if Mr. Harris or anyone else has any technical questions. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the policies and procedures for the calling and conducting of hearings on proposed zoning decisions pursuant to the requirements of the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the standards governing the exercise of the zoning power pursuant to the requirements of the Georgia Zoning Procedures Law, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the amendments to the Unified Land Development Code of Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Crapse advised that this is a text amendment only and does not change any zoning maps within the county, it is primarily to bring our code up to standard with the change in Georgia Law since 2000. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth that these previously approved standards and procedures will go into effect January 1, 2009, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the minutes of the Public Hearing held on November 19, 2008, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously. Ms. Sangster introduced Bill Ross, with Ross and Associates, and advised that he has worked very hard with us on adopting this Resolution as well as other things in the past. Mr. Ross advised that he has been working with Crisp County for many years on various zoning procedures, and thanked Commissioners for their help over the years.
AUTHORIZE $50 NO-TRANSPORT FEE FOR EMS
David Edwards, EMS Director, reported that they discussed this matter a little at budget time, and we feel like now might be a good time to take action on this issue. He advised that their non-transport rate continues to shift as they get a lot of calls where they do not transport patients; some are auto accidents, etc. where the general public calls, and they are not talking about these type calls. He advised that there are a lot of people that call them to a residence, and then the patient refuses transport for whatever reason; this generates a cost to them that is pretty expensive with a vehicle that gets about 6 miles to the gallon. He stressed that they are going to respond to every request they get, but they want to help educate the people to eliminate some of these unnecessary calls. He advised that other agencies are doing this, and basically this is a cost containment measure, plus when they are tied up with these calls, they are not available to respond to a real emergency as quickly. He advised that the Commissioners have before them a copy of the proposed policy, which basically states that if they are called and a patient refuses transport, they will be charged a $50 no-transport fee. A step beyond that is they also have patients from time to time that they administer medications, etc. on the scene, then their condition improves and they don't transport them; they need a means to recoup their cost for medications, time, etc., and that charge will be appropriate to the level of care they provide. He added that they cannot bill any of these charges to Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance, and it will be a direct bill to that patient. Also, they are having problems with medical alarms, most of the people that have the alarms are elderly, they understand that, and know the alarms are activated by mistake. They are requesting that they allow four times for these alarms, and on the fifth one, they get assessed a $50 charge. They do take into account weather and such things as that, but where this is repetitive, they feel like they need to address this as well. He stressed that they want people to call when they have a medical emergency, but they want it to be appropriate. Administrator Crapse advised that in this situation where we are seeing more and more abuse of the EMS assets, and when you have the ambulance responding a third of the time and not getting any compensation, it drives the cost up for everybody else. Mr. Edwards advised that if approved, he would like to have the rest of this month to hit the press and let the public know, and begin January 1, 2009. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to authorize a $50 no-transport fee for the EMS to begin January 1, 2009, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE FINANCING FOR IDA WITH COUNTY
Administrator Crapse advised that at the last meeting, Cliff Harpe, attorney for the Industrial Development Development Authority, made a request for a Revolving Loan Fund allocation, and that request was to allocate the remaining RLF funds to the IDA for the purchase of land in the Cedar Creek Corporate Park. At that meeting the Board allocated $280,000 of the available $400,000 to this project and retained $120,000 for another application that had been submitted and on the table. The RLF committee reviewed that application and found the application to be deficient and voted unanimously not to recommend approval of that application to the Board on several grounds; some were insufficient collateral, lack of cash flow to support debt service; failure to disclose all expenses, an untested business plan, no earnings history or experience by the principle in this line of business, failure to update bank proposals with the new security, and failure to show a real need for the funds since the individual intends to go forward with the project whether or not he gets the loan. Based on this, the $120, 000 that was requested by the IDA is available to be used for land purchases around Cedar Creek Corporate Park, if the Board sees fit, and with concurrence of the other aspects of the project, he recommends that the Board allocate the additional $120,000 to this project. It is anticipated that the project will take another $200,000 that the IDA would borrow from a bank; the county would have a second lien position on that note. There is an additional $250,000 that would be available thru SPLOST on March 31, 2009, and if IDA makes a draw at that time, that would allow them to pay off that note to the bank with only having to pay four or five months interest on that money, saving money for both the IDA and the county. When the bank note is paid off, the county would then have a first lien position on that property. There is one other small item, there was a recommendation having to do with some emergency work with the IDA building that the train depot in located in and an adjacent building which is owned by a private citizen. It has become a safety hazard to the community, and there has been a suggestion that the County, City, and Power Commissions come up with approximately $15,000 each to pay for those things, clear the property, and do some other work. That is an economic development project, and it is his position that this money should come out of the IDA SPLOST funds. Mr. Harpe reported that to his understanding, there is $250,000 available in SPLOST that the county will have available to disburse to the IDA upon receiving of a letter of request; there is $400,000 available in the RLF that the county would agree to lend to Crisp County/Cordele Industrial Development Authority for the purpose of assistance in acquisition of land and that would be made available upon such reasonable time as the county and council can have documentation; the loan would be secured by a Deed to Secure Debt to real estate being the land to be acquired; that lien would initially be a second lien, it would be subject to other bank financing of an amount not to exceed $200,000; the payments due to the Authority under the SPLOST would be allowed to be secured to the payment of the note to the RLF with the first such payment to be directed to the bank financing initially to satisfy it in full, then remaining payments if the payment that was paid to the RLF was not already paid, that payment and each subsequent payment would be applied to the RLF until the RLF was fully satisfied, resulting in a final maturity of the note with the RLF of March 31, 2012. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the above financing and funding, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Harpe advised that they are consulting with the adjoining owner and the Train Depot as the tenant of the Authority as assisting them regarding this emergency project, and they are looking at applying for grants to assist. They have the owner pretty much willing to consider a donation of the building, and they have estimates of demolition costs of anywhere from $13,000 to $33,000, plus the probability of using the existing concrete in the building and adding concrete paving to that for probably another $20,000 or so they could end up with a relatively good finished parking lot. They don't think the total cost on the whole thing will exceed $50,000-$60,000, and they don't necessarily have to do all these steps; the main reason they brought it up was just to let you know that at this point the Authority has committed up to $15,000 of it's funds towards the project, which might even get the first round of demolition complete, depending on exactly what and how they do it. It is an item that could be coming back up depending on what happens in the next week or two with the donation and at least the initial efforts to stabilize the property.
CONTRACT FOR SERVICES WITH THE CHAMBER FOR TOURISM PROMOTION SERVICES
Administrator Crapse reported that this is an agreement with the Chamber of Commerce that establishes formal relationship between the County and the Chamber of Commerce for the distribution of hotel/motel tax revenues; revenues that go to the Chamber, Tourism Committee. Half of the money the county collects on hotels/motels goes to the Tourism Committee for further promotion of tourism in our community. We have an agreement with the Chamber for other things, but we don't have a contract for these services, which puts in place the mechanism for the provision of those dollars. The contract that is in their packet is essentially the same contract that the city has, which is a standard contract for services that allows us to pass those funds on to the Chamber so that they can do business with regard to the enhancement of tourism. He recommends the Board approve the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Contract for Services with the Chamber for Tourism Promotion Services and giving the Chairman the authority to sign the contract, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE FOR 2009
Administrator Crapse reported that we are asking the Board to approve the standard holiday schedule for calendar year 2009; we do this in December so that the Constitutional Officers can set their schedules for the upcoming year. There are 12 standard holidays for next year. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the Holiday Schedule for 2009, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
THANK FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FOR PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT
Administrator Crapse reported that the playground equipment that First Baptist Church donated to the 19th Avenue Park is up and looks good. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to authorize Administrator Crapse to publicly thank First Baptist Church for their donation of playground equipment that went to the 19th Avenue Park by writing a letter, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried.
Mrs. Leverett reported that in their packet today includes a report of revenues and expenditures for our three major funds as of November 30, 2008. The General Fund is reporting monthly revenue of $1,073,630, YTD $3,676,569. Monthly expenditures totaled $1,011,057 bringing YTD expenditures to $5,209,498, leaving the General Fund with a net loss at the end of the five months of $1,532,929. This is typical for this time shot of our fiscal year. Our level of cash reserves remains to support daily operations until we see the effects of 2008 property tax collections. As of this report we had only collected 16% of this years projected digest revenue. Landfill revenue for the month totaled $82,378, YTD $481,623. Expenditures for the month were $75,233, YTD $503,025…leaving the Landfill Fund with a net loss of $21,402 as of November 30th. The total tonnage accepted for the month of November of 2648.92 is 1,520 tons less than November of 2007 and drops our FY 08 FYTD monthly average down to 3,334. the lowest it has been in over three years. Of that total, 50% was delivered under the Onyx commercial contract and 18% under the City of Cordele free residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $3.6 million. For the Water Fund, we are reporting November revenues of $35,180, YTD, $179,842. Monthly expenditures, $31,174, YTD, $176,904. With a net gain of $2,938, the Water Fund is pretty much breaking even. Water usage for the month was 4,375,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1,716,155. Cash on hand at November 30th shows our County wide total at $15.4 million. Of that $15.4 million $185,168 is reserved for debt service, $6.8 million for capital projects, $400,00 for the IDA/RLF and $55,415 for customer deposits. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE, we have spent $15.7 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1.9 million to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue. November's distribution of $385,940 brings the total collections for this issue to $12,502,665. To date, we have spent $8.2 million on projects approved for this issue. The updated monthly average of $378,869 has dropped slightly, about $5,000 less than it was at the end of November 07. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures, for both issues. The total SPLOST disbursements for the month of November was $381,414 with the largest amounts going to the following projects: The new Courthouse, $249,617; The City of Cordele, $49,411, the Health Dept, $20,711; The Crisp Co Sheriff's Office, $20,413; the County Jail, $15,401; and the Crisp County Coroner, $1,593. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of November 30, 2008. We have eight outstanding loans with a total balance due at 11/30/08 of $1,938,566. Of those eight, five are current and three 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 period of July through November 2008. The summary report shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. At the end of November, all departments and divisions should be within 42% of their annual allowances. Overall, our three major funds ended the month as follows: General Fund at 37%, Water Fund at 31% and Landfill Fund at 34%. We also have provided you with a list of occupation tax licenses and regulatory permits issued to date for 2008. She thanked Chairman Henry for all he has done over the last six years, and his support of the Finance Department as well as all the other departments and divisions with the county, as we know your heart has always with the county, and wish you good luck.
Administrator Crapse reported that: 1) he attended several meetings and events this month; 2) there were no new SPLOST expenditures approved this month; 3) LARP work on the FY-08 projects has been completed except for the Pateville Road segment that should be done in the next week or so. Carl actually got a little extra done on a cul-de-sac off Lakeview Drive with some left over material. Still no word on the FY-09 LARP project list; 4) we have a request from the Extension Office to assist Crisp County 4-H with preparation of their Shotgun Target Program. We will be doing some other clearing work for the Airport in the vicinity of the Gun Club so we will assist in reorienting the shooting range away from the Runway; 5) the ConArt water system will be cut on this week; 6) we have also been asked to assist the State Park in repairs to the Boat Ramp at Gum Creek as well as some shoreline moving which we will also be working on; 7) everyone is getting excited about the “Infrastructure Improvement Stimulus Package” so we submitted about $4M in road projects including Pateville Rd., Bird's Mill Rd., Crossroads Store Rd. and Floyd Rd.; 8) work continues on the Reedy Branch Bridge on Hawpond Road; 9) the Gift Certificate Drawing that I forgot about at the Employee Dinner was held at the Department Head Staff Meeting and the winners were Ralph Dennard, Loran Hayslip, John Hauesler and Sally Outen; 10) don't forget the many special events coming up; and 11) the Community of Character Word for the Month of December is JOYFULNESS. Happy, filled with cheer.
THANKED CHAIRMAN HENRY FOR HIS SERVICE TO THE COUNTY
Mr. Faircloth thanked the Chairman for his service, the great leadership he has given, being a great friend, and he hopes the employees know what a stand he has taken for them along with the citizens of this county. Chairman Henry thanked Commissioners and Administrator for all the great things that have happened in Crisp County; we are fortunate in this county, and it has been a pleasure to work with all of the Commissioners present along with Mr. Dowdy and Mrs. Pheil. He has enjoyed his tenure here, it has been a pleasant experience for his wife and him, and challenged the Commissioners to continue to do better and more good things for this county. Mr. Culpepper stated that he has learned a lot from him and he has enjoyed the last two years, he has been a great leader and is a great person. Mr. Nance stated that we all do share the same sentiments, he is well respected and always emphasize process, procedure, and following the rules, he is a good leader, and we will miss you, and you always tried to make sure that everyone is included, he respects and appreciates that. Mr. Harris calls him a friend and he loves him.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
By common consent, Commissioners came out of Executive Session.
REAPPOINT MEMBERS TO THE SWGA EXCURSION AUTHORITY
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to reappoint James Harris and Brad Faircloth to 2-year terms on the Southwest Georgia Railroad Excursion Authority, terms running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/10, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT MEMBER TO THE BOARD OF HEALTH
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to reappoint Katherine Kelley to a 6-year term on the Crisp County Board of Health, term running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/14, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT MEMBERS TO THE CRISP REGIONAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to take the recommendation from the Crisp Regional Hospital Authority Board and reappoint Gene Ford and Dr. Bill Pannell to 5-year terms on the Crisp Regional Hospital Authority, terms running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/13, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to reappoint Mark Brubaker and appoint Jerry Carney to 5-year terms on the Crisp County Board of Zoning Appeals, terms running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/13, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT MEMBERS TO THE CRISP COUNTY RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Ronnie Parker and Mark Crenshaw to 3-year terms on the Crisp County Recreation Advisory Board, terms running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/11, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT MEMBER TO THE CRISP COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to appoint Harold Reynolds to a 2-year term on the Crisp County Animal Control Board, term running from 01/01/09 to 12/31/10, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE $3600 BONUS FOR ADMINISTRATOR
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to award Administrator Crapse a $3,600 bonus effective 01/01/09, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CONTRACT FOR FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES IN ARABI
Administrator Crapse reported that it has come to their attention that the contract for fire protection services for the City of Arabi runs out on December 31, 2008, which was for 2006-2008, and there are no automatic renewal terms in the contract. He suggests that the Board authorize an additional 3-year contract under the same terms, an increase of 1/12th of the actual increase of the actual personnel pay and benefits on July 1st of each year, or in other words there is a cost of living for the personnel policy increase. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the 3 year contract for the fire protection services with the City of Arabi and giving the Chairman the authority to sign, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CONTRACT WITH FSA
Administrator Crapse reported that we have the supplemental lease for the Farm Services Agency that uses our building under the same terms that they have been renting our building for years, and he recommends approval of the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Contract with FSA and authorizing the Chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adjourn the meeting at 12:19 p.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.