MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON MARCH 9, 2010
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:07 a.m., with Commissioners 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. Commissioner Faircloth gave the invocation, and Administrator Crapse led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance and advised that Commissioners Harris and Mathis would not be in attendance today.
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve the minutes of the February 12, 2010, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - REZONING REQUEST FROM PATRICK'S INVESTMENTS
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, advised that she has a request from Patrick's Investments to consider rezoning of his property at the intersection of Antioch Road and Hwy. 300 South. Chairman Nance opened the Public Hearing and asked for anyone to speak in favor of the rezoning. Bo Patrick, associated with Patrick's Investments, advised that the purpose of the rezoning is so that they can build an office. Also in attendance were his contractor, Bubba Rogers, and his son, Milton Patrick. Ms. Sangster advised that this is a request from Patrick's Investments to consider a request to rezone 4.89 acres from RS1 (Single Family Residential) and GC (General Commercial) to HC (Heavy Commercial) for the proposed use of a warehousing or indoor storage facility/Office Headquarters. This is only the Public Hearing, and the decision will not be made today as this is to gather the information, and the decision will be made at April's regular meeting. She advised that the reason they are asking for two different requests is when the major rezoning was done in 2000; they left an area off Hwy. 300 for a buffer, and the other property as RS1 because there are existing mobile homes on the other side of the road. She showed an aerial view of the property and also showed where they left the border for a buffer for the RS2 zone district, which is a more intense single-family zone district, beyond the RS1 zone district. She advised that they changed the zoning to GC on Hwy. 300 as the intent is commercial. Ms. Sangster stated that when Mr. Patrick first came to see her, he asked to build a warehouse at 6,000 sq. ft. and a 2,000 sq. ft. office, so the principle use is the largest use of the space, which will be the warehouse. We do have buffer regulations, if the property is adjacent to residential, and there are different guidelines on buffers as far as trees. This building will not actually abut the residential area as we have roads that will separate this from the residential area. It is up to the Commissioners if they want to attach conditions, if approved. She also advised that Commissioners can rezone it for this use only, and if the use changes other than what the stipulations were, the individual would have to come back to the Board for approval again. Mr. Patrick advised that they have sold their headquarters in Warwick, he has owned this property for several years, and they are wanting to put a 6,000 sq. ft. building; they have ten stores in operation, and from time to time they need small equipment that goes along with a supermarket, so they found that it is better to have it in storage than to wait until they need a piece of equipment. This will be the main purpose of having the storage. He advised that the office is where they funnel all their business in from the ten stores, and they have roughly three to five employees in this office. They like it because it works to their advantage to have the warehouse and the office in one location. He advised that they might get the idea by looking at their place in Warwick that there are other operations going on, but this one in Crisp County will be a self-standing operation only for the supermarkets. They would like to be located here because it is in Crisp County and will use Crisp County Power, which will be a big savings to them. He showed the office layout, and he thinks it will be as asset to the location. Administrator Crapse asked if he was going to have anything like cars, trucks, golf carts, or boats on the outside of the building, and Mr. Patrick advised that was not their plan, and if they do have that, they will have to come back for another discussion; right now all they want is an office and a facility to store small equipment; the equipment will all be on the inside, not on the outside. Ms. Sangster asked what kind of building they were planning to build, if approved, and Mr. Patrick stated it would be metal with a little extra decoration on the office space, like store or wood, which will be on the side that faces Antioch Road. Eddie Rigsby stated that he lives right across Antioch Road from where Mr. Patrick is talking about putting the warehouse. His main concern is what kind of traffic will be coming in and out, especially what size trucks; they have lived in this spot for twenty years, and the main reason they moved there was to get away from town traffic. He stated that they noticed this piece of property was zoned RS1 and GC but across the other side of Hwy. 300 where Mr. Patrick has other land, it is zoned GC; why didn't he consider putting it on the other side of Hwy. 300, where there is no residential. Mr. Patrick stated that one of the main reasons is they have a little over four acres on the side of the road they want to put it on, and it is kind of a self standing area, and he thinks it would be a natural for what they want. He stated that they are not going to have the groceries delivered to this location, and the main reason for the warehouse is for them to store small pieces of equipment for their other stores; basically, all you will see is three to eight cars, being the salesmen, employees, and their vehicles. He advised that there will be some tractor trucks in there on occasion but not parked on the site. Mr. Patrick advised that the entrance will be off Antioch Road, and all equipment will be inside as they have another location where they store the heavy equipment, and he thinks the value of the property around this office/warehouse will be improved. Mr. Rigsby asked if in the future Mr. Patrick decides to do something else with the property what would happen, and Ms. Sangster advised that if the Commissioners approve this, and as part of their approval, they could include that this use is only for the use as presented. Mr. Rigsby stated that he wanted all to know that they were not really opposed to the warehouse going up over there, they just had some concerns. There were no further questions, so Chairman Nance closed the Public Hearing and advised that the decision will be made on April 13, 2010.
PUBLIC HEARING - SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR PATRICK'S INVESTMENTS
Chairman Nance reported that this request is for a Special Use Permit to allow Warehousing or Indoor Storage Facility/Office Headquarters in an HC zone district for Patrick's Investments and will depend on the approval of the rezoning request for Patrick's Investments. This decision will also be made at the April 13th meeting. Chairman Nance opened the Public Hearing, and asked if anyone wanted to speak in favor of the request. Mr. Patrick didn't quite understand what the Special Use Permit was for. Ms. Sangster advised that in order to have the warehouse in that zone district, you have to have a Special Use Permit, and that is what this public hearing is about. The main use of the property is warehousing because of the size of the footage. Mr. Patrick stated that he doesn't know of anything else he could add at this time, but it will be favorable for them to have the warehouse and office together. Chairman Nance asked if there was anyone to speak in opposition of the Special Use Permit, there was none, so he closed the Public Hearing.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes a preliminary report and executive summary as of Feb. 28, 2010. The General Fund reports monthly revenues of $437,362; year to date $9,120,207; monthly expenditures $802,786; year to date expenditures of $8,097,939. These numbers leave General Fund revenues exceeding expenditures by about 8%, which is a little over $1 million. Although revenues are considerably less, about $800,000, than this same time last year, our bottom line is about the same. This means that we are doing a good job so far of controlling our spending and staying within budget. We only collected about $50,000 more in Ad Valorem taxes during the month, nudging that number up slightly to 78%. The Landfill Fund had $90,736 in monthly revenues; $818,390 fiscal year to date; $65,860 in monthly expenses; $703,071 year to date leaving the Landfill with a net gain of $115,319; this is about $150,000 better than Feb., 2009, but this is based on accrued, not received, revenues. The total tonnage received for the month of February was 2837.32. Approximately 48% of that was received from Veolia under their commercial contract and 17% under the City of Cordele residential contract. Our current monthly average of 3132.55 is off about 100 tons per month from the FY 09 average. The GEFA Loans are current at $3.2 million and the new construction loan is $1,431,835. For February, The Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $25,156; YTD revenues of $269,409. February expenditures totaled $27,729; YTD expenditures, $311,673. This leaves the Water Fund with a net loss at 2/28/10 of $42,465. The Water Fund is running about $50,000 behind where it was last year. Revenues are about the same, but we have several expenditures that are higher than they were at Feb. 09. Water usage for the month was 3,541,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1,675,015. The total cash on hand countywide at 2/28/10 was $11,958,032. The largest deposits were $6.1 million in various accounts representing the General Fund and the $2.3 million in SPLOST funds. Our total cash on hand is down about $4.5 million from this same time last year, with every fund sharing in that decrease. Next is the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue. As of February 28, 2010, we have spent $16,163,868 of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $1,469,456 to complete the various City and County projects associated with this issue, most of which is County Roads. To date in the 2005 SPLOST Issue we have total collections of $17,372,787 and total expenditures $18,637,701. This month's receipt of $344,417 representing primarily January retail sales, actually wasn't too bad. We continue to be skeptical about the reporting accuracy of these numbers, as it just doesn't make sense to us that January retail sales would be higher than December. The current monthly average of $354,547 is down about $25,000 than this same time last year. Next is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST Fund expenditures for both issues. For the month of February, disbursements totaled $269,951. Projects benefiting from Special Local Option Sales Tax proceeds were the Crisp County Courthouse, the Crisp County Airport, the Cities of Cordele and Arabi and County Roads. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts, we still have ten outstanding loans, five current & five delinquents, with a total balance due of $2,149,422. All the delinquents have been turned over to legal. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department preliminary report for the eight-month period of July 2009 through February 2010. As of February 28th, all departments and divisions should actually be at 67% of their annual allowances. Overall, the General Fund was at 56%, the Water Fund at 80% and the Landfill fund at 46%.
ADOPT CENSUS PROCLAMATION
Administrator Crapse reported that he has a proclamation for the Census, and basically it encourages our citizens to support the census collection of data as it does affect dollars coming into our state and our county. It will be harder to collect this information in rural because of the low density, but we will have to be vigilant in getting this information in order to make the censes data from Crisp County reflect what we think it should be. Our estimated growth at this point would be about 22,200, whereas 21,996 is where we were in the last census, but he doesn't know how good that figure is our how good it was ten years ago. The proclamation is to urge our residents to participate in the census and declaring March 8-14 as Georgia's Official Census Week in order to build awareness and support throughout Georgia. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Census Proclamation and authorizing the Chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING THE MPA PROGRAM AT ALBANY STATE UNIVERSITY
Chairman Nance reported that he has a Proclamation Recognizing the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at Albany State University & Celebrating The 8th Dr. Lois B. Hollis Colloquium that recognizes the program and the founder of the program, the late Dr. Lois B. Hollis. When he was in the program several years ago, he spoke to Dr. Hollis and realized that she was related to his grandmother, and he had been in that program several years and didn't realize that. He will be speaking at Albany State University in March and would like to take this Proclamation with him. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to adopt the Proclamation recognizing the MPA Program at Albany State University & Celebrating The 8th Dr. Lois B. Hollis Colloquium, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Administrator Crapse reported that 1) He attended several meetings and events last month; 2) There was one new SPLOST Purchase approved this month to buy Drainage pipe in the amount of $12,920.81; this replaced pipe we used an restocked our supply; 3) The “Go Fish Georgia” Boat Ramps remain on hold for now; 4) Unfunded mandates: The Board of Elections and Registration has been notified by the State that they will no longer provide, repair or replace computer equipment needed for elections; 5) The House Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved legislation that would require low-flow fixtures in new construction, meters on individual apartments and repairs to municipal water lines, all to take effect in 2012; 6) Legislation to close three crime labs on March 31 appears to be ongoing, a poll of Counties was taken to ask if Counties would fund the State Crime Labs. 75% said NO, including me; 7) As you know from the news The Board of Regents has responded to the General Assembly with their proposal to eliminate the 4-H program and close 50% of the County Extension offices Statewide. This has caused close to a riot among Counties, so I believe it is being relooked, we hope; 8) The Landfill C&D Cell is complete and we are waiting on Final EPD approval to open the cell for use, we expect this in a couple of weeks; 9) As you are painfully aware I'm sure, the bad weather continues but is improving slightly. Roads remain in poor condition, but we are making some steady progress if the weather will continue to hold off some; 10) Off System Safety Program request for 2009 (delayed until 2011) for 29.13 miles has been accepted by GDOT, now pending funding in FY-11. The October 2010 LARP letting will begin work later this month (Catfish, Bryant & Antioch). The LARP from the April 2010 will be for 1.730 mi. of Antioch Rd. between Marshal Circle and Raines Station Road and will be done in FY-2011; 11) The Meadow Park Sewer project is about 50% complete and continuing forward; 12) Better news but no turn around. SPLOST collection for January was $344,417, the largest since September 2009 and larger than any other month in 2009. LOST collection for January was $161,876.25 the largest since September 2009 and larger than any other month in 2009 also. Most likely a reporting issue due to December holidays; 13) The Elections Office move into the old Probate Court space is completed, and we are starting on the move of the Tax Assessors Office this month; 14) The Amboy Road at Lime Creek remains closed for the bridge replacement over Lime Creek. Work is still ahead of schedule so the bridge may be opened before the end of the month; 15) Community of Character Trait for the Month of February is FAIRNESS. To treat everyone the same. To be honest and just.
APPROVE EASTER FEST 2010
Administrator Crapse advised that Dravian McGill was not able to be here this morning but want the public to be aware that the Easter Fest will be going forward this year, and hopefully it will be bigger and better than last year. He has revised the Contract with the Westside Leadership Group, the Board authorized 75% of last year, and that was acceptable to them as they are trying to become self-sufficient. We don't need a motion since we had already approved it when the budget was approved.
ACCG IRMA & WORKERS COMPENSATION FUND
Administrator Crapse reported that we have the safety discount verifications for our liability and our workers' compensation fund. Chief Ray Lunsford monitored all of the requirements that we have to do, and the plan requires that the Commissioners acknowledge that they have read and fully support the requirements of both plans. We have complied fully and completed all those requirements. Mr. Crapse advised that being in these programs and obtaining compliance gains a 7 1/5% savings discount on our Workers Compensation premium and a 5% savings discount on our liability premium. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to approve both the ACCG Irma & Workers Compensation Safety Discount Verification Forms and authorizing the Chairman to sign both forms, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS AFTERSCHOOL & DAY CAMP FUNDING
Administrator Crapse reported that the day camp program was not funded in the FY10 budget nor does he anticipate the funds being available. If the Board believes that the program goes forward, the decision must be made soon as we need to start lining up staff, etc. in order to be prepared when school is over. The after school program was extended because of the shut down of the Boys & Girls program, they figured that the kids would need a place to go, but at the last count, we had only attracted one person that was in this club. He advised that right now registration fee of $60 a week brings in about $18,240 based on last year's participation, which averaged 38 kids for 8 weeks, and the direct cost of this program is $32,614. In order to pay the direct cost from fees the $60 a week would have to go up to $107 per week, and the indirect cost would be another $15.07 to that, and if the program was totally paid for through fees the cost would be $159 per week per child. If the program is not going to be funded, we need to provide this to the public, and if it is going to be funded, then the board has to understand what the cost is going to be, and determine if they want to do anything with the rate structure. Given our revenues, the status of collections, and the other unfounded mandates, we do not believe that the money is going to be there. Chris Greene, Recreation Advisory Board Chairman, stated that this program is important to our community as these children need a safe and structured place to go during the summer. He understands that money is an issue, but we need to try to do this for our community. This is allowing the young people we employ to get some type of work experience and also earn some pay for them. He thinks that whenever the Director is getting ready to submit his budget, if the Recreation Advisory Board could get back into helping during the budget time and advising what the community's priorities our for our children, that would help to solve a lot of these issues for the future. Mr. Faircloth advised that he is all for saving the program for the kids, and he thinks it is important to get a true picture of what the costs would be. Mike Fraser stated that it is important that our children have somewhere to go and a safe haven to go to, and if there is anything that they can do as far as cutting somewhere else to save to go toward this, it would be a great help. He also thanked the Commissioners with their assistance in the soccer program, as they have over 118 kids that were able to participate in spring soccer. Larry Felton advised that he thinks it is very important to keep the day camp open if we could because there are a lot of kids that need something to do during the summer. Mrs. Leverett advised that the $107 is a break-even with the direct cost, like snacks, movies, arts and crafts, and this is not in the budget, so if Commissioners agree to put this back in the budget, she will need to know where the money is coming from as well. Mr. Greene thinks there might be a way to get the snacks donated for those children, and he wants them to know how important this issue is to our community and especially the parents that have children in that age group. Chairman Nance advised that he understands their concerns, and this is one, along with a lot of other issues, they are facing as kids are our most precious resource. Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to fund the day camp program this summer at $75 per week per child with a 8 week commitment contract, and if enrollment drops below 25 children, the camp wouldn't be open for future weeks, the drop-in rate will be $25 per day, and the balance of the funding will come from surplus, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate, potential litigation, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENTS TO THE CRISP-TURNER JDA
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Eli Tinsley for a 2-year term, Marlene Kimball for a 3-year term, and Dravian McGill for a 4-year term, and also Bruce Drennan, and William Culpepper to the Crisp-Turner Joint Development Authority, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINTMENT OT THE RIVER VALLEY COMMISSION
Chairman Nance appointed himself to the River Valley Commission to fill the un-expired term of Commissioner Faircloth, through June 30, 2010.
APPOINTMENT TO THE TAX ASSESSORS' BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Faircloth to appoint Hal Carter, Jr. to the Tax Assessors' Board for a four-year term beginning April 1, 2010 and ending March 31, 2014, seconded by Chairman Nance with Commissioner Culpepper abstaining.
APPROVE BEER & WINE APPLICATION FOR SUNITABEN PATEL
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Beer and Wine Application for Sunitaben Patel at Quick Buys on Hwy. 300 South, seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 11:54 a.m., seconded by Mr. Faircloth, motion carried unanimously.