MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON APRIL 10, 2012
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Ray Lunsford gave the invocation, and Commissioner Culpepper led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Mathis welcomed all in attendance.
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the minutes of the March 13th and March 26th 2012 meetings, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION COMMENDING TOMMY HAUESLER
Chairman Mathis stated that we have a Resolution honoring Tommy Hauesler, a county firefighter that was injured in an accident in 2008 and has been going through rehab and has just recently retired. We are glad that he made it through and want to honor him for his years of service. Fire Chief Ray Lunsford read the Resolution commending Tommy Hauesler, thanking him for serving for over 20 years, and for devoting numerous hours of time and dedication to the county. Mr. Lunsford stated that he was proud to have had him working for him and sorry to lose him. Mr. Hauesler advised that he remembers well the day he began as that was the day the airplane crashed into Northern Heights Baptist Church. He thanked the Board and the citizens for what they have done for him, and stated that you never know what you are going to have to face in life. Mr. Nance stated that for him when he was able to walk up here and be recognized, that said it all and that is a blessing. Mr. Henderson stated that the Lord was not ready for him yet, he left you here for a reason, and he is proud to see him up and around; you matter to the people of this county, and we appreciate your service. Mr. Culpepper stated that it is a bad way to retire but you will have a lot of free time to spend with your grandchild, and he thanked him for his service. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the Resolution Commending Oscar Tommy Hauesler, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REZONING REQUEST AND SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR HATLEY ROAD FARMS
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that we had the public hearing last month for the rezoning request from Hatley Road Farms on property located north of 2102 Hwy. 300 South, and this is the decision meeting. She has prepared a report in reference to the criteria that they consider on rezoning requests and special use requests. She read the rezoning request checklist. She stated that if the rezoning does not pass, there is no need to do anything on the special use permit. She then read the comments on the special use report. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the rezoning request of Hatley Road Farms from RS1 to General Commercial to locate a lumber and building materials yard located north of 2102 Hwy. 300 South, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to grant the Special Use Permit for Hatley Road Farms to locate a lumber and building materials yard in a GC zone district, with conditions attached that Ms. Sangster read, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Mathis asked George Haynie, owner of Hatley Road Farms if he was familiar with the conditions, and he replied yes.
APPROVE CRIME VICTIMS' WEEK PROCLAMATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that the purpose of the Crime Victims' Proclamation is to raise awareness of crime victims' rights week, which is designated this year as April 22-28th and to provide information on the other activities surrounding this event. In addition to the proclamation, the crime victim's rights proclamation ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m. April 23rd on the steps of the courthouse, and the annual candlelight vigil in honor of crime victims will take place on April 26th at 6:00 p.m. at the memorial wall located at the Crisp County Law Enforcement Center. She read the National Crime Victims' Rights Week Proclamation. Will McKee from the District Attorney's Office advised that this year they will be having the reading of the proclamation at the courthouse and there will be three new plaques put up on the victim's wall this year of people who have died as a result of violent crimes in our county. He advised that crime affects everybody, and we need the community to get behind us, and he invited everyone out for all the events. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the Crime Victims' Week Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DFACS ANNUAL REPORT ON CHILD ABUSE
Deborah Smith, Director of Crisp County Department of Family and Children Services, reported that her department continues to focus on family development and improvement and strengthening families. There is more activity going on this year in each of their programs except for childcare, as that program has been frozen. She advised that money that came into the community for fiscal year 2011 was $1 million for temporary assistance and needy families (TANIF), $11 million went to food stamps, $12,525 for employee ability services, $258,000 for child, and Medicare received $34 million. They service about 782 families here for adult medicaid, which is provided to the aged, blind, and disabled individuals, and they take about 67 applications each month. She advised that for the other medicaid programs they average about 1,915 cases and take about 159 applications each month. For food stamps their average is about 3,212 cases, which equal about 7,200 recipients in those programs. Mrs. Smith advised that reports of child abuse and neglect are required to be reported to their agency and as mandated by the State of Georgia, they have to investigate those reports. They took 202 reports during FY-11, which includes 35 children in foster care last year, and she went over the ages, race, and gender of those children, and they placed two children for adoption last year. They also served 350 families out of their food pantry; they were approved for 60 families from United Way at a cost of $2,844 to help with utility bills and medicine. Under Salvation Army, they serviced 109 families at a cost of $4,266.23. All of the total disbursements, about $49 million, came into this community in some way or another. Mr. Nance stated that is a big economic impact on the community. Chairman Mathis thanked her and her staff for the job they do. Mrs. Smith thanked the Board for their support and they appreciate what they do for the citizens of this county.
ADOPT CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH PROCLAMATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that next we also wish to bring attention to the problem of child abuse by declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Crisp County. She read the Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation emphasizing the responsibility of every citizen to help prevent child abuse and neglect and that the Prevent Child Abuse Crisp and the Crisp County DFACS are hosting public awareness events throughout our county during the month of April. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE PROCLAMATION FOR CELESTINE KIMBALL
Commissioner Nance stated that during their March 26th called meeting, they adopted a Proclamation recognizing retired educator Celestine Kimball in celebration of her 100th birthday on April 14th. We want to read the proclamation in her honor and recognize her. He read the Proclamation In Recognition of Retire Educator, Mrs. Celestine E. Kimball in Celebration of her 100th Birthday.
APPROVE REQUEST FOR TAX REFUND FOR HARRY & CONNIE MINSHEW
Mrs. Leverett reported that she had received a request for a tax refund from Harry and Connie Minshew for an overpayment of ad valorum taxes due to an error in their assessment. It appears that the assessment included property improvements they do not have; the Board of Assessors has reviewed this request and do recommend that we make the refund. She advised that they were assessed for a boat and swim dock that was actually not on their property. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the tax refund due to an error in the assessment of Harry and Connie Minshew's taxes for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011 subject to the calculation of the Tax Commissioner, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVED FORMAL REQUEST TO THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR PROMOTION OF TSPLOST
Mrs. Leverett reported that as mentioned in our previous meetings, the TSPLOST referendum will be held on July 31st, and this is a 1% regional sales tax, which will fund the transportation projects over the next ten years. It's approval is very important to Crisp County in order for us to continue to received state assistance on road improvement projects; 100% of the revenue received in our region stays in our region, 75% goes towards the major highway project, which for us is the Hwy. 280 bridge and widening project, and 25% will be returned to cities and counties to be used on the discretionary road projects. If it passes, our match on the discretionary projects remains at 10%, but if it fails, our match will go 30%. She advised that because it is a tax, the Board of Commissioners is prohibited from funding promotional activities to advocate it's approval, and in view of that we wish to make a formal request to the Chamber of Commerce to campaign for the passage of TSPLOST in Crisp County. We have prepared a letter issuing that request. Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, stated that this tax is a necessity for the county, as it is our future transportation because there are not enough local monies or state funded projects that come back to us to service the needs we are going to have in the future. Each region will have it's own monies that will be generated from this. Mr. Henderson stated that it will benefit us to have Columbus in our region as they will collect a substantial amount of tax with their population. Mr. Nance stated that the old way we used to get our state aid is fading out, so this is the way of the future. Chairman Mathis advised that the Mayor of Columbus and others in Columbus were always open to what would improve the area. Commissioner Culpepper stated that the citizens are going to pay regardless, but if the citizens vote it down in our community, we will be penalized. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the letter to send to the Chamber of Commerce asking for their assistance in promoting the passage of TSPLOST, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REQUEST FROM DOT FOR BEACON ON HWY. 280 EAST
Mr. Gamble reported that we received a letter from the Department of Transportation, through some of their projects they have for enhancing intersections, that the intersection at Hwy. 280 and Dorough Road has limited site distance, which we already knew. The intersection has advanced warning signs already, and they want to remove those and put up a flashing beacon acknowledging the county's intersection traveling westbound on Hwy. 280. This will be similar to the beacons that will be put up at Crisp Academy on Hwy. 300. He stated that in doing this, the DOT will install and maintain the beacon, and our portion would be the responsibility to pay the monthly electricity bill. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the flashing beacon on Hwy. 280 East at Dorough Road, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
UPDATE ON CURRENT ROAD/OUTSIDE PROJECTS
Mr. Gamble reported that 1) the resurfacing that was let on March 16th for Tremont and Hatley Roads and Reeves is the proposed contractor; 2) we received the information back from DOT on the Off-System Safety Plan, and with everything that we put in, there was not enough funding but we will have our next years project already in place. DOT asked us to go back and access the projects we have on a needs basis plus a geographic basis, and the suggestion from DOT was the more you can group together, the better price you will get as far with as mobilization. We have done that and grouped Antioch, Pateville, and Arabi-Warwick Roads on one group, and the next group would be Farmers Market, Fenn, Macedonia Church, and Drayton Roads. The total of those two groups would be $94,870; for 40.51 miles, which is not quite the 50% they told us to cut, but you can't cut off in the middle of the road. The only cost to the county will be for the labor, clip the shoulders, and get the roads ready. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to accept the 40.51 miles of road for the Off-System Safety Plan, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously; 3) the Go-Fish ramp project ribbon cutting is set for Friday, May 11th . Commissioner Henderson thanked Mr. Gamble for everything that he did in using the recycled concrete for the parking lot for this project; Commissioner Harris agreed; 4) Johnny Floyd had been diligently working through DOT to help get a county contract prepared that will be going from Hwy. 41 to Hwy. 300 with two feet of widening, resurfacing, and restriping, and then widening eight feet on each side from Hay. 300 to I-75 to be able to have the left turn lanes in it. We appreciate Mr. Floyd for his efforts in getting the additional funding for this project; 5) we almost have all the easements for the Omar Heights drainage improvements; 6) the Darton project pre-asbestoses removal is progressing well, but it is slow and tedious work; and 7) we do have the preliminary status back on the health department. Commissioner Nance thanked Mr. Gamble and Mrs. Leverett both for the work they have done since we have not had an administrator as they have not dropped the ball, and he appreciates them filling in the gaps.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes the executive summary for the month of March 2012 as well as fiscal year to date. In the Cash on Hand report we show General Fund with $6.5 million; the Landfill Fund, $913,000; the Revolving Loan Fund, $214,774; the SPLOST Funds, $7.5 million; and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.3 million, giving us a county wide total of $16.5 million. Of that amount $7.9 million is reserved or restricted for specific uses such as debt service and capital improvements projects. In the General Fund, monthly revenues total $1,071,614; year-to-date of $11.5 million; monthly expenditures $1,455,042; and year to date $10.8 million. These numbers bring General Fund revenues to 79% and expenditures to 74% of annual projections, which leaves us with revenues exceeding expenditures by about 5% or $701,075 at the end of the month, about $300,000 more than at March of 2011. For the Landfill Fund, we have $105,334 in accrued monthly revenues; $919,512, YTD; $96,179 in monthly expenses; $778,967 YTD, leaving the Landfill Fund with a net income of $140,545. The total tonnage received for the month of March of 3206.47 is down about 575 tons from March, 2011 and almost 200 tons less than last month. Approximately 43% of that was received from Veolia under their commercial contract and 16% under their residential contract. We are currently running about 300 tons below last year's average. The GEFA Loans are current at $5.1 million. For the month of March, the Water Fund recorded revenues of $35,489; YTD $360,025. Expenditures for the month totaled $35,622; YTD, $325,926 leaving it with a net gain of $34,099. Total usage billed for the month was 4,593,000 gallons and the USDA Bonds are current at $1,602,627. For the SPLOST reports, the first is the budget to actual for the 2000 Issue, and as of March 31st we have spent $16.8 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $837,000 to complete the projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 Issue, total collections remain at $24.7 million. To date we have total expenditures of $19.7 million leaving us with a little over $5 million to complete the projects included in this issue. Good news with Distribution no. 2 of the 2011 Issue. The amount, $372,951, was up significantly, 22% over last month and 21% over this same time last year and exceeded the monthly average of the previous issue by almost $30,000. To date we have collected $678,669 in revenue under this issue and expended $277,000. Projects benefiting from Special local option sales tax dollars for the month of March were the Crisp County Airport, the Crisp County Fire Dept. and the Darton Project. Following that is an updated schedule on our LOST receipts, and the increases pretty much mirror the percentages from the SPLOST schedules. This month's distribution of $175,287 is up 21.99% from last month & 20.64% from this same time last year. Next is the monthly report on our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts. We remain with eleven outstanding loans, total balance due of $2,262,316. Of those eleven, six are current and five delinquents. The last report is the preliminary revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the end of the third quarter of this fiscal year. As of March 31st, all departments and divisions should be within 75% of their annual allowances. Overall, the General Fund was at 74%, the Water Fund at 53% and the Landfill fund at 49%. She advised that there was a new vehicle for the Tax Assessors Office in the 2012 budget, and they have ordered a 2012 Ford Explorer, which met the requirements for fuel efficiency for non-emergency vehicle and came in about $4,000 under budget. We also have received an award notification from the Georgia Trauma Commission for $72,254, which will be used toward the purchase of a new ambulance; it won't pay for the full cost of an ambulance, but it will help plus there is some money left in the 2005 SPLOST, which he can use to subsidize that grant. We will be making that purchase as soon as we get all the paperwork and requirements. Also, we have completed all the paperwork for the CDBG 12 application on the health department improvement project, it has been submitted, and it will be in the fall before we know if it has been approved or not. Piedmont Construction has been selected as the CM for the Darton Project, and Superior Environmental Force has been selected as the asbestos removal company. Commissioner Nance asked about the budgets, and Mrs. Leverett stated that the budget request forms have been sent out and received back by most of all the departments and agencies. She and her staff are entering all the information, and will start meeting with the department heads soon.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, real estate, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
SET CALLED MEETING DATE
By common consent Commissioners set a called meeting at 1:00 p. m. for Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 11:55 a.m., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.