MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JUNE 12, 2012
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Commissioner Culpepper gave the invocation and 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. Henderson to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of May 8th and the called meetings of May 9th, May 11th, May 14th and June 6th, 2012, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITATION
Mrs. Leverett reported that she received an email from Senior Chief YNCS issuing a request for the county to fly an American Flag for one day over the Crisp County Courthouse in honor of Nathan Crawford's retirement. Mr. Crawford is a native of Crisp County and has served 26 years in the U. S. Navy. She contacted the Boy Scouts, and they have arranged to raise the flag at 8:00 a.m. this Thursday, it will fly in honor of Mr. Crawford all day long, and they will lower it at 5:00 p.m. We will then return the flag to his commanding officer, and the commanding officer will present that flag to him at his official retirement ceremony. Chairman Mathis stated that this is a good exercise for the Boy Scouts, and wanted to wish Mr. Crawford well in his retirement. Mr. Nance stated that 26 years is a long time to serve, it is very commendable for him to serve our country, and we are proud to participate in this event and honor his service of recognition. Mr. Culpepper thanked all the military for their service and what they do for our community and nation, and we have been blessed by what they have done for us. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the Certificate of Recognition for Nathan Crawford, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DENY REQUEST FOR TAX PENATLY RELIEF
Mrs. Leverett reported that they have received a request from J. H. Harvey Co. LLC for the relief of the 10% penalty assessed by the Board of Assessors for underreporting taxable assets. She sent the request to Mr. Quick, Chief Tax Assessor, for review, and the Board of Assessors has declined any comment or recommendation of this stating that the procedure was followed in accordance with the regulations, and that they have no authority to offer us a recommendation. She stated that it has always been up to the Board, but in the past the Board has declined requests like this unless there was an error on the county's part, and there is no evidence of an error. Commissioners do have the authority to waive the penalty, if you so choose. Mrs. Leverett stated that they basically listed some items that are non-taxable when they were taxable, and that is not an error on our part, and this was caught during the audit process. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to deny the request for tax penalty relief from J. H. Harvey Co., LLC, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
UPDATE ON CURRENT/OUTSIDE ROAD PROJECTS
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that 1) Reeves Construction has been awarded the LMIG contract, and they are set to begin after mid-June on Tremont and Hatley Roads resurfacing consisting of 5.2 miles; 2) we have narrowed down the Off-System Safety Plan list, and the 40.51 miles on seven various roads is in process of going through the proper channels now; 3) we are waiting on the covered canopy and sidewalk on the Go Fish project; 4) the jail expansion is still proceeding on schedule; 5) the asbestos abatement contractor for the Darton College project is on-site and as soon as he is complete, we can begin the demolition of those buildings; 6) they are to begin putting the casing across Fann's Bridge beginning today, and we are obtaining prices to get the water lines put through the casing to tie our system back together. The pipe was damaged during the construction of the bridge and we did not know that until recently; 7) the power commission is going to start today trenching the lines for the cameras at the ball complex; and 8) regarding the Old Hatley Road Project, we have the clearing done and are doing some preliminary grading, the gas line is being installed by the contractor. He has the right-of-way agreements for the road that the county needs to approve and sign, Mr. Lawson has reviewed and signed his part. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the right-of-way agreement and authorize the chairman and clerk to sign the necessary paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported today's packet includes the executive summary for the month of May 2012 as well as a preliminary financial report for eleven months of this fiscal year for the three major funds. The General Fund recorded revenue for the month at $835,003 bringing the YTD number to $13,181,902. $1,256,043 in expenditures recorded for the month brings that year to date total to $13,136,369. These numbers bring revenues to 90% and expenditures to 89% of annual projections and leave the General Fund virtually breaking even with a $45,533 fiscal year to date net gain. In the Landfill Fund we have $109,324 in accrued monthly revenue pushing that YTD number up to $1,132,004. Monthly expenditures of $92,496; year to date, $1,125,656 leaves the landfill reporting a small YTD net gain of only $6,348. Total tonnage received for the month of May at 3310.39 is up over last month by about 200 tons but down from May of 2011 by around 150 tons. Approximately 40% of that was received from Veolia under their commercial contract and 16% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $5.1 million. We recorded $45,683 in monthly revenue and $445,499 YTD for the Water Fund. Expenditures for the month totaled $34,415; YTD $390,749, leaving the Water Fund with a net gain at 5/31/12 of $54,750. Water usage billed for the month was 7.4 million gals. The USDA Bonds are current at $1.6 million. In the Cash Report, the General Fund has $5.9 million; the Landfill Fund at $975,370, the revolving loan fund at $231,564, the SPLOST Funds at $7.6 million and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.3 million, leaving a county wide total of $16.1 million. This is up over May of 2011 by about $3 million, most of which is in the SPLOST funds. In the SPLOST reports, the budget to actual report for the 2000 Issue, as of May 31, 2012, we have spent $17,045,938 of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $587,000 to apply to the projects remaining under this issue. In the 2005 Issue, total collections remain at $24.7 million, total expenditures at $19.4 million leaving $5.3 million remaining to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Next is the same report for the 2011 SPLOST Issue, and although Distribution no. 4 in the amount of $324,359 is down from our previous month, we are continuing to see a steady climb in these numbers over the previous year. This is the first distribution to drop below previous year's level and it is only a slight drop, of around $6,000. To date we have collected $1.3 million in revenue under this issue and expended $798,468. Following that is a monthly detail listing of all the SPLOST fund expenditures. Total disbursements were $307,993. Projects benefiting from SPLOST funds during the month were the Crisp County Airport, Crisp County EMS, The Cities of Arabi and Cordele, The Crisp County Recreation Department, The IDA/Darton Project and the Crisp County Jail Expansion, and after that is an updated schedule for the LOST distributions. Next is the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund report, we remain at eleven outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2,263,262. Six are current and five are delinquent and have been turned over to legal. The last report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department summary report, which shows the expended percentage of appropriations for each individual department and the total for each fund. As of this report, the General Fund Expenditures were at 89%, the Landfill at 71% and the Water Fund at 64%.
JAG GRANT AWARDED
Mrs. Leverett reported that we were awarded a Jag Grant for equipment. It is a joint grant between the City of Cordele and Crisp County, and the city and county each will receive $5,543 to buy in car cameras. As part of the process of the grant requirements, we need to mention it during our meeting today so that we meet all the requirements of the grant. She advised that the total grant was $11,086, and we have an Interlocal Agreement between the county and city on this grant.
JOHN WOODARD COMMENTS
John Woodard stated that Crisp County is one of the dirtiest counties in the state of Georgia that he has been in. We can do better if we put the law down and as long as people throw tires and bags of garbage along the side of the road, and the county comes along with a road mower and just knock the trash and tires everywhere, we are going to have problems. You call the sheriff's department, they used to come but they don't anymore. If you go down to the dumpster you have people in them everyday throwing stuff on the ground, and then his taxpayer money is paying somebody to pick it up and put it back in the dumpster so it can be hauled to the landfill. This goes on continually. You need to put sheriff's deputies out there checking dumpsters and put a fine on the first offense, as that will control it. He advised that William Findley has a line of houses down from his home, and they never keep them cleaned up. The houses need to be condemned or cleaned up. The next issue is he would like to know what happened to the grant that was approved on fixing the area where he lives. Also, he has spent approximately $1,000 in sales tax since January 1st, and if everybody is spending about that much or more, he thinks he is entitled to something, and we can be doing some of these things he mentioned. We need to be letting the people in jail pick up papers and such. Drayton Road is also in worst shape than Tremont Road, and Drayton Road needs to be widened. He would like to see the commissioners' work toward those things he just mentioned. He stated he also agreed to have the junkyard in his area because they were supposed to put up a fence, and there has nothing been done there either. Chairman Mathis thanked Mr. Woodard for his interest in the county, and stated that the commissioners don't throw out trash but they get blamed for it. We do have a dumpster system where people don't have to pay a monthly fee in the county to put their garbage in a can, and people can't respect it, they just abuse it. We will try to do what we can do to make things better, and we would like people to help us try to make things better by not throwing out trash on the road or around the dumpsters. Mr. Henderson agreed that he was as tired of the trash as he is. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt a penalty of $500 for digging in the dumpster or for throwing trash on the ground around the dumpster, seconded by Mr. Culpepper. Mr. Culpepper agreed that the citizens of this community have got to take responsibility as well, and hopefully with the SPLOST coming in we hope to have manned sites with fences and gravel. He also thinks we need to coordinate with the sheriff when we adopt the penalty. Mr. Nance thinks that is going to be the key component as we already have the code in place and the missing component is the enforcement, and we will have to coordinate that; also if that person is fined, they are written a citation and have to go to court. Most people that are doing this are on the lower economic spectrum, and they may be able to request for us to provide them with representation, which could cost more than the fine. Mr. Henderson stated that they could work the fine off by picking up trash on the roads. Chairman Mathis stated that we don't want to lock people up, we want them to quit throwing out garbage, and deputies have to police traffic, burglars, and other things that they need to do. Mr. Henderson stated that you wouldn't have to fine many people but one time. It is costing the county a good bit of money to provide those dumpsters, and if we don't start doing what we are suppose to do, we may have to go to curbside pickup, and that is going to cost everybody. Mr. Culpepper stated that Worth County has curbside service and when they fill up their cans they will be in Crisp County dumping. After discussion, Mr. Henderson withdrew his motion and Mr. Culpepper withdrew his second until they can talk to the sheriff. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to increase the pressure on residents who are digging in the dumpsters and encourage everyone to clean up the community, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC HEARING - FY 2013 PROPOSED BUDGET
Mrs. Leverett reported that part of the process required for the adoption of our annual budget is to hold a public hearing. Notice of the public hearing on the FY 2013 operating budget has been advertised. In summary the budget proposal includes: the General Fund -$14,375,496, Water Fund - $509,150, Landfill Fund-$1,339,428, E-911 Fund-$818,459, Jail Maintenance Fund-$231,300, 2000 SPLOST Fund-$635,000, 2005 SPLOST Fund-$300,000, 2011 SPLOST Fund-$3,500,000, Dare Fund-$25,000, Law Library Fund-$30,000, Asset Forfeiture Fund-$50,000, CDBG Revolving Loan Fund-$20,500, CDBG 10/Northside Development Fund-$300,000, for a county-wide total of $22,134,333. Chairman Mathis opened the public hearing for comments on the FY 2013 proposed budget. Mrs. Leverett advised that we do have a short work session on the budget after the meeting. Chairman Mathis asked for any comments.
Mrs. Leverett stated that there was a decrease in the General Fund expenditures from last year of $340,000, Water Fund was increased by $68,802, Landfill Fund required a $78,428 transfer from the General Fund in support of the landfill operations but is $30,893 less than the previous year, E-911 Fund will have a transfer from the General Fund of $388,709, a $76,000 increase over previous year, Jail revenues, used for maintenance of the jail, has a $86,300 transfer from the General Fund is an increase of $20,700 over last year, and the CDBG 10 is increased by $150,000. She advised that this is the project that Mr. Woodard was talking about and there have been some delays in that project with property easements, etc. The money has not been spent, it is still at the state level, and we have not drawn most of it down yet, but we do anticipate construction beginning on some of that pretty soon. Chairman Mathis thanked Mrs. Leverett and all the department heads and constitutional officers for the work they have done on the budget. There were no other comments, so he closed the public hearing.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation, personnel, and real estate, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT JUSTIN LANIER AS COUNTY AGENT
Scott Utley, Turner County Agricultural Agent, Laura Johnson, and Emily Reid, Crisp County Extension Agent met with Commissioners. Mr. Utley reported that they are here today to fill the Commissioners in on the process of Crisp County getting a new County Agent. He introduced the new Distinct Director Dr. Laura Johnson, who took Ken Lewis' position in Tifton. Dr. Johnson advised that this is her first commission meeting because she has only been on the job less than two weeks. She has worked with extension for over twenty years, and she is very excited to be coming in at this time as the last four years they had to figure out what positions to cut, etc., and this is the first time that they have been in a position to have some state money to put with county money so that we can hire some positions. She appreciated commissioners hanging with them during the bad times and hopefully things are going to start looking up. Today they want to get the commissioners permission to go ahead and pursue hiring Justin Lanier, a very bright young man which rose to the top of the list of candidates they interviewed. She advised that he is graduating in August with a Degree in Agricultural and Environmental Systems from the Tifton campus. He grew up on a farm so he has the farm background, which is really hard to find these days. Mr. Lanier is excited about this opportunity, he knows what he is doing, has great experience on the farm and in the classroom. He interned in Berrien County with Tim Flanders, he did a great job, and Tim highly recommends him. He is interning in Lanier County this summer and he is from that area. She advised that they would like to start him September 1, 2012. Ken has moved into the program of Ag Program Development Coordinator, and they have hired him on a one-year hire back, and he will be helping to train the new agents, so he will work hand in hand with Justin. Mr. Utley will be filling in as Ag Agent until then. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the recommendation of Justin Lanier as the new Crisp County Ag Agent beginning September 1, 2012, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT EMILY RIED AS THE COUNTY COORDINATOR
Mrs. Johnson advised that they think that Emily Reid has the experience to coordinate the office and they would like Commissioners to accept her as County Coordinator. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve Emily Reid as the County Coordinator, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Johnson stated that they had asked for the county to put in a little addition to her salary, you had said you could not do that at this time, but if you can consider that later, we will appreciate it. Mrs. Reid stated that they had just got back from camp last week, and it is a busy time now. Dr. Johnson stated that Crisp continues to be one of the top 4-H programs in our district as they are continually in the top three in enrollment, number of programs in schools, number of kids going to different programs, and they do an awesome job. Mrs. Reid advised that they have seven going to state congress in July to compete at the state level.
REAPPOINT DAVID FALLIN TO MF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to reappoint David Fallin to the Middle Flint Behavioral HealthCare Community Service Board, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT SANDRA DUCKWORTH TO THE DFACS BOARD
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to reappoint Sandra Duckworth to the Crisp County DFACS Board, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
REAPPOINT JAMES NANCE TO THE RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMM. BOARD
Chairman Mathis reappointed James Nance to the River Valley Regional Commission Board term running from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.
APPOINT PATTI SMITH AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to appoint Patti Smith as Chairman of the Crisp County Board of Elections and authorize the Chairman to sign the Affidavit, this seat was vacated by Jerome Outlaw for the remainder of the term ending June 30, 2013, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
REINTERVIEW TOP TWO CANDIDATES
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to allow Ms. Finch to set up another interview for the top two candidates after hours this week, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12:23 p.m., seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.