MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON DECEMBER 11, 2012
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Johnny Culpepper gave the invocation, and Administrator Patton 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. Nance to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2012 regular meeting, the November 27, 2012 public hearing and called meeting, the November 27, 2012 public hearing, and the December 3, 2012 called meeting, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
ADOPT RESOLUTION COMMENDING JAMES D. HARRIS
Mr. Nance stated that this is a historic moment as we have so much history in the room today with former Administrator Gene Crapse, and former Chairman's Ferrell Henry J. R. Dowdy, Jr. plus himself having served as chair, and Chairman Mathis. Mr. Harris, who has 28 years of service, is in a very unique group of Commissioners. He read the resolution commending and thanking Mr. Harris for his unselfish service, leadership, and loyalty to the citizens of Crisp County for 28 years, one of a few of long serving commissioners in Crisp County. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Resolution Commending James D. Harris for His 28 Years of Service, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Culpeper stated that it had been a pleasure and honor to sit by him for the last six years, and he will be missed. Mr. Henderson stated that while he has served on this board with Mr. Harris and has known him as a commissioner, he has done what is right for this county, that is what matters, and he commends him. Mr. Nance stated that he has exemplified a lot of resilience, and he has remained steadfast; it is commendable and a privilege to him to have the opportunity for him to serve as his mentor, able to serve with him, and thanked him for all of his support that he has given them over the years. Mr. Harris thanked the commissioners for their comments. Former Chairman J. R. Dowdy congratulated Mr. Harris on his 28 years, he remembered when he and Mr. Booker came on the board, they were eager to learn the responsibility of the commissioners, and thanked him for what he has done. He hopes he and Mrs. Lucille have a long happy retirement. Former Chairman Henry stated that he enjoyed serving with Mr. Harris, he has been an inspiration to so many people in the community, and congratulated him on his years of service. Chairman Mathis thanked him for his service and even though this year he has had some health issues, he still made the majority of the meetings, and he saluted him for his time and service to the county. Carl Gamble thanked him for his service and loyalty to him. Gene Crapse stated that Mr. Harris never wanted to be chairman, but he was ready as vice-chairman to step in and do what needed to be done, always loyal to his chair and the citizens, always sought the opinions of staff and respected the staff, voted the best interest of the county, and he thanks him for his service and support. Arthur Parker stated that Mr. Harris has been a pioneer on the north side of the town, thanked him for his long years of service and dedication, he served as one of the longest standing deacons of Greater Morris Tabernacle Baptist Church, and congratulated him. Mr. Harris thanked everyone for their comments, and stated that he and Mrs. Lucille will have their 50th wedding anniversary next week.
ADOPT RESOLUTION COMMENDING ANDREW WILLIAM CULPEPPER
Chairman Mathis read the resolution commending and thanking Mr. Culpepper for his six years of unselfish service to the citizens of Crisp County as a member of the commissioners. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Resolution Commending Andrew William Culpepper for his six years of service, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Nance stated that it has been a privilege and honor to serve with him, very Christian hearted gentlemen, they are going to miss him, and thanked him for the support he gave. He also thanked him for the contribution he made to the Recreation Department and other departments. Mr. Henderson stated that as a young person, Mr. Culpepper wanted to step forward and be of service to your community, and that is commendable. He did an outstanding job; you can't please everybody, and it was a pleasure serving with him. Mr. Harris stated that it had been a pleasure to sit next to him, and it was fun. Chairman Mathis agreed that it has been a pleasure to have him on the board, and look forward to getting him on some different boards. Mr. Culpepper stated that it has been a pleasure to serve and represent the board, he has enjoyed it and the main thing people want you to do is just listen to them. He has stuck a deal with Larry Felton that if he will represent his place as a commissioner on the Recreation Board, then he will step in as a citizen to be on that board. Former Chairman Henry stated that it was a pleasure working with him, you fathered two children, you have a good head on your shoulders as you thought out your decisions, it may not have been popular but it is what you thought was right. Mr. Crapse stated that William serves God, shares with his neighbor, sacrifices in family, served the community. and he thanked him. Former Chairman Dowdy stated that he didn't have the honor to serve with William but he thanked him for serving the county. Carl Gamble stated that he appreciates him for being the Christian that he is and for standing up for what is right. Several members of his family including his wife thanked him, stated that he has been a blessing to them, and they are proud of what he has done.
ADOPT RESOLUTION COMMENDING LESTER E. CRAPSE, JR.
Chairman Mathis stated that we also have a Resolution for Lester E. Crapse, Jr., former County Administrator, for his service to the Board of Commissioners. We were going to do it earlier but it didn't work out, and today we thought would be a good day to do it. Mr. Nance stated that since Mr. Gene came here, he wrote all the county resolutions; he was asked to write Mr. Gene's but he didn't know where to begin. Mrs. Leverett has written it, but Mr. Gene is one of the smartest men he knows, he learned this county in a short time, and did a fine job. Mrs. Leverett read the Resolution thanking Mr. Crapse for his almost eight years of service as administrator and clerk were he loyally represented the employees of the county and insisting on maintaining the highest level of services to the citizens of Crisp County while minimizing the financial impact to the taxpayers. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to adopt the Resolution Commending Lester E. Crapse, Jr., seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Nance stated that the resolution says it all as he was unselfish, courageous, loyal, and extremely knowledgeable in county government. He has brought consistency, consolidation, uniformity to county government, and it has been truly a privilege and honor to be able to serve with him. We were very fortunate to have him in Crisp County. Mr. Henderson stated that he found with going to the ACCG meetings how much his peers respected him in the state of Georgia. There are some things you cannot buy which include integrity, and Mr. Crapse brought a heck of a lot to the table for this county. He can honestly say that he did what was right even though everybody didn't agree, and he has his upmost respect. Mr. Culpepper stated that it has been an honor to serve with him; he brought a lot of leadership to this board and the community, and you brought us an angel in "Miss" Jenny Sue as she was a blessing to each of us. He thanked him for everything he did for the county, his honesty, loyalty, and above all his friendship. Mr. Harris stated that he loved Mr. Crapse. Chairman Mathis stated we know this is a little late, but it didn't work out when we wanted to do it; we did want to pay you our respect, thank you for your leadership and friendship and for what you did for the county commissioners. Mr. Patton stated that it is rare in their business that you get to do a face to face turnover, and Gene took time out of his busy life to help him get acquainted and get his feet on the ground; he can honestly say this is the easiest transition he has had and it is all because of him. Their bond goes back because they are both retired military, and he personally thanked Mr. Crapse for everything he did for him. Mr. Crapse stated that if they give Tom the same opportunity they gave him, he will be very successful; it is hard for him to think of Jenny Sue, and one of the most important things that he has enjoyed since he retired is the only person he has had to say no to is the waitress trying to fill his ice tea glass. Former Chairman Henry stated that it is going to be tough following a legend like Gene; he wrote every speech that he every gave. Mr. Crapse has had as bigger influence on the county as anybody he has known since he has been here, everybody may not like him, but they respect him because you know when he says something you know it comes from his heart, with a lot of research, and it was best for this county. He saluted Lt. Colonel Gene Crapse as he served the county, his country, and his wife, and he thanked him. Former Chairman Dowdy stated that Gene knew a lot about county government, and he appreciated what he did for Crisp County, he is sorry that Jenny Sue had to be called away, and he thanked him for his service. Several other people in the audience talked about how he was an inspiration to them, he had an open door policy, they appreciated him, and also is a great neighbor.
PUBLIC WORKS REPORT
Carl Gamble reported that 1) we have signed the paperwork for the L.M.I.G. Project, which is the 1.1 miles of the full depth reclamation of Old Nesbit Road; 2) DOT has requested from the federal government funding for the Off System Safety Plan, which is the striping, new signage and raised pavement markers on the 40 miles of road, and we should have our contract in hand by February, 2013 to proceed with this. The 40 miles includes Pateville Road from Antioch to Hwy. 300, Antioch Road from Lakeshore Way to Pateville, Arabi-Warwick Road from Arabi to Hwy. 300, Farmers Market Road from U.S. 41 to St. Rte. 257, Fenn Road from U. S. 41 to North Coney Road, Macedonia Road from Fenn Road to Drayton Road, and Drayton Road from Cannon Road to CSX Railroad Crossing. We have sent our letter off to DOT stating that we will be participating in 2014, and we have already started preparing our list of those roads; 3) we are still waiting on DNR for finishing up the work at the state park; 4) we can expect our contract from DOT to be returned any day on the Old Hatley Road, and as soon as we get our notice to proceed, we can get that project finished; 5) the Northside Drainage Improvements extension is approved until September 30, 2013; 6) they are getting some runway markings cleaned and clearing obstructions at the airport; 7) they still have a crew working on projects at the landfill; and 8) he will have three employees that will retire at the end of the year. Mr. Nance stated that maybe after we get through the holidays, we can look at putting some more crush and run on the dirt roads leading up to some of the churches. Mr. Gamble stated that it has been about seven years since we put that down, so they have exceeding their life expectancy; they are not slick like they were, you just don't see the gravel. Mr. Patton recommended in January the Commissioners have a road workshop because we do need to start setting some priorities as our TSPLOST monies will begin in March and also discuss other priorities on roads.
Mrs. Leverett reported today she has the preliminary report as of November 30th on the County's financial position. The financial report now consists of activity for the General & three major Special Revenue Funds. The SR Funds included are the Special Service District Fund, the E-911 Fund and the Jail Maintenance Fund. Combined with the General Fund, we are reporting monthly revenues at $962,208 and monthly expenditures of $1,306,116 bringing YTD totals to $3,598,470 for revenues and $6,135,290 for expenditures leaving the General and SR Funds in a deficit position at 11/30/12 of $2.5 million. In the Water Fund, November revenues of $39,215 and expenses of $32,510 bring those YTD totals to $225,395 & $198,861 respectively leaving the Water Fund with a net gain of $26,535. Water usage billed for the month was 5,247,000 gallons and the USDA Bonds are current at $1,578,410. Preliminary numbers for the Landfill Fund show monthly revenue of $103,032 and monthly expenditures of $96,191. YTD revenue totaled $604,175 and YTD Expenses came to $542,021 giving the Landfill a net gain of $62,154. The total tonnage delivered for the month was 3015.60 with 40% being delivered under the Veolia commercial contract and 16% under the Veolia residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $4.9 million. In the cash report, the General and SR Funds combined for a total of $3.4 million, the Proprietary funds ended the month with $2.4 million and the SPLOST funds had a total of $7.5 million giving us a County wide total of $13.4 million. Of that amount, $8.1 million is reserved or restricted for specific uses and not available for daily operational expenses. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE, we have spent $17.1 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with just under $500,000 in programed revenue to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Next is the SPLOST report for the 2005 Issue; we have spent $19.4 of the $24.7 million dollars collected, leaving us with $5.3 million in programed revenue to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Next is the same schedule on the new SPLOST. Distribution no. 10, representing October retail sales, in the amount of $348,610.34 was still below the average needed to meet the six year budget plan but did exceed the previous month's distribution by almost 11% and was 18.5% above November of 2011. To date we have collected just about $3.4 million in revenue under this issue and expended $2.8 million. The total SPLOST disbursements for the month of November were $212,980. Projects included the Crisp County Airport, the Crisp Co. Fire Dept., Darton College, the Crisp Co. Jail Expansion and the cities of Arabi and Cordele. In the LOST distribution report, November's receipt of $163,846 representing October retail sales mirrors the SPLOST in that it is up over last month by 10.88% and over this same time last year by 18.48%. The CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report still has 12 outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2,658,279. The final report is a preliminary report of revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the period of July through November 2012. At the end of November, all departments and divisions should be within 42% of their annual allowances for expenditures. Overall, the preliminary numbers indicate the General Fund at 39%, the SSD Fund at 38%, the E-911 Fund at 37%, the Jail Maintenance Fund at 37%, the Water Fund at 29% and the Landfill Fund at 40%. She also reminded all the retail businesses in the County that sell beer that their 2012 licenses expire on 12/31/12 and should be renewed prior to that date to avoid any late charges or penalties.
APPROVE TAX REFUNDS
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give Alfred B. Olsen an estimated refund of $1214.31 due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give Fred J. Krause an estimated refund of $1,740.19 due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give Evelyn B. Thompson an estimated refund of $1,580.90 due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give Thomas J. and Rosanne P. Lewis an estimated refund of $958.82 due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Motion by Mr. Culpepper to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give H. Gayle Owens an estimated refund of $2,123.82 refund due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
Motion by Mr. Henderson to approve the Board of Assessors recommendation and give Darla Lanfair and estimated refund of $492.95 refund due to corrected square footage, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Patton stated that the Board of Assessors had no recommendation on Mary and Jesse Lewis' property. He stated there was some question as to when the survey was turned in; he has talked to both sides, and it is a he said, she said, but he has seen a survey that was corrected three years ago. They have been paying 41 years on .79 acres that they never had, and he recommends that we err on the citizen's side and give a refund of $480.57. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve a refund in the estimated amount of $480.57 to Mary and Jesse Lewis, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Ronnie Lewis, son of Jesse and Mary Lewis, stated that he did have a survey done on this property, and the Assessor's Office still doesn't have the survey correct with what his survey says.
Mr. Patton stated that the Board of Assessors had no recommendation for the parcel of Arthur James Nance, not our vice-chairman. He stated Mr. Nance doesn't dispute his taxes but he is 76 years old and he owes some penalties and interest due to some confusion over the name; we usually don't do penalties and interest, but he does recommend that we err on the citizen's side here as he does understand the confusion. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to waive Arthur J. Nance' penalty and interest subject to Tax Commissioners calculation, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
Connie Carney asked if there had been anything done as far as the trash issues. Chairman Mathis stated that they are receiving comments at this time. Mrs. Carney stated that they have been on WSST-TV trying to keep the issue current with everyone, and it is basically in the Commissioners hands as to what they are going to do and when. They would have to take into consideration how to do the wordage as to make sure that everyone understands that no one will be left to go hungry if they have to pay for their trash to be picked up. She does understand when they make the decision, everybody is not going to be happy, you have a tough decision to make, but they were hoping they would see more progress going on today. Mr. Henderson stated that as far as food, Northern Heights Baptist Church has food give always about once a month, but he can appreciate people's concern, but what we have now is not working. Those dumpsters are being abused. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to schedule at least two public hearings within the next ten days, but died for a lack of a second. Herbert Gladdin stated that we have a serious problem with filth in this county, and he really doesn't see where the urgency comes from to have it corrected by January. Have a public hearing at a time where you can get the maximum participation. He stated that it is a comprehensive problem; we need to move slowly and carefully with it more than urgently. Angie Ellis stated that she doesn't think they are trying to push, push, push it, but this has been going on for at least since 1990. They have talked to about 42 different counties, and they are patterns out there to follow. The only reason we were trying to get a date prior to January is so that all the RFP's could be in and could work this through the county budget. Larry Felton stated that he doesn't think they should hold two meetings on the same day in December as a lot of people will not be able to attend the meetings during this time of the year. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to hold the first public hearing on the trash situation on December 21, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) he participated in a training exercise with the senior leadership of the Georgia National Guard; 3) he participated in the IDC Strategic Plan Committee meeting. The goal is to update the Strategic Plan to reflect the future. Battered around ideas with plans to meet again to formulate a new plan; 4) he was the guest speaker for the Veterans Day Celebration at the Georgia State Veterans Memorial Park; 5) he worked through several road complaints from citizens; 6) he worked on several property tax inquiries from citizens; 7) he met with several trash haulers to garner ideas on moving forward with our county trash problem; 8) he had several meetings concerning the financing of the Darton College project; 9) he extended the agreement with J. B. Faircloth & Associates, P.C. and Lanier Engineering, Inc. for MSW Landfill for the fifth year; 10) he participated in the annual Chamber of Commerce planning retreat to establish plans and goals for the upcoming year; 11) he reminded Commissioners that there are several updates in their packets for ongoing projects in the County; and 12) the CDBG 13 is coming up and we need to be thinking about what we want to do, and he would recommend that we use our normal grant writer, Bob Robinson, for this project.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Nance to go into Executive Session to discuss real estate, potential litigation, and personnel, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adjourn the meeting at 12.40 p.m., seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.