MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON APRIL 9, 2013
Chairman A. James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners Wallace Mathis, Clark Henderson, Sammie N. Farrow, Jr., and Larry Felton in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, County Attorney Rick Lawson, and Clerk Linda Finch. Ray Lunsford gave the invocation, and Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the minutes of the March 12, 2013 meeting, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AMONG OTHER THINGS THE EXECUTION, DELIVERY AND PERFORMANCE OF AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONTRACT WITH THE HOSPITAL AUTHORITY OF CRISP COUNTY
Administrator Patton reported that as they have discussed over several work sessions with the Hospital Authority, he has the latest copy of the resolution authorizing the execution, delivery and performance of an Intergovernmental Contract with the Hospital Authority and to participate in the validation of certain revenue anticipation certificates, and for other purposes. He stated that basically this resolution is to back the bond issue for the expansion of the hospital not to exceed $18,500,000, and the resolution does have assurances on behalf of the county that we will not have to pick up the tab. Attorney Lawson stated that this resolution is very similar to what was done in 2008. Mr. Gautney, President and CEO of Crisp Regional Hospital, stated that the hospital will be able to save over 1% interest over a period of thirty years. Mr. Henderson stated that the hospital will have other bond issues that will be retiring, we have done this before, and we are all in the same boat; he has no problems with supporting our local hospital. Chairman Nance stated that they have met with the hospital, and if any commissioner has any questions, Mr. Gautney, Roe Davis, Jessica Carter, and the Hospital Authority's attorney, Craig Cotton is here to answer any questions. Mr. Mathis asked when they would be complete. Mr. Gauntly stated that the ER expansion essentially triples the size of the existing ER from about 3,300 square feet to almost 13,000, square feet, and the completion of the new construction portion will be finished in about a month, and then they will finish the renovation of the part that is currently being operated, which should be finished in late June. Also, they should have their trauma center designation by July. Chairman Nance stated that our hospital is fiscally sound and, and it took a lot of forward thinking many years ago to move out of the old facility, and we have one of the finest hospitals around this area. We appreciate the leadership and forward thinking. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adopt the Resolution allowing the County to enter into the Intergovernmental Agreement with the Hospital Authority of Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
COMMENTS FROM JOHN WOODARD
John Woodard reported that his main reason is when, where and what is going to be done in his area. He stated that there has got to be something done with the water in that area, and he doesn't want to do this but if there is not something done within a short period of time, he is going to turn the county over to the EPA. You can take a few thousand dollars and fix the problem or you can take $200,000 to $300,000 to fix it like EPA wants it. Mr. Henderson stated that it is going to happen as they have had some hold up in getting the easements signed, and he should know that the wheels of government move like cold honey pouring. Mr. Patton stated that the bid approval for that contract is the next thing on the agenda. Mr. Henderson replied that is for the drainage in that area and is going to go forward. Mr. Woodard also stated that the junk yard that was approved a year or so ago next to his property was supposed to have an eight foot lattice fence around the property so you couldn't see in and landscape around the fence; they have not done nothing. That is just like the water around that area as nothing is going to get done about it. He would like to see some of his tax money going where he lives. Mr. Felton agrees about the junkyard, and he spoke to a guy about that and was told they were supposed to put up a fence. Mr. Woodard also asked if there were any signs put up when you come into Crisp County letting people know they will be fined for littering. Commissioners replied no.
APPROVE BID FOR CDBG-10 STREET DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENTS
Carl Gamble, Crisp County Public Works Director, reported that the bids for the CDBG-10 Street Drainage Improvements were duly advertised, and there were six companies that submitted bids. The bid packages ranged from $394,836.30 all the way to $811,844.63. He advised that those bids were tabulated and qualified by our local engineer, and the recommendation was to be to accept the bid of Griffin-Folsom Construction Company for $394,836.30 for the street drainage improvements in the Omar Heights area. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the low bid of $394,836.30 from Griffin-Folsom Construction Company for the street drainage in the Omar Heights subdivision, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Gamble advised that the contract states that they will start north of the farmers market at Seedling Drive where the high fall ditch is that goes to Drayton Lane. It will be cleaned, excavated, widened to where it will actually hold some of the water as a retention area where all the water will go out but will be slowed down so when it goes through the pipes at the market area it will not flood that area. It will continue along Drayton all the way up to Hoover, Roosevelt, and Clegg Streets for relocating, adjusting the pipes to grade, and there will be some resurfacing in the area so that the water will drain properly. Mr. Gamble stated that regarding the fence at the junkyard, that business did want to do something last year but we requested that they hold off as that fence will have to be relocated. They did not anticipate this grant taking this long. He stated that as soon as all the papers are signed, the notice to proceed will go out, and the contractor will have ten days after this to start the job. According to the grant, the job is supposed to be complete by September 30, 2013. Chairman Nance thanked Mr. Gamble for bringing the commissioners up to date on that project as it is important to all the commissioners. Mr. Gamble also stating that the drowning last week was on private property.
APPROVE THE ANNUAL RENEWAL OF COUNTY EXTENSION PERSONNEL CONTRACT/MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Administrator Patton reported that we have a recurring contract for the annual renewal of the County Extension Personnel Contract/Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Georgia Board of Regents on behalf of the Cooperative Extension and the Board of Commissioners. He advised that there were no changes to the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the County Extension Personnel Contract/Memorandum of Understanding, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR TO NEGOTIATE AND MARKET THE TITLE D LANDFILL
Administrator Patton reported that we have a Title D Landfill that has 122 years of air space and right now it is not carrying its own weight and is losing money; the taxpayers of Crisp County are subsiding this landfill. The landfill is an enterprise fund and should be making money, and he is asking that he be allowed to market this. He stated that within 25 years the federal government is going to demand that we do something different other than just throwing trash in the landfill. The technologies are there today to burn garbage and turn it into electricity, but the problem is that it costs too much. We need to make the landfill self-sufficient as now the burden is on the taxpayers for a landfill that should be making money; we have the opportunity to take in more garbage and have the capacity, equipment, and personnel to take in more garbage. We have debt service to pay on cells that are already closed plus we are not putting in any money for the post closure account either. Mr. Henderson stated that we are transferring the responsibility to the next generation. Mr. Mathis stated that we do understand that with those features in there we are never going to make money, which he is referring to the contract that was signed in 1997 to take in the city's garbage for 50 years. We will have to accumulate enough overage to offset that and he has tried several times to stop putting trash in there from the Solid Waste Authority as we lost a lot of money that we should have received from the authority so that is why we have a cell that is closed without debt service being rendered. He stated that we do have a value in having a Sub Title D Landfill even though we don't have it to where we can pay for it like we need too. If we fill it up, those other two cells will have X amount of years, etc. and the next thing they will both be full. So if we fill the cells up, we will have to build some more. The biggest problem we will have is buying some soil to cover the cells up because we have almost depleted our borrow pit site; if we increase the tonnage we will have to buy it faster. He can understand maybe taking in some garbage to balance the books but he is not into loading up our cells with garbage from other counties if we have to turn around and build more cells. Mr. Patton stated that what was done with the Solid Waste Authority is in the past, and we have to look after today, and we need to do something different or we are just going to get further in the hole and eventually we will have to raise taxes to pay for some of this. He is not talking about taking garbage from Atlanta and places like that; garbage is a very competitive business, and we do need to be taking in more garbage than we are taking in now plus we have the capacity to do it now. Mr. Henderson asked how many tons it will take to break even. Mr. Patton stated that he would not open a business to break even, but we have the capacity to take in another 400 tons a month and keep this landfill extended to 122 years. If Commissioners want to keep it just for the county, lose money, and the taxpayers pay for it, that is fine, but they are paying him to advise them and that is what he is doing. He was the landfill manager along with the county manager in Decatur County, whose landfill was smaller than Crisp County's, and they were taking in over 1600 tons a month with no more equipment and personnel than we have here. He stated that Mr. Mathis was correct about the cover but that is the cost of doing business. If you could take in another $2 million and put $1 million of that to post closure and turn $1 million into the General Fund that would take a burden off the citizens, he believes that is the right thing to do. Chairman Nance stated that we do need to do something as the numbers are not working and not putting in the required funding in the closure and post closure accounts, we are just accumulating debt. Mr. Gamble stated that none of the cells are closed; they have reached a point to where you have to expand your footprint out. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to give Administrator Patton the authority to reach out to the local garbage haulers, seek contracts, and bring back to the commissioners, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Deborah Smith, Director of the Crisp County Department of Family and Children Services, thanked the commissioners for allowing her the opportunity to come and met with them this morning and bring her annual report. She stated that she is mandated by law to come and talk with them about the child welfare data and the activities that occurred for the last fiscal year. She stated that they had an average number of 809 cases per month on the adult Medicaid and averaged about 67 applications per month. They have a monthly average of 1,520 Medicaid cases with about 126 applications per month. In food stamps, households served were about 3,279 with the average number of recipients at 7,149. During the last fiscal year, reports were received on 219 families in the child protective services data. Intervention was provided in a non-punitive way to protect the children and to strengthen the family. After screening, there were 170 children involved, and 64 were males and 106 were females. She stated that they received $2,455,938.55 in federal and state funds; the county was reimbursed $15,925.32; temporary assistance to needy families was $145,011; food stamp program was $11,217,522; Medicaid program received was $36,213,103; and total disbursement into this community was $38,684,966.87. Chairman Nance stated that was a big impact on our community, and he noticed that the child care and Medicaid decreased but the foot stamps increased this fiscal year. Mrs. Smith stated that the department does serve a great purpose in supporting families in this community, and are here for the working families that need just that extra in order to make it. She stated that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and they just want to make sure that we highlight anything that could help and prevent any child from being hurt or harmed, and they try to make sure that they do everything to keep this community safe for children and families.
Mr. Patton reported that the first page of the financial report shows the monthly and YTD activity for the General and three major Special Revenue Funds for March, 2013. Combined, these funds are reporting monthly revenues at $1.6 million and monthly expenditures of just over $1 million bringing YTD totals to $11 million for revenues and $11.7 million in expenditures. As of this report we have received about 78% of the 2012 Ad Valorem Tax Revenue projected. In the Water Fund we recorded revenues of $36,021: YTD $375,493. Expenditures for the month totaled $33,286: YTD $353,824 leaving it with a net gain at 3/31/13 of $21,699, about $13,000 short of where we were last March. Total usage billed for the month was 4,136,000 gallons, and the USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. For the Landfill Fund, we have $114,079 in accrued monthly revenues; YTD $1,025,808; $120,113 in monthly expenses; $1,020,767 YTD, leaving the Landfill Fund basically breaking even with a net income barely exceeding $5,000 and lagging behind last year this time by over $135,000. The total tonnage received for the month of March of 3,575.93 brings our YTD monthly average to 3,383.15, slightly, about 70 tons per month, above last year's overall average. Approximately 37% of this month's tonnage was received under the Advanced Disposal commercial contract and 11% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $4.8 million. In the cash on hand report as of March 31st, we ended the month with just over $6 million in the General and Special Revenue Funds combined, $2.4 million in the proprietary funds, and $8.2 million in the SPLOST funds giving us a county wide total of $16.6 million. Of that, $9.5 million is reserved or restricted for special projects or uses. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST Issue, we have spent $16.7 million of the $17.6 million collected, leaving us with $915,000 to complete the projects associated with this Issue. For the 2005 SPLOST Issue, total collections remain at $24.7 million; to date we have total expenditures of $19.6 million leaving us with a little over $5 million to complete the projects included in this Issue. Next is the new SPLOST Issue, Distribution No. 14, representing February retail sales in the amount of $359,142 is up considerably over last month but down about $13,000 from this time last year. Last month's distribution was below the averages we had been seeing, and when we inquired, DOR explained it to be late reporting on several large retailers. However, the numbers received this month show no indication of making up any of that lost or late reported revenue. To date we have collected just over $4.7 million in revenue under this Issue and expended $3.7 million. Projects benefiting from SPLOST dollars for the month of March were Crisp County Airport, Crisp County Detention Center, County Buildings, County Road, the Darton project, and the cities of Arabi and Cordele. This month's distribution of $172,353 for LOST is up about 30% from last month but even with an extra percentage point, down almost 2% from this same time last year. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund, we currently have ten outstanding loans and total balance due of $1.9 million. The final report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department preliminary report as of the end of the third quarter of FY2013. As of March 31st, all departments and divisions expenditures should be within 75% of their annual allowances. Overall, the preliminary numbers indicate the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds at 74%, the Water Fund at 52% and the Landfill Fund at 76%.
APPROVE SAFETY DISCOUNT VERFICATION FORMS
Mr. Patton stated that we have the safety discount program that we participate in through Association County Commissioners of Georgia that saves us 7.5% on the workers' compensation insurance premium and also a discount on the liability insurance. Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief and Safety Coordinator, reported that the safety incentive discount program is an annual thing, and we are working diligently to try to comply with ACCG's requirements as far as making our equipment safe along with the monthly and quarterly meetings reviewing accidents, etc. He stated that we have already been audited, we came out good, and all we need is to get the chairman's signature on the forms and have it in by April 15th, so that we are eligible for the 7.5% discount on our workers' compensation and a 5% discount on our liability insurance up to $5,000. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to authorize the chairman to sign the Safety Discount Verification Forms, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously. Chief Lunsford stated that he does have bids out for a new fire truck out, and they will open up the bids on Friday. We do have six engines now, but he is having problems one of those now.
APPROVE CONTRACT TO REHABILITATE APRON AND TAXILANE AT AIRPORT
Mr. Patton stated that yesterday afternoon he received the contract to rehabilitate the Apron and Taxilane at the airport. This is a continuation of our improvement program at the airport, and the project contains $168,278 of federal funds, $9,349 of state funds, and our local share of that cost is $9,495.05; we recommend that you sign the contract. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the contract to rehabilitate the Apron and Taxilane at the Crisp County-Cordele Airport, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) he approved the maintenance contract for the radio equipment with Motorola. This is an annual contract and there were no changes in charges for this year; 3) he had several meetings with Bob Robinson to coordinate the application for CDBG-13. The package is at DCA awaiting their results; 4) he was on Phil's noon day show; 5) he coordinated several road complaints due to weather with Public Works; 6) he worked on several property tax inquiries from citizens; 7) the curbside RFP was advertised and a pre-bid conference was held to clarify any questions that the haulers had; 8) he worked on the FY14 budget; 9) he worked with the Sheriff's Department on coordinating/requirements for the move of court services to the main courthouse; and 10) they had several meetings with the hospital staff to coordinate the bond issue for the hospital expansion.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to go into Executive Session to discuss potential litigation and personnel, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT TWO MEMBERS TO THE CRISP/DOOLY JDA
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to appoint Lin Barnes and Jerry Johnson to the Crisp/Dooly Joint Development Authority to fill two unexpired terms ending June 30, 2015, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPOINT ONE MEMBER TO THE CRISP/SUMPTER JDA
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to appoint Amanda Sayles to the Crisp/Sumter Joint Development Authority to fill an unexpired term ending February 28, 2015, seconded by Mr. Farrow, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 11:55 a.m., seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.