MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON JULY 9, 2013
Chairman Authur James Nance called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m., with Commissioners Wallace Mathis, Clark Henderson, and Larry Felton in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Tom Patton, County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Clerk Linda Finch. Rev. Ray Sullivan gave the invocation, and Administrator Patton led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Nance welcomed all in attendance, and asked that we keep former Chairman J. R. Dowdy and his family in our prayers this morning, as he is not doing well. He also wanted to remember his grandmother who just turned 94 last month.
AMEND THE AGENDA
Administrator Patton asked to amend the agenda to add to allow the staff to negotiate the contract with USDA on the lease of our Extension Service Building. Chairman Nance stated that Mrs. Nipper and Mr. Gladdin had requested to be on our agenda after it was closed, so we will ask to include these two in our motion. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to amend the agenda to include these three items, seconded by Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the regular meeting minutes of June 11, 2013, the public hearing minutes of June 18, 2013, and called meeting minutes on June 27, 2013, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
Connie Sangster, Planning Director, reported that the original 30 tract of land on Royal Road and Kelly Road was approved as a Special Use in 2001 for First Baptist Church. Since then the church has purchased an additional 14.829 acres east and north of the property, which includes the well of Timberland Subdivision. The church is asking to add the additional 14.829 acres as part of the Special Use, which will be used mainly for green space and parking as there will be no buildings on this parcel. Rev. Sullivan stated that he has talked with the owner of the well and there is an easement when the property was sold to continue to maintain the wells, so they are going to work with the owner and make sure they don't disturb their continued access to that. He advised that all of the buildings right now are on the original 30 acres and the additional acreage will be left natural only with the possibility of cleaning out a little bit of the roadway for site coming in from the interstate. Chairman Nance opened the Public Hearing, and asked if anyone else wanted to speak in favor of the request, there were none. He asked if anyone was here to speak in opposition to the request, and there were none. Ms. Sangster read the review checklist which is the ten standards that they base their decision on when someone makes a Special Use request. Rev. Sullivan brought the latest drawing of the buildings. Commissioner Mathis asked what time frame they were working in, and Rev. Sullivan stated that they are hoping to have a final vote on phase 1 on August 18th, and then breaking ground shortly thereafter. If that takes place, they should be in phase 1 next fall, and right now they are looking at a six phase process. Rev. Sullivan stated that the biggest question they have heard asked is what are they going to do with the old facility; they don't have the answer for that yet but if God provides out in the county, he will provide something here. He stated that next fall they will have been in the facility in town for 100 years, so their target of moving into the new facility will be somewhere in the fall of 2014. Commissioner Mathis asked if they had a retention pond on this property as they have had problems with flooding in this area; this may be the catalysis that we need. Rev. Sullivan stated that they knew going in about the issues of water before they ever began working with their architects; they have placed three detention ponds on this property, and they, as well as the engineers, have assured them that everything will be done to code by the state and county. They certainly will do everything they can to prevent this. Chairman Nance closed the Public Hearing. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Special Use Permit for First Baptist Church to add the additional 14.829 acres located in an RS2 (Single Family Residential) zone district, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE THE MIDDLE FLINT BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE LEASE AGREEMENT
Administrator Patton reported that they have received notification from the Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare that they wish to exercise their option to renew their rental contract/lease agreement for the property located at 1335 North 5th Street at the current rental rate of $2,478 per month, which was agreed upon by the Board of Commissioners in August, 2012. This is a standard lease agreement with an option to renew up to four more years. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare Lease Agreement, seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RECREATION DEPARTMENT CONCESSIONS VENDOR CONTRACT
Administrator Patton reported that they have negotiated the option to renew the concessions vendor contract with Caddy Shack Grill by dropping the county's percentage of gross sales from 20% to 12.5%. The vendor has done a fantastic job, and while it is dropping our percentage rate we have to consider that we have tournaments at the ball complex, and one thing they want is a concession. He thinks it is in the best interest of the county to keep the concession that is working and doing a good job, and their recommendation is to approve this contract. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to adopt the Recreation Department Concessions Vendor Contract, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Nance thanked Commissioner Felton for getting involved in negotiating with Caddy Shack Grill as they have been a very good vendor. Commissioner Felton stated that he was glad to talk with them as of all the vendors we have had, they have been the best and are honest.
CRISP COUNTY POWER COMMISSION BOARD APPOINTMENTS
Chairman Nance appointed himself, Commissioner Felton, and Commissioner Farrow to serve as voting members on the Crisp County Power Commission from July 1, 2013 until December 31, 2013.
APPROVE CURBSIDE WASTE COLLECTION ORDINANCE
Administrator Patton stated that getting here has been a long winding road as it is a major change for the county. Before them is an Ordinance and Contract that will be the formal document to implement curbside collection. These documents have been reviewed by the staff and the hauler that won the bid, they are in good order, and their recommendation is to approve both the Ordinance and Contract. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the Residential Solid Waste Ordinance and the Agreement for the Solid Waste Collection Services, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously. Administrator Patton reminded them that citizens in the unincorporated areas have been paying Special Use Tax, which tax will go away for the collection services, and curbside cost will be $11.87 per month. Chairman Nance stated that was a good point as there will be a rollback on the taxes for the collection services and everybody will be paying their individual collection. Commissioners commented on a couple of locations where the dumpsters were overflowing this morning. Commissioner Felton asked when could we get started with curbside, and Administrator Patton stated that they would have to order the cans and as soon as we can get them in, we will be providing information on the procedures of collection, and we will be getting the information out to the citizens as well as the haulers will be getting the information out also, and we will be coordinating with them to make sure that the people know exactly what to expect, like days they will be picking up, etc. Commissioners agreed that this was a big change, a progressive change, and think it will be very good for the future. Chairman Nance advised that he is glad to say that we have adopted our budget and we are not increasing our taxes, and had we probably decided not to go this route, we probably would have been singing a different song this morning.
Mrs. Leverett reported that the financial data presented is very preliminary as we still have several accruals to be recorded before we can report the actual year end numbers. Activity for the General and three major Special Revenue Funds, combined, are reporting monthly revenues of $722,340 and expenditures of $1,077,299 bringing YTD totals to $13.7 million in revenue and $14.9 million in expenditures. We continue to carry a YTD deficit of about 8%. Most of our expenses are within or close to annual projections. As previously stated, the shortfall is on the revenue side where the actual numbers continue to come in less than annual projections in several categories. To date we have collected about 86% of what we had projected for FY 13 Ad Valorem Tax Revenue. For the month of June, the Water Fund recorded revenues of $57,204; YTD $519,831. Expenditures for the month totaled $35,927; YTD $465,189, leaving the Water Fund with a preliminary YTD net gain of $54,642. Water usage BILLED for the month was 7,350,000 gallons. The USDA Bonds are current at $1.5 million. For the Landfill Fund, we recorded $110,391 in accrued monthly revenue and $1,363,746 year to date. Monthly expenses totaled $114,506; year to date, $1,332,923 leaving the landfill with a preliminary net gain for the year of only $30,822. We received a total of 3183.08 tons of waste for the month of June. Approximately 34% of that was received from Advanced Environmental under their commercial contract and 15% under the residential contract. The GEFA Loans are current at $4.7 million. Next is the cash on hand report as of June 30, 2013. We ended the year with $5.2 million in the General and Special Revenue Funds, combined; $2.3 million in the proprietary funds; and $8.8 million in the SPLOST funds giving us a county wide total of $16.4 million. Of that amount, over $10 million is reserved or restricted for specific purposes or projects. For the 2000 SPLOST Issue, total collections remain at $17.6 million, total expenditures to date of $16.7 million, leaving us with $846,356 to complete projects associated with this issue. For the 2005 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. For the 2011 SPLOST Issue, Distribution no. 17, representing May retail sales, in the amount of $328,059 is down about 2% from this same time last year but up 1% over last month. We have collected $5.7 million in revenue under this issue and expended $4.3 million. The Final SPLOST Schedule includes a list of all expenditures for the month of June from all SPLOST Funds. Projects benefiting from Special local option sales tax dollars were County Roads, the Darton Project, Crisp County Recreation and the Cities of Arabi and Cordele. The L.O.S.T. distribution, representing May retail sales of 157,328 is up slightly, less than 1%, from this time last year, and 2.4% over last month. In the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund report, we have an outstanding balance of $1.6 million as of June 30th. The final report is the revenues by fund and expenditures by department. As of June 30th, all departments and divisions should be around 100% of their annual allowances. Overall, the preliminary EOY numbers show the General Fund and Special Revenue Funds at 94%, the Water Fund at 68% and the Landfill Fund at 100%.
APPROVE TENANT IMPROVEMENT ALLOWANCE LIST
Mrs. Leverett reported that we have been working with Julius Byrd of the USDA in reference to the FSA rental space located in the building across the alley for going on two years now in trying to bring that building up to what they consider their standards. She gave commissioners a copy of all the improvements that they have agreed with them to do. The total cost of all the upgrades is $65,854, and of that amount the county will be responsible for only $4,750, the tenant improvements of $61,104 will be paid for by the county up front, and the USDA will pay the county back the cost of those improvements over ten years plus interest; it will be added to their monthly rental. She needs approval for the Tenant Improvement Allowance list and authorizes her to execute the rental contract with them based on the increase in the rent as calculated by these numbers. She stated that it will be a little over $500 per month that will be added to rent over the ten year period. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the Tenant Improvement Allowance list and authorize Mrs. Leverett to execute the rental contract based on the increase in rent as calculated by the numbers, seconded by Mr. Felton, motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC AGENDA REQUEST FORM
Chairman Nance reported that the commissioners have adopted a process to allow citizens to come and speak at our meetings, and we now have a public agenda request form; the request will be on a first-come first-serve basis. We ask that the form is turned in before noon one week prior to the board meeting date. Administrator Patton stated that this was nothing new; it is in our policy, this just formalizes it and allows the staff to prepare so hopefully we can have an answer for the individual that day instead of researching the question and then getting back to the people.
MRS. NIPPER'S COMMENTS
Mrs. Nipper reported that she came on behalf of her neighbor and friend, Johnny Bagwell, who she is trying to help. He has a problem as he has some property on Tremont Road, and he can't get the power cut on. She stated that he has run into some bad situations but hopefully he is turning it around and going to be a productive citizen of Crisp County; he needs to work and if he can get some electricity on that shop, then he can make money. She doesn't understand the problem, but she is trying to help him get the power on that building so that he can have some employment. Chairman Nance asked if this if for the building that is there or another purpose. Mr. Bagwell stated that it was for the shop that was there; he has been there 23 years, and he thought he got a permit but they say he didn't. Chairman Nance asked if they had requested a variance, and they replied no. Commissioner Henderson asked if they had any intention of placing a mobile home or travel trailer adjacent to the shop, and Mr. Bagwell stated no but there was a mobile home that was there but it burnt. He wants to put one back and that is why he is trying to make some money so he can get him a house put back. Commissioner Henderson asked when was the last time there was electricity in the shop, and Mr. Bagwell replied in January, 2013, and that is when the house burnt. Commissioner Henderson stated that there are certain things that have to be done to comply with regulations. Administrator Patton recommended that they get in touch with the Planning Department to make sure this building is up to code. Mrs. Nipper asked if the building couldn't be grandfathered in, and Chairman Nance stated that he lost the grandfather status when the power was terminated, and if it wasn't built up to the codes we have in place today, it will have to come up to the new codes before power can be restored. Ms. Sangster stated that the shop would have to be rezoned to commercial. She stated that in 1997 they sent Mr. Bagwell a letter giving him the opportunity to come into compliance, and at that time he could have asked for a Special Use Permit to operate the garage. He never responded, and in the meantime she has had several complaints about the property, and she sent additional letters stating that we now have business licenses since 2006; he never responded to any of her letters. At this point, there was no grandfather status as it never was lawfully approved because he never went through the process in 1997 to ask for a garage. The only option is he could ask to rezone it to commercial, which includes that he would have to provide parking and handicap accessibility, and to put commercial property in a rural residential area is not always conducive for the residents that live in the area. Commissioner Henderson asked if he put a mobile home back, would he be able to run his shop, and Ms. Sangster stated that he could put a mobile home back and live there, but as far as running the shop, he is not conforming to the regulations without asking for a rezoning. He has that option to go before the Board and ask that they rezone the property to commercial property to operate a shop. Chairman Nance stated that it is the Boards policy that is the issue, and we have to be standard across the board for everyone. Commissioner Felton stated that in the future when Commissioners are changing the rezoning they need to consider people that can't afford homes. Administrator Patton stated that Mrs. Nipper and Mr. Bagwell need to get with the Planning Department and find out exactly what they need to do, and then bring it before the Board if they want to rezone the property; it will be up to Commissioners to decide. Ms. Sangster advised that the zoning is based on the Comprehensive Plan that we adopted for the growth of the community, and that would be spot zoning.
HERBERT GLADDIN'S COMMENTS
Herbert Gladdin stated that he is speaking for a group called the Concerned Citizens of Crisp County. Members of their group would request that all public votes cast by the Commissioners in the future be confirmed by a showing of hands so that they can get a clear indication in the audience how each member voted, they request that everybody either vote yea, nay, or abstain, and they request that each Commissioner's vote be recorded in the minutes in the meeting for later review. Mr. Gladdin stated that his final item is the Ordinance that has been passed this morning, they suspect, they don't know, that to pass an Ordinance without a public hearing is not legal, and they remind them again that the fundamental intention of their group is to be as transparent as they want them to be about everything; they don't want to battle anybody. They have asked the Commissioners to consider that they are out there working hard to defeat this mandatory clause of the Ordinance that they just passed and remind them that if they are successful, this will be put in a referendum before the vote of the county; if the referendum wins in their favor, the Commissioners will be forced to recall this contract, and they don't intend to let up, so if they commit this county to a binding contract with a commercial company, it may cost the county a lot of money to get out of later on. They also ask that in the future when they vote on a new ordinance, they have a public hearing on that ordinance before they vote on it. It is the purpose of their group to consider investigating the legality of the vote that was cast this morning for an ordinance that has not been publicly heard. Commissioner Felton asked if he wanted the dumpsters, and Mr. Gladdin said they wanted to clean up Crisp County, and that everyone who wants curbside garbage service in Crisp County to have it, but they don't want to be told and mandated to have any services that any individual doesn't want. If they are made to take this service, even though they don't want it, that is them subsidizing your service, and they should be allowed to responsibility manage their own waste. He wants the freedom to use the service but he wants to be relieved of being mandated to do what five men think is best for his life. Commissioner Henderson asked Mr. Gladdin what he would do with his garbage, and Mr. Gladdin stated that was a hypothetical question and he hasn't been faced with those circumstances yet so what he would do would be responsible and legal. Chairman Nance stated that if he was paying taxes it is mandatory now and you are paying for the garage collection anyway, and this will stop the out of county citizens bringing their garbage into this county; the decision has been made and we will move forward.
Administrator Patton reported that 1) he attended several meetings and events last month; 2) he attended the coordination meeting with the Chamber for MOU signing event between the Inland Port and the Savannah Port Authority; 3) he attended IDA prospect meetings; 4) he was on Phil's noon day show; 5) he coordinated several road complaints due to weather with Public Works; 6) he worked with Advanced Disposal to develop an ordinance and contract for implementation; 7) he worked on the FY14 budget; 8) he met with Georgia EPD to discuss issues at the Crisp County Landfill; 9) he met with our consulting engineers to correct issues found at the Landfill; 10) he met with Rec Advisory board members and Rec Dept. Director to discuss better utilization of the gym during summer months; 11) he met with Darton college program manager to discuss beginning of the project and County's involvement; 12) Veterans Day Committee met to discuss the agenda for this year's celebration. We will be inviting the Governor to be the guest speaker and the Adjutant General of Georgia to be an honored guest; and 13) Every year the ACCG Risk Management program is evaluated and if there are dividends available, they will redistribute those to the participating counties, and this year we will be getting a rebate of $17,301.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Felton to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel and potential litigation, seconded by Mr. Henderson, 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.
APPROVE MARKET SECURITY CONTRACT
Mrs. Leverett reported that she has the market security contract with the Department of Agriculture for $22,000, which will serve to help assist with market security from June through August, 2013. Motion was made by Mr. Mathis to approve the market security contract for 2013, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 11:55 a.m., seconded by Mr. Mathis, motion carried unanimously.