REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, MAIN FLOOR PROBATE JUDGE’S COURTROOM
TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010
The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their regular monthly meeting, on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. Due to ongoing renovations in the Superior Courtroom, the meeting was held in the Probate Judge’s Courtroom located on the first floor of the Seminole County Courthouse. Those present were, Chairman Tommy Rogers, Vice-Chairman Alton Harrison, Commissioner Dell Shingler, Commissioner Scott Miller, Commissioner Brenda Peterson, County Manager/Clerk Donna Jones, and several interested citizens.
The regular monthly meeting was called to order by Chairman Tommy Rogers.
The invocation was offered by Building Inspector, Bill Kennedy.
Minutes from the Regular Monthly Meeting held on June 8, 2010 were approved on a motion by Commissioner Scott Miller, seconded by Commissioner Dell Shingler. Motion passed.
The May 2010 Financial Statement was approved on a motion by Commissioner Scott Miller, and seconded by Commissioner Brenda Peterson. Motion passed.
Follow-up to the June 8, 2010 meeting: Road Superintendent, Bobby Aiken, traveled to Atlanta to purchase one of seven used pneumatic tired compactors that had been traded in to Yancey Bros. After test driving several of the compactors, Aiken selected the 2004
PS-150B for the purchase price of $38,300.
Mr. Bob Godwin of Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department presented a request to the commission for financial assistance in relocating their radio repeater from the SCVFD tower to the landfill and install their antenna on the tower there. This is necessary due to the line of site problem created by their tower not clearing the treetops.
The cost to move and re-install the antenna is estimated by First Communications to be $5,442.70 which if approved would be paid with SPLOST IV funds.
The SCVFD cannot increase their tower height without utilizing guy wires. The current insufficient tower height is causing the relay of intermittent communication with firefighters radio signals.
The motion to approve the funding using SPLOST revenues was made by Commissioner Brenda Peterson with the second provided by Commissioner Scott Miller. Motion passed.
On a motion made by Commissioner Alton Harrison and seconded by Commissioner Scott Miller the street re-surfacing list for FY11 was approved.
The county roads to be submitted to the State for re-surfacing are:
1. Burl Lane (CR225) from Hwy 45 to Hwy 91 (approximately 2 miles)
2. Braswell-Godby Rd. (CR12) (approximately 2 miles)
3. Paul Robinson Rd. (CR 219) from Hwy 39 to River Rd. (approximately 2.3 miles)
Commissioner Alton Harrison made the motion to approve the budget revisions for
FY-10. Commissioner Dell Shingler supplied the second, motion passed.
After a brief review of the flooding situation in the area of Burl Lane and Payne Trail, commissioners agreed that we needed to do what we could to help the citizens who live in the subdivision.
Commissioner Alton Harrison made the motion to contract with the engineering firm of Watkins & Associates in Tifton to conduct a study of the flooding/drainage problem. Commissioner Scott Miller provided the second, motion passed.
The study will result in a recommended course of action to be presented to the Commission.
The request to purchase a new nineteen (19) foot trailer for the road department to haul equipment died for lack of a motion. The medium sized trailer would be used to pull the compactor behind the dump truck.
On a motion by Commissioner Brenda Peterson the Southwest GA Community Action Council’s request for a letter of support to apply for housing preservation grant funds was approved. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Alton Harrison. Motion passed.
The Commission was presented with a Resolution Opposing Unionization and Mandatory Collective Bargaining Legislation in the U. S. Congress. The legislation provides for compulsory public sector bargaining laws which would give unions monopolistic powers and privileges at the expense of the rights of individual employees of the public safety departments and creates division between the public safety departments and the other county employees. Commissioner Scott Miller asked if having the Chairman sign the letter representing the Commission would be to encourage our delegation in Washington to oppose the mandatory aspect of the legislation. Once assured that yes that is the purpose for the resolution, Commissioner Dell Shingler gave the motion to approve the signing of the resolution with Commissioner Brenda Peterson providing the second. Motion passed.
On a motion provided by Commissioner Scott Miller and a second by Commissioner Alton Harrison the Commission agreed to permit Chairman Rogers to sign a letter of support to use a portion of the county owned Farmer’s Market as a regional firefighters training center. Motion passed.
Ms. Marijane Scarborough was re-appointed to serve an additional term on the Seminole County DFCS Board. Ms. Scarborough’s term had expired on June 30, 2010 and has now been extended through June 30, 2015. The motion was provided by Commissioner Alton Harrison with the second by Commissioner Dell Shingler. Motion passed.
Concerning the renovations to the superior courtroom, Commissioner Brenda Peterson made the motion to go with the lowest bidder, Mark Whitaker, as the vendor to complete the refinishing of the forty-four (44) wooden benches for a not to exceed price of $8,096. The second was provided by Commissioner Dell Shingler. Motion passed.
Bids for this service were provided by:
Mark Whitaker - $8,096
Carlton Skipper - $8,800
Artistic Perfection - $31,371
Next on the agenda was the selection of the HVAC vendor for the courtroom renovation. This bid included removing one ten ton unit and two four ton units from the roof in order to accommodate the new courthouse roof. The bid also included replacing the ten ton unit and running electric etc. as required. The motion to select the lowest bidder, Seminole Electric & A/C for $32,897 was provided by Commissioner Alton Harrison with the second by Commissioner Scott Miller.
The bid amounts as submitted were as follows:
Seminole Electric & A/C - $32,897
Jimmy’s HVAC, Dothan - $40,806
Harrell King Heating & Air - $45,300
The need to select a carpet vendor was discussed and samples were distributed among the Commissioners for their approval. On a motion provided by Commissioner Alton Harrison with the second by Commissioner Dell Shingler, the decision was made to allow the Courthouse Committee to select the floor covering with a not to exceed budget of $15,000. Commissioner Scott Miller abstained.
EMA Director Travis Brooks had submitted a request for funds not to exceed $1,000 for the purchase of sand bags. The request was approved on a motion by Commissioner Alton Harrison with the second by Commissioner Scott Miller. Motion passed.
Chairman Tommy Rogers read a statement addressing rumors, gossip and false accusations that have been spreading around the community through the Donalsonville News and various Internet Websites
March 17, 2008 the Resolution to impose a new SPLOST tax was
signed by Seminole County, the City of Donalsonville and Iron City.
The document lists the projects for each agency. One of the projects
listed for Seminole County was the renovations to the Superior
Courtroom that is not to exceed $800,000.
Seminole County paid for ¼ page ads for the “Invitation to Bid” to
find a general contractor for the Courthouse Renovations. Bids were
opened on May 3, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. as listed in the paid newspaper advertisement.
On May 4, 2010 during the regular monthly commission meeting
the bids which were received for the project were presented to the
Southern Triad Construction out of Bainbridge - $297,000
Synergy Construction, Inc. out of Thomasville - $383,716
On a vote by Commissioner Scott Miller and seconded by Commissioner
Dell Shingler, Southern Triad, the low bidder, was selected as the vendor
for the project. As always, these documents are located in the Commissioner’s Office and are available for public review. Copies can be obtained at $.25 per page.
The “Notice to Proceed” was signed on May 12, 2010 giving Southern
Triad 210 calendar days to complete the project. The completion date is therefore, December 9th, 2010. The contractor was given until October 1st to complete the inside of the courtroom in order to have it ready for the October grand jury.
Accommodations for court proceedings during the renovation process were made through the Superior Court Judge, Ronnie Joe Lane.
Concerning meal tickets during travel, multiple county employees often travel together and meals are put on one ticket. This expense is often listed as an itemized expense under Commissioner Dell Shingler’s name even though it often represents more than one traveler. Ms. Dell generally does the driving and is reimbursed for mileage at the rate set by IRS as all other employees or Commissioners who travel for the County. Whenever possible we travel in groups so as to cut the cost of travel to the County.
As for the gossip on Internet websites concerning such issues as the Courthouse landscaping, no funds have been spent on landscaping other than pine straw mulch to cut down the weeds. What minimal plantings have been placed were donated from Ms. Dell Shingler, Mr. William Bramlett and Ms. Nell Newberry. The installation of these plantings was done by inmate labor.
Some of the more healthy plantings from the beds in the front of the courthouse were transplanted to the grounds of the EMS facility on Hwy. 84. The plants were removed to keep them from being destroyed during the upcoming roofing project and were placed at the EMS facility on Hwy 84 to address their landscaping needs. This too was at no expense to the county and the free labor was graciously provided by Ms. Dell Shingler and county inmates.
There has been no policy change as to public meetings or documentation of may receive copies of documentation at the cost of $.25 per page or freely download them from the county’s website at www.seminolecountyga.com.
As to the remarks about the expenses listed for Commissioner Brenda Peterson, the amounts reflect registrations fees and travel associated with training. Commissioner Peterson has received her certification and has almost completed her advanced training.
Travel expenses by the Commissioners are incurred in the process of performing their responsibilities as representatives to the citizens of Seminole County as they attend meetings to attempt to attain grants and keep abreast of current laws; meetings with DOT administration; Regional Commission; Department of Community Affairs; Mental Health Association; Lake Seminole Association; Association County Commissioners of Georgia, etc. Several Commissioners volunteer their personal time to serve as board members with these agencies, thus what might appear to be extra expense, truly represents their dedication and extra effort to work for the citizens of this county. Some of this travel and training is required while all is beneficial to the county because of grants acquired, contacts made for future projects and information gathered.
The amount of travel expenses listed on the Smoking Gun and Donalsonville Topix was for the period of May 2008 through May 2010, not for just a few months as implied.
All Commissioners’ phone numbers are listed in the phone book and are available at the Commissioner’s office. Commissioners make every effort to return as many phone calls as possible. Please feel free to contact the Commissioner’s office staff at 229-524-2878 if you feel that your issue has not been addressed timely or your phone call has not been returned.
On a motion by Commissioner Dell Shingler and seconded by Commissioner Brenda Peterson, the Commission entered into Executive Session for personnel and real estate matters.
On a motion by Commissioner Scott Miller and second by Commissioner Dell Shingler the Commission re-entered the General Session.
On a motion by Commissioner Dell Shingler with second provided by Commissioner Brenda Peterson, County Administrator Donna Jones was given permission to pursue the purchase of land to build a “borrow pit” for Seminole County. The purchase of land would be reliant on the results of soil sample tests to make sure the soil is suitable for road department needs. Details of the land purchase progress will be released at a later date.
In closing, Commissioner Scott Miller asked if there was an update on research for providing better fire protection for the citizens of the county.
County Administrator, Donna Jones, reported that she has been talking with other agencies to see what methods they are using to reduce their ISO ratings.
The Commission agreed that it would be appropriate to hold a Public Meeting to acquaint the citizens with the idea of a county fire department and at the same time ask for input from the citizens. The Commission set the time and date for the meeting as Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. (The meeting will be held in the Middle-High School cafeteria.)
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned on a motion made by Commissioner Scott Miller, seconded by Commissioner Alton Harrison with Commissioners Dell Shingler, Brenda Peterson and Chairman Tommy Rogers voting yes.
ADOPTED THIS __________ DAY OF AUGUST, 2010
SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
DONNA JONES, CLERK