REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, MAIN FLOOR PROBATE JUDGE’S COURTROOM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010
The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 14, 2010. Due to ongoing renovations in the Superior Courtroom, the meeting was held in the Probate Courtroom located on the first floor of the 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 Commissioner Alton Harrison.
Ms. Margo Harrell, of Burke, Worsham and Harrell, reported that while the December meeting is the time they would normally present the findings of the fiscal year audit, no report will be given tonight due to the need to file for an extension. The extension was required due to the Health Department not having finished their audit and theirs is a component unit with the County’s. They should finish their audit sometime in January and Ms. Harrell will appear before the Commission again once all components have been filed.
Due to the resignation of Probate Judge, Amy Bagwell, the audit will be brought forward to the last date she served in office. This is standard accounting practice that sets the final date the outgoing official is responsible for records and sets the start date for the incoming officer. Any findings of irregularities will be reported to the commission and the proper authorities once the updated audit is completed.
Minutes from the Regular Monthly Meeting held on November 9, 2010 were approved on a motion by Commissioner Dell Shingler, seconded by Commissioner Brenda Peterson. Motion passed.
The October, 2010 Financial Statement was approved on a motion by Commissioner Alton Harrison, and seconded by Commissioner Scott Miller. Motion passed.
Constitutional Officer and County Officer Response:
EMS Director, Toby Roland, reported that EMT Stephen Payne has passed his training and the national registry for his Paramedic license. As soon as Mr. Payne files his paperwork with the State he will receive his credentials. Congratulations to Mr. Payne were offered by the Commission.
Roland presented a request to contract with the Credit Bureau Assoc. of Macon for collection services for EMS past due billings. The contract for services was approved by Commissioner Scott Miller and seconded by Commissioner Alton Harrison. Motion passed.
The commission rates for this service will be 30% for accounts up to 12 months; 35% for 12 months and over as well as accounts under $50 and forwarded accounts; 50% for legal accounts.
Interim Probate Judge, Amos Sheffield, addressed the Commission concerning the need for overtime to be approved for his staff in order to bring records up to date. Sheffield requested that vital statistic fees in excess of the $7,500 limited by tonight’s Resolution be held in the Probate Judge’s budget instead of being placed into the County’s general fund to be used for some other budget line item. These excess fees could be used to fund the overtime requested. These items will be given consideration by the Commission and addressed at a later date.
The special election for Probate/Magistrate Judge will be held on March 15, 2011. The candidate who succeeds in this election will complete the current term through December 31, 2012.
Salary levels for Constitutional Officers are set by the State and are based on the county ‘s population. An action item on tonight’s agenda is to set a salary for interim Probate/Magistrate Judge Amos Sheffield. On a motion by Commissioner Alton Harrison Salary was set for interim Probate/Magistrate Judge, Amos Sheffield, at $52,674.36 for Probate services and $12,338.38 for his service as Magistrate Judge for a total of $65,012.74 annually.
The next item addressed was Sheriff Elliott’s request for funding in the amount of $1,500 to once again publish the drug information booklets that are provided to the parents of school children. Commissioner Brenda Peterson made the motion to approve the request which will be paid from the Drug Fund. Commissioner Dell Shingler provided the second. Motion passed.
County Administrator, Donna Jones, gave a report on the progress of the Fire Department Committee findings.
A compilation of fire calls and the number of responders for the first ten (10) months of the 2010 calendar year was distributed for review. Using these statistics and paying the current thirty-five (35) volunteers $15 for each call and attendance at two (2) monthly training sessions as well as funding the $180 per volunteer for participation in the fire fighters retirement fund would run approximately $30,345 annually. The cost of adding additional fire fighters would be approximately $900 each per year. Therefore, the cost of offering these incentives to a force of fifty members would be approximately $45,000 annually.
Jones reported that she had visited with a representative from Senator Chambliss’ office and was informed that FEMA would be receiving new funding sometime in January and she would be notified in January where we are on the distribution list.
During budget work sessions for the current fiscal year no funding could be found to provide the incentives to volunteer recruits without having to raise the millage rate. No millage rate increase was approved due to the recession and resulting unemployment.
Jones asked the Commission to consider setting aside $150,000 of the FEMA funding once received, to be used to fund the incentives at the cost of $50,000 per year to get us through the current financial downfall. At the end of the three years, the Commission can once again address the issue of funding by a millage rate hike or levying a fire protection type fee for residences and commercial property.
Ms. Annie Ruth Calloway gave an update on funding for the homeless and those facing foreclosure in our area. In a meeting of the Southwest Georgia Housing Task Force which was held in Camilla on November 17, 2010, Ms. Annie learned of upcoming funding that may be available for these purposes. Ms. Calloway is working with local agencies to comprise a list of applicants that can be submitted.
Ms. Calloway also reported that the apartment complex on Friendship will begin leasing apartments in January 2011.
Mr. Gene Cook addressed the Commission with his request to allow him to construct a road along farmlands owned by John Hancock Insurance Co. After two years of maintaining the new road, one year required by local ordinance and a second year added voluntarily by Mr. Cook, the request can be brought back to the Commission to abandon the southerly portion of Mosely Rd. and substitute the new road. Upon acceptance the new road would be taken over by the County for future maintenance. All road construction would be required to follow the April 12, 1982 County Road and Bridge ordinance.
The majority of residents who live in the immediate area were in attendance and had no objection to the new road. The request was made for the purpose of irrigating acreage owned by John Hancock Insurance Co.
On a motion by Commissioner Alton Harrison and seconded by Commissioner Scott Miller the go ahead for the project was given. Motion passed.
The State requirement to pass an ordinance to set “Outdoor Watering” limits for Seminole County was met by the motion by Commissioner Brenda Peterson with the second provided by Commissioner Dell Shingler. Motion passed.
The announcement for the new ordinance had been advertised in the November 18, 2010 issue of the Donalsonville News and the new ordinance will be printed in this same publication.
The motion to adopt the updated “Soil and Erosion Sedimentation” ordinance as required by the State was made by Commissioner Scott Miller and seconded by Commissioner Alton Harrison. Motion passed.
The Commission was presented with a recommendation from the Development Authority of Seminole County and Donalsonville for a loan to American Peanut Growers Group from the Seminole County Revolving Loan Fund to fund an expansion to their existing facility. The expansion will not only enhance their capabilities to process more products, but will create from 10 to 15 jobs.
APGG has secured private funding to match the local loan. The Authority recommended the following terms:
1. 5% fixed interest rate
2. Amortized over 10 years
3. $3,447.13 monthly payment on 1st of each month following funding
The loan request was approved on a motion from Commissioner Alton Harrison and seconded by Commissioner Dell Shingler. Motion passed. Commissioner Scott Miller abstained.
In 1996 the Georgia Legislature passed code (O.C.G.A. § 31-10-8) that gave local governments the right to set a limit for the amount of vital statistic fees to be retained by the Probate Judge as an addition to his/her salary. The law became effective on January 1, 1997.
On a motion by Commissioner Dell Shingler with second by Commissioner Scott Miller the County is adopting a resolution setting the amount of vital statistic fees to be retained by the Probate Judge to a not to exceed amount of $7,500 per calendar year as stated in the code. Motion passed.
Commissioner Dell Shingler made the motion to adopt a resolution that upon approval of the wording by County Attorney, Kenneth Hornsby, will authorize our CPA firm from this date forward to randomly or by direction of the Commission or County Administrator to count cash and perform other audit practices for any County department. The second was provided by Commissioner Alton Harrison. Motion passed.
The Commission will be notified at a later meeting of Mr. Hornsby’s approval or disapproval of the resolution.
The motion to re-appoint Ms. Brenda Broome for an additional three year term of service to represent the private sector on the Regional Commission’s Workforce Investment Board was made by Commissioner Dell Shingler with the second by Commissioner Brenda Peterson. Motion passed.
Commissioner Elect, Roger Lane, has returned from new Commissioner training in Athens and reviewed the process of submitting the CCDR & FD Electronic filing process that was made a requirement of the new ethics Senate Bill 17.
The county offices will be closed on Thursday December 23, 2010
and Friday December 24, 2010 in observance of the Christmas Holidays
and January 3, 2011 in observance of the New Year.
The Superior Courtroom renovations are complete with the exception
of taking delivery of the new chairs which will ship the 15th and should be installed on Monday, December 20th.
Chairman Tommy Rogers thanked outgoing Commissioner Alton Harrison for his eleven years of faithful duty to the citizens of this county. Harrison expressed his appreciation for the opportunity he was given to serve and thanked everyone for their support.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned on a motion made by Commissioner Alton Harrison, seconded by Commissioner Scott Miller with Commissioners Dell Shingler, Brenda Peterson and Chairman Tommy Rogers voting yes.
ADOPTED THIS __________ DAY OF JANUARY, 2011
SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
DONNA JONES, CLERK