MINUTES

SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

REGULAR MONTHLY WORK SESSION

SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, SUPERIOR COURTROOM

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH, 2014

5:00 P.M.

 

The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Monthly Work Session on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 in the Superior Courtroom located on the second floor of the courthouse. Those present were Chairman Chuck Orrick, Vice Chairman Brenda Peterson, Commissioner Roger Lane, Commissioner Darius Culverson, and County Manager / Clerk Paula Granger. 

                           Agenda items were discussed prior to the Regular Meeting.  No action was taken.

MINUTES

SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING

SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, SUPERIOR COURTROOM

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH, 2014

6:00 P.M.

 

The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 in the Superior Courtroom located on the second floor of the courthouse. Those present were Chairman Chuck Orrick, Vice Chairman Brenda Peterson, Commissioner Roger Lane, Commissioner Darius Culverson, and County Manager / Clerk Paula Granger. 

 

The meeting was called to order by Chairman Orrick.     

 

The invocation was given by Commissioner Lane followed by the pledge of allegiance.

 

Roll call was conducted and a quorum was established. 

 

Submission of Financial Statements and Minutes:

 

The financial report for December 2013 was approved on a motion by Commissioner Lane and a second by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

The amended minutes from the Regular Monthly Meeting held on December 10th, 2013 were presented for approval.  The minutes were amended to include the term length for Mrs. Gloria Fain on the Board of Assessors.  The amended minutes were approved on a motion by Vice Chairman Peterson and a second by Commissioner Lane.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

The minutes from the Regular Monthly Meeting held on January 14th, 2014 were approved on a motion by Commissioner Lane and a second by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

Citizens Request:

 

Mr. Dakin Spain from the Office of Solar Development presented the Board with information regarding the Georgia Power solar development initiative that is underway in the state.  Georgia Power will pay .13 per kilowatt hour for a period of twenty years and a random lottery system is used to award projects.  Mr. Spain indicated a 100 acre tract owned by Mr. Sidney Fox is the ideal location for this type project due to the flat land and the location of Georgia Power three phase distribution lines.  Mr. Spain requested the county assign individual 911 addresses for eighteen five acre tracts within the 100 acres as this is required prior to submission of their applications to Georgia Power, which is due by April 2nd.  Ms. Gayla Barton responded there was no problem with obtaining 911 addresses; however, she was concerned about what will happen at the end of the twenty year contract. Mr. Spain stated that would be renegotiated at the end of the contract.  Commissioner Lane questioned Mr. Spain regarding the expense of rezoning the property and why there was a need to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU).  County Attorney Mills stated it was his recommendation to have the MOU in place due to the timeline.  Mr. Dale Ramthun, Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority, provided his notes to the Board regarding tax abatement for this type project that he obtained from a meeting with The Southern Company.  Mr. Ramthun discussed several options and the positive and negative aspects of solar farms.  Ms. Gayla Barton asked “what is the advantage for the county and citizens if abatement is given”?  Mr. Ramthun responded it would be more money because of the land changing from agriculture to commercial.  Commissioner Lane responded there are other utility companies in the county who have not been given abatement.  Chamber of Commerce Director Brenda Broome stated she had learned over the past few weeks many communities are being bombarded by solar energy projects and the first thing requested is abatement.  Ms. Broome indicated she was advised to request the Board of Commissioners and Development Authority not give any abatement.  Donalsonville Mayor Dan Ponder stated it is true that tax abatements have never been given; however, this meeting is not the time to determine if it should be granted.  Mayor Ponder stated he is not opposed to abatement in an extraordinary situation; however, he is not for or against it.  Mayor Ponder cautioned everyone to thoroughly understand the process prior to any decision making.  Commissioner Lane reminded everyone this potential $90 million project may in fact be a $1.8 million project; it will depend on the results of the lottery.  Former Mayor Joe Burke commented abatements have been given such as Freeport which excludes inventory from taxation and statewide there are no taxes on farm equipment.  Mr. Burke suggested we research other areas that have solar farms.  County Attorney Mills indicated in lieu of taxes there could be structured payments as opposed to ad valorem taxes.  A schedule will be presented to the Board, Development Authority, Tax Assessors, and developer once the MOU has been completed.  Attorney Dan McRae will be used to assist with developing the MOU and most often the developer is responsible for the fees to develop a MOU.  Commissioner Lane made a motion to accept the preliminary MOU, County Attorney Mills will work with Attorney Dan McRae on revisions, and return the MOU to the parties involved to finalize; a second was given by Commissioner Culverson.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

Mr. & Mrs. Roy Johnson submitted a request to be on the agenda and listed their reason as discrimination.   Chairman Orrick asked them how they were discriminated against by the Board; Mrs. Johnson replied they were present on behalf of their son who was previously employed by the county.  Chairman Orrick informed Mr. and Mrs. Johnson they were not allowed to be an advocate for their son as it was an employee / employer relationship.  The Johnsons indicated their son should be off work soon and could speak later during the meeting.

 

County Officer and Constitutional Officer Request:

 

Sheriff Elliott discussed a $25,000 grant opportunity for the purchase of additional patrol cars through the USDA.  In addition to the grant, the County would be issued a low interest loan for the remaining costs.  County Manager Granger has prepared the documents for submission pending approval by the Board.  A motion was made by Commissioner Culverson to submit the grant with a second given by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

County Attorney Status Report:

 

The status report was provided by County Attorney Mills. 

 

Attorney Mills discussed the final right of way acquisition required for paving Clem Copeland Road.  Commissioner Lane made a motion for condemnation of the property and a second was given by Vice Chairman Peterson; all in favor, motion passed. 

 

Based on the research and review by County Attorney Mills and Judge Sheffield, the vacant commission seat for District 2 should be filled by a Special Election.  This election will be held in conjunction with the Primary Election scheduled for May 20th, 2014.  Based on a recommendation by Attorney Mills and the research associated with this type of vacancy, a motion to hold the Special Election was made by Commissioner Lane with a second by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed.

  

As requested by County Manager Granger, a new timber harvesting ordinance was prepared by Attorney Mills to incorporate state statutes along with penalty clauses.  County Attorney Mills conducted the first reading following a motion made by Commission Culverson to proceed with the 1st reading.  A second was given by Commissioner Lane.  All in favor, motion passed.  County Attorney Mills will place a notice in the newspaper announcing the Public Hearing. 

 

The contract for the inmate crew presented by Decatur County was reviewed by County Attorney Mills and a few areas of concern are in need of revision.  These items will be corrected and resubmitted to Decatur County and Seminole County for consideration. 

 

 Old Business:

 

County Manager Granger stated a list of items for the inmate crew is being developed by the Road Department and Recreation Department.  We would like to get the inmate crew by March 3rd, 2014, following acceptance of the contract.  We are currently looking for a transport vehicle needed for transporting the inmates to Seminole County.  This was approved at a previous meeting.

 

County Manager Granger stated she met with Stacy Watkins on February 7th, 2014 to review the demolition project at the training school.  Mr. Watkins will schedule the asbestos and lead surveys and prepare the demolition schedule.   

 

County Manager Granger stated the Department of Transportation has suspended mowing contracts until FY15.  Applications can be submitted and we will be notified if we are awarded the contract for the next fiscal year.

 

County Manager Granger stated the Notice of Intent Permit was signed and delivered today for Spring Creek Park.  Construction will begin again and the park will remain closed until completion of the project.

 

County Manager Granger stated the preconstruction meeting for Brackin Road will be held at City Hall on Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. 

 

County Manager Granger stated relocation of the monuments and installation of the fixture for the eternal flame has been completed.  A lighting ceremony will be hosted by the American Legion; however, a date has not yet been determined.

 

County Manager Granger provided overtime reports and the purchasing log for January.  The overtime is down 1,512 hours, or $19,413, for the same time period in FY13.  The increase in hours for the month of January is due to having three pay periods.

 

County Manager Granger stated she purchased an airline ticket for the delivery driver of the dump truck in the amount of $467.  The cost for the Christmas dinner held by County Manager Granger for her direct reports discussed in the January meeting was reimbursed to the county in the amount of $412.60.

 

New Business:

 

Chairman Orrick reappointed Vice Chairman Brenda Peterson to serve on the Regional Commission on his behalf. 

 

Commissioner Lane addressed the Board regarding Holly Roberts Road.  The county has maintained the road for several years but ceased after determining the road was not properly deeded to the county.  The map provided showed a 30’ easement for the road, however, the original owner, Ms. Bertie Sue Roberts, neglected to finalize the paperwork.  A motion was made by Commissioner Lane to accept the road as a county road for maintenance purposes; a second was given by Commissioner Culverson.  All in favor, motion passed.

 

Three permits for alcohol licenses were presented to the Board.  Barfield’s has changed ownership and the new owner, Don Pritchard, is required to get the license in his name.  Commissioner Lane made a motion to approve the off premises beer license, a second was given by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed.  Mr. Booker Green applied for an on premises beer and wine license at 2454 Mae Dell Cainon Road in Iron City.  The adjacent properties do not meet the 500’ requirement as stated in the ordinance.  Chairman Orrick requested a motion to approve the license, no motion was given.  Motion died due to lack of vote.  Mrs. Virginia Hand applied for an off premises liquor license for Pineapples.  A motion approving the license was provided by Commissioner Lane and a second was given by Commissioner Culverson.  All in favor, motion passed.

  

County Manager Granger requested starting budget work sessions with the first one scheduled for March 17th, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  County Manager Granger also stated the Seminole County Arts Council has requested funding from the County.

 

SPLOST V meetings will need to be scheduled with the cities of Donalsonville and Iron City for development of the project lists for each municipality.  County Manager Granger will set up the meeting after checking the availability of the other counsels.  County Manager Granger requested the Board allow her permission to request records from the Department of Revenue to review sales tax information for our county.  A motion to grant permission to obtain the records was given by Commissioner Culverson, a second was given by Vice Chairman Peterson, all in favor, motion passed.

 

Announcements:

 

The Annual Conference will be held in Savannah on April 11th – 15th, 2014, everyone needs to submit their class preference so registration can be completed.

 

Applications for CDBG funding are due in April; we are currently considering Leon Barber Road due to flooding and drainage problems.

 

The Chamber of Commerce is requesting nominations for Citizen of the Year.

 

The EMS Assessment scheduled for today will be rescheduled.

 

The first royalty check from Coast2Coast was received in the amount of $8.25.

 

Citizens Request (continued):

 

Mr. Ross Johnson was called to the podium to address the Board.  Chairman Orrick advised Ross he could file an appeal with County Manager Granger the following morning in her office.  Ross responded he did not want to appeal.  Ross then questioned why he was dismissed for misconduct and why he was called to the County Manager’s Office at 11 p.m. at night to discuss it instead of waiting until the next morning.  Mr. Roy Johnson, father of Ross, stated his son did not want his job back; this has to do with abuse of power, attempted employee intimidation, and wrongful termination.  Chairman Orrick informed Mr. Roy Johnson he could not discuss the termination because it was an employee / employer issue.  Mr. Roy Johnson stated he had found out today the constitutional law in the state of Georgia indicates that “she” (referring to County Manager Granger) could not fire anyone and he doubted she called any of the Board at 11 p.m. at night.  Mr. Roy Johnson also stated he was aware this had happened to several other employees in the county and will continue if something is not done about it.  Chairman Orrick again commented Ross could file an appeal.

Adjournment:

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned on a motion made by Commissioner Culverson and a second by Vice Chairman Peterson.  All in favor, motion passed. 

ADOPTED THIS ______ DAY OF MARCH, 2014

SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Brenda Peterson

Roger Lane

Chuck Orrick

Darius Culverson

ATTEST:

PAULA GRANGER, CLERK

 

 

C E R T I F I C A T I O N

 

 

STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF SEMINOLE

 

 

I, Paula L. Granger, the duly appointed Clerk of Board of Commissioners of Seminole County, Georgia, and keeper of the minutes in and for the said Board of Commissioners, do hereby certify that the attached constitutes a full, complete and correct copy of the original minutes of a Regular Monthly Meeting held on February 11th, 2014 approved by the Seminole County Board of Commissioners at a Regular Meeting held on March 11th, 2014.    

 

            Given under my official signature and seal of office, on this the 11th day of March, 2014. 

 

                                                                   ____________________________________

Paula L. Granger, Clerk of the Board of                        Commissioners of Seminole County, Georgia

 

(SEAL OF OFFICE)