SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MONTHLY WORK SESSION
SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, SUPERIOR COURTROOM
TUESDAY, JULY 12TH, 2016
The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Monthly Work Session on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 in the Superior Courtroom located on the second floor of the Courthouse. Those present were Vice Chairman Chuck Orrick, Commissioner Brenda Peterson, Commissioner Darius Culverson (participated by phone), Commissioner Shelia Williams, and County Manager/Clerk Paula Granger. Chairman Roger Lane was absent due to medical reasons.
Agenda items were discussed prior to the Regular Meeting. No action was taken.
SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
SEMINOLE COUNTY COURTHOUSE, SECOND FLOOR, SUPERIOR COURTROOM
TUESDAY, JULY 12TH, 2016
The Seminole County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 in the Superior Courtroom located on the second floor of the Courthouse. Those present were Vice Chairman Chuck Orrick, Commissioner Brenda Peterson, Commissioner Darius Culverson (participated by phone), Commissioner Shelia Williams, and County Manager/Clerk Paula Granger. Chairman Roger Lane was absent due to medical reasons.
The meeting was called to order by Vice Chairman Orrick.
The invocation was given by Commissioner Shelia Williams followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll call was conducted and a quorum was established.
Vice Chairman Orrick stated absences due to medical reasons were excused and requested a motion to continue payment of wages to Chairman Lane. A motion to approve continuation of wages for Chairman Lane was given by Commissioner Peterson with a second by Commissioner Williams. All in favor, motion passed.
Submission of Financial Statement, Minutes, Digest Errors & Additions, Errors & Releases, Chamber of Commerce Report:
Commissioner Williams stated the Chamber of Commerce renamed the annual Harvest Festival to “Follow the Fish Festival” and will hold the event at the same time. An annual rodeo will be held the last week of April and a new mission and goals are being established under the direction of Chamber Director Karen Kimbrel. A request was made by the Chamber to appoint an ex-officio officer to attend Chamber meetings and assist with the various projects.
The financial reports were not available for review.
The following minutes were approved on a motion by Commissioner Williams and a second by Commissioner Peterson: Regular Meeting held June 14th, 2016. All in favor, motion passed.
Vice Chairman Orrick invited Mrs. Kaye Moody to the podium and she thanked the Board for allowing her to speak. Mrs. Moody stated she had 60+ citizens in the audience. The proposal focused on senior citizens who are 65 and over paying school taxes. Mrs. Moody provided several examples of counties in Georgia that are already exempting senior citizens from paying school taxes. Mrs. Moody discussed the limited income senior citizens must survive on as well as the high cost associated with insurance coverage and prescription drugs. Various other examples of seniors and high drug costs were provided during her presentation.
Vice Chairman Orrick stated we all understand the needs and concerns of our senior citizens, but, other facts and details will have to be gathered before any decision on this could be made. Mrs. Moody responded this would be coming down from the State Legislature, Senator Dean Burke, Representative Winfred Dukes, and Mr. Butler from the Lt. Governor’s office.
Mrs. Moody continued with additional statistics and information she stated was obtained from the Internet. Mrs. Moody discussed patients in a nursing home where she volunteers and gave several examples of elderly couples who are burdened with caring for their spouse with very little to no assistance. Other items mentioned during her speech included taxing rental properties owned by senior citizens, schools acquiring funds through grants or implementing a .01 tax for school purposes. Final remarks by Mrs. Moody were applauded by the large audience attending the meeting. A complete copy of the speech will be attached to the minutes.
Following the conclusion of the presentation, Vice Chairman Orrick thanked Mrs. Moody. Vice Chairman Orrick stated sales tax revenues have decreased and it is a struggle to operate within the county budget without increasing the millage rate. County Manager Granger stated LOST and SPLOST collections have decreased over the past few years. Vice Chairman Orrick also provided examples of problems encountered such as maintaining county roads, some of which are in deplorable condition, agriculture exemptions and GATE cards. These items are addressed frequently by the Board. Commissioner Williams added that fuel taxes for the county decreased last year.
Vice Chairman Orrick continued allowing comments from the audience and responded accordingly.
County Officer and Constitutional Officer Request:
Chairman Orrick requested a motion to amend the agenda removing EMA Director Travis Brooks and replace with Code Enforcement Officer Mark Hawkins. A motion to amend the agenda was made by Commissioner Williams with a second by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed.
Code Enforcement Officer Hawkins stated a Zoning Meeting was held July 12th, 2016 regarding rezoning property owned by Ms. Martha Rock. The properties are adjacent to the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department and EMS substation with both properties having frontage on Hwy. 253; one being 23.582 acres and the other 13.138 acres. The Zoning Board made a request to rezone both properties from Agriculture to Commercial 1. Vice Chairman Orrick made a motion to approve rezoning both properties as Commercial 1; a second was made by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed. Officer Hawkins stated Ms. Rock generously donated some property to the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department to help with some erosion issues.
County Attorney Report:
County Attorney Mills provided a copy of his status report and a draft copy of an Energy Excise Tax Ordinance. Attorney Mills requested the Board review the ordinance and provide comments prior to the next board meeting. Two readings will be required to adopt the revised ordinance. Attorney Mills stated no update was available on Walther Investment. Attorney Mills apologized for not having prepared anything on the Alcohol or Roads & Bridges Ordinances due to his staff being on vacation.
County Manager Granger previously emailed pictures to Attorney Mills of an area on Green Acres Road that a property owner requested the county clear in order to replace/install fencing. Attorney Mills stated the pictures showed trees in excess of 20 years old and the county has obviously not maintained the area, therefore, the county is not responsible. Attorney Mills provided an explanation of a right of way as, “normally a right of way on a county dirt road, unless we have fee title, is a prescriptive easement, acquired for our use, and consists of where we maintain, if only to a graded edge, anything past that isn’t county right of way and not the county’s responsibility”. Attorney Mills indicated the land owner can remove the trees up to the “maintained” edge of the road. This item will be discussed again later during the meeting.
County Manager Granger stated the bid opening for the Harrell Moye Bridge project took place on June 21st 2016. Only one bid was submitted in the amount of $274,802.90 from Southern Concrete & Construction Company. Engineer Stacy Watkins submitted a letter of recommendation to award the project to Southern Concrete & Construction. A motion to award the contract as recommended was given by Commissioner Williams with a second by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed. Southern Concrete indicated they could start on the project as early as July 18th, 2016 with a final inspection date of September 1st, 2016, weather permitting. The total cost of this project is $300,000. The request for emergency funding was approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation in the amount of up to $170,000. The county will use SPLOST proceeds to fund the remaining balance.
County Manager Granger stated she was searching for funds and financing for approximately 19 miles of resurfacing work. Preliminary conversations have taken place with a local financial institution, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Community Affairs, and Georgia 1. The GDOT usually provides LMIG funds for this type project annually and money can be banked over several years for a large project; however, this project would be limited to one, possibly two years of funding according to GDOT Rep Mr. Jeff Bridges. County Manager Granger stated SPLOST V collections could cover the majority of the cost, however, this would not leave any funding to lease or purchase equipment for the Road Department. County Manager Granger stated her and Mrs. Margo Harrell from Burke, Worsham, & Harrell had also discussed funding for the project.
County Manager Granger discussed the Regional Land Bank the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission is preparing to establish. Ms. Barbara Reddick from the Regional Commission provided details to the Board regarding the Land Bank at their work session held in June and indicated the city and county must both participate; the city of Donalsonville has already expressed they would participate. County Manager Granger indicated this may be a topic to discuss at the next Comprehensive Plan Meeting with some city officials present. Vice Chairman Orrick stated he was concerned about unintended consequences; however, he did not want to hold the city back from participating. Vice Chairman Orrick requested a motion to table the item until August. Commissioner Peterson made a motion to table the item, Commissioner Williams provided the second. All in favor, motion passed.
County Manager Granger stated the current security system at the County Agent’s office was expanded to incorporate panic buttons for employees. The buttons have been activated and are operational as of July 1, 2016.
County Manager Granger provided three quotes for kitchen equipment needed at the Senior Citizens Center. The freezer quotes were $3,340, $6,500, and $1,900. Dishwasher quotes provided were $5,840, $6,190, and $3,520. Due to the complexity of the specifications and desired options of the Senior Center, a comparison of the items was not made. Commissioner Williams made a motion to allow personnel at the Senior Center to decide which equipment they preferred to purchase using SPLOST funds, a second was given by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed. County Manager Granger will report on the items purchased at the next Regular Meeting in August.
County Manager Granger discussed the current status of the CDBG Project, Leon Barber Road. Over 30 parcels, in Seminole and Early County, are affected by the right of way acquisition process. This phase of the project is approximately $40,000; completion is expected within the next 15 to 30 days.
County Manager Granger stated the FY17 LMIG applications have been mailed out to counties and can be submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation immediately. Stacy Watkins is currently working on the resurfacing project and will submit the application and project proposal for Brackin Road and Burl Lane Road. The preliminary estimate for this project is $525,000 with LMIG funding $355,000 and SPLOST funds covering the remainder.
County Manager Granger updated the Board on the excess LMIG funds offered by the Department of Transportation that approved $100,000 for Seminole County. These funds are required to be spent by December 31, 2016. The project list submitted included 25 miles of striping and guard railing. A motion was made by Vice Chairman Orrick to fund the guard railing first, and, if remaining funds were available to start on striping. A second was given by Commissioner Williams. All in favor, motion passed. A request to hire Watkins & Associates for this project was approved on a motion from Commissioner Peterson with a second by Commissioner Williams. All in favor, motion passed.
County Manager Granger provided a letter from Mr. Brad Vaughan regarding appointment of a designee to receive information regarding sales and use tax refunds from the Georgia Department of Revenue. Commissioner Williams made a motion to appoint the County Manager as the designee; a second was given by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed.
County Manager Granger provided an invoice for $1,500 for the annual advertisement that is featured in booklets distributed at local schools regarding drugs. Funding is provided from the Drug Surcharge Account. A motion to purchase the ad was given by Commissioner Peterson with a second by Commissioner Williams. All in favor, motion passed.
County Manager Granger provided a letter from Ms. Cherry Stewart requesting a refund of property taxes she has paid on two acres of land transferred to her son around 35 years ago. This error was due to failure of updating records by the Tax Assessor. Georgia law allows a county to process a refund or give credit on upcoming taxes for the prior three years. A motion to refund the money as either a refund or credit, as determined by Ms. Stewart, was given by Commissioner Williams. A second was provided by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed.
County Manager Granger discussed the previously mentioned issue on Green Acres Road. Attorney Mills again stated the area did not appear to be maintained by the county and is therefore not the responsibility of the county. County Manager Granger will provide the property owner with the information.
County Manager Granger stated she, along with Bobby Aiken and Richard Adams, met with School Superintendent Brinson Register to look at a ditch on the south side of the middle/high school. Mr. Register requested assistance from the county in cleaning out the ditch and removal of several trees to allow better drainage of the area. Due to the proximity of the ditch to Fish Pond Drain, County Manager Granger indicated she contacted Mr. Tom Fowler from the EPD Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and had scheduled a meeting at the site on Thursday, July 14th, 2016. County Manager Granger stated if the ditch was part of Fish Pond Drain and the work requested was allowed by EPD/DNR, all permitting would be the responsibility of the school prior to any modifications to the area. County Manager Granger requested approval from the Board to assist the school if/when approved. Vice Chairman Orrick made a motion to do any and everything to help the school system with this ditch, Commissioner Williams provided a second. All in favor, motion passed.
Golden Triangle RC&D Quarterly Meeting is being held on July 28th, 2016 at Moby Dick’s in Colquitt.
FSA County Committee Election information meeting is being held August 2nd, 2016 at the FSA office. Other dates on flyer in packet.
The Department of Public Health Team Meeting is August 11th, 2016 at noon, Seminole County Health Department.
ACCG Fall Conference, September 28th – 30th, 2016, Jekyll Island, registration and reservations have been completed.
Vice Chairman Orrick commented the Certificate of Need submitted by the Donalsonville Hospital to convert a wing to provide behavioral health services to seniors and adult children was approved. Vice Chairman Orrick thanked County Manager Granger and other commissioners who helped with letters of support.
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned on a motion by Commissioner Williams and a second by Commissioner Peterson. All in favor, motion passed.
SEMINOLE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
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 the 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 July 12th, 2016, approved by the Seminole County Board of Commissioners at a Regular Meeting held on August 9th, 2016.
Given under my official signature and seal of office, on this the 9th day of August, 2016.
Paula L. Granger, Clerk of the Board of Commissioners of Seminole County, Georgia
(SEAL OF OFFICE)