Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
 
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL CALLED MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

[Note from the Editor: The agenda that was sent out on December 16, 2010 did not have an Executive Session. The Revised Agenda went out with an Executive Session.]

The meeting was standing room only. Volunteers from the Fire Department came out to show their support for Fire Chief Henderson. There was no Town Hall prior to this Special Called Meeting. All five commissioners were present as well as County Manager Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and both County Attorneys Rob Morton and Tom Morton.

IV. OLD BUSINESS

1. Approval/denial, on second reading, Ordinance to repeal Chapter 116 entitled “Fire District Ordinance” and to amend Section 32.02 of Chapter 32 entitled “Police and Fire Department” to provide for elimination of Pike County fire fees. This was approved on first reading on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 and, with no further changes, County Manager recommends approval on second reading for elimination of fire fees.

Commissioner Parrish Swift asked questions concerning Meansville and fire protection on the south side of the county. Where do we stand with Meansville and how are they protecting the south end of the county in conjunction with the county fire department? Without Meansville, that leaves Lifsey Springs as the only fire station in that end of the county. The County Manager advised that he thinks that Meansville will come into the County Fire Department in January. Parrish asked specifically if Meansville would answer and coordinate their efforts under the County Fire Chief's direction. CM Sawyer replied that this is a County Fire Department and they would have to do that. Motion to elimination Pike County fire fees. Approved 4-0.

V. EXECUTIVE SESSION: 9:02 a.m.

1. County Manager desires a Closed Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, relative to: 1) the Pike County Fire Department, and 2) Administration, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

Motion to go back into regular session at 10:10 a.m. Motion to adjourn. Approved 4-0. Meeting was adjourned at 10:11 a.m.

VI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Many in the audience had questions and one person even said to the County Chairman, "So we can't ask any questions about what y'all decided back there?" and was told that the Commissioners cannot disclose Executive Session discussion. County Attorney Rob Morton addressed the audience about Fire Chief Danny Henderson. He said that a termination letter was given to Danny Henderson on December 21, 2010 effective December 31, 2010. As of December 31st with the "at will" employment stated in the letter, Chief Danny Henderson will no longer be the chief of the Pike County Fire Department. (See letter below.) "Was it done with the vote of the commissioners?" County Attorney Morton advised that the letter was issued by the County Manager. "So the County Manager by himself fired him?" Yes. The County Manager is responsible for all issues related to personnel, and he only has to get approval from the Board of Commissioners when he hires a department head.

[Note from the Editor: Chief Danny Henderson's personnel file does not contain any reprimands or citizen complaints about his job as Fire Chief. This is where I obtained a copy of his termination letter.] The termination letter dated December 21, 2010 reads as follows: "This letter is to inform you that, as of December 31, 2010, you are hereby terminated as Fire Chief and Department Head for the Pike County Volunteer Fire Department, pursuant to the Pike County Personnel Policies and Procedures, Chapter 36 of the Pike County Code of Ordinances, 36.19, Separations. Pursuant to your status as an at-will employee of Pike County, this involuntary separation may or may not be related to your conduct as an employee/department head." It is signed by County Manager Bill Sawyer.

[Note from the Editor: The rumors that have been flying around this county about our County Fire Department are disgusting. If you don't know something for a fact, you might want to think real hard about not passing that bottle of poison around. That includes on the internet. Fire Auxilliary President Teri Totten made a statement after the meeting that tells what I have seen about a majority of the volunteer fire personnel that I have come in contact with in Pike County: "We are volunteers. We do this from the heart. And we are professional." I agree. Thank you to Chief Danny Henderson for his service over the past two years as the Fire Chief. Thank you to our volunteer fire fighters for your work to keep our county safe. And thank you to fire fighter families for sacrificing your time and even special occasions as your loved ones fight fires in our county.]

Update 1.6.10
[Note from the Editor: I have asked all of the Commissioners, the County Manager, and the County Attorney to begin work on the Personnel Manual which is in dire need of work so it can be used in the future. Hopefully a Personnel Manual will help to direct employees as well as the County in the future. Having a file of complaints without written documentation that says that an investigation was undertaken and what action was taken is not fair to employees and makes the county look bad.]

12.29.10
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SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
DECEMBER 15, 2010 - 9:00 AM

This was one of the shortest Board of Commissioner meetings in the history of the county. Very little discussion before the measure went through and the meeting was over by about 9:03 a.m. All five commissioners were present along with County Clerk Teresa Watson, County Manager Bill Sawyer, and County Attorney Tom Morton.

I. CALL TO ORDER …………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

IV. NEW BUSINESS

1. Approval/denial of the elimination of County fire fees / First Reading. County Manager recommends elimination: This does not eliminate current fire fees. It does ensure that the Fire Department budget will be included in next year's county budget and that there will be no fire fees on future tax bills. Current fire fees collected will not be co-mingled with county funds. There is no estimate at this time how much the millage rate will have to be increased due to this action. More information will be known about the millage rate as the Fire Department goes through the budget process. The County Manager said that the county will be diligent and thinks that it may be less than the current $50 per parcel that is being charged in the fire fee process. Motion for the second reading and motion to approve the first reading. Approved 4-0.

Second reading will be at a Special Called Meeting on December 29, 2010 at 9 a.m.

2. Approval/denial of the 2011 Beer and Wine License for Jake & Gianella’s Food Mart, 12471 Highway 18, Williamson, GA 30292. Approved 4-0.

V. ADJOURNMENT: 9:03 a.m.

The Pike County Fire Department Ordinance states that Pike County will continue to provide fire prevention, fire fighting and other fire/emergency related services as are authorized by law or agreement. Pike County will also continue to adhere to state requirements. It also states that Pike County intends to ratify the existing intergovernmental agreements for the Pike County Fire Department. And the County Manager will have oversight of the Fire Department--as been the case all along--Note from the Editor and all that.

After the meeting, I spoke with County Manager Bill Sawyer about the elimination of fire fees. He said that 80% of his complaints in the first three to six months involved taxes from the Fire Department with as many as eleven in one day. Complaints came from owners from small parcels to large parcels and those on a fixed income. It was a problem that needed to be dealt with.

CM Sawyer went on to say that it is unfair of the county to continue to grow when everyone's revenue has fallen."I firmly believe that when we get through from a budgetary point of view, the cost per person will certainly be less than $50 per person," he said.

However, in the midst of the discussion of fire fees, CM Sawyer made a point to compliment Pike County Emergency Services volunteers. "When I came here six months ago, our First Responders were really good, but in six months we have, in my opinion, the finest First Responders in this area. They will save your life and they know what they are doing," he said. "So [the elimination of fire fees] is nothing to do with the First Responders or the Fire Department," he said.

When asked what the importance was of eliminating fire fees before the new year begins, he said that he and the commissioners have dealt with the issue of fire fees since he has been here. He said that they discussed it and everyone agreed that it needed to be taken care of before the first of the year so that everyone will know that fire fees will not be on their next tax bill. He went on to say that citizens voiced their complaints about the fire fees and this action is a result of their complaints because the County Manager and the Commissioners were listening to them.

CM Sawyer finished out the interview by saying, "This is nothing to do with [Fire Chief] Danny Henderson." This is about what is best for the county, he said, and people are taxed too much.

12.15.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

The Commission meeting was brief this morning with all commissioners present with the exception of Parrish Swift, County Manager Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ............................................................ Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of November 30, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS: None.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report • Update on County finances • Update on County projects • Other topics as required
General Fund $217,512.54 (previous report - $39,000); Cash Reserves $332,218.89 (previous report - $232,218.89); Jail Fund $20,000 (previous report - $19,396.73); Impact Fees $176,083.98 (previous report - $176,083.98); E-911 $8,419.80 (previous report - $6,676.16); Fire Fund $124,748.30 (previous report - $90,452.99); DARE (Drug Abuse) Fund $9,897.51 (previous report - $9,530.19); Juvenile Court $28,599.23 (previous report - $27,958.96); General Obligation Sales Tax Bond/Sinking Fund $757,009.78 (previous report - $757,009.78); Question was asked when this bond was due to be paid. Was advised that it is due in December and that the county has collected almost enough to pay this from sales taxes collected in the county. Revenue is still coming in from the past SPLOST since the state sends it to the county about two months after it is collected.

County Commissioner Reports: • Commissioner Roosevelt Willis: Thanked the commissioners for their working relationship. Thanked citizens for giving him the opportunity to serve for four years. Thanked County Clerk Teresa Watson for stepping in as Interim County Manager when the county didn't have one and a job well done. Thanks to County Manager Bill Sawyer for coming to Pike County under the circumstances, getting the county on the right track and keeping us there. Thanks to Rob and Tom Morton for the work that they have done and advise that they've given. And he wished success to incoming commissioners. Commended Todd Goolsby for the tremendous improvement and work at Public Works. • Commissioner Don Collins: Had surgery in early November and this is his first meeting back. Commended CM Sawyer, County Clerk Watson, and Chairman Mangham for keeping him informed.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Thanked CM Sawyer and County Clerk Watson for their work over the past year. Thanked Commissioners Willis and Swift for their service. Wished everyone happy holidays and merry Christmas.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Consider approval, on second reading, an Outdoor Landscape Watering Ordinance (no changes from first reading on November 30, 2010) and authorize execution by Chairman. County Manager and Staff recommend approval. Motion to approve. 3-0.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Consider appointments to the following County boards, commissions and authorities.

McIntosh Trail Community Service Board (one 3-yr. term) Meets Monthly, Expires 12-31-13: One application from Timothy Daniel. Motion to appoint. 3-0.

Pike County Environmental Review Board (one 3-yr. term expired-one app) Meets As Needed, Expires 12-31-12: One application from Trisha Dabbs. Motion to appoint. 3-0.

Pike County Water & Sewer Authority (one 5-yr term) Meets Monthly, Expires 12-31-14: Applications from current member David Brisendine and Ron Snowden. Motion to reappoint David Brisendine. 3-0.

Two Rivers R C & D Council (Annual-one apptd. member and one alternate) Meets 3 Times per Year, Expires 12-31-11: Applications from current members Tom Lacey and George Norris. Motion to reappoint both members. 3-0.

2. Approval/denial of year-end budget amendments for FY 2009/10 as recommended by auditor: Staff and officers recommend the following budget adjustments - Tax Assessor's Office $10,810; District Attorney's Office $5; Debt Service $31; Fire Fund $475,500; Law Library $1468; and Law Enforcement $2868. Commissioners asked about each of the adjustments. The biggest being the Fire Fund adjustment. This was for the grant for equipment that was adjusted on the year end. Motion to approve. 3-0.

3. Approval/denial of request of Lyn Smith, 7696 Ga. Highway 109, Molena for waiver of fire fee: Chairman Mangham stepped down on this one and Commissioner Willis took the gavel. Motion to postpone until January. 3-0.

4. Approval/denial of Resolution for a called March 15, 2011 SPLOST referendum. County Manager and County Attorney recommend approval. This SPLOST will would raise approximately $5,400,000 to be used for Courthouse renovation and repairs on roads, bridges, and streets. A General Obligation Debt for $2,400,000 allows the county to proceed on renovations to the Courthouse immediately. United Bank was the low bidder on this item. The next available Special Election date is March 15, 2011. Motion to approve. 3-0. County Attorney Rob Morton sending a letter to the Department of Justice for their notification. Motion to allow the County Manager to enter into an agreement with United Bank for the General Obligation Debt. Motion to approve. 3-0.

5. Approval/denial to add Robert Curtis Drive (the drive to Pike County Public Works, located off Twin Oaks Road), as a new road to the Pike County road system. County Manager recommends approval. Motion to approve. 3-0.

6. Approval/denial of 2011 application for Retail License for the sale of Beer only for Victoria Wright, d/b/a Turner’s Grocery, 1830 Pedenville Road, Concord. Applicant has met criteria and approval is recommended. Motion to approve. 3-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. ADJOURNMENT: 9:17 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
12.8.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING - AGENDA
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ............................................................ Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of November 10, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS: None

Everyone was present with the exception of Commissioner Don Collins. County Manager (CM) Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob MOrton were present too.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report • Update on County finances • Update on County projects • Other topics as required. From the Post Agenda: General Fund $39,000 (previous report - $31,865); Cash Reserves $232,218.89 (previous report - $232,203); Jail Fund $19,396.73 (previous report - $19,156); Impact Fees $176,083.98 (previous report - $176,83.98); E-911 $6,676.16 (previous report - $6,775); Fire Fund $90,452.99 (previous report - $90,606); DATE (Drug Abuse) Fund $9,530.19 (previous report - $11,853); Juvenile Court $27,958.96 (previous report - $27,538); General Obligation Sales Tax Bond/Sinking Fund $757,009.78 (previous report - $674,700)
• Said that the State Water Planning Board met in Pike County today to discuss state water business. Met with two industrial prospects over the past two weeks. Will be meeting with them again this week.

C. Commissioner Reports: • District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None. • District 2 Parrish Swift - Said that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve citizens in Pike County. Wished good luck and patience to incoming elected officials. Thanked the employees for their commitment and said that he thought that people currently in place are confident, capable, and committed. Also thanked CM Bill Sawyer for his commitment, for coming to Pike County, and for his expertise dealing with county matters. • District 3 Tommy Powers - Said that someone called about a pipe that has been resolved through Public Works.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Consider appointments to the following County boards, commissions and authorities.

McIntosh Trail Community Service Board (one 3-yr. term expired-no applications) Meets Monthly. No applications.

Pike County Environmental Review Board (two 3-yr. terms expired-one application) Meets As Needed. Expires 12-31-12. Motion to appoint John Morrison. Approved 3-0.

2. Consider approval, on first reading, of an Outdoor Landscape Watering Ordinance. County Attorney to address and provide Ordinance at meeting. Motion to approve first reading. Discussion: This is mandated by the State of Georgia for conservation and will be in place according to House Bill 370 prior to the January 1, 2011 deadline set by this law. Restriction on Outdoor Watering of Landscape between the hours of 4 pm to 10 am. No limitations on commercial crops, livestock or poultry; capturing and reusing cooling system condensate or storm water or reuse of gray water or reclaimed water within specific guidelines; watering of personal food gardens; watering of plant, seed or turf in landscapes, golf courses, etc. for 30 days after installation; drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses; hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container; no limits on private wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property with a well or surface water; watering horicultural crops for sale, resale, or installation; watering athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas, installation, maintenance or calibration of irrigation systems; or hydroseeding. Pike County Code Enforcement divisiion of the Department of Planning Development shall enforce this ordinance and violations will go before Magistrate Court. Two commissioners voiced their disapproval with the State of Georgia mandating what Pike County has to do. Approved 3-0.

3. Consider request from David M. Rawlins to exempt from the $150 special fire assessment the unimproved Parcel #068 022 C, totaling .46 acres. CM recommended approval. Motion to approve. 3-0.

4. Consider request of William and Susie Adair, 1010 Day Road, Meansville, Parcel #073 005 A, Tract B-3, requests a waiver of the $50 fire fee assessed on the unimproved .93 acres of a 20 acre parcel, that portion of which lies in Pike County. The remainder of his tract, along with his residence, lies in Upson County and is serviced by an Upson County Volunteer Fire Department, to whom they pay an annual fire fee and from whom any dispatch would come in case of a fire on his property. CM recommended approval. Motion to approve. 3-0.

5. Consider 2011 application renewals for Retail License for the sale of Malt Beverages and/or Wine:
- Mitul R. Patel, d/b/a Caddie’s Corner, 10030 U.S. Highway 19 N, Zebulon. Motion to approve. 3-0.
- Saifullah N. Bhamani, d/b/a The Rock Store, 4131 Highway 19 S, Zebulon. Motion to approve. 3-0.
- Dolores Ferguson, d/b/a Ferguson’s, 6834 Highway 362, Concord. Motion to approve. 3-0.
- Nawaid Sadiq, d/b/a Mountain View Convenience Store, 3181 Highway 19, Meansville. Motion to approve. 3-0.

6. Consider renewal for 2011 the following applications for Retail License for the sale of Beer Only:
- Dexter Whitlock, d/b/a DG&I Holdings, LLC/The Country Store, 3402 Hwy 362 W, Williamson. Motion to approve. 3-0.
- Jack L. Park, Jr., d/b/a The Cedars Golf Course, 13080 Highway 18, Zebulon. Motion to approve. 3-0.
- Jack L. Park, Jr., d/b/a The Pines Golf Course, 3094 Reidsboro Road, Williamson. Motion to approve. 3-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
1. Mollie Awtrey desires to address the Board. Ms. Awtrey asked some questions to the Commissioners about finances. Specifically about the Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) that the county received earlier this year. Asked how much was borrowed and how the county has worked to pay that back. Asked what the county is doing to reduce taxes. Suggested that the county accept payments from citizens on a monthly basis for December tax bill beginning in January of each year. Payments would go into dedicated accounts and earn money all year long that would earn interest and be used to sustain the county.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: 6:48 p.m.
1. County Attorney desires a Closed Session to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1). Back into Regular Session at 7:08 p.m.

Chairman Doug Mangham gave Commissioner Parrish Swift a plaque of appreciation from the county for his term of service as a commissioner. Today was Commissioner Swift's last Commission meeting. He received applause from the audience and a standing ovation from the other Commissioners. [Note from the Editor: This was a very fitting way to thank this Commissioner who has served for the past four years. Commissioners get paid a very small paycheck for the hours that they work answering phone calls, attending meetings, answering questions, asking questions, going out to look at problems that they get calls about, and just in general working for the county. Thank you to outgoing Commissioners Parrish Swift and Roosevelt Willis for their service over the past four years. Thank you to incoming Commissioners Tamra Jarrett and Carol Bass for being willing to serve.]

XI. ADJOURNMENT: 7:09 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
11.30.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ............................................................ Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of October 26, 2010.

All of the commissioners were present with the exception of Don Collins who was absent. County Manager Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton were present.

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. Consider Proclamation declaring November 19-25, 2010 as Farm-City Week. See photo on the We are Pike County page.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report: • Update on County finances • Update on County projects • Other topics as required. From the Post Agenda: General Fund $31,865; Jury Account $0; Cash Reserves $232,203; Jail Fund $19,156; Residential Impact Fees $176,084; Commercial Impact Fees $6533; E-911 $6,775; Fire Fund $90,606; DATE Fund $11,853; Juvenile Court $27,538; General Obligation Sales Tax Bond/Sinking Fund $674,700. * County Offices will be closed tomorrow for Veterans Day. An industrial prospect "is still ongoing." Bid work on Caldwell Bridge Road has been submitted to the state. Should hear something on this soon. Low bid was around $31,000. A county crew is working with GDOT in Meansville this week.

C. Commissioner Reports: From the Post Agenda:
District 1 – Commissioner Willis noted that with regard to the Minutes of October 26 just approved, on Page 2 Item 4 he was erroneously shown as seconding that motion, which he did not do as he was serving as Chairman at the time in Chairman Mangham’s absence. The second was made by Commissioner Collins. Minutes will be so adjusted.
District 2 – Commissioner Swift advised he was concerned about the Meansville residents who are in essence unprotected with regard to ISO ratings. He suggested that the County needs to check to make sure it does not have adverse exposure in this situation. County Manager Sawyer noted the Fire Department there will say he was present at their meeting this week to address this as expeditiously as possible. The County Manager noted that within 30 days this should be finalized in a positive way. Regarding the Fire Chief, Commissioner Swift noted Fire Chief Danny Henderson is not a volunteer, but rather a part-time paid employee with no benefits. County Manager Sawyer said he considered him a volunteer who is paid a part-time stipend, but he was not sure about any contract description of the position. Commissioner Swift recalled that when the Board elected to pay the Fire Chief, his designation as a part-time employee was their consideration. The County, in his opinion, neither needs nor can afford to pay a full-time Fire Chief. The County’s level of participation for employee health insurance in the next budgetary process needs to be adjusted. The County pays 85% of both employees and dependent coverage, and employees pay 15% of that premium. Commissioner Swift said, with no disrespect, he cannot understand why the County pays 85% of dependents’ coverage in particular. He suggests the County pay 100% of employees and perhaps none on dependents, taking the difference and establishing some type of retirement program for employees.
District 3 – Commissioner Powers had no comments.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Consider appointments to the following County boards, commissions and authorities.

McIntosh Trail Community Service Board (one 3-yr. term expired) Meets Monthly: No applications received.

Pike County Environmental Review Board (two 3-yr. terms expired) Meets As Needed 12-31-12: No applications received.

Three Rivers Regional Commission (one 1-yr. term expires 12-31-10) Meets Monthly 12-31-11: Motion to reappoint Fred Roney. Approved 3-0.

2. Consider issuance of a call to place a proposed SPLOST on a March 2011 referendum for a suggested five-year levy to generate approximately $4.8 to $5.4 million, based on zero-growth projections: Motion to authorize the County Manager to move forward on this with 1/2 of SPLOST funds being designated for Courthouse repairs and 1/2 for improvements to roads and bridges. Noted that it costs $180,000 to pave one mile. $2.5 million will be designated for roads and bridges and will have to be spent on roads and bridges according to the referendum. Approved 3-0.

3. Review Board meeting schedule for remainder of 2010 for any holiday adjustments: Motion to cancel final meeting in December (12.28.10). Approved 3-0.

4. Consider approval of the Pike County Holiday Schedule for 2011: A concern was given about 11 paid holidays. Commissioner Willis noted that this is more than some companies offer. Was advised that these holidays follow the state schedule and these are listed in our Code of Ordinances. Motion to approve 3-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

Mollie Awtrey signed onto the clipboard that lays on the desk in front of the Commissioners to record the names of those who speak in County Commission meetings and asked to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. Commissioner Parrish Swift made a motion to amend the agenda and allow Ms. Awtrey to speak. There was no second so the motion died for lack of a second. The CM explained to Ms. Autrey what the protocol is in order to get onto the Agenda and be allowed to speak to the Board of Commissioners on the record. This requires notice to be given to the County Clerk at least four days prior to each County Commission meeting. It was explained that she could submit her comments in the Town Hall Meetings as well. She wanted her comments to be on the record and did not want to submit them in the 15 minute Town Hall Meeting prior to each County Commission meeting. The meeting was then adjourned without further comment at 9:22 a.m. [Note from the Editor: This was a no win situation for all involved. Pike County has a Meeting Protocol Ordinance that says you have to follow the rules in order to speak on the record in a county meeting. Those rules came at least in part from being sued more than once for not following the rules. I will be the first to say that I raise cane when the rules are not followed or something is slipped onto an agenda and the public does not have adequate notice about an item on the agenda. I have removed some of this post because it was being taken in a way that I didn't write it and added the following: I commend the following of rules and hope that the public comment rule will be followed the same for everyone from here on out. Call 770-567-3406 for more information about getting onto the agenda or if you need a way to contact your commissioner.] ]

X. ADJOURNMENT: 9:22 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
11.8.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

All five commissioners were present along with County Clerk Teresa Watson, County Manager Bill Sawyer, and County Attorney Rob Morton. We began with the Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance and the approval of minutes from the October 13, 2010 meeting.

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. Consider Proclamation declaring November 7, 2010 as Retired Educators Day. The Proclamation was read aloud, signed and presented to Mrs. Ann Yearwood in the meeting. Look for a picture on the We Are Pike County page soon.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Motion to approve. 4-0

B. County Manager Report • Update on County finances, • Update on County projects, • Other topics as required: General Fund Balance - $331,294.55 ($39,463.75-last meeting); Cash Reserve - $132,203.46 ($32,199.23-last month); Jail Fund - $21,692.65 ($22,305.42-last month); Impact Fees - $176,083.98 ($177,808.70-last month); E-911 Operations Account - $70,199.57 ($13,227.61-last month); Fire Fund - $101,504.24($132,928.41-last month); Drug Abuse (DATE) Fund - $11,853.21 (last month-$11,853.21); Juvenile Court - $26,978.24 ($26,978.24-last month); General Obligation Sales Tax Bond Repayment - $674,699.50 ($511,314.46-last month) * The County Manager said that "finances are much better off" this month. * Invited the Commisioners to attend a meeting with the Water Planning Board from the State of Georgia when it is hosted in Pike County on November 30th. * Said that the Georgia Department of Transportation has agreed to pay something on Caldwell Bridge Road but not agreed to a final amount yet. Still in negotiation. * Thanked the Constitutional Officers for holding their expenses in line for the last five months. Said that our finances are in better shape today than they have been in the past six to seven months.

C. Commissioner Reports
Commissioner Roosevelt Willis District 1: None
Commissioner Parrish Swift District 2: Asked about the status of payments by Shawn Shoats. The County Attorney advised that he would have this information at the next meeting.
Commissioner Tommy Powers District 3: None
Commissioner Don Collins District 4: As the representative for the Three Rivers Board, he invited all of the commissioners to attend the Three Rivers Board meeting on the 28th.
Chairman of the BOC Doug Mangham: None.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

Update 10.27.10:

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Public Hearing: Consider input regarding Special Exception SE-10-05 – Request by Loyd D. Thomas and Cherry H. Thomas for a private family cemetery in an A-R (Agricultural-Residential) zoning district. : Requesting a 1/4 acre private family cemetary on their property. Planning and Zoning Director David Allen advised that none of the neighbors have an objection to this. Not visible from the road and not close to any stream, etc. None spoke for or against this.

2. Consider for approval Special Exception SE-10-05 – Request by Loyd D. Thomas and Cherry H. Thomas for a private family cemetery in an A-R (Agricultural-Residential) zoning district. County Manager and Board of Appeals recommend approval of Special Exception. : The Board of Appeals approved this and Staff recommended approval as well. Motion to approve. 4-0.

3. Richard L. Lewis, 1224 Day Road, Meansville, requests a waiver of the $50 fire fee assessed on the unimproved 1.92 acres of a 4.09 acre parcel, that portion of which lies in Pike County. The remainder of his tract, along with his residence, lies in Upson County and is serviced by the Northside Volunteer Fire Department, to whom he pays an annual fire fee. Upson County 911 would be the entity that would dispatch the Upson Northside Volunteer Fire Department in case of a fire on his property. County Manager recommends exemption of this parcel from the assessment of Fire District Fee. : CM Sawyer recommended that this matter be approved. Motion to approve. 4-0.

4. Doug Mangham, Power of Attorney for Teresa M. Burousas, requests adjustment to tax assessment for 2010 for Parcel #029-029 since the dwelling burned in August 2009 and he notified the Office of Tax Assessors on October 23, 2009 requesting: a) that the home’s value be removed to reduce the tax bill, which for 2010 is a reduction of $1585.54, from the original $2012.30 to a reduced $426.76 and b) that a refund for 2009 be issued for a reduction of $607.12, from the original $1801.61 to a reduced $1194.49 as computed by the previous Chief Tax Appraiser to prorate for the burned dwelling. County Manager recommends adjustment for 2010 and refund for 2009 as noted. The Board of Assessors recommended denial of the adjustment since a timely return was not filed. : Chairman Doug Mangham stepped out of the room and Commissioner Roosevelt Willis assumed the gavel during this part of the meeting. County Attorney Morton advised that the Board of Commissioners had discretion on this matter. Advised that Doug Mangham had spoken to the former Chief Tax Appraiser about this matter soon after it occurred but proper procedure was not followed with a return being filed with that office. The BOC has approved similar losses like this with a reduction on the house only and not on the land. One refund was given in a meeting two weeks ago that was similar to this situation. Motion to approve 3-0.

Update 11.1.10:

5. Consider appointments to the following County boards, commissions and authorities.
New Term (Entity is listed, When it meets, and When Terms Expire)
J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board (three 3-yr. terms expiring) Quarterly 8-31-13
J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board (one 3-yr. unexpired term vacated) Quarterly 8-31-11
There were four vacancies and four applications. Kathy Zellner, Lou Ann Fowler, and Peter Potter will be sitting into the three year terms. Tamara Teachout will be taking the unexpired term. The four vacancies were approved with one motion. 4-0. [Note from the Editor: Thank you to those who ensured that the names were read out to the public as well as who was appointed to which term. I know it takes a few minutes to read out who is applying for a position, but even reading just the names is a help to those in the audience who would like to know this information.]
Pike Industrial Development Authority (three 4-yr. terms expiring) Monthly 10-31-14: There were three applications for these three positions. David Nix, Randy Schultz, and County Manager Bill Sawyer. Motion to approve 4-0. [Note from the Editor: It is a regular practice in many neighboring counties for someone from county government to serve on the IDA. I didn't know this until I asked around after the meeting.]
Pike County Planning Commission (one 3-yr. term expiring) Monthly 11-27-13: There were two applications for this position. Motion to appoint David Brisendine. Collins with 2nd by Swift. 2-3 with Chairman Mangham voting against this motion with Willis and Powers. Motion by Willis with 2nd by Powers to reappoint John Morrison. 4-0.
Pike County Environmental Review Board (two 3-yr. terms expired) As Needed 12-31-12: There were no applications for these appointments.

6. Discussion of SPLOST for a possible 2011 referendum: The intent of the Pike County Board of Commissioners is to move forward with a Referendum on Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for March. The current proposal is for a 5 year SPLOST to collect appromately $5 million. 1/2 of those funds to be used for the renovation of the Pike County Courthouse and 1/2 to pay for roads and bridges. The County Manager asked that this be placed on the agenda for the first meeting in November. Motion to put it on the November agenda. 4-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Executive Session was added on 10.26.10.
1. County Manager desires consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved, with regard to Magistrate Court, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1). Executive Session began at 6:55 p.m. Back into session at 7:07 p.m. County Attorney Rob Morton asked the Board of Commissioners to entertain a motion to authorize the county attorney to finalize an agreement with the Chief Magistrate and authorize the County Manager to sign an agreement based on the issues involving an associate Magistrate Court Clerk and other clerical personnel within budgetary constraints. [Note from the Editor: This is almost verbatim from the tape. There were open positions that were not filled when Magistrate Marcia Callaway-Ingram was placed into office.] Motion to approve. 4-0.

Motion to adjourn 7:10 p.m.

X. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
10.26.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five commissioners were present along with County Manager (CM) Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton.

The meeting began with the removal of #4 from New Business: policy on appointments to County boards, commissions, and authorities.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ............................................................ Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of September 28, 2010: Approved 4-0.

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. Howard Rawlins, Zebulon, desires to address the Board: Howard had questions about the fire tax--how it worked and where the money goes. Asked about forestry and whether the county contributes to it. The answer is yes. Complaints about having to pay city and county fire tax last year. Since the fire department is all a county entity this has been resolved. Complained about paying a separate tax on 5 contiguous lots. This will be changed on next year's bill. Asked about whether the fire trucks would respond to fire on his property that is wooded and was told that they will go where authorized by the Fire Chief and will go where needed to protect the welfare and safety of citizens.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Accepted 4-0.

B. County Manager Report • Update on County finances, • Update on County projects, • Other topics as required: General Fund Balance - $39,463.75 ($75,193.19-last meeting); Cash Reserve - $32,199.23 ($32,199.23-last month); Jail Fund - $22,305.42 ($20,615.05-last month); Impact Fees - $177,808.70 ($171,047.23-last month); E-911 Operations Account - $13,227.61 ($14,000-last month); Fire Fund - $132,928.41 ($130,671.32-last month); Drug Abuse (DATE) Fund - $11,853.21 (last month-$11,536); Juvenile Court - $26,978.24 ($26,937.70-last month); General Obligation Sales Tax Bond Repayment - $511,314.46 ($511,314.46-last month) * CM Sawyer advised that the Department of Transportation is still reviewing Caldwell Bridge Road. They have authorized some of the money but not the entire amount. Should know something within the next couple of weeks. * Said that 6/10 of a mile will be repaved by the state very soon. More below with Commissioner Reports.

C. Commissioner Reports:
Commissioner Roosevelt Willis District 1: Asked some specifics about Reidsboro Road where he had received a phone call about it. Repairs have been done on the section of road by our Road Department in preparation for this and the repairs are supposed to be started by November 15th. * Said that Rufus Clemmons from the Boys & Girls Club of Pike County extended a special invitation to the County Commissioners and the County Manager to attend a special activity on Thursday, October 21, 2010 from 4-6 p.m. [Note from the Editor: The Boys & Girls Clubs’ Lights On Afterschool Rally & Fall Festival at 480 2nd Street Concord, GA on October 21, 2010. Everyone is welcome. More on the Calendar of Events page: All participants within and around our community is invited to attend. We will be selling such things as baked goods and fresh lemonade. Participants also will get the opportunity to tour our club and hear about the wonderful things Boys & Girls Clubs offer. The event will highlight three of the significant contributions that afterschool programs make to our youth today: keeping kids safe and healthy, inspiring them to learn, and relieving working parents of worries about their children's activities during the afterschool hours. Hundreds of parents, supporters and community members are expected to attend.]
Commissioner Parrish Swift District 2: None
Commissioner Tommy Powers District 3: What happened with Public Works and stop sign, etc. in Meansville? Was advised that this was taken to the GA DOT a couple of months ago.
Commissioner Don Collins District 4: None.
Chairman of the BOC Doug Mangham: None.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

Update 10.14.10:

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Consider, on second reading, Text amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.170 Purpose through Section 156.279 Development Standards for M-2C Districts, to provide for revisions to text. With no further changes since first reading, Staff recommends approval of amendments as presented. : An explanation for C-2 Districts #20 A&B. Printing and mechanical shops are not allowed to have more than 4 employees. CM Sawyer asked for the expanation. Planning and Zoning Director David Allen said that the intent is that printing businesses can be noisy and active. Heavy use with more employees may be more suitable to heavy commercial or light industrial, not suitable to C-2. Commissioner Tommy Powers said that he had a problem with restricting employees period. Said that people were trying to make money. CM asked if a business could apply for a variance if more than 4 employees. Was told yes. However, County Attorney Rob Morton said that this is related to a zoning district and the difference between a small printing company and a large one with an assumption that a large one would have more noise, etc. Motion to approve 4-0.

2. Consider, on second reading: A) Revisions to the Official Zoning Map of Pike County to correct zoning districts and boundaries of the following commercially zoned properties located on Hwy. 19 North: 075 090A; 077 -017A; 077 019; 077 020; 066 046G; 066 046A; 066 046B; 066 046E; 066 046M; 066 046; 066 046F; and 066 046L; and B) Readoption of the Official Zoning Map to accurately reflect correct zoning districts/boundaries of commercially zoned properties located on Hwy. 19 North as listed above. With no further changes since first reading, Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval of Amendments and Official Zoning Map. : Motion to approve 4-0.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Adopt, by Resolution, the Pike County Capital Improvements Element 2009 Annual Update in order to maintain the County’s Qualified Local Government status. Staff recommends adoption of the Capital Improvements Element 2009 Annual Update as transmitted on July 27 and approved by Department of Community Affairs on August 23, 2010, with no second reading required. : Commissioner Parrish Swift asked if this would be a good time to amend percentages and was told no because the hearings have been held already. This is simply submitting it to the DCA in order for the county to keep Qualified Local Government status. Approved 4-0.

2. Consider renewal of 2011 Alcoholic (Pouring) License for Barnstormer’s Grill, 349 Jonathan’s Roost Road, Williamson, GA 30292. Staff recommends approval of policy as presented, and applicant has met criteria. : Commissioner Roosevelt Willis clarified that this is for beer and wine and not a pouring license for liquor by the drink. Liquor by the drink would have to be voted on by the county before it is allowed and it is not currently allowed in our county. The renewal was approved 4-0.

3. Ralph Clay, 29 Roundtree Way, Williamson, Georgia requests a tax refund request for property on which a dwelling burned on 10-3-09. Board of Assessors recommends denial. Staff recommends approval. : The Tax Assessor's Office sent a letter that outlines its position for denial showing where there are certain deadlines that must be met in order for this refund to be approved through the Tax Assessor's Office. The Tax Assessor's Office did what it was required to do by following the rules because the rules say that taxes are due on January 1st. The CM agreed with the law but asked the Board of Commissioners to show compassion to give a prorata share reduction on this property in which a house burned. Commissioner Swift pointed out that the Commissioners have shown compassion in a case like this almost every time that it came before them. Motion to approve 4-0.

4. Consider recommended policy on appointments to County boards, commissions and authorities. Staff recommends approval of policy as presented. : This was removed from the agenda per the staff's recommendation at the beginning of the meeting. [Note from the Editor: When this agenda was released to the public prior to the meeting, a lot of questions were asked about this policy. A social security number must be given for a background check to be conducted. Some support an across the board requirement for anyone applying for a position on a board in the county to complete a background check. Some are very much against this. Currently, the only county boards that require a background check are those that deal with children like the Family and Children Services Board. (This is different from those already required to have a background check through individual authorities like the Rec Authority. Anyone working as a coach, etc. through the Recreation Authority is required to pass a rigid background check.) I am under the impression that this is to make things uniform for county boards but have found no requirements through the state for this and some counties require a background check for every board and some don't. I am a privacy advocate and fought against across the board background checks the first time it came up and am not in support of this now either. I think it should be mandatory for anyone applying for a board position that deals with children to have a background check, but I make a distinction between those boards dealing with children and sitting on boards that do not such as the Planning Board or Board of Assessors. I don't think that it is necessary.]

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION : 9:26 a.m.
1. County Manager desires a discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, with regard to a requested budgetary increase in the Magistrate Court, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6). : No decision. Came back into session at 10:15 a.m. [Note from the Editor: According to what I was told when I asked about the wording of this Executive Session, this was about the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, etc. and not specifically about a budget increase in this office. However, I have to point out that I appreciate the thoroughness of our agendas and the explanation that accompanies every item on our agenda. It is very easy to read and know what we are dealing with.]

XI. ADJOURNMENT: Motion to adjourn at 10:15 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
10.13.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Tonight's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, County Manager (CM) Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

V. INVITED GUESTS - None

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved 4-0

B. County Manager Report: General Fund Balance - $75,193.19; Cash Reserve - $32,199.23; Jail Fund - $20,615.05; Impact Fees - $171,047.23; E-911 Operations Account - $14,000; Fire Fund - $130,671.32; Drug Abuse (DATE) Fund - $11,536; Juvenile Court - $26,937.70; General Obligation Sales Tax Bond Repayment - $511,314.46. The CM said that it looks like, at the end of this week and probably in the middle of next week that if taxes come in as we believe that they will, we will not have to borrow any more money and the county's finances will be much better than they were four months ago. The County has a clean audit of last year's books so far with just a few minor changes. In a few weeks, the Georgia Department of Transportation will let us know about the grant for Caldwell Bridge.

C. Commissioner Reports: No commissioners except for Commissioner Don Collins had anything to report. Commissioner Collins said that he had gotten several complaints during the last three weeks about prolonged outdoor testing at Yancey Brothers. He brought this to the CM's attention and CM Sawyer contacted Yancey Brothers to work out a temporary solution but said that he is hoping that the BOC can work with the CM and Yancey Brothers to make provisions to make things livable for their neighbors.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Said that he assisted the Tax Assessor's Office with some appeals that were going before the Board of Equalization and were able to resolve some appeal issues. There were only two out of twelve applications that were not resolved.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
1. Consider, on first reading, Text amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.170 Purpose through Section 156.279 Development Standards for M-2C Districts, to provide for revisions to text. Staff recommends approval of amendments as presented.: Amended the agenda to include a Public Hearing. Planning and Development Director David Allen advised that this matter had been properly advertised prior to the vote to amend the agenda. This was approved by the Planning Commission on September 9th. No one spoke in the public hearing. Approved 4-0.

2. Consider revisions to Official Zoning Map of Pike County to correct zoning districts/boundaries of the following commercially zoned properties located on Hwy. 19 North: 075 090A; 077 -017A; 077 019; 077 020; 066 046G; 066 046A; 066 046B; 066 046E; 066 046M; 066 046; 066 046F; and 066 046L, and readoption of the Official Zoning Map to accurately reflect correct zoning districts/boundaries of commercially zoned properties located on Hwy. 19 North as listed above. Staff recommends approval of amendments and Official Zoning Map as presented.: All but one of these were on the old zoning map and were not moved to the new zoning map. It was a simple clerical error according to Planning and Development Director David Allen. The one other property had one tract that was not zoned C-3 according to documentation that was given to the Commissioners. This change was made on the new zoning map as well. County Attorney Morton showed the new map to the Commissioners and requested to readings on this instead of one because it is changing the official law of the county. No one spoke in the public hearing. Approved 4-0.

3. Discuss Pike County Fire Fee flat rate structure. Staff recommends approval of fire fee restructuring.: The CM read the following: "Fire District fees were last amended on 3-30-10, going to a flat rate structure rather than the previously used method of appraised value on individual parcels. At the time the new ordinance was implemented: the former Chief Tax Appraiser Jeannie Haddock provided 345 as the number of identified parcels considered "Agribusiness and/or Commercial" for a billing of $150 each for fire district fee. When tax bills were sent out, that number actually swelled to 1800 parcels because this designation (Agribusiness and/or Commercial) was applied to all Agricultural parcels ... rather than just commercial and/or agribusiness. Proposed Action: Contact all 1800 property owners affected and advise that the $150 fire fee should be disregarded and instead replaced with a $50 fire fee which is what should have been billed to the preponderence of the parcels. The true agribusiness parcels of the original 345 identifed will also be billed only $50 instead of the originall intended $150 just as a matter of simplicity for resolution of the problem." So every property owner who has been affected by this situation will receive a notice from the county that their fire fee will be $50 rather than the $150 that was on the original tax bill even if they have a commercial or agribusiness on their property. The County Manager advised that staff is working to identify parcels and code them correctly so agribusiness will be differentiated from parcels with agricultural-residential designation.

[Note from the Editor: I want to commend the Commissioners, County Manager and County Clerk, Tax Commissioner and Tax Assessor and employees in those offices who worked to resolve this problem as soon as it was brought to their attention. The problem was unexpected and you handled it as quickly as possible. Thank you.]

Taxpayers with a question or a dispute about their tax bills can contact or come by the Tax Assessor's Office-770-567-2002, the Tax Commissioner's Office-770-567-2001, or the Board of Commissioner's Office-770-567-3406. Motion to approve the execution of this plan to reduce all 1,800 parcels to $50. Approved 4-0.

Update 9.29.10:

From here, the meeting became a huge discussion over whether or not to change the fire fee structure which would alter the Fire Department Budget for 2011-2012 because the entire budget for the Fire Department now comes from fire fees. Commissioner Tommy Powers said that he felt something needed to be done about fire fees. Commissioner Tommy Powers had asked that fire fees be put on the agenda for discussion. There were three proposals for reductions to the fire fees that would ultimately reduce the budget of the Fire Department. Proposal #1 was the one that Tommy wanted to see passed. It would have reduced agribusiness/commercial parcels from $150 to $75 and Industrial from $350 to $150 and ultimately reduced the 2011-2012 Fire Department budget by about $96,000. Click here to view the three proposals. Tommy read his proposal and made a motion to accept it. Here are just a few of the comments from the other four commissioners after Tommy made his motion: I just saw this tonight, it is important to tell the current fire fee amount and reductions, some things needed to be discussed before making a decision, and all of the proposals should be read. When Tommy did not want to read the other two proposals, CM Sawyer read them out loud. During this discussion, "All Other Parcels" was defined as basically vacant parcels with no improvements. It was also stated that some changes have been made such as making up to three contiguous lots will count as one fire fee and exemptions for lots that are less than one acre. Math for the reductions was read out in the meeting: #1-$96,000, #2-$126,000, and #3-$57,000. Parrish pointed out that the account is set up to save for capital improvements that may be needed if Meansville goes to a 10 and the county has to put in a fire station down in that end of the county. He asked where does the Fire Department get necessary funding to provide service if that happens? Roosevelt pointed out that the 2nd District Fire Station (Station 8) is is pretty bad shape too. Motion by Commissioner Tommy Powers to approve Proposal #1. Died for lack of a second. Motion by Commissioner Tommy Powers to approve Proposal #2. Died for lack of a second. Motion by Commissioner Tommy Powers to approve Proposal #3 to cut fire fees for the 2011-2012 year. Approved 4-0. [Note from the Editor: Tommy wasn't taking no for an answer and he didn't want anything discussed but his own proposal. I have a problem with that first of all because the public in that meeting deserved to know what was going on. Thank you to the other commissioners for asking that the other proposals be read out loud and thank you to the County Manager for reading the proposals. I have to go on and say that I also have a problem with cutting anyone's budget for next year without even giving that Department Head the benefit of a workshop to discuss it before the vote. Everyone else will get a workshop when budget time comes. This was not right. And I realize that there were a lot of phone calls from angry constituents/voters about the billing error, and I know that fire fees were not popular with some voters/constituents to begin with. But making a decision by just studying the numbers at the meeting looked like a knee-jerk reaction to a billing error. And I am putting that nicely. Maybe I shouldn't take politics so personal, but I thought it looked unprofessional for that vote to take place last night and I was embarrassed to have to sit in the room and watch it.]

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: 7:04 p.m.
1. County Manager desires a discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee in the Magistrate Court as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6): The agenda was amended to include "in the Magistrate Court" at the beginning of the meeting.: Exited at 7:27 p.m. No decision was made.

X. ADJOURNMENT: 7:27 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.

9.28.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five of the Commissioners were present along with County Clerk Teresa Watson, County Manager Bill Sawyer, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of August 31, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. Matt Bidwell, MSI Benefits Group, would like to address the Board as our insurance broker regarding biometric screenings for County employees: Cigna is going to provide a voluntary health risk assessment to county employees--blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, etc.--at no cost to the county. Then Cigna will set up wellness programs for county employees. This is open to spouses of county employees too. Medical personnel from Cigna will input the info into a program to give an overall report on the county's health to Cigna but said that the individual information would be kept confidential. Commissioner Parrish Swift asked if this would affect insurance rates. Mr. Bidwell said that it would not because "there would be a firewall" between the information and Cigna so Cigna will not get this information and therefore it will not affect insurance rates. This screening will be November 18 from 7 to 10 am and is NOT required of employees. Mr. Bidwell said that the objective is to find those who are high risk and work with them to help lower some of their risk factors. [Note from the Editor: The BOC did not vote on this. Apparently it was something that was agreed to with the Cigna contract or at an earlier time. I'm glad that the county is looking for ways to save money (it sounds like Cigna will give the county a break on its insurance for doing this program), but the program sounds highly invasive to employee privacy. A physical at a doctor's office (with lab work through the Health Dept or a doctor's office) will give the same information without the "help" of an insurance company.]
2. Pam McCollum desires to address the Board regarding the McIntosh Trail Community Service Board and solicit an appointee for the open Board position for Pike County.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report
• Update on County finances.
• Update on County projects.
• Other topics as required.

C. Commissioner Reports

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Consider, on second reading, Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116 Fire District Ordinance, §116.02 Definitions to add places of religious worship and an amendment to §116.06 Assessment Rates for the purpose of exempting said places of religious worship, as defined, from the collection of fire district fees. Staff and Counsel recommend approval with no changes noted since first reading.
2. Consider, on second reading, Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.007 Districts Established through Section 156.124 Duplex Residential (Repealed), to provide for revisions to text. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval-no changes noted since first reading.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
1. Consider revised Fee Schedule for the Department of Planning and Development Staff recommends approval

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
1. County Attorney requests Executive Session to discuss pending and/or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1).

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
9.9.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

This meeting was attended by all five commissioners, the County Manager, County Clerk, and County Attorney.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of August 11, 2010 and the Special Called Meeting of August 23, 2010.

Update 9.1.10:

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. George Norris will be attending with members of Boy Scout Troop #37 who are satisfying requirements for a Merit Badge in the area of Citizenship in the Community: This troop is sponsored by Life Springs Church. These scouts listened to what went on in the meeting and discussed it after the meeting to meet the requirements for their badge. Photo will be online soon.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report
• Update on County finances: General Fund Balance - $43,531; Cash Reserve - $32,194; Jail Fund - $125,868; Impact Fees - $168,401; E-911 - $47,607; Fire Fund - $153,116; DATE Fund - $13,550; Juvenile Court - $26,132; General Obligation Sales Tax Bond Sinking Fund - $425,365.
• Update on County projects: Caldwell Bridge Road repair was going to cost the county $130,000. Now expected to cost about $18,000. Hoping to see action on this project in the next 7 to 10 days.
• Other topics as required.
C. Commissioner Reports: District 1 Roosevelt Willis - No comment. * District 2 Parrish Swift - No comment. * District 3 Tommy Powers - Was advised that the water sample for Mr. Kendrick on Sheperd Road has been sent to the Department of Natural Resources a second time with a request for chemical analysis as well. This water had a strong odor which prompted the complaint. * District 4 Don Collins - Said that he thinks things are moving more smoothly than ever before. Commended the County Manager, the County Clerk, and employees for the county for this. * Chairman Doug Mangham - No comment.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION - 6:38 p.m.
1. County Attorney requests Executive Session to discuss pending and/or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1): Back into Session at 7:07 p.m.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Consider County Attorney’s recommendation regarding a call for a 2010 SPLOST: Commissioners voted to accept the County Attorney's recommendation not to move forward with the November call for the SPLOST because the county cannot meet the 90 day notice provision that was passed this year in HB 3540. Approved 4-0.

Update 9.2.10:

2. Consider request of Don Bailey and Friends of Pike County Animals to utilize Courthouse grounds for routine animal adoptions, provided the animals will be spayed/ neutered and properly cared for by adopting families and provided that personnel will satisfactorily clean up after animals, which will be vetted prior to display with no dangerous or potentially dangerous animals allowed. Sheriff advises allowance provided stipulations are maintained. : Commissioner Willis had a concern about whether citizens could be required to spay or neuter. Citizen Chris Curry advised that the pets will already be spayed and neutered prior to adoption. Motion to approve 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
1. PUBLIC HEARING: Consider public input for Text amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.007 Districts Established through Section 156.124 Duplex Residential (Repealed), to provide for revisions to text. : This is continuing with improvements to the code of ordinances in Pike County. Motion to Open Public Hearing. No one spoke. Closed.
2. Consider, on first reading, Text amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.007 Districts Established through Section 156.124 Duplex Residential (Repealed), to provide for revisions to text. Staff recommends approval of amendments as presented. : Motion to approve 4-0.
3. Consider appointment for two board vacancies to the Pike County Agribusiness Authority for Tom Lacey and Rex Yerkes, both of whom fill board positions that expired March 31, 2010. These are for three-years terms set to expire March 31, 2013. Recommended applicants have met criteria. : Motion to appoint Tom Lacey and Rex Yerkes. Approved 4-0.
4. Consider an amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116 Fire District Ordinance, §116.02 Definitions to add places of religious worship and an amendment to §116.06 Assessment Rates for the purpose of exempting said places of religious worship, as defined, from the collection of fire district fees. Staff recommends approval of amendments as drafted by counsel. : This exemption has been discussed in the past but never adopted. Motion to approve 4-0.

X. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person) : None.

XI. ADJOURNMENT : 7:15 p.m.

9.1.10
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PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS - SPECIAL CALLED MEETING AGENDA
Monday, August 23, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.
Pike County Courthouse Annex Meeting Room

I. CALL TO ORDER ......................................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG .............................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

III. ORDER OF BUSINESS
1. Consider Resolution to Adopt the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Pike County Tax Levy.

All five commissioners were present along with County Manager Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob Morton. After the meeting was opened, County Manager (CM) Bill Sawyer read the Pike County Tax Levy resolution aloud. Motion was then made to approve. Approved 4-0.

A RESOLUTION TO SET THE FISCAL YEAR 2010-2011 AD VALOREM PIKE COUNTY TAX LEVY

WHEREAS, Georgia Law authorizes the Pike County Board of Commissioners to levy and collect taxes, and said authority includes the setting of the mills, upon motion duly made and passed, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Pike County, Georgia, duly convened this 23rd day of August, 2010, that upon the County Tax Digest of $483,820,170, which represents the net digest value of all property taxable for County purposes in Pike County, Georgia as of the first day of January 2010, as appears upon the digest thereof; and upon all other taxable property in Pike County, Georgia, both real and personal, there be levied and collected for County purposes as authorized by law, a tax, ad valorem, for the year 2010-2011, the aggregate rate for all such purposes, of 12.864 mills or $12.864 per $1,000.00 of taxable property of assessed valuation in the County incorporated and unincorporated areas, which shall constitute a total tax levy for all such purposes of 12.864 mills, and that the same be collected by Tax Commissioner of said County at the same time and in the same manner as the tax levied by the State of Georgia, is collected, and when collected that the same shall be deposited by the Tax Commissioner with the treasurer of Pike County, Georgia, and that the treasurer’s office receipt be taken therefore, and pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 45-5-220 County Taxation, as applicable to-wit.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that on recommendation of the Board of Education of the Pike County School System, the following rates of taxation be likewise levied and collected, and when collected that the same be paid to the Board of Education of said County, as provided by law, to-wit: Based upon the net 2010 School Maintenance and Operation Digest of $486,289,571 , which represents the net digest value of all property taxable for educational purposes as listed on the Pike County Tax Digest, including school maintenance and operations in Pike County, and upon all other property in Pike County, both real and personal, there shall be levied a tax for education purposes, as provided by the Constitution and laws of Georgia: 13.563 mills or $13.563 per $1000.00 of assessed taxable property on the Pike County Digest.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED upon recommendation of the Pike County Board of Education, that upon the net 2010 School Bond Digest of $493,839,091, which represents the net digest value of all property taxable for the payment of educational bonded indebtedness, both real and personal, there be levied a tax, ad valorem, for the year of 2010-2011 for bond indebtedness in the amount of 2.417 mills or $2.417 per $1000.00 of the assessed valuation on the School Bond Digest, which shall constitute a total tax levy for the payment of School Bond indebtedness, and that this order be spread upon the minutes and that the same be advertised and posted in accordance with Section 48-5-232 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and the pertinent laws of Georgia. [End of Resolution]

IV. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Began at 9:03 a.m.
1. Discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer(s) or employee(s), countywide, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

Back into session at 9:27 a.m. Two motions were made as a result of the Executive Session.

Motion was made to approve County Manager Sawyer's recommendation for approval of a four day work week for Public Works effective September 1, 2010. This will be a 40 hour work week with hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a person will be on call as needed. Approved 4-0.

Motion was made to approve County Manager Sawyers's recommendation to reduce one employee from Public Works and one employee from the Planning and Development effective September 1, 2010. Approved 4-0.

V. ADJOURNMENT: 9:28 a.m.

[Note from the Editor: I spoke with Tax Commissioner Donna Boyt about the Tax Digest after the meeting and was advised that she will hand-deliver the Pike County Tax Digest to the State on Monday, August 30, 2010. Tax Commissioner Boyt said that she is hoping to get tax bills out to residents by September 20, 2010.]

8.23.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

This meeting was attended by four of the Commissioners, County Clerk Teresa Watson to take minutes, County Manager Bill Sawyer, and County Attorney Rob Morton. Commissioner Don Collins was absent.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of July 27, 2010, the Public Hearing of July 28, 2010 (11:30 a.m.), the Public Hearing of July 28, 2010 (6:00 p.m.), the Public Hearing of August 4, 2010 (4:00 p.m.), and the Special Called Meeting to Adopt the Tax Levy of August 4, 2010 (5:00 p.m.).

V. INVITED GUESTS

1. Mark Hardison with the CPA firm of Clifton, Lipford, Hardison & Parker will present the Annual Financial Report for the FY ending October 31, 2009: A presentation was given to citizens. One note of importance is that property taxes make up 63% of the General Fund Revenues. Some problems from the past year were noted. The County Manager advised that these problems have been addressed.

2. Don Bailey, would like to update the Board of Friends of Pike County Animals (FPCA): Don asked for permission for FPCA to use a part of the Courthouse lawn once a month to encourage the adoption of pets in the county. He said that they are working on a way to provide spay and neuter coupons as well as providing a waiver that states that the animals will be vaccinated against rabies. Advised that it would likely be puppies and kittens along with pictures of older animals and contact information for someone to adopt those animals without them being physically present on the Square. Motion to postpone until the County Manager can talk to the Sheriff about this proposal. Approved 3-0.

3. Pam McCollum, Executive Director of McIntosh Trail Community Service Board, would like to update the Board and solicit an appointee for the open CSB Board position for Pike County-Item was removed from the agenda.

Update 8.18.10:

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Motion to approve. 3-0.

B. County Manager Report: Update on County finances. Update on County projects. Other topics as required.: Update on County finances: $36,712.11 in general fund; $20,000 reserve account; Jail fund is $166,871.69; Residential Impact Fee account is $175,786.86; Commercial Impact Fee account is $6,527.57; E-911 is $78,157.76; Fire fund is $71,942.00 for deposit; DATE fund is $13,550.36; Juvenile Court is $25,302.49; and General Obligation Sales Tax Bond Sinking fund is $425,364.88. * Advised that Karen Brown and the CM are working with a prospect to come to Pike County. *

C. Commissioner Reports: District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Commended Double P Grading for putting up the fence that was required.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Consider appointment for the Pike County Board of Tax Assessors to fill the vacant position formerly held by Carol Bass which expired on June 28, 2010, for a five-year term to expire June 28, 2015. Applicants have met criteria and been requested to attend: Both were present. Motion to appoint Robert Marriott. Approved 3-0.

2. Consider approval, on second reading, of Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Odinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Sections 156.001 Short Title through Section 156.006 Definitions, to provide for revisions to text. Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval, and Board of Commissioners approved on first reading 7-27-10: : No Changes. Motion to approve. 3-0.

3. Consider approval, on second reading, of Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay District, Section 160.03, Applicability of Regulations, to provide for text changes to Subparagraph (5). Staff and Planning Commission recommend approval, and Board of Commissioners approved on first reading 7-27-10: No Changes. Motion to approve. 3-0.

4. Consider approval, on second reading, of Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 112, Occupation Taxes and Administrative Fees, to provide for revisions. Staff recommends approval, and Commissioners approved first reading 7-27-10: No Changes. Motion to approve. 3-0.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

1. Consider request of Pike County Tax Assessors Office to refund $948.65 to Rebecca Bates for a refund of County/State/School 2007, 2008 and 2009 taxes that were assessed on an incorrect dwelling value. Staff and Board of Tax Assessors recommend approval: CM advised that the county portion of these taxes will be the only part refunded by the county.

2. Consider approval of contract renewal with Traylor Business Services, Inc. for a scope of service to include assisting the Tax Assessors Office with personal property verification reviews of Pike County’s business taxpayers, in the amount of $10,000 for a period to end June 30, 2011. Staff and the Board of Tax Assessors recommend approval: This was already budgeted. Motion to approve. 3-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Began at 9:46 a.m.

1. County Attorney requests Executive Session to discuss pending and/or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1).: Back in session at 10:33 a.m. No decision was made on this.

XI. ADJOURNMENT: 10:33 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
Submitted 8.12.10
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Pike County Board of Commissioners Special Called Meeting - Post Agenda
10:00 A.M. Saturday, July 31, 2010

[Note from the Editor: I was out of town last Saturday so I am uploading the minutes from this meeting.]

The Pike County Board of Commissioners held its Special Called Meeting on Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Courthouse Annex at 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, Georgia. Convening the meeting was Chairman Doug Mangham, and Commissioners Don Collins, Tommy Powers and Roosevelt Willis attended. County Manager Bill Sawyer, County Attorneys Rob Morton and and Tom Morton, and County Clerk Teresa Watson attended, as well. Absent was Commissioner Parrish Swift. (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2))

Also in attendance were: For the City of Zebulon, Mayor Mike Beres, and Councilmen Rick Obarr and David Wood; For the City of Molena, City Manager Jim Roberts; and Mayor Gayle Burden from the City of Meansville. Mayor Sonny Story from the City of Concord was not able to be here. Mayor Steve Fry is also out of town and could not attend. This meeting will provide an opportunity to propose projects.

I. CALL TO ORDER ......................................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG .............................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

III. ORDER OF BUSINESS

1. Discuss with Pike County municipalities the proposed SPLOST and any project(s) considered for inclusion on same for a possible November 2010 referendum, including any municipally owned or operated proposed projects. County Attorney Rob Morton opened the meeting, saying this satisfied OCGA 48-1-11 requirements to discuss with all municipalities proposed projects. Mike Beres, Mayor of Zebulon spoke first, noting they would like to include five projects:

1) transportation to include parking, way-finding, drainage, roads & sidewalks, 2) facility improvements to city hall and public works, 3) water and wastewater improvements to include funds required to pursue dual permit, lift station rehabilitation, leak detection, AMR meters and a service truck to anticipate when the recession ends so the City will be ready with infrastructure development, 4) public safety to accommodate the large traffic daily through the City to include police vehicles, technical upgrades to equipment, fire equipment and implementation of impact fees, and 5) city park which is being done on a shoestring budget as funds become available through park funding with some County assistance with grading and dirt hauling.

Jim Roberts, City Manager with the City of Molena, was present on behalf of Mayor Elizabeth Barker. The City of Molena, in the last SPLOST, requested needs similar to those of the City of Zebulon to include public safety resources and transportation projects, as well as water infrastructure projects. He reiterated they have very limited budget and funding sources and are in desperate need of assistance. They will submit a formal list of projects prior to the August 11 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Attorney Tom Morton introduced Mayor Gayle Burden of the City of Meansville. Mayor Burden and Mr. Morton stated the City’s water system has deteriorating lines and facility improvements are needed to their fire department. They need new air conditioners in city hall and the voting precinct area, paving around city hall, and a new computer. She noted any resources would be appreciated. The City of Meansville also intends to provide a specific list prior to the August 11 commissioner meeting also, to outline specific projects.

Joy Walker, Chairman of the SPLOST was present, as well, but elected not to speak.

IV. ADJOURNMENT

Motion/second by Commissioners Willis/Powers to adjourn at 10:11 a.m. carried 4-0.

8.7.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

Commissioners Don Collins, Roosevelt Willis, Tommy Powers, and Chairman Doug Mangham were present at this meeting as well as County Clerk Teresa Watson and County Attorney Rob Morton. Commissioner Swift was out of town and County Manager Bill Sawyer injured his back over the weekend so County Clerk Teresa Watson gave his report to the Commissioners.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE .............................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1)): Don Bailey asked to be removed from the agenda and will speak at the August the August 11, 2010 meeting. A correction was made to the wording of another agenda item as well.

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
    1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of July 14, 2010 and the Special Called Meeting of July 21, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS - None

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report:
· Update on County finances
· Update on County projects:
· Other topics as required:
The General Fund balance is $9014.85. There is $10,000 in cash reserves on hand for the General Fund. The Fire Fund balance is $118,513.49 and E-911 balance is $73,561.54. * The TAN (Tax Anticipation Note) application has been completed. Should receive notification this week. * The hiring freeze and moratorium on everything but essential spending are still in place. * Old Lifsey Springs Road is now open. * The new Light Equipment Operator begin working at Public Works this week. * Two public hearings for the proposed property tax increase are tomorrow with the final hearing on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 4 p.m. and the adoption of the Tax Levy at a Special Called Meeting on August 4, 2010 at 5 p.m. * There will be a Special Called Meeting on Saturday, August 31, 2010 at 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) with the cities. The County Attorney later clarified that this meeting has to be held according to a schedule and that the county and city representatives must meet in order to abide by state law for the SPLOST project. * Next BOC meeting is Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 9 a.m. * A meeting about the East-West Corridor will take place in Warm Springs on August 12, 2010. Notice has been given to Transportation members. * Special Called BOC meeting on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 2 p.m. to dicuss issuing a call to place the proposed SPLOST on the November 2010 ballot for voters to vote on. * AT&T notified the BOC that the cabling on the utility pole on Hughley Road has been removed and that Central Georgia EMC should be removing the pole very soon. Trying to get this done before the school year starts. * Director of Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority, Kevin Teate said that the Pride of Pike Celebration was a success and that enough money was raised to return the $1000 donation that the BOC made to help with the fireworks. He thanked Commissioners for their support on the behalf of the Parks and Recreation Authority.

Update 8.6.10:
C. Commissioner Reports: District 1 Roosevelt Willis said that he has received complaints about grass needing to be cut on Zebulon-Hollonville Road. Also wanted to go on record to say that he had not received notification of the past meeting until 2:30 p.m. when he got a call from the Attorney to ask if he was coming. He arrived at 2:38 and the meeting was over. * District 3 Tommy Powers said that he has received grass cutting complaints on Howell and Lifsey Road.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Advised that a Special Called Meeting must be held on Saturday, July 31 with the municipalities on SPLOST projects before the SPLOST can proceed according to state law. Cannot vote on referendum until after this meeting and 30 days have passed. Said that Litigation matters with Magistrate Court and other matters are ongoing as well as working with the County Manager on some items.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Public Hearing Re: Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay Districts, Section 160.03 Applicability of Regulations, to provide for a text change to Subparagraph (4): No changes from the June 29th meeting. Forgot to hold the Public Hearing portion on this so it had to be readvertised and the public hearing was held tonight. No one spoke.
    2. Consider, on second reading, adoption of the Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay Districts, Section 160.03 Applicability of Regulations, to provide for a text change to Subparagraph (4). Staff recommends approval: Approved 3-0.

Update 8.7.10:

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Public Hearing Re: Capital Improvements Element (CIE) 2009 Annual Update and Adoption of Transmittal Resolution to submit CIE Update to Three Rivers Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review/approval: John Morrison asked if this information had been made available to the public. He was advised that no one has come by the office to obtain a copy of it but that they would be happy to provide a copy to anyone who wanted to review it. This is a 60 day process so there is plenty of time for the public to review this.
    2. Consider adoption of Capital Improvements Element (CIE) 2009 Annual Update and Adoption of Transmittal Resolution to submit CIE Update to Three Rivers Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review/approval. Staff recommends approval.: Approved 3-0.
    3. Public Hearing Re: Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.001 Short Title through Section 156.006 Definitions, to provide for revisions to text: Brought before the Planning Commission this month for revisions and new definitions. No one spoke. Public Hearing closed.
    4. Consider, on first reading, Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Section 156.001 Short Title through Section 156.006 Definitions, to provide for revisions to text. Staff recommends approval.: Approved 3-0.
    5. Public Hearing Re: Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay Districts, Section 160.03, Applicability of Regulations, to provide for a text changes to Subparagraph (5): Planning Commission approved this with exceptions. Major change of use to a property requires an owner to go through this process again. John Morrison spoke in favor and said that he feels this is necessary. None spoke against. Public hearing closed.
    6. Consider, on first reading, Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay Districts, Section 160.03, Applicability of Regulations, to provide for text change to Subparagraph (5). Staff recommends approval.: Approved 3-0.

Update 8.16.10:
    7. Public Hearing Re: Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 112, Occupation Taxes and Administrative Fees, to provide for revisions to text.: Made some minor corrections and clarified the process language but no major changes to Business License section. No one spoke. Approved 3-0.
    8. Consider, on first reading, Text Amendment to Pike County Code of Ordinances Chapter 112, Occupation Taxes and Administrative Fees, for revisions to text. Staff recommends approval.: Commissioner Tommy Powers said that the $35 fee was fine but that he had a problem with the owner haveing to pay $1 for operating his own business. Motion was made to approve. 3-0.
    9. Public Hearing Re: Special Exception SE-10-04, requested by Charles and Eunice Guthrie, for a General Home Occupation to sell handmade arts and crafts, handmade furniture and antiques.: None of these items are made there. Have adequate parking. Board of Appeals recommended approval. None spoke.
    10. Consider approval of Special Exception SE-10-04, requested by Charles and Eunice Guthrie, for a General Home Occupation to sell handmade arts and crafts, handmade furniture and antiques. Staff recommends approval.: (Continued from above.) Discussion that also have a lawn care business and Commissioners confirmed that this building is strictly for this business when talking to the owners at the meeting. Hours of operation will be 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and closed on the 2nd and 4th Saturday. Letters of recommendation from neighbors included as matter of record. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that recommendations from the staff need to be included in the motion. Motion to approve subject to conditions such as business separate from the lawn care business, new fences, etc. Approved 3-0.
    11. Consider approval of annual agreement with Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority. Staff recommends approval.: No changes except for minor details. Approved 3-0.
    12. Consider Contract with Georgia Department of Transportation #S013019-PR for Old Lifsey Springs Road @ Bull Creek Tributary project. Staff recommends approval.: Ratifying contract for work that has been done. Road is open but not complete. Everything done except for paving. County will be reimbursed for the pipe. Approved 3-0.
    13. Consider recommendation of Board of Tax Assessors to refund Ms. Romenia Mabry in the amount of $108.32 for excess taxes paid in 2007, 2008 and 2009 due to an erroneous fair market value. Staff and Board of Assessors recommend approval.: Approved 3-0.
    14. Consider recommendation of Board of Tax Assessors to waive a $225 delinquent commercial fire fee for the property at 2086 Gresham Road, Zebulon because of a change in the building’s designation from commercial to accessory since it was never zoned commercial and business has closed. Staff and Board of Assessors recommend approval.: Approved 3-0.
    15. Consider appointment to the Pike County Board of Tax Assessors to fill the vacant position formerly held by Carol Bass.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
1. Mr. Scott Pennington, 5385 Highway 19 South, Zebulon, desires to address the Board regarding the status of animal control in Pike County and the problems that a lack thereof creates (placed on the previous July 14 agenda in error).
2. Mr. Don Bailey, 94 Reeves Road, Meansville, desires to update the Board on Friends of Pike County Animals.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
7.27.10
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PUBLIC HEARING - BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 – 11:30 a.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. OPEN PUBLIC HEARING
    1. Conduct Public Hearing to receive comment on the notice of proposed property tax increase.

III. CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING

IV. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Click here to see the current 2010 Tax Digest and 5 Year History of the Levy. [Note from the Editor: The new millage rate will require an increase in property taxes by 12.28%. The final hearing is set for August 4, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. with the Special Called Meeting to set the Tax Levy at 5 p.m.]

7.26.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING AGENDA
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 – 9 a.m.

[Note from the Editor: I haven't been to a twelve minute meeting in a LONG time. A lot was accomplished in that small amount of time. And I really like the transparency with our finances in the county. Thank you to the County Manager for including that in his report.]

V. INVITED GUESTS - None

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved 4-0.

    B. County Manager Report: The current budget is going up less than 1% when a comparison is made between the total taxes levied from 2008 at $6,246,233 and the current tax digest for the fiscal year 2010-2011 for $6,223,863. Click here to see the current 2010 Tax Digest and 5 Year History of the Levy. [Note from the Editor: Last year was an 8 month budget (changing our fiscal year end to June 30th of every year) so there really isn't a comparison between the past two years.] According to the Current 2010 Tax Digest and 5 Year History of the Levy, the net taxes increase amounts to 9.86%. * The has been one new hire in Public Works to replace someone who put in their resignation. * The hearings on the Budget will be held on July 27, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. and a third hearing on July 28, 2010 at 5 p.m. with a Special Called Meeting to set the Tax Levy at 5:15 p.m. * The prior General Fund balance--not including any other accounts or funds--was $254,803 last month. The current General Fund balance--not including any other accounts or funds--is $104,903. There were Accounts Payable amounts that totalled $151,063.

Update 7.16.10:

    C. Commissioner Reports: Commissioners in Districts 1, 2, 3, and the Chairman had nothing to report. District Commission 4 Don Collins said that there will be a Transportation meeting discussing the East/West Corridor on August 12.

    D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Currently working on the SPLOST Referendum, a new litigation matter and a Department of Labor matter, and litigation. Also advised that Allen Adams has been appointed as the Director of the Public Defenders Office while the current Director can return to his position due to a health matter.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

    1. Consider application for 2010 Retail License for the Sale of Malt Beverages and/or Wine for Gladys Angela McKernan, Jake & Gianella’s Food Mart, 12471 Highway 18, Williamson, GA 30292. Owner has met criteria and Staff recommends approval: This is the old Hatchett grocerty. Motion to approve. 4-0.

    2. Consider request of Mr. Allan McCallum to issue a letter of support, in collaboration with the City of Williamson and Spalding County, for a request to Georgia Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit at the intersection of Highway 362/Moreland Road/Rover-Zetella Road to 35 from the current 45 mph, with an incremental section in either direction (west to Williamson city limits and east in Spalding County to city limits of Griffin) of 45 from the current 55 mph. Staff recommends approval of attached letter of support: The traffic count is about 10,000 or more cars per day. It would cost about $800,000 to buy out the gas station there to fix the problem. Commissioners were sensitive of telling another county what to do with this intersection (they didn't want to tell them what to do) and simply instructed the CM to issue a letter of support on this matter if Spalding County approves this. This topic will be discussed at the Griffin-Spalding Transportation meeting on June 21. Approved 4-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person) Mr. Scott Pennington, 5385 Highway 19 South, Zebulon, desires to address the Board regarding the status of animal control in Pike County and the problems that a lack thereof creates: Not present.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. ADJOURNMENT - 9:12 a.m.

7.14.10
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AGENDA - BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 – 5:30 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham
III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))
IV. 3RD READING AND ADOPTION OF THE FY 2010-11 BUDGET
    1. Public Hearing: Open for public comment regarding FY 2010-11 Budget.
Close public hearing.
    2. Consider adoption of the FY 2010/11 Budget as follows:
· Approval of adoption of the General Fund: $8,868,670
· Approval of adoption of Jail Fund: $14,594
· Approval of adoption of the 911 Fund: $624,277
· Approval of adoption of DATE Fund: $1,740
· Approval of adoption of Fire Fund: $474,512
· Approval of adoption of Juvenile Fund: $8,145
· Approval of adoption of Law Library Fund $11,000
· Approval of adoption of Law Enforcement Fund: $100
3. Approval of Resolution to authorize Chairman Mangham and County Manager Sawyer to execute the FY 2010-11 Budget documentation to include, but not limited to, pertinent dates, workshop dates, and all incorporated motions made this date, June 29, 2010.
V. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.


Public Hearing and Final Adoption of FY 2010-11 Budget -
Pike County Board of Commissioners
Third Reading and Final Adoption of the FY 2010/2011 Budget will be held on June 29, 2010 at theCourthouse Annex Meeting Room at 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, Georgia in a Special Called Meeting at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Regular Monthly Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. There will be a Special Called Meeting to set the Tax Levy on July 28, 2010.

July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011


Estimated Revenues – General Fund:

Local Taxes ....................................................................................... $ 5,450,147
Other Resources ................................................................................... $3,418,522
Total Estimated Revenues .............................................................. $ 8,868,670

Estimated Expenditures – General Fund:
Dept. 10 .............................. Contingency ............................................. $ 122,780
Dept. 11 .............................. Safety .............................................................. 1,500
Dept. 12 .............................. Elections ..................................................... 101,500
Dept. 13 .............................. Commissioners ........................................... 877,171
Dept. 14 .............................. Registrar ........................................................ 66,440
Dept. 15 .............................. Board of Equalization ..................................... 1,300
Dept. 16 .............................. Tax Commissioner ...................................... 229,647
Dept. 17 .............................. Tax Assessors ............................................. 252,551
Dept. 18 .............................. Building & Grounds .................................... 219,561
Dept. 20 .............................. Courts .......................................................... 138,337
Dept. 21 .............................. Superior Court ............................................ 313,527
Dept. 22 .............................. District Attorney Office ................................ 80,244
Dept. 23 .............................. Magistrate Court ......................................... 147,599
Dept. 24 .............................. Probate Court .............................................. 136,474
Dept. 28 .............................. Public Defender .......................................... 181,315
Dept. 32 .............................. Inmate Care ................................................. 359,154
Dept. 33 .............................. Sheriff ..................................................... 1,545,798
Dept. 34 .............................. Jail ............................................................... 618,679
Dept. 35 .............................. Fire Department & EMA ........................... ----------
Dept. 37 .............................. Coroner ......................................................... 37,718
Dept. 38 .............................. E-911........................................................... 352,554
Dept. 39 .............................. Ambulance Contract/Licenses .................... 457,500
Dept. 42 .............................. Public Works ........................................... 1,278,012
Dept. 46 .............................. Keep Pike Clean & Beautiful ..................... ----------
Dept. 50 .............................. Health Department ........................................ 70,000
Dept. 54 .............................. Dept. of Family & Children Services ........... 51,250
Dept. 55 .............................. Community Services ..................................... 27,278
Dept. 61 .............................. Parks & Recreation Authority ..................... 346,521
Dept. 65 .............................. Library ........................................................ 123,240
Dept. 70 .............................. Soil Conservation .......................................... 34,950
Dept. 71 .............................. Water Authority .......................................... 151,570
Dept. 72 .............................. Cooperative Extension/County Agent .......... 93,707
Dept. 73 .............................. State Forestry .................................................. 9,544
Dept. 74 .............................. Planning and Development ......................... 269,064
Dept. 75 .............................. Industrial Development Authority .............. 152,185
Dept. 76 .............................. Agribusiness Authority ................................. 20,000
Total Estimated Expenditures........................................................ $ 8,868,670
Excess of Revenues over/under Expenditures ............................................... 0

[Note from the Editor: I want to thank everyone who has spoken to me about the budget since Friday of last week and tried to explain what the total operating costs for the county were. I did a poor job of communicating exactly what number I wanted to put online. * This agenda is absolutely fantastic! It was easy to follow everything that went on tonight as questions flew from the audience and answers were given by the Budget Consultants, the County Manager, County Clerk, etc.]

This meeting was attended by both Budget Consultants Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed, County Manager (CM) Bill Sawyer, County Clerk Teresa Watson, all five Commissioners, and Tara Winstead who does the monthly auditing for the county.

County Clerk Watson began by advising the Commissioners that the Jail Fund was changed from $189,000--which is the amount in this account at the present--to $14,594 which is the amount that is expected to be taken in during the next year.

Here is the formula for calculating the total operating cost of the county. Add the General Fund $8,868,670 plus the amount for the E-911 that is not included in the General Fund already $271,723 (this comes from our cell phone and land line fees) plus the Fire Fund amount of $474,512 to get a total amount of $9,614,905. The amount of $9,614,905 was explained to the public at length.

Each of these special fund above used to be included in General Fund but were taken out due to state regulations. E-911 (Dept 38) has the $352,554 that still comes out of taxpayer dollars included in the General Fund. Budget Consultant Tommy Burnsed said that the last budget he prepared for the county was about $9.2 million dollars total. He stated that this budget is only $400,000 more than the budget he prepared 4 years ago.

Much of the discussion from the audience emphasized giving as much information to the public as possible though there was concern about government accounting and the state guidelines that made this entire process confusing to the general public. It was emphasized more than once that the county was trying to do that without making this process overly confusing to taxpayers. CM Sawyer said that the county could change the format and would be happy to do that for taxpayers if that was needed.

CM Sawyer said that it appears at this time that the county will have a milleage rate close to that of the 2008-2009 budget year. It was noted that there are $75,000 to $100,000 in unfunded state and federal mandates in this budget that were not in previous budgets.

There are no plans for a TAN (Tax Anticipation Note) Note at this time. The County Departments have been asked to hold off on spending until at least September if possible.

There is currently a $275,000 cash balance in the county with a reserve account with less than $50,000 in it. 1-3 months worth of money--about $1.2 million--should be in reserve for the county since it takes about $600,000 per month to run the county. Emphasis was placed on building up the reserves back up. The term "bare bones budget" was used more than once in this meeting.

Budget Consultants Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed were commended by the Board of Commissioners for their hard work to pull this budget together for the county without compensation and given a standing ovation by the audience. The staff was also commended for stepping in to help in this situation. Doug read all of the budget numbers out loud before a motion was made on every single line above and each was adopted individually. The budget was adopted 4-0. Motion to adjourn at 6:11 p.m.

6.29.10
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AGENDA - REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
    1. Minutes from the following: Special Called Meetings of June 9 and Regular Monthly Meeting of June 9, 2010.

Update 6.30.10:

V. INVITED GUESTS
    1. Joy Walker desires to update the Board regarding SPLOST Steering Committee activity: Joy Walker is the Chair of this Committee. She had a large copy of the proposed layout for the Courthouse for the public to view and a copy of each floor for Commissioners too. The SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is a one cent tax that everyone who buys items in Pike County will help to pay for--rather than this money coming from just those who own property in the county. It will be a $3,162,00 SPLOST that will be collected over the next four years. Citizens have already helped to pay for SPLOST projects with this penny sales tax so it will NOT be an additional tax on top of what we are paying now. The renovation of the Courthouse will take 12 months and all contingencies have been covered with this. Housing is still being investigated for those who are currently inside of the Courthouse but that amount has been included in the SPLOST at this time. The SPLOST will be terminated if the funds come in early to pay for the Courthouse renovation. "It has been a pleasure working with the Commissioners, members of the SPLOST Committee, and the elected oficials and their staff on this project," Joy said. "Everyone has gone out of their way to get this on the table in a short amount of time." Joy asked the BOC to have the County Manager approach the local banks to get a loan for the entire amount so the project could be finished in a timely manner. The motion was made and approved in a 4-0 vote. [Note from the Editor: I have not been able to attend these SPLOST meetings but found out last night that the building has wiring in it from as early as 1904. I remember an electrical box being replaced a few years back when there was fear of a fire in the Courthouse (the old panel actually vibrated from all of the current going through it!) so the threat to our employees and the Courthouse itself is one that has to be addressed. I do not like taxes but an avid supporter of a local--county only--SPLOST since everyone who buys in the county pays the one cent tax. (I am NOT a supporter of a 12 County District Regional SPLOST tax for transportation that may be on the November ballot.)]

Update 7.7.10:

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES:
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved 4-0.
B. County Manager Report
    · Update on County finances: We have a cash balance of $274,308.71. There is a hiring freeze county-wide and departments are limiting their purchases as much as possible to try to make it through until money begins coming in for the next year so the county does not have to borrow any money to operate.
    · Discussion on Impact Fee changes and requirements, to include Brenda Shaw from Planning and Development: This is from November 1, 2008 through November 31, 2009. The Capital Improvements Element was completed on July 14th.
    · Other topics as required: A letter of resignation from Board of Tax Assessors member Carol Bass was read out loud. There will be a notice in the paper to fill this appointment.
C. Commissioner Reports
    District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked for an update about the smell on Sheperd Road. Chairman Doug Mangham and Commissioner Tommy Powers turned this over to the Health Department. They have taken a sample from the creek and sent it off for analysis. * Asked about the roof repair on the Planning and Development/4-H building from the prior meeting. Nothing further has been done on this.
    District 2 Parrish Swift: Parrish and Roosevelt were concerned about the closure of Old Lifsey Springs Road and Caldwell Road where repairs are needed before they can be opened again. Old Lifsey Springs update: Hopefully it will take about 2 weeks to repair. The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) will also be issuing a report on the pipe to replace the road where the flood took out the bridge in South Pike County. The emphasis is to get Old Lifsey Springs and Caldwell Road open again before school starts.
    District 3 Tommy Powers: Said that the Road Department did a good job on Kings Road.
    District 4 Don Collins: Commended the Road Department for the job done on Reidsboro Road. * Said that Georgia Broadband left a support wire wrapped around a pole at Williamson-Zebulon Road that is a possible dangerous situation. Georgia Power is trying to get them to come back and finish the job by removing this wire. The CM is going to check on this. * Roosevelt asked about the pole on Hughley Road that AT&T needs to remove their cable/wire so the wire can be removed because it is a safety hazard as well.
    Chairman Doug Mangham: None.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Consider appointments for the Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority positions currently held by John Hanson and Don Bohensky, both of whom are interested in, and recommended for, reappointment to three-year terms of service set to expire June 30, 2013. Postponed from June 9 meeting to allow for advertisement which ran June 16/23, 2010: The Recreation Authority asked for reappointment of both members to their positions. The BOC appointed and approved James M. Potts for Don Bohensky's position and reappointed John Hanson to his position.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Cindy Foster, Chief Tax Appraiser, desires to address the Board regarding the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts 2009 Sales Ratio Study statistics for Pike County: Chief Appraiser Foster advised that she has received the sales ration study for the 2009 year. Our sales ratio is good this year with a median of 38.71% which is located between 36 and 44% as it is required to be by the State of Georgia. This means that there will be no penalty against the county this year.
    2. Consider application for 2010 Retail License for the Sale of Malt Beverages and/or Wine for Mitul R. Patel, Isha-Megha, Inc., d/b/a Cadie’s Corner, 10030 U.S. Highway 19N, Zebulon: This application has met all of the requirements. Approved 3-0. (Commissioner Parrish Swift stepped out of the room prior to this vote.)
    3. Consider, on first reading, Text Amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 160, U.S. Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 41 Overlay Districts, Section 160.03 Applicability of Regulations, to provide for a text change to Subparagraph (4): The original language stated that lots with Industrial Parks are exempt from the requirements. Zoning and Development Director David Allen advised that his department felt that all lots should be subject to design requirements. Motion to approve. 3-0.
    4. Consider approval of Budget Amendment #7 for FY ending October 31, 2009 to provide for final budget revision amendments to actual expenditures for FY 2009 to be in compliance with Georgia Department of Audits: Tara Winstead advised the Commissioners that some errors had been uncovered from last year and the auditors asked that some changes be made to last year's budget. She walked through all of the amounts in the meeting and Commissioners approved the changes. 4-0. (Commissioner Parrish Swift was back for this vote.)
    5. Shannon Kirby, Pike County Cheerleading Association, desires to request of the Board permission to hold a Fall Festival on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, October 30, 2010: A request was made to hold a fundraiser for the Recreational Cheerleaders that would correspond with the annual event sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority. It will be held from 5-8 p.m. on the Courthouse Square. Approved 4-0.
    6. Consider an Intergovernmental Agreement with City of Molena for the Collection of Pike County Development Impact Fees and the Provision of Administrative Services for Zoning, Building and Development Including Permitting and Code Enforcement: This agreement allows the county to collect Impact Fees on new zoning applications in the City of Molena since all zoning applications will be going through the county now. Clarified that this is only for new permits. Approved 4-0.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

Two plaques were given to Commissioners for completing their certification. It was noted that all five Commissioners are certified for the first time in Pike County's history.

XI. ADJOURNMENT - 7:06 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
6.23.10
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AGENDA - REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL CALLED MEETINGS
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 – 1:00 and 6:30 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG

III. PUBLIC HEARING- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT

County Manager Bill Sawyer, all five Commissioners, and Budget Consultants Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed attended the Public Hearing for the budget along with various Department Heads, members of county boards, and citizens.

Total expenditures for next year--without the adjustments that were discussed in the afternoon and public hearings--are $8,887,496. That is a lot of money, but there was a lot of discussion on ways to bring down the amount to this level.

Fire Fees, which are no longer included in the General Fund but are subject to the same spending process procedures as other departments in the county, come to a total of $466,512. The Fire Fees are the only means of funding for the Pike County Fire Deparment now. Any funds left in the Fire Fee Fund will roll over from year to year and will be used to fund future growth and needs for the County Fire Department.

Several open positions are not going to be filled during the next fiscal year. Magistrate Court will be working with a smaller staff. There will be a Chief Magistrate Judge, a Deputy Judge who will work up to 20 hours per week, and one clerk. Funding for one position was eliminated at Public Works, funding for one position was eliminated--over the objection of the Department Head--at the Department of Planning and Development (Building and Zoning), the new hire in the Tax Assessor's Office will be a Clerk Position for the next year until there is funding to train this person for additional duties, there was a cut in the funds to the Parks and Recreation Authority, and the Payroll and Benefits/Clerk position in the Commission Office will not be filled.

This wasn't discussed at the meeting, but some creative thinking went toward keeping our Extension Agent. The County Extension Agent will be a shared position with Lamar County with Pike and Lamar sharing 1/2 of the salary.

"Every department in the county has cut to the bare bone," said Consultant Merritt Spier.

The new County Manager, Bill Sawyer, showed his knowledge of county matters as well how the unfunded mandates from the state and federal government affect our county budget. Pike County's budget was very much affected by rules passed by the State of Georgia.

I was very impressed with the way that everyone has worked together to try to bring down county expenditures as much as possible. These were not easy decisions and everyone seemed to be working together toward that common goal.

6.10.10
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AGENDA - REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five Commissioners were present along with County Manager Bill Sawyer and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. The agenda was amended to allow SPLOST Steering Committee Chairman Joy Walker to speak as an invited guest. County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton were out of town on a previously scheduled engagement.

Update 6.16.10

V. INVITED GUESTS
    1. Mr. Tom Queen, with the Georgia Department of Transportation, District 3, will address the board regarding the Draft Fiscal Year 2011-2014 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects to be implemented within Pike County over the next four years: Mr. Queen encouraged Pike County to be a part of round table discussions of transportation issues in our area. He also discussed The Georgia 2020 Transportation Act which places Pike County in a 12 county that could possibly get $78 million from a district sales tax. Dollars could be "strategically invested" to rebuild things like bridges that were washed out from flooding, etc. www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/search/hb277.htm. Much discussion on transportation projects. Discussion of second portion of TE grant that would address Highway 18 and Harper as well as drainage and paving issues along Adams and Jackson Streets. Was advised that concept approval was given in May and environmental concepts are next.
    2. Joy Walker, Chairman of SPLOST Committee: Commented on the past SPLOST Committee meeting with Carter and Watkins and said that this firm has agreed to do preliminary work on conditions and space in the Courthouse project without reimbursement for now and be reimbursed at 4 1/2% of the project if the SPLOST passes on the November ballot. The CM was asked to check into what space the Board of Education could provide to the county while the Courthouse is being renovated if this ballot passes. Motion to allow Carter and Watkins to do preliminary work on the Courthouse project. Approved 4-0.

VI. REPORTS: COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Commissioner Collins asked about timber tax on a specific timber project and was advised that a permit was issued and tax is being collected. Motion to accept. Approved 4-0.
    B. County Manager (CM) Report: The CM is currently reviewing finance and spending in the county. He has met with all Constitutional officers, has a Department Head meeting tomorrow, and welcomes citizen input. Said that there are two resignations--one in Public Works and one in the Commission Office--of late that will not be filled at this time due to budgetary concerns.
    C. Commissioners Reports:
    District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None.
    District 2 Parrish Swift: None
    District 3 Tommy Powers: Said that he met with personnel at Teen Challenge along with Chairman Doug Mangham and County Attorney Morton. Said that they are working hard to keep the kids in line. Kids there less than 45 days will be wearing orange jump suits for the first 45 days and that Teen Challenge is going to put security on the doors upstairs. Said he didn't want to see kids get hurt or the kids hurt anyone. Said it was a very good meeting. * Said that there is a location on Shepard Road that smells like sewage in the creek. Samples have been sent to the state by the Health Department.
    District 4 Don Collins: Asked about the Intern program. He was asked to work with CM Sawyer on this.
    Chairman Mangham: None.
    D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners - None

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Consider approval, on second reading, of proposed rezoning of all R-6 parcels to A-R to repeal the R-6 Zoning District, to amend the Official Zoning Map, and a Text Amendment to clarify procedure for County initiated rezoning amendments: No changes. Commissioner Parrish Swift expressed some concern about public input on notification. Asked if the county is following the book on this and was told yes. Motion to approve. 3-1 with Commissioner Roosevelt Willis voting against this.
    2. Consider, on second reading, approval of the quarterly adoption of the Pike County, Georgia Official Zoning Map and authorize execution of same by Chairman: No changes. Motion to approve. 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Consider Proclamation declaring June 22, 2010 Walter Murphy Day honoring his retirement from the Flint River Regional Library System: Proclamation was read aloud. Walter Murphy has been a part of the Library system for 44 years. Motion to accept this proclamation. 4-0.

Update 6.17.10:
    2. Consider appointments for the Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority board positions currently held by John Hanson and Don Bohensky, both of whom are interested in, and recommended for, reappointment. Terms of service for these three-year appointments will be until June 30, 2013: Commissioner Parrish Swift asked if all three vacancies were advertised properly. There was some question on whether all three were advertised or only the one vacancy where the member is not interested in reappointment. Motion to postpone until the next meeting. 4-0
    3. Consider appointment for the Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority board position currently held by Paul Whitmire, who has decided not to seek reappointment. Term of service for this three-year appointment will be until June 30, 2013: Motion to appoint Christopher DeMarco. Approved 4-0.
    4. Consider approval of proposed roads for submission to GDOT for resurfacing via the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) for 2011 (formerly known as LARP), as recommended by Todd Goolsby, Director of Public Works: The Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) has scheduled Drew Allen Road to Hwy 18 to be repaved and Ellis Circle. There was discussion of the order of the LARP List. The state chooses the order in which upgrades are made to these roads. The proposed resurfacing list for Pike County includes the following: Beeks Road, New Hope Road, Williamson-Zebulon Road, Powder Creek Road, Roberts Quarters Road, Old Zebulon Road, Hollonville Road, Hutchinson Road, Twin Oaks Road, Dripping Rock Road, Patton Road and Adams Road. [Note from the Editor: A citizen requested that the list be read aloud to the citizens in attendance and the Chairman reluctantly read the list aloud. Hopefully future purchase amounts, LARP lists, etc. will be read to the public in the interest of open government in Pike County.] Motion to approve 3-0. (Commissioner Willis had stepped out of the room during this vote.)
    5. Consider approval, and authorize Chairman to execute, a new Cooperative Agreement between the Georgia Forestry Commission and Pike County which includes the recent increase in forestland assessment as legislated in HB 1055: Motion to Approve. 3-0.
    6. Consider awarding contract for roof repair to Planning and Development building: A question was asked whether the leaks in the roof had been fixed and why a new roof was going on this building if the leaks had been fixed. The Director of Planning and Development advised that there are no leaks on his side of the building. He would not speak for other departments in the building. Commissioner Don Collins said that this building is uneconomical to heat and cool. Also said that the BOC needs to look at possibility of adequate housing in these departments. Consensus of the BOC not to replace the entire roof if there are no leaks in the roof. Motion to postpone until the CM can review and advise on this situation. Approved 4-0.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT 9:54 a.m.

6.10.10
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AGENDA - REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: May 12, 2010 Regular Monthly Meeting.

V. INVITED GUESTS – Pike County Recreation Cheerleaders: These girls took the Grand Champion title out of ten teams in South Carolina during a national competition earlier this month. Their Grand Champion trophy was there with them, but girls also received their own individual trophies during the meeting and were honored by the Board of Commissioners for this accomplishment. Congratulations to the cheerleaders and their coaches, Heather Coates and Kim Hubbard. Great job! Pictures coming soon.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report - Presentation by County Clerk (in absence of County Manager)
* New County Manager, Bill Sawyer, will arrive 6.1.10 and be at his post for next meeting.
* Reminder: Holiday on Monday, May 31, 2010 in observance of Memorial Day.
* Reminder: Medical absence for May 27/28 with return on June 1, 2010.
* Open enrollment for FY 2010/2011 for employees will be: June 3 from 12 to 5 p.m. and June 4 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

C. Commissioner Reports

District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked about restitution paid to the county by Shawn Shoates. A little over $1,000 has been paid so far. Asked that the Transfer Station be contacted to do some clean up around the place. Congratulated Public Works Director Todd Goolsby on the improvements made to the Public Works Facility.

District 4 Don Collins: Said that he has had complaints on the stick up signs that are being placed on the Square. Said that Blood Drive signs are the only signs that should be there. Was advised by County Attorney Rob Morton that the City of Zebulon discussed this at the last meeting and will be working with the county to remove signs per their sign ordinance.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: 2010 SPLOST Committee met yesterday and gave BOC a draft timeline on when things need to be done in order to have a voter referendum in November. Recommends that an engineer or a project manager oversee this project from start to finish. Suggested a workshop to discuss this.
* Update on Magistrate Court appointment: Swearing in ceremony at noon on Friday. Said that an offer has been made but no official word on the appointment yet.

Update 5.26.10:

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. The City of Zebulon requests a tax refund in the amount of $1217.11 as a prorated amount for property purchased by the City on April 27, 2009; the entire paid tax bill was $1651.62: Discussion over the amount that the county should pay and what the Board of Education should pay as far as the taxes paid on this property last year.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS

8. Consider approval of recommendation from MSI Benefits Group for health insurance providers for FY 2010/2011 with presentation by Matt Bidwell: [Note from the Editor: This was moved to the top of New Business because Mr. Bidwell had to drive to another destination for a meeting after the Pike County Commission meeting.] When the meeting was held with employees about county health insurance, the biggest complaint was that there was no access to the Thomaston hospital or doctors for most employees with the current insurance. Cigna offered access to Thomaston doctors and the hospital and their quote was 5.58% lower than BCBS. Mr. Bidwell explained that the employees gave an overall consensus to go with Cigna. Motion to change providers to Cigna for the upcoming year. 4-0.

Update 5.27.10:

1. Public Hearing: Entertain public comment for Proposed rezoning of all R-6 parcels to A-R with associated Resolution to repeal R-6 Zoning District, Resolution to amend the Official Zoning Map, and a Text Amendment to clarify procedure for County initiated rezoning amendments: Director of Planning and Development, David Allen explained that R-6 was an outdated concept and showed the area of R-6 on the current map as well as what the new map would look like if approved by the commissioners. He said that many people think that they have A-R property when in fact, they have R-6 zoning or a split parcel with both sets of zoning. R-6 is on a 2 acre lot and allows 600 square foot house or larger. A-R (Agricultural-Residential) is on a 3 acre lot and allows an 1,000 square foot house or larger. Said that the consensus of the Planning Commission was to repeal R-6 zoning and make it go back to A-R zoning.
IN FAVOR:
* Margie Trammell said that she lives in an R-6 zoning area. Said that the county needs uniformity and that this would be an exercise of good common sense.
* John Morrison spoke as a member of the Planning Commission and said that he is glad to see this finally gettng done. He praised the current staff of Planning and Development for their work to accomplish this.
AGAINST:
* Jimmy Bass said that he doesn't have a problem with rezoning R-6 but asked if the text amendment includes commercial or reversion procedures. Was advised by the county attorney that this text amendment only clarifies how the county does this rezoning since any other rezoning would require a sign to be posted and letters to go out to every property owner. Said that if the county initiates this rezoning, no letters will go out and no sign will be posted but it will be printed in the Pike Journal Reporter which is the official legal organ for Pike County.
* Margie Trammell then said that she has a problem with property owners not being notified of the change in zoning. Said that they were not notified in 1989 when the change was made to R-6 zoning. [Note from the Editor: Margie has a letter concerning this matter on the Letters to the Editor page. Personally, I know that it will cost the county money to notify individual property owners of the change, but I think that is the way that this matter should be handled. Just because the county is following state law and posting this change in the newspaper does not mean that the property owners are going to be notified as they should be.]
* Carol Bass asked if this procedure is following the zoning procedures law. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that the Zoning Procedures Law requires that property owners be notified but not specifically by an individual letter. Said that he can understand the concern that property owners are not being individually notified of this change.
* Commissioner Roosevelt Willis verified that anyone with R-6 zoning with livestock is now in violation of our county code. Was concerned that those who have 600 square foot houses on R-6 property who lose a house to fire will have to build an 1,100 square foot house according to our code, and that insurance may only cover rebuilding a 600 square foot house. He was advised by the county attorney that they can apply for a variance and that hardship is one of the items that is taken into consideration. End of public hearing.

2. Consider approval, on first reading, of proposed rezoning of all R-6 parcels to A-R with associated Resolution to repeal R-6 Zoning District, Resolution to amend the Official Zoning Map, and a Text Amendment to clarify procedure for County initiated rezoning amendments: Motion was made to repeal R-6 Zoning District, Resolution to amend the Official Zoning Map, and a Text Amendment was included to clarify procedure for County initiated rezoning amendments. 3-1 with Roosevelt voting against this measure.

More soon.

3. Public Hearing: Entertain public comment for MOD-10-01, Modification of Rezoning Stipulation, for Applicant: Tim A. Daniels, for C-3 Heavy Commercial acreage in Land Lot 205, District 8, regarding Section 156.218 Permitted Uses:

4. Consider approval of MOD-10-01, Modification of Rezoning Stipulation, for Applicant: Tim
A. Daniels, for C-3 Heavy Commercial acreage in Land Lot 205, District 8, regarding Section 156.218 Permitted Uses.

5. Public Hearing: Entertain public comment for SE-10-03 Special Exception for Outdoor Recreational Use for Applicant: Donnie Bennett for acreage in Land Lot 33, District 2, for development of an outdoor amusement enterprise in C-2 zoning district.

6. Consider approval of SE-10-03 Special Exception for Outdoor Recreational Use for Applicant: Donnie Bennett for acreage in Land Lot 33, District 2, for development of an outdoor amusement enterprise in C-2 zoning district.

7. Consider authorizing Chairman to execute approval of the revised fee schedule for the Department of Planning and Development as presented for review at the May 12 meeting.

9. Consider application for appointment to the Pike County Board of Tax Assessors for the unexpired term of Charles Burden, set to expire August 12, 2013.

10. Consider acceptance of Road Deed for Brookstone Way in Brookstone Subdivision.

11. Discuss organization of Courthouse Study Committee.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person) - None

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

5.24.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

I attended the shortest regular called meeting of the Board of Commissioners that I have attended in over ten years today. The motion to adjourn was called before a shocked audience at 9:35 a.m. just 35 minutes after the meeting began. A short agenda, no invited guest, and no Executive Session helped this meeting to end shortly after it began.

There was a lot of information in that Commission meeting however. All 5 Commissioners attended as well as Interim County Manager Teresa Watson and County Attorney Rob Morton.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
     1. Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting of April 27, 2010 and Special Called Meeting of May 3, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS - None

VI. REPORTS: COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. Interim County Manager Report
     1. Financial Statement summaries as of March 31, 2010.
     2. Update on arrival of newly hired County Manager, Bill Sawyer: June 1st will be our new County Manager's first day on the job. A reception for the new County Manager will be held on June 11, 2010 at 2 p.m.
     3. Update on ongoing budget preparation for FY 2010/11: 2010-2011 Budget Workshops continue with the Pike County Board of Commissioners at 2:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays in May: May 13, 18, 20, 25, and 27, 2010. These workshops will provide for the review and finalization of a proposed FY 2010-2011 Budget for Pike County. All interested citizens are invited to attend.

5.13.10
     4. Update on insurance informational meeting with Matt Bidwell, broker. Per direction of the Chairman and Commissioner Swift at the 4-27-10 Board meeting, an insurance workshop was set up for Wednesday, 5-5-10. Commissioners, department heads and employees were encouraged to attend, and this will be an item for consideration/approval at the May 25, 2010 Board of Commissioners meeting: The meeting was pretty full of employees with a lot of discussion according to Interim CM Watson. There will be a one day enrollment with online enrollment and employees able to come by the office to sign up as well. Co Attorney Morton and the Commissioners asked her to look into a 2 day enrollment rather than just one day possibly the 3rd and 4th.
     5. At the May 14, 2010 meeting, the Board approved on second reading, a Text Amendment – Chapter 156, Section 156.023(J) to provide for changes to the Sliding Payment Scale for Certain Invalid Building Permits for New Construction of Dwellings by a vote of 3-1, and presented today is a revised overall fee schedule that incorporates that change and provides for a comprehensive look at all fees assessed: Commissioners had a copy of the fee schedule to review.
     6. Reminder that Ben Carter of Carter Watkins Architects will be present tomorrow, 5-13, at 10 a.m. to discuss the needs assessment done previously on the historic Courthouse: [Note from the Editor: I did not get to attend this meeting. Anyone who would like to contribute something on this, let me know.]
     7. Update on signage for school zone issues on Hughley and Old Meansville Roads: Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and Interim CM Watson have worked on Hughley and Old Meansville Road signs. Interim CM Watson emailed GDOT again about getting signage out on Hwy 19 in the school area after the 4 vehicle wreck there on Tuesday. Trying to get them to reconsider their decision not to put signage there indicating that this is a school zone. AT&T is working on removing the last remaining cable from the pole close to the road that Commissioner Roosevelt had asked about in a prior meeting so the pole can be removed.
C. Commissioners Reports: Commissioner Collins from District 4 said that there were a lot of thank you's at the FFA Banquet to Commissioners for funding 1/2 of the county agent's position rather than eliminating the position. * Said that the 2010 Pride of Pike Fireworks Fundraiser Committee missed the deadline for getting their request for the Courthouse on the current agenda but asked for permission for them to use the Courthouse on June 5th for a yard sale, baked goods, and "Pie Throwing" at Commissioner Parrish Swift. This event will be held from 7 a.m. until noon on the Courthouse Square. [Note from the Editor: See the Calendar of Events page for complete info on this and see how you can help. They are collecting money at the Pimiento Festival on Saturday as well. Look for them on the square from 10-4 p.m. in Zebulon.] Motion to allow. Approved 4-0.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners
     1. Update on Magistrate Court appointment: Interviews will be on May 24th. Judge Edwards has prepared some questions and asked for any other questions from the Commissioners.
     2. Asked to add the fact that he and his Dad will be out of town during the June 9th meeting. His niece is graduating out of state the day before and they are driving so will not be back. Said that they will coordinate all issues prior to that meeting with the County Manager.

More soon.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS - None

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. Don Bailey, Friends of Pike County Animals, requests approval of signage and its placement at the site approved by the Board last year, between the chipper/shredder and the landfill, for use as a location for fundraisers, as well as an update on the Dog & Pony Show of May 29.
     2. Don Bailey, Boy Scout Troop 123, desires to update the Board on the Chicken-Que and Flag Retirement Ceremony planned for May 15, 2010 at 2 p.m. at the Boy Scout Hut on Williamson Road as part of the Boy Scout community service.
     3. The City of Zebulon requests a tax refund in the amount of $434.51 as a prorated amount from property purchased by the City on April 27, 2009; the entire paid tax bill was $1,651.62.
     4. Kevin Teate, Director of the Pike County Parks & Recreation Authority, requests approval to close Twin Oaks Road between County Farm Road and Drew Allen Road from 2:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 3, 2010 for the 2010 Pride of Pike Independence Day Celebration to allow for the provision and control of parking for the event.
     5. Consider applications for the Pike County Board of Appeals for two three-year-term vacancies set to expire May 9, 2013.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT

5.12.10
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL CALLED MEETINGS
Monday, May 3, 2010 – 3:00 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ...................................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE TO THE FLAG

III. EXECUTIVE SESSION
1. The Board of Commissioners desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, for a County Administrative Position, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6), as it relates to the vacant County Manager position.

IV. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Today's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, Interim County Manager Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob Morton. It took a little over 15 minutes for Commissioners to decide to officially extend an offer to Bill Sawyer to come to Pike County as our new county manager. He is currently is currently the County Manager for the Macon County Board of Commissioners in Oglethorpe, Georgia.

The previous offer was a yearly salary of $75,000 plus 7% for retirement as well as vacation, use of a cell phone, etc. which would have come to a total cash value of $80,250. He was also asked for a confirmation that he can assume the position by June 1, 2010.

Today's offer was approved 4-0 with an offer to Bill Sawyer to include the following: a one year salary of $83,400, two weeks vacation, use of the county vehicle for county business [Note from the Editor: I have been told that there is no car allowance other than this], a county provided cell phone, and a standard benefits package that includes medical and life insurance/short term diability/long term disability and sick leave as is provided to county employees. A stipulation was included for Mr. Sawyer to make a reasonable attempt to move to Pike County during his first term as County Manager. This annual contract can be renewed each year.

The meeting ended by 3:20 p.m.

5.3.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

This meeting was attended by all five commissioners, Interim County Manager Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

Don't forget the 15 minute Town Hall Session that starts at 6:15 p.m. prior to the meeting.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
1. Minutes from the following: Special Called Meeting of April 15, Regular Monthly Meeting of April 14, and the Special Called Meetings of April 13, and April 12, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS
1. Recognition of Youth Leadership Pike Program participants by Helen Carter, Pike County Extension Coordinator: These students were recognized and took a picture with the Commissioners at www.pikecountytimes.com/werpc.html.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Motion to accept. Approved 4-0.
B. County Manager Report - Presentation by County Clerk (in absence of County Manager)
     1. Present findings on marketing of insurance carrier and exploration of coverage issues by benefits broker as directed at April 14, 2010 meeting: This will be discussed in workshops.
     2. Report on LGMS Field Report recommendations for MVRs, CDLs, policy updates, etc.
     3. Vacancy on the Board of Assessors to fill the unexpired term of Charles Burden, for a four–year term set to expire August 12, 2013, will be advertised this week, along with one additional vacancy for the Pike County Library Board to fill the unexpired term of Paul Faulds for a three-year term set to expire August 31, 2011: Applications are available at the Board of Commissioners Office.
     4. Overview of Grand Jury presentments for the April 2010 term.
     Interim County Manager Teresa Watson also said that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has done a study on Hwy 19 and Hughley Road and determined that a traffic mitigation device (flashing light, etc.) is not warranted at this time. Said that she is following up on the utility pole. The county is exploring signage for the Middle School location that advises of a school zone. Said that Public Works is going to receive help from GDOT on repairs on Old Lifsey Springs Road but looks like another six weeks before this happens. Acknowledged inconvenience to those living nearby but said that help from GDOT is needed. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis asked Interim CM Watson to look into making training available to needing CDL license for their jobs if they were hired without that qualification.
C. Commissioner Reports:
     District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None.
     District 2 Parrish Swift: Concerned about insurance coverage. It was suggested that employees and Department Heads attend a workshop for insurance in order to voice their concerns. * Said that signage is needed to advise of a school zone. * Expressed concern about recent occurences at Teen Challenge with a call that he received Friday night. Said that he wants to know what is going on with this program and what precautions are being taken to prevent future occurrences as well as a future plan of action.
     District 3 Tommy Powers: Went into detail about two teens leaving the Teen Challenge facility on Friday night/early Saturday morning. Said that they went to a neighbor's house and stole a dirt bike and were later caught on Hughley Road in a bus. Said that he pulled minutes from meeting last year and said that the minutes say that it takes bodily harm in order to reconsider this. Said that he thought that was a mistake.
     District 4 Don Collins: Said that he learned about a program that would pay for an intern to work in the county while he was attending classes in Savannah. This program pairs up Juniors and Seniors in College with a county for a 20 hour work week. Consensus for Interim CM to look into this. * Said that a business owner offered to treat one mile of dirt road with calcium chloride to see if the Commissioners wanted to use his product.
     Chairman Doug Mangham: Concerned about insurance.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Said that applications for Magistrate Court are being accepted through next week. Advised that Judges Gail Rogers, Rita Cavanaugh, and Lynn Brandenburg are available to help with Pike Magistrate Court at this time. Advised that Judge Byron Smith and Judge Brantley are helping out with the Griffin Judicial Circuit until two replacement Superior Court Judges are named.

Update 4.28.10:

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. Discuss and vote on funding of the 2010 July 4th celebration fireworks display: The BOC was advised that between private donations and major donations by United Bank, First Bank of Pike, and Kiwanis, Pike County Parks & Recreation has collected all but $1,000 that is needed for the downpayment on fireworks for the 4th of July Celebration. Motion to pay the remaining $1,000. Approved 4-0.
     2. Discuss and consider renewal of the Work Detail Contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections, West Central PRC, Zebulon, for an amount not to exceed $40,700 (possible $39,500 plus an additional commitment for $1200 annually for vehicle maintenance). Warden Edd Sanders was present at the meeting to answer questions. He stated that the county was not billed the full contracted amount for the time that workers were not working in Pike County. $23,330 would have been required from the county for billing through the end of February if the full contracted amount had been required. Instead, the county has been billed $8,897 for the time that work was done. Warden Sanders advised that the county will not be will if the contract is not met. The vehicle maintenance was a negotiating point on this and it was stated more than once that the county will only be billed for the work that is done in Pike County. Commission Parrish Swift asked when this contract expired (June 30, 2010) and asked why this was not being discussed during workshops instead of now. Motion to allow the attorney to draw up necessary changes to the contract and give to Warden Sanders (who will have to get the contract ok'd through the State). Approved 3-1 with Commissioner Tommy Powers dissenting.

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
     1. Public Hearing: Application #REZ-10-01, Brent Pike, LLC, Owner, 15177 Zebulon Road, requesting to rezone property from A-R (Agricultural-Residential) to C-2 (General Commercial) to use the property for various commercial activities: Planning and Zoning Director David Allen advised that 205 letters were sent out, had pictures of the signs on the property, and had a copy of the newspaper ad. Said that it meets C-2 Zoning and had gone before the Planning Commission on April 8, 2010. He said that there were conditions placed on this 3-1 approval by the Planning Commission including Georgia Department of Transportation approval, there are buffer conditions that have to be met, it has to go back before the Planning Commission because of the Overlay District regulations on construction materials, and the Reversion Process will apply to this property if nothing is done to the property within one year's time of the approval. C-2 Zoning allows for various commercial activities such as retail shops, a convenience store, restaurant, offices, etc. County Attorney Rob Morton cautioned the BOC that this public hearing is only about whether to allow C-2 zoning on this piece of property and said that commissioners and citizens will have a chance to address what will actually be built on the property at a later time. PUBLIC HEARING: IN FAVOR: The property owner spoke in favor of C-2 Zoning on this 12 acre property. Advised that the plans are for use of 6 acres of the property at this time. Said that they could not find a buyer or developer for the property until it is zoned. This property was originally supposed to be apartments but was reverted back to A-R (Agricultural-Residential) Zoning when it was not developed within the one year time frame. OPPOSITION: Planning Commission Member John Morrison voted against this because there were no plans for construction and said that the county had a long history of knowing what they were rezoning for and that he objected to the future development that is shown on the back part of the site plan. Several neighbors and residents from Hidden Falls spoke out against this project. They pointed out safety concerns on the highway, the possibility of something more undesireable from C-2 Zoning than what has been proposed, the possibility of people walking through the homes in the subdivision to get to this location or the fact that children play in the woods close to this proposed development, the possibility of not being able to sell the final lots in the subdivision, possible light intrusion or heavy industrial use, and several residents said that they would not have bought their properties in the subdivision if they had known that there was a possibility of this type of development going in. The public hearing portion of this meeting was closed.
     2. Consider approval of Application #REZ-10-01, Brent Pike, LLC, Owner, 15177 Zebulon Road, requesting to rezone property from A-R (Agricultural-Residential) to C-2 (General Commercial) to use the property for various commercial activities: County Attorney Rob Morton advised that according to Pike County's Code in Section 156.028, ten criteria were considered by the Planning Commission and this is what they based their decision upon. Stated again that this was not about the development but that this hearing is only about whether or not to allow C-2 (Commercial) Zoning. This property is located between Thomas Tire and a home that has a lot of yard sales. Clarified that the 12 month Reversion process starts running when approved--meaning 12 months from 4.27.10. Motion to approve with seven stipulations. 3-0-1 Parrish abstained from this vote.

More soon:
     3. Public Hearing: Application #SE-10-02, Ken Scurry applicant for Still Branch Ranch, LLC, Owner, 9153 Old Zebulon Road, requesting a Special Exception to allow for continuance of a small temporary trailer on the property for personal recreational use.
     4. Consider approval of Application #SE-10-02, Ken Scurry applicant for Still Branch Ranch, LLC, Owner, 9153 Old Zebulon Road, requesting a Special Exception to allow for continuance of a small temporary trailer on the property for personal recreational use.
     5. Consider approval and authorizing execution of letter of support for a certificate of need (CON) for an Open Heart Surgery Program at Southern Regional Health System in Clayton County to serve this regional Southern Crescent area.
     6. Consider approval of FY 2010 Budget Amendment #6 to provide for final budget revision amendments to actual expenditures for FY 2010 to be in compliance with Georgia Department of Audits.
     7. Consider acceptance of the proposed budget for FY 2010/11.
     8. Consider declaring surplus from Commissioners’ fixed assets twelve computers in order to provide for disposal as recommended (two are of no value and one relegated to parts only) for the following departments’ scheduled replacements: Magistrate Court, Commissioners, and Tax Assessors offices.
     9. Consider request of Christian Fellowship Baptist Church to use the Courthouse grounds for a Chicken-Q on Saturday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: 8:04 p.m.
1. The Board of Commissioners desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, for a County Administrative Position, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6): Motion to direct County Attorney to extend offer to Bill Sawyer for position of County Manager. Approved 4-0.

XI. ADJOURNMENT: 8:17 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.

Info on Bill Sawyer from a previous article dated 4.8.10 on the Past Stories page:
Bill Sawyer is from Ellaville and is currently the County Manager for the Macon County Board of Commissioners in Oglethorpe, Georgia since 2005. He was on President/CEO of the Development Authority of Macon County from 2002-2005, City Manager of the City of Cuthbert in Cuthbert, Georgia from 1998-2000, County Manager of Calhoun County in Morgan, Georgia in 1997, Executive Vice-President/CEO of Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation in Sulphur Springs, Texas from 1992-1996, Executive Vice-President of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce from 1987-1992, Executive Vice-President/CEO of the Worth County-Sylvester Chamber of Commerce in Cumming, Georgia in 1986, Executive Vice-President/CEO of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in Louisville, Georgia from 1983-1986, and Director of Economic Development for 8 county area with the Middle Flint Area Planning and Development Commission in Ellaville, Georgia in 1982. Bill Sawyer was also Pike County's final choice for County Manager in 2007. He declined to come to Pike County after he was announced as the County Manager at that time. [Note from the Editor: Mr. Sawyer received a raise from his current employment in 2007 in order to stay. I liked him at that time and hope that he agrees to come Pike County as County Manager this time. No other information than the motion was made at the meeting tonight.]

4.26.10
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AGENDA
REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, April 14, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five commissioners were present with Intermin County Manager Teresa Watson to take the minutes and County Attorney Rob Morton to provide legal presentation. An Executive Session was added for Pending and Potential Litigation.

I. CALL TO ORDER ...................................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE .................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
   1. Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held March 30, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS

VI. REPORTS: COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. Interim County Manager Report
   1. Press Release for County Manager Applicants: All commissioners had this in their packets.
   2. Update on Budget process for FY 2010/11: At this time, the 2010/2011 proposed budget is supposed to be submitted to the Commissioners on April 27, 2010. Available workshop dates (with more available) will be every Tuesday and Thursday in May at 4:30 p.m. The 1st and 2nd readings will be held during Public Hearings currently scheduled for June 9, 2010 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. The 5 year history will be published 14 days prior to the adoption of the millage rate and the Final Adoption of the Pike County Budget for 2010-2011 is currently scheduled for June 29, 2010 at 5 p.m. The special meeting to set the Tax Levy is currently scheduled for July 14, 2010. August 1, 2010 is the deadline for submitting the budget to the Georgia Department of Revenue.
   3. Update on vacancies for two departments, Administration and Chief Tax Appraiser: These will be advertised inhouse first and then advertised outside of county government. [Note from the Editor: There will be a Special Called Meeting of the Board of Tax Assessors on April 15th at 4 pm.]
C. Commissioners Reports: Two items of major importance were discussed. Problems with the current insurance program were discussed in depth. It was stated the employees were not getting what they were paying for. The second major item was the school zones for the Middle School on Old Meansville Road and Highway 19 at Hughley Road. The county can erect a School Zone sign on Old Meansville Road, but the DOT has to give approval for anything on US Highway 19. There was concern that there is going to be a major accident here because cars are coming through there too quickly during school times and that there would be a serious rear end collision there. Consensus to allow the Interim County Manager to address this issue with the DOT by writing a letter requesting this to be School Zone.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
   1. Discuss and vote on funding of the 2010 July 4th celebration fireworks display, continued from the March 10 and March 30, 2010 Board meetings. Kevin Teate, Director of Pike County Parks & Recreation Authority made an extensive presentation of the event costs. He said that the Recreation Authority met last night and said that if the $9,000 amount cannot be raised in pledges by May 1, the event will be cancelled. Commission Don Collins said that he made phone calls to find out about donations to this event--was told no by one bank, was told to have 10 businesses donate $600 and one bank said that they would donate $600 too, and no response from others that he has contacted. Commissioner Parrish Swift made a motion to match the $3,000 that Parks and Recreation has already set aside for this event. The motion died for lack of a 2nd. Commissioner Tommy Powers made a motion to turn down the fireworks this year. This motion also died for lack of a 2nd. The matter was continued until the next meeting. [Note from the Editor: Anyone who wants to contribute to the annual Pike County 4th of July Fireworks Celebration can call Kevin Teate, Director of Pike County Parks & Recreation Authority at 770-567-2027 or email at kteate_pikeco@bellsouth.net to give him a pledge amount toward that $9,000.]
   2. Consider, on second reading, a Text Amendment – Chapter 156, Section 156.023(J) to provide for changes to the Sliding Payment Scale for Certain Invalid Building Permits for New Construction of Dwellings: Planning and Development Director David Allen advised that a two to three year time limit was suggested on this by the Planning Commission to determine if a sliding rule is still needed. Motion to approve as 2nd reading contingent upon reviewing this ordinance again in two years. Approved 3-1 with Commissioner Roosevelt Willis voting against it. [Note from the Editor: I said that Commissioner Tommy Powers voted against this originally and have corrected it. Sorry for the error.]
   3. Consider, on second reading, Text Amendments to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116, Fire District Ordinance of Title XI. Business Regulations: Motion to adopt as 2nd reading. Approved 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Consider approval of FY 2010 Budget Amendment #5 to provide for movement of $80,000 from Public Works salaries and benefits to Public Works M & R Roads: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   2. Consider approval of revised Budget Calendar for FY 2010-2011: Asked if Mr. Merritt Spier was ok with this new schedule and then motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   3. Consider approval of SPLOST project(s) for a possible call in November 2010: Chairman Doug Mangham said that this was discussed lately and that the Board agreed to fixing the roof of the Courthouse, repairing the boxing on the gables, and the rest go to the new Judicial Complex. Commissioner Parrish Swift verified that no action was taken at that meeting and then gave his position on the SPLOST. Said that we just had a SPLOST voted down, he is not convinced that revenue will accommodate that project, and that he doesn't think that the timing is right for the a new Judicial Complex. Made a motion to consider the SPLOST to be the renovation of the Courthouse and base the SPLOST on the cost of repairs. Discussion: Commissioner Don Collins thought it was inappropriate to vote without input from the SPLOST Steering Committee and a cost estimate on the Courthouse repairs. Parrish countered that he was afraid that a small amount would be spent on the Courthouse and the rest would be spent on the Judicial Complex if the two were together. Discussed time frame for SPLOST. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that a SPLOST for this project can go for up to six years. Said that a larger project could be completed in a shorter time. Said that the SPLOST Steering Committee can still make recommendations on the extent of the renovations and the amount of money and time for the SPLOST. Commissioners Roosevelt Willis asked if the cost of renting offices during the time of renovation could be included in this SPLOST. Doug asked about moving expenses too. Rob is going to look into these issues. Approved 4-0.
   4. Consider appointment to the SPLOST Steering Committee to replace Patsy Riley: Motion to appoint Riley Shackelford. 4-0.
   5. Consider board appointment to the Three Rivers Council on Aging for a three-year appointment to expire April 14, 2013: Motion to appoint Patricia Beckham. Approved 4-0.
   6. Consider authorization for a letter to be issued to the Georgia Department of Revenue stating the County has no objection to the issuance of a one-day alcoholic beverage permit for the Pike County Chamber of Commerce for a golf tournament fundraiser to be held at The Cedars on May 3: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   7. Consider renewal of the Work Detail Contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections, West Central PRC, Zebulon, in the amount of $39,500 with an additional commitment for $1,200 annually for vehicle maintenance, for a total annual contract cost of $40,700: A lot of discussion on this. Commissioners said that they needed to talk to Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and Warden Edd Sanders. Motion to postpone until pertinent information can be obtained. Approved 4-0.
   8. Consider approval and authorization to execute a lease agreement with City of Zebulon for office space for the Pike County Coroner for an amount not to exceed $3,600 annually, utilities inclusive: This money for a cooler was in the past budget. Motion to approve. Approved 3-0-1. Commissioner Parrish Swift recused himself from the vote.
   9. Consider approval and authorization to execute a twelve-month renewal contract with Three Rivers Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation for Pike County’s participation in the 2011 public transportation program for an amount not to exceed an annual cost of $4,109: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.

X. Executive Session for the purpose of discussing pending and potential litigation. Out at 9:55 a.m. Back into Session at 10:30 a.m.

Motion to ask the attorney to seek a Declaratory Injuction related to Magistrate Court. Approved 4-0. [Note from the Editor: I asked some questions after the meeting about what this meant and hope that I explain it correctly. The Associate Magistrate Judge was appointed by the former Chief Magistrate Judge Priscilla Killingsworth and is currently serving in her position until a replacement is appointed. There is a question about the authority of the Associate Magistrate Judge now that the Chief Magistrate Judge has resigned. As I understand this motion, this motion is basically asking the County Attorney to request the facts on this matter from Superior Court.]

X. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person): None.

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
4.13.10
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County Manager Finalist Applicants Identified

Press Release from the Pike County Board of Commissioners:

Please be advised that, in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(7), Pike County hereby issues notice this date that it has identified three candidates for the vacant County Manager position.

These applicants have been notified that their names shall be released for publication, and interviews with the candidates are being scheduled. All three have agreed to keep their names in contention and they are, in no particular order: Bill Sawyer of Ellaville, Georgia; James Risher of McDonough, Georgia; and Robert Thomson of Tybee Island, Georgia.

A successful candidate from the list of applicants whose names were released to the public will not be announced until at least April 23, 2010.

Update 4.9.10:

Here are the County Commmission Candidates in no particular order as well as some of their qualifications.

Bill Sawyer is from Ellaville and is currently the County Manager for the Macon County Board of Commissioners in Oglethorpe, Georgia since 2005. He was on President/CEO of the Development Authority of Macon County from 2002-2005, City Manager of the City of Cuthbert in Cuthbert, Georgia from 1998-2000, County Manager of Calhoun County in Morgan, Georgia in 1997, Executive Vice-President/CEO of Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation in Sulphur Springs, Texas from 1992-1996, Executive Vice-President of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce from 1987-1992, Executive Vice-President/CEO of the Worth County-Sylvester Chamber of Commerce in Cumming, Georgia in 1986, Executive Vice-President/CEO of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in Louisville, Georgia from 1983-1986, and Director of Economic Development for 8 county area with the Middle Flint Area Planning and Development Commission in Ellaville, Georgia in 1982. Bill Sawyer was also Pike County's final choice for County Manager in 2007. He declined to come to Pike County after he was announced as the County Manager at that time.

Bob Thomson is from Tybee Island, Georgia. He has been the Town Administrator for Thunderbolt, Georgia since 2006, City Manager of Tybee Island from 2002-2006, Teacher in Athens and Gainsville, Georgia from 1999 to 2001, County Administrator in Oconee County, Georgia from 1998-1999, City Administrator for the City of Smyrna from 1992 to 1996, City Manager of Powder Springs, Georgia from 1987-1992, and City Administrator for Tybee Island from 1985-1987.

James Risher is from McDonough, Georgia. He was the City Manager of Hampton, Georgia from 2006-2009, President of J.F. Risher and Associates, LLC from 2002-2006, County Manager of Henry County, Georgia from 1995-2002, Community Development Director in Henry County from 1983-1995, Planning Administrator for the City of Rock Island, Illinois from 1980-1983, Planning Administrator, Chief Planner, Planner II in Pontiac, Michigan from 1974-1980, and Associate Planner and Senior Planner for the Genessee County Metropolitan Planning Commission in Flint, Michigan from 1972-1974.

4.8.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

All five Commissioners were present through almost the entire meeting though Commission Parrish Swift had to leave on a Coroner's Call before the end of the meeting. Interim County Manager Teresa Watson and County Attorney Rob Morton were present as well.

Condolences to Sheriff Jimmy Thomas on the passing of his father. A moment of silence was held for the Thomas Family.

I. CALL TO ORDER ............................................................................. Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ........................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1)): Added New Business discussion of C-3 zoning tract on Hwy 19 for Tim Daniels for a paint and body shop.

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
   1. Minutes from the following: Regular Monthly Meeting of March 10, Special Called Meeting of March 17 and Special Called Meeting of March 19, 2010.

V. INVITED GUESTS
   1. Vanessa Mottley, of Promise Place, 7520 U.S. Highway 19 South, Zebulon, would like to present a brief update on the facility that shelters victims of domestic violence and their children: Vanessa Mottley is the Executive Director of Promise Place. She and Board Member George Martin were there to introduce themselves to the Commissioners and let them know that their services are available if needed. www.promiseplace.org Teen dating violence prevention classes are part of education now and they have provided training for the City of Zebulon and the Sheriff's Office free of charge.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report - Presentation by County Clerk (in absence of County Manager)
   1. Present financial statement summaries for the month of February 2010: These are on the website already. Go to the Links page and click on the link to Pike County Government and the County Commission to review these documents.
   2. Update on the County Manager job search: 34 applicants have been reduced to a top 5 list for each commissioner. From there, those lists will be reduced to a top 3 and interviews will begin. Interim County Manager Teresa Watson said that she is doing the background checks, etc. that are required from the county. [Note from the Editor: Doing a google search is always a good idea too so we don't end up with any suprises as has happened in the past.]
   3. Letter from Keep America Beautiful (KPB) decertifying affiliation with Keep Pike Beautiful: KPB is still active but will no longer be a part of the national chapter.
C. Commissioners Reports
   District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Concern about paving on McKinley Road and not knowing about it until it was in the process. Wants to know this in the future.
   District 2 Parrish Swift: Concern about poor job of paving on McKinley Road. Asked if there was any recourse on this because the road is already starting to break up. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby advised that he spoke with the DOT Supervisor prior to teh job and that Georgia Asphalt out of Monroe County was the low bid on this job. DOT said it was an inch thick paving and that county patched one spot prior to paving. County Attorney Rob Morton mentioned a performance bond. This was done with LARP money. Director Goolsby was asked to keep looking into this and possibly working with the Interim County Manager to possibly write a letter from the BOC on this.
   District 3 Tommy Powers: Said that his concern was trash on the mountain and that Director Goolsby had already taken care of this.
   District 4 Don Collins: Said that a Council on Aging position is still open with Three Rivers. Having this position could reduce the risk of having some of senior programs cut. Asked that the Transportation Committee get up and running ASAP since the East/West Corridor across the state is moving quickly and Pike could be left out of this completely.
   Chairman Doug Mangham said his concern had already been addressed.
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: Already on the agenda.

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
   1. Consider approval of Application #SE-10-01, Timothy John Wiggins, requesting a Special Exception in an AR (Agricultural-Residential) zoned district to allow for the development of a commercial dog training kennel, on State Route 362, as recommended by Staff and Board of Appeals with conditions: The Planning Commission recommended approval with the following stipulations: 1) a piece of this large block of land has to be cut out for a minor subdivision for the kennel, 2) required annual business license, 3) training during daylight hours only, 4) have to follow health department regulations, 5) a privacy fence is required that meets the ordinance, and 6) repeated escapes could result in revocation of business license. Public Hearing was already held. Approved with these stipulations 4-0.
   2. Consider, on second reading, adoption of proposed text amendment from Planning and Development regarding alcoholic beverage licensing for golf courses, both public and private, relating to Section 111.03 Retail Package Sales and Retail Pouring Sales, and Section 111.09 Pouring Licenses: Public hearing was held at a prior meeting. Only change is the prohibition on employee drinking in this ordinance. Motion to approve 4-0.
   3. As directed at the February 10, 2010 meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Planning and Development presents for reconsideration, on first reading, a text amendment regarding the sliding payment scale for certain invalid building permits for new construction: The Planning Commission made no recommendation on this. This is the 2nd public hearing. A $150 status inspection fee would be required before an invalid (meaning no longer active) permit could be validated for work to begin again. Approved 3-1 with Commissioner Roosevelt Willis against. This was the 1st reading.
   4. Consider approval of FY 2010 Budget Amendment #4 to provide for acceptance of insurance reimbursement and a transfer of funds from the Pike County Board of Commissioners’ Contingency line item to Capital Outlay-Vehicles in order to purchase a replacement cruiser for the Sheriff’s Department: There was a $9,000 reimbursement check. All items that could be reused later--light bar, radio, etc.--were removed. New car came cheaper with this already on it for $24,627.00. Motion to move $15,629.00 from Contingency to replace this cruiser. Citizen Carol Bass asked for specifics on the amount of money that was moved again at this meeting since she understood from a prior meeting that they would make these amounts public when moved from Contingency.
   5. Discuss and vote on funding of the 2010 July 4th celebration fireworks display: The BOC was advised that the Chamber of Commerce said it is not going to contribute to the fireworks this year. $12,000 was budgeted last year. The Recreation Authority has advised that it is willing to contribute $3,000 toward the overall cost of about $16,000 for this celebration. This died for lack of a motion. [Note from the Editor: Someone suggested to me after the meeting that citizens be able to contribute to this and it could be paid for. Even if people contributed $5, $10 or $20 here and there. It all adds up.]
   6. Consider, on first reading, Text Amendments to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116, Fire District Ordinance of Title XI. Business Regulations: Commissioner Tommy Powers made a motion to cut Commercial and Agribusiness fee from $150 to $100. Motion died for lack of a 2nd. Motion was made to approve the 1st reading as is. Discussion: Concern about unknown number of parcels and how that will affect funding if dropped from $150. Motion was approved 3-1 with Commissioner Tommy Powers opposed.

Update 4.3.10:

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Appoint SPLOST Steering Committee members for a possible November referendum: Commissioner Tommy Powers made a motion to remove John Barker III from this list and place Joe Mangham on the Committee in his place. Motion approved 3-1 with Don Collins opposed. Members appointed to this committee included Tommy Burnsed, Joy Walker, Doug Rounds, Patsy Riley, Merritt Spier, Jeff Kenerly, and Joe Mangham.
   2. Discuss the Zebulon Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) proposal to renovate the former Zebulon Elementary School building on Adams Street and lease back to Pike County for use by Courthouse employees during renovation: Commissioner Don Collins asked that this be put on the agenda for discussion. He said that the DDA brought brought this up at their meeting last month. Said that the county can get in on the design of this building with no monetary commitment if the County will partner with the DDA on this project to use the facility as a place for those working in the Courthouse to stay while renovations are being made at the Courthouse. Chairman Doug Mangham and Commissioner Tommy Powers both said that they would not agree on anything on the old school house at this time. No motion was made on this. [Note from the Editor: I have a problem with this and was glad to see nothing go forward on this. If you want to read some of the history on the renovation of the old school house, click here. Scroll down below the light blue boxes to read a history that begins before December of 2006.]
   3. Consider award of Pike County 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Geographic Information System: Darlene Smith from E-911 had taken the bids from the prior meeting in order to analyze them and make a presentation to the Commissioners on the companies and equipment that was in the bids. The long and short of the matter is that GeoTech (the lowest bidder) has been in business since 2003, is located out of Knoxville, Tennessee, says that it will respond to problem calls within 15 minutes, and its equipment will not interact with the equipment that we already have. Interact has been in business since 1975, has Techs who can respond remotely when there is a system problem or dispatch immediately from Newnan or Atlanta, and the 911 equipment that we have an Interact system and we have been working with them since 2002. She said that this project was authorized last year and that the money for this project has been earning interest since then and will continue to gain interest until payment is required. Darlene recommended the Interact system. Motion to approve Interact. Approved 4-0.
   4. Consider application of Tami Teachout for appointment to the Pike County Library Board for the unexpired term of Keith McClelland, set to expire August 31, 2010: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   5. Consider application of Phyllis Bryan for appointment to the Keep Pike Beautiful Committee vacancy: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   6. Consider request of Zebulon Downtown Development Authority to use the Courthouse grounds for a biannual Yard Sale on the Square, Saturday, April 17, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   7. Consider request of Zebulon Downtown Development Authority for permission to use Courthouse grounds for the 4th Annual Pimiento Fest, Saturday, May 15, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   8. Consider request of Bobby Blalock to use the Courthouse grounds for a Baptist Church Chicken-Q on Saturday, May 1, from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
   9. Discussion of C-3 Zoning tract on Hwy 19 for Tim Daniels for a paint and body shop:

More on this next week.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
   1. Wendell Strickland, of Shaw Hankins, would like to address the Board regarding the selection process for the Benefits Brokerage Service RFP.
   2. Don Bailey, Pike Post 197 American Legion/Boy Scout Troop 123, would like to address the Board regarding a flag retirement ceremony to be held on Saturday, May 15, 2010 and a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 31, 2010.
   3. Don Bailey, Friends of Pike County Animals, would like to update the Board on their efforts.
   4. Jack Connell, of Meansville, would like to address the Board regarding litter on the roads and residents riding four-wheelers and dirt bikes on dirt roads.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
   1. Interim County Manager desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, for County administrative positions, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
3.30.10
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AGENDA - BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
Friday, March 19, 2010 – 3:00 p.m.

All five Commissioners were present along with Interim County Manager Teresa Watson and County Attorney Rob Morton.

This meeting was held to continue the discussion that had begun in the Special Called Meeting on March 17, 2010 (see below) on a 24,000 foot gas line that will run from Five Points Road in Lamar County up to Etheridge Mill Road. The cost of the gasline project was originally $1,648,222, but could be reduced to $475,124.00 through a funding program provided by the Public Service Commission and Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) that is called the Intergrated Customer Growth Program (ICGP). The IDA is working with AGL on an agreement that each business from Pike and Lamar that joins onto this part of the pipeline over the next ten years will reduce the required funding amount by $130,000.00 and that this amount was retroactive.

County Attorney Rob Morton began the meeting by walking the Commissioners and those in the audience through the intergovernmental contract that has been drawn up between the Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA). He made it very clear that this contract is only allows the IDA to negotiate with Atlanta Gas Light on the gas line project as far as funding through the Intergrated Customer Growth Program (i-CGP). This intergovernmental agreement does not obligate the BOC to any funding at this time for the pipeline.

[Note from the Editor: I obtained everything that was included in the BOC's packet for today's meeting. This multi-page Intergovernmental agreement is very thorough. Also included in the packet was a Letter of Intent from Supreme Corporation to tie onto the gas line when it is installed.]

Update 3.20.10:

County Attorney Rob Morton advised that Yancey will be paying $26,000 in taxes to Pike County on this property. He then explained all of the funding sources that are available including a possible tax allocation district to users in this district. He also mentioned a Memorandum of Understanding for 10 years that would have repercussions if a business moved after the pipeline was installed. He said that Supreme Corporation is is committed to tying onto the gas line and that an undisclosed third party is looking to commit as well.

County Attorney Morton stressed that that county is only agreeing to consider this project agreement with the passing of a motion to do so today.

IDA Chairman Randy Schultz said that he talked to the Vice President of Yancey who said that Yancey Brothers will entertain the prospect of a hook up fee, taxes, etc. above the $26,000 in taxes that they will pay to the county. He said that they will also consider a 10 year Memorandum of Understanding to stay in Pike County after the pipeline is installed. This is currently in negotiation. He also advised that AGL is considering a twelve month delay on the first payment until July 1, 2011. The Public Service Commission would have to ok this first.

Commissioner Tommy Powers asked why the commissioners should sign anything until they got some solid figures to know where this is going. County Attorney Rob Morton explained that the application has to be made for this funding and bids put out before the BOC will have solid numbers and stressed that the BOC is only committing itself to consider this project. Commissioner Powers said that he wanted to see solid commitments from Yancey in writing on this project and said that he wasn't against the project, just the economic times.

Commissioner Parrish Swift said that this is planning for the future by allowing the IDA to apply for funding. He compared getting the pipeline to the City of Griffin Reservoir that is located in Pike County and said that the right thing to do is to allow them to move forward. Chairman Doug Mangham said that he thought the BOC should allow the IDA to move forward with this.

Commissioner Don Collins made the motion to adopt the intergovernmental contract with the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to proceed with negotiations for the Intergrated Customer Growth Program (i-CGP) with Atlanta Gas Light Company in the same price range as has been discussed and spell out that we get credits for the next ten years for any hookups on this gas line as has been agreed to. Commissioner Collins asked as part of his motion that the IDA prepare quarterly reports on how much credit has been generated, how many jobs have been created, and how much has been added to our tax base. Commissioner Swift made a 2nd with the addition of getting a letter of intent from Yancy Brothers to remain in the county for a period of time after the construction of the gas line. The motion was approved 3-1 with Commissioner Tommy Powers opposed.

Commissioners Collins made a statement at the end of the meeting that this gas line will add to the infrastructure for the county and that the Commissioners are going to work to ensure that no tax payer funds are used for this project.

[Note from the Editor: This will allow the IDA to pursue the funds that are available through Atlanta Gas Light only. Everything else will have to come back before the Commissioners for approval.]

3.19.10
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS - SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five commissioners were present as well as Interim County Manager Teresa Watson, and County Attorney Rob Morton. Almost all of the chairs were full again for this meeting.

This is a 24,000 foot gas line that will run from Five Points Road in Lamar County up to Etheridge Mill Road. The cost of the gasline project was originally $1,648,222. It could be reduced to $475,124.00 through a funding program provided by the Public Service Commission and Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) that is called the Intergrated Customer Growth Program (ICGP). According to the the IDA and Chamber of Commerce, funding for this project can be deferred for one year and that hookups over the next ten years will reduce the cost that taxpayers will be paying to bring this infrastructure to the Industrial Park on Highway 341.

Each business that joins over the next ten years will reduce the required funding amount by $130,000.00. Chairman Schultz said that this was for Pike and Lamar and that this amount was retroactive. He advised that they are trying to delay payments outside of the 2010-2011 year.

Commissioner Don Collins advised that a letter of agreement is needed by the Board of Commissioners in order for the IDA to put in a request for this ICGP money that has dwindled from $4 million to $2 million and may be gone in April--hence the need for the Special Called Meeting today.

Commissioner Roosevelt Willis asked where the $475,000 was going to come from and was advised that the IDA will pay it through funding from the Board of Commissioners and that an intergovernmental agreement would be required between the BOC and the IDA. Commissioner Tommy Powers asked if this funding was guaranteed and was advised that it is not guaranteed. However, the Commissioners could do a provision in the letter to address what to do if we do not get the money from this program to reduce the funding the $475,000.

Cost estimates were discussed. It was said that it could cost a little more or even a little less. Other ways of funding were discussed. County Attorney Rob Morton pointed out during this meeting that he could not comment on ownership of the gasline because he has not seen an agreement on the pipeline or a Memorandum of Understanding on this project. He also mentioned the Gratuities Clause in Georgia Code and that he cannot even comment on whether a business could even contribute to this project without documentation.

Commissioner Tommy Powers asked Pike County Volunteer Grant Writer Bill Chamberlain about this. Mr. Chamberlain said that he has been advised by state officials that the state will not invest grant money in a piece of infrastructure that the county will not own. This came up while he was trying to obtain county grants for the pipeline. Commissioner Collins advised that AGL owns and maintains all of the gas lines in the state of Georgia.

It was pointed out that Yancey Brothers lost a $2 million contract because there was no natural gas in the Industrial Park. At this point, Commissioner Parrish Swift asked a representative from Yancey Brothers if Yancey Brothers would be willing to contribute toward this $475,000 amount. He asked why Yancey would not invest money in order to make money. The representative could not give authorization on this but suggested that someone from the BOC or the IDA could contact the appropriate person and ask this question. Chairman Collins advised that this question was asked at a meeting in Atlanta with the Chief Financial Officer and the Vice-President of Yancey Brothers who said that the company is not going to finance the county's infrastructure.

President of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce & Development Authority Karen Brown said that if the Commissioners would put this off until Friday, the question of a 50/50 cost share could be asked of Yancey Brothers.

Final discussion included Commissioner Willis saying that he would invest money in something like this if he had just lost a $2 million project with Commissioner Swift pointing out that this is still Pike County infrastructure. Commissioner Collins pointed out that every company who ties onto this project over the next ten years will reduce the cost and that taxpayers will not have to pay for this. Commissioner Swift asked that Yancey Brothers still be asked for a cost share on this project because he thought that a majority of the Board was against this. Commissioner Powers echoed the sentiment of why Yancey Brothers would not help pay for this when they just lost a $2 million project.

County Attorney Rob Morton made the recommendation that the Board see what kind of proposed agreement has been drafted on this and recommended that the BOC review "hardline recovery plans" for that $475,000 before they make their final vote. Said that there needs to be something in writing on this.

Motion was made by Commissioner Swift to postpone a decision on the pipeline until "these facts can be gathered" (referring to the County Attorney's recommendation above on written documentation) and the question of a cost-share is addressed. Second by Commissioner Willis. Swift and Willis in favor of the motion. Powers and Collins against the motion. Chairman Doug Mangham breaking the tie vote to make it a 3-2 vote in favor of postponing this decision.

Motion to adjourn. 9:43 a.m.

3.17.10
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WORKSHOP
Courthouse Annex Meeting Room
Monday, March 15, 2010 - 2:00 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. NEW BUSINESS
A. Discuss Pike County fire fee structure and policy.
B. Discuss call for possible November 2010 SPLOST referendum.
C. Discuss other related issues.

III. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 3.15.10:

I attended this workshop today. All five commissioners were present with Interim County Manager (CM) Teresa Watson and County Attorney Rob Morton. There was more than 20 citizens in the meeting by the time that it ended before 3:50 p.m. today. The 1st reading of this document and a vote will take place at the night meeting of the Board of Commissioners (BOC).

Fire fees would be on a flat fee rather than on a sliding scale as they were before according to revisions of this document. $50 for each residential parcel or other undeveloped parcels. $150 for each commercial or agribusiness parcel (ex. chicken houses). $350 for each industrial parcel. This fee schedule will be reviewed annually by the Commissioners. These fees will be kept in a separate account and will roll over from year to year.

If a parcel is less than one acre, there will be a way to opt out of paying these fees. However, if there is a response to a call on property that has been opted out of--even if the fire starts on another parcel and spreads to the opted out parcel--there will be a $450 fee for services provided. [Note from the Editor: I originally had this as $150 but that is not correct.]

The Commissioners discussed this in depth and took questions from the audience. One of the major questions from the audience was about accountability on this account. All purchases will be required to have a purchase order and get approved before they are made just like any other department in the county so there will be accountability on this money. It was also clarified that Georgia Forestry handles forest fires, but that the Fire Department has handled brush fires over the past year so Georgia Forestry was not called out.

Action will be taken on this at the next meeting of the BOC with the 1st reading. Commissioners can suggest changes at that time as well.

After 50 minutes of discussion on fire fees, the discussion went to SPLOST. There was discussion of the Courthouse renovation document from 2005 that described everything that was needed for a major renovation of the Courthouse. Costs were discussed and whether to do what is needed to fix up the Courthouse or to completely renovate it and then the Judicial Complex was brought into the discussion.

Discussion continued on a short SPLOST to fix up the Courthouse and establish accountability that citizens are calling for before moving onto the Judicial Complex at a later point. A SPLOST can be for a specific amount of time and then stopped when funds are gathered to complete a project. Everything from a two to a six year SPLOST was discussed with just the Courthouse and a Courthouse/Judicial Complex on there together.

Clarified that this has been on the Grand Jury list to be renovated for some time but that no mandate has been issued at this time and is not likely in these tough economic times.

The fact that the past SPLOST was voted down was discussed as well. Former CATF member and current Budget Consultant Merritt Spier pointed out that the past Citizens Advisory Task Force SPLOST recommendation was $6 million and it ended up $8 million by the time that commissioners were finished with it. Said that this hurt us and that the county would not have collected $8 million by the end of that SPLOST if it had passed. Said that he thought floating a bond for this was the wrong thing to do right now and that a lot more people will be voting with several races on the ballot. Said that he believes a Courthouse only SPLOST will pass.

Former CATF SPLOST committee member Patsy Riley also spoke and said that people were confused over what the SPLOST was going to be and the Commissioners kept going back and forth on the three phases and that confused people too. Advised to go with just the Courthouse. Discussion ensued on where to place people while the work was ongoing because of lead paint, etc. Perhaps the City of Zebulon still has available space with their SPLOST renovated building.

Budget Consultant Tommy Burnsed agreed with Commissioner Don Collins about going with the Judicial Complex because the Courthouse does not provide adequate space for our needs now. There was concern that if a major overhaul was done of the Courthouse, there would be a reluctance to start the Judicial Complex that will provide more space for county offices and a safer Courtroom set up. Mr. Burnsed asked the Commissioners what their 5, 10 and 15 year plans were for the county too.

Update 3.16.10:

Commissioner Roosevelt Willis said that people need to realize that this is going to cost money and everyone pays with a SPLOST. Otherwise, just the homeowners pay. Former CATF member Jimmy Bass talked about accountability to the Commissioners and warned that if there is unnecessary items on the SPLOST, it will not pass. Former CATF SPLOST member Jim Pickering suggested that the Commissioners decided what they will do first, get and exact dollar amount, and build the SPLOST around it. Former CATF member John Morrison said that the Courthouse is not going to provide for the needs of the county and suggested that if the BOC is going to do a SPLOST for Judicial purposes, that he strongly recommends taking $4.5 million or whatever to build the bottom floor of the Judicial Center and spend the other $2 million on a historical renovation of the Courthouse.

In the end, the Commissioners were in agreement to go with a six year SPLOST and started working on a SPLOST Committee that will oversee this SPLOST from start to finish. Jim Pickering asked that opposition be included on this 7 or 9 member SPLOST Committee because this was done once before and the BOC did not provide support on the last SPLOST.

The meeting ended about 3:46 p.m.

[Note from the Editor: The issue of the Courthouse and whether it will provide enough space for county offices is a valid issue that needs to be discussed. We do not have enough space for our county offices at this time. And the fact remains that it is a historic building that needs renovation if it is to continue standing. Bandaids have been placed on various problems--electrical, ADA requirements, etc.--but something has to be done in order to do this renovation right. Bandaids are not a wise use of taxpayer money. However, if we are going to go with building part of a Judicial Complex that can be finished out later, we have to have a plan on where we are going and a dollar amount that does not change from week to week. I was on the last two CATF SPLOST Committees and know that we cannot do anything without the Commissioners making everything about a project transparent. I strongly suggest that the project be written clearly and that the Commissioners back their own project.]

3.15.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

The meeting began at 8:45 a.m. with the commissioners holding a Town Hall forum prior to the meeting. The meeting had very few empty chairs. The protest against the industrial pipeline began at 8:30 a.m. and continued in the rain for a while after the meeting began. (Look for a story on this shortly.)

All five commissioners were present with County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes and County Attorney Rob Morton to provide legal advice.

V. INVITED GUESTS
   1. Denise Hosch, with the U.S. Census Bureau, desires to discuss their hiring in Pike: She just wanted to let the commissioners know the U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire about 50 people in Pike County. [Note from the Editor: See article above for more details.]

VI. REPORTS: COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report – County Clerk (in absence of): 1) The Pike County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to name Highway 109 in honor of the late Mr. Donnie Dickens. The Georgia Department of Transportation has provided the signs for the Donnie Dickens Memorial Highway. These signs are now in place and will remain covered until the dedication ceremony on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 2 p.m. on the Molena end of Highway 109. 2) Mid Georgia Ambulance ran 237 calls last month. 3) Memo went out to the Department Heads and Elected Officals from Budget Consultants Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed for assistance. 4) An email was receiving giving kudos to the Public Works Department, specifically employees Charles Bassett and Tim Holt. 5) Letters have gone out to the Transportation Committee for a May 19, 2010 meeting and will meet bi-monthly after that. 6) Records Management is coming along. Shelving is up in one room with preparation being made in the other room. Documents are being identified and prepared for the move. The March 31, 2010 grant deadline date should be met.
C. Commissioners Reports: [Note from the Editor: I will return to this portion of the meeting after the rest of the meeting is complete.]
D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners
   1. County Attorney recommends a workshop be held prior to the next Board of Commissioners meeting on March 30, 2010 to update the Board on a review of the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116, Fire District Ordinance, as well as an update on the current consideration to call for a November SPLOST referendum: This will be held on Monday, March 15, 2010 at 2 p.m.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
   1. Discussion of confirmation of remuneration for Tommy Burnsed as budget consultant, as directed at the February 23, 2010 Board meeting: In a letter dated March 4, 2010 addressed to the commissioners, Budget Consultants Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed advised that, due to budget restraints and lack of revenue funds for the county, they will both volunteer their time to work for the county on the budget. Motion to approve Tommy Burnsed as a Budget Consultant for the county. 4-0. [Note from the Editor: Thank you to Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed for volunteering your time on this enormous task.]
   2. Consider appointment of an Interim County Manager/Budget Officer for Pike County: Motion to approve Teresa Watson. 4-0.
   3. Consider appointment of Pike County Ex-Officio Clerk: This is not a promotion and holds no monetary value but is necessary because the interim County Manager cannot attest to her own signature on county documents, etc. Motion to approve Nancy Cook. 4-0.
More later.
   4. Consider request of Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) Committee (titled as “The Advisory Task Force”) for possible restructuring of the committee and its protocols.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Consider, on first reading, approval of FY 2010 Budget Amendment #4 to provide for acceptance of insurance reimbursement and a transfer of funds from the Pike County Board of Commissioners’ Contingency line item to Capital Outlay-Vehicles in order to purchase a replacement cruiser for the Sheriff’s Department.
   2. Revisit acceptance of proposal, and authorization for work as specified, from Allen & Sons Roofing Company of Thomaston, Georgia for roof repair to the jail in the amount of $12,000, on recommendation of the Building and Grounds Supervisor, Willie Quiller, to consider replacement instead of repair on validation of available funds.
   3. Consider, on second reading, adoption of proposed text amendment from Planning and Development, as recommended by Staff and the Planning Commission, to amend the existing Chapter 113 “Telecommunication Antenna and Tower Regulations” and to modify the provisions of Sections 156.233, 156.248, 156.263 and 156.278 of the Zoning Code to require Special Exceptions for cellular towers in the industrial districts.
   4. Consider, on first reading, adoption of proposed text amendment from Planning and Development regarding alcoholic beverage licensing for golf courses, both public and private, relating to Section 111.03 Retail Package Sales and Retail Pouring Sales, and Section 111.09 Pouring Licenses.
   5. Consider respondents to the RFP for Benefits Brokerage Services and select provider.
   6. Gene Long, NatureChem, desires to offer an alternative to roadside mowing.
   7. Consider request of Mr. T. C. Meuninck to hold a Tea Party Patriot Tax Day Protest at the County Courthouse on April 15, 2010 from 6 to 9 p.m. to promote fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets.
   8. Discuss and vote on funding the 2010 July 4th celebration fireworks display.
   9. Mr. Eugene W. Sonder desires to advise the Board on financial matters.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
   1. Commissioner Willis desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, relating to County employee compensation in all departments, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).
   2. County Clerk desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6), regarding issues related to hiring of the County Manager, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(7).

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
3.10.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 – 6:30 p.m.

[Note from the Editor: I began with the Business part of the meeting and will finish up the beginning of the meeting next week.]

This meeting was attended by all five commissioners, County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes, and County Attorney Rob Morton. The meeting room was standing room only at the beginning of the meeting as there were supporters for Fire Chief Henderson in attendance as well as many of those who had participated in the Tax Protest prior to the meeting.

V. INVITED GUESTS
   1. The Board will recognize Boy Scout Troop 37, in attendance tonight with George Norris, as a fulfillment of Citizenship in the Community Merit Badges: Recognition was given to these Scouts for attending the meeting and for their hard work to become Eagle Scouts.

More later.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report - Presentation by County Clerk (in absence of County Manager)
   1. Present financial statement summaries for the month of January 2010.
   2. Cessation of the emergency exemption from the No Thru Trucks Ordinance for trucks hauling for County road repairs.
   3. Update on RFP process for Benefits Brokerage Services.
   4. Update on a review of the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116, Fire District Ordinance, to provide for text amendments and a reconfigured rate structure.
   5. Update on appointments to the Pike Area Transportation Committee.

C. Commissioners Reports

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS – N/A

VIII. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Public Hearing: Accept input regarding the recommendation of Planning and Development to amend the existing Chapter 113 “Telecommunication Antenna and Tower Regulations” and to modify the provisions of Sections 156.233, 156.248, 156.263 and 156.278 of the Zoning Code to require Special Exceptions for cellular towers in the industrial districts: IN FAVOR: John Morrison. OPPOSED: None. Motion to approve 4-0.
   2. Public Hearing: Accept input regarding Application #SE-10-01, Timothy John Wiggins, requesting a Special Exception for a commercial dog training kennel on State Route 362: The Planning Commission recommended approval with the following stipulations: 1) a piece of this large block of land has to be cut out for a minor subdivision for the kennel, 2) required annual business license, 3) training during daylight hours only, 4) have to follow health department regulations, 5) a privacy fence is required that meets the ordinance, and 6) repeated escapes could result in revocation of business license. IN FAVOR: Timothy John Wiggins explained that this will be for retrievers and specifically for obedience dog training. The kennel will be out of sight from the road. All dogs will be indoors at night so there will be no barking to disturb the neighbors. OPPOSED: Several neighbors spoke against this. Worries about strays going through there (we have no animal control in the county), whether there would be live firearms training, and odor were brought to the commissioners. Planning and Development Director David Allen stated that the entire property is fenced and that this will have a separate septic system. Motion to postpone until the next meeting. Approved 4-0. Commissioner Swift advised that he wanted to see this property before voting. The County Attorney clarified that this meeting was the public hearing and that the matter will be placed on the next agenda without any further public speaking on this for a final vote by the commissioners.
   3. Consider, on first reading, adoption of proposed text amendment from Planning and Development, as recommended by Staff and the Planning Commission, to amend the existing Chapter 113 “Telecommunication Antenna and Tower Regulations” and to modify the provisions of Sections 156.233, 156.248, 156.263 and 156.278 of the Zoning Code to require Special Exceptions for cellular towers in the industrial districts: This was approved in #1.
   4. Consider approval of Application #SE-10-01, Timothy John Wiggins, requesting a Special Exception in an AR (Agricultural-Residential) zoned district to allow for the development of a commercial dog training kennel, on State Route 362, as recommended by Staff and Board of Appeals with conditions: See #2.
   5. Consider appointment of Teresa A. Watson as Interim County Manager/Budget Officer with discussion of procedures in place until a replacement County Manager can be employed: A motion was made by Commissioners Don Collins. Commissioner Parrish Swift gave a 2nd for discussion. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that an Interim County Manager has to be in place within 4 weeks of the date of County Manager Marro being placed on leave with pay and that applications are due by March 1, 2010 for this position. Swift rescinded his 2nd. Collins' motion died for lack of a 2nd. Swift made a motion to put on the agenda for the next meeting. Approved 3-1 with Collins opposed. Clarification was made that a CM is needed for day to day operations but that department heads are making decisions for their departments right now.
   6. Consider approval of agreement with William P. Wilson, Jr. as FY 2011 budget consultant: No motion was made on this. Commissioner Swift tried to make a motion for someone else to be considered and was told that he would have to amend the agenda.
   7. Consider appointment of Nancy Cook as Ex-Officio County Clerk: Discussion of Mrs. Watson's appointment as Interim County Manager was postponed until the next meeting so this was too.

At this point, Swift went back to #6. Swift made it clear that he thought this should have been discussed by the commission before putting a name on the agenda for a vote. #18 was added: Discussion of Budget Consultant. Approved 4-0.

Update 2.25.10:
   8. Consider proposals for roof repair to Sheriff’s Department utilizing Jail Construction Fund: County Attorney Rob Morton advised that the BOC could utilize this fund for this because it is used for the jail. Proposals were gathered to replace the roof at the beginning but then each of the three companies were asked a price to repair. Amount to replace is over the amount needed to replace so commissioners went with the bid that was under the $14,000 that was in the Jail Construction Fund. Motion to approve the bid from Allen and Sons for the repair. 4-0.
   9. Consider bids from the RFP for Roadside Mowing, opened February 18, 2010: Three proposals were received on this to see if the county could save money by bidding out the work that is done. County cost is two tractors with repairs and two employees. The lowest bid was over $67,000. There have been no mowing complaints. Motion to stay with what we have. Approved 4-0.
   10. Consider request of Keep Pike Beautiful Committee to place vacant board appointment ad: This was placed on the agenda because the Keep Pike Beautiful Authority has turned over its money to the commissioners so the BOC would have to pay for this ad. Motion to run the ad with authority given to the County Clerk because we currently have no County Manager and no Budget Officer. Approved 4-0.
   11. Consider Budget Amendment to the FY 2010 Budget from Contingency to M&R Roads for work done on Pope Road at the Dabney Cemetery for the Austin Dabney Commemoration: Motion to approve 4-0. Citizen Carol Bass raised her hand and said that the commissioners had said that they would announce any amounts paid from Contingency in an Open Meeting. This amount was $5,043.27.
   12. John Morrison requests that the Beer Pouring Licenses issued to The Pines Golf Course and The Cedars Golf Course be revoked, pending a change to the Pike County Code of Ordinances to better categorize the issuance of these type licenses, with an update by County Attorney Rob Morton and Community Development Director David Allen: County Attorney Rob Morton advised that the Golf Courses have always had a retail license and not a pouring license. This was an inadvertent mistake and they want to have a retail license like before. Advised that commissioners that a 1st reading of amended code will be on the next agenda. Motion to rescind pouring license and give retail license. Approved 4-0.
   13. Consider changes to existing agreement between Pike County and the Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority as recommended by their legal counsel: Minor changes. Motion to approve 4-0.
   14. Consider request of American Legion, Pike Post 197, and Prayer Power of Georgia to use the Courthouse grounds (Veterans Memorial Area) on the first Monday of each month at 12 Noon to conduct prayer for men and women in military service to our country: Motion to approve 4-0. [Note from the Editor: More information is on the Calendar of Events page.]
   15. Consider approval of request to apply for the 2010 ACCG-GHBP (Association County Commissioners of Georgia-Group Health Benefits Program) for a Health/Wellness Promotion Grant to assist with a voluntary workplace health and wellness policy: This is through a $3500 annual grant from Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG). This may be a walking program for employees or something to emphasize wellness. Approved 4-0.

Update 2.27.10:
   16. Dexter Golden requests a refund of taxes paid, but not appealed, in years 2004, 2005, 2008: Mr. Golden went onto the Tax Assessor website and realized that the square footage was incorrect. This has been corrected however, the Board of Tax Assessors recommended denial because proper procedure was not followed with this complaint. An appeal has to be filed by a certain date every year. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis said that he did not have enough information on this to make a decision. Motion to deny based on Board of Tax Assessor's recommendation. Died for lack of a 2nd. More discussion on whether the taxpayer was instructed on what to do if he disagreed with the notice, etc. County Attorney Rob Morton said that there was no evidence that he did not receive a notice and that the mistake was corrected when it was discovered but could not appeal the previous years. Commissioner Parrish Swift said that there are new members on this board and that accountability has been established because of that. Motion to deny. Approved 3-1 with Commission Willis against it saying that he did not have all of the facts in order to make this decision.
   17. Consider request of Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) Committee (titled as “The Advisory Task Force”) for possible restructuring of the committee and its protocols: This motion thanked the members of the CATF for their service and relieved present members of their duties to this committee at this time. It was clarified that this does not disband the CATF because it is part of our ordinances. Commissioners will appoint members for specific duties as needed. Motion to relieve current members of the CATF of their duties with thanks from the BOC. Motion failed on a 1-3 vote with Commissioner Tommy Powers voting in favor and Commissioners Collins, Swift, and Willis voting against this. Motion to place this item on the next agenda. 4-0.
   18. Discussion of Budget Consultant: Commissioner Parrish Swift made a motion in the meeting to use the help of Merritt Spier and Tommy Burnsed in the upcoming budget process. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis made a 2nd for discussion. He asked about compensation and whether this could be addressed at the next meeting. Mrs. Watson to contact Mr. Burnsed to find out the amount of compensation that he is asking. The comment was made that this would be a lot less than $50 per hour as William P. Wilson, Jr. had proposed. Mr. Burnsed had said $12 an hour to to cover the expense of having someone work in his store when he is working on the budget or attending a budget workshop. Mr. Spier was allowed to speak and said that he would volunteer his time to the county. He advised that he and Mr. Burnsed worked on this three years ago when the CSI program was recommended to the county by their committee. Said that he would be challenging line items on the budget and would have no tolerance for fat in the budget. It was said that one or both of them would be required at all budget meetings. This was approved in a 4-0 vote contingent upon the amount that Mr. Burnsed will be asking for and that will be brought before the public at the next meeting.

IX. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
   1. Board of Commissioners desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, pertaining to the Fire Department, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6): No motion was made and the meeting was adjourned at 8 p.m. [Note from the Editor: I do not know what this was about but saw that there were a lot of citizens, volunteer fire fighters, and Pike County Emergency Services supporters who showed up at the meeting in support of Chief Danny Henderson.]

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
2.19.10
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS - SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
Thursday, February 11, 2010 – 4:00 p.m.

I. CALL TO ORDER ...................................................................... Chairman Doug Mangham

II. EXECUTIVE SESSION
   1. The Board desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, Administrative Department, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

III. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

All five Commissioners were present at the meeting along with County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes.

After a forty minute Executive Session, County Manager Steve Marro and the Pike County Board of Commissioners signed a Memorandum of Understanding in today's Special Called Meeting where both parties agree that the County Manager will be on voluntary administrative leave with pay for the remainder of his contract through May 31, 2010. CM Marro will be given the opportunity to clean out his office on February 12, 2010 under the supervision of both the County Clerk and County Attorney.

CM Marro will receive his contracted salary on a bi-weekly basis. He will also receive health, disability and life insurance benefits as his contract states along with eight days of accrued vacation. The CM will no longer receive an automobile and monthly expense allowance. Both parties have agreed to remain neutral in response to inquiries about his employment in Pike County and with future potential employers for CM Marro. CM Marro and his attorney, Tim Shepherd, were both present at the meeting.

Pike County has agreed to provide the following reference to future employers for CM Marro: "Steve Marro was employed with Pike County in good standing from June 13, 2007 through the end of his contract on May 31, 2010. CM Marro agrees to respond to any public and private inquiries about his employment with Pike County by saying the following: "I am most grateful for and appreciative of my time with Pike County, Georgia."

The motion was approved in a 4-0 vote.

[Note from the Editor: There is a clarification in the Memorandum of Understanding which states: "For clarification purposes, the voluntary administrative leave with pay of the Manager shall constitute a "vacancy" of the position of county manager." According to the Consent Interlocutory Order which is a part of the County Manager contract, this means that an Interim County Manager will need to be appointed within four weeks of today. Sooner would be better since we are in the middle of next year's budget that is supposed to be finalized by July 1, 2010.]

Commissioner Roosevelt Willis then made a motion for the Board of Commissioners to amend the agenda to discuss the emergency situation with county roads. Commissioner Parrish Swift gave a second after getting clarification from the County Attorney that this could be done without a problem since it was not on the agenda. Approved in a majority vote.

Pike County is employing several companies to haul gravel under the direction of Public Works in order to get emergency maintenance done on county roads. Long story made short. A citizen complaint was called in to Commissioner Don Collins about dump trucks hauling gravel on Reidsboro Road which is a No Thru Trucks road per county ordinance. Commissioner Don Collins called the Sheriff's Office and asked that the county ordinance be enforced. A truck hauling gravel for the county was pulled over by a deputy from the Sheriff's Office yesterday resulting in direction from the Public Works Director not to use No Thru Truck roads.

Commissioners discussed the wear and tear on Reidsboro Road from dump trucks full of gravel, the current shape of Reidsboro Road--which is not good, the repairs that will have to be done to Reidsboro Road and whether the repair is going to cost more than what is being paid for the trucks to deliver using other roads. Letters of permission have been given to drivers in the past so they could drive on county roads for county purposes on a temporary basis.

Commissioner Willis stated that these companies are being paid by the hour by the county. One trip using a major thoroughfare like Reidsboro Road takes about an hour. Using other roads and not major routes results in two loads being delivered instead of three according to a driver that he spoke with yesterday. So the county is paying $180 for three hours of work and drivers can either deliver three loads of gravel using county roads or they can deliver two loads of gravel using state routes and other roads.

Both Commissioners Tommy Powers and Don Collins were concerned about the shape of roads that need gravel but said that Reidsboro Road was in terrible shape and disagreed that the trucks should be using this road. Commissioner Parrish Swift asked if the repair to Reidsboro Road (needed after authorizing these dump trucks to use it) was going to cost more than the additional gas or hours using the dump trucks. The question was asked whether a letter could be given to these specific drivers on a temporary basis while we are doing emergency repairs on our roads and that this letter be forwarded to the Sheriff's Office. The letter would be rescinded when the Director of Public Works deems that the emergency situation is over.

When it was time for the motion to be made, Commissioner Roosevelt Willis declined to make the motion. He said that he would rather not because he is involved. Commissioner Parrish Swift made the motion to authorize any haulers that are hauling gravel on the behalf of the county to repair the county roads due to the recent damage a temporary letter authorizing the use of county roads. [Note from the Editor: This motion is County Attorney Rob Morton's words and these words are used to ensure that no other trucks besides those hauling gravel for the county will be allowed to use No Thru Roads per the county's ordinance.] Commissioner Roosevelt Willis seconded the motion. Commissioners Don Collins and Tommy Powers voted against this. Chairman Doug Mangham broke the tie by voting in favor of allowing these gravel trucks to use county roads. Motion was approved in a 3-2 vote.

[Note from the Editor: The statement "I would rather not because I am involved" brings about the question of why Commissioner Willis had been the one to bring it up in the first place and why he had been a major participant in this discussion. The motion would have died for lack of a second if Commissioner Willis had not voted because the current Chairman doesn't second motions or vote except to break a tie. Normally, commissioners refrain from discussion where they will directly benefit from a decision that is made by the Board of Commissioners. It just doesn't look good regardless of the reasons for participating.]

Motion to Adjourn. 4:58 p.m.

Update 2.13.10: [Note from the Editor: The Closed Meeting Affidavit has always been signed by the Commissioners after each meeting in which commissioners state under oath by the presence of their signature that the information discussed in Executive Session was legal. I do not know what this Affidavit looked like prior to the 2.11.10 meeting, but I really like the affidavit that I received by email along with the electronic copy of the Post Agenda.]

It stated that the subject matter discussed in the Executive Session was devoted to: "Discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee as provided in O.C.G.A. 50-14-3(6).

It has a list of other items that were each marked "No" to show that they were not discussed. The form reads as follows:

The subject matter of the closed portion of the meeting was devoted to the following matter(s) within the exceptions provided in the open meetings law:

   _____ Consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1);

   _____ Discussion of tax matters made confidential by state law as provided by O.C.G.A. § 50-14- 2(2) and _____insert the citation to the legal authority making the tax matter confidential);

   _____ Discussion of the future acquisition of real estate as provided by O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4);

   _____ Discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6);

   _____ Other (describe the exemption to the open meetings law): _______________________ as provided in ___________________(insert citation to the legal authority exempting the topic).

2.11.10
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 – 9:00 a.m.

All five commissioners were present at the meeting as well as County Manager Steve Marro, County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes, and both Tom and Rob Morton as County Attorneys.

V. INVITED GUESTS
   1. Blake Sharpton of Jones, Cork & Miller LLP will be present to answer questions in response to Commissioner Collins’ request to discuss the possibility of calling for a 2010 SPLOST referendum on November 2, 2010: Can Pike County have a SPLOST on the November ballot? The answer from both Blake Sharpton and the County Attorneys. Discussion of what to put on the SPLOST referendum and what to put on it comes later. [Note from the Editor: Before anyone loses a gasket, look down to reports from Commissioners--District 2 Parrish Swift and District 4 Don Collins--to find out what they want to put on it. Much discussion went into it and you might be pleasantly suprised.]

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES, AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved.

B. County Manager Report - Presentation to Commissioners
   1. County Manager will update on 2006 SPLOST payments to Cities of Pike County: Yearly payments on SPLOST are presented to the cities on February 2nd based on the percentages of population as agreed to in the 2006 SPLOST Agreement. The City of Concord received $58,011.27 with $45,477.45 remaining of the $250,000 that was agreed to in the 2006 SPLOST. The City of Meansville received $58,011.26 with $45,477.45 remaining. The City of Molena received $51,030.41 with $40,088.94 remaining. The City of Williamson received $21,796.14 with $17,156.26 remaining. The City of Zebulon received $115,992.05 with $91,062.37 remaining. SPLOST income will be collected through September 12, 2010. SPLOST checks will continue to come in from the State of Georgia through November of 2010.

C. Commissioners Reports:
   District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked about the Jail and Sheriff's Office going over budget and where that money came from. Was advised that it came from the Fund Balance and that none of the Constitutional Officers (those who are elected to office) are required to come to the Board of Commissioners and ask for money before they go over their budget. Roosevelt feels that the Sheriff's Office should have to come to the BOC for approval. Parrish Swift said that precedence has been set for the past seven years of paying those bills. Harsh words were exchanged between Commissioner Willis and County Manager Marro over who puts the budget together. (This was in reference to the interview in DeBary, Florida.) The CM puts together the budget for the county and uses the numbers that are given to him by Financial Officer Sean Townsend. Roosevelt then asked about the surplus cars from the Sheriff's Office and what would happen to them. CM Marro advised that the cars will be checked out by Public Works Director Todd Goolsby. Good parts are being pulled off of the wrecked cars and that the remaining cars would have to be declared surplus by the BOC in order to sell them for auction.
   District 2 Parrish Swift: Discussed the SPLOST and what should be on it. Said that he would support putting roads on a SPLOST instead of road improvements coming out of the tax budget every three or four years. Suggested a SPLOST for surface road repairs. Commissioner Tommy Powers wanted to see a SPLOST only for roads. Roosevelt pointed out that Upson is paving roads from a SPLOST but asked what would happen if it didn't pass because wants money to pave roads regardless. CM Marro said that he had been instructed by the commissioners to include 1 mill on the Capital Improvements Program for roads and had done so. This would be for a five year period with one/half million dollars collected the first year and spent during the second year. Parrish said that he couldn't see taxpayers saying "Tax me" instead of having everyone pay it. Commissioner Don Collins said that he didn't agree to having a SPLOST just for roads. More below.
   District 3 Tommy Powers: None.
   District 4 Don Collins: Said that Judge Hankinson called and the Judges are not willing to let the matter of the Courthouse renovation die. Said that he wanted to see Courthouse renovation on SPLOST and that would make it a five year SPLOST because it serves all of the citizens of the county. Recommended a SPLOST committee with BOC representation and that there only be one or two issues on it. Said that the BOC would have to get moving on this because the first deadline would be in April to get this on the November ballot. Consensus to have 7 people on the committee. Parrish said that he would only support renovating the upstairs part of the Courthouse and that they would need satellite locations for offices. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that the Judges have provided alternate locations for Court to be held already.
   Chairman Doug Mangham: None.

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners
   1. County Attorney will update the Board on the Shawn Shoats restitution process: Rob said that $318 has been received by the Recreation Authority of the $23,000 that was stolen. There is a paper trail to keep track of this money. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis asked if this would be paid monthly or paid off before his probation is complete. Rob asked that this be put on the agenda every month and he will follow up on it.
   2. County Attorney will update the Board on a review of the Pike County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 116, Fire District Ordinance, to provide for text amendments and a reconsideration of the billing rate structure as defined for the Fire District: Change to the Code of Ordinance is coming on this going back to the original draft language. May be ready at the next meeting.

Update 2.16.10:

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS - None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
   1. The Board is requested to consider, carried forward from no action at the January 26, 2010 Board meeting, approval of a request for a Special Exception #SE-09-05 of American Towers, Inc. as Applicant for Owner: John E. Carter for a Special Exception to allow for construction of a 195-foot leased leased cell tower on Gresham Road to accommodate maximum of four antennas, with outbuilding: This request was withdrawn at the beginning of the meeting.
   2. Chrystal and Ricky Williams desire approval of their request to the Department of Planning and Development for a refund of the major subdivision application fee ($500), revised to a minor subdivision application fee ($200), for a net $300 refund: Commissioner Tommy Powers did not participate in this discussion or vote because this concerned property that is from his brother's estate. This was reduced from a major subdivision to a minor subdivision. This was necessary because there is no longer an exception for family division of property in Pike County's Code of Ordinance and the fees are more with a longer approval process for a major subdivision of land. Planning and Development recommended a refund. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis had a concern about giving back the money and made a motion to deny this refund that died for lack of a second. Motion to approve the refund was made and passed in a 3-1-1 vote. Commissioners Parrish Swift, Don Collins, and Chairman Doug Mangham voting to approve, Commission Roosevelt Willis voting against, and Commission Tommy Powers abstained from voting. [Note from the Editor: Chairman Mangham had to vote on this in order for it to pass because an affirmative vote must have 3 votes in favor in order to pass.]

IX. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Consider acceptance of proposal, and authorization for work as specified, from Allen & Sons Roofing Company of Thomaston, Georgia for roof repair to the jail in the amount of $12,000, on recommendation of the Building and Grounds Supervisor, Willie Quiller: The repair will not be over the jail itself but over administrative space. replacing the entire roof would cost over $40,000. A bid was put out but the other two companies would not bid on just this repair on the roof. Discussion that the Commissioners needed more information on this before they could make a decision. Motion to put this on the next meeting agenda. 4-0. Further discussion: One commission said that bid process would be tainted if it went out to bid again because this amount was made public in the meeting. The BOC was advised by CM Marro that if less than $25,000, something does not have to go through the formal RFP (bidding) process according to the Financial Policy in Pike County. Went through bidding process to begin with and bids were too high. Have spent over $15,000 over past 2 years on the roof. Problem in this case is fixes around the air conditioning units making it expensive. New roof over the jail has been taken care of.
   2. Meredith Sorrow desires consideration for appointment to the Pike County Board of Appeals for a three-year term to expire February 9, 2013: Motion to appoint with understanding that she would step down and not vote if the cell tower came back before the Board of Appeals. Approved 4-0.

Update 2.17.10:
   3. Commissioner Collins desires that the Board appoint appropriate members to the Pike Area Transportation Committee as established in the Transportation Ordinance, Chapter 33.05, adopted on second reading at the November 24, 2009 Board Meeting: Six positions are already filled according to the ordinance. That leaves two--one from Zebulon and one from the Pike School System. The Commissioners will ask the City of Zebulon and the Board of Education to appoint someone. Tom Morton had volunteered to fill this position. Motion to support Tom Morton. 4-0.
   4. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby desires approval of a Moratorium on the acceptance of applications for, and the sale of, culvert pipe to the general public until implementation of the next fiscal year’s budget on the first day of July 2010: Todd asked for this to be changed to "on the acceptance of applications for" and just ask for a moratorium on the sale of culvert pipe to the general public until after the beginning of the next budget. Funds for this have been used and there is not money to buy more. Discussion of the current policy and whether a change needs to be made. CM Marro and Sean Townsend are to review this and come back at the next meeting with a recommendation on the policy. Motion to have a moratorium on sale of culvert pipe to the general public through June 30, 2010. This can be rescinded at any time if the situation changes. Approved 4-0.
   5. Commissioner Powers desires to have the Board reconsider the sliding payment scale for certain invalid building permits for new construction as originally recommended by the Department of Planning and Development on December 9, 2009: This was discussed in the Town Hall previous to the meeting as well as by commissioners during the meeting. Planning and Development Director David Allen explained that full permit fees have to be paid currently and the Impact Fee has already been paid. This schedule shows that the Impact Fee will not be paid twice and specifies what percentage of the permit fees will be paid if construction stops. If work is being done, the permit remains valid. He went on to say that an unfinished house is a bad thing for the county. Director Allen advised that the Planning Commission recommended denial on this fee schedule because members thought it would put a bigger burden on the Planning and Zoning Office with reinspections. He said that this was not an undue burden and that this situation is not a widespread problem but that there are some like this. Some are as high as $750 or $800 so it can vary but the percentages that are required will not change. Commission Powers made a motion to approve this and received a 2nd, however, County Attorney Rob Morton advised that this will be a text amendment to our current ordinance and will require a public hearing. Commission Powers rescinded his motion and the 2nd was rescinded as well.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Went into Executive Session at 10:13 am.
   1. Commissioner Swift desires an Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, regarding the County Manager in the Administrative Department, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).
[Note from the Editor: A revised agenda included #2 below sent out on 2.8.10. Thanks to all involved for getting this information out to the public prior to the meeting.]
2. County Attorney desires to discuss pending or potential litigation as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1).

The Commissioners came back into public session at 10:52 am. No action was taken as a result of Executive Session, however, the Special Meeting for 4 pm on the following day, 2.11.10 was set at this time for the following: Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee, regarding the County Manager in the Administrative Department, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6).

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person) - None.

XII. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:53 am.

Agenda subject to revision.

2.10.10
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Commissioners Workshop February 1, 2010
By Guest Columnist Margie Trammell

This meeting was called to order at 4pm as advertised, by Commission Chair Doug Mangham and was attended by all of Pike County’s Commissioners as well as the County Clerk Teresa Watson, County Attorney Tom Morton and approximately 15 interested citizens.

The focus of this work shop was a revisiting of the newly enacted Fire Fee, how the fee is assessed, who may be exempt and how someone may elect to not pay this fee.

The over all concern of the board was to make sure the fees assessed are uniform and fair for all citizens and there was almost 2 hours of discussion about how to accomplish that goal.

Because Pike County is a rural county in the throes of growth we have various parcels of land that were divided but not recorded at the courthouse and we have some uses that are long standing non conforming commercial uses on non commercial land. All of this lends to confusion when trying to make sure everyone is treated in an appropriate manner. With use divisions being industrial, commercial, residential with improvement, residential with no improvement (improvement meaning any sort of structure having been built on the parcel) and agricultural there is certainly a lot of room for variation.

In an effort to make a sensible fee schedule the commissioners spoke with Pike County’s Tax Commissioner, Fire Chief and Chief Assessor and at least two basic ideas emerged from the long meeting. Fees can be assessed according to the parcel value and mil rate or they can be assessed on a flat fee basis.

The Commissioners requested additional information from the Tax Assessors Office in order to have accurate knowledge about the number of parcels involved in each assessment category. In addition it was requested that more information be gathered explaining how other counties handle this fee. For example in Spalding County this is a Fire Tax and is handled as a tax based on property value.

Once the requested information is available the revised fee schedule will be discussed, set, voted upon and if approved will be activated for the 2010 budget year.

The meeting ended around 6pm with the Commissioners hopeful that this issue would be resolved by March.

2.2.10
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Strategic Planning Workshop
By Guest Columnist Tamra Jarrett

Roads were at the top of their list when commissioners met last week for a strategic planning workshop at the United Bank lake house in Zebulon. Another Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and the addition of another mill (nearly $500,000) to the digest, specifically for roads, were two of the funding vehicles suggested during the discussion.

During the five and a half hour session held Wednesday, Jan. 20, attended by three citizens, commissioners addressed a number of their concerns, which included capital improvements, policy and personnel - namely the hiring of a new county manager. Department heads, the county manager and the county clerk were called by commissioners during the morning session and asked to appear separately, in half hour increments, after lunch. Citizens Advisory Task Force Chairman Bobby Blalock was also questioned by the board.

Commissioner Tommy Powers first brought up the topic of roads, dissatisfied with the practice of repeatedly putting gravel on dirt roads.

Commissioner Roosevelt Willis said that practice could be avoided if roads are properly prepared and given the right base. Chairman Doug Mangham said the county would need a roller machine for packing the roads.

Commissioner Don Collins asked if the board was dealing with a lack of knowledge. "Not having an engineering study killed us on getting stimulus money," he said. In response to Willis' concern about road preparation, he suggested the board might want to hire a road consultant or expert.

Later, when discussion of another SPLOST arose, Commissioner Parrish Swift recommended roads be one of the capital improvements to benefit. Collins later said commissioners need to set a specific millage rate to accommodate roads and capital improvements.

County Manager Steve Marro, who appeared at 2 p.m., said, "Speaking strategically, we have to start putting money toward roads, whether the taxpayer likes it or not." It would also cost another million dollars to get needed road equipment and the personnel to run it, he added.

Other highlights included:

FIRE FEES. Swift said the fire fees adopted last year need to be amended. Mangham agreed, noting a landowner with a smaller tract of land should not pay as much as those with larger parcels. Swift said commercial businesses may not need to pay $650 either. Fire fees were set based on appraised values, but should be done on a flat rate system, Swift said.

"I personally feel there was some gouging done," Powers said. The board will discuss fire fees in a workshop.

Swift also agreed to look into concerns that some citizens aren't getting a reduction into their fire insurance premiums since the ISO rating was reduced effective Jan. 1.

COUNTY MANAGER ADVERTISEMENT: County Clerk Teresa Watson prepared the advertisement for the job now held by Marro. Commissioners previously decided not to renew his contract, which expires May 31. Key issues the new County Manager will face include budgetary concerns due to challenges by the current economy and its impact on revenue, as well as economic planned growth, development and diversification."

"Candidate should be a motivated individual with a degree in Public Administration and have experience working in a similar government position, preferably in a growing community. A Master’s degree in Public Administration with at least three years’ experience is preferred, but a combination of education, experience and motivation will be considered. County Official certification is preferred, but a commitment to complete such certification in a timely manner will be considered. Salary range will be $70,000 to $90,000 depending on qualifications. Excellent benefits are provided, " it states. The deadline for applications is Mar. 1. In addition to the ACCG web site, the ad will appear in papers in Pike, Spalding, Lamar and Butts counties.

Marro, who has been county manager three years, is enrolled in his last class toward (County Manager) certification, Watson said. She will take her final class toward her Clerk certification in February.

In other personnel matters, Watson said there needs to be a restructuring of job duties for Secretary Nancy Cook since most of her duties now belong to her (Watson). "Nancy's floundering," she said. When asked if there could be a reduction in staff, she said no. She said there needs to be a re-defining of job descriptions and cross-training.

LEGAL SERVICES: Collins said the board agreed to go ahead and advertise for legal services, but said the decision would have to be made in open session. Mangham noted even if he (Rob Morton) doubled his salary, his would be a lower price than many other attorneys. Powers said if the attorney wasn't satisfied with what he was getting, he already been gone.

Swift said he would rather spend $150,000 on a county manager than a county attorney. Watson was charged with the task of researching putting legal services to place it out for a bid. Currently, there is $85,000 annually budgeted for the county attorney.

Collins said he intended to ask County Technician Sean Townsend for a breakdown of all money paid for legal services. There was also mention that financial reports weren't being posted in a timely manner on the county web site, to which Swift said, "If financials aren't on the web site, someone needs to have a write-up in their file."

Mangham said the company that is supposed to manage the web site has been "dragging their feet."

GAS PIPELINE: There is to be another meeting of the pipeline committee, which includes members of the development authority, according to Collins. The basic premise is that the natural gas pipeline would come from Lamar County up Highway 41, which is about half of the pipeline. He said Lamar County has exhibited a willingness to participate in the project - without providing money. The benefit would be in Lamar County lending its name as a less prosperous county than Pike to possibly qualify for a One Georgia grant.

Collins also noted Pike County's grant writer, Bill Chamberlain, has contacted Senator Saxby Chambliss, via his staff, and is working on getting information for other funding. "We can't count on it," Collins added.

According to Collins, Atlanta Gas Light, the company that would sell the gas, wants a six inch line rather than a four inch line. "They have agreed to take off a half of a million on it, which makes it much more reasonable," he said. The county would also get a credit for anyone who ties on. The gas line is expected to cost $1.5 to $2 million.

Collins said Supreme Corporation has already committed to the pipeline (as a customer) and there are possible three more subcontractors who would "put in" facilities to utilize the pipeline, adding there are "no firm commitments." He said the committee, specifically the development authority, is to discuss bond funding with local banks.

"Before I vote for it, if it's a tie, I need some facts," Mangham said.

"It's nice to have all the facts, but the facts are hard to round up sometimes," Collins said. The development authority was to meet with AGL to get the facts, he noted.

SPLOST: The consensus of the board was that if another SPLOST proposal was to come before the voters, it should contain no more than two items. At the top of commissioners' list was roads. Collins said in the past he was in favor of renovating the courthouse. "It's time to look at bringing our judicial center to modern day standards," he said. It was noted superior court judges may demand better court facilities. A previous ballpark estimate for a new judicial center from Precision Planning was $6.1 million.

"With the economy, it's prudent to take a step back, irregardless of what judges may say," Swift said.

Mangham said a jail concerns him more than a courthouse, noting the expense of housing inmates out of the county.

Swift said he spoke with someone in Clayton County and was told it is more cost-efficient to house them out.

Before commissioners determine a capital improvements list for a SPLOST, they must determine whether or not Pike County could hold a SPLOST vote in 2010 after voters failed to pass a SPLOST renewal in a Nov. 3, 2009 election. If an election could be held in November this year, there would be just a four month gap in collections, Collins explained.

CATF: Chairman Blalock met with commissioners to answer questions they have about the number of CATF members. He supports continuation of the advisory committee, and agreed it could function with fewer members, but no less than 13. County code states membership is not to exceed 23; yet there are 28 on board.

Blalock said the CATF has been working on policy for records and retention since the failure of the SPLOST. Collins suggested the CATF could also look at the county's personnel manual, which is about 60 percent complete. There is no mention of a county clerk in it, he added. Mangham said the first order of business is to get the committee "straightened out."

OTHER COMMENTS: Marro said he would not be surprised if the county runs three-quarters of a million dollars less in revenue than last year.

Collins noted the sheriff's office was the main department to go over-budget last year because the board of commissioners didn't set enough money in his budget (for payroll).

Collins recalled Marro had preached "doom and gloom" at a regular meeting about tax collections. Powers and Mangham said they heard it's rolling in.

Swift queried whether Pike County has too many appraisers for its size. Willis contends the chief appraiser isn't getting "the most bang for her buck out of that office."

1.23.10
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AGENDA
REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:30 p.m.

All five Commissioners were present along with County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes and County Attorney Rob Morton. County Manager Steve Marro was not present.

Here are the big items that happened last night. Two items were added at the beginning of the meeting. The first was adding the 2010 Ambulance SErvice Contract to New Business. [Note from the Editor: This is the Ambulance Contract that was added to the agenda for the morning meeting and verbally agreed to at the past meeting. I think that this was inadvertently left off of this agenda as opposed to being added to the past agenda when it could have waited until this meeting to be advertised on the agenda and discussed.] The second item was an Executive Session for Personnel.

PUBLIC HEARINGS 1. Consider recommendation of the Pike County Planning and Development Staff and Board of Appeals to approve the request of Verizon Wireless for a Special Exception to allow for construction of a leased cell tower off Gresham Road.The public hearing for the AT&T cell tower was held last night. The Commissioners listened to one person speak in favor and several of the neighbors who spoke against the tower because of its height (195 feet) and the fact that there is only one company contracted to be on the tower with another company that is interested in the tower. According to our ordinances, the tower can only be as tall as the allowances for the number of companies who will be on the tower. The Commissioners did not make a decision on this last night but have placed it on the next agenda for a final decision.

NEW BUSINESS: 3. Nathan Rounds, Zebulon, Georgia, desires to receive reimbursement for overpaid property taxes and legal fees incurred during appeals process on an erroneous assessment of property. Nathan gave a packet to the Commissioners explaining the problems that he encountered with his property assessment from 2008. He said that his property tax increased nearly 300% in 2008 and eventually had to hire an attorney to present his case to the Board of Equalization. He asked for--and was given--a refund on overpaid property taxes in the amount of $847.01 and a refund on his attorney's fees in the amount of $2,914.89 for a total of $3,761.90. The Budget Officer for the county will have to look into this matter and determine whether the money can come out of the Tax Assessor's budget or from Contingency. If it comes from contingency, the Commissioners will have to vote on it. This motion was approved with a vote of 3-1 with Commissioner Don Collins voting against it.

The Commissioners discussed the $89,000 contract that the County Attorney has with the county. Commissioner Swift made phone calls to find out about other County Attorneys and found that the average was about $150,000 for representation (about $165,000 on average) and does not include litigation. The current $89,000 contract in Pike County includes litigation but not bonds. The Commissioners decided to continue their contract with the County Attorney due to the cost of the advertising and the time that would be involved in this process compared to the other County Attorney contracts in surrounding areas.

V. INVITED GUESTS - None

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners (County Clerk in absence of)
    1. Present financial statements for the months of November and December 2009: Commissioner Don Collins asked for a summary of financials instead of the line item detailed financial statements that Commissioners receive. Discussion about the statement on the financials including why the final numbers for the past year are not prepared yet. Commissioners were advised that the auditors are not finished making adjustments yet and that the financials are subject to change.
    2. Update on County-maintained roads with severe weather-related damage: Dunn Road opened up on the day of the meeting where it had been closed. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby advised that the department is working on potholes and that freezing temperatures when the moisture is already under the asphalt makes problems even worse. Asked citizens to call Public Works with potholes so they can get them on the list for repairs. Todd was commended for the work of his department in keeping up with the problems on our roads because of the weather. Noted that there were 17 roads that were almost impassable with only two closed and now all are open with only a culvert on Hwy 109 with barricades around it.
    3. Update on LGRMS Sensitivity Training on 1-14-10 and notation of upcoming Diversity Training on 1-29-10 for one-hour sessions throughout 9 am to 4 pm, provided at no cost to the County: County Clerk Teresa Watson gave an overview of the past training saying that it was a one hour training session provided to employees at their convenience during that day.
    4. Report on ICMA Webinar re “Using Baldridge in Local Governments on 1-14-10 from 1:00-2:30 pm for County personnel: Costed $149 for the training of 7 department heads. [Note from the Editor: Scroll down to 1.21.10 article entitled "Department Heads Attend Online Budgeting Seminar" to read about this training. Also includes information about the upcoming Budget Calendar for FY 2010-11.]
    5. Update on RFP issued for Benefits Brokerage Services: This was published with a deadline of February 16th at 3 p.m.
    6. Update on Ad for County Manager position as approved by the Board: This is also published as approved by the BOC. Deadline is March 1, 2010. Already received 3 or 4 applications.
    7. Suggested revision to Budget Calendar for FY 2010-2011: There were some minor changes for the July 1, 2010 deadline.

C. Commissioners Reports:
    District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked whether the County Manager would be attending more training at this time. Was advised by the County Clerk that the CM is not registered to attend any upcoming classes.
    District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked about the Pike County Transportation Committee and obtaining money for road paving, repairs, etc. Was advised by the County Attorney that the Pike County Transportation Plan Ordinance was approved but a committee is not in place. Discussion of possibly asking if the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) could help provide members for this. Concerned about being left out of future plans for roads in Pike and the surrounding communities.
    District 3 Tommy Powers: Commended Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and his department for their hard work on the roads.
    District 4 Don Collins: Said that Coweta County is negotiating with the City of Griffin to be part of a regional water system and that this could help with their water rates. Asked if BOC members thought that Pike should be investigating this. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that Pike was given an open invitation on this. Don did not know exact figures on this. * Talked about ISO ratings for some people in the county and the possibility of auxilliary stations with surplus equipment to cover those who are outside of 5 mile radius from a fire station so they can see the benefits of a lowered ISO rate in Pike County. Was advised that Pike County pages out three stations to all fires and that remapping will be done all at once when everything is in place on this. The CAD system that coordinates public safety is being bid out on now. Remapping will entail mapping phone numbers to residences and will be a long process. Some remapping is being done now but not to the extent as it will be done with the CAD system.
    Chairman Doug Mangham: Said that his concern was roads and that has been discussed.

Update 2.17.10

D. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: County Attorney Rob Morton advised that Mrs. Teresa Watson is very professional and said that he is pleased with her performance.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
    1. Consider recommendation of the Pike County Planning and Development Staff and Board of Appeals to approve the request of Verizon Wireless (actually American Tower application to build for AT&T) for a Special Exception to allow for construction of a leased cell tower off Gresham Road: American Tower has proposed to build this cell phone tower for AT&T. A representative of American Tower brought charts to before the Commissioners and answered questions. Advised that they want to build a 195 foot tall tower (at 200 feet it must be lit) at the corner of Gresham Road and Highway 19. It looks like an oversized power pole and will have short "T" arms to minimize visual impact. Said will plant a minimum 20 foot tall tree to block view of the neighbor who has opposition to seeing this from his property. Said it will be located at the center of the 90 acre parcel and that it meets offset requirements. Said that propogation studies were done of the water tower and current cell tower that is located several miles down New Hope Road in the woods and that neither site met the initial AT&T engineer requirements. Pike County's ordinance allows a 220 foot tower if there are four carriers that are contracted to be on this tower. At this time, AT&T has contracted the tower and Metro PCS said that this would meet their needs in a letter but have not signed any contractual agreement so there is only one carrier with a lease on this tower.
PUBLIC HEARING:
IN FAVOR: John Morrison: Advised that the Planning Commission agreed that this design is the least obtrusive to the area and said that in his opinion, after a while, people wouldn't even notice it.
AGAINST: Neighbors Larry Ammon, Lloyd May, Meredith Sorrow, and Sandy May all spoke against this. Carol Bass also spoke against this. One of the biggest points of contention is that our ordinance only allows a tower to be a certain height depending on how many companies are going to lease space on it. Two companies would only allow a tower that is 125 feet tall. One said that the competitor's towers were on the map but that the water tower and cell tower were not brought up by the AT&T engineer and that both still have lease spots available on them. Another said that he moved here to enjoy the country and rural atmosphere and stated that, as an appraiser, he knows that cell towers have a negative impact on the future sale of property. Discussion continued after the public hearing. The bottom line is that AT&T is looking at highway coverage in this area and this would be the easiest way to cover the most customers. No motion was made on this matter so it was continued until the next meeting.

More later.

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Consider, on second reading, adoption of proposed text amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia to amend Chapter 156, Section 156.340 Official Zoning Map, Section 156.341 Identification, Alteration and Replacement of the Official Map, and Section 156.343 Relationship Between Official Map and Pike County Land Use Plan, as appropriate to allow for the re-adoption of the Pike County Official Zoning Map.
    2. Consider, on second reading, adoption of the Pike County, Georgia Official Zoning Map.
    3. Consider providing direction to Pike County Tax Commissioner regarding exemption of certain entities from payment of the Fire District Fee.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Opening of sealed proposals for the Pike County 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Geographic Information System for award at a later date after thorough vetting.
    2. Discuss and/or authorize issuance of RFP for solicitation of County Attorney services.
    3. Nathan Rounds, Zebulon, Georgia, desires to receive reimbursement for overpaid property taxes and legal fees incurred during appeals process on an erroneous assessment of property.
    4. Walker Chandler desires permission to use the main courtroom of the Pike County Courthouse on March 4, 2010 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for an organizational, public meeting to explore formation of a marching band.
    5. Prayer Power of Georgia, Ben Maxedon, desires permission to use the Pike County Courthouse and Square on Thursday, May 6, 2010 from 10 am to 2 pm for the annual Prayer on the Square in observance of the National Day of Prayer.
    6. J. Joel Edwards Public Library requests appointment of a Library Board member to fill the term of Mary Milner, who not desire reappointment, for a term to expire 8-31-2012.
    7. Consider approval of the Agreement between Pike County and the Keep Pike Beautiful Authority for a term to expire June 30, 2010.
    8. Consider request of Ed Sanders, Keep Pike Beautiful Chairman, to dismantle the committee and accept returned funds appropriated for the 2009-2010 budget year.
    9. Consider declaring surplus, for disposal at the discretion of the Board of Commissioners, nine deadlined vehicles as identified by Pike County Sheriff Jimmy Thomas.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

[Note from the Editor: The discussion of the RFP for County Attorney Services and Fire Fees came up from the Strategic Workshop Session that was held on January 20, 2010. Guest Columnist Tamra Jarrett wrote an article on this workshop dated 1.23.10. I have some comments below it in the Agenda notice as well.

Click here to read an editorial entitled "How Does the Pike County Board of Commissioners Reach a Decision?"]

1.22.10
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AGENDA
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS WORKSHOP
United Bank Lake House – 9214 Highway 19 North
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

I. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

IX. NEW BUSINESS
1. Strategic planning – morning session.
2. Interaction with Staff/Administration – afternoon session.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

[Note from the Editor: This is a public meeting.]

Update 1.23.10: I moved the agenda to correspond with the article above. I am grateful to Tamra for her write up on this meeting because I could not attend and, as readers can see, some very important things were discussed. I do want to note that I attended the morning session of this workshop last year which was held in the same place with very little room for observers.

My biggest problem with this meeting is that the Commissioners may have violated or interfered with the duties of the County Manager. Commissioners brought two Department Heads and the County Clerk before them for questioning/discussion without the County Manager being present.

Our County Manager form of government was clarified with a Consent Interlocutory Order signed on January 21, 2004. HB 1819 incorporated these changes and was approved by the Georgia Legislature on May of 2004. Both of these documents are specifically referenced in the Employment Agreements of the past two County Managers. Section 4.1 of HB 1819 states: "...The powers and duties of the county Manager shall be: ... 4) To exercise control over all departments and divisions created therein or which may be hereafter created by the commissioners; ... 9) To supervise and direct the offical conduct of all county officers and employees except as otherwise provided in this Act (Explanation: Does not include Constitutional Officers such as the Sheriff, Magistrate, and other elected officers spelled out in Section 10)..."

This possible violation needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Commissioners should act in a manner that is above reproach. At the very least, actions like this deepen a distrust between the public and our Board of Commissioners.

Update 1.26.10: I have tried to comprehend why the Commissioners would have questioned County Clerk Teresa Watson about positions in the County Commission Office. It was totally innappropriate. And the more I think back to my attendance of last year's Strategic Workshop, the more concerns I have about the Commissioners ever having another one without proper supervision in a place that is easily accessible to the public. I realize that the Commissioners were looking for a place that was more comfortable for their discussions than the Commission Room which does not have a round table atmosphere, but there were problems with this location. First of all, citizens would have to go an extra step to find out exactly where it is located. I went last year after I called United Bank to get directions and was not comfortable driving to the location. Secondly, it is a gravel driveway which could have led to problems with someone attending who had a disability. We even had one vehicle get stuck in the mud down there last year because of the recent rain before that meeting.

Finally, the commissioners have chosen--twice in the recent past--to gather and discuss items without making any decisions. Both times, the public has raised questions about these meetings showing that there is a lack of trust between the public and the Commission. The relationship between the public and the Commissioners has been damaged over the past ten years and it takes time to build that relationship back up to what it should be. While the Commissioners cannot solve this problem with a magic wand, they can act in a manner that is above reproach. Being a public servant is a tough job that requires sacrifice and concessions. That means going the extra mile to be sure that citizens can see that the Commissioners are acting in a transparent manner so no one can accuse Commissioners of wrongdoing.

1.19.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

All five commissioners were present at this meeting as well as County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and County Clerk Teresa Watson to take the minutes.

The agenda was amended by Commissioner Parrish Swift to include a five year contract with Mid Georgia Ambulance under New Business. This is a $450,000 contract that was presented as an opportunity to lock in this rate for five years. There was a motion to approve this price in a contract between the county and Mid Georgia Ambulance. [Note from the Editor: I have a problem with a topic being placed on the agenda at the last minute unless there is an immediate need for discussion and it cannot wait until the next meeting. I did not see an actual contract being reviewed by the commissioners and still do not see the urgency to give a verbal approval on this contract at this particular meeting. (I have put in an Open Records Request for this document in case I missed it.) Some may say that no harm has been done here since the contract would have been renewed because of the great job that Mid Georgia is doing in Pike County, but I say that there has been a breech of community trust because of this vote. Agendas notify citizens of what is reasonably expected to be discussed at a meeting. Commissioners can legally add items if needed, however commissioners should respect citizens-and themselves-enough to err on the side of caution so that no one can accuse them of wrongdoing.]

An Executive Session was also added to the agenda in which the Board of Commissioners decided to advertise the position of County Manager. Current CM Marro's contract will be up on May 31, 2010. The commissioners were required, according to the current CM contract, to give at least 30 days notice before advertising this contract. [Note from the Editor: Scroll down to 1.6.10 to read the article where the current CM has an interview in Florida later on this month. Even though this information hit the internet on more than one news website on January 6, 2010--and it would be hard to convince me that no one called any of the Commissioners to let them know this or that at least one of the Commissioners was not up to date enough on the news in this area to know that this happened--I can give them the benefit of the doubt on adding this item to the agenda because it happened so close to the cut-off date for the agenda.]

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
     1. Cell Tower re-appraisal process update: [Note from the Editor: I missed the first five minutes of the meeting.]
     2. Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) request for proposal results and extension: Only have 2 bids and need 3. Extended until January 26th when bids will be opened in the meeting.
     3. Component Unit contract renewals: Authorities, etc. who receive money from the county received their contract renewals. The only changes are for an 8 month contract as we change to the new year and that the Recreation Department is now getting its own insurance separate from the county.
     4. Landfill peer-review process update: Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and CM Marro met with Arcadus on this. The Peer Review will take about 5 weeks. Should be receiving it soon.
     5. Pike County Personnel Policy status update: A number of recommendations have been made. The county is taking input on this. Expect workshops and meetings on it.
     6. LGRMS Diversity/Sensitivity Training scheduled for 1-14-10 and 1-29-10 from 9 am to 4 pm: A former motion would have costed the county $3,000 to $5,000 on this and the Commissioners chose not to do this. However, in a meeting with the Insurance and Safety component of ACCG it was discovered that they provide this free of charge. www.accg.org
     7. ICMA Webinar re Using Baldridge in Local Governments on 1-14-10 from 1:00-2:30 pm for County personnel: This is a 1 1/2 webinar on budgetary process provided for Department heads and Constitutional Officers and the commissioners if they wanted to attend. Cost of $149 total. Emphasis on performance and goal setting and providing more county services with less money. The CM said that the county is looking at significant depletion of revenues in this budget and that everyone needs to be looking at this issue and not just the CM.
     8. Review of Basic Life Support Certification for County employees (2nd in 3 years): Mid Georgia Ambulance has donated time to ensure that most of the county employees are certified in AED and Basic Life Support. Commended Mid Georgia for donation of 2 AED's to the Recreation Department and 2 AED's to the county--1 for the Courthouse and the other for the BOC office. Mid Georgia is presenting a training program at the Courthouse for those employees as well.

Update 1.16.10:
C. Commissioners Reports
     District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None.
     District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked about the financials (these were mentioned in the Town Hall portion of the meeting prior to the official meeting starting). Said that he was concerned about the year end financials not being on the website. Consensus of the commissioners for items to be submitted and posted to the county website in a more timely manner. Asked whether the county can mandate what goes onto a cell tower in Pike County? Answer was no. It was noted that the Cell Tower Ordinance is being amended to include Pike County being able to place an item on a cell tower (repeater, etc.) at no cost to the county.
     District 3 Tommy Powers: Commended Public Works Director Todd Goolsby for the job done in the past three months to keep the roads open because of the rain. Todd commended county workers who performed this tough job.
     District 4 Don Collins: Asked about a time table for the budget process. CM Marro advised that he had given a time-line to commissioners in a previous meeting and would get that to the commissioners. Asked for another strategic planning meeting like last year where the commissioners can get together and talk about their goals for the upcoming year. Wants to include Department Heads and the County Manager in a second meeting that afternoon as well. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that this is a public meeting and the public can attend. Right now, the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 8:45 a.m. at the United Bank Lake House or at the School Media Center. The CM will pull last year's goals for their reference.
     Chairman Doug Mangham: None.

More later.
D. County Attorney Report presentation to Commissioners
     1. Update and status report on the Shawn Shoats re-payment program.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
     1. Consider on First Reading, Proposed text amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia to amend Chapter 156, Section 156.340 Official Zoning Map, Section 156.341 Identification, Alteration and Replacement of the Official Map, and Section 156.343 Relationship Between Official Map and Pike County Land Use Plan, as appropriate to allow for the re-adoption of the Pike County Official Zoning Map.
     2. Consider on First Reading, adoption of the Pike County, Georgia Official Zoning Map.

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. Mr. Saifullah N. Bhamani is requesting a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for The Rock Store located at 4131 Highway 19 South, Zebulon GA.
     2. County Manager Marro would like to discuss the RFP for Benefit Providers to Pike County.
     3. Commissioner Swift has requested we address the Fire Fee District and Commercial rates.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. Appoint the Board of Commissioners Vice-Chairman for 2010.
     2. Judge Lynn Brandenburg has requested that the Board of Commissioners set the qualifying fees for commissioners and school board. (3% of base salary)
     3. Commissioner Collins would like to discuss the establishment of the Pike Historic Preservation Board.
     4. Budget Amendment # 2 requesting accepting the funds for a cruiser that was totaled and utilizing that money to purchase another unit for the Sheriff’s office.
     5. Mr. Jack Park has requested a 2010 Beer Pouring License for the Pines Golf Course.
     6. Mr. Jack Park has requested a 2010 Beer Pouring License for the Cedars Golf Course.
     7. The County Manager and Road Department Supervisor would like to propose closing several dirt roads in the area of the Griffin reservoir.
     8. The Three River Regional Commission has requested the appointment of one (1) or two (2) members to the Council on Aging
     9. The County Manager would like to discuss the request received from the City of Griffin for exception from the Pike County Fire Fees.
     10. Consider approval of a Resolution Establishing a Records Management Program and acceptance of a $3000 consultant grant for same.
     11. Consider renewal of annual contracts for services executed by Pike County Board of Commissioners with appropriate authorities and commissions.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
John Morrison would like to discuss Commercial Lots, Taxes/Fees

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
1.13.10
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Current October 2009 Financial Statement Available

The October 2009 financial statement is available on Pike County Times. It has been submitted to the Pike County Government website for upload as well.

Please note that the statement of revenues and expenditures of Pike County Government Funds for the month of October 31, 2009 will change when auditors send year end adjustments back to the county.

Click here to download a PDF of this financial statement.

This statement and the update for this statement will be uploaded to the Pike County Government website and can be accessed by clicking here.

1.12.10
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 9:00 am

All of the commissioners were present as well as County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes.

Update 12.10.09:

V. INVITED GUEST
     1. Mr. Tommy Burnsed would like to discuss unbilled water used by the Fire Department: The Water and Sewer Authority is asking the Fire Department to give notification about any water that is pulled out of the system so it isn't charged off as leakage by the USDA. Fire Department personnel in the audience said that this should not be a problem. The CM will talk to the Fire Chief about this.
     2. Mr. Edd Sanders would like to discuss Keep Pike Beautiful: The balance in the Authority's account is $16,551 and they are returning this money to the county because they no longer have the services of an Executive Director. He advised that they do not have a board member who can devote the time to do this. Said that they found a $5,000 CD in the name of KPBA that they will retain and use to give two $500 scholarships (rather than the two $250 scholarships that they were going to give) to graduating seniors each year in the future. [Note from the Editor: The Commissioners were probably as shocked as the audience when this was said. Returning money is not something that happens in government. Thank you to the members of the Keep Pike Beautiful Authority for doing this.] Chairman Doug Mangham said that the Commission appreciated the return of this money to the county.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
     1. Mr. Marro would like to discuss county road closures due to recent heavy rains.
     2. Mr. Marro will discuss the savings to Pike County as a result of the safety program.
C. Commissioners Reports:

District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None.

District 2 Parrish Swift: Commissioner Parrish Swift brought up the subject of taping Executive sessions as a way to check for clarity if needed by commissioners at a later date if there is disagreement about what was said. Motion to record Executive Sessions. Failed 2-3. Commissioners Parrish Swift and Roosevelt Willis voted for the measure and Commissioners Don Collins, Tommy Powers, and Doug Mangham voted against it. Parrish asked the County Attorney to look into whether he can take notes of Executive Sessions for clarity so he can have some sort of record to look back upon if needed. County Attorney Rob Morton is going to look into this.

District 3 Tommy Powers: None.

District 4 Don Collins: None.

Chairman Doug Mangham: None.
D. County Attorney Report presentation to Commissioners: None. Rob did advise that there will be a gathering on Friday to honor Attorney Tom Morton for 60 years of service as an attorney. He has been licensed since 1949. The judges in our circuit are signing a resolution for him. Congratulations to Mr. Morton!

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. The Board of Commissioners is requesting the Second Reading of Text Amendment to Chapter 152, entitled Flood Plain Management Regulations
     2. Chairman Mangham would like to read the Proclamation declaring January 30, 2010 as Austin Dabney Day.
     3. The Board of Commissioners is requesting the Second Reading of the County Vehicle Use Policy.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. County Manager Marro would like to discuss the RFP for Benefit Providers to Pike County.
     2. The Planning and Development Department is requesting revisions to the Fee Schedule to include fees for cell and radio towers, and other minor revisions.
     3. Mr. Tommy Porter is requesting a tax refund in the amount of $126.29.
     4. Ms. Delores Ferguson is requesting a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for Ferguson’s located at 6764 Highway 362, Concord, GA.
     5. Mr. Albert Turner is requesting a 2010 Beer Retail License for Turner’s Grocery located at 1830 Pedenville Road, Concord GA.
     6. Mr. Dexter Whitlock is requesting a 2010 Beer Retail License for DG&I Holdings, LLC DBA The Country Store located at 3402 Highway 362, Williamson, GA.
     7. Mr. Nawaid Sadiq is requesting a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for Mountain View Convenience Store located at 3181 Highway 19, Meansville, GA
     8. Mr. Saifullah N. Bhamani is requesting a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for The Rock Store located at 4131 Highway 19 South, Zebulon GA.
     9. The Pike County Board of Commissioners is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Pike County Water and Sewerage Authority. This is a five (5) year term and will expire December 31, 2014.
     10. Discussion on compensation for the Fire Chief: Commissioner Parrish Swift asked that the agenda be amended at the beginning of the meeting. Discussion was held on whether or not to compensate Fire Chief Danny Henderson. Parrish pointed out that the revenue is already there from fire fees and that no new taxes will be collected for this. Discussion included: Chief Henderson is asked to be at Department Head meetings unless he is at work, he is expected to conduct business like he is a paid employee, he corresponds with the State Fire Commission and is accountable for ISO, etc. Parrish said that he thinks it is time to establish accountability. Don said that he has changed his mind on this since he has had the opportunity to study what Fire Chief does. Don was opposed to this before he was impressed with the volume of work on a part-time basis on over the past two out of three weeks as far as keeping records, spending time on county business, and thought that it required some compensation. Parrish suggested part-time compensation without benefits. Roosevelt said that it was either compensate the Fire Chief or hire a secretary and it would be less expensive to compensate without benefits. Motion to pay $1,500 per month to be allocated out of the Fire Department budget. 3-1 with Tommy against. Tommy clarified his reason against this vote was that there were volunteer firemen making $10 per call, said we just lost SPLOST, the pipeline, fire fees... where do we stop? More discussion started on not generating another tax but keeping qualified people here and Chairman Doug Mangham asked to move on to the next subject since the motion had already passed.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
     Discussion of Personnel-County-wide pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6): Began at 10:10 a.m. and back into Session at 10:43 a.m.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)-None

Don brought up the landfill and the agenda was amended to discuss Arcadus doing a Peer Review on the landfill. Don has brought this up at prior meetings as the closing of the landfill has been a hot subject of late. The county is paying a company to monitor the landfill until it can be closed and recently was told that there was the possibility of being required to drill more wells that could cost around $50,000. A request was put out for companies to come in and do a review of everything that has been done on the landfill up until now, review EPD files, and meet with the EPD. The only company that responded was Arcadus and they will do this for $5,000. The money will have to come from contingency. Don said that before the county spent $50,000 on more monitoring, he would like to see a second opinion on this. Motion for CM to contract with Arcadus for $5,000 to do this peer review on the landfill. Approved 4-0.

XII. ADJOURNMENT: 10:54 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.
12.9.09
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Commissioners Don Collins, Roosevelt Willis, Tommy Powers, and Doug Mangham were present at the meeting tonight. County Manager Steve Marro was present and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. County Attorney Rob Morton had a family emergency, and Commissioner Parrish Swift was very sick last night. [Note from the Editor: Thank you to all of the commissioners for attending meetings regularly. It shows your dedication.]

I stayed until 7:30 p.m. when the commissioners went into Executive Session. However, I received a phone call from both Carol Bass and Greg Williams at the Barnesville Dispatch letting me know that a decision was made last night after the Executive Session. The Pike County Board of Commissioners has authorized an offer of the position of County Clerk in the Pike County Board of Commissioner's Office to Teresa Watson, who is the current Spalding County Clerk ex-officio. [Note from the Editor 11.25.09: I said last night that a decision was made "to hire" Teresa Watson for the position of County Clerk in the Commissioner's Office. That was incorrect. I have made the correction above by stating that she is being offered the position.] According to the Barnesville Dispatch, Mrs. Watson's starting date and salary have not been determined at this time, but her salary will range between $34,393 and $46,725. Mrs. Watson is currently serving as county clerk under Spalding County Manager William Wilson, Jr. whose resignation will be effective December 30, 2009.

Update 11.28.09:

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
  A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Nothing unusual.
  B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
     1. Discussion of the meeting held Thursday, November 19, 2009 with another landfill consultant to go over landfill issues: Arcadus [spelling?] is the only company that has agreed to the study on the landfill and analyze the work done by GEC--the company who has done work on the landfill up until now. Arcadus will send a cost estimate to the county on the work. [Note from the Editor: I would like to see the county save some money on this landfill, but commissioners need to compare the cost of having this analysis done and what it is supposed to accomplish against how much we are paying on this now to be sure that taxpayer dollars are being spent as wisely as possible. I don't have an opinion on this other than asking for common sense in county government.]
     2. Mr. Marro would like to update the Board on the City/County joint session: Not heard back from anyone. The intent on this request to have a joing City/County session was to eliminate duplication of efforts in the cities and county to save taxpayer dollars. Commissioner Don Collins said that he thinks the City of Zebulon might be in favor of this from where he spoke with the Mayor last week.
     3. Mr. Marro would like to update the Board on the Gas Line Committee activities: There was a meeting last Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce. Atlanta Gas Light attended. The costs on this line range from $1.2 to $2.2 million dollars depending on where the line comes from and how big the line is. Commissioner Tommy Powers said that based on what he heard, Atlanta Gas Light doesn't want to do anything. They don't want to invest and he doesn't think that Pike County should either. Commissioner Collins said that he thinks it would be more beneficial to put in the gas line for the entire corridor rather than just one business. It was also said at this point in the meeting that Atlanta Gas Light wants a 6 inch pipeline put in here instead of the 4 inch line that would suit Pike County's needs. CM Marro said that we don't need a big gas line. Bill Chamberlain is working on grants, etc. for this project. At this time, both the Pike and Lamar Industrial Development Authorities are involved in this project as well as the State.
     4. Mr. Marro would like to propose an employee service recognition program: Commissioner Collins had requested an employee service recognition program and CM Marro brought information for a proposal to the commissioners along with the names and terms of employment for those in Pike County. The oldest employee in the county is Clerk of Superior Court Carolyn Williams who has been employed in Pike County since 1985. This program will start recognizing the service of long-time county employees. [Note from the Editor: This will be good for employee morale and good for the county. Thank you to Commissioner Collins for the suggestion, CM Marro and those who helped do the legwork to get a list in place, and to the commissioners for recognizing county employees. There is a wealth of knowledge in long-term workers and they have earned that recognition.]
     5. Discussion of the $300,000.00 grant applied for through the ARRA program to replace many of the air conditioning units and out-dated lights in county facilities: This is program through the Department of Energy that will begin saving the county money as we replace old air conditioning units, etc. Bill Chamberlain has applied for a $300,000 grant for the county.
     6. Would any of the Commissioners like to attend the UGA Economic Outlook program in Macon on January 19, 2010: The CM is attending and they can carpool.
  C. Commissioners Reports


  D. County Attorney Report presentation to Commissioners-None.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
     1. The Planning and Development office is requesting the BOC review the proposed text amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia to revise Chapter 152 entitled, Flood Plain Management Regulations. First Reading of text amendment to Chapter 152, entitled Flood Plain Management Regulations
     2. The Planning and Development office is requesting the BOC review the proposed text amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia to revise Chapter 156, entitled Building Permits Required. First Reading of Text Amendment to Chapter 156, entitled Building Permits Required.

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. The Board of Commissioners is requesting the Second Reading of the Transportation Ordinance
     2. The Board of Commissioners is requesting discussion of the revision to the County Vehicle Use Policy.
     3. The Board of Commissioners is requesting the Second Reading of the 2009 Fiscal Year Ordinance
     4. The Board of Commissioners is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Board of Appeals. This is a three (3) year term and will expire October 31, 2012.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. The Board of Commissioners is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Board of Keep Pike Beautiful. This is a two year term and will expire November 24, 2011.
     2. Mr. Mark McKernan has requested a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for Hunter’s Corner Convenience Center.
     3. Mr. Moin Khowaja-Punjwani has requested a 2010 Beer and Wine Retail License for Sarah Businesses, LLC, dba Cadies Corner
     4. The Pike County Board of Commissioners would like to discuss the request from Mr. Bob Galer to hold a ceremony on January 30, 2010 recognizing Austin Dabney, a black patriot who is buried in Pike County, Mr. Galer represents the Sons of the American Revolution.
     5. The Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority is requesting the use of Impact Fees for Playground equipment at the soccer complex. The estimated total cost of the project is $26,158.69. Impact fees would pay 86.27% or $22,567.10.
     6. Mr. Bobby Blalock has requested permission to put a Christmas Tree on the south side lawn of the Courthouse.
     7. Mr. Bobby Blalock has requested permission for the Cancer Society to put a Relay for Life Ribbon tree (no lights) in the Courthouse lobby.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
     Discussion of Employee Compensation/within the Public Works Department pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
11.20.09
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 9:00 am

[Note from the Editor: These are my notes from the past county commission meeting.]

All five commissioners were present with County Mananger (CM) Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. The agenda was amended at the beginning of the meeting to include an Executive Session and a couple of separate items including an invited guest.

V. INVITED GUEST-A representative from ACCG spoke with the commissioners about getting separate insurance for the Parks and Recreation Department to cover their vehicles and land. The insurance is the same as the county except it has $1 million liability. The commissioners inquired about a denial of claim based on a change of entity and were advised that this will not interfere with any current claims. There is a $7,914 annual premium was offset by a credit to the county. The rest was moved from the BOC insurance line item. Motion to approve moving money over and separating Parks and Recreation insurance from that of the county. 4-0.

VI. EXECUTIVE SESSION-The commissioners went into Executive Session at 9:54 a.m. and came out again a little over 30 minutes later to begin the meeting again. Motion to acquire 2 lots from Chandler and Dunn off of Adams Street as presented in the contract for a future Judicial Center. 4-0.

VII. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
     A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Nothing unusual.
     B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: Advised that Qualified Local Government Status has been retained for the county. The Comprehensive Plan Update has been completed. Nothing else needed this year.
     1. The landfill issue is in process: The CM advised that no one from the EPD will come down and do a separate evaluation on the landfill because it will question the professionalism of another EPD official. It would be an exteremly long process to get a separate analysis done by an outside entity because the county will have to pull everything together that has been done on the landfill since 2003. The CM will follow up on this.
     2. Mr. Marro would like to recommend a Pike County employee for the Employee of the Quarter: Willie Quiller has been recommended as the employee of the quarter. The CM commended him for the great job that he has done for the county. Motion to accept this recommend Willie Quiller for Employee of the Quarter.
     3. Mr. Marro would like to discuss the re-naming of Bagwell Road: The CM advised that there could be some costs incurred by the citizens on that road with changing the address. The BOC advised that a citizen requested the renaming of this road from Bagwell Road on the one side to Brooks Farm Road as it used to be and not the commissioners. Asked the CM to go ahead with this process.
     4. Pike County is out to a Request for Qualifications for computer services: The CM advised that a variety of computer consultants have been used in the past and there are seven different servers in the county so things are somewhat difficult to work with. RFQ's are going to be back on Friday so there will be one company to do all the work for the county. The seven servers do not connect with each other either so the county will eventually need to move to one server to utilize time that is being lost between departments because their servers do not connect with one another. Two responses are already back with pricing, etc. Hoping to utilize local companies but will know after the RFQ's are in.
     5. Mr. Marro will discuss the E-Verify and SAVE programs: Both are federally mandated programs. E-Verify is a mandate on hiring to ensure that everyone hired is working legally. The SAVE program is an entitlement program for systematic alien verificaiton. Will require an affidavit from everyone that they are a national or legal alien and can work here legally. This will be a public benefit that will be administrated through Planning and Development because business licenses go through them already.
     6. Discussion of the meeting with Clifton, Lipford, Hardison and Parker to lay the groundwork for the 2008/2009 audit:
     7. Mr. Marro would like to schedule a meeting date to bring the Transportation Committee up to speed on the roadway projects in process, assuming the Second Reading of the Transportation Ordinance is approved.
     8. Mr. Marro would like to update the Board on the NACo Prescription program.
     9. Mr. Marro would like approval to post the RFP for a proposed Right-of-Way Mowing contract.
     10. Staff is still working on a ‘budget training program for the BOC”.

C. Commissioners Reports
     District 2-Commissioner Swift to discuss the old school building

D. County Attorney Report presentation to Commissioners

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. The Board of Commissioners is conducting a Second Reading of revisions to the Fire District Ordinance.
     2. Don Bailey would like to give a Friends of Pike County Animals update.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. Planning and Development is requesting a 100.00 dollar refund for a building permit applicant whose remodeling project was found to be just within the city limits of Concord.
     2. The Finance Department would like to request Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Amendment #10 for Inter-fund Transfer from Contingencies-Line Items and Fund Balance-CD Proceeds to Capital Project-CIP for future acquisition of land.
     3. The Finance Department would like to request Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Amendment #1 to Re-allocate ACCG-IRMA and WC Insurance from Department #13-Commissioners to Department #61-Recreation Authority in the amount of $4,468.00.
     4. The Board of Commissioners is requesting discussion of the revision to the County Vehicle Use Policy.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
     1. Richard L. Lewis would like to discuss the Pike County fire fee.
     2. Don Bailey would like to discuss questions and concerns regarding the Board of Assessor’s office.
     3. Keith Cochran would like to discuss the $500.00 rezoning fee. He would like one acre Commercial rezoned to AR
     4. Joy Walker would like to discuss the S.P.L.O.S.T.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

11.24.09
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Pike Commissioners Acquire Land for Future Judicial Complex

During the November 10, 2009 Commission meeting, the Pike County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 to purchase two lots on Adams Street for a future Judicial Center.

The property is located between the cemetery and the school bus barn property and is a little less than five acres. The lots are owned by Charlie Dunn and Walker Chandler.

“On September 29, 2009, we authorized moving $20,000 out of the contingency account for this purpose,” said County Manager Stephen A. Marro. That money was moved into an escrow account where a $10,000 intent to purchase was paid to each seller on these pieces of property.

Pike County offered $90,000 for each parcel of land. Both land owners accepted the offers and the county will pay a total of $180,000 for both parcels of land.

“Both acceptances were done on appraisals done by Pike County on the value of the property,” said CM Marro.

CM Marro went on to say that Mr. Dunn has at least six months to find another place to live. He will continue to pay all of the utility costs and everything else to operate that house until the closing date of November 29, 2009.

There is an agreement with Mr. Chandler that, after the sale of the property, he will lease the building on his parcel from the county for one dollar per month and continue to lease it to his tenant until the county needs that building.

“We effectively own the property between the bus barn and the cemetery,” said CM Marro. “It is intended to become a Judicial Complex Facility.”

“One of the reasons why we chose that specific piece of property was because it keeps the Judicial Complex downtown,” said CM Marro. This was done so that people who go to the Judicial Complex can still spend local dollars on the square in Zebulon.

“We haven’t done any more on the engineering side for building facility, sewer or water,” advised CM Marro.

CM Marro said that the City of Zebulon is looking at doing some projects in that area that would include widening the road, installing sidewalks, and storm drainage. CM Marro said that he intends to talk with the City of Zebulon to ask about a joint project to get the two projects on the same page.

[Note from the Editor: This is pretty much old news now, but I did the interview and wrote the story and am putting it online anyway since this will be archived on the Board of Commissioner pages for years to come.]

11.19.09
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REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2009 AT 6:30 PM

There was a Town Hall Meeting before the meeting. I caught the last half of it, and I applaud the commissioners for allowing the public to speak before the meeting.

Tonight's meeting was short with adjournment at 7:35 p.m. All five commissioners attended as well as County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes.

I. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
    (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
    1. Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held October 14, 2009 at 9:00 am pursuant to O.C.G.A.. § 50-14-1(e) (2)
    2. Minutes from Special Called Meeting held October 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm pursuant to O.C.G.A.. § 50-14-1(e) (2) [Note from the Editor: I just realized that I don't have anything online about the fire fee meeting. Oversight on my part. Click here to read about the meeting from the Griffin Daily News.]

V. INVITED GUEST-None .

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: A question was asked about the Impact Fee money that was taken in last month. A prefab nursery building will be going up just south of Wilder Road on Highway 19.

    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: The CM advised the BOC that the county will be coming in $1,397,000 short in funds but that we are $813,000 under budget. He said that we should come out good with this budget even though it was made about 30 days before the economic tumble and gave kudos to department heads for holding the line on spending.

    C Commissioners Reports:
District 1 Roosevelt Willis asked about fire fees for the cities. This was deferred to later in the meeting. * Asked the CM to revisit the policy that does not allow anyone but county employees to ride in county vehicles. The CM said that he will bring something back to commissioners at the next meeting. * Roosevelt commended the Public Works Director for getting work done for residents that had called their commissioner with complaints.
District 2 Parrish Swift
District 3 Tommy Powers
District 4 Don Collins
Chairman Doug Mangham

    D. County Attorney Report presentation to Commissioners

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

    1. The Tax Assessor is requesting the BOC agree to allow the Board of Assessor’s to move money from 100-14-1550-511100 Regular Salaries to 100-17-1550-54200 Computers

    2. Planning and Development is requesting that the Board of Commissioners adopt, by Resolution, the Pike County Capital Improvements Element 2008 Annual Update.

    3. The Board of Commissioners is conducting a Second Reading of revisions to the Fire District Ordinance.

Updated 10.29.09:

IX. NEW BUSINESS

    1. The DDA Christmas Parade Committee would like to use the covered porch at the south entrance to the courthouse on December 5, 2009 from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm for children to see Santa. Approved 4-0.

    2. The Department of Planning and Development is requesting that the Board of Commissioners establish the fee for a fence/wall permit at $25.00 on fee schedule. This is basically structural fences that need to be examined for safety. Motion to approve 4-0.

Numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6 were covered together in a discussion that went from whether a portion of these fees went to the Board of Education to the fact that most counties do not give rebates during the year but only in the following year. Commissioners agreed that this needs to be examined more closely and a policy needs to be standardized on this. Motion to deny on 3, 4, 5, and 6. Approved 3-1 with Parrish dissenting.

Motion to take four that have requested to do something to offset on the new budget. No 2nd. Motion dies.

    3. Robert Smith is requesting that his 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Mr. Smith’s residence was destroyed by fire in July, 2009. Mr. Smith is requesting that his tax bill be reduced by $152.40. Amount due would be $352.24.

    4. Vicki Hammond is requesting that her 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Ms. Hammond’s residence was destroyed by fire on March 1, 2009. Ms. Hammond is requesting that her tax bill be reduced by $454.60. Taxes due would be $379.67.

    5. Diane Scott is requesting that her 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Ms. Scott’s residence was destroyed by fire on January 5, 2009. Ms. Scott is requesting that her tax bill be reduced by $414.41. The total amount due would be $552.58.

    6. Mrs. Teresa Burousas is requesting that her 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Mrs. Burousas’ residence was destroyed by fire in August of 2009. Mrs. Burousas is requesting that her tax bill be reduced by $609.95. The total amount due would be $1191.60.

    7. The Board of Commissioners is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Board of Appeals: This is a three (3) year term and will expire October 31, 2012. This is Carol Bass' seat and she did not reapply because she is now on the Board of Tax Assessors. There were no applications. This will be readvertised.

    8. Mr. George Norris to discuss the plans of the Agri-Business Authority: Mr. Norris walked through what the Agri-Business Authority has done over the past year as far as helping with local agriculture and expressed appreciation to the Commissioners for assistance in support of agriculture.

    9. Chairman Mangham will read the Grand Jury Presentments for the October 2009 Term. The beginning was the standard opening saying that the Grand Jury had investigated all criminal warrants and returned True Bills where needed and commended those who had a part in bringing those cases before the Grand Jury. Specific findings were as follows: recommended more space and restroom facilities for the Clerk of Superior Court office, recommended a new Courthouse as well as renovating the present facility, recommended more office space for Probate Court, and recommended more space at the Jail to house those under 17 years of age and women as well as conference rooms and visitation rooms. Doug Rounds was appointed as an alternate to the Board of Equalization.

    10. The Pike County Board of Commissioners has been requested to proclaim November 1, 2009 as Retired Educators Day. Motion to approve 4-0. [Note from the Editor: Look for a picture tomorrow.]

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person

    Mr. Bobby Blalock would like to discuss the fire fee on bare land. Mr. Blalock said that he has land that the Fire Department cannot access and advised that the Citizens Advisory Task Force has no more projects at this time.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

More tomorrow.

Submitted 10.27.09
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Renovation of Old School

(Note from the Editor: I have added some notes to the December 13, 2006 Board of Commission meeting regarding the possible acquisition and renovation of the old school building. The renovation of our Courthouse and Jail are problems that need to be solved through careful examination of all options and not a quick fix.)

Update 2.14.07: The Board of Education (BOE) and the Board of Commissioners (BOC) will be dealing directly with each other rather than going through a designated person for each Board. Chairman Fry spoke about the issue for a few minutes after the executive session today and advised that the BOE has not completed a study on moving the buses and bus barn at this time. The BOC budget approved in November did not allow any funds for acquisition of real estate. More on this as it occurs.

Update 3.15.07: A Downtown Civic Campus presentation was given by The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) on March 14, 2007 after the regular scheduled Board of Commission (BOC). The presentation was prepared by Sell and Associates and given at the meeting by John Sell.

Adjoining property owners have been approached about possibly selling their property to the county if the BOC goes with this plan and the public was advised that a developer has agreed to sell the BOC enough land for future expansion and build a connecting road from County Line Road. The project would involve the renovation of the Old Elementary School which currently houses the Pike County bus barn and county buses. At this time, there are no plans in place to move the buses to another location.

Greg Huber and John Sell designed the Zebulon Tomorrow Plan which showed what Zebulon could look like if the BOC decided to go with this plan. Lunch was provided with Chris Curry and Don Collins answering questions and giving information on the DDA project and Frank King was on hand to discuss various funding methods.

Update 4.26.07: The subject of the old school came up in the Town Hall meeting after the 4.24.07 BOC meeting. Chairman Fry advised that there has been a meeting between School representatives and reps from the Board of Commissioners that was supposed to get to the bottom quicker than going through committees and clarified that it was "not circumventing authority."

Renovating the old school is "more alive than 3 weeks ago," said Fry. According to Fry, the new maintenance supervisor for the school system stopped leaks in the building by putting a tarp on the roof and made some other stop gap measures to save the building and there is even talk that the bus barn may be moved sooner than thought.

(Note from the Editor: I have heard many complaints about the BOC and the DDA wanting to fix up the old school. Some citizens support this idea and others support moving the jail and putting a new Judicial Complex where the jail sits so everything is concentrated around the square instead of renovating the old school.

The BOC would be wise to have a frank discussion with the public to advise everyone exactly what we're looking at. This would give citizens the sense that their opinion matters in the discussion on how to renovate our Courthouse.)

Update 5.29.07 BOC meeting: Tripp Brisendine gave the BOC a Civic Campus proposal for puchase of the old Elementary School. He thanked the BOC for the support and cooperation with the TE Grant that was used to renovate downtown sidewalks, etc. and the no interest loan for 3 years that was used to renovate the West Side buildings. "Let's continue the roll," he said. The DDA would like to purchase the Old Elementary School and bus facility from the Board of Education for the appraised value of $168,000 using the $134,000 that had been previously loaned to the DDA with no interest for 3 years to renovate the West Side Buildings. The remaining $34,000 would need to be in next year's budget. The DDA would then work to renovate the building and eventually sell it back to the BOC minus the $168,000 that would have been paid for it already.

Mr. Brisendine fielded a lot of questions on this project including why should the county pay for a building and land that we've paid for once already. Same goes for a leasing situation from the DDA. It will take about $968,000 total to repair the building. It will be sold to the county for $800,000 since initial $168,000 would be paid already. Commissioner Powers said that he thinks this is a good thing but that spending a million dollars on a building may not balance against taxpayer needs for paving roads, etc. since we haven't even striped a road yet. Not against the project, just against the timing of the project. Inflation, condemnation, and a possible courthouse mandamus were discussed. Tripp stated that the DDA would back another project as long as there was a plan to get behind.

(Note from the Editor: We're looking at a possible mandamus on the Jail AND the Courthouse. Another idea that makes sense is moving the jail to a larger location and building a facility that is large enough for expansion with a Magistrate courtroom in the facility like Upson and Lamar County. Moving the jail would provide land for a judicial complex that could expand on the continuous acreage that the county owns in that vicinity. The BOC needs to address both issues, advise whether SPLOST will be involved in either project, and make a plan for the future for the county so we know where we're going.)

Update 6.14.07: Frank King explained how to do a bond issue on a big ticket item in the June 14, 2006 BOC meeting. The school bond sale was done this way and had to approved by the BOC even though voters had already approved it. Using this same process, the BOC could get started on a big ticket item now and then use the upcoming SPLOST for the other big ticket item. At that time, we could have invested for 5% and bonds were at 3.8%.

(Note from the Editor: Minutes from the Zebulon Downtown Development Authority can be found through a link at the top of the City Governments page.

Update 11.4.09: Every time I start to delete this information, the subject of that old school building comes up again. So this information will remain for another year or two more to find out where it will go from here. The Board of Commissioners was going to buy this land and the old school to build a needed Judicial Complex where there would be adequate room for those moving from the Courthouse, adequate fireproof storage for records, and adequate courtrooms and a separate entrance for inmates that could be built in stages with the SPLOST that failed last night. It was said in a past BOC meeting that the Downtown Development Authority had already entered into a negotiation for this property and the old school with the Board of Education so it was not even an option for the BOC had the SPLOST passed--which it did not so that is a moot point. Who knows what will happen to this in the next two years.

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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
OCTOBER 21, 2009 3:30 PM

I. CALL TO ORDER …………………………………..Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

IV. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Discussion of allowing the Pike County Chamber of Commerce to serve beer and wine at their annual Fall Auction to be held on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at Peach State Aerodrome/Candler Museum. This permission is for this event only.

V. ADJOURNMENT

[Note from the Editor: This Chamber event was originally scheduled to be held at Magnolia Farms in Concord. The City of Concord would have been the governing authority at that location. Since the event was moved to a location in the county due to the unfortunate fire at Magnolia Farms, the Board of Commissioners needs to give an ok on this event.]

Update 10.21.09: The Special Called Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm has been cancelled.

[Note from the Editor: The alcohol for the Chamber Fall Auction will be going through Barnstormers/Ron Alexander and they have the license to serve from the county already.]

10.20.09
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AGENDA
REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2009 AT 9:00 AM

Today's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, Kim Morris to take the minutes, County Manager Steve Marro, and County Attorney Rob Morton. There was a 15 minute Town Hall Meeting prior to the 9 a.m. that I was not aware of until after the meeting. It was discussed at the past meeting when Joy Walker gave this great suggestion but evidently I missed the memo on the commissioners actually going through with this. I am glad that they did though because those that voiced concerns seemed to be happy with the ability to voice those concerns prior to the meeting. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this happen.

Update 10.15.09:

V. INVITED GUEST
    1. LINC would like to discuss their preliminary findings for an energy program: LINC Mechanical would like to create a strategic plan for facilities in order to make Pike County more energy efficient. This company would stand behind the plan for 10 years with auditing and support to ensure that the county is meeting energy guarantees, equipment replacement schedules, etc. This program is guaranteed to meet or exceed the annual cost of the program if they do the study and determine that changes can save the county money. If the savings are not there, Pike County will not owe this company anything. If changes can be made to save the money, this company will be responsible for disposal of replaced items and will be totally funded from current utility budget. This is guaranteed. The commissioners will study this information to determine if they want to participate.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: There was a question about the Mid GA Ambulance report. Pike County is not getting reports from the Work Force Investment Board. Motion for Don Collins to call and check on this because he has a connection to someone on this board. 4-0.

    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: Letter on the 2010-11 budget process to go out tomorrow. Everyone will have four weeks to prepare and submit their budgets. The budget is scheduled to be prepared around February 1st and approved by the last meeting in July.

    C Commissioners Report:
District 1 Roosevelt Willis: None.
District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked to meet in order to discuss the inadequacies of the fire fee. Special Called Meeting on Friday at 3 p.m.
District 3 Tommy Powers: None.
District 4 Don Collins: Motion that the county look into contracting an outside party to deal with the landfill in order to get an independent opinion on it. Approved 3-1 with Parrish Swift opposed. The CM asked where the funding would come from. More discussion about this. A motion was passed to get the cost of an independent audit. *
Chairman Doug Mangham:

    D. County Attorney Report

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. P&Z is requesting the Second Reading of the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 164, Fences and Walls, and Landscaped buffers between land uses and to approve the modifications.
    2. P&Z is requesting the Second Reading of the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 52, Utility Right-of-Way Encroachment Ordinance and approve the modifications.
    3. P&Z is requesting the Second Reading of text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia US Highway 19 and US Highway 41 Overlay District Ordinance Chapter 160, Section 160.02 Area Jurisdiction and Chapter 160, Other Sections as Necessary for Re-numbering and approve the modifications.
    4. P&Z is requesting the Second Reading of the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 158, Section 158.08 General Permitted Signs. .Chapter 158 Other Sections as Necessary for Re-numbering and approve the modifications.
    5. P&Z is requesting the Second Reading of the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County,, Georgia Chapter 152, Section 152.05 Floodplain Management Regulations and approved the modification.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. The Planning and Development Department is requesting to amend the fee Schedule to incorporate a sliding payment scale for certain invalid building permits.
    2. Robert Smith is requesting that his 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Mr. Smith’s residence was destroyed by fire in July, 2009. Mr. Smith is requesting that his tax bill be reduced by $152.40. Amount due would be $352.24.
    3. Vicki Hammond is requesting that her 2009 Ad Valorem taxes be prorated. Ms. Hammond’s residence was destroyed by fire on March 1, 2009. Ms. Hammond is requesting that her tax bill be reduced by $454.60. Taxes due would be $379.67.
    4. Mr. Nawaid Sadiq, Mountain View Convenience Store, would like to request that beer and wine be allowed to be sold in Pike County on Christmas Day.
    5. Mr. Kevin Teate, Pike County Parks & Recreation Authority Director, would like to discuss the re-naming of Field 5 to John Hollis Memorial Field in memory of the late Mr. John Hollis.
    6. Mr. David G. Brisendine III would like to discuss the Sam Powers estate plat approval.
    7. Mr. Moin Khowaja-Punjwani is requesting a 2009 beer and wine retail license for Cadies Corner, 10030 US Highway 19, Zebulon GA.
    8. The American Legion Post #197 is requesting permission to use the Courthouse grounds on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm for a Veteran’s Day Ceremony.
    9. Mr. Don Bailey would like to give a Friends of Pike County Animals update
    10. The Tax Assessor is requesting the BOC agree to allow the Board of Assessor’s to move $6,000.00 from 100-14-1550-511100 Regular Salaries to 100-17-1550-54200 Computers.
    11. The County Manager is requesting the BOC provide discussion and direction on the subject of bringing on-board a contract “grant writer” to make application to numerous opportunities this county is missing.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    Pastor Fred Fowler, Pine Mountain Church of the Nazarene, would like to state his protest of churches being required to pay the fire fee.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.
10.14.09
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AGENDA
REGULAR BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MONTHLY MEETING
September 29, 2009 - 6:30 PM

This meeting was interesting to say the very least. Some good and some bad. And we found out why the BOC can't even buy the old school from the Board of Education tonight. It was a shock to a lot of people in the audience. I'll just start at the beginning and go from there.

All five commissioners were there along with Nancy Cook to take the minutes, County Manager Steve Marro, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

V. INVITED GUEST-
    A. Mr. Jon Spaller, P.G., GEC will address the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and the letter in your packets from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources dated September 16, 2009: The county was trying to get the landfill closed quicker than the normal 30 years but some leakage has been found. There is no threat to the public at this time, but it may require the drilling of some extra wells at the end of the landfill property for monitoring. These will cost us about $50,000 that will have to be included in the next budget. The County Manager (CM) said that the Board of Commissioners (BOC) should have been notified that the landfill was not going to be closed on the shorter schedule in 2004 but weren't for some reason. The good thing about this is that the BOC can apply for federal funds to pay for anything over the amount of the required monitoring of the wells.

    B. The County Manager has requested Mr. Tommy Burnsed to give the Board an update on the Water Planning District’s processes, to date: Zebulon Mayor Beres, Tommy Burnsed, and CM Marro went to the third session of the Upper Flint Regional Water Commission. There are 10 in the state and the 15 counties in metro Atlanta are an entity unto themselves. The EPD is pushing a 2050 conservation and usage plan for the state. Tommy said that we are losing control of our water. As of July 1st, all who use more than 100,000 gallons of water had to have a meter installed on their well so the state can track their water usage. The next step is commercial usage under 100,000 gallons and then everyone with a well according to Tommy. He said that there is a heavy emphasis on conservation of water with 6 reservoirs being discussed for the 15 county metro Atlanta area. Tommy said that the Atlanta group denied that a reservoir on the Flint River is being considered at the meeting [Note from the Editor: There are many who are keeping an eye on this since the Flint River is one of the few remaining rivers that are not impeded in the state. Meters on wells and fines for water usage is pretty scary to me.] Tommy said that an average 76 gallon per capita limit has been suggested outside of the metro area--and he said that the national average for 2 people in a household is about 6,000 gallons of water per day.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    A. Staff is requesting the BOC review and approve the “Monthly Reports” submitted from County Departments and County Authorities. Please make note of the ‘revised’ fuel statement from the Road Department. We believe it addresses the issues expressed by Comm. Willis: Commissioner Willis was satisfied with the changes.
    B. The County Manager will address his “Report” as presentation to Commissioners
    1. ACCG Commissioner training program: In Dublin this year. Sign up if it's needed.
    2. GA. Historical Records ‘circuit-rider”: This group is offering their expertise to Pike County. The CM said that there is a tremendous amount of paperwork that needs to be stored. They will offer ideas on what to store and how to store it properly.
    3. Update on Sells Road project: The CM gave accolades to Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and the road crew for their work on the ditches, banks, etc.
    4. ARRA BOND issuance notification: There are 2 sources of bond revenues that are available to the county. $788,000 in an economic development bond payable over 30 years with a low interest rate and a facility bond of $1,182,000 with the same specifications. The CM did not know the exact amount of the interest rate but will bring it back at the next BOC meeting. There is no penalties if we apply for this and do not use it. Motion to file letter of intent with the DCA to use all of this money. Approved 4-0.
    5. Safety Inspector certification: Chris Goodman has achieved this. Congratulations Chris.
    6. Up-date on the gas line in the northeast end of the County: The grant writer who has agreed to work with the county on this has said that there is an EIP grant that we can apply for and a GEFA program that has grants as well. Senator Chance's help is being asked with this. CM said that he needs to get costs before he can get an ok from the BOC on this. Apparently Atlanta Gas Light is being uncooperative on this. Senator Isaakson's staff has offered to put this as an add-on to the Department of Energy Bill.
    7. McKinley Road engineering study found! Paragon Engineering did this study in 2003. The prints need to be updated to meet GDOT standards for when the application process opens back up for federal/state money to do road improvements. Estimates that it will take about $20,000 to get this updated.
    C. County Commissioner's Reports:
    District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Said that he has gotten a lot of calls about the fire tax. Asked about how the fire tax was a part of the property tax before and asked for some specifics. Specifics really depend on how much a specific property is worth but fire protection was calculated into property taxes and was removed from the regular budges as a separate line item. Discussion that State of Georgia's removal of the State Homestead Exemption program that lowered property owners' taxes by a couple hundred dollars has a lot of property owners thinking that the county and the Board of Education raised taxes when that is not what happened. Further discussion that the fire tax needs some tweaking. * Passed around pictures of the Tactical Response Unit. More on this donation later in the meeting. He wanted to be sure that those involved in this donation to the county were given credit for their donation. The Dabbs, Friendship Presbyterian Church, and P&D Enterprises Body Shop were instrumental in the painting of this truck for the county. [Note from the Editor: Look for an article and picture soon. Those who give to this community need all of the accolades that we can possibly give them. Update 9.30.09: See article dated 9.30.09 and the pictures on the We Are Pike County page. Thanks to Pike EMS and EverythingPike.com for getting this information to Pike County Times.]

Update 9.30.09:
    District 2 Parrish Swift: Voiced his disagreement with the plea agreement that allows former Recreation Director Shawn Shoats to plead guilty of the theft of $23,629.39 from Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority to stay out of jail. * Referenced the Meansville City Council letter and said that he is concerned about Meansville Fire Department's response to the County Fire Department. Unhappy because SPLOST paid for Meansville's new fire engine. Said that he would not support any payment to the City of Meansville to pay for an independent fire department. [Note from the Editor: See article entitled "Meansville City Council Says No" dated 9.30.09.] * Asked if there was any truth to the Downtown Development Authority buying the old school building from the Board of Education that the Board of Commissioners was trying to buy and renovate for the new Judicial Complex that is on the upcoming SPLOST.
    District 3 Tommy Powers: Said that he has been getting a lot of calls about the fire tax too. Said that he wished the taxes had been separated out in prior years to residents could see what they were paying for.
    District 4 Don Collins: Also talked about the fire fee. * Commended Friendship Presbyterian Church and P&D Enterprises Body Shop for their donations on the Tactical Rescue Unit. * Wants the fire stations to be kept up by the inmates from the Detention Facility.
    Chairman Doug Mangham: Had nothing to report.
    Commissioner Tommy Powers asked a question about the fire truck sitting outside of the Lifsey Springs Fire Station. Parrish advised that it is moving to Molena but that Molena does not have a place to house it right now. Said that there won't be a problem with the hoses being out in the weather. Also that the floor in the station was worked on and that also factors into this.
    D. Request the County Attorney provide a report: Rob said that Probation Services will refer work to Pike County when we have someone to take this over. Only one qualified worker in the county right now. Mayor Beres has someone in the city. Maybe a partnership could be made on this.

Update 10.1.09:

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
    1. P&Z is requesting the BOC review the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 164, Fences and Walls, and Landscaped buffers between land uses and to approve the modifications: In Favor: John Morrison: Said that he was in favor of all five of these amendments. Said that all five went through two full reviews with the Planning Commission and asked the Board of Commissioners to uphold the work done on these amendments. Opposed: None. Motion to approve 1st reading. 4-0.
    2. P&Z is requesting the BOC review the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 52, Utility Right-of-Way Encroachment Ordinance and approve the modifications: This gives a basic standard with consequences for violating standards. Motion to approve 1st reading. 4-0.
    3. P&Z is requesting the BOC review the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia US Highway 19 and US Highway 41 Overlay District Ordinance Chapter 160, Section 160.02 Area Jurisdiction and Chapter 160, Other Sections as Necessary for Re-numbering and approve the modifications: This is a change based on concern that from the center line to just 400 feet could be seen as a weakness to the code. Basically, at 401 feet, someone could do what they wanted to do rather than follow the set standard. Entire parcel has to comply if over 50% is inside of this 400 foot requirement and if less than 50% is in the 400 foot requirement there is some extra screening, etc. that is required. Motion to approve 1st reading. 4-0.
    4. P&Z is requesting the BOC review the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 158, Section 158.08 General Permitted Signs. Chapter 158 Other Sections as Necessary for Re-numbering and approve the modifications: This clarifies temporary signs, individual parcel signs, and removes the limit on the number of campaign signs although there is still a limit on the size of an individual campaign sign. Felt that there was some limits on freedom of speech. In favor: Becky Watts. Said thank you for considering this because I felt like my free speech was being limited with some of the regulations in the current ordinance. Motion to approve 1st reading. 4-0.
    5. P&Z is requesting the BOC review the text Amendment to the Code of Pike County, Georgia Chapter 152, Section 152.05 Floodplain Management Regulations and approved the modification: Had to do this to comply with Federal regulations. In Favor: Doug Rounds. Said thank you for adopting this. Said that they had spent a lot of time on this. Motion to approve 1st reading. 4-0.

XIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. The BOC is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Water and Sewerage Authority. This term expires in December, 2013: Motion to appoint Stephen Brown. Approved 4-0.
    2. P&Z is asking the BOC to review and approve the adoption of revisions to the Pike County Comprehensive Plan: Motion to adopt. Approved 4-0.
    3. The County Manager has supplied the BOC with updated expenditures to the current S.P.L.O.S.T. Is there any discussions? No.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. The Finance Department is requesting the BOC approve a FY 2009 Budget Amendment #8 to increase Vehicles M&R and to increase Miscellaneous Revenue. A Donation was made from Friendship Presbyterian Church and P&D Enterprises Body Shop for money and services toward paining the Tactical Response Unit: Motion to approve. Approved 4-0. [Note from the Editor: See "Friendship Presbyterian Church and P&D Enterprises of Griffin Donation Will Help Many" above dated 9.30.09 and the pictures on the We Are Pike County page.]
    2. The Finance Department is requesting the BOC approve a FY 2009 Budget Amendment #9 to increase Capital Outlay-Property and Building and decrease Contingencies for the Acquisition of land: This amount of $20,000 that will be added to the amount that is currently in contingency. [Note from the Editor: There is an amount in Contingency that this will be added to for the purchase. We do not know exactly where this purchase will be yet. Looking at the Contingency Fund on paper last night, it looks like no money has been transferred in and out of this fund though there have been expenditures noted elsewhere in the budget with that money. We might need to find a better system to track this so we can have a true picture of our finances from year to year. Update 10.3.09: I have been advised that state regulations require that the money for expenditures be moved from the Contingency account to whatever account it is used in, but that it is tracked in another document so the county can see these expenditures and make decisions for next year's budget.] Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
    3. The BOC is requested to appoint one (1) member to the Pike County Board of Family and Children Services. Term expires June, 2014: There were three applicants--Patricia Beckham, Fred Blackmon, and Christine Parker. Motion to appoint Patricia Beckham. Approved 4-0.
    4. Mr. Goolsby is requesting a discussion for the road closure request for Pitts Road between Kings Road and Hagan’s Mountain Road: Rob advised that the BOC needs to go through the abandonment procedures on this road. This closure was requested by residents as a safety issue. Motion to proceed with abandonment procedures and the road will be closed while abandonment is being pursued. Approved 4-0.

Update 10.6.09:
    5. David Allen of Planning and Development is requesting clarification on how the Board of Commissioners would like to proceed concerning the plat for the “Estate of Sam W. Powers.” Commissioner Tommy Powers sat down in the audience and completely abstained from this conversation since this concerns the estate of his brother. David explained that Family Subdivision used to be a part of Pike County's code of ordinances until it was taken away in 2005. The surveyor did the plat and the $500 was paid. This was supposed to go through in 2008 and did not for 6 tracts of land to family members. The case went before Probate Court and dividing the land is part of a Court Order to settle the terms of the will. David's question was whether a Court Order held more weight than the current standard set in our code of ordinances. The consensus from the commissioners was that there is no exception. They gave it in the form of a recommendation. [Note from the Editor: A few people abused this and the commissioners at that time thought it was better to punish everyone for the abuse. Yes, I was on the other side of the fence on this argument if it is not obvious. Parents with four children now have to pay for a major subdivision and go through county hoops in order to give land to their children. However, as much as I do not like the exclusion of family division of property, the commissioners did the right thing with this. Until the law is changed, we have to abide by the code of ordinances.]
    6. Mr. Ron Alexander has requested his renewal of a 2010 beer and wine pouring license for Barnstormers Grill. Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.
    7. The First Baptist and First Methodist churches have requested use of the south side of the courthouse grounds on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 6:00 am until 4:00 pm for a Children’s Home Bar-B-Q. Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION - 8:23 p.m.
    -To discuss the subject of Land Acquisition pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)

Back into session at 8:28 p.m.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    -Ms. Joy Walker has asked to speak with the Board of Commissioners. Joy began by saying that it was her personal opinion that the commissioners did not violate the law when they all met at the Farm Bureau meeting. However, she went on to say that several years ago, the county lost three lawsuits on violation of Sunshine Law. She asked why they would want to put themselves in this position. She then pointed out that Don Collins is the only commissioner who holds Town Hall Meetings. She suggested that the commissioners have a 15 to 30 minute Town Hall meeting so citizens can put in input prior to decisions being made. [Note from the Editor: The past commission had a Town Hall Meeting after each night meeting. Most of those meetings did not last 15 minutes, but the fact that commissioners stayed and listened to citizen opinions on whatever matter we raised was greatly appreciated.] She continued her discussion by saying thank you to the commissioners for giving her their full attention and not putting away their paperwork, etc. in preparations for leaving while she was talking to them. She pointed out that it hasn't been that way for everyone of late. She said that part of being a good leader is listening and asked them to reconsider their attitudes especially when it comes to those who are labelled "trouble-makers" in the county. A former commissioner told her and others to find something "constructive" to do and they have done just that by serving on boards in the county. She suggested that commissioners should listen to what they have to say because they are doing something constructive. At the end of her time, she asked what the commissioners would do about having a Town Hall Meeting so there could be a free exchange of ideas between the commission and the public but got no answer to that.

XII. ADJOURNMENT - 8:37 p.m.

9.28.09
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Voters Will Soon Be Able to Vote on the SPLOST Referendum

Voters will be given the opportunity to vote on the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) on November 3, 2009. Voters will go to their normal polling places in order to vote on whether to allow a six year SPLOST.

Readers can find out about SPLOST by clicking here on the ACCG (Association County Commissioners of Georgia) guide for SPLOST.

This one cent sales tax paid on every item sold in Pike County and will go to pay for projects listed here.

Here is a copy of the November SPLOST Referendum provided courtesy of the Voter Registrar's Office.

Absentee ballots will be available to vote on the SPLOST maybe as early as October 6, 2009. Voters who come to the Courthouse to vote early will be able to vote by machine instead of filling out the paper absentee ballots like we have done in the past.

Any questions about absentee voting should be directed to the Office of the Voter Registrar at 770-567-2003. Please call the office to confirm that ballots are in before going to the Courthouse to vote.

Voters will go to their normal polling places in order to vote on November 3, 2009.

9.24.09
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Special Called Meeting on September 17, 2009

The Pike County Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Called Meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm in the Commissioners meeting room, 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, GA.

Update 9.17.09: The intergovernmental agreement with Spalding County was pulled off of the agenda. Under New Business, two items were added by Commissioner Don Collins: 1) Engineering Study for Federal Stimulus Money and 2) Breakfast Meeting at Farm Bureau on Wednesday. Acquisition of property was added to Executive Session.

I am going to write more on this meeting tomorrow. I need to listen to the tape again to be sure that I get all of the facts down correctly. However, I will say (again) that these 3 p.m. meetings seem to limit the number of people who can attend.

There were two media representatives--Pike Journal Reporter and the Pike County Times--and three citizens present at this meeting with all five commissioners: Doug Mangham, Roosevelt Willis, Parrish Swift, Tommy Powers, and Don Collins, County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes.

Update 9.19.09:

While amending the agenda, Commissioner Parrish Swift said that he wanted to discuss an upcoming court case in open session. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that this case is subject to confidentiality because it is still a pending matter until it goes to court on Friday. Parrish made a motion to discuss this case in the open meeting. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis gave a 2nd for discussion. During this discussion, the public found out that the prosecution has accepted a plea from the defense in the case of The State of Georgia vs. Shawn Shoats in which Shawn Shoats has been accused of taking money from the county. Parrish stated outright that he disagreed with this plea agreement. Rob emphasized that this case is not concluded because the criminal prosecution of this case is not concluded. Vote on the motion to discuss the case in open session. 1-3-1. Parrish in favor. Tommy, Don, and Doug against. Roosevelt abstained because he said that he did not have enough information on this.

IV. NEW BUSINESS
    1. To discuss intergovernmental agreement with Spalding County Re: Stop signs at South Sixth Street Extension: This was pulled from the agenda at the beginning of the meeting per the request of the County Manager and Counsel in Spalding County. This section of road is not in Pike County. Pike County owns that spot of the road up to the right of way according to the County Attorney. They had been asking for an intergovermental agreement on this. One commissioner said that he saw absolutely no reason why the commissioners would want to do this.

Motion to approve the agenda. 4-0.

1. Engineering study for stimulus money. Commissioner Don Collins proposed that CM Steve Marro find out what is needed for Pike County to be in the running for stimulus money. CM Marro said that he called the Department of Transportation (DOT) and was advised that all projects have to have engineering done with them so that the projects are considered "shovel ready" with design, blue prints, right of way acquisitions, etc. If this is not completed, none of our projects will meet DOT criteria for stimulus funds. McKinley Road was discussed as a possibility since most of the work is already done on it. Consensus to find projects that can be made "shovel ready" and get costs if needed in order to try to get stimulus funds to complete projects in Pike County.

2. Discussion of Breakfast Meeting on Wednesday morning at Farm Bureau: [Note from the Editor: This is a hot discussion that got personal at times, and I am not going to fan those flames any further with comments from the meeting. I wasn't there so I don't know the specifics--and frankly don't care at this point except to say that Pike County has been at this crossroad before. The public has a long memory and has reason not to trust the Commission as a whole even though specific commissioners have not been a part of questions from past actions. However, I believe that our commissioners should act in a manner that is above reproach. If there was a question on this meeting or commissioners thought that there would be a problem with the meeting, your intentions should have been made clear or you should have avoided the situation. On the same token, citizens should ask questions and voice our concerns expecting that our questions will be answered before we hang our commissioners for actions of past commissioners.] Long and the short of this is that the meeting at Farm Bureau, according to the County Attorney, did not qualify as an open meeting even though all five commissioners were present because it was not a called county meeting--which means that it was not a public meeting that was advertised where official business would take place, and no official business was conducted--meaning that no votes were taken on county business. This is according to the Crossland vs. Butts County court case which established a litmus test for an open meeting.

V. EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS PENDING LITIGATION
    PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1): Motion to go into Executive Session. 4-0

After coming back into Regular Session, Commissioner Parrish Swift made a motion that the BOC deny--not endorse or disapprove--of the plea bargain that the DA is agreeing to accept in the Pike County vs. Shawn Shoats case. 2nd for discussion. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis said that he is not satisfied with what he has heard but understands that a plea has been made and that the BOC is expected to accept it and he is not in favor of it. Commissioner Parrish Swift started to say something else and Commissioner Don Collins interrupted him and asked the Chairman to call for a vote on this before Commissioner Parrish Swift had completed his discussion. The Chairman said that he would let Parrish finish first. Parrish said that he thinks that the District Attorney will go ahead with this regardless of what the BOC decides. Vote on Parrish's motion was 2-3 with Parrish and Roosevelt in favor of not accepting the plea deal. Don, Tommy, and the Doug were against the motion. [Pike County has to have an affirmative vote of three commissioners or the motion dies.] Don made a motion to accept the plea bargain arranged by the DA and the public defender. 3-2. In favor: Don and Tommy with the Chairman voting in favor to break the tie vote. Opposed Roosevelt and Parrish.

VI. ADJOURNMENT Motion approved 4-0.

9.17.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
September 9, 2009
9:00 AM

Today's meeting was a short one. It was over by 10:30 am this morning. There were a couple of things that I will mention now and then work on this later.

Commissioner Tommy Powers has withdrawn his application for the Water and Sewer Authority. He advised at least two of the commissioners of this after the meeting the meeting and told me this on the telephone this afternoon. I applauded him on that decision to withdraw his application.

For those who do not have internet access, you will be able to buy your fishing and hunting licenses from the Tax Commissioner's Office in the Courthouse. DNR approached Donna Wynn Boyt about this since there is nowhere else in Pike County to buy these. These permits can also be purchased online through the Department of Natural Resources.

IV. EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Pending Litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)
    -Land Acquisition pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)

    -Personnel pursuant to O.C.G.A. .....
The Executive Session was first on the list and lasted until 9:50 a.m. WTGA Fun 101.1 FM out of Thomaston reported that District Attorney Scott Ballard gave the commissioners an update on the Weiss case during this time. I am fairly certain that the land acquisition is that needed for the Judicial Complex that will be on the upcoming SPLOST referendum. [Note from the Editor: Some don't agree with this thing or that on the upcoming SPLOST and don't care for the Judicial Complex. I am looking at a Grand Jury--several in fact--that have come back and said that the Courthouse is in terrible shape and needs to be taken care of. I would much rather see a penny tax to pay for it than a court order to do something and the entire thing come off of my taxes. Even if some ends up on my taxes--in the case of the economy not turning around--all of it won't be on my back as a homeowner. That's my nightly soapbox.]

V. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held August 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm, Minutes from Special Called Meeting held August 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm, and Minutes from Special Called Meeting held September 2, 2009 at 9:00 am were approved.

VI. INVITED GUEST-None

VII. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved.
    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: None
    C. Commissioners Report
District 1 Commissioner Roosevelt Willis: Roosevelt said that he was led to believe that the sales tax from Yancey would cover the gas pipeline and this is incorrect. He asked how the search for grants and other funding sources was going on this. The County Manager (CM) said that the search for other funding sources is ongoing. More discussion on this involving Commissioner Parrish Swift as well. Commissioner Willis is not in support of this project if not getting any sales tax.
District 2 Commissioner Parrish Swift: Spoke about the gas pipeline too.
District 3 Commissioner Tommy Powers: Asked about fire fee tax dollar amounts. Parrish added a comment that thought businesses should pay more on this. CM said it can be reviewed yearly and changed if needed. It will generate a little over $400,000 that will be used to pay for the county fire department budget only. The BOC wants this schedule to be posted in the Pike Journal Reporter for citizens to review and be aware of.
District 4 Commissioner Don Collins: Asked about the ratio that has fallen below 36% and wanted to know what is being done on this since it is costing Pike County money from utilities when we are not within State Department of Revenue guidelines on assessments. Said that the Tax Assessors office needs to get everything assessed properly in-house and that short-term help should be provided if it is needed since one of the appraisers has become incapacitated.
    D. County Attorney Report: None.

VIII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

Update 9.16.09:

[Note from the Editor: Those who know me well know that when I don't finish out a meeting with big items, it is usually because I am angry and waiting to cool off to ensure that I post this information in an impartial manner. Two big items in this case were the continued attempt to appoint a county commissioner to the Water and Sewerage Authority and the gift of the Williamson Library Branch to the City of Williamson without any thought of how we the people are going to pay back the Impact Fees that were expended to begin this project. Thankfully, Commissioner Powers asked that his application be pulled from the pool of applicants for the W&SA. I am still seething over the Williamson Library branch. However, I will present this as it happened and let readers decide whether they approve or not.]

IX. UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
    1. Appoint one member to the Water and Sewerage Authority: There were three applications for this appointment: Commissioner Tommy Powers, Stephen Brown, and Mark Whitley. Commissioner Parrish Swift made a motion to appoint Stephen Brown. The motion died because of a 2-2 vote. The Chairman did not vote to end the tie. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis made a motion to appoint Commissioner Tommy Powers. The motion died for lack of a 2nd. Commissioner Parrish Swift again made a motion to appoint Stephen Brown. The motion died because of a 2-2 vote because the Chairman did not vote to end the tie. The Chairman ended discussion on this matter by saying that this dies for lack of an appointment. Commissioner Don Collins did ask if it was appropriate for the Chairman to vote on this in order to break the tie. The County Attorney noted that it would take an affirmative vote of three commissioners to pass. It was noted that this will be on the next BOC agenda. [Note from the Editor: I called my commissioner after the meeting and discussed the W&SA appointment. Commissioner Tommy Powers advised that he had withdrawn his application for the W&SA and is backing one of the other candidates. I applauded him for this decision for two reasons. First, I don't believe that any commissioner should have time to spend on another board if they are properly dedicating their time to being a commissioner for their district. Secondly, there is a question of motives for wanting to have a commissioner on this board--especially after the uproar over the waterlines that were installed in north Pike County. Do I even need to point out that the commissioners put past-Commissioner Jake Garner on this board after his obvious anger with the W&SA and that this is Jake's seat that is being reappointed because he resigned from it? (He would have been replaced regardless since he had missed three meetings in a row.) I have said many times over the past ten years in Pike County politics that commissioners should act in a manner that is above reproach, and this just did not pass the smell test that we hear about from another citizen activist. Hopefully commissioners will step back and look at things from the voters' eyes before something like this occurs again.]
    2. Discussion of the library in Williamson: First we need a little history on this.

From the May 27, 2008 Board of Commissioners Meeting:
Budget Amendment #9: Transfer funds from the Pike County Library Impact Fee to the Library Capital Outlay for relocation of the old United Bank building. $22,000 to move the building and dry it in. ... Motion to approve $22,000 moved from Impact Fee to Library Capital Outlay for this relocation. ... Includes site prep, drying in, move, stump removal, entrance, etc. [Note from the Editor: Commissioners say that there was a bit of misrepresentation on this because they thought that this was brought to them on the behalf of the Library Board. The CM heard complaints from some on the library board and tried to bring the project to a halt even after the BOC had voted to move forward with it. At the April 29th meeting, BOC members said that they didn't have enough information after the project had been going on since the first meeting of the year. Here's the long and the short of it. There is plans for a future facility in the 2007 Capital Improvements Element and Short-term work program. The future facility is listed at 6,400 feet and was supposed to be placed in the biggest population area, which would be Williamson around 2010-2011. It was slated to cost $1,006,500.00 with $98.9% of that amount being available through Impact Fees. That being said, I have been told and cannot dispute the fact that just because something is in the Capital Improvements Plan doesn't mean that it has to be because things do get revised or pushed back in the Capital Improvements Plan all of the time due to lack of funds...]

From the February 5, 2009 Library Board Meeting:
There was much discussion about Bylaws and the Constitution for the Library. There has been discussion in the past about whether to stay with just one library or go to a library system with the J. Joel Edwards Library in Zebulon being the main library with the possibility of a hub or satellite branch in Williamson where the old United Bank building was moved onto a piece of City of Williamson land last year. It has been established that the Board of Commissioners will have to approve any changes to the Bylaws and Constitution of the library. There was a great deal of discussion on whether to change to the Pike County Library System or remain as the Pike County Library. Members decided to come to an agreement and bring it before the Board of Commissioners. The first vote that was taken ended up with three members for it and three members against it with one member abstaining since she will not be on the board very much longer. After more discussion--some of it heated--another vote was taken. The final vote came out 4-2 in favor of going with the Pike County Library System. The Bylaws and Constitution will reflect this change when presented to the Board of Commissioners. [Note from the Editor: I attended this meeting and wrote about it. This article is on the Past Stories page that can be found by clicking on the light blue box toward the top of the page.]

From the April 8, 2009 Board of Commissioners Meeting:
Tommy said that in the BOC/Library Board workshop that he felt like a majority of that board was not for a library branch in Williamson. He made a motion to give the proposed Williamson Branch Library building to the City of Williamson. 2nd for discussion. Parrish said that he hated to give this away because the county spent money on this. Don said that he would like to see the county recover the Impact Fees that were spent on this. Discussion went into the Intergovernmental agreeement between Williamson and Pike County so Impact Fees could be collected in Williamson and the county would do Williamson's Code Enforcement and building and zoning items. A letter from Mayor Steve Fry asking for the old fire station back is part of this discussion as well. The discussion kept coming back to the Impact Fee money that was spent to move the old bank building to its present location. The CM said that the City of Williamson has deemed the building an eyesore and that they want the building so they can finish it out and use it. Motion was tabled until after the Executive Session and then the motion was withdrawn at the end of the meeting.

Now back to the present time--keeping in mind that motion to approve $22,000 moved from Impact Fee to Library Capital Outlay for this relocation. Commissioner Don Collins said that he had received a lot of complaints on this and that he had asked for this to be on the agenda for discussion. He advised that the City of Williamson has expressed a desire to put this building to use and want to reaquire the land and the building now on it. Motion to give the land and the building now on it to the City of Williamson. Discussion: Commissioner Roosevelt Willis said that a letter from the City of Williamson asked for the library building and the fire station. Asked for clarification that this is only for the library building and the land that it sits on. He was told that this is correct. Motion approved 4-0. [Note from the Editor: What happens to the Impact Fee money that was put into moving this building? And if repayment is required, are taxpayers expected to pay for this because the City of Williamson was not asked to repay the Impact Fees? Most importantly, why wasn't this issue addressed at the meeting before the final vote?]

X. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Tax Commissioner Donna Boyt has requested permission to sell hunting and fishing licenses: The Department of Natural Resources approached Tax Commissioner Donna Boyt and asked if she would be willing to sell these licenses out of her office in the courthouse for those who do not have internet access as a service to the community. $0.75 of each license will come back to the county. There is nowhere else in Pike County to buy these permits though thye permits can also be purchased online through the Department of Natural Resources. Motion to approve the sale of hunting and fishing permits through the Tax Commissioner's Office. Approved 4-0.
    2. Formal presentation of four (4) sets of oxygen recovery masks for pets to the county commissioners and fire chief for the citizens of Pike County and animals, on behalf of the members of Friends of Pike County and their supporters. Don Bailey presented these masks to the Fire Department Chief Danny Henderson on behalf of Friends of Pike County Animals and its supporters. He told commissioners that fire fighters have used what they had on hand to resuscitate animals in the past. Pictures are on the We Are Pike County page.
    3. Zebulon DDA has requested permission for a bus group to tour the courthouse on Saturday, September 12, 2009 from 9:00 am until 10:30 am. This would require an employee to open and close the courthouse and turn the lights on and off: Commissioner Don Collins volunteered to do this since he is a member of the DDA. Approved 4-0.
    4. The Zebulon DDA has requested permission to use the courthouse grounds on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm for their ‘Super Yard Sale”. Approved 4-0.
    5. Proclamation commemorating International Literacy Day: The proclamation was read and approved 4-0.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT

9.9.09
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Pike County Receives ISO Ratings

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) has given Pike County a Public Protection Classification rating of 6/9. Yesterday Chief Danny Henderson of Pike County Emergency Services (PCES) met with ISO officials and received their inspection report. Ratings in the report likely will become effective January 1, 2010.

If improvements resulting in a lower rating are made before January 1, 2010 they would be incorporated and become effective then. This would translate into further savings for taxpayers. However, Pike County has one year from the date of the rating’s issuance to deal with problem areas. After those issues are addressed the county’s rating can be reconsidered by ISO.

“There are definitely some areas where we can make improvements,” said Chief Henderson. “Some have already been dealt with following the initial inspection. We missed a Class 5 by only a few points. We will be working diligently to lower the rating before January 1st.”

The lower the Public Protection Classification rating, the greater the savings passed onto homeowners through lower insurance charges. Split ratings such as ours are very common and are dependent upon a multitude of factors. Properties within five miles of a PCES station are eligible for the “6” classification, while those in outlying areas beyond that distance will be rated at the “9” score. For homeowners in many areas this should translate into significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates. In fact one homeowner has already taken advantage of the new 6/9 rating, receiving a 40% discount on homeowners insurance.

In November of last year ISO representatives inspected Pike County Emergency Services. Local officials have been looking forward to the report’s completion for some time.

“Now that the consolidating of departments is final,” said newly appointed Deputy Chief Randy Snyder, “we now for the first time have the ability to combine resources to accomplish not only the lowering of ISO scores in both the cities and county, but the ability to better serve the citizens as a whole.”

9.4.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 9:00 AM

I. CALL TO ORDER …………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

IV. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Second Reading and Adoption of the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget

V. ADJOURNMENT

This meeting was attended by all five commissioners, County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. There were very few citizens at this meeting and two members of the media. The agenda was amended to include the ISO (fire insurance) rating for the county and discussion of a budget workshop.
A. Motion to approve the general fund of $6,694,974.00. 3-1 Tommy Powers against.
B. Motion to approve Jail Fund of $14,594.00. 3-1 Tommy Powers against.
C. Motion to approve E-911 Fund of $459,164.00. 3-1 Tommy against.
D. Motion to approve DATE Fund of $1,740.00. This is court collected revenue for drug abuse treatment, etc. 3-1 Tommy against.
E. Motion to approve Fire Fund of $618,008.00. This includes fire and ambulance. 3-1 Tommy against.
F. Motion to approve Juvenile Fund of $8,145.00. 3-1 Tommy against.
G. Motion to approve Law Library Fund of $5,000.00. 3-1 Tommy against.
H. Motion to approve Law Enforcement Fund of $100.00. This is drug seizure money. 3-1 Tommy against.

Motion to authorize the Chairman and County Manager to sign final document of the 2009/2010 Budget which will be modified to include the dates of workshops and individual motions that were made in the meeting today. 4-0
I. ISO Discussion - The score will be a 6/9 for most of the county. The county is currently a 9 (which means higher insurance rates) with Molena being an 8 but was in jeopardy, Meansville a 7, Zebulon a 6, and Concord a 7. Because of the unification of the county fire stations, every residence that is within five miles of a county fire station will be a 6. This will become effective on January 1, 2010. One commissioner commented that this justifies everything that we have done to improve fire and emergency services. The discussion went on: This report should have been in the hands of the county long before now since this was done back in December, but we have done what we were committed to do. The County Fire Department (which does not include Meansville at this time) is a 6/9. The packet from ISO should be here tomorrow. There will be six months to appeal or fix any shortcomings that could possibly lower the ISO rate even more. BOC may have to put some more money into this but it is not wasted money said one commissioner.
J. Discuss Budget Workshop: Don suggested that all of the commissioners would benefit from a work session/training session on how the budget is constructed. The CM agreed that it was imperative that they understood this process. This will be done in the next couple of weeks.

Motion to adjourn at 9:25 p.m.

9.2.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
AUGUST 28, 2009
3:00 PM

I. CALL TO ORDER …………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

IV. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Setting of the Millage Rate for the FY 2009/2010 Budget

V. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting this afternoon was attended by all five commissioners, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. The millage rate was set after much discussion. Questions were asked and answered. What if questions were asked as well.

The commissioners were very concerned because this 8 month budget has a pretty big increase in it, but it was pointed out that bills come due for different departments at different times of the year. Some at the beginning and some at the end of our current fiscal year. We can't just subtract 4 months and say that we will pay this percentage of what we paid this year because of that.

Bottom line is that we are looking at an 8 month budget that will be almost as much as a 12 month budget because we are ending our year in June and beginning of the new year with the State of Georgia on July 1, 2010. This means that some bills will come due in this budget that will make it seem high and the 1 1/2 mill rollback that the county usually gets in October will not be included in this budget. And tax payers are paying our entire property bill because the State of Georgia is no longer paying $217.00 on each of our tax bills for the homestead exemption.

However, it was pointed out in this meeting that change is not always easy, and that the commissioners are trying to be more fiscally responsible by changing budgetary periods to match that of the state. And, after this short budget, it looks like finances will even out for the twelve month budget. It was said in the meeting that the insurance premium rollback can be counted in the next budget and that it should be close to the 2008 millage rate.

The School Board and the County Budget together make up the entire portion of our taxes. Neither has anything to do with the other as far as setting their budgets. The Board of Commissioners set the county side of the budget at 11.446 mills. The Board of Education (13.252 mills) and School Bond (1.127 mills) together make their part of the budget 14.379 mills.

The county's portion of the millage rate was 12.746 last year. The Board of Education's portion of the millage rate was 14.518.

8.28.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
August 25, 2009
6:30 PM

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
    SUB09-01 Final Plat for Concord Commons Subdivision (Ingram & LeGrand Lumber Company)

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS-None

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Appoint three (3) members to the Planning Commission
    2. 2010 Census Partner Proclamation
    3. Discussion of the Pike County Sheriff’s Department investigation into the sales of alcohol to underage persons at the Pine Mountain BP also known as The Rock Store.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Pending Litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)
    -Land Acquisition pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    John Morrison to discuss the pipeline.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 8.25.09:

All five commissioners attended as well as County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. The meeting began at 6:30 pm sharp and ended at 8 pm.

This was a short meeting. I have already uploaded John Morrison's letter onto the Letters to the Editor page.

The only three people who applied for the Planning Commission--Tony Watkins, Bennie Evans, and Doug Rounds--were reappointed for their current seats.

Update 8.26.09:

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES- Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held August 12, 2009 at 9:00 am pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2): CM Marro clarified that the reason the Tax Assessor minutes were late getting to the BOC was because the Chair of the Board was not available to sign minutes for a month.

V. INVITED GUEST - Mr. Larry Lynch, Nelson Memorial Garden Club, to discuss the landscaping plan for the Hollonville Fire Station: About $30,000 in funds has been designated for expenditure on the three fire stations from this fund. A maintenance plan was given to the commissioners for watering, weeding, etc. so that funds can be budgeted appropriately if needed.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Parrish Swift asked about the Yancey tap for water as mentioned in the Water and Sewer Authority minutes. Was advised that the application has been made but the required fee has not been paid. Motion to accept the minutes. 4-0.
B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
1. Discussion of the rendition of the Pike County Judicial Center design concept: The new design was presented to the public with a significant difference between the old and new designs. The Judicial Center is Phase 1 of this design with Phase 2 containing the new Sheriff's Office and Jail. There were three different options with a total buildout and two partially finished variations. This would be a two story building with a basement that contains an underground tunnel for secure prisoner transport. The dollar amounts were not given in the meeting and the Chairman had to call down one commissioner for arguing with another. Consensus for the commissioners to look over the variations and dollar amounts and discuss which variation to go with at a later time. [Note from the Editor: It looked to me like all of the commissioners did not have this information prior to the meeting and that is what sparked the controversy. The Judicial Center is an integral part of the upcoming SPLOST so it's important for all of the commissioners to review the materials thoroughly and come to an agreement for the good of the county. Needless to say, it needs to be something that can be afforded with SPLOST because taxpayers certainly cannot afford to pay for this with our property taxes.]
2. Meeting with department heads and elected officials representatives held August 20, 2009 to discuss the requisition and purchase order processes and the more efficient use of the CSI accounting software package: All of the county departments are working to fully utilize the CSI accounting software that the county uses. All departments are entering their own requisitions and using the same requisition form before sending them in for approval.
3. Discussion of changes made to the Expense Re-imbursement forms: There is one reimbursement form for all departments as well. CM Marro said that there will be approximately 30 days of rest between the upcoming budget being adopted and the work then beginning for the next budget. [Note from the Editor: The upcoming budget is an 8 month budget to get the county on the same budget year as the State of Georgia. The next budget will be a 12 month budget. Look at the Calendar of Events page for the dates of two upcoming Special Called meetings.]

Update 9.1.09:
4. Establishment of a Pike County “Rural Roads Program” in conjunction with Mr. Goolsby and his department: This will set a precedence for work done on all of the roads in the county based on traffic, accidents, etc.
* The CM said that most of the departments in the county are still in the black. Said that there was $560,000 in the county checkbook at the end of July.

C. Commissioners Report:

Roosevelt Willis and Parrish Swift discussed the ISO Report. It's been promised by September 1st but that is when the law mandates that ISO has to be given. Discussion went into who was going to sign onto the County Fire Department and the question was asked what Meansville's intentions are on this. Parrish said that there were discussions with the past SPLOST about the new fire engines and it was said then that they would probably join a county fire department at some point soon. He said that he has a problem with Meansville not responding to fires outside of the city limits. The comment was made, "I don't think that we put that [Meansville Fire Engine] on the SPLOST ballot just to serve 167 citizens." The commissioners asked the CM to find out what Meansville's intentions are on the county fire department.

Tommy Powers said that he has an upcoming meeting with Scott Huckaby to discuss mutual aid with the county fire department and find out Meansville's intent. There was a lot of discussion on automatic aid.

Don Collins suggested that Glenda King replace him on the mental health board. * Said that there was $41 million in stimulus funds and Pike did not get any of it. Wants to seek grant writer to help with Judicial Complex, etc. to get them written up by the December deadline for future stimulus funds.

D. County Attorney Report: The agenda was amended to include 3 intergovernmental agreements on the county fire department. Modifications were requested by the cities. The county will maintain the current level of service or greater. There will be quarterly meetings during transition including those on the committee: CM, the mayors of the cities who are joining--Concord, Molena, and Zebulon at this time, and Chief Henderson. Another of the modifications is that the cities can forward insurance rollbacks to the county if they want to, but they are not required to do this. The CM asked if Meansville can attend even though they haven't joined at this time. The Tax Commissioner needs to send out notices for fire fees with tax notices to citizens so this had to be approved at this meeting so she can get the information to the company that sends out these notices to citizens by the end of the month. Parrish wanted to go over the modifications before he voted on this. Motion to table until the end of the meeting. Approved 4-0. Debt service for Concord and Molena has a separate written agreement for this outstanding debt. Rob clarified that these agreements are the same for all three municipalities now. This is only voting on whether these three cities can join the fire county district.

More later.

8.25.09
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Pike County Receives GEMA and FEMA Approvals for Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Pike County Board of Commissioners has received notification from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) of federal approval of Multi-Jurisdictional Mitigation Plan covering the cities of Concord, Molena, Meansville, Williamson and Zebulon.

This approval allows the county and its cities to for funding in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive Program which could not do prior to this approval.

The Board of Commissioners were notified in late fall of 2008 that if the county was not able to get a plan in and approved by June 1, 2009, Pike County would not be eligible to apply again for a lengthy period of time.

“Pike County has been fortunate in that we have not suffered through a significant weather event or natural disaster for a long period of time,” said County Manager County Manager Stephen A. Marro. “Thus, there was never a need to apply for Federal or State funds to assist in any significant clean-up or re-building activity.”

Pike County now can apply for both federal and state assistance to address these issues if and when they may occur.

The Pike County Board of Commissioners approved the hiring of Mr. Pete Nelms to assist the county in the finalization and submission to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and GEMA of a hazard mitigation program that would fit the criteria and needs of both agencies as well as the Pike County’s needs.

This assistance was made available through a $20,000 matching grant from GEMA to the Pike County through the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) office of Mike Singleton, who is Deputy Chief over EMA-Pike County Emergency Services.

All of the cities in Pike County were brought into the process as well as other key and instrumental players that would help make the plan more uniform and better fit the specific needs of this county. The process took several months along with complete collaboration of all of the cities and their dedicated staff.

“This is major step forward in the preparation and future planning for catastrophic events in Pike County,” said County Manager Marro. “We can now more clearly identify the potential incident and our inability to address it properly and make plans to administer them more securely through this approval process.”

The plan was formalized and adopted by each City Council and the Board of Commissioners with ample time to allow the EMA office to submit it well in advance of the June 1, 2009 deadline.

The plan will now be further monitored, modified and renewed through the EMA office and Deputy Chief Mike Singleton.

According to the letter sent to the Pike County Board of Commissioners by GEMA, this plan is approved for five years and a formal update will be required by FEMA by July 31, 2014.

GEMA recommends that an annual review and assessment of the effectiveness of this plan each year and that any changes or updates by the county and municipalities be send to GEMA by the local EMA Director.

8.17.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
August 12, 2009
9:00 AM

        6. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #7 to increase Contract Services and the GEMA Aid to County line items. The contract was not included in the original budget amounts and will be reimbursed by GEMA.
        7. The Pines Golf Course has requested a 2009 Pouring License for beer.
        8. The Cedars Golf Course has requested a 2009 Pouring License for beer.
        9. Recognize and approve the suggested “Employee of Quarter” , Ms. Brenda Shaw, P & Z office.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
        -Personnel-Planning and Development Department to discuss certifications pursuant to O.C.G.A. §50-14-3(6)
        -Pending Litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. §50-14-2(1)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
        John Morrison would like to discuss the pipeline.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 8.12.09: Today's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, the County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to take the minutes. The meeting officially ended a few minutes before noon. Here are a few of the highlights.

The $108,000 for the debt service on the gas pipeline came out of the budget. There was a lot of discussion on this but the main gist of it is that the BOC is pursuing other options to pay for this rather than using taxpayer dollars.

New members who were appointed to the Board of Assessors were: James Pickering, Carol Bass, and Charles Burden.

No new member was appointed to the Water and Sewer Authority to replace (past commissioner) Jake Garner after his resignation. There were only two applications--one was Commissioner Tommy Powers and Stephen Brown. Motion and 2nd made to appoint BOC member Powers and it was pointed out that this could be a conflict of interest. The 2nd was withdrawn. A motion was made to appoint Stephen Brown and it died for lack of a 2nd. Lack of further motion and the appointment to this seat was postponed until the nightly BOC meeting. There are currently four members of this authority.>

No one was appointed to Three Rivers either as the two standing representatives had been tasked with asking someone to serve. Fred Roney is in this position.

The first reading of the budget was approved for a total of $7,364,554. Update 8.13.09 with a correction. [Note from the Editor: It has been brought to my attention that the total of $7,364,554 includes the special funds that are separate from the General Fund by State mandate. The General Fund with the first reading of the budget was for a total of $6,694,974.] Update 8.17.09: [Note from the Editor: The numbers do not add up correctly so I called and received verification on amounts that were removed and added from the General Budget to come up with $6,694,974. $108,000 was removed, $10,000 was added for the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia-Concord Unit, and $22,000 was removed from Planning and Zoning's budget.]

Update 8.14.09:

I. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
1. Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)
2. Minutes from the Special Called Meeting held Friday, July 31, 2009 at 10:00 am pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)
[Note from the Editor: These and other minutes can be viewed on the Pike County Government website on the Commissioner's page.

V. INVITED GUEST
1. Blake Sharpton-S.P.L.O.S.T update and Intergovernmental Agreements: The cities have approved the agreements and will all return signed copies to the county. Motion to approve intergovernmental agreement and the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners sign off on this. 4-0.
2. Carl Melear with the Georgia Forestry Commission presenting the Community Wildfire Protection Plan: This is the Fire Protection Plan that gives a Wildfire Risk Assessment for Pike County and a plan for our Volunteer Fire Departments to follow. Motion to accept. 4-0
3. Jeff Kenerly to give the Georgia Forestry Commission annual report: This is the annual report from the Georgia Forestry Commission that was presented to the Commissioners.

Update 8.17.09:

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
     A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Minutes from the June 4, 2009 meeting were stamped as received on August 4th. The BOC asked the CM to ask this board to send along its minutes in a more timely manner since a controversial matter that was discussed and voted on in a prior BOC meeting was in these minutes. It was said that this board is usually timely with its minutes but it will be taken care of. Accepted 4-0.
     B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners:
* CM Marro gave an update on the gasline and ways to finance without taxpayer dollars. There were three meetings in the prior week. Tax Allocation Districts, Community Investment Improvement (CID), and the PILOT program (payment to lower taxes) were discussed. Each of these programs in an opportunity to obtain funds without this gasline being paid for with taxpayer dollars. There is someone who is looking into GEFA and a Department of Energy Grant for the county as well. More on this when funding is discussed later on in the meeting.
1. Resignation of Terry Ross from the Pike County Board of Assessors: Accepted 4-0.
2. Discussion of the ‘draft’ list of proposed GDOT projects within Pike County: These are Georgia Department of Transportation projects for 2010-2013. Molena Streetscapes project, Zebulon TEA Grant Phase 2, improvements to intersection of Highway 18 and Highway 109, improvements to the intersection at Highway 74 intersection, and Highway 18/3 repaving to the Lamar County line. These are federally funded projects. Resurfacing is a stimulus project. A representative from the GA DOT was on hand to brief the BOC on these projects and answer their questions.
3. Certificate of attendance by Ms. Renee Stephens from the GA Local Government Personnel Association: Kudos to Renee. CM said that she brought back valuable information for Pike County.
4. Review of the Public Services Communications information relative to their applying for a grant in the ARRA program for Wireless Broadband to several rural Georgia communities including Pike County: This is a multi-county application to provide to 26 counties.
5. Notice from Three Rivers Regional Commission on the need for the Pike County city and county councils/commission to appoint a “Non-Public Representative” to the Council: Clarification that county and city representatives who are currently on this board were charged with making this appointment. Fred Roney was their choice.

C. Commissioners Report:
District 1: None
District 2: Parrish asked about penalty assessment on inadequate ration. Asked if the Tax Assessor could have adjusted sales ratio in her formula to prevent this? CM to check on it. Will ask for a written letter and response.
District 3: None.
District 4: Don asked about community service. Rob had not had the chance to check on this yet. Don said that section 35.5 of our code of ordinances says that we have this. The question is why we are not using it and what is needed in order to implement the program. Went over the past discussion. Don wants to see this done. * Don said that he liked the updated code book. The CM commented that the new code book is current through June of 2009. There will be a process to update this book in a timely fashion. This will be on the county website at some point. Those on various boards will get an updated code book. Don emphasized making sure that everyone sign for these new books and turn them back in so we can keep up with the books. * Don had volunteered to be the Mental Health Board. There is someone who has been approached about going to the 3 Rivers RC Branch. Asked about non-employee riding in a county car to attend the meeting the next day. Motion to allow a non-county employee to ride in the county car. Approved 4-0.

D. County Attorney Report: Rob clarified intent to have the Pike County Code of Ordinances maintained on a monthly basis and also have updated copy on the county website. There will be a single point of accountability for this. [Note from the Editor: Updating our code of ordinances has been a long time coming for Pike County. Thank you to everyone in our county government who is working to ensure that county information is readily available to citizens in the easiest way possible and thank you to everyone from the various county departments, CATF Subcommittee on Zoning and Ordinance, the county attorney's office, and both the Planning Board and our Board of Commissioners.] * Comment on Community Service: We do have an ordinance but have to coordinate with county and state agencies. However, this program has to have a supervisor.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
1. Capital Improvements Element (CIE) 2008 Annual Update and Adoption of Transmittal Resolution to submit the CIE Update to the Three Rivers Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review and approval. Motion to approve. 4-0.
2. Fiscal Year 2009/2010 Budget Hearing and First Reading: It is available at the Courthouse and the Library.

Update 8.19.09: [Note from the Editor: Kudos for ensuring that copies of the budget were available to citizens so we could follow along in the meeting.] The CM made suggestion that the BOC remove the $108,000 from the budget. Tommy Powers made the motion to take it out. Parrish Swift made the 2nd. Discussion: One of the commissioners said that the budget could be amended later if needed. Don asked if this would be prudent to add this to contingency. The next budget process will start during the 2nd week of October. That budget will only go through June of next year. Tommy was adamant that he would not support tax payer dollars on this. Parrish said that the BOC needed to look at the revenue that this would generate. Motion to remove from the budget was approved 4-0. * Discussion about gas and diesel money being added to the budget. Suggestion to add $125,000 to fund balance for this. * Discussion of benefits for employees. Bids were taken from many companies. Blue Cross Blue Shield saves the county quite a bit over the current United Healthcare. Motion to go with BCBS. Approved 4-0. * Budget $10,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia - Concord Unit. Discussion: $10,000 is in the current budget for them. Motion to put $10,000 in next year's budget for them. Approved 4-0. * Roosevelt Willis said that he would like to see $22,000 taken out of Planning and Development's budget. Tommy Powers 2nd. [Note from the Editor: I missed this final vote on this but it was approved.]

Public hearing: In favor: none. * Opposition: Carol Bass asked for clarification and said not for or against. Said that citizens are normally allowed to ask questions at workshops but were not allowed to do so this time. Said glad to see $108,000 cut out of budget. Asked some technical questions about Fire Department budget and revenue from City of Zebulon. CM advised that August 28, 2009 is the drop dead date for any city to join with the county fire department because the Tax Commissioners has to send out the bills for the fire district fee with regular tax bills. If these cities don't join by then, they will have to wait a year to join. [Note from the Editor: Please note that I am not a numbers guru by any stretch of the imagination. I am learning a little more every time the budget comes around.] Carol asked if the amount for the entire budget would be about $7,364,554. Yes, the entire budget including special funds that are separate from the general fund. Some of the special funds are subsidized by the general fund and some have separate revenues that flow into them. The general fund total is $6,694,974. Motion to approve. Approved 3-1 with Tommy Powers voting against it.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Second reading of Floodplain Management Regulations (Chapter 152 of the Code of Pike County, Georgia): No changes. Motion to approve 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
1. Discussion of Fire District Intergovernmental Agreements: Molena voted to join. Zebulon and Concord have separate agreements.
2. Appoint one (1) member to the Water and Sewerage Authority [Note from the Editor: This is to fill the vacancy left when Jake Garner resigned.]: There were two applications. Commissioner Tommy Powers and Stephen Brown. Don Collins said that he didn't think that a commissioner should sit on a board or authority because it limits autonomy. Parrish Swift asked the county attorney if a commissioner sitting on this board would violate any laws. Rob Morton replied that he didn't find any violation on this. It was mentioned by a commissioner that this could be a possible conflict of interest. Don Collins made a motion to nominate Stephen Brown. It died for lack of a 2nd. No other motion was made so this will come back to the commissioners at the next BOC meeting. Note from the Editor: The enabling legislation of the Pike County Water and Sewerage Authority was implemented to "confers powers and to impose duties on the authority; to provide for the members of the authority, their appointment, term of tenure, qualifications, vacancies, expenses, quorum, meetings, and compensation; to prohibit conflicts of interest.." I am going to call this one like I see it and not mince words. I believe that this is a way for the BOC to try to control this board. To be blatantly honest, I don't think that a commissioner should serve on any other county board either. First of all, no commissioner should have time to serve on another board. Secondly, I see a commission appointment on the W&SA board as a blatant conflict of interest because of the problems that we have seen in the past over water lines in North Pike County. Yes, I had a problem with ex-commissioner Jake Garner being appointed to this board too.]

It was at this point in the meeting that the CM Marro advised that commissioners that there was an unconfirmed case of swine flu in the school system and that it would take two days to get this confirmed. This is all that was said at this point in the meeting. However, right before the commissioners went into Executive Session after item 7 was finished, it was said that Emergency Protocol has been insituted on this matter and emphasis was placed on the fact that it would be at least two days before the results were verified.
3. Appoint one member to fill the unexpired term on the Board of Assessors: [This term will expire April 14, 2012 (Normally a 4 year term)]: There were 16 applications for this board. James Pickering was appointed for this term. 4-0.
4. Appoint one member to fill the unexpired term on the Board of Assessors. [This term will expire June 28, 2010 (Normally a 5 year term)]: Carol Bass was appointed for this term. 4-0.
5. Appoint a member to the Board of Assessors. [This term is for four (4) years and will expire August 12, 2013]: Charles Burden was appointed for this term. 3-1 with Parrish Swift opposed.

More shortly. In the meantime, an article about the confrontation between the Board of Commissioners and the Superintendent Dr. Duncan is below the Pike County Emergency Services press release below.

8.12.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
JULY 31, 2009
10:00 AM

I. CALL TO ORDER …………………………………..Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

IV. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. Discussion of Yancey project

V. ADJOURNMENT

[Note from the Editor: This and two other items were removed from the nightly Board of Commissioners meeting (Unfinished Business: 1. Discussion of gas pipeline) that was held on Tuesday night. I will add a point of clarification that this project has been called both the Yancey project and gas pipeline discussion in past workshops and meetings. There is a write-up the 7.10.09 workshop below if anyone needs to be brought up to speed on this.]

Update 7.31.09:

Today's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, County Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy Cook to record the minutes. Most of the chairs were filled with Industrial Development Authority members, business owners, concerned citizens and several media representatives.

This project is in reference to a $2.2 million expansion to the current Yancey facility. Commissioner Roosevelt Willis started out by asking questions about monetary figures on the percentage of sales tax that is paid to the county by Yancey. The CM advised that this information was requested from both Yancey and the State Department of Revenue; however, the State Department of Revenue cannot give that information to anyone other than Yancey and says that it will be very difficult to break down this information by business since it all sales tax money is lumped together. A Yancey representative is working on this, according to CM, but it is a time-consuming process.

Several guestimates on tax figures were tossed out from $109,000 to $180,000. Discussion about whether taxpayers are going to pay for this were addressed too. A Tax Allocation District was brought up by the CM so that new development in this area would pay for the pipeline as long as there was growth--though if there is not enough growth, taxpayers will end up picking up the rest of the tab. Negotiations about post-sale of generators in Pike was suggested.

Commissioners were concerned with the perception that taxpayers are going to end up paying for this project and at least two commissioners who support this project said that this was not the intent. Commissioner Parrish Swift said that they have already discussed where they want the money to come from and still have negotiations with vendors and others who may want to tie onto this gasline. Commissioner Don Collins said that the Commissioners are looking for those who are going to use this gas pipeline to pay for it.

Motion to approve a letter of commitment on this was 2nd'ed for more discussion. Parrish specifically asked if this letter of support was contingent upon anything and told no. The vote came down to 2 Commissioners for it--Don Collins and Parrish Swift--and two Commissioners against it--Tommy Powers and Roosevelt Willis--with Doug Mangham voting for it to break the tie. The vote was 3-2 in favor of writing a letter of commitment to Yancey on this gasline project.

A resolution was made to form a committee including members from the IDA, the beneficiaries, the BOC and CM, and utilize the services of Three Rivers and a grant writer for the county. 4-0. Don and Parrish were already on here, but Parrish asked that Tommy be included in this as well. The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

7.30.09
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PIKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JULY 28, 2009
6:30 PM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                D. County Attorney Report

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
         1. REZ07-08 Reconsideration of Stipulation-Per an approved Board of Commissioners motion on May 13, 2009, Carolyn Pierce is requesting reconsideration of the rezoning stipulation for a vegetative buffer to screen construction equipment. The property has 754.97 feet of frontage on the south side of Blanton Mill Road and 644.57 feet of frontage along the north side of Georgia Highway 362. The property is located in Land Lot 165 of the 1st Land District of Pike County, Georgia. The property consists of 5.0 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #051-001.
         2. Proposed text amendment to repeal and replace Chapter 152 (Flood Damage Prevention) of the Code of Pike County, Georgia in its entirety.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
         1. Discussion of gas pipeline
         2. Discussion of funding of the Boys and Girls Club

IX. NEW BUSINESS
         1. Appoint three (3) members to the Board of Health
         2. Appoint one (1) member to the McIntosh Trail MHDDAD Services Board

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
         Pending Litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
         John Morrison to discuss county spending.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 7.28.09: All five commissioners were present along with the County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, Attorney Rob Morton, and Nancy to take the minutes.

V. INVITED GUEST
1. Final approval of the S.P.L.O.S.T. Resolution and Intergovernmental agreements: Blake Sharpton an Frank King were present at the meeting. Blake Sharpton gave a cursory review of this item to the commissioners: 1) It estimates Sales Tax at $8 million, 2) Authorizes general obligation debt at $7.2 million, 3) Sets out maturity on the bond and repayment beginning in 2012 and running through 2017 rising each year based on growth of sales tax, 4) Is contingent upon intergovernmental agreement that will have to be signed by the cities by October 1st, 5) November 3rd election, and 6) It lists the Ballot Question. Attorney Rob Morton advised that this coincides with the CATF SPLOST Subcommittee timeline. Commissioner Parrish Swift said that he had a problem with the terminology in the document that says project number 1 must be fully funded before moving on to project 2. He said that we could legally spend all of our money on project number one and not spend anything on the rest. Parrish asked for and received confirmation from Blake Sharpton on this point. Commissioner Don Collins said that it would be up to the commissioners to ensure that this SPLOST was spent the way that it was presented to voters. Attorney Rob Morton confirmed that this is written according to State Law. Motion to adopt Resolution as written. Approved in a 3-2 vote with commissioners Don Collins, Roosevelt Willis, and Chairman Doug Mangham voting for approval and commissioners Tommy Powers and Parrish Swift voting against it. Parrish clarified after the vote that his vote was not a vote against the SPLOST which he supports, but a vote against the terminology that was used in the Intergovernmental agreement.
2. Brent Scarbrough to discuss pending zoning action; options for property located at Highway 19 North near the Spalding County line: This was removed at the beginning of the meeting.
3. Jim Pickering , member of the S.P.L.O.S.T. committee to request permission to meet with Pike County Department Heads: This was removed at the beginning of the meeting.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Approved.
B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners:
1. Floor replacement at Courthouse: The CM had presented the BOC with two options at the past BOC meeting: a. Remove the old tile and replace with an inlaid or b. Overlay the floor with in-door/out-door (commercial) carpet. He said that he needed direction from the BOC on this. Did not receive at this time, but received direction a short time later in the meeting during the Commissioners portion of the reports.
2. Discussion of Sales Ratio studies received from the Department of Audits and Accounts: Sales revenue dropped to 34.12% in Pike County and the county is going to receive a fine from the State of Georgia because the re-evaluation was not submitted to the State of Georgia. [Note from the Editor: This re-evalution was done by a firm that depended on computer analysis rather than going to the properties. Things that would have detracted from a parcel price like unusable land--ravines, etc.--and whether a home was located on a flag lot were not included in the re-evaluation and ended up with a rollback to the property values on Pike County property prior to the re-evalution.] Consensus by commissioners that this was expected and that the fine will be $10,000 to $15,000 and much less than the harm that would have been done to taxpayers by allowing the flawed re-evaluation to stand. CM said that no corrections need to be made though because this is gradually correcting itself.
3. Discussion of road maintenance of the end of Bagwell Road: One part of the road is split off from the rest and there are no homes located on this part of the road. However, property owners have asked that the road be maintained. CM asked for direction on this. Consensus that the Road Department do what is necessary to take care of the road but have it on a more extended cutting, scraping, etc. schedule than the other roads in the county.
4. Review of monthly financial statements: The CM walked through projected budget shortfalls that Pike County is looking at. CM Steve Marro said that it was the cost of gas that drove up the budget last year and a bad economy this year. Steve walked through projected revenue shortfalls that totalled up to $320,000. Here are a few examples: Loss of $8,000 due to properties not being on the tax digest, inmate housing down $90,000 because Pike's jail cells are full of Pike people so we cannot make revenue by housing other counties' prisoners, $5,000 on culvert sales, $80,000 off on building permits, etc. [Note from the Editor: Numbers and budgets are not my forte. However, I don't understand how we can have a projected revenue loss without adjusting our spending and still be running in the black $60,000 even with most county departments running 4% under budget.]

Update 8.6.09: Georgia Broadband is no longer operating in Pike County so those who were lucky enough to have it do not have it any more. There are fines of $100 and $65 per piece of equipment that is not turned back in. * 60 counties in Georgia have been declared agricultural disaster areas and Pike is one of them. There is a chance for federal assistance for those who have lost crops.
5. Discussion of the Landfill Closure issue: Here is the timeline in a nutshell. All state and federal regulation had been met in 1994 to apply for a 5 year closure instead of a 30 year closure plan. This would have saved money for the county because regular monitoring is required of landfills. 5 year closure was approved in 1995. Inert chemicals were found toward the end of the 5 year period that required the monitoring to continue and put Pike back on the 30 year closure schedule. If levels come back down, Pike can reapply for early closure. A close eye is being kept on a creek that is near to the closed landfill. Cobalt and barium levels are the problem with paint thinners, oil waste, etc. that are normal byproducts as in other landfills. Rob assured the BOC that this is not an unusual process. Commissioner Don Collins suggested that part of the problem is that changes in EPD leadership in our area have made for changes with our closure and that the BOC should have a committee to talk to the Director of the EPD so we can get everyone on the same page. The next set of readings is due in September and a determination will be made where to go from there.

C. Commissioners Report:

More soon.

7.28.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JUNE 30, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    C. Commissioners Report
    D. County Attorney Report

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
         1. Partial Update to the Pike County Comprehensive Plan and Resolution Authorizing the Transmittal of the Partial Update to the McIntosh Trail Regional Development Center and to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
         2. SUB09-01 (Ingram & LaGrand Lumber Company) - Preliminary Plat of a 19-lot single family residential subdivision on 122.27 acres located on the north side of West Fossett Road and the east and west sides of Harris Road.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
         1. July 8th, schedule a joint meeting of the city mayors to finalize the inter-governmental agreements.
         2. Discussion of the Recreation Authority’s soccer lighting project

IX. NEW BUSINESS
         1. Appoint four (4) members to the Recreation Authority.
         2. Discussion of the 2010 LARP list.
         3. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #6-Increasing Inmate Medical and the Inmate Housing line item for payment of an invoice for inmate care at a local hospital.
         4. Robert Page has requested a tax refund in the amount of $85.83.
         5. Discussion of closing the Project Bond account of the 2006 S.P.L.O.S.T.
         6. Discuss establishing a set driveway construction fee when requested of the Public Works Department.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Personnel-Discussion of appointment of the Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6)
    -Acquisition of Real Estate pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 7.2.09:

The budget hearing began at 5 p.m. They didn't go through this line by line again but discussed various depts and started going through this dept by dept.

I got to see the Pike County Capital Improvements Program Proposal which is basically planning ahead for replacements to capital improvements--vehicles, equipment, etc.--for the next four to six years. It is nice to see everthing in the county separated and identified by dept. Each item had a shelf life and potential replacement date on a schedule so that the county does not get stuck with several major purchases in one year. Computer replacement was a big item since the county still has some 256k computers that run very slowly when they are loaded down with necessary programs to get work done.

The Capital Replacement Schedule gives a description of each item with replacement cost and mileage (if applicable) and a specific year to replace the item. "...replacements are scheduled based on the mechanical or structural condition and/or the anticipated useful life of the item."

One item that will be planned for over the next couple of budget years is the replacement of the touch screen voting machines. They are required to be replaced every ten years. If all 49 machines are replaced in the fiscal year (FY) 2012, it will cost $178,875 all at once. The CM recommended putting a portion in the 2010 and 2011 budgets as well.

The commissioners are examining this program and will address it at the budget workshop listed below. They are being responsible with this in making sure that old Sheriff's Office cars are passed down to other depts so there is fiscal responsibility to the citizens. Voting machines and computers are two big items that will be discussed at that workshop as well.

This is a very thorough assessment of the equipment and vehicles in the county. Everyone who had a part in putting this together is to be commended for their hard work because this has been sorely needed.

BOC Meeting 6:30 p.m.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance and all usual procedures were followed. A couple of items were added: Resolution endorsing for Judge Chris Edwards for the Georgia Supreme Court and subdividing the Health Dept to include a separate part of WIC were added to New Business, and Personnel County Manager was added to the Executive Session.

Update 7.15.09:

V. INVITED GUEST

1. Frank King to discuss S.P.L.O.S.T. referendum status and schedule. Frank commended the BOC for addressing needs with limited revenue and recommended making long-term plans for improvements. There was a long funding plan discussion about two options that are available to the county with SPLOST. The first was a $9 million bond that would allow the county to be more able to accomplish projects and the money would be available now. He said that otherwise there would need to be two SPLOSTS over the next 12 years unless there is a lot of sales tax growth or added property tax. The second option is an $8 million SPLOST with a $7.2 million bond. The commissioners said that the second option had emerged in a previous meeting without the use of the old school building. Commissioners are looking at all options. Parrish and Don said that they will not support a 2 term SPLOST. Commissioners agreed in general that getting the bond was a good idea because it enabled them to get the money up front in order to hedge inflation on projects. The first payment would be in 2012 and a discussion of principal payments as well as the debt service that would have to be paid back if the entire $7.2 million was used. Commissioners said that they were not committed to building with the entire amount and that they would only have to pay interest on amounts that are used. They hope that SPLOST will cover everything so they won't have to use the bond option. [Note from the Editor: Parrish said that we need to be living within our means and I, as well as all taxpayers, should like the sounds of that.] The BOC is going to have to get another design concept since the old school is not an option now. Motion to approve SPLOST with $7.2 million bond issue with debt service with a ramp schedule. Approved 4-0.

Update 7.27.09:

2. Dexter Davis, Director of Boys and Girls Club to request funding: Dexter Davis is the Director of the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia. It is a non-profit entity. He said that there are 45 kids in the summer program at this time and that the Concord Unit needs financial assistance from the county. He asked the commissioners to invest in the youth of Pike County because they will contribute to our county in either a positive or a negative way. "We are charged as citizens to support our young people in their efforts," he said. Doug was concerned with this setting a precedent. Director Davis advised that many cities and county commissions support Boys & Girls Clubs in their communities. He said that the fee is small so everyone can join and that there are scholarships for those who need it in order to join. The commissioners were invited to visit the facility so they could see for themselves what the Boys & Girls Club is doing in the community. Motion to postpone until the next meeting. 4-0. [Note from the Editor: See article entitled "Commissioners Visit Boys & Girls Club in Concord, Summer Program Includes C.H.A.M.P.S. Program and a Visit with Nero the Drug Dog" above dated 7.11.09 to read about the commissioners' visit. This was going to be moved to the morning meeting but there was discussion that this meeting might not be held because it is only a week away so they said that they would discuss this at the July night meeting.]

3. Elsie Anderson to speak in support of the Courthouse: Elsie spoke in favor of the historic Courthouse in Zebulon and asked the BOC to do this renovation with the help of experts so it is not done piecemeal. She said that the Courthouse reflects on our county and our residents because it is the face of our community. "It connects with our past as we plan for our future and ties us all together," she said. Elsie asked the BOC to stabilize the Courthouse now and do a complete renovation later when we have the necessary funds to do this.

4. Greg Williams to discuss his recent experience with the Board of Assessors and to ask the Board to consider reimbursing him for his legal expenses: Greg said that he resides in Zebulon and said that what the Tax Assessor's Office has called an error cost him money. Said he has lived here four years and received a May 5, 2009 assessment notice that he had no homestead exemption in Pike County and that he was going to be backbilled for three years $828 and was told that he had no right to an appeal. Greg was told that a letter went out three years ago on this but told commissioners that he did not receive this letter. Greg said that he then contacted his commissioner and the county manager (CM) and hired an attorney to represent him in the June 2, 2009 meeting. This cost him $650 and a day off of work. There was a motion to reinstate his homestead exemption without discussion or questions to him at the June 2, 2009 meeting of the Board of Tax Assessors. There was a lot of discussion and clarifications on this. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that this was put on the agenda prior to the county knowing that Greg had an attorney. Rob also clarified the question about the homestead originally and said that Greg had not been given due process since he was not present at the meeting where his homestead exemption was taken away. Don was concerned that the commissioners were setting a bad precedent by paying a $650 legal fee. Much discussion about doing the right thing and where the money would come from. Roosevelt said that the Tax Assessor's Office needed to be held accountable. Rob advised the BOC that they have the authority to reimburse fees but are not obligated to do so. He said this would be on a case by case but there is a possibility of setting a precedent in the Courtroom. Parrish said that he was concerned with doing the right thing. Motion to refund $650 fee. Approved 3-1 with Don Collins opposed.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Roosevelt was concerned with the report on diesel fuel and the different amounts that are being charged to county entities. He asked for accurate reports.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: CM Marro gave kudos to Director of Emergency Management Agency for Pike County for all of his hard work on the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan that was approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. According to a letter that the county received on June 24, 2009, the State of Georgia has formally submitted the Pike County Hazard Mitigation Plan for final approval. "The Pike County Plan is the result of hard work and long hours performed by the dedicated local officials and citizens of Pike County. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation planning process has been a tremendous success, with many valuable and needed projects identified in Pike County."

1. Discussion of meeting with IDA and Chris Hough of Yancey Brothers to discuss growth issues that exist for them on Ethridge Mills Park: It will cost $989,000 to put in 8 inch line needed from Atlanta Gas and requested a workshop for this. Said that people making money off of this will market it to Catepillar to test big generators that are converted to natural gas and that they will be selling the electricity made during this process back to Southern Rivers. Don said that the county needs to partner with profiteer to get some compensation for this. CM said that the developer promised this to Yancey and not the county but that this is essential to keep Yancey Brothers here in Pike County. Commissioners concerned with contract to ensure that Yancey stays after this line is put in and wants contract with due process and clawbacks to ensure that Yancey will stay.

2. Discussion of the Pike County Community Service Ordinance § 35.05 which was created in 1984:CM said that someone from the county is needed to oversee the workers--many of whom are only available on weekends and after hours. Jonathan is the only one who is certified to oversee workers and said that the county is short-handed now. Rob advised that DUI (Driving Under the Influence) requires 40 hours of community service for the first offense. Don asked the CM to look into this and see if it is feasible to do this.

3. Floor replacement in the courthouse. Discussion of the two estimates received from Zebulon Flooring with two options: a. Remove the old tile and replace with an inlaid or b. Overlay the floor with indoor/outdoor carpet: A complaint has been filed on this. Ultimately, any repairs done now will be torn up and thrown away when the Courthouse is renovated. Motion to table until next meeting so the commissioners can look at this. 4-0

4. Update report from the prior Board of Commissioners meeting:

5. Review and discuss the subject of purchasing the van referenced in the attached materials. This would be purchased from the existing Building and Grounds budget.

More soon.

7.2.09
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Report from the June 25, 2009 Budget Workshop
By Guest Columnist Carol Bass

The meeting began under a cloud of confusion. A citizen tried to explain to the board of commissioners that she had gone to the Library to review a copy of the budget. State law §36-81-5(d) requires that, “On the day that the proposed budget is submitted to the governing authority for consideration, a copy of the budget shall be placed in a public location which is convenient to the residents of the unit of local government.”

When the citizen reviewed the budget, she found that the budget presented for public review contained only the projected county expenses, and did not project any revenues. State law §36-81-5(b) requires that, “The budget document, at a minimum, shall provide, for the appropriate budget period, a statement of the amount budgeted for anticipated revenues by source and the amount budgeted for expenditures at the legal level of control.”

The citizen was concerned at the omission of the revenue section. However, the county manager dismissed her concerns by saying it did not matter, and the meeting went on as scheduled. As a side note: When the meeting began, it was discovered that when the commissioners received their budget at the June 3rd meeting, the county manager failed to put revenues in the budget for them to study. In the opinion of this writer, that is totally unacceptable. How can a commissioner study a budget when they are only provided ½ of the budget?

Once the meeting got underway, there were no comments from the public, and Steve Marro presented his recommendations for the commissioner’s approval. The bottom line of this next fiscal year’s 8 month budget is $6,663,106 (six million, six hundred sixty three thousand, one hundred and six dollars). NOTE: this year’s budget is $9,246,789 (nine million, two hundred forty six thousand, seven hundred eighty nine dollars).

The county manager mentioned that this was a tight budget and that a lot of work went into the creation of the budget. As to whether the commissioner’s will follow his direction and adopt this budget or make adjustment to the budget remains to be seen.

There were a few questions from the various commissioners. Commissioner Willis questioned the need for a new contract employee in the office of the Tax Assessor. The tax assessor did remove a proposed additional new hire, but the new contract employee was left in her budget.

The question of funding the loan for the water authority was brought up and Mr. Marro stated that he had not problem with the citizens paying for the loan that the authority received, but felt that the citizens should not have to pay the loan for Mr. Alexander.

What is important to remember about this budget is that it is only for 8 months. This 8 month fiscal year will run from November 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. As of July 1, 2010, the county will adopt a new budget that will cover a full 12 months. The next fiscal year will run from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

Citizens will be receiving 2 tax bills approximately 6 to 8 months apart. The first tax bill will cover the 8 month budget, and will probably be sent out as usual and due around Christmas, just as it has in the past. The next tax bill will have to cover the following 12 month budget and will have to be in effect around the time that the budget takes effect or July 1, 2010. So, be prepared to receive two (2) tax bills within 6 to 8 months apart.

Because the first tax bill is only for 8 months, it will be around 2/3rds of what you are presently paying. The next bill will be a full year, and will be much higher. Please plan accordingly.

[Note from the Editor: Carol began her report with a quote from Ronald Reagan who said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"]

[Note from the Editor: Yes, Jimmy Bass got thrown out of the meeting for reiterating that the commissioners need to follow the law after "a citizen" pointed out what state law requires. I appreciate those who can read state law--and understand it--and aren't shy about pointing out when a mistake has been made. Mistakes can be rectified and not repeated in the future. The revenue sheet needs to be with the budget for public review. I wasn't at this meeting so I won't comment on whether I agree with the removal or not, but I will say that I hope that commissioners and the CM are listening and learning through this process. It won't be long and we'll be doing this again for the next budget.]

6.29.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JUNE 10, 2009
9:00 AM

[Note from the Editor: A copy of the draft budget may be viewed at the J. Joel Edwards Library, The Pike County Courthouse and at the Commissioners office, 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon GA. (Thanks Carol!) Public hearings on the budget will be held at a later date, and the approved budget from the 2008-2009 year is online at pikecounty.ga.gov/commissioners/.]

Update 6.10.09: This was a long meeting so I'm going to give a quick recap and then go through it as it happened. The biggest item of the day is the fact that the Commissioners voted to approve the CATF - SPLOST Committee's recommendations for the proposed 6 year SPLOST with the inclusion of the cities. I will upload this list from wifi because it would take an hour to upload at this time of the night from my computer. (Yes, it's quiet and I'm working late so the entire country is online and I have dial up.)

This $6 million SPLOST (1 cent sales tax) includes $3,500,000 for a Judicial Complex and Courthouse Renovations; $400,000 for the Recreation Authority; $75,000 for the Agribusiness Authority; $75,000 for the Library; $600,000 for roads; and $150,000 for the Animal Shelter. $1.2 million will be split among the Municipalities according to population. Update 6.13.09: Click here to view the SPLOST for the 2009 ballot.

No ISO rating yet. ISO advised that they are working on rating the City of Atlanta and will have our ISO ratings to us by the end of the month or first of July when all ISO ratings are issued.

Fire Districts were approved in a 3-1 vote. Residential amounts were lowered and commercial is now rated on the same scale as residential.

The 8 month budget can be looked at through the link above. A workshop is scheduled on the budget on Thursday, June 25th at 5 p.m. [Note from the Editor: Nancy sends these out to everyone so if it changes, I will let readers know.]

A vote to purchase electronic voting machines at a savings to taxpayers if looking at the last election numbers. [Note from the Editor: There will be a savings in time to voters too because we will no longer be filling out a paper ballot when we early vote at the Courthouse.]

Update 6.11.09: All five commissioners were present along with County Manager Steve Marro, County Attorney Tom Morton, and Nancy to take the minutes. The meeting began with the Call to Order and the Pledge of Allegiance as usual. There was no guest speaker.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Discussion of Jail Construction Fund and requirements on how it can be spent. One citizen said that it is clear how the money can be spent--staffing, equipment, etc for the jail--and that the law is clear that the BOC is the governing authority. CM said that they do not control the Constitutional Officers. There was a consensus among the BOC members to let the CM handle this even though some of the commissioners wanted to appropriate this money.
    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners:
    1. ISO rating is not yet in. CM and Chief Henderson have both talked to ISO rep and were told that they are working on rating the City of Atlanta and will have our ISO ratings to us by the end of the month or first of July when all ISO ratings are issued.
    2. Discussion of abatement of permitting fees for Yancey Engineered Systems. Yancey was promised natural gas within two years by the developer when they moved in. He emphasized that it was not the county that said this, but that the county needs to figure out how to get natural gas to them. Catepillar has said that it would be interested in tying in as well. We may lose a business that pays taxes in the county and provides local jobs if we cannot figure out how to get this done. Don Collins suggested a committee with 1 or 2 BOC members, the CM, etc. in order to get some problem solving done. Motion to appoint commissioners to work with the Industrial Development Authority and CM to bring natural gas to this area. Approved 4-0. On this will be IDA Director Karen Brown, CM, Parrish Swift, and Don Collins. Karen asked to bring in one or two IDA members and suggested that there be attorney representation.
    3. Discussion of itemization of the ADA, Fire Stations and Road Department Equipment purchases made with S.P.L.O.S.T. funds. $9,180 left in SPLOST. [Note from the Editor: There is a list of expenditures that was distributed to the commissioners and can be obtained through the BOC office.] * Talk of the current SPLOST led to the upcoming SPLOST and the old school building that is being examined as a possibility for a governmental complex. The Environmental Study has been completed. Asbestos, lead paint, and PCB in ballists were found however the diesel was checked and it was negative. Both the old bus garage and the old school building were examined.
    C. Commissioners Report:
District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Questioned how many county employees have business cards. Thinks it is a waste of taxpayer dollars if everyone had them. CM advised that Department heads and key positions have business cards. * Asked about the Purchase Order System and where the county is on getting this implemented and said that he would like to see this on the list of priorities. CM advised that getting the budget done was first priority with PO System and ADA Spreadsheet at the top of the list after the budget. * Mailboxes at Beeks and Crawley Road have caused some complaints. Can be a hazard when Crawley Road residents pick up their mail. Discussion whether to have residents move their mailboxes to their driveways on the (now) county road or should the Road Department move them. All have to be moved at the same time. Residents will receive a letter giving them a time frame to move the mailboxes to their driveway within a particular time frame. * Based on our budget, economy, and current staffing, Roosevelt made a motion to abolish the position of Code Enforcement at the Planning and Development Office and delegate those duties to someone else in that office. 2nd by Tommy Powers. Discussion: Parrish asked if the Department Head been involved in this discussion? CM said no. In Favor: Roosevelt Willis, Tommy Powers. Opposed: Don Collins, Parrish Swift, and Doug Mangham. Motion failed.
Update 6.13.09:
District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked about permits being withheld on the expansion of a business because not tied in to county water. It was explained that there is a hydrant that is about 200 feet from the building. This footage is covered with a parking lot. Verbal agreement only with Ranew. The ordinance passed by the county says that customers tie on at their expense and that it should not not be a problem to bore under the concrete. CM suggested that this go before the committee that was formed at this meeting. Consensus to do this.
District 3 Tommy Powers: Asked about City /County Fire Department. CM advised that cities can tie in with county ordinance. 2 larger cities talking about doing this. No answer from others yet. The problem with a possibility of a high ISO rating in Molena or those parcels outside of the Molena district started this ball rolling.
District 4 Don Collins: Commended Public Works for prompt attention to a problem that was brought before them. * Said that the county is not charging nearly what we should be for cell towers. * Said that public relations should have been done in advance on Fire Districts. Said citizens are calling him and complaining about a new tax. It was explained that this is not a new tax but is a fee instead of fire being on property taxes. * Said that He and Doug went to training last week and learned some things. Also asked that sentencing for community service be looking into as far as Magistrate Court goes with sentencing. Encouraged follow up on an ordinance that was approved in 1984 allowing this from Probate and Magistrate Courts. * Discussion of approach by several people to tie into 800 megahertz system in Spalding County. Estimate to tie in is $8 million. There would be a significant money match for the county to tie. It was said during this discussion that Pike County was not given the full picture when this was explained to officials here. Our current system can be expanded now and it will do fine. * Don said that he will be holding a Town Hall Public Meeting on Monday, June 29th at 7 p.m. at the Williamson Fire Station. The public is invited. Bring a lawnchair.
Chairman Doug Mangham: None

Update 6.18.09:
    D. County Attorney Report: received by certified mail an amendment to Keep Pike Beautiful Authority that was signed on May 11th. There will be 9 members with a quorum of 5 with responsibilities such as county-wide recycling.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Second Reading of the Pike County Fire District Ordinance: The CM advised that the industrial/commercial is now rated the same as the residential with decreases on residential and increases on industrial/commercial. Discussion about whether to hold off until the ISO rating comes in. One commission said that this needs to be done now to impact next year's budget. The Fire Department will come off of the budget and this bill will go out with property tax bills. Motion to approve. 2nd for more discussion. Don pointed out that the Fire Dept budget is currently $300,000 and this will generate about $400,000 giving the public a perception that more money is being given to fire for operations. The money generated from this fee will be used strictly for fire and will roll over from year to year in order for the Fire Dept to save up for purchases and future use. Parrish pointed out that some have inferior gear and that this is trying to be accountable. CM pointed out that 4 new pumpers are missing the required 12 fire extinguishers and that there are other new equipment needs. Approved 3-1 with Tommy opposed. [Note from the Editor: Earlier in the meeting there was a discussion of whether this is a fee or a tax. Tommy said that it is a tax if money is coming out of taxpayers' pockets. Don disagreed and said that this is a fee and not a tax.]
    2. Second Reading of Text Amendment to Chapter 156.139(A) Development Standards for PRD Districts - This is a text amendment from 2006. Approved 4-0.
    3. Discussion of S.P.L.O.S.T. projects
    a. Discussion of animal control not yet decided: Tommy made the motion to pull animal control off of the SPLOST and put on a referendum for voters to vote on. Discussion that it is too late to put animal control on this ballot and cannot change the SPLOST depending on how a vote comes out anyway. The projects are set by then. Frank King said that if there is not enough money generated by the SPLOST that animal control does not havae to be funded if it is one of the lowest priority items on the list. Parrish pointed out that the cities are willing to share the cost of running animal control and said we're being timid on making a decision for the good of the entire county with this. He finished by saying that this is called responsibility. Bobby Blalock (on SPLOST committee) pointed out that if animal control is on the SPLOST and it is voted in, voters have already voted it in. Kathleen Birney (on SPLOST committee) then pointed out that the cities have already sent letters of support on this and asked why it was an issue. John Morrison (on SPLOST committee) pointed out that the commissioners have previously voted to be responsible by having animal control and asked why this was an issue again. She asked why the BOC would feel like it is not responsible for providing this service to the entire committee. John Morrison (on SPLOST committee) then said that the commissioners did vote to proceed with animal control when they voted not to have a referendum on it. Doug then ended any comments from the public on this. CM confirmed that the cities are willing to contribute monetarily to animal control but no money amounts have been discussed. Approved removing animal control from the SPLOST list 3-2. Roosevelt, Tommy, and Doug voted in favor of this motion with Parrish and Don voting against it. [Note from the Editor: At this point in the meeting, animal control was removed from the SPLOST list before the SPLOST commmittee even got the chance to make a formal presentation of its recommendations.] The CM then read out the list of items and the amounts of the projects. A little more discussion about amounts and projects including Parrish asking the Chairman why Don Bailey wasn't allowed to speak on the issue of animal control. [Note from the Editor: This was a long, drawn out discussion that ends with another vote on animal control as I indicated in the opening write up on this meeting. I think it is as important for citizens to know how and why commissioners voted the way that they did as it is to know the actual vote.]

Update 6.27.09:

At this point, Kathleen Birney was allowed to speak on the behalf of the CATF SPLOST Committee. She began by saying that she was disappointed that this committee was directed by the CM and the commissioners to volunteer their time to work on the SPLOST and they did that for the past three months and the recommendations were heard and then they were gone just like that happened to the previous SPLOST committee. She then went through the CATF recommendations with the commissioners and the requests such as the approval of the intergovernmental agreement that is needed to make sure that the referendum goes through on the time schedule that has been presented by the SPLOST Committee. She childed the commissioners for appearing to flip-flop on what they think is important and what is not. She said that all of the municipalities need this service. Those who are in the municipalities and incorporated areas do not have the privilege of following a suggestion that had been presented in a prior meeting of shooting a problem animal--"besides that is not humane". She asked the commissioners to reconsider removing animal control from the SPLOST Agreeement for the benefit of the majority of citizens in Pike County. Said that the SPLOST committee was not 100% in agreement of this but considered the good of the entire county and asked the commissioners reconsider for the benefit of the majority of the people. Bobby Blalock, Chairman of the CATF, said that everything done by the CATF SPLOST committee was done by majority vote. Animal Control was a 10-5 vote. He went on to say that he would probably resign from the CATF if the BOC cannot follow the SPLOST Committee's recommendations. More discussion on the cities giving letters of support but no monetary amounts. A formula will be needed-maybe something similar to SPLOST. Discussion of how much this will cost every year. Don Bailey was asked to address this portion of the discussion as the Chairman of Friends of Pike County Animals. Don said that he was disappointed that this went the way that it has because FPCA has put 1 1/2 years into this project. Advised that Upson County's budget is $94,000 and Meriwether County's is $113,000. Hypothetically for Pike County, about $76,000 per year. After hearing facts and figures from Don Bailey, Parrish made the motion to reconsider removing animal control from the SPLOST. 2nd by Roosevelt for discussion. Approved 3-1 with Parrish, Don, and Roosevelt in agreement. Tommy opposed. Don made the motion to accept the recommendation of the SPLOST Committee. Parrish 2nd for discussion. Discussion then went to the amount that was allotted for the Judicial Complex and whether it would provide enough space for now and for future needs. Discussion of whether to include roads or scratch the amount for roads and add it to the Judicial Complex. Merritt Spier pointed out that this referendum needs to have items that a majority of the population will vote for. Parrish asked Roosevelt if roads being included was a deal breaker on this vote and he said that it was. The motion at one point had been amended so it was rescinded and Don made the motion to accept the SPLOST Committee's recommendation. Parrish made the 2nd. Approved with Don, Roosevelt, and Parrish voting in favor. Tommy voted in opposition.

Update 6.29.09:

There was more discussion on the SPLOST and the legalities of paying all of the items on the SPLOST. The two representatives (Frank King and a rep of Morgan and Keegan legal firm) who spoke on the specifics of the SPLOST said that approximate amounts have to be listed in the newspaper but not on the ballot and said that money can be moved around after priorities are filled. Motion to appoint Morgan and Keegan as financial counsel. Approved by the majority. Motion to adopt the firm of Jones, Cork and Miller, LLP to represent Pike County as bond bond counsel and to work with Morton and Morton on the bonds. Approved with a 3-1 vote. [Note from the Editor: This was extremely hard to follow even sitting there watching what was going on. Please understand that I am by no means an expert on SPLOST.] Motion to prioritize SPLOST projects are presented by the CATF. Approved.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. Presentation of the Draft Fiscal Year 2010 Budget to the Commissioners: The Fire Department will have an entirely new line item and will be taken out of the 8 month budget that will have the county prepared for a year end that corresponds with the state of Georgia on June 30th of each year and not October 31st as we have had in the past. CM advised that there will have to be one public hearing because the commissioners are giving a rollback.
    2. Discussion of the purchase of electronic voting machines for early voting: Four touch machines for early voting would cost $6,500. The past early voting for the election--with paper ballots and an extremely long line because of those ballots compared to touch screen voting--cost the county $11,760. Motion to approve the purchase of these voting machines. Approved.
    3. Discussion of abatement of impact fees for Yancey Engineered Systems: Pike Industrial Development Authority ask for a reduction of $13,203.10. One citizen said that if we are not producing the needed revenue stream to make our budget, please consider where we stand revenue-wise before you abate $13,000 in fees. Karen from the IDA said that they could still pull out and go to McDonough losing jobs here in Pike County. Said that Pike County needs to learn to be business friendly and pointed out that these fees could only be used in this area according to the Impact Fee agreement and would not go toward Recreation, etc. Motion to approve abatement for (according to Nancy's Post Agenda) (Impact fees of $13,203.10 and Permitting fees of $6,476.25 for Yancey Engineered Systems. Click here to read it.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION for Land Acquisition. 12:11 into session and 12:20 out of session. No motions after the Session.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT: 12:20 p.m.

6.10.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
MAY 26, 2009
6:30 PM

This meeting began as usual with a call to order and the Pledge of Allegiance. Minutes were reviewed and given the ok and then commissioners got down to business with the rest of the agenda.

Update 5.28.09:

V. INVITED GUEST
    1. Donna Wynn, Pike County Tax Commissioner to discuss the Homestead Tax Relief Grant: Donna explained that the State of Georgia will not be funding a portion of property tax owners' bills after this fiscal year. Pike hasn't received the check yet to pay this portion, but is expecting it soon. Next year's taxes for property owners will go up because of this. The Board of Commissioners (BOC) wanted to be sure that the public knows this is not a result of any vote that they have taken. This is because of a choice made by the State of Georgia. [Note from the Editor: Earlier this year, Governor Purdue announced that the State of Georgia will fund legislation to pay for the homeowners’ relief grants that were handed out last fall. This is that extra $217 property owners' tax bills. Governor Roy Barnes started this program 10 years ago and it ends this fiscal year.]
    2. Deborah Campbell, Liberty National, to discuss providing no cost accidental death benefits to county employees: This is a no cost for the 1st year group term life insurance policy (accidental death) that can be taken with employees when they leave their current employment. $3,000 worth of coverage that will be $10 per year after the first year. The BOC said that the County Manager needs to review this and decide whether or not it will be presented to employees. It does not need a vote from the BOC.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Parrish verified that Gary Hammock said that he thought the county should get a larger portion of the proceeds from SPLOST than the 75% / 25% split that the CATF SPLOST Committee recommended at their past meeting. Motion to accept with that clarification. 3-0.

Update 5.30.09:

    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: None.

    C. Commissioners Report:
District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked about the Employee of the Quarter program and was told by the CM that Department Heads are notified every quarter and that he has had no nominees. However, the award money is in the budget and the CM will continue this program. * Obtained permission from the Chairman to ask David Allen about zoning and junk car policy in Pike County. Was advised that commercial repair has to be zoned commercial and that hobby repair is different. However, junk cars without tags and insurance are a code violation. There is only one junk yard in Pike County and it has C-3 zoning. Apparently there is a complaint about D&R 4 Wheel Drive that has reached the commissioner's attention. David said that cars are being removed but if they stay, a fence will have to go up. It was said that this has to be handled in the same manner as the complaint out on Hwy 109. * Said that he has received a complaint from someone who told him that a call was made to Planning and Zoning and that someone in the office told her that the yard sale ordinance was not being enforced. David was emphatic that no one in his office said this and that the ordinances in Pike County are being enforced.
District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked about certification for the CM. Was advised that he will take his last class to become certified in the next session. * Asked about the ordinance that requires a developer to take the preliminary plat for subdivision to police, fire, Board of Education, and Public Works before a hearing. Said that we need some common sense legislation about this. This is in our code as a requirement in Section 155.21 [Note from the Editor: I remember this going through and some citizens pointing out that this is a lot of hassle to put on the developer. However, the need for these entities to know about an incoming subdivision outweighed that concern to the BOC at that time.]

    D. County Attorney Report: None.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
    1. Text Amendment to Chapter 156.139(A) Development Standards for PRD Districts: This is a text amendment [changing the wording of an ordinance] such as removing the words "Hwy 41", etc. Small changes according the county attorney that were approved by the Planning Commission at their last meeting. IN FAVOR: John Morrison OPPOSITION: None. Motion to adopt changes recommended by the Planning Commission. 3-0

Parrish went back to the Junk Car Ordinance and was told that they are labelled as a nuisance and the section of our code from the 2008 Litter Ordinance was cited.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Second Reading of the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Ordinance: Discussion: approval from the cities? Molena, Concord, and Zebulon have had first reading. If they do not sign on to this, they will not be eligible for FEMA reimbursement in case of a disaster. Motion to approve. 3-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. First Reading of the Pike County Fire District Ordinance: [Note from the Editor: I would recommend getting a copy of this ordinance by email from Planning and Zoning. This is done in other counties but there was some heated discussion about it because citizen amounts for fire (a portion of our taxes is slated to pay for the fire budget) seemed like they would go up--some a little, some a lot if you own a lot of property--and the business portion of that fire would go down because it's based on square footage for business and on appraisal amount for homeowners. Most in the room acknowledged that this is a tax.] This would take fire out of the budget and create fire districts. The money would come from owners of property with dwellings on them and business owners and would pay for their own budget. They would have their own line item and no money would come from the county. All monies collected would stay in this special account to be budgeted for future use, land acquisition, equipment purchase, etc. The idea is to make fire self-sustaining. A citizen made the suggestion that if there needs to be a change for fire districts, that businesses be based on appraisal like homeowners. There was much discussion on this and the BOC allowed many citizen comments. The CM even got his computer out to do some computing on the proposed changes for volunteered information from citizens in the meeting. Motion for 1st reading. 3-0. [Note from the Editor: Changes can be made by the 2nd reading or even during the next meeting where this is discussed.]

Update 6.9.09:
    2. Discussion of extending the work detail contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections until June 30, 2010: There was a lot of discussion about the work crew from the Detention Facility. The CM and head of Public Works are not satisfied with the work that is being done by the crews for the $39,000 contract with the county, but Don Collins countered their dissatisfaction with the 12,000 pounds of trash that was picked up during the week before the Tour de Pike. Roosevelt and Don said that if there is a problem that negotiations need to be made with the warden. [Note from the Editor: I know that this was on the agenda that is made public before the meeting, but I have a problem with there being a discussion of this magnitude without the person being a part of the discussion and to answer questions.] Motion to continue this contract. 3-0.
    3. FY 2009 Budget Amendment # 5 transferring funds to the Capital Outlay-Station Account from the Capital Asset-CD account: This is the 2nd time that a transfer has been made on this. Motion to approve. 3-0.
    4. Intergovernmental Agreement on SPLOST: Cities would have to sign on in order to participate in SPLOST with the county and any excess money collected would have to be used to reduce debt for the county and cities alike. There was also discussion of a bond issue on this. Motion was made for the county attorney to draft an intergovernmental agreement to address bond issue and division of excess funds. 3-0.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Land Acquisition pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)
    -Personnel-Discussion of staffing needs in the Commissioner’s front office pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6) [Note from the Editor: This was clarified to be discussed specifically hiring and firing in this office.]
    -Personnel-Public Works-Disciplinary Action

The BOC went into Executive Session at 8 p.m. and exited at 8:27 p.m. Action taken as a result of Executive Session: Motion to direct the CM to advertise for a county clerk with a salary to be determined. Approved 3-0.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT: Motion to adjourn at 8:30 p.m.

Submitted 5.23.09
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SPLOST Workshop Held with Commissioners and Cities

The Pike County Board of Commissioners held a workshop on May 26, 2009 (prior to the 6:30 p.m. BOC meeting) with representatives from all of the cities to discuss the upcoming Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).

Mayor Gayle Burden, Mayor Sonny Story, Council Member Carol Berry, Council Member Danny Riggins, Mayor Mike Beres, Commissioner Don Collins, Commission Chairman Doug Mangham, Commissioner Parrish Swift, County Attorney Rob Morton, County Manager Steve Marro, and Nancy Cook were in attendance at the front of the room as well as members from the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) SPLOST Committees, various departments in the county, and members of the public.

The discussion centered around what the cities would like from their inclusion into the upcoming SPLOST. With a 75% / 25% split of the six year, $6 million SPLOST to the cities based on population, Williamson would get about $300,000, Molena would get about $170,000, Meansville would get about $170,000, Zebulon would get about $615,000, and Concord would get about $245,000. The cities also asked that the county bonds in order to get their funds up front instead of having to wait for the money to come in over the 6 year period.

These figures are based on the current economy in a slump with an estimate of about $1 million per year. That figure will go up when the economy comes back around. The cities have also asked that if there is more money than anticipated from the SLOST that the overage be split between the county and the cities by this same formula based on city population. Any excess money is mandated by state law to be used to reduce debt.

Each of the cities have met previously according to a detailed timeline put out by the SPLOST and are in agreement with a split according to population. This will require an intergovernmental agreement to be signed between the cities and county on how this will work. There is time for the cities to meet again and discuss and 80% / 20% split if that is what the commissioners decide to go with instead.

There was discussion of what each of the cities plan to do with the money from the SPLOST.

Concord wants to finish out the Strickland Building as it began this task with the current SPLOST and use any overage on the Fire Department building.

Meansville wants to upgrade meters and waterlines in its Water Department that currently serves about 210 customers. The water tank needs repainting as well.

Danny Riggins said that Molena wants to use their funds on the new fire station and city hall that is currently in the works with their current SPLOST money. Molena also needs to replace some water lines and take care of a problem with uranium in the water. It was stressed that even if they get a USDA grant to help with the water lines, they will still need to have matching funds so this project could be included in the upcoming SPLOST. It was stressed that the problem with uranium in the water is being monitored and it is not a health hazard to citizens.

Carol Berry said that Williamson needs a new City Hall. They now have Municipal Court to deal with violations of ordinances, etc. but no place to hold court and Williamson needs a place to vote as well.

Mike Beres said that Zebulon bought the old school and renovated it with the past SPLOST and grants. They will use a majority of the money to pay back loans from this renovation. Also said that they have bought land and need to do street renovations so they will need matching funds for these TE grants.

Steve Marro spoke on behalf of the county and said that the county is still waiting on the environmental review of the old school and the architectural review of the roof and ceiling of the Courthouse. The county will also need money for land acquisition on Jackson Street.

Don praised the SPLOST by saying that it is the most equitable form of taxation for citizens with everyone who visits Pike County and spends money paying one penny on every dollar for SPLOST.

The need for a seamless transition from the current SPLOST to the next SPLOST was discussed. The commissioners are working to get this ready for the ballot in November of 2009 in a Special Election.

Discussion that there were $18 million worth of projects that were presented to the SPLOST committee. The needs in Pike County are great, but the SPLOST committee is going to have to be selective when they make their choices since most of this SPLOST is already earmarked for Courthouse renovations and the beginning of the County Governmental Complex. Mike Beres pointed out that if the Courthouse is not on the SPLOST and county citizens are forced to pay for the upgrades with property taxes, everyone will pay higher taxes.

It was stressed that everyone is going to have to work together regardless of whether their project gets picked to go onto the SPLOST ballot or not. The commissioners asked to see all of the projects so they will know what was presented to the SPLOST committee even though the SPLOST committee will be presenting the BOC with a recommendation that the BOC can either accept or go a different route.

The resolution will have to be passed by the BOC by June 30, 2009. The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

[Note from the Editor: Thanks to John Morrison for being my editor tonight. He caught a mistake in this article that was corrected immediately. I welcome a call or email from readers when I have made a mistake.]

5.27.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
MAY 13, 2009
9:00 AM

    6. Discussion of the use of impact fee dollars to install field lighting at the new soccer complex.
    7. Discussion of CDBG information under the new ARIP program

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    1. First Reading of the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Resolution
    2. The American Legion Post #197 would like to request use of the Courthouse grounds on May 25, 2009 from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm for a Veterans Memorial Day Ceremony.
    3. M. Vern Stephens has requested a tax refund in the amount of $326.00

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Personnel Executive Session – Hiring and firing personnel within the Building and Grounds department (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6))
    -Pending and Potential Litigation (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1))
    -Acquisition of Real Estate (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4))

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

[Note from the Editor: Thank you to those who listened to complaints about the Executive Session and added more information for the public to be aware of the topics of discussion. It may not please everyone, but it is better than we had before.]

Update 5.13.09:There were no huge suprises at the meeting today. All five commissioners were at the meeting with Nancy to take the minutes and legal representation by both Rob and Tom Morton.

V. INVITED GUEST
    1. Mark Hardison with Clifton, Lipford, Hardison and Parker to present 2008 audit: This will be added to the county website asap. Click here to go to the Pike County website. Mr. Hardison said that there was a decline in the fund balance with our general budget. Said that there was $9.8 million in expenditures on 10.31.08. Also said that they were seeing a lot of progress being made with Sean going to school to learn more about our accounting procedures. Motion to accept audit as presented. Approved 4-0.
    2. Kevin Teate, Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority Director to request the closure of Twin Oaks Road between County Farm Road and Drew Allen Road on the 4th of July from 2:00 pm until midnight: Motion to approve. 4-0.
    3. S.P.L.O.S.T. Committee presentation to discuss timeline and other requirements: Bobby Blalock and Merritt Spier spoke to the commissioners on the behalf of the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) committee. The commissioners had originally asked for an 75/25% split between the counties and cities. Bobby said that the SPLOST committee had voted to recommend 80/20% split based somewhat on population of cities. This would be a $6 million SPLOST with $1.2 million going to the cities. Merritt explained that the change was based on 5% going to the library, agribusiness, and animal control so it would reduce the county portion of the SPLOST from 80% to 75%. It was made clear by the commissioners that they have final say on this though and if they don't want that 5% reduction, they can change anything that they want. [Note from the Editor: I was on that first SPLOST committee and saw that first-hand so don't anybody get up in arms about things yet. Make a phone call with a concern if you have it, but be nice because they can do anything that they want to. Added 5.19.09: I had the % on SPLOST backwards to begin with. It has been corrected. Thanks to Commissioner Don Collins for catching that error.] The deadline is a tight one with meetings to be called between the cities and the county and a resolution by June 30th in order to meet the deadline for the November Special Election. Motion to send out letter of intent to the cities on SPLOST. Approved 4-0.

Update 5.14.09:

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
   A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: Only big thing mentioned here was Keep Pike Beautiful has not been able to meet their quorum over the past several months so there have not been any meetings. That has been remedied with the KPB quorum going through the GA Legislature to be reduced from 12 with a quorum of 7 to a 9 member board with a quorum of 5. Edd Sanders, Chairman of KPB, said that KPB is working to update its duties, long-term goals, and structure as well as doing more events here in Pike County and limiting those outside of the county with KPB's focus on keeping Pike beautiful through recycling, etc.
B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
    1. Invitation to the City Mayors and Councils to meet on a quarterly basis: The CM said that the suggestion was made to have the Chairman, CM, and county representative for each city attend their meetings instead of inviting chaos by having all of the cities and the BOC meet together at once. This will be starting on a regular basis soon and will bring direct contact between the cities and the BOC.
    2. Update on the April 30, 2009 Pre-Disaster Mitigation public input session: There was a meeting on April 30th with about 20 people in attendance. (See the story on this page.) Concord and Molena have already started the process to sign onto this. Probably more are coming on board as well. If the cities do not sign on, they will not be eligible for FEMA and GEMA funding in the event of a natural disaster such as a tornado or flood. Kudos were given to EMA Director Mike Singleton for getting this done ahead of schedule.
    3. ISO rating is still pending: Expecting something on this very shortly. Other counties, etc. that have signed on with this company have had their ISO ratings lowered so the BOC is hopeful that the same will happen for Pike County. [Note from the Editor: A lower ISO rating should lower fire insurance rates for home owners.] During this portion of this discussion, strategic planning sessions and workshops with various officials were discussed. The Courthouse renovations are very much on the minds of the BOC. Discussion about whether to have Carter Watkins (the group that originally did the study on the Courthouse) or Precision Planning (the group that laid out plans for the Judicial Complex) look at the roof was a hot topic. Being frugal with taxpayer money was a big concern. Motion for the CM to contact both. 4-0.
    4. Discussion of Fire District Ordinance proposal: [Note from the Editor: See this workshop and several others on the calendar of events page for next week. There are a bunch of them. Make plans to go and maybe send me a note or two on what you learn because I will not be able to attend these meetings.]
     5. Recognition of the SPLOST committee for their hard work: Kudos were given to the SPLOST committee for their hard work.

Update 5.26.09:
  C. Commissioners Report:

District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked about the status of the Purchase Order (PO) System. CM said that one has been selected but needs to be rewritten. Then it will need to be explained to all including Constitutional Officers. This will require all departments to go online in order to get make a requisition and get a PO number. Things cannot be purchased if the department is overbudget. This program will be able to encumber amounts for items as well. * Asked about the right of way with the sink hole that was brought up at the past meeting. CM advised that this hole is behind the house and not even on the right of way. * Asked about road closings and abandonment process. Was advised that this is being finalized. * Said that he has received two complaints from contractors about inspections not being done. The head of Planning and Development (P&D) -- also known as Planning and Zoning -- David Allen addressed this with the commissioners. He said that each call is logged and then the inspection is completed and that is logged. In this case, he said that there is no record of this contractor calling in to ask for an inspection and David said that he did not receive a request. * Asked about Public Works installing driveway pipes. CM said that some of the other counties do this. Roosevelt asked that the county consider doing this for a price at a later time. * CM advised that he is expecting the environmental accessment on the old school next week. * Roosevelt asked what Code Enforcement does all day. David advised that she processes complaints. When she is not in, Kevin and David fill in for her.

District 2 Parrish Swift: Parrish asked about the contents of Executive Session and what should be divulged to the public after each Executive Session. Parrish asked whether information from Executive Session should be brought to light in a case where the county has concrete evidence in a case against a code violation or if that would be a violation of Executive Session. Rob explained that what is discussed in Executive Session is confidential though there are some things that could be discussed. [Note from the Editor: I have no idea what is being referred to and don’t understand why this would be discussed in the first place so I won’t put any more detail on this.]

District 3 Tommy Powers: Tommy said that he had gotten some calls about the roads and the rain but that was it.

District 4 Don Collins: Don said that the entire county asset inventory is completed. Everything has been numbered and will be entered into the county’s asset program when Sean Townsend gets time to do this. Asked for a benchmark for income figures and was advised by the CM that this will be available monthly now. * Asked that SPLOST signs be placed on equipment and at appropriate locations so the public knows that SPLOST paid for them. *Said that the Department of Community Affairs is having a round table discussion on June 10th and encouraged everyone to go. * Asked about Double P Grading and the contingency that was placed on them (buffers and fences in front of the business) in order to get their business license. These items were supposed to screen equipment but they are not placing equipment in front of the building. Rob advised that proper procedure needs to be followed on this with a public hearing where they BOC can modify the stipulation by saying no buffer required if no parking, but if there is parking then the buffer will be required. Motion to proceed. 4-0.

Chairman Doug Mangham: Asked a question about the Scout project for the Fire Stations. Was advised that this has fallen through.

  D. County Attorney Report: Advised that there is an appeal on Tax Assessor issues going before the Board of Tax Assessors in the June 2nd meeting. Said that this person (and he did not give a name) is entitled to have a hearing on this issue.

The BOC went into Executive Session at 10:40 a.m. and returned about 11:50 a.m.

Motions from Executive Session: Motion to advertise again on the Maintenance Supervisor position. Approved 4-0. [Note from the Editor: The top candidate was in the audience that day to answer questions from the BOC if they had any. He did not know why they were readvertising at the end of the meeting.]

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS
     None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
    1. Second Reading of proposed Text Amendment to Section 156.027 (J) of the Zoning Code: This allows the Zoning Administrator to make allow someone to move in a temporary residence while the main residence is being rebuilt due to a catastrophic event such as tornado, fire, etc. This allows the resident to avoid costly fees and valuable time of going before the Planning Board or Board of Appeals to ask permission at a meeting where they will send on their opinion to the BOC who would ultimately make the final decision in a process that will last at least two months and sometimes longer. Approved 4-0.
    2. Second Reading of the DR-6 Ordinance: This is the repeal of the DR-6 Ordinance. Approved 3-1 with Roosevelt opposed.
    3. Second Reading of the PR Ordinance: Repealing P-R District.
    4. Second Reading of Text Amendment 156.027(A): This is a correction from when this was adopted in January distinguishing between one-time and regular special exceptions. Approved.
    5. Second Reading of the Pike County code: Approved.

More soon.

5.13.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
APRIL 28, 2009
6:30 PM

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS

    1. Proposed text amendment to Section 156.027 (J) to Chapter 156 of the Zoning Code to provide for an emergency permit situation in the event of a catastrophic loss of a primary residence.

First Reading of 156.027(J)-Catastrophic loss of a primary residence

     2. SE09-03- Robert Eric Anderson is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning district to allow for an air stream trailer to be located on the property for the owner’s use of occasional hunting. The property is located along the southerly side of Hwy 109 in Land Lot 158 of the 9thLand District of Pike County Georgia The said property contains 50.61 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #034-025.

Board Discussion/Action of any.

     3. SE09-04 - Christ Chapel Community Church is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning district to allow for outdoor recreation associated with the church.. The property is located along the northwesterly side of US Hwy 19 North in Land Lot 62 of the 2nd Land District of Pike County Georgia. The said property contains 21.31 acres and is further identified as Tap Map #076-031.

Board Discussion/Action of any.

     4. Repeal the DR-6 (Duplex Residential) District, Section 156.120 through 156.124 of the Pike County Code of Ordinances in its entirety.

First Reading of DR-6 Ordinance

    5. Repeal the PR (Planned Residential) District, Sections 156.150 through 156.155 of the Pike County Code of Ordinances in its entirety.

First reading of PR Ordinance

    6. Ratification of the Pike County Code as amended through December 31, 2008

First Reading of the Pike County Code.

     7. Text Amendment 156.027(A) to add back text that was inadvertently omitted from an earlier amendment. (Special exceptions section).

First Reading of Text Amendment 156.027 (A)

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     1. Don Bailey to give a Friends of Pike County Animals update
     2. Final Plat approval for Etheridge Mill Road Industrial Park

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     1. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #4-reallocating funds from the Contingency fund to the Fire Department-Other Equipment account for the purchase of the Turbo Draft
    2. Refund request for variance application fee in the amount of $200.00 for Carol and Marvin Harris (VAR 09-01)
    3. Discuss contract between the Library Board and the Pike County Board of Commissioners.

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 4.29.09:

I. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
(O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

IV. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held April 8, 2009 at 9:00 am pursuant to
(O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)

Minutes from Special Called Meeting held April 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm pursuant to
(O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)

The County Commission Meeting was held last night. All five commissioners were present along with Nancy to take the minutes, County Manager Steve Marro, and County Attorney Rob Morton. Chairman Doug Mangham asked Commissioner Roosevelt Willis to stand at the beginning of the meeting where he was recognized for completing the Certified Commissioners Advanced Program. Roosevelt showed the two plaques that he received for this advanced training. There will be separate story on this soon.

V. INVITED GUEST      1. William Hatley to request the paving of Harden Road.
Mr. Hatley did not show up at the meeting.
    2. Christine Curry/Agribusiness Authority-Request for support letter for two USDA grants for Agribusiness Authority
Chris Curry spoke for the Agribusiness Authority and asked for a letter of support from the BOC in order to apply for a grant. This would be a Partnership with Georgia Organics that would be a way to attract organic farmers to Pike County. Said that we already have two organic farms in Pike County. This 3 year grant would be a way to fund a toolshed, preparation of land, fund a paid position for a couple of years, and maybe even a covered market that could be open five days a week with spots to be leased to vendors. Maybe even work toward a restaurant with organic products. The Agribusiness Authority is teaming up with the City of Zebulon Downtown Development Authority. She advised that there is a 25% match on this, but that the Agribusiness Authority is looking for someone to donation some land that will go toward the match so the BOC is not obligated to match this grant. The BOC agreed to write a letter of support for this. The second grant was already sent in.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
A question was asked about Water and Sewer Authority (WSA) fuel from Public Works and whether it is tracked. Yes, it is. There was a question about sinkage on the right of way on Chapel Hill Road that was referred to in their minutes. A property owner had complained to the WSA about this. There was a question of who was responsible for the sinkage. Todd Goolsby from Public Works said that he had not seen a work order on this. Roosevelt asked the CM to look into this. CM and Todd to look into it and make a recommendation. * Tom Lacey from the WSA was asked come forward and address a question about 4 Project Packages that were submitted for Stimulus funds. He advised that the WSA was advised that these projects did not qualify. * There was also a question about George Norris' questions about the Agribusiness contract with the county. George was concerned about the eight month and twelve contract because of the changing of Pike County's year end going to July instead of the current October year end. The wording was clarified and he was satisfied with it. * Keep Pike Beautiful minutes were questioned. A comment was made that one person could not make heads or tails of the minutes. Discussion that there was a lot going on in other places but not in Pike County. One commissioner voiced his opinion that he thought the minutes were being written to justify a paycheck. * Motion was made to accept the minutes from Boards and Authorities in the county.

    B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
The CM advised that the Pandemic Flu Committee has been activated with Hayla Hall from the District 4 Health Department in daily contact with Pike EMA Director Mike Singleton. (See separate story on this as well as the 4.27.09 update on Swine Flu.) CM advised that the county is purchasing face masks and that test packages for Swine Flu are being sent to Doctor's Offices, and that the county is monitoring this as close as it can. * CM advised that there are three vacancies at the Road Department with a fourth person retiring at the end of the month. Advised that there was an injury at the Road Department today that may leave a fifth vacancy for a time and that the Road Department cannot operate with five vacancies. Said that steps are being taken to fill the vacant positions.

    C Commissioners Report
District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Asked about the final plat on Ranew--this comes up later in the agenda. * Asked about Hollonville Fire Department. The building is complete. Discussion about whether to have the driveway reinforced with fiberglass or rebar. Todd Goolsby recommended the steel over fiberglass. The other two stations had fiberglass AND rebar and Commissioner Garner said that was overkill. Motion was made to amend the agenda to place the grading under New Business. * Asked about the temporary employee down at Planning and Zoning. Said that he thought she was brought in for a specific period of time in order to get them caught up on filing, etc. and then that person would move up to the Commissioners' Office in order to help them catch up with filing. The CM advised that David Allen, Director of Planning and Zoning, said that they use her 40 hours a week, but that the BOC office can pull her to this office to help with filing when she is not being used down there. * District 2 Parrish Swift: Asked about the Capital Improvements part of the Comprehensive Plan and the Capital Improvements Element of the Impact Fees program. Requested copies for himself and the other commissioners and recommended that they all get familiar with the Impact Fee program and what expenditures can be used for. Mr. Ross, who instated the Impact Fee program for Pike County, gave his opinion that the lights at the Soccer Field were not eligible for Impact Fees. There was some disagreement with that but Parrish was more concerned that this matter was not taken care of several months ago when this first came up because there is a five year time limit on when collected fees must be spent. Said that the commissioners need to educate themselves on this. * Said that the Overlay District Ordinance Design Concept needs to be different with a manufacturing corridor and a commercial corridor. * District 4 Don Collins: Said that a lot of work had been done on Courthouse beautification. [Note from the Editor: The work crew from West Central Georgia Detention Facility has put in a lot of work over there over the past couple of weeks along with Jonathan from Building and Grounds.] Said that there is a need for a SPLOST sign at the Williamson Fire House as well as the other two Fire Houses that have been built with SPLOST funds. * Asked about ADA Compliance on SPLOST. Said that the projects were written up by Todd Albritton and that the work was supposed to have been completed and then two more projects came up after there was an attempt to move the leftover funds to the Fire Department expenses. He wants to see a review of the original programs. The CM advised that the SPLOST Committee was disbanded after the last SPLOST was passed and was adamant that the current SPLOST Committee oversee the current SPLOST until it is completed. He thanked Carol Bass for giving this list to the county so they could see what was originally supposed to be done because that document was not on file in the BOC office where it could be easily found. Said that there is also a project to pave the top side of the Soccer Fields. * The old Elementary building has a renovation estimate cost that was given to the county. Rehab cost for the top floor would cost approximately $868,000 for the upper floor and $170,000. * Said that the CM might want to look into e-verification of sales tax funds rather than by check because the county could receive funds in 3 days rather than in two months. He learned this in a recent commissioner class that he attended. * Asked for a work session between the BOC and the department heads and another with elected officials before the budget process starts. * District 3 Tommy Powers and Chairman Doug Mangham: None.

    D. County Attorney Report: None.

More shortly.

4.24.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
APRIL 8, 2009
9:00 AM

   6. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #3 to transfer funds to the Capital Outlay-Station Account from the Capital Asset-CD account to fund the completion of Station #6 In Hollonville in accordance with page 10 of ACCG S.P.L.O.S.T.handbook:
   7. FY 2008 Budget Amendment #19 amending the Department’s Budgets to Actual in accordance to Georgia Department of Audits- MOVED TO INVITED GUEST
   8 The Zebulon DDA has requested permission to use the Courthouse Square on Saturday, April 18, 2009 for a “Spring Cleaning” Sale. The DDA would also request permission to close Jackson Street during the event.
   9. The Zebulon DDA has requested permission to use the Courthouse Square and close Jackson Street on Saturday, May 16, 2009 for the Pimiento Festival
   10. US Highway 19 & US Highway 41 Overlay District Administrative Review fee
   11 First Reading of Pike County Transportation Ordinance
   12. Pike County Recreation Authority Resolution to Request Impact Fees

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION-LAND ACQUISITION PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
None

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Today's meeting was attended by all five commissioners, the County Manager (CM), Nancy to take the minutes, and County Attorney Rob Morton. A few changes to the agenda including moving

V. INVITED GUEST - 7. FY 2008 Budget Amendment #19 amending the Department’s Budgets to Actual in accordance to Georgia Department of Audits. Tara Winstead spoke on this since she won the bid last year to work with the county on financials and the year end audit. There were some overages in various departments from $9 at the library for utilities to $169,749 for the Sheriff's Office (personnel-$95,000, fuel-$53,000, and various other items such as doctor bills), and $99,627 for the Road Department ($22,131-personnel, $10,183-unemployment, and $69,129-gravel). There were no budget items for the Special Revenue Funds so those items are automatically over. Pike County went overbudget for a total of $405,570.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: The only comment on this was that Keep Pike Beautiful hasn't filed any reports with the county since January and the county held back this month's check.
   B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: The CM has a meeting with the environmental services people to begin survey on the old school property next week.
   C. Commissioners Report:

District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Said that Hollonville Fire Dept is almost finished and it is dark around the station while all of the others are lit with photocells. Asked the CM to handle this. Asked about the Turner Road Bridge. Public Works Director Todd Goolsby advised that they were ready to go in before the rain came and set them back. Should begin work soon. Asked about Christmas and retirement bonuses at the Recreation Department. Said it was an injustice for them to get it when no one else did and if they had so much money they could reduce their budget by that amount instead. [Note from the Editor: This is discussed later in the meeting and the Chairman of the Recreation Authority said that these funds did not come from county funds.] Asked why the Road Dept is using Gravel #5 instead of Crusher Run. Todd Goolsby said that if it is muddy, #5 goes a whole lot farther off the tailgate than Crusher Run because a blade has to come out and fix up the Crusher Run if a mistake is made. Advised that Crusher Run is used at intersections, etc. for safety reasons. Update 4.18.09: Roosevelt asked about the Pike Parks and Recreation request for about $170,000 of Impact Fees that are allocated for Parks and Recreation. This will pay for about 86% of the project. Chairman of the Recreation Authority Jeff Kenerly said that the rest of the funds will have to be budgeted or there will have to be a $26,000 fundraiser in order to use the Impact Fee funds.

District 2 Parrish Swift: Said that he is concerned about the lack of lights at the Williamson Fire Station. Suggested that the power bill from Williamson which is without lights to the utility bill from Station 6 which is one of the new stations with lights.

No comments from District 3 or 4.
   D. County Attorney Report: none.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS-None

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
   1. Second Reading of Chapter 162-Cemeteries:
Motion to approve. 4-0.
   2. Second Reading of Chapter 160-Yard Sales
Motion to approve. 4-0.
   3. Ben Maxedon has requested the reading and approval of the proclamation to set May 7, 2009 as the National Day of Prayer. Permission was given to use the courthouse square at the January 27, 2009 meeting.
The proclamation was read out loud. This proclamation has been place on Pike County Times and I will be attending one of the National Day of Prayer Ceremonies in Zebulon.
   4. Discussion of additional ADA projects.
There was much discussion about additional ADA projects for Pike County. There is not enough enough money left in SPLOST to make everything in Pike County accessible to the handicapped, but a good start has been made with changes at Parks and Recreation, the Commission office, Planning and Development, and the new ramp at the Courthouse. The Magistrate and District Attorney building was discussed as far as attempt to make it handicapped accessible. There is not enough room in the Magistrate front lobby to make it totally compliant. There are plans to lower part of the front desk at P&D and make the doors compliant. There is a restroom at the Rec Fields that will be made compliant as well. If there is anything left in SPLOST after this, maybe the doors at the Zebulon library can be addressed. Motion was made here to accept extending contract on several county offices, but it is amended. Discussion: Commissioners asked for further investigation into Magistrate Court before money is spent there. Motion to extend the ADA contract for Planning and Development and the Commissioner’s office for $21,045.00. Approved 4-0.
   5. Old Bank Building in Williamson.
Tommy said that in the BOC/Library Board workshop that he felt like a majority of that board was not for a library branch in Williamson. He made a motion to give the proposed Williamson Branch Library building to the City of Williamson. 2nd for discussion. Parrish said that he hated to give this away because the county spent money on this. Don said that he would like to see the county recover the Impact Fees that were spent on this. Discussion went into the Intergovernmental agreeement between Williamson and Pike County so Impact Fees could be collected in Williamson and the county would do Williamson's Code Enforcement and building and zoning items. A letter from Mayor Steve Fry asking for the old fire station back is part of this discussion as well. The discussion kept coming back to the Impact Fee money that was spent to move the old bank building to its present location. The CM said that the City of Williamson has deemed the building an eyesore and that they want the building so they can finish it out and use it. Doug did not allow the public to speak on this subject. Motion was made to table this item until after Executive Session. 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS
   1. Ark Builder, Inc. has requested a tax refund in the amount of $2,645.80 for Lot 1 The Shoals Subdivision.
David Allen advised that Mr. Brisendine asked his office to check on Lot 1 in December. According to the S-5 Environmental Ordinance, this is not a buildable lot. It could have a playground, etc. but could not have septic and a house on it. The Tax Office found that $1,360.29 per year has been paid for the past two years on this. The request is for a refund of two years' worth of taxes. Rob advised that Tax Assessor Haddock had a written recommendation that this lot has been incorporated into greenspace and if that is the case, it cannot be taxed. And, according to the setbacks of state and federal law, there is not enough setback for this to be used as a buildable lot. There was some discussion about how long the property owner has known that this was going to be used for greenspace and that the BOC should not return these taxes until something is given in writing to the BOC stating that this lot will be retained as greenspace. Motion to refund contingent upon receiving a written commitment from the owner to use this for greenspace only. Approved 4-0.
   2. Appoint four (4) members to the Keep Pike Beautiful Board:
Joy Walker, Vera Carroll, and Christina Takle were the only three applications to be turned in so there is still one open appointment. Motion to accept these three members. Approved 4-0.
   3. Appoint one (1) member to the Water Authority:
Applications were from sitting WSA member Chris Curry and former Commissioner Jake Garner. Motion to appoint Jake Garner. 3-1 with Collins opposed.
   4. Appoint three (3) members to the Agri-Business Authority:
Ken Gran, George Norris, and David A. Bentoski were approved. 4-0.
   5. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #2 to increase M&R-Roads-Unpaved and Reimbursement Grants State from the Georgia Department of Transportation:
This is refunding Pike County for our expenditure for the Turner Road culvert.

More soon.

4.8.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
MARCH 31, 2009
6:30 PM
  1. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham
  2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
  3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
    (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))
  4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
    (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2) minutes from regular monthly meeting held march 11, 2009 at 9:00 am pursuant to
    (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)

  5. INVITED GUEST-None
  6. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
    1. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
    2. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
      1. Update of the Courthouse renovation project
      2. Update on the road re-construction and repaving program
      3. Discussion of the Pike County Transportation Committee
      4. Set a date for the review of the proposed Capital Improvements Policy
      5. Discussion of the U.S. Department of Energy Block Grant Program
    3. Commissioners Report
    4. County Attorney Report
  7. PUBLIC HEARINGS
      1. SE 09-01 Inman J. Burford, Jr. is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning District to allow for a 3D Archery Range.. The property is located along the south side of Wood Creek Road in Land Lots 197,198 and 220 of the 1st Land District, Pike County, GA. Said property contains 52.31 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #052-004.
      2. Proposed text amendment to amend the Code of Pike County, GA to add Chapter 162 entitled Abandoned Cemetery and Burial Ground Protection Ordinance.
      3. Proposed text amendment to amend the Code of Pike County to add Chapter 160 entitled Yard Sale and Flea Market Regulation Ordinance
      4. FPR09-02 (Final Plat-Revised): Lester O. Ranew, Jr. has submitted a revised final plat for the Etheridge Mill Road Industrial Park. The property is located in Land Lot 154 of the 2nd Land District of Pike County, GA. The property is further identified as Tax Map #086-079, #086-080, and #086-081.
    1. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
      1. Second Reading of Text Amendments to the Code of Pike County, GA Chapter 159, Sections 159.01 through Section 159.21 US Highway 19 and US Highway 41 Overlay Districts
      2. Extension of PR Moratorium
    2. NEW BUSINESS
      1. Discussion of the ‘official’ meeting record
      2. The First Baptist Brotherhood has requested use of the Courthouse grounds on April 18, 2009 for a Chicken-Que
      3. Review the existing contract with McIntosh Trail RDC for contract year 2010
      4. First Reading of Chapter 162-Cemetaries
      5. First Reading of Chapter 160-Yard Sales
      6. RFP for environmental studies of old school
      7. Discussion of additional ADA projects
  8. EXECUTIVE SESSION-POTENTIAL LITIGATION PURSUANT TO
    O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)
  9. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None
  10. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 4.1.09: The meeting was attended by all five commissioners--District 1 - Roosevelt Willis, District 2 - Parrish Swift, District 3 - Tommy Powers, District 4 - Don Collins, County Commission Chairman Doug Mangham--with Nancy to take the minutes and record the meeting on tape, County Manager Marro, and County Attorney Rob Morton. There was some good and some not so good decisions made at the meeting last night, but overall, I applaud the commissioners for the job that they are doing. It is not an easy job and not a pair of shoes that I would venture to step into at any point.

The Call to Order was given along with the Pledge of Allegiance, a few changes to the agenda, and approval of the minutes from the past meeting as usual.

REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES
A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities - No comments.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners - CM Steve Marro
1. Update of the Courthouse renovation project - There is a chance that guidelines will be changed on grants so smaller counties like Pike could apply for money like everyone else.
2. Update on the road re-construction and repaving program - Acting Director of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GaDOT) asked that the list of six roads for repaving and six roads for reconstruction be mixed together in priority order. Right now, the repaving of Reidsboro Road and the reconstruction and repaving of McKinley Road are at the top of that list.
3. Discussion of the Pike County Transportation Committee - The CM said that he has attended meetings with GaDOT in both Spalding and Upson County where there was direct access to GaDOT on a regular basis rather than the once a year meeting that we have. Said that we could have this type of interaction as well if the BOC would authorize this committee to be formed with members from each city, a member of the BOC, maybe David Allen from Planning and Development and Todd Goolsby from Public Works. We could then meet with other counties and have input into the different road projects that could impact our area. ** This ordinance will be placed on the next agenda for a 1st reading and public hearing. **
4. Set a date for the review of the proposed Capital Improvements Policy - There is a substantial amount of replacement that is needed in Pike County and some of which is in the next budget. This would put a policy in place and make the public aware of what the county is doing. ** This will be discussed on Monday after the Library Workshop. **
5. Discussion of the U.S. Department of Energy Block Grant Program - A representative from Chevron came to a BOC meeting some time back and described ways that Pike County could apply for a grant to upgrade our infrastructure. Wanted to know the if commissioners were interested in this or not. Discussion then went all over the board here from Parrish helping to write grants for the county now that he has gone to a 2 day school for this to the financial statements that are on the county website. Click here to go to the Pike County website and view financials, past minutes, etc.

C. Commissioners Report:
District 1 - Roosevelt Willis: none
District 2 - Parrish Swift: Parrish was concerned about the landscaping at the Courthouse and the DDA's original agreement on upkeep. Don Collins advised that upkeep slipped through the cracks on that agreement. Everything inside the yellow lines around the Courthouse is the county's responsibility. The Crepemyrtle Garden Club is working on the sidewalks and outside of the raised areas around the Courthouse but cannot take care of everything. The Audit Report was his next question. When will it be ready? CM Marro said that questions are being answered between the consultants and Sean Townsend, but it should be ready in April. Impact Fee Allocation for the Recreation Department was the next subject. There is $206,171.76 in Impact Fees that are allocated for Recreation. Parrish said that when funds are requested, a quick assessment should be done and the check written or we should do away with Impact Fees. CM Marro advised that he thought this request was part of next year's budget and had not reviewed it yet; however, he was advised that this was not part of next year's budget and he hoped to put this on the April 8th BOC agenda.
District 3 - Tommy Powers: Said that he's had some calls about problems with the roads but this is normal with the amount of rain that we've had. CM said that there were 15 call outs on the 28th and 10 more on the 29th. Right now the only road that is closed is Dripping Rock Road (see picture and youtube video on the We Are Pike County page) because the bridge is underwater. Tommy said that his callers have understood that the Road Department is working as hard as it can. CM said that work could be done quicker but would have to be paid with overtime. BOC said that with rain that is coming again, overtime is not necessary because the work would have to be done again after more rain hits the county.
District 4 - Don Collins: Gave update on his Town Hall Meeting last night. Said that the basic premise from those attending was that they want the BOC to spend their money wisely. He then asked some more about grant writing and also about predisaster mitigation. [Note from the Editor: Those who have not gotten Flood Insurance and you are in flood plain had better get it quickly. If you don't have it by the time this program goes into effect, you are going to be forced to buy it regardless and there is a good chance that it will be higher at a later date. Those who already have insurance have a chance to get grandfathered in with their current rates. To read more about this, click on the Past Stories Page and scroll down to the story entitled, "Georgia Floodplain Mapping Program Coming to Pike County" dated 12.24.08. Stories are listed in date order with the latest article at the top of the page.] Predisaster mitigation is expected back next week. There will be a public meeting and then it will be sent to GEMA and FEMA.

Update 4.2.09: D. County Attorney: There is not going to be a Special Election in March now so Rep. Billy Maddox was asked to pull The Homestead Exemption from the floor of the House.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. SE 09-01 Inman J. Burford, Jr. is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning District to allow for a 3D Archery Range.. The property is located along the south side of Wood Creek Road in Land Lots 197,198 and 220 of the 1st Land District, Pike County, GA. Said property contains 52.31 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #052-004.

There was a Special Called Board of Appeals meeting on March 3rd where the BOA recommended approval with stipulations: one tournament per month from February through August, groups will begin from 9 a.m. until the final group at 2 p.m., no cap on the number of shooters, no shooting within 50 yards of the property line, no trespassing signs posted every 50 yards around the perimeter, have to buy a Pike County business license, and Planning and Development will determine the minimum amount of liability insurance that will be required. Discussion between the commissioners began immediately. Why one day a month only? This is what the property owner asked for. Why the no trespassing signs? It is protection for adjacent property owners, but one commissioner labeled it potential overkill. Why is Planning and Development determining the minimum amount for liability insurance? One commissioner asked if the county was consulting on insurance now and two commissioners suggested it might be stepping over bounds. Why 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.? Multiple groups of shooters with none starting no later than 2 p.m. The property owner was fine with this. The property owner felt that posting No Trespassing signs every 50 yards was a waste of his money with only one side having residents, a paper company on another with the hunting part already posted, and swamp land on the north side. Roosevelt asked point blank what they required with the go carts and insurance. He was told nothing, but it was an extension of that business. Tommy said that he knew of a hunting club that was posted but did not have insurance. Rob Morton was asked if a person is injured on property that is granted a Special Exception by the BOC, is the BOC liable? The answer was no. The floor was then opened to the public for the public hearing portion of the meeting. IN FAVOR: Vern Stephens is the 4-H Archery Team Coach. The property owner has given the team permission to practice for local, state, and national competitions for 32 kids for free. He tried to ask whether other groups like Band Boosters had to get a business license and was stopped from speaking on that by the Commission Chairman. John Morrison spoke in favor saying that this facility is in character with rural atmosphere. He questioned why they would allow themselves to be limited to meeting once a month and said that the BOC may get calls when the 4-H Archery Team is out there because neighbors may think that they are holding a tournament. OPPOSITION: None. Further BOC discussion: Do they need a business license? This is a private club that collects fees. This is different from something like the Market on the Square. Motion to approve with one tournament per month from February to August, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., no cap on shooters and no shooting within 50 yards of the property line and have to get a business license but excluding the No Trespassing signs every 50 yards around the property and no liability insurance requirement from the county. Approved 4-0.

Update 4.7.09:

2. Proposed text amendment to amend the Code of Pike County, GA to add Chapter 162 entitled Abandoned Cemetery and Burial Ground Protection Ordinance.

This is to enable the county to identify and protect cemeteries as well as establishing a procedure for developers if an unknown cemetery was found on land that was being developed and is a way for Planning and Development to map all of the smaller cemeteries that are in Pike County. IN FAVOR: John Morrison: He just wanted it to be noted that he was in favor of this ordinance. OPPOSITION: None. Motion for 1st reading of this ordinance. Approved 4-0.

3. Proposed text amendment to amend the Code of Pike County to add Chapter 160 entitled Yard Sale and Flea Market Regulation Ordinance.

This ordinance establishes a definition for flea market and another for yard sale. Flea Markets will be excluded from residential areas and will give better control of yard sales. IN FAVOR: John Morrison wanted it on record that he was in favor of this ordinance. OPPOSITION: None. Motion for 1st reading of this ordinance. Approved 4-0.

More shortly.

3.26.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
MARCH 11, 2009
9:00 AM
  1. CALL TO ORDER………………………………Chairman Doug Mangham

  2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

  3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
    (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

  4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
    Minutes from Regular Monthly Meeting held February 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm pursuant to
    (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2)

  5. INVITED GUEST
    1. Brian Richardson to discuss Veterans Monument.


  6. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

    1. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities
    2. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
      1. Discussion of the possibility of setting a regular workshop date for the discussion of County issues. If there is no need for the workshop, the staff can notify you of that and cancel.
      2. Copies of the Courthouse renovation project have been forwarded to our local legislators. It is hoped that we can be considered for “The American Recovery & Investment Act” funds to accomplish this renovation.
      3. Copies of the road re=construction and re-paving program have also been Submitted to our local legislators. Again, it is hoped that we can be considered for “The American Recovery & Investment Act” funds to accomplish this renovation.
      4. Discuss conducting an election to be held in 2009 allowing the voters of Pike County to approve or deny the BOC’s recommendation to freeze the Pike County property assessments at the 2007 levels. With the passage of HB 233, assessments are frozen for 3 years anyway and as our assessment levels have not changed from prior to 2007, this action may conceivably hurt Pike County taxpayers.
      5. McTRDC update
    3. Commissioners Report
    4. County Attorney Report

  7. PUBLIC HEARINGS
      1. Chapter 159, Section 159.01 through Section 159.21 US Highway 19 and US Highway 41 Overlay District

  8. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
      1. Proposal to donate the old United Bank building in Williamson to the City of Williamson for use as a museum or office. [This and #5 should probably be discussed together.]
      2. Second Reading of Chapter 161, Section 161-01 through Section 161.07 Mailbox Construction Ordinance
      3. Don Bailey to give an American Legion update
      4. Don Bailey to give an update on Friends of Pike Co. Animals
      5. Paul Faulds to discuss progress on the Williamson branch library.

  9. NEW BUSINESS
      1. The Pike County Chamber of Commerce has requested a one day permit for the sale of beer on May 4, 2009 for their golf tournament at The Cedars.
      2. Wayne Harper with Pike Countryside has requested that the Transfer Station be closed on Wednesdays.
      3. Discuss contract between the Agri-Business Authority and the Pike County Board of Commissioners
      4. Discuss contract between the Water and Sewerage Authority and the Pike County Board of Commissioners.
      5. Proclamation to recognize National Social Work Month 2009
      6. Appoint one member to the Industrial Development Authority
      7. Discussion of increasing the number of members on the CATF Board.

  10. EXECUTIVE SESSION-PENDING LITIGATION PURSUANT TO
    O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)

  11. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    None

  12. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

3.7.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
FEBRUARY 24, 2009
6:30 PM

     C. Re-address change order #5, item #3 received from McLeRoy Land Development with regard to “power operators with remote in roll up doors” for a total of $5,880.00.
     D. Bobby Blalock to discuss the I-16 Extension

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     A. Appoint five (5) members to the Keep Pike Beautiful Authority
     B. Appoint six (6) members to the Citizens Advisory Task Force
     C. Prayer Power of Georgia has requested use of the Courthouse grounds on Thursday, May 7, 2009 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm in observance of the National Day of Prayer.
     D. FY 2009 Budget Amendment #1-Reallocaton of funds from the Contingency to The Fire Department Other Equipment Account for the purchases of the Turbo Drafts.

X EXECUTIVE SESSION
     None

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
     John Morrison to discuss “P&Z Unanswered Questions”.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 2.25.09: All five commissioners were present at the meeting along with both Rob and Tom Morton to provide legal counsel, Nancy Cook to take the minutes and County Manager (CM) Steve Marro. Two items of note from last night's meeting are that the volunteers for county boards, etc. that do not have a requirement for a background check will no longer be required to submit to a background check. DFCS, Rec Authority Coaches, and the Fire Dept have more stringent requirements that will remain. It has been determined that Pike County was the only county around this area to have this stringent requirement.

Approving the minutes was an ordeal of sorts. There was a big discussion about the minutes and what was said and what wasn't. Parrish wasn't happy with how the minutes read and he had gone back and listened to the tape of the meeting to be sure of what was said. Don made a point of order to make a motion that they approve the minutes and if there is a need to go back and address the issue of combining Fire and EMA together at a later time, the commissioners could do that. 3-1 with Parrish voting against.

V. INVITED GUEST

A. Ben Carter, Carter Watkins Associates to present a cost estimate and construction update of the Courthouse facility: Our courthouse was designed by JD Duluth, a famous courthouse designer, who designed courthouses all over the Southeast. Ben gave the commissioners a run down of what will need to be done in order to renovate the Courthouse including the fact that everyone will have to be moved into another facility because of the dangers of lead paint, dust, mold, asbestos, etc. We are looking at a couple of million dollars to restore the Courthouse and make it usable for the next 100 years. A new facility will be a necessity prior to the restoration though. There are some small grants that are available to help with this and stimulus money may be a possibility as well. The BOC and the Board of Education need to meet and talk about that new building if it is a possibility so the hazard study can be done on it.

B. Jim Totten to present Pike County Fire Department first responders: Kenneth Riley, Michael Kuprian, Paul Hutchens, Joni Hellwig and Hannah Suddeth have attended 60 hours of training and testing in order to save lives. Joni Hellwig was present as one of the new First Responders who have completed training at the meeting last night. The others had scheduling conflicts but we are thankful that there now 15 in total who have completed their training and are available to help in times of crisis in our county.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: No suprises here.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: 1. The job posting for Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor is open to in-house bids. If none are received it will go to the newspapers (and on the county website) on Friday, February 27, 2009. There is a possibility of a salary position depending on experience. 2. I want to provide you a copy of the costs estimates from Hill Construction to repave 22.3 miles of roads in Pike County. The other 6 dirt roads will take some engineering to estimate costs for either triple-seal or paving and re-building. We are looking at $600,000 to $800,000 per mile. If easy then closer to the lower number and the higher number if need to have curb cuts, fills, etc. This list was composed in order to get projects ready to be submitted for stimulus money. 3. You should all have your update on the request from the last meeting in your packets. 4. GEMA has notified all of the counties that will receive $5,000.00 from them this year as opposed to $3,500.00 we used to get. We have to match this money dollar for dollar. This is self-explanatory. 5. Update on CATF committee meetings with the County Manager. We are progressing forward on the records storage issues with request submitted to all department heads and constitutional officers as where their records are stored and can we move them? As I have reported in prior addresses to the BOC, the school board has offered us two class rooms for storage and together with the C.A.T.F. we are targeting getting them stored chronologically and systematically in that location. The C.A.T.F. S.P.L.O.S.T. committee has met several times. We met together to get a grasp on current information that they need to help sell the new S.P.L.O.S.T The committee will begin assembling the process in earnest very shortly. Self-explanatory. 6. Please note the updated NACo Prescription Plan data in your packets. More people are taking advantage of this plan. 7. I have received an email back from Pete Nelms about the PDM process. GEMA has reviewed the first draft and has several insignificant recommendations to revise. He says he will get it revised and re-submitted to GEMA. It will then come back to Pike County for a public hearing and review. From there it goes to FEMA. [Note from the Editor: If you are living in a flood area and do not have flood insurance, you need to get it ASAP because it will be significantly more after this state and federal mandated program goes into effect.]

Update 3.3.09: C. Commissioners Report: District 1 Commissioner Willis: Concern about monthly writeup from Building and Grounds. CM to take care of this. District 2 and 3: None. District 4 Don Collins: Asked about the background check for volunteers. Said that Pike County is the only entity that requires a background check for volunteers and thinks that it is unnecessary. Some discussion about those that do require background checks such as the volunteer firemen and emphasis that this would not remove that requirement. Motion to eliminate background check for volunteers on boards and authorities that do not require a background check. 3-1 Willis opposed. Asked about the joint Board of Education and Board of Commissioners meeting. [Note from the Editor: Check the Calendar of Events page for this meeting as well as other workshops that are scheduled for next week.] The topic of the library building in Williamson was brought up and Commissioner Tommy Powers advised that he has asked to be on the next BOC agenda to get rid of the Williamson Library Building.

D. County Attorney Report: None.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS

1. Proposed text amendments to amend the code of Pike County Georgia to add Chapter 159 entitled US Hwy 19 and US Hwy 41 Overlay Districts: The Chamber of Commerce asked that this be postponed until the next meeting because the consultant was not available for this meeting time.

2. Proposed text amendments to amend the Code of Pike County Georgia to add Chapter 161 entitled Mailbox Construction Ordinance: This will no longer allow brick mailboxes, etc. that do not easily break away when a car hits them anywhere in the county except where there are posted speed limits of 25 mph or less such as you would find in a subdivision. This repeals the old ordinance. Citizens were allowed to speak in the public hearing both for and against this ordinance. Commissioners were concerned with grandfathering those mailboxes that currently exist. Commissioner Willis was forced to tear down his permanent mailbox. Emphasis was made on the ordinance going from this day forward and not being retroactive. Motion to deny by Commissioner Willis. No 2nd. Motion died for lack of a 2nd. Motion to approve. 3-1 Willis opposed.

3. SE 08-08 Bryan Ard is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning district to allow for a temporary residence in a recreational vehicle during the construction of a new home. The property is located along the west side of Union School Road in Land Lot 157 of the 9th Land District of Pike County, GA. Said property contains 12.08 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #034-052: The Board of Appeals said that the Zoning Administrator could approve this and that it should not have come before them for a hearing. The Zoning Administrator will be asking the BOC to refund the homeowner's application fee at a later part of this meeting.

4. SE 09-01 Inman J. Burford Jr. is requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning district to allow for a 3D Archery Range. The property is located along the south side of Wood Creek Road in Land Lots 197, 198 and 220 of the 1st Land District, Pike County, GA. Said property contains 52.31 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #052-004: This was deferred to a later meeting by the Board of Appeals and won't be heard at the meeting.

5. SE 09-02 Loretta Snowden, on behalf of Ron Snowden, is further requesting a Special Exception in an AR zoning district to allow for mud bogging. The property is located along the west side of US Highway 19 in Land Lot 232 of the 8th Land District, Pike County GA. Said property contains 9.92 acres and is further identified as Tax Map #069.017. [This came to the BOC with no recommendation from the Board of Appeals. See story below for more details.] There was a list of people to speak for and against this. Those who were on the list to speak would have three minutes each. A line of people came in from outside for this portion of the meeting. Concerns from commissioners were addressed with Ron putting an emphasis on the fact that he has tried to address every issue that has been brought to him. Ron told the commissioners that he does have liability insurance enough to cover this event. Opposed: The attorney read the letter from the McDaniels who have lived behind the property for 22 years and have an easement to get to their property. They complained about it taking 20 minutes to get out of their driveway and that visitors to their home have had problems being allowed to come to their house. Mary Sewell said that if this was a temporary event it had gotten out of hand and complained that she could not visit her parents' house when the event is going on. She asked the commissioners to think about if it was them or their parents living behind this property, asked who would be liable if someone got hurt or killed on the driveway, asked about spectator insurance up to one million dollars, and mentioned bulldozing without a silt fence. George Norris lives down the road about 1/2 of a mile and said that he was speaking for an adjacent property owner who could not attend the meeting. He spoke about the economic impact on the neighboring property, safety and utter disregard for others as well as Ron's disregard of the ordinances of Pike County. He said that Ron eliminated across the highway parking under pressure and asked what keeps Ron from expanding the pond like he did during the week prior to this weekend's event. Mrs. Norris spoke as well. She told of her personal experience around people who were rubbernecking and suggested a tall fence for a blind or beautiful trees that could be planted there. She was adamant about safety. She did say that this is good recreation for young people and children but asked if this is a good influence if what they are doing is illegal. In Favor: Jimmy Bass said that he supported Ron's endeavors. Said that he's been to a lot of meetings and had a problem with the way that Ron is being treated when the BOC has bent over backwards for other businesses with provisional licenses, etc. He said that we cannot keep operating with two sets of rules in Pike County and that changing the ruls for some creates problems. He said that this brings money into the county, there is no alcohol on the premises, and they're not doing this during worship services. John Morrison said that he'd been down there and enjoyed himself. Asked the BOC to approve with stipulations not to cross the highway for parking, require a separate permit, and hold him to the hours that he has already agreed to. Chris Nichols said that he has been there since the beginning, seen steps taken for safety, seen from young to older generation there and said that he thinks if this is given a chance, all of the problems could be worked out. Said he got a call from a guy that got in trouble for four wheeling on private property. Said that maybe this wouldn't happen if people had a place to go. Also compared four or five people complaining to 400 or 500 people enjoying it. Matt Stone said that he has children ages 7 to 15 and the kid want to go. It's a family event and he's working with his boy on a truck. He said that people from all walks of life are out there having a good time. Even teenagers are working together out there. Said that people are there for a common interest. Joey Mays said he is for this because it gives young people something to do. He said that he got in trouble in Spalding County and lost his license for two years for riding a four wheeler. Said that this brings people togethe and presented the BOC with a petition of eight sheets of paper with at least 400 people on it. Then Rob Morton read the editorial by the Osbolts that was printed in that week's Pike Journal Reporter. The letter said it was good muddy entertainment and a family activity--a place where teens and young adults could go to have fun. Said that it was a safe, local place to have fun and it helps businesses in the county too. End of public hearing. Discussion: Tommy Powers stressed that he had been out there and talked to Ron and Ron has done what has been asked of him. Don Collins asked if this was big enough to have required a land disturbance permit and was told no because it was not an acre of disturbance. David Allen also advised that another citation was given on Monday for the weekend's activities. Planning and Development Staff recommended denial. BOC members walked through criteria for a special exception and safety issues as well as improvements. Parrish Swift cited that his problem with this is the problem that the neighbors are having accessing their own property. The first big sticking point was the problem of access to the property behind Ron's property. The second big sticking point was that Ron held the mudbog this past weekend when he did not have a permit. The Board of Appeals had a 2-2 vote on this Thursday night because Ron told them that he was going to hold the mudbog this weekend regardless of the fact that he did not have a permit. Several of the commissioners said that they had no problem with the mudbog though the location was bad but the two above reasons were the big points of contention. Motion to approve was made by Tommy Powers. No 2nd. Motion died for lack of a 2nd. Motion to deny citing safety, etc. Discussion included 2 citations and no special exception and continued with the mud bog this weekend without a permit. Parrish stressed that the event is not the issue. He said that he can't get past the access to the property and that if parents or grandparents of supporters were in the position of that neighbor that they would have a problem with this too. Roosevelt Willis stress that he has no problem with mudbogging either but the location is a problem and neighbors have complained about noise to him. Vote was taken on the motion to deny. 3-1 with Tommy opposed.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Second reading of Adult Entertainment Ordinance: Question about the 2,500 feet was answered by the county attorney. There is justification on 1,000 from churches, etc. based on studies and 1,000 is substantiated in other AE ordinances that have been upheld in court. David Allen had also done some research and said that 13 out of the 20 municipalities that he researched had 1,000 with the rest ranging between 200 to 1,500 feet. Motion to approve with 1,000 feet. 4-0 [Note from the Editor: Thank you to the commissioners for approving this ordinance.]

B. Second reading of contractual agreement between Pike County and the Industrial Development Authority and C. Second reading of contractual agreement between Pike County and the Pike County Recreation Authority: These were approved together. 4-0.

More soon.

2.20.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
FEBRUARY 11, 2009
9:00 AM

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
     A. Tom Lacey or Tommy Burnsed from the Pike County Water Authority to discuss the inclusion of natural gas in their enabling legislature.
     B. Discussion of the appointment of Forrest Sanders to the DFACS Board-Risa Price to speak on behalf of DFACS
     C. Discussion of the contract to re-roof the 2nd District Fire Station

IX. NEW BUSINESS
     A. Discuss merging the EMA and EMS functions back into a singe line item/ single department and also merge the current 2008/09 budgets together.
     B. Request approval to issue RFP for Financial Services to lowest bidder.
     C. Discussion of contract to provide services for payment to the Georgia Department of Corrections
     D. Approve or deny contractual agreements for services with various component units of Pike County Government
     E. Request authorization for the County Manager to bring on an IT person
     F. Request permission to refund Mr. Joseph Reid $100.00 for overpayment of plats.
     G FY 2009 Bond Resolution #1

X. EXECUTIVE SESSION
     -Personnel-Fire Chief/Fire Department pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
     Carol Bass to discuss finances.

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Overall, this was a pretty short meeting. It ran from 9 a.m. until 11:47 a.m. including the Executive Session. All five commissioners were there looking very professional in their business attire. Nancy was there to take the minutes. The County Manager (CM) Steve Marro was there as well and both Rob and Tom Morton there to provide legal advice.

V. INVITED GUEST

A. Ben Carter, Carter Watkins Associates to present a cost estimate and construction update of the Courthouse facility: Mr. Carter was not present at this meeting. CM Marro apologized and advised that he did not know why Mr. Carter was not present.

B. Tom Morgan to present plaque to Aubrey Boswell for 18 years of service on the Pike County Board of Equalization: Congratulations and thanks to Mr. Boswell for his faithful service. A picture will be on the We Are Pike County page later.

C. Bill Roebuck to discuss changing “Oak Tree Road” to Bill Johnson Trail. Actual road name is Twin Oaks Pass (between Caldwell and Flat Rock Church Road). The Post Office has no problem renaming this road and neither does the BOC. Motion to approve 4-0.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities - All of the BOC members except for Tommy Powers asked for a summary report rather than the detailed reports that they are now receiving. The CM will have the full reports at the meeting so he can answer any questions that are asked. ACCG and McIntosh Trail are sending reports on the Georgia Legislature to the commissioners that go into their boxes. The East-West corridor came was talked about it and the BOC wants to be included. At some point, they will have to pass a resolution on where they would like to see it go. The CM has been talking to various entities from other counties and attending meetings on this corridor. A commendation was given to the office staff for having packets ready by Thursday on the previous meeting so the BOC members can read them ahead of time.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners

1. Update on the motion to consolidate costs for re-paving 6 roads, upgrading from dirt to pavement 6 roads, and the updated cost to renovate the Courthouse: Ben Carter had spoken to the CM earlier and advised that he would be at this meeting. An apology was given for his absence. Six roads that are in need of repaving were given at this meeting. Criteria that helped choose these roads for the first repaving were things like: bus route, heavily populated, highly travelled, connects 2 paved roads, main thoroughfare, severity of deterioration, and located off of a state highway. The six roads that were chosen for repaving include Zebulon-Hollonville Road (5.4 miles), Beeks Road (2.8 miles), Kings Road (3.8 miles), New Hope Road (6.6 miles), Hemphill Road (1.6 miles), and Reidsboro Road (2.1 miles fromMidway to Hwy 18). This will come to approximately $855,000 that the BOC will be asking for government help to repave with asphalt. Then the process of choosing dirt roads to pave or chip seal was discussed. From wikipedia: "Chip seal is a pavement surface treatment that combines a layer(s) of asphalt with a layer(s) of fine aggregate." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipseal. Proposed roads for this surface treatment include: Caldwell Road, Howell Road, McKinley Road, Melvin Brown Road, Old Zebulon Road, and Woodard Road. There was some discussion of a bond referendum for roads and fixing up the Courthouse.

2. Per the Board’s request, the financials and ‘signed’ BOC minutes were posted on the website within a day of the meeting: BOC minutes and financials were on the website on the day after the past meeting. They are working toward getting the financials and agenda online prior to each meeting as well. [Note from the Editor: This is a big step in the right direction and thanks need to be given to the BOC for insisting on this and the CM and Commission Office staff for getting this done!]

3. The National Fire Service has informed the Fire Chief of an opportunity to have the Pike County Fire Department featured in a training video: We can expect a new ISO rating for fire protection within the next month. The goal was to get this done by March 1st. Furthermore, the turbo drafts have been used and work very well at pulling water out of a lake to put out a fire. The National Fire Service has talked about using Pike Fire Service personel to make a turbo draft training video that will be seen all over the world.

4. All elected officials, component units of government and department heads were notified last Friday, Feb. 6th that the budget process has begun for the 2009/2010 fiscal year. An 8 month fiscal year is targeted.Last Friday began the the 2009-2010 budget process. Department heads and elected officials went through training yesterday. Effort is being made to make this as transparent as possible for the public. The new process includes capital assets, capital asset needs as well as replacements and a capital improvements plan with a 5 year history and line item details for needed items. There will also be a series of department goals and objectives for long-term planning. This is performance based budgeting and is an effort to get away from simply asking for the same amount every year plus an automatic increase in taxpayer dollars.

5. Pot-hole repairs have begun as the paving plants are now re-opened. Does the BOC have a policy on repairs to taxpayer’s vehicles when they have made repairs due to the pothole conditions in the County roads?: The pot hole plant opened up last week and Public Works is filling in pot holes again. (Citizens should call the Road Department to get pot holes put on the list to be filled. See the bottom of the Calendar of Events page for that information.) A request came in for the county to pay for a citizen's alignment that was damaged by hitting a pot hole. The county does not pay for this and is working to put something into writing on it.

6. A training report has been provided relative to Mr. Townsend’s training and Accreditations with the Carl Vinson Institute. This is a complete package of Financial training sponsored by ACCG that will provide him with a Certification in Public Finance. The training is being done per the BOC directions last year.: Sean Townsend is enrolled in classes that will have him taking his Finance I and II tests shortly. He will have certification at the end of this training that will be a big plus for the county.

Also: Predisaster Mitigation Plan is ahead of schedule. When it is completed, there will be a Public Hearing on it and the BOC will vote on it with the approved version going to GEMA. This will make Pike eligible for FEMA and GEMA grants. [Note from the Editor: Those who do not have flood insurance need to get that process started as soon as possible. Insurance will be much more expensive after this process is completed. To read about the Flood Mapping that is being done in Pike County, click on Past Stories and scroll down to the story entitled "Georgia Floodplain Mapping Program Coming to Pike County" which is dated 12.23.09. The stories go from top to bottom in date order with the latest stories being on the top.]

And: The Quality Control Review for 9-1-1 was conducted. 911 was commended for a substantial increase in response and accuracy and it was said that they had one of the best inspections in the state of Georgia.

Update 2.12.09: C. Commissioners Report

District 1 Roosevelt Willis: Roosevelt and District 2 Parrish Swift had looked at a culvert in need of repair on Turner Road. They were advised that Public Works is working on culverts on Caldwell and Perkins Roads now but they will replace Turner when they get done with these. Public Works is making the rounds in the county and working as quickly as possible. Roosevelt addressed a problem with Turner Road that he said he was instructed to do at a public meeting. Apparently a neighbor complained that another land owner had the Road Department do work on private property. Todd Goolsby explained that the road was narrow in this section so the Road Department widened the road and cut back the ditch but explained that the Road Department ONLY worked on the county right of way. He went on to say that there was a rumor going around that the Road Department is clearing a lot for a land owner over on Union School Road and that is not true either. He stressed that the Road Department does not do work for the public. In this case, they cut a bank back for a ditch. It was said that there are not many complaints about the Road Department anymore.

District 2 Parrish Swift asked why Hughley Road has not been designated as a school zone because of the high volume of traffic. Said that it might even need flashing lights and reduced speed and complained that it is dangerous because the state did not put in acceleration and deceleration lanes. Motion was made for the CM to address the Georgia Department of Transportation about the school zone and accel/decel lanes.

District 3 Tommy Powers: None.

District 4 Don Collins brought up the subject of mudbogging on Ron Snowden's property on Hwy 19 just outside of Zebulon. Don's question was whether the commissioners were going to allow the mudbogging to happen before the special exception is given for Ron to operate mudbogging on his property. There have been complaints of people paying to park in a field across the 4 lane highway and then walk across to the mudbogging, cars coming to a complete stop in the middle of the road to watch what is going on, and citizens have even been calling the Governor's Office about the mudbogging. The commissioners were advised that Ron has been cited twice on the past two weekends. The citations will go before Magistrate Court on February 26th and Ron Snowden will ask for a Special Exception for mudbogging on his property before the Board of Appeals for rezoning on February 19th. Don asked about the situation with the Community Meeting Room at the Library and was advised that the CM gave them a letter expressing the commissioners' concerns and was told by the librarian and the Chairman of the Library Board that the public was never told this. [Note from the Editor: See the Library Board Meeting article below for more information about their past meeting.] Don said that he would like to se a Human Resource Office in Pike County and that he would like to see a workshop where the commissioners discussed multiple subjects instead of many workshops for separate subjects. Commenting on the topic of Sean Townsend getting his certification, he asked if this also addresses proficiency in the financial software that the county is using. Said that we are not using the software to its capacity. Then he asked for signs to notify the public to call 9-1-1 when they enter the county on main thoroughfares. Was told that this would be addressed.

Chairman Doug Mangham: None.

D. County Attorney Report: Rob said that the PRD is being reviewed as well as the review of our ordinances to update them from 2002 until December of 2008. Hopefully this will be before the BOC by the end of the month. Said that the BOC needs to designate someone to keep up with this information and compile it in the proper places so the county does not have to go through this process again. When it is complete, those on committees will get a copy for their code books and it will go on the county website. Advised that the Planning Commission asked to repeal P-R Zoning in 2002.

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS

First Reading of Adult Entertainment Ordinance: Rob advised that this ordinance was worked on by the CATF Subcommittee on Zoning and Ordinance and has been before the Planning Commission. Said that the 2,500 feet requirement between adult entertainment establishments and schools, churches, etc. is longer than the 1,500 feet requirement that is found in other ordinances around the state. Said that the Planning Commission and the Planning and Development Staff recommended approval.

In Favor: John Morrison said that he is in favor of adopting this ordinance and asked about the 1,500 versus 2,500 feet requirement. Was advised that 2,500 feet had not been tested in court but said that this is the county's ordinance and we can write it any way that we want to. Becky Watts thanked the BOC for addressing this issue, said it's been a long time coming, and that I am very much in favor of this ordinance. [Note from the Editor: I have to point out that we, as a county, cannot outlaw adult entertainment establishments; however, we can make the rules stringent enough that an adult entertainment operation will prefer to go somewhere else because of the hoops that they have to jump through. My words and opinion here, of course.]

More soon.

2.7.09
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Pike County Library Board Met on Thursday

The Library Board met on February 5, 2009 at the J. Joel Edwards Library. [Note from the Editor: I have tried to attend at least one of all of the county boards and authorities meetings over the past two years. This was my first Library Board meeting. If you attend any of these meetings on a regular basis and would like to send a Guest Column on the proceedings of those meetings that are not on the website, please email me using the editor link at the top of the page.]

Here is a rundown of a few things that have been going on at the library. Two local writers donated their books to the library. Dwain Penn donated a copy of "Christmas Letters from the 20th Century" and Ann W. Yearwood donated a signed copy of "Redbird Farm". The Homeschool Program had a visitor when they met last time. Most of the kids read to the 140 pound therapy dog. It was stated that homebound students appreciate the library's services. (Mary Alice does a great job with the kids!) The Library Board had to meet in the Georgia Room since this was a day when tax help is offered to Pike citizens at the library. Pat said that the line started before the library opened this morning and they cut it off at 12:30 p.m. with the tax representatives working from 1-4 p.m. and later than that today. She said that tax help representatives will be at the library every Thursday until April 9th. And there was one day where it rained a lot and a blockage was a problem with the septic system. It was taken care of though five hours without bathrooms is not something that they want to do again.

The Library was mentioned in the past Board of Commissioners meeting because someone from the Historical Society had spoken to a commissioner and said that they were not going to be allowed to meet after library hours anymore for meetings in order to cut back on heating and cooling costs. The Library Board had received a letter from the County Manager Steve Marro who had been instructed by the commissioners to contact the Library Board and voice the commissioners' displeasure with this. Pat said that there had been a misunderstanding and gave an explanation of what had taken place. The Library Board as a whole basically said that if the commissioners say that they want the meeting room to be available then it will be available. Costs will be addressed at a later point if it they run overbudget. Those who want to reserve this meeting room must call the library and reserve specific dates for the room even if they have been meeting over certain times during the past year. If the meeting has been cancelled, the person in charge should call the library and notify them of this so the heating and cooling doesn't have to be turned on.

The Flint River Regional Library System has a new program for audio books. This includes Macs too. Browse at www.doc.frrls.net to check out and download popular audiobooks from the Georgia Download Destination website which is a virtual branch of the library that includes many of the same titles as the library. (See article above this for more information.)

There was discussion about improvements that need to be made at the library including the need for handicap-accessible doors. There is hope that Impact Fee money set aside for the library can be used for this. Changes will be made to the plants on the islands in front of the library when the weather is warmer. Volunteers and maybe a Boy Scout (or Girl Scout)troop could help with this. Cheryl Fulghum is the new Treasurer for the Library Board. She was elected to the position by those in attendance.

There was much discussion about Bylaws and the Constitution for the Library. There has been discussion in the past about whether to stay with just one library or go to a library system with the J. Joel Edwards Library in Zebulon being the main library with the possibility of a hub or satellite branch in Williamson where the old United Bank building was moved onto a piece of City of Williamson land last year. It has been established that the Board of Commissioners will have to approve any changes to the Bylaws and Constitution of the library. There was a great deal of discussion on whether to change to the Pike County Library System or remain as the Pike County Library. Members decided to come to an agreement and bring it before the Board of Commissioners. The first vote that was taken ended up with three members for it and three members against it with one member abstaining since she will not be on the board very much longer. After more discussion--some of it heated--another vote was taken. The final vote came out 4-2 in favor of going with the Pike County Library System. The Bylaws and Constitution will reflect this change when presented to the Board of Commissioners. On a side note, donations made toward the Williamson library building are tax deductible as they are going though the Pike Foundation. Discussion was tabled on whether to go to a 501(c)(3) for the library itself until later in the meeting.

New Business: The contract from the Board of Commissioners to the Library Board was reviewed and discussed. This contract is one that is being presented to all of the boards and authorities in the county and it addresses required yearly audits and other matters of importance. Authorization was given to the Chair of the Library Board to sign and return this contract to the County Manager.

Keith McClelland is attending grant writing classes and plans to use this new skill to get grants for the library. He has obtained a list of potential sources from this class that will be helpful. Discussion was held during the meeting about whether the library should become a 501(c)(3) so that donations could be tax deductible. This is a long-term solution for helping the library gain donations that will be on hold until the commissioners give approval about the Constitution and Bylaws of the Pike County Library System. Employee benefits and hours were discussed as well. The need for a written policy from the county was stated so that this can be properly addressed. The Library Board will begin working on the budget as soon as possible in order to meet upcoming deadlines for the short budget year that will be the transition for moving to a new year beginning and ending for the entire county.

The meeting began at 4:00 p.m. and ended about 5:45 p.m.

2.7.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JANUARY 27, 2009
6:30 PM

    E. Second Reading of Chapter 156.150-156.155 Text Amendments-PR
    F. Second Reading of Chapter 156.026-156.028 Variance and Special Exceptions
    G. Second Reading of Chapter 90-County Road Systems (Chapter 90.10-90.80)
    H Discussion/appointment to MHDDAD Planning Board

IX. NEW BUSINESS
    A. Severe Weather Awareness Week 2009 Proclamation
    B Bryant Beeland has requested a refund of $500.00 for rezoning fee
    C. Request approval of Special Exception with BOA approval-Scott family

X EXECUTIVE SESSION
    -Pending and Potential Litigation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1)

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
    Carol Bass to discuss zoning issues

XII. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.

Update 1.27.09: Tonight was a huge turnout for the county commission meeting. The commissioners made the decision to hold to move the meeting over to the Courthouse because there were too many people to fit into the regular meeting room. There were people lined up all of the way from the Courthouse doors to the sidewalk and I'm not talking in a single file kind of a line. (I am uploading pictures even as I type.)

Most were there concerning Teen Challenge, but there were still twenty or more people there at the end of the meeting which is pretty good considering that most people leave whenever their topic is finished.

A couple of things of importance that I will mention up front. The issue of Teen Challenge went through on a 3-1 vote with Tommy dissenting. There are stipulations that must be adhered to in order for the facility to operate in Pike County and there are repercussions if the stipulations are not followed. The P-R ordinance is on hold and a workshop will be held during the 90 day moratorium that is currently in place.

Update 1.28.09: The CM is not preparing a consent agenda at this time. He advised the BOC that they will need to review and adopt a Consent Agenda Policy before this will begin.

V. INVITED GUEST

A. Larry Lynch, Nelson Memorial Garden Club, to discuss the landscaping for the Lifsey Springs Fire Station: Larry presented the commissioners with the landscaping design with funding through the Nelson Memorial Garden Club. Motion to approve 4-0.

B. Annette Coward with the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss the ‘Complete Count Committee”: This was removed from the agenda at the meeting.

C. Jim Totten to present new first responders: Brian Michel, Peter and Jennifer Vennett, Tammy Shelton, and Jessica Rogers have passed their First Responder State Certification. All but Jessica (who was called into work) were present at the meeting last night and received a standing ovation for their hard work. These fire personnel have attended 60 hours of training and testing in order to save lives. Kenneth Riley, Michael Kuprian, Paul Hutchens, Joni Hellwig and Hannah Suddeth will be receiving theirs at the end of the February. EMT Basic and EMT Intermediate classes are tentatively being scheduled for March. [Note from the Editor: I apologize that this picture did not turn out because of the poor lighting in the Courthouse. It was very evident last night that we need to get the work done on the Courthouse asap.]

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities: There were no irregularities in the departments. The CM said that Impact Fees have dropped off significantly.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners: He advised that as of 4:15 or so that afternoon, he received notification from the Georgia Department of Transportation gave the notice to proceed on Turner Bridge Road. This means that Pike County will be reimbursed by the DOT for this $35,000 culvert that is needed to fix this road. Steve told the commissioners that the remodelling of the Courthouse will be on an agenda in February with an update from the company that wrote the original report on restoring the Courthouse.

C. Commissioners Report: District One Roosevelt Willis asked that a culvert on Turner Road be checked on. District Two Parrish Swift asked about uploading financials onto the county website. CM advised that these will be online tomorrow afternoon. District 3 Tommy Powers asked about the ISO fire insurance rating process. Pump testing and exercises are ongoing to show our procedures. This will help to lower our ISO fire ratings around the county and will be ongoing for the next couple of weeks. The goal is to try to lower our ISO by November of this year. District 4 Don Collins asked about whether the six roads that were asked for at the past meeting were ready for the commissioners to review and send on for possible financial help in paving. CM and Public Works Director are working on this list and should have it by next week. There will be a price per mile for resurfacing. They were asked to look at Zebulon-Hollonville Road too. Don asked the other commissioners if it would be fine for him to look into methods of funding to restore the Courthouse. There were no objections. The CM and Mr. Sell are meeting with the City of Zebulon to discuss the grounds soon. There is a possibility of getting dead trees replaced, etc. Don advised that the Chair of the Historical Society said that there has been a policy change at the Library in Zebulon that no longer allows citizens to use the meeting room outside of library hours. He was told that it was to keep down operating costs with heating, air, lights, etc. The CM is going to address this with the Library Board because the commissioners are not happy with this. The commissioners said that "this is not acceptable".

D. County Attorney Report: none

VII. PUBLIC HEARINGS

Reconsideration of Special Exception requested by Teen Challenge, previously considered as BOA 06-02, whereby Teen Challenge is seeking approval for the operation of a Teen Challenge Center on property consisting of 36.10 acres located on the east side of U.S. Highway 19 in Land Lots 178 and 207 of the 8th District of Pike County, GA:

This is called Prayer Mountain Boys Academy. Click here for their website. The meeting protocol was strict with only five people being able to speak in favor or against the facility. Three minutes was allotted for each person with a total of fifteen minutes. They signed up prior to the meeting.

In Favor: Margie Trammell said that she had already made the commissioners aware of her opinion that government being involved in this is a violation of church and state and said that she lives by the facility and is not afraid of it. Renee Peters said that she had no experience with the Prayer Mountain Boys Academy or Teen Challenge until November 15, 2008 when she worked with them on a service project. She found out that they help out in the community so her church has asked them to work with them on two projects and worship with them on another occasion. She started calling police chiefs and deputies in various places where there were Teen Challenge facilities and asked if they thought these students were a threat to the community and not one of them told here that these kids posed a threat. She said that they have never posed a threat for the past two years in Griffin and that she thought that the boys had been misrepresented in editorials. Dr. Randy Valimont, who is the Senior Pastor at Griffin First Assembly (and has an editorial on the Letters to the Editor page dated 12.12.08) said that he would never ask the BOC to do something that we haven't done. 700 children and over 1,000 people are on the church and school campus every day of the week, these boys have been in his home, and his daughter is marrying a counselor who was once a Teen Challenge student. Said that these boys will do no harm to the county and that there are over 250 Teen Challenge centers all over the world. Said that they have done everything that they were asked to do and to please allow this ministry to function. Update 1.29.09: An 18 year old young man who had just graduated from the Teen Challenge program gave his testimony. Nick said that he grew up in a Christian home but started hanging out with the wrong crowd and using drugs and alcohol. When his Mom died from cancer, he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with this loss. A few months into the program, he gave his heart to God and it changed his life. He said that all these Teen Challenge students want is a change in their lives… All they want is a chance. Prayer Mountain Boys Academy Director Greg Keylon then spoke and invited everyone from Pike County who supported Teen Challenge to stand. There were a lot of Pike supporters in the room. He then invited the students from Teen Challenge to stand and they received a round of applause from the room. Greg said that Teen Challenge was given a piece of property to help boys aged 13 through 18. He said that they strive to help teen boys make better choices in their lives through the love of God. He said that there have been no negative issues during the past 2 ½ years in Griffin and reiterated that the goal of Teen Challenge is to see restoration to God and their families. He asked for an opportunity to use the property for God and said that fear is only changed when we realize that God has not given us a spirit of fear. He said that a yes vote will give many teen boys a hope for the future.

Opposed: Rhoda Dunn spoke on behalf of the children, etc. and neighbors. She said that allowing Prayer Mountain Boys Academy to use this facility will change their way of life. She said that there will be no more walks to pick wildflowers with grandchildren and said that they do not want to live next to a multi-million dollar business. “We don’t deserve this… Our voices should matter… Why take a chance with our well-being and safety?... We feel it is just a business and we deserve better.” She gave a packet of information to the commissioners. Sheryl Dunn spoke next. He said that he is worried about his family and about the possibility that someone will break a window in his home to get a ride saying that people on drugs will do anything to get a fix. He was also worried about the hunters’ rights that have always existed on the mountain. He said that neighbors won’t be able to hunt or to use the land on the mountain anymore. Ronald Tyson spoke about his concern for the elderly people who are living around the facility. He said that he was not opposed to Teen Challenge but said that there are concerns that need to be addressed and would like to see this subject revisited at a later date so people can get more information. He also said that a lot of out of town people were in the audience in support of Teen Challenge. Raphael Brumbelow said that we all have family and property in the area of this multi-million dollar corporation. He said that it had nothing to do with age to begin with and cited information from the website that no locals even from adjoining counties will be accepted so it only helps people from other places. He told the commissioners that they are charged to take care of the welfare of citizens and that importing delinquents from other counties is not in the benefit of Pike citizens. Bill Gardner then spoke and cited his concerns about the safety of Pike citizens. He said that one incident is one incident is one too many. He said that there was controversy about Teen Challenge on the internet and that, if this is approved, he would like to see a stipulation added to force them to fence in the facility or add more security if there is even one incident.

At this point, the public hearing portion was then closed. Rob brought documents to the commissioners as a matter of record including a packet of those in support of Teen Challenge from 2006 as well as the emails and letters that have been received in support of late. Parrish said that he was not a commissioner in 2006 and that his vote only concerns those who have contacted him while he has been a commissioner. Roosevelt asked to address questions to Teen Challenge leaders and was given permission to do so. He asked if local kids could be accepted into this program. Greg Keylon advised that early on, they said that they would not accept kids from Pike County but that they would accept a student from Pike County if their parents were insistent even though it could be more difficult. Greg advised that a student could turn 18 during the 15 month program in Pike County but they would have to be able to finish the program while they were 18. Roosevelt then asked whether the program accepted felons and was told that some students have charges against them but the program is never an intervention from the courts—it from families only. No students are accepted with violent or sexual felony charges. Parrish then asked if their foundation would be required to operate with a business license that would have to be renewed each year. Yes. He asked about zoning permits, etc. for additions and was told by legal that these would be required as well and that they would be required to be zoning compliant. The expenses of caring for the students were then gone over with it being $80 per day or $2,450 per month. Security was next on the discussion list. There is a full security system on the dorm facility with a 24 hour staff of volunteers and full-time workers. They are aiming for a 3 to 1 ration of staff to students. The stipulations were read to the audience. STIPULATION 1: The student body of Teen Challenge Prayer Mountain Boys Academy shall be limited to boys from the ages of 13 to 18 years old. No student over the age of 18 shall be admitted to the Teen Challenge program at the Prayer Mountain Boys Academy in Pike County or be allowed to reside at the Prayer Mountain Boys Academy in Pike County. STIPULATION 2: If any student is convicted of bodily harm on any citizen of Pike County, while enrolled or in residence at the Prayer Mountain Boys Academy, the Pike County Board of Commissioners shall have the discretion to reconsider the Special Exception for the Teen Challenge Prayer Mountain Boys Academy under the criteria established by the Pike County Zoning Ordinance. Our zoning code was mentioned--Section 156.027--about the health, safety, and welfare of the people which was the reason for the denial of the rezoning two years ago. Parrish, not one to mince words, asked in reference to a violation of these stipulations, "We could shut them down?" Rob said yes.

Motion to deny was made by Tommy Powers. No 2nd so the motion died. Motion was made to approve with stipulations by Don with a 2nd by Parrish for discussion. Discussion: Tommy said that people in his district that contacted him on this were 3 to 1 against it and he had to vote what his District wanted. Parrish said that his calls were 9-1 in support. Final vote was 3-1 with Tommy opposed.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Don Bailey to give an update on the Friends of Pike County Animals: Don walked the commissioners through all that has happened since his friend and neighbor, Dolores Smith, was attacked by dogs at her own home in Pike County and died from wounds received during that series of dog attacks. He walked through it to the point that there was 8 different deputies that responded to three separate attacks (one deputy responded twice) and how the incidents were handled because we do not have animal control in Pike County. He said that there are letters of support from the cities for animal control, that there has been an animal control workshop, an animal control ordinance is supposed to be in the works though it hasn't come back before the commissioners, and a site has been investigated but it hasn't been set as the official site for the animal control facility. Friends of Pike County Animals is WILL SOON BE a 501(c)(3) (thanks Don!) and has been fundraising for the facility but it is hard to do if the county hasn't designated a site. And he reiterated that the City of Zebulon had discussed the donation of a modular building that could be set in place for when the county had an animal control ordinance and was ready to roll on this. He closed by saying that it has been almost two years since his dear friend was attacked and said that it was up to all of us to make this possible. Discussion: The commissioners had talked about the old chipper site inside of the chain link fence as a possible location and the Health Department even said that this would be an acceptable location, but it hasn't been officially designated. Motion to designate the land at the old chipper site inside of the chain link fence as the site of the future animal control facility by Don with Parrish 2nd'ing for discussion. If a better spot is located, the BOC can change the site of the future animal control facility. Final vote was 3-1 with Tommy opposed.

Don Bailey to give an American Legion Post 197 update: Don asked that this item be removed from the agenda and this was done at the meeting.

Update 2.2.09:

B. Second Reading of Proposed 2008-2009 Jail Construction Budget: This change was made at the suggestion of our auditors and acted on in the January morning meeting. Motion to approve 4-0.

C. Second Reading of Safety Coordinator Ordinance: An employee is doing the work included in this position without additional pay so the county can receive discounts on insurance. This was acted upon in the January morning meeting as well. Motion to approve 4-0.

More soon.

1.23.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REVISED AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JANUARY 14, 2009
9:00 AM

     F. Discuss Requirements #2 and #3 of the current Pike County Mailbox ordinance
     G. Petition the official abandonment of an unused and unimproved road; the portion near Huff Creek Road in extreme northwestern Pike County
     H. Discuss certain fee changes and additions within the overall schedule of permit and application fees for the Pike County Planning and Development Office.
     I. Appoint one (1) member to the Recreation Authority
     J. Roosevelt Willis has requested a tax refund for years 2005, 2006 and 2007
     K. Appointment of Board of Commissioners Vice-Chairman

X. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)
     A. John Morrison to discuss the County Manager and ‘Planning and Zoning’.

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Agenda subject to revision.


Update 1.12.09: THERE WERE TWO REVISIONS TO THE AGENDA TODAY. THE REVISIONS TO THE WEBSITE ARE COMPLETE AND UP TO DATE AS OF THE END OF THE BUSINESS DAY AT 5 P.M. I applaud the BOC (the CM and Nancy especially!) for ensuring that the public knew about these revisions as soon as possible by sending out revisions through email so that the public could be informed.

Update 1.14.09: Today was incredibly long meeting. It lasted from 9 a.m. until about 1:40 p.m. this afternoon. All five commissioners were there along with Nancy to take the minutes, County Manager (CM) Steve Marro, and both Rob and Tom Morton. Rob had to leave the meeting early. Chairman Doug Mangham said that he would not vote unless his vote was needed to break a tie and that is how the meeting went with Doug only voting twice during the meeting. Discussion at the Strategic Planning Session was to move the invited guests to the front of the agenda and this is why Mark Hardison's presentation was moved to the front of the agenda. The Meeting Protocol Ordinance will soon reflect this change.

V. Presentation by Mark Hardison of Clifton, Lipford, Hardison & Parker, regarding discussion of the fiscal year date changes. (THIS ITEM WAS MOVED HERE FROM UNFINISHED BUSINESS.) The BOC laid out the reasons for changing the fiscal year to a June ending rather than October 31st ending as it is now. One of the main reasons is to match the state's fiscal year. The CM talked to all of the authorities--Recreations, Water and Sewer, etc.--and they are in agreement with this. Motion to start leave the current fiscal year as it is (ending on October 31, 2009) and make preparations for an eight month budget that will begin on November 1, 2009 and end on June 20, 2010. Approved with a 4-0 vote.

VI. REPORTS FROM COMMISSIONERS, DEPARTMENTS, COMMITTEES AND AUTHORITIES.

A. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities. A question was asked about the vacant Building and Grounds Supervisor position. Mike Betts has applied for long-term disability and cannot work at this time. The commissioners were concerned about oversight and filling the position. The CM and Public Works Director Todd Goolsby have been in discussion about bringing Building and Grounds under the Road Department so there will be oversight for the department. Also talking about conducting interviews for this position in the future. The commissioners agreed to this in a 4-0 vote.

B. County Manager Report presentation to Commissioners
1. Discussion of Pike County’s usage of the NACo Prescription Plan through November, 2008. There are five people who have taken advantage of this program to buy discount prescriptions at a savings of 53%. This program is absolutely free. For more details, go to www2.caremark.com/naco/. Details are also available on a white and brown information card at the Board of Commissioners Office Window.

Update 1.16.09: 2. Discussion of contracts of understanding and performance between Pike County and its component units. Component units are the different authorities that operate under the supervision of the Board of Commissioners like the Water and Sewer Authority, Pike Clean and Beautiful, Recreation Authority, etc. This is simply a document that will outline what is expected of them from the County. Each agreement will be reviewed by all parties and then individually approved (or placed on a Consent Agenda--Editor's Note) when the agreements are completed.

3. Discussion of the conceptual difference between ‘road closure’ and ‘road abandonment’. Pullians, Nixon, and Hebron Roads prompted this discussion. Simply put, if someone gets hurt on a closed road, the county could have some liability. Attorney Rob Morton clarified that this is approving the process of abandoning the road so letters can go out to property owners and formal notices be placed in the paper in order to allow property owners to address their concerns at a public meeting. Approved 4-0.

4. Consideration of a Safety Coordinator Resolution. This resolution was approved by the prior board and sent to the proper agencies where it has been lost somehow. The BOC has been asked to reapprove this resolution and sent it again so we can work with ACCG and liability insurance group so we can get credits for worker's compensation, etc. Chris Goodman is assigned with this project and is going to school for this.

Update 1.17.09: 5. Discussion of the proposal from PST, Inc. for Diversity training and Manager/Supervisor training. This was the only group to respond to this RFP and it would only apply to employees under the supervision of the CM--so it would not include those in elected officials' offices. Total would be for $5,500. The commissioners only talked about this one for a few minutes and the consensus was that we do not need this. Discussion was that this could be included in the employee manual. Each employee is required to sit through a meeting with the CM and the county attorney where the Personel Manual is explained to them and they have to sign off that they understand it. Motion to not have this training from PST, Inc. 4-0 6. Review of final determination of annexation of the Pike Feed & Seed parcel into the City of Zebulon. The notice also announces a ‘voting district’ change per the City’s statutes. The commissioners had all of the information on this, but there was next to nothing said at the meeting. 7. Copy of the pay-out schedule due for the first week in February to the cities on their portion of the S.P.L.O.S.T. funds. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is a one cent tax that we voted into place so the county can collect money for special projects without taking it out of the pockets of home owners. This is the only fair tax because everyone who comes through Pike County and buys groceries, gas, or whatever else pays on it. The cities were included in this SPLOST and will be spending their funds on (or have already spent their funds on) their projects. The cities will get a payout from the SPLOST in February.

8. Discussion of “Consent Agenda” concept. Examples of items that would go on a Consent Agenda would be the approval of 10 or 12 beer and wine licenses that are approved every year for the same places. It is a way to speed up the BOC meeting. And if commissioners saw something on it that they didn't like, they could pull individual items off of the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Powers said that he was satisfied with the way that we do things now. Commissioners Willis and Collins like the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Swift asked for clarification. Said that beer and wine licenses would be ok but that the CM would have to make policy on this. Personnel matters, monetary matters, and public hearings would not be on it and the Consent Agenda items would be on the regular agenda for the public to review. Commissioner Powers made the motion to leave the agendas as they are. Seconded by Commissioner Swift. 2-2 vote. (Keep in mind that there must be an approval vote with 3 or more commissioners in order for something to pass.) Motion to go with a Consent Agenda. Approved 3-2 with Powers and Swift voting against it.

C. Commissioners Report.
District 1 Willis-none.
District 2 Swift-Had a call about a driveway permit fee of $50 for an existing driveway and asked whether it would be appropriate to refund this fee. Clarified that this driveway is existing but it is not up to code as a construction entrance and that he did not need pipe but he still had to have the required inspection so there will be no refund and policy was followed.
Hollonville Fire Station. Said that they have three drive through bays and want an additional door to use the back of the station so they can use what would be 40% dead space without it. The door would only be $3,300 if framed in and included now--not including the door opener that would be required and will be voted on at a later date. It would cost much more if done at a later date. Fire Chief Danny Henderson was asked to explain this to the commissioners. Because this fire station is the final one to be completed with a new fire chief on board and addressing a front end issue rather than after the fact, this station is going to get the extra door. Motion to approve the extra door for $3,300. 4-0.
Commissioner Swift has agreed to go to a grant writing school so he can help write grants for the county. There is a cost to the school but getting just one grant could wipe out that cost. (I think it was $999 for the school. The county has been struggling with finding someone to write grants for us so we can get equipment, etc. that is needed and we do not have to pay back the grant. Motion to approve. 3-0-1 Commissioner Swift abstained.
District 3 Commissioner Powers-asked about potholes in county roads. Was informed that the asphalt plant is closed this week for maintenance but should be back up and running next week. Hollonville-Concord Road and Kings Road are on the list.
District 4 Commissioner Collins-read a statement and then spoke about the President's economic stimulus plan that will make money available to various projects. The Courthouse restoration project is ready to be moved on. It is not an engineer ready project, but the preliminary work has been done. $15,000 spent back in 2005 on this. Said we could possibly get some county roads paved. Asked the CM to bring a list of six roads that need to be paved--with the approval of all of the BOC members--so we can get started on this for future stimulus money.
Said that five watershed projects are underway in Pike County. Talked about the brick project around the Courthouse and the need for better looking flower beds around the Courthouse. Said that the Crepe Myrtle Club works to keep the outside beds cleaned up but the rest needs to be assigned and taken care of. Asked that the volunteer form include something to ask volunteers for boards and committees to come to the BOC meeting so commissioners can put a name with a face. [Note from the Editor: This is ironic because a volunteer sat through this 4 1/2 hour meeting and was not acknowledged for whatever reason. She deserves an apology for that oversight and no one else should ever be treated that way. We all should have spoken out--even me with the good chance that I would get gavelled down for speaking out of turn--and it just did not happen.] Gave support to the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) as a valuable asset to the BOC and asked the BOC to consider asking the CATF to work on SPLOST and storage of records for the county.
District 1 Willis-Asked about Turner Bridge Road. CM advised that the GA Department of Transportation has moved this project from 2009 until 2014. Said that the DOT had the amount down to $35,000, that the county did what it was supposed to do on this, but that they haven't gotten back to us on this. The CM was given direction to keep on trying to work with the DOT on this and have something by the next meeting.

Update 1.21.09: :D. County Attorney Report: Rob Morton advised that the status on the Pike Code of Ordinances is complete, but final revisions could not be made before the meeting today so it had to be pulled off of the agenda. It should be available in draft form through electronic means by the end of the January. It will then go before the Planning Commission on February 12th and come before the BOC on February 24th for formal ratification. There were problems locating some documents that were needed for the final completion of the code.

VII. EXECUTIVE SESSION - PENDING LITIGATION PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1) and PERSONNEL-ADMINISTRATION PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6): Motion to go into Executive Session at 10:17 a.m. Back into Open Session at 11:15 a.m.

VIII. PUBLIC HEARINGS: Consider Ratification of the Pike County Code (THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.) See County Attorney comments to read the explanation.

A. PR-Planned Residential Development-Chapter 156: Public Hearings were held first. In favor: Jimmy Bass said that he thinks density should be much lower to create better development in the county. He doesn't want to see Pike County lower its standards. John Morrison asked why the BOC has two documents on this and he and other members of the Planning Commission were only given one. He was outspoken about the Staff Recommendation on PR. Update 1.24.09: Clarification was given saying that this document was passed out in the Planning Commission meeting. John was adamant about the document. There were three major differences between what the Planning Commission recommended and what was recommended by Planning and Development. John asked that the BOC consider a requirement for 30 feet between the street and the building since many carports are enclosed and the cars have to be parked out on the street. He asked that the BOC consider the recommendation of the Planning Commission over that of the staff at Planning and Development. Carol Bass asked for clarification on a few things like do we have a P-R ordinance (yes) and are we upgrading the ordinance (yes) and will this be by text amendments to the existing ordinance (yes). She then asked the commissioners a point blank question how will the staff recommendation of 10 units per acre benefit the citizens of Pike County. She received no answer and was told to address her concerns. She said that citizens just paid for a brand new school and it has trailers for our students because we do not have enough space now. More children with this 10 units per acres and citizens will have to pay for services for these students. She said that the cost of services will far offset the benefits.

Discussion: Parrish agreed that the school system has outgrown itself as soon as the students walk into the doors. It was confirmed that there is a P-R ordinance currently and that the staff recommendation is closest to the existing version of the ordinance. Square footage of units was modified by Planning and Development. Parrish and Tommy spoke against the P-R period. A question was asked if the BOC could make a motion to amend square footage or density of units with the specific suggestion to go with 6 units per acre instead of 10. (Current P-R allows 10 units if there is public water and sewer.) Parrish asked if they could make a motion to go with 6 units per acre. Parrish made a motion to go with 6 units per acre but later struck it. Don said that this is text amendments to the P-R ordinance and that, at a later time, some of these other issues can be resolved with the ordinance. He went on to say that he didn't think that a public hearing was the time to be modifying what has been recommended to the commissioners. Don made a motion to adopt the text changes as recommended by staff. Second by Roosevelt. Doug voted with them for a 3-2 majority vote. Parrish and Tommy dissenting. [Note from the Editor: Please note that this was the first reading only. The second reading is scheduled for Tuesday night's meeting.]

B. Changes to Chapter 156.026-156.028 Variance and Special Exceptions: Rob explained that this went through the CATF Subcommittee on Zoning and Ordinances. This is a result of previous litigation that allows those who are in violation of our ordinances because of a technicality through no fault of their own to be allowed to ask for a review of their application based on criteria. Before someone was denied to be a part of the process period. No one spoke in the public hearing portion. Motion to approve 4-0.

Update 1.26.09: C. Chapter 90 County Road Systems: Rob explained that this ordinance also went through the Citizens Advisory Task Force (CATF) Subcommittee on Zoning and Ordinance prior to the review by the new staff of Planning and Development and going to the Planning Commission. No one spoke in favor during the Public Hearing portion. Several had concerns that were included in the against part of the meeting. Doug Rounds is a tree farmer and had several concerns with this. He said that logging trucks were addressed in the original ordinance and that this ordinance invades both privacy and property rights--specifically Section F that has a 50 foot buffer on the right of ways. Doug pointed out that this buffer on a specific piece of property that he has will deprive him of cutting 21,096 trees costing both him and the county a significant amount of money since the county wouldn't be getting tax on those trees either. He gave commissioners a copy of an email from Lee Milby from Georgia Forestry. Lee's email said that a 50 foot buffer is a group of weakened trees that are used to having support from the rest of trees that are also susceptible to lightning strikes and fires. Doug then addressed a part of the ordinance that says no development for two years after cutting. He pointed out that the CATF did not have input from the forestry community on this ordinance. Asked to have E,F, and G struck from the ordinance. Bobby Blalock said that small buffers leave trees open to wind damage, trees, etc. when trees are left in a small strip. Carol Bass is a member of the CATF Subcommittee on Zoning and Ordinance and said that the group did not realize the things that Doug pointed out. She said that we did something wrong and that she hoped that the BOC would listen to Doug's concerns and change this part of the ordinance. Parrish then pointed out that earlier in the meeting, he had asked a question about whether the commissioners could change an ordinance during the first hearing and he was told no. He asked if this was doing the same thing because the BOC was talking about removing E,F, and G from the ordinance. Rob clarified that this is the first reading and that commissioners can change ordinances now and they can change them during the second reading too. John Morrison then spoke in support of what Doug and Bobby said. Suggested that a bonefied tree farmer could be made exempt from the ordinance. Public hearing was then closed. Discussion: Rob said that the issues discussed by Doug have been addressed by the CATF and by the Planning Commission. He said that the intent is to keep away from clear cutting property and leaving a buffer for asthetics. Said that he had a concern with making anyone exempt from the ordinance. Said that Rounds could apply for an exemption to the ordinance. Rob said that the BOC did not have to take action on this ordinance today or that they could have this as a first reading and schedule a workshop on this. Current buffer description was defined and Planning and Development staff said that they had no objection to deleting sections E,F, and G because they are working to address this with another ordinance. David Allen said that he agrees with what Bobby said about the tree buffer. Don said that he has no problems eliminating F and G but not E because of best management practices. It was then said during discussion that section E is state law so it wasn't necessary in this ordinance. Motion to accept as first reading with omission of Sections E,F, and G. Approved 4-0.

D. SE 08-07 Joyful Tabernacle of Praise Church, Hill Street, Concord: This was tabled by a 4-0 vote until later in the meeting to be sure that it was in the county.

E. Revised final Plat Approval for Irish Hill Estates: Staff recommended approval. Public Hearing: In favor: None. Against: John Morrison said that this parcel is less than the 3 acres that is required A-R zoning. Said that he recommended denial because it is in violation of our ordinances. Also said that he had not seen this final plat before the Planning Commission. Brenda Shaw said that subdivision regulations do not require that this Final Plat go before the Planning Commission but only to the Board of Commissioners. It is a reduction from 4 acres to 3 acres and that the new lot is 2.2 acres. Discussion included subdivision ordinance minimum being 2 acres. Close of public hearing. Rob clarified that this is legal. Motion to approve. 4-0.

Update 1.27.09: Rob asked to address a couple of items before he left so they were taken out of order.

The Homestead Exemption matter could not be addressed during the past session of the Georgia Legislature so the BOC needed to sign the Resolution needed for Item C. They also need to sign a Resolution to rename Pike County roads as dedications. Rob also suggested that the BOC enter into a moratorium for 90 days on accepting any applications for P-R (Planned Residential) in the county. He clarified that it would not affect the pending application because that development would be based on the current legislation. Motion to place mortorium for 90 days on accepting any applications for P-R. Approved 4-0.

VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS

A. Request to fill an appointment on the Region One MHDDAD Planning Board: This vacancy has existed for 2 years on the Mental Health Development, Disabilities, and Addictive Diseases Planning Board. This is a regional board in need of a Pike County representative and is being advertised through the Board of Commissioners. An application can be picked up in the Board of Commissioners' Office next to the Sheriff's Department in Zebulon. Motion to continue to the next meeting. Approved 4-0.

B. David Thompson has filed a Tax Refund/Relief Application: Need three affirmative votes to give this refund or deny it. The Tax Assessor is opposed to this refund. It has been pending since 2004-2005 with no appeal and this home owner never filed anything contesting the amount that they were being charged. Discussion: It looks like a two story house but it is not. Roosevelt said that this county has a problem with homeowners' property being guessed at as far as the layout of the house. Suggests that plans be submitted to Planning and Zoning when the home is built so there will be no guessing at the layout. He asked how a homeowner can appeal when they don't know what is on the notice. The County Manager suggested that the commissioners have a workshop with the Tax Assessor's Office on this. CM said that they are not trying to pin blame on anyone but this problem has to be addressed because it has been a problem for a long time. He also said that software was purchased last year to help stop this. Motion to refund Mr. Thompson. Approved 3-1. (I do not know who opposed this at this time.) CM was instructed to set up a workshop on this. Rob left the meeting at this point and Tom Morton provided legal advice for the county from this point forward.

Don Bailey to give an update on the Friends of Pike County Animals (THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.)

Don Bailey to give an American Legion Post 197 update (THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.)

C. Confirm Homestead Exemption: Discussion: This is a formality to send this through Representative Maddox to the Georgia Legislature. The Board of Assessors voted to keep 2007 values last year instead of going with the 2008 evaluation that was flawed. Approved 4-0.

D. Confirm name dedication of roads: In 2008, the BOC voted to dedicate various highways to Shi Holmes, Donnie Dickens, and one as a Pike County Veterans Memorial Highway. This is a formality to get the resolution to the Georgia Legislature which will vote to approve it during this session. Approved 4-0.

E. ADA Contract: Bids were taken to finish out these items using SPLOST money. Remodelling bathrooms, handicap accessible doors for the Courthouse, new ramp for Planning and Zoning along with handicapped parking, a few final items out at the Recreation Complex, etc. The county tried to get this done through the help of a State of Georgia prison crew but the crew is no longer available to counties. We Furbish, a Pike County company, was the low bidder at $49,000. Motion to use low bidder to finish up ADA items. Approved 4-0.

IX. NEW BUSINESS

First Reading of Ratified Code (THIS ITEM WAS REMOVED FROM THE AGENDA.)

A. Richard Schmude has requested to use the Courthouse grounds on Feb. 26, 2009 for a Venus viewing at 7:00 p.m. Motion to accept request. Approved 4-0.

B. First Reading of the Proposed Budget for 2008-2009 Jail Construction Fund: This is anticipated revenues and expenses for this budget item. Auditor recommended this. Motion to accept request. Approved 4-0.

C. FY 2008 Budget Amendment #2-Sanitation Fund (540): Ditto for this one. Motion to accept request. Approved 4-0.

D. Discussion of Elliott Lane: Elliott Lane and Elliott Road are directly across the highway from each other and that could be why this item was on the agenda, but none of the commissioners put this item on the agenda so it was postponed until the next meeting. 3-1. (I did not see who dissented on this.)

E. Bobby Blalock, CATF Chairman, to discuss what projects the Board of Commissioners would like them to help with: Blalock and Merritt Spier are Co-Chairs on the CATF. Bobby said that the Comprehensive Plan is due at the end of this year. A large group of citizens put this together initially and the CATF is willing to help. He was advised that Planning and Development is working on this at this time and will let the CATF know when it can help with this. Bobby said that SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax - a one cent tax on everything bought in Pike County also called a fair tax since everyone pays on it instead of just homeowners) is being brought up to date. CM advised that letters went out to the cities to ask them to account for their expenditures so the BOC can show accountability to the citizens for the entire amount. Bobby invited the BOC and the CM to attend CATF meetings on the first Thursday of every month. He also asked that the CM allot one hour of time each month meet with CATF leaders. He also asked that the BOC review any applications on file for the CATF so that the seven open slots can be filled. Bobby mentioned the DOT bypass around Zebulon as a possibility for Obama's stimulus program for Pike County. Merrit Spier asked that the BOC to assign some work to the CATF because the citizen members are ready to work for the county. Don't assign us anything and we won't work, he said. CM said that the Personnel Policy needed to be tightened up and that this was a possibility. Also said that the county needs help with Records Retention. This will be an involved project with a catalog of items that we have, what can be kept in particular forms, and then storing it. He said that the Board of Education has made two large classrooms available for the county to have for a records retention facility at the old Middle School. It will only be available to those who have records in those rooms. Asked for help from the CATF on this.

[Note from the Editor: There is more to come on this meeting. I will also report on the spat that went back and forth between a member of the Board of Commissioners and Mr. Morrison. I am not happy to say that it appears citizen input is being severely curtailed by this BOC. Those who are serving the county and even those who don't might offer insight on a topic that had not occurred to commissioners and it could save some trouble for the county later to hear what they have to say--even if it is kept very brief. I did not support our past Chairman in a lot of things, but at least he let the people speak at Town Hall Meetings and would allow a short comment from citizens who volunteer on our our Boards.]

See the Post Agenda below if you want to see what happened before I can get almost 5 hours and 10 pages of notes uploaded here.

1.10.09
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BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
POST AGENDA
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
JANUARY 14, 2009
9:00 AM

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: 5 Chairman Doug Mangham, Commissioner Tommy Powers, Commissioner Roosevelt Willis, Commissioner Parrish Swift and Commissioner Don Collins were present. Also present were County Attorney Tom Morton, County Attorney Rob Morton and County Manager Steve Marro.
1. approval of the agenda as written
2. approval of the minutes as written (December 10, 2008 meeting)
3. approval of the motion to start the process to change the fiscal year, coordinated by his accounting firm and county manager. Eight (8) month period of November 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. Start the new fiscal year July 1, 2010.
4. approval of motion to approve the monthly reports from departments, committees and authorities
5. approval of the motion to approve the process to be used to abandon a road
6. approval of the motion to consider first reading of the Safety Coordinator Ordinance
7. approval of the motion to forego diversity training
8. motion was made to leave the agenda as is (discussion of consent agenda) motion died
9. approval of the motion to move to a consent agenda
10. approval of the motion to accept the fire chief’s recommendation (side door on B/C corner on Hollonville Fire Station $3,300.00 including door and framing.)
11. approval of the motion for Commissioner Parrish Swift to go to grant school and for the county to incur the cost.
12. approval of the motion to go to Executive Session at 10:16 am
13. approval of the motion to exit Executive Session at 11:14 am
14. approval of the motion to adopt the text changes in the PR section 156 as recommended by the staff
15. approval of the motion to approve (changes to Chapter 156.026-156.028 Variance and Special Exceptions)
16. approval of the motion to accept as first reading with the omission of paragraphs e, f, and g (Chapter 90-County Road Systems)
17. approval of the motion to table SE 08-07
18. approval of the motion to approve (the revised final plat approval for Irish Hill Estates)
19. approval of the motion to put a moratorium for 90 days for accepting any more PR applications
20. approval of the motion to continue until the next meeting the request to fill an appointment on the Region One MHDDAD Planning Board
21. approval of the motion to refund Mr. Thompson the amount of money that is calculated that is owed to him for those last three years.
22. approval of the motion to approve (2009 Resolution endorsing Homestead Exemption and Real Property Valuations)
23. approval of the motion to approve (2009 Resolution endorsing proposed road dedications for Shy Gray Holmes, Donnie Dickens, Trooper Tony M. Lumley, and the Pike County Veterans.)
24. approval of the motion to reopen SE 08-07 (tabled earlier in this meeting)
25. approval of the motion to approve SE 08-07 (Joyful Tabernacle of Praise Church, Hill Street, Concord)
26. approval of the motion to go with the low bidder to finish your ADA project (We Furbish was low bidder)
27. approval of the motion to accept the request (of Richard Schmude to use the Courthouse Grounds on February 26, 2009 for a Venus viewing at 7:00 pm)
28. approval of the motion that we amend the budget accordingly (First Reading of the Proposed Budget for 2008-2009 Jail Construction Fund)
29. approval of the motion to approve the budget amendment (#2-Sanitation Fund (540))
30. approval of the motion to postpone to the next meeting (discussion of Elliott Lane)
31. approval of the motion to revise the current ordinance (Pike County Mailbox Ordinance)
32. approval of the motion to abandon (the portion near Huff Creek Road in extreme northwestern Pike County.)
33. approval of the motion to adopt the new fee schedule (permit and application fees for the Pike County Planning and Development Office.)
34. approval of the motion to appoint Don Bohensky (to the Recreation Authority)
35. approval of the motion to refund Roosevelt Willis (for years 2005, 2006, and 2007-$1396.68)
36. approval of the motion to appoint Tommy Powers as Vice Chairman for the next 12 months.
37. approval of the motion to adjourn at 1:42 pm

1.16.09
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Board of Commissioners Holding Workshops

A Strategic Planning Session was held today from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with the Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and Pike County department heads in attendance. A representative from the Carl Vincent Institute of Government, University of Georgia, Athens facilitated the meeting.

[Note from the Editor: I have requested information about this meeting since I did not know about it in advance and could not attend. I found out about this meeting by phone call this afternoon. I have checked last week's Journal Reporter and did not see a public notice for it. If I missed it, someone please let me know. Otherwise, I am looking into why these work sessions were not in the newspaper.]

There is a workshop/work session tomorrow that is open to the public tomorrow as well. The Board of Commissioners is holding a work session at the United Bank Lake House on January 7th at 9 a.m. The Lake House is located at 9038 US Highway 19 North.

Citizens can find this driveway by driving toward Griffin from Zebulon and turning right into the asphalt driveway just past the entrance of Freshway. The driveway has a large black gate gate and leads past a couple of smaller houses to a large house at the end of the asphalted driveway with an open carport. [Note from the Editor: I drove it today so I could be familiar with it, but I cannot attend the entire meeting tomorrow due to a prior commitment. If anyone attends this meeting, feel free to contact me and let me know what you thought about the meeting.]

According to the Sunshine Laws which are linked at the bottom of the advertising bar on the side of page, public meetings and workshops are required to be notified to the public by posting them on the window of the office and notifying the Journal Reporter which is the official legal organ for the county. This means that the Journal Reporter posts all of the official meetings, workshops, etc. in their newspaper.

[Note from the Editor: Both notices were properly posted on the window at the Board of Commissioners Office, but I believe that being in leadership sometimes calls for going above and beyond what is required in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety.]

Update 10:00 p.m.: I have talked to a couple of citizens who attended today's meeting. I was told that it was a time of the new board and department heads talking and basically getting on the same page. A problem or potential problem could be aired in a neutral atmosphere like this and a solution could be worked toward or even a problem solved so it won't happen in the future. I don't have a problem with this. However, it will be to the BOC's benefit to ensure that work sessions and workshops are well publicized in the future to ensure that there are no accusations of any kind. I have requested, according to the requirements of the Sunshine Law in O.C.G.A. §§ 50-14-1(C), that future work shops and work sessions to be emailed to the Pike County Times so I can upload them in order to help ensure that the public is properly notified of meetings.

Update 1.7.09:

Today's work session was interesting. It was a building session that continued from yesterday's meeting that was facilitated by the representative from the Carl Vinson Institute.

I attended most of the morning session since I did not know about this meeting until yesterday afternoon and had a prior commitment. The session continued when I left and the commissioners are going to meet with the County Manager (CM) this afternoon.

Commissioners Roosevelt Willis, Parrish Swift, Don Collins, and Chairman Doug Mangham were in attendance at the meeting. Tommy Powers could not attend this morning but was supposed to attend this afternoon.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 9 a.m. according to the notice posted on the BOC office window but the first commissioners did not arrive until about 9:15 a.m. with the meeting officially starting a little before 9:30 a.m. Tammy Jarrett from the Pike Journal Reporter and Citizens Advisory Task Force Member Joy Walker were the other two people who were at the meeting.

Don Collins set this meeting up as a way that the commissioners could talk about priorities and concerns as well as start working together as a board prior to the first county commission meeting scheduled for next Wednesday morning. Don said in today's meeting that he did not know about the Monday meeting (yesterday) when he scheduled this meeting for today. The commissioners in general seemed to be concerned about notification of yesterday's meeting. They said that a retreat had been discussed in the past but nothing had been set in stone. It was not said exactly when today's meeting was set up while I was there.

[Note from the Editor: I attended the meeting because it was an open meeting, first of all. Any meeting where there is a quorum (three or more commissioners) is an open meeting and is supposed to be advertised so the public can attend. I also attended this meeting as a protection for the commissioners so no one could accuse them of trying to conduct business outside of a public meeting. I don't think that the public was notified as well as we should have been notified about either of the two meetings that have taken place over the last two days. I know that a commissioner said something to a few people at the CATF meeting on Monday night, but it is not the responsibility of BOC members to let the public know about a meeting. It should be properly posted and placed in the newspaper ahead of time regardless of whether it is a work session, planning session, or meeting of any kind. That's my rant and I'll leave it at that. I expect future meetings, etc. to be better publicized.]

The first part of the meeting centered around communication. The commissioners were concerned with giving clear directives to the CM, having a timeline for each directive, and ensuring that there was a way to track those directives until each is completed. It was stressed all of the commissioners that the County Manager (CM) works for the entire board and not for any one commissioner and that no one commission can tell the CM what to do.

The commissioners were also concerned with all of the members getting information at the same time so no one commissioner has more information than the others. The commissioners were also concerned with county property (keys and cell phone) being returned to the county by the past Commission Chairman. The Courthouse Study by Carter and Watkins was brought to the meeting for commissioners to review and comment upon since this was a topic of discussion from yesterday's meeting.

There was a discussion about the lack of follow up on the Hollonville-Pedenville Fire Department. Don said that Trisha had asked for a groundbreaking ceremony before the building started, but that hasn't been done yet. The work on the property is supposed to start today too. Don said he knew about this before he became a commissioner but the rest of the commissioners did not know about it. This was to be discussed this afternoon.

There was also discussion about the Personnel Manual and the possibility of getting job descriptions included in the manual. There was discussion about county employees, their duties and whether employees are qualified for their jobs, but Commissioner Swift made a point to say that the board of commissioners cannot impose on the County Manager as a board or as individuals about employees. A copy of the CM's contract as well as the documents attached to it lay out exactly what the duties of the CM are and what the commissioners can and cannot do. It is an essential document for our new commissioners.

I had to leave the meeting at this point. There should be something in an upcoming edition of the Pike Journal Reporter that will complete the recap of this meeting. Citizens who attend meetings where I cannot are welcome to send a write up to the meeting to me and I will upload it with your name as the guest columnist. Here's your chance to be famous.... in Pike and the surrounding counties anyway!

1.6.09
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