COUNTY OF HENRY
The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a regularly scheduled Public Meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, December 20, 2004, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board of the County Administration Building. The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting. Those present were:
Leland Maddox, Chairman, presiding
Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman, District V Commissioner
Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner
Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner
Jason T. Harper, District III Commissioner
Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner
Also attending were Rob Magnaghi, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Michael Turner, Public Safety Division Director; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Tommy Smith, Interim Purchasing Director; and others.
Chairman Maddox asked for an Acceptance to the Agenda; Commissioner Holman stated there are three (3) Emergency Items to be added to the Agenda, and he made the motion to accept the Agenda with the following amendments under item VII:
1. VII-A – Resurfacing contract.
2. VII-B – Defibralator.
3. VII-C – Donation from Wal-Mart to the Juvenile Court.
Commissioner Holder seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners
Holman, Holder, Freedman, Harper, and Adams voting in favor.
Mr. Leon Forrer, who lives at 85 Oak Grove Circle, McDonough, said, “over the last four (4) years our government has been in a time of turbulent transition. One of the main duties and responsibilities of our Commissioners is the representation of their citizens. Commissioner Harper, I am speaking for myself and all of the citizens who voice the same concern in your lack of interest in returning phone calls. It is imperative that you answer our phone calls in a timely manner. On November 16th, I addressed the Board of Commissioners concerning stormwater issues, and Mr. James Lay brought to your attention the erosion problem that is shared by the City and County. I have inquired many times for the County to adopt the track and tracing system. Mr. Lay was instructed to give his name, address and phone number to the Clerk, and the County would get in touch with the City and try to resolve Mr. Lay’s problem. It has been five (5) weeks now, and someone failed to do their job from neglect or incompetence. A month ago, Chairman Maddox, you informed me that the stormwater program was further along than I realized. Sir, would you like to make that statement again, when a problem has been presented to the Board five (5) weeks ago and no one has responded to Mr. Lay yet? How many discrepancies on our current stormwater log have been solved? Does the Stormwater Department have adequate staff to inspect and inform violators?”
Mr. Forrer stated, “another issue that has been controversial is the paving of Amah Lee Road. Last Thursday I took pictures of this operation, and as you can see, there are no silt fences in sight and soil is piled up in ditches. I have informed the Georgia EPD and Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Yes, Chairman Maddox, I think the word is regression, not progression. The County has an Attorney, who I feel should be capable of finding violations of the laws and ordinances, and the County should take the position to prosecute the violators.” Mr. Forrer said he talked to the EPD this morning, and they have gone out and made an inspection and are writing a letter to Henry County on the violations (pictures were submitted).
Request Approval of a Bid Pertaining to Road Patching and Resurfacing Services.
WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for road patching and resurfacing services; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with Resolution No. 04-428 and No. 04-334, funds from the D.O.T. District IV Priority List are available for repair work to be done on select roads located in District IV:
Select Streets in Windsong Subdivision; and,
WHEREAS, four (4) vendors submitted bids for these services, as indicated; and,
WHEREAS, individual road projects, located in District IV, will be completed as approved; and
WHEREAS, Shepherd Construction Company’s bid meets specifications and is recommended by departmental personnel.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners awards the contract for road patching and resurfacing to Shepherd Construction Company; contract amount shall not exceed $190,000.00. The Chairman shall be authorized to sign all contract documents required for this project.
Commissioner Adams made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Harper asked Mr. Tommy Smith to coordinate with the D.O.T., referencing the District III D.O.T. funds of $1.2 million where $996,000 of that amount was dedicated to road resurfacing for District III. He said all of the roads were not completed prior to the standing resurfacing contract expiring over the twelve (12) month period. Commissioner Harper said there should be money left in District III to finish those roads, and if that is so, he asked why the County is bidding out two (2) roads at a time. He said it would be more economical to list fifty (50) roads and put them out to bid.
Mr. Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director, said Commissioner Harper has not expended all of his funds at this point. He stated this bid is strictly specified for this particular District with their surplus funds. Mr. Harris said, in this case, District IV had some additional funds left over. Commissioner Harper said regarding District III, he would defer to Commissioner-Elect Stamey (District III) and resolve which roads need resurfacing if there are funds remaining.
Commissioner Harper asked Mr. Harris to research all of the Districts to see what funds are available for similar road projects.
Chairman Maddox stated he did not believe the County was expediting resurfacing as rapidly as it should. Mr. Harris said there is a penalty clause of fourteen (14) days to completion (weather permitting).
Commissioner Freedman said the County is using a lot of its own funds for this, and that is why they have the LARP List. The Board of Commissioners should take a strong look at the LARP List for it to be updated or for additions, because that is State funding.
Chairman Maddox asked for a vote on the motion; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Adams, and Holder voting in favor.
Resolution to Increase the Cost of Design for the DMVS Facility.
WHEREAS, Henry County entered into an agreement with Lindsey, Pope, Brayfield & Associates to provide architectural and engineering services for the development of a new Drivers Vehicle Testing Center, and;
WHEREAS, due to the presence of wetlands and other environmental concerns on the proposed site, additional design, testing and mitigation were required to finalize the construction documents, and;
WHEREAS, the additional cost associated with this work was outside the scope of the original contract, and;
WHEREAS, the original contract amount is $117,675.00 and the additional costs associated with the design modifications, testing and mitigation, equate to $8,400.00, thereby bringing the new contract amount to $126,075.00.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the additional cost associated with the Drivers Vehicle Testing Center and authorizes the Chairman of the Board to sign all necessary documents.
Commissioner Holder made the motion to approve the resolution for discussion; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Holder stated the reason for the increase in cost is when the property was purchased, wetlands came into the issue, and there were questions on whether the dam on the property would have to be breached. Ultimately, the EPD said the County would have to do that, and this is where the $8,400.00 came from.
Mr. Harris said the architect approached him last week to inform him of an increase in the cost in roofing materials; obviously, anything that would come up in this nature would have to be presented to the Board with full explanation.
Commissioner Freedman asked if the County has mitigated the wetlands; Commissioner Holder said, “yes.”
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Freedman, Harper, and Adams voting in favor.
Resolution Pertaining to Authorization for SPLOST Management to Use a Low Volume Design for the Pavement of Farmer Drive.
WHEREAS, the County desires to use a low volume design for the pavement of Farmer Drive; and
WHEREAS, the low volume design will allow the County to save on construction cost, and use the unused funds for another project; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves SPLOST Management to use a l9w volume design for the pavement of Farmer Drive.
Chairman Maddox asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak for or against this resolution.
Mr. Richard Rhinehart submitted a document signed by residents on Farmer Drive to the Board. Mr. Rhinehart made his remarks as follows:
“My name is Richard Rhinehart, and I live at 173 Farmer Drive, Hampton, Georgia. I have followed the paving of Farmer Drive – Project No. 4204452 and have made almost weekly visits to the SPLOST Office, since I received Mr. Terry McMickle’s letter of September 25, 2003. I learned that Mr. McMickle is a registered professional engineer who specializes in road design. I am a registered professional engineer involved in safety concerns in the lawn and garden industry. I have been associated with Snapper for the last twenty-seven (27) years and, although I am currently self-employed, I still have an office at Snapper, and I consult with them on a regular basis. I mention my background because in my meetings with Mr. McMickle, over the course of this last year, I have been taken with his concern for safety in his application of the safety standards applicable to the design of modern roads. As you know, there are two (2) very different categories of County roads and two (2) different standards that apply. One deals with low volume, under 400 vehicles per day, and the other, high volume, over 400 cars per day. As mentioned in our last meeting with the Board, Farmer Drive is presently classified as a low volume road with the last traffic count of about 100 vehicles per day.”
“The current traffic count is an important consideration in our request to the Board. We believe the only way the count can be kept low is to block the road and eliminate thru traffic. If the road is blocked, the road can either be paved with a low cost medium or left unpaved. Either approach saves the SPLOST program about $1,000,000. However, if the road is paved and allowed to remain a thru road, two (2) things will happen. Vehicle speed will go up, and the traffic count will go up.”
“In the impact study, leading to approval of Commissioner Freedman’s subdivision, Crystal Lake, the traffic count on Farmer Drive is projected to be 1,500 vehicles per day. Further, construction traffic, including 18-wheel trucks and workers’ vehicles as well as people who will take the road as a short cut, will add to the traffic. It is imperative in the design of a modern road that projected growth be taken into consideration. Farmer Drive should not be paved ‘as is.’ To ignore the certain traffic growth after paving would be a grave mistake and would lead to certain injury and likely death of persons using the road who are unfamiliar with the sharp blind curve in front of our house and who may not use the precautions necessary at the angular intersections with Jonesboro Road and North Mt. Carmel Road.”
“Let me revisit our last meeting with the Board. Our community, Farmer Drive residents and Thorne Berry Subdivision, requested the Board to block Farmer Drive and eliminate thru traffic. We did that after we heard that SPLOST management had asked our Commissioner, Mr. Freedman, to cul-de-sac Farmer Drive and improve the intersection of North Mt. Carmel and Jonesboro Road and thereby avoid developing another intersection on Jonesboro Road. We came to the Board because we thought the SPLOST request made good, common sense, and we should show our support to SPLOST which was looking out for the best interests of the community, the County and the State.”
“So why has Farmer Drive gotten so much attention when there is an urgent need at North Mt. Carmel and not Farmer Drive? There is only one reason. And that is Commissioner Freedman has actively cultivated subdivisions throughout District II and developing Farmer Drive, as a grand entrance to his subdivision at Crystal Lake, would have been his crowning achievement in his efforts to please developers. The disruption of reasonable traffic patterns seems to be of no concern to him. You will know that no other Commissioner has supported the expenditure of $1.2 million dollars on Farmer Drive.”
“Jonesboro Road is planned to be a major, east-west divided 4-lane road. Looking to the future, we should be trying to anticipate ways to facilitate traffic flow on Jonesboro Road and not interfere with it by having intersections too close together. Farmer Drive is, at best, an east-west road; it is certainly not a north-south road since there is no potential for extending it north of Jonesboro Road. Farmer Drive cannot ease traffic on Jonesboro Road, since traffic on Farmer must either go onto or come from Jonesboro Road.”
“Developing Farmer Drive would disrupt reasonable traffic patterns on Jonesboro Road. When you travel in our community along Jonesboro Road, you find several paved intersections where you can expect traffic to be present, either backed up on the side roads or waiting to turn onto the side roads. Coming from Interstate 75, the first is Mill Road (with a traffic light), next the intersection at BJ’s (with a traffic light), next is Chambers Road (no traffic light yet, but will have one soon, I believe), next is Thorne Berry (no traffic light) and next is North Mt. Carmel (no traffic Light). With the exception of the intersection at BJ’s, there is a reasonable distance between these intersections; however, Farmer Drive is only 700 feet from Thorne Berry’s entrance. To encourage more traffic onto Jonesboro Road so close to Thorne Berry is unreasonable. In addition, there is a subdivision going to be developed immediately across from Thorne Berry, which will add to that intersection.”
“I made one final visit with Mr. McMickle last Friday in order to have his latest opinions prior to this meeting. I hope you will avail yourselves of his knowledge of the safety considerations involved in road design before you make your final decision. Here is what I found out from him. Mr. McMickle is of the opinion that the most important issue that faces our community is the improvement of the intersection of North Mt. Carmel and Jonesboro Road, and that Farmer Drive should be blocked off from Jonesboro Road. His further opinion is that the Board should go to ARC and GRTA, if necessary, and explain that improvement of the North Mt. Carmel intersection should be substituted for the Farmer Drive project. We all make mistakes. Although, no one wants to admit it, this Board made a mistake when it let Commissioner Freedman put his boondoggle project into the SPLOST budget. With a mistake of this magnitude, resulting in an unnecessary expenditure of 1.2 million dollars and significant disruption of traffic flow, the right thing to do is go to the ARC and GRTA and change the project.”
“So, what’s to be done? Our communities recommend you assure that Farmer Drive remains a low volume road by blocking it off from Jonesboro Road. After discussions with Mr. McMickle, I believe that Farmer Drive currently meets the safety requirements of a low volume road. If you choose to pave the blocked off road in its current condition, you can justify alternative paving, and you will save the County a million dollars. If you choose not to pave the blocked off road, you will save even more. Either way, the County will be better served and traffic problems on Jonesboro Road will be reduced.”
“To pave a thru road and not meet proper safety standards, that will apply in a matter of weeks or months, is to invite serious injury, death and inevitable lawsuits. It is our judgment that none of you want to be responsible for tragedies that you can avoid. Paving Farmer Drive in its ‘as is’ condition and allowing it to remain a thru road would show a complete disregard for public safety.”
Ms. Misty McCall-Leach, who lives at 100 North Mt. Carmel Road, said this is the fourth time she has come before the Board on the Farmer Road issue. She submitted a GRTA Notice of Decision (May 15, 2003), which is public record, stating Farmer Road is a DRI project. She said each Commissioner is aware, and this should not even be an issue before the Board, because the issue was resolved one year ago. She said the Board, as a whole, agreed to allow a 620-house subdivision on two (2) incredibly deadly roads – North Mt. Carmel and Farmer Drive; this is a death trap. Ms. McCall-Leach said the first condition of Lake Irma, that the Board set forward, was to put a traffic light at either Farmer and North Mt. Carmel or Farmer and Jonesboro Road. She said if the Board adds another 1,500 cars on North Mt. Carmel, a road that has wrecks often, everything is going to get worse, and there is no good way out of this. Unless transportation plans are approved by GRTA, no State or Federal funds will be available for transportation improvements associated with the development. To cul-de-sac Farmer Drive is not a solution to an already bad problem; in her opinion, the only reason this is being considered is because of the Flippen Road Extension.
Commissioner Freedman thanked Mr. Rhinehart for the personal attacks.
Mr. Rhinehart stated, “I thought I would mention that since you mentioned something about my contribution at the last meeting, as though making a contribution to a political candidate was some kind of a sin.”
Commissioner Freedman stated, “actually, I did not mention it at all.”
Mr. Rhinehart said, “I think you did mention it; the record will show it. You did not bring up the phone call either, did you, that you got on your cell phone, which you could not identify the person, and you could not identify the number. No cell phone in the Country doesn’t display the number, Commissioner Freedman. You are a slippery person; so go ahead with your questions.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “first of all, my cell phone does not display numbers. Also, you referred that Crystal Lake is ‘my’ subdivision. Do you think I have a financial interest in it?”
Mr. Rhinehart said he did not know. “Anyone who would propose spending $1.2 million and disrupting traffic, must have some personal interest in it. It is certainly not a very well thought out project; therefore, you must have some personal interest in it.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “isn’t it a fact the citizens of that road approached me over two (2) years ago and begged for that road to be paved?”
Mr. Rhinehart said he did not know of any citizens begging Commissioner Freedman for anything, but he did know there were people on the road who wanted it paved, and the reason was to eliminate the dust (prior to the advent of Crystal Lake). He said once Crystal Lake came into the picture, it became an entirely different story; when Farmer Drive was a low volume road, taking approximately 400 cars per day, the difference between that and 1,500 cars per day is very significant.
Commissioner Freedman asked Mr. Rhinehart to explain what he meant when referencing ‘Freedman’s paving of that road as boondoggle.’
Mr. Rhinehart answered, “$1.2 million tells the story; $1.2 million to pave a little country dirt road with a sharp blind curve on it.”
Commissioner Freedman said the funds included intersection improvements and other things. He said he did not need any more comments, and he thanked Mr. Rhinehart and asked him to sit down.
Mr. Ken Dowdy, who lives at 125 North Mt. Carmel Road, said this sounds like a pretty ‘done’ deal. He asked for the Board to use common sense; he said Mr. Rhinehart made a compelling case against paving and improving Farmer Drive. He said it is very noble of all the citizens, who live on Farmer Drive, to want to save the County money. There are many dangers on North Mt. Carmel, noting there are three (3) blind curves. Mr. Dowdy said the County has a history of tossing aside most of the residents’ concerns, who are impacted, and favor subdivisions and projects. Mr. Dowdy stated Farmer Drive does need to be paved; maybe it does not need to be a 4-lane road or a full 2-lane road, but it needs to be paved with access to Jonesboro Road. He said the County needs every road it can get to accommodate the traffic, not only for this project, but for the schools that are being constructed north and south of this location. He asked, instead of making personal attacks, for the Commissioners to do what is right and look at it from the standpoint of what has already been approved by the Board in conjunction with this project.
Ms. Jane Askew stated it seems the input of the citizens of the County, regardless of what District a person lives in, is so sided. When developers from Henry County and outside the County come in, the citizens, who have been living here for quite some time, suffer from infrastructure. She said it is stupid for the County to go against GRTA and take funds, and increase a cul-de-sac that will only put money in somebody’s pocket. Ms. Askew said anyone who could vote in favor of creating a death trap for children, needs to step down.
Ms. Judy Barker, who lives at 211 Edna Ruth Lane, stated there are things the Board is required to do to keep the citizens of Henry County safe. She did not understand why this issue has come back before the Board to be re-discussed or re-hashed, because the assessment has already been made.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the resolution for discussion only; Commissioner Adams seconded.
Commissioner Freedman asked the Board to look at the alternative resolution that incorporates the GRTA position and DRI and incorporates Georgia DOT’s position focusing on safety issues and requirements that were placed on it for rezoning.
Commissioner Adams said he assumed there will be a median cut at Thorne Berry, because there will be a subdivision developed across the street from it.
Mr. Terry McMickle, SPLOST Transportation Manager, said, “normally on a rural 4-lane, they will place those at least 1,320 feet apart; if it is an urban design they will allow them to come as close as 660 feet. At the present time, Jonesboro Road is considered rural, and it is likely they will space those intersections about 1,300 feet.”
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. McMickle, “does the safety factor turning left off of Jonesboro Road onto Farmer Drive enter into this at all?”
Mr. McMickle said the current plan in the DRI says the County has to install a left turn lane; if Farmer Drive is paved (and is not a cul-de-sac), the left turn lane from Jonesboro Road onto Farmer Drive would be necessary.
Chairman Maddox asked, “would it be better to install the red light, and widen North Mt. Carmel, than it would be to make a cut on a 4-lane road going into Farmer Drive?”
Mr. McMickle said, in his opinion, “if you fix the intersection of North Mt. Carmel Road and Jonesboro Road, as it should be fixed, that would include some left turn lanes from Jonesboro onto North Mt. Carmel. If that intersection was done correctly, I think that would be a better plan than to pave Farmer Drive and let it cut through. If you are not going to improve that intersection, then pave Farmer Road, as these plans indicate, and put the left turn lane from Jonesboro.”
Chairman Maddox asked if the intent was to improve North Mt. Carmel Road and Jonesboro Road and tie Flippin Road into that; noting there would be a north/south artery on the west side of Interstate 75.
Mr. McMickle said from a transportation point of view, it does make a lot of sense.
Commissioner Holder said there are no Commissioners on this Board who are traffic engineers. He requested DOT (specifically, Mr. McMickle) to bring the Board a recommendation with both studies. He said the Board made a decision a year ago, but the Board needs to make the best decision it can. Commissioner Holder asked Mr. McMickle what exactly would he recommend, because the Board has to depend on him to make decisions with good, objective information.
Mr. McMickle said if the Board is going to do it correctly, improvement should be made at the intersection at North Mt. Carmel Road and Jonesboro Road, so there would be adequate sight distance with the right kind of additional lanes (right and left turn lanes). When North Mt. Carmel Road was paved, it was not designed to meet certain standards, because presently, there are areas on the road needing attention. He said getting in and out of that intersection is a challenge, and improvement can begin by installing a traffic signal at that location. Mr. McMickle stated the second best plan would be to pave Farmer Drive, with a left turn lane off of Jonesboro Road, giving citizens a safe access to that subdivision being built.
Commissioner Freedman stated the County budgeted $1 million of SPLOST for Farmer Drive, which is a commitment from the SPLOST program. He asked how the intersection could be changed at North Mt. Carmel and Jonesboro at that budgeted cost.
Mr. McMickle said he has done a cost on that intersection, noting the County is going to spend money on the improvement of Jonesboro Road to improve the sight distance. He said the intersection of Farmer and Jonesboro Road has better sight distance today compared to North Mt. Carmel and Jonesboro Road.
Commissioner Harper stated he and Mr. Magnaghi have been dealing with this issue for the past two (2) weeks and have come to the conclusion the TIP Program can be amended (applying in February, 2005) only to allow turn lanes and red lights. GRTA has assured the County that the bond can be used; they owe Henry County $22,000,000 in bond money for participating in the bus service. He announced to the Board this does not only apply to this intersection but any red lights or turn lanes in the County where there is a need in any District.
Chairman Maddox said the Board has a motion and a second to use low volume pavement, no cul-de-sac; the motion failed with a vote of 1-4-0 with Commissioner Adams voting in favor, and Commissioners Harper, Freedman, Holman, and Holder voting against.
WHEREAS, the County desires to use a low volume design for the pavement of Farmer Drive; and
WHEREAS, the County desires to cul-de-sac Farmer Drive at the Jonesboro Road end; and
WHEREAS, the low volume design will allow the County to save on construction cost, and use the unused funds for another project; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves SPLOST Management to use a low volume design for the pavement of Farmer Drive, and to cul-de-sac Farmer Road at the Jonesboro Road end.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Holder said, “in my end of the County, there are so many dirt roads, that I cannot prioritize a dead-end road, when there are so many connecting roads needing to be paved. Understanding to cul-de-sac this road is the way it should be done for safety and the long-term plans of that area, I would like to say if we are going to cul-de-sac Farmer Drive, take that $1.2 million that has been designated to Farmer Drive and, if necessary, move it to the improvement of Jonesboro Road and North Mt. Carmel, and Farmer Drive would remain dirt.”
Commissioner Freedman said the County needs all of the access roads they can get; but to cul-de-sac a public road, does not make sense.
Commissioner Holder said, “you have to put your confidence into someone, and I put my confidence in Terry McMickle, before I would someone who is doing a DRI study and someone at the State level who has never seen the area.”
Mr. McMickle said, “the DRI did say that Farmer Drive had to be paved, and it was on the SPLOST list at the time for it to be paved. They did include a condition in stating a left turn lane had to be installed there.” Mr. McMickle stated the Board should run this by GRTA, because they do not want to jeopardize the GRTA funds.
Chairman Maddox responded, “GRTA, ARC, and DOT have withdrawn money from Henry County that was proposed to do two (2) main thoroughfares in this County. This did not make sense to me, but they did it. When you ask if we change this, is it likely that they’ll take the money away? It is likely they will take the money away without us changing it.”
Commissioner Holman amended his motion as follows: “Strike the first ‘WHEREAS’ in its entirety, and the third ‘WHEREAS,’ strike the words, ‘low volume,’ and it will read, ‘WHEREAS, the design will allow the County to save on construction costs and use the unused funds for another project. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED will read as follows: “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves SPLOST Management to cul-de-sac Farmer Road at the Jonesboro Road end, and be it further resolved that the Henry County Board of Commissioners directs the SPLOST staff to come up with an alternative funding proposal for the immediate improvement of North Mt. Carmel at Jonesboro Road.” Commissioner Harper amended his second.
Commissioner Holder said this changes the priority of a road considerably; obviously, there will not be enough funding to pave every road that has been defined on this current SPLOST program.
Commissioner Freedman addressed the Board and asked them to focus on the danger to be created if this road is cul-de-saced.
Commissioner Holder asked the timing of the cul-de-sac of Farmer Drive not occur before the intersection improvement occurs at Jonesboro Road. He said it needs to be a part of the amended resolution.
Ms. Jane Askew Rutledge, who lives at 104 Askew Drive, Stockbridge, stated she had to go by the DOT curb cut laws; the curb cut laws on a DOT State road are different. The intersections can only be so many hundreds of feet apart. She asked if the County is thinking of the developers or the safety of children. Ms. Rutledge said if the County goes in and paves and cul-de-sacs, the Board will eliminate the ability to accomplish what Commissioners Holder and Harper have recommended and waiting on the TIP funds.
Commissioner Holman amended the motion to time the cul-de-sacing after the improvement of Jonesboro Road and North Mt. Carmel Road. The funding source for the entire Farmer Road project was $1.1 million, and the price for the low volume was $355,000; therefore, the funding source, that would have been moved towards the Farmer/Jonesboro Roads project, would need to be capped. He said the $355,000 amount should be moved to the Jonesboro/North Mt. Carmel intersection improvement, noting the County would have to find an alternative funding source for the improvement; the cul-de-sacing (to remain a dirt road) will not occur until intersection improvements are made.
Commissioner Freedman said the $1.1 million plus was for the entire project, including improvements at Jonesboro/North Mt. Carmel Roads.
There was no second to Commissioner Holman’s motion; therefore, the original amended motion is still on the floor.
Commissioner Harper said he has previously stated (noted in past Minutes) he will not vote for this zoning if the Board requires Farmer Drive to have a red light at Jonesboro Road. That is why there was an amendment to the motion on the floor saying, ‘the developer will shift the red light to another location.’ He said he has never been in favor of installing a red light at Farmer/Jonesboro Roads, and that is why there is an alternative red light placed in the motion. He said the scenario is a developer wants to come in, overcrowd the roads, put more children in the schools, and what does the County say? “We want you so bad, we will pay $1.2 million to build your entrance for you, which is ridiculous.”
Commissioner Freedman stated the Board required the developer to realign his entrance to line up with Farmer so the County would have a true intersection there. He said the DRI study and the conditions of the zoning said, “a light at either North Mt. Carmel and Farmer or Jonesboro and Farmer; it did not eliminate either one.” The Georgia DOT said they would allow a light at Farmer and Jonesboro Roads, and they preferred that intersection over the current North Mt. Carmel and Jonesboro Roads.
The Chairman stated the Board had a motion on the floor and a second, and the Board has an amendment on the floor and a second. The vote was taken on the motion and the amendment; the vote was 4-2-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Holder, Holman and Harper voting in favor, and Commissioners Freedman and Adams voting against.
Commissioner Freedman asked for his alternative resolution to be placed in the record: (No Board action was taken concerning the alternative resolution.)
WHEREAS, Henry County has committed to its citizens, under the SPLOST Program, the paving of Farmer Drive from North Mt. Carmel Road to Jonesboro Road; and
WHEREAS, the paving of Farmer Drive is an issue of safety, security and adherence to plans being developed since early 2003; and
WHEREAS, Henry County BOC Resolution Number 03-336, signed by Chairman Leland Maddox on August 19, 2003, conditioned the zoning of “Lake Erma LLC” with the developer being required to “pay for a traffic signal…at the intersection of Farmer Road at North Mt. Carmel Road or Farmer Road at Jonesboro Road;” and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), in its “Notice of Decision,” dated May 15, 2003, approved the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) plan for the Lake Erma project subject to specified conditions; and
WHEREAS, the GRTA approval included the paving of Farmer Drive from North Mt. Carmel Road to Jonesboro Road, and construction of a left-turn lane off of westbound Jonesboro Road onto Farmer Drive, as Conditions in their Notice of Decision; and
WHEREAS, since the GRTA approval was conditioned upon the aforesaid improvements to Farmer Drive, failure to adhere to these conditions could jeopardize state and/or federal funding for numerous Henry County road projects; and
WHEREAS, Georgia DOT, via letter dated October 28, 2004, indicated that, after evaluation of both the North Mt. Carmel Road and Farmer Drive intersections at Jonesboro Road, “…..we determined that the Farmer Drive intersection has better sight distance and vertical alignment compared to the North Mt. Carmel intersection;” and
WHEREAS, design of the Farmer Drive project is basically complete, and in excess of $30,000 SPLOST funds have been committed to this design; and
WHEREAS, Farmer Drive is much more safe and cost-effective than attempting to use North Mt. Carmel, for access to Jonesboro Road, and is in compliance with GRTA approval, Georgia DOT recommendations, and SPLOST commitments; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the current SPLOST design for Farmer Drive, from North Mt. Carmel Road to Jonesboro Road, and directs continuation of work in this most important project.
Emergency SPLOST Items.
There were no Emergency SPLOST items to be discussed.
Resolution Approving Streetlight Requests.
WHEREAS, the owners of the following subdivisions have applied for the creation of streetlight districts:
· Emerald Falls, 18 lights, 75 lots, Georgia Power, District 5
· Walden Woods, 11 lights, 46 lots, Georgia Power, District 4
· Tussahaw, Phase II, “B”, 18 lights, 49 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 1
· Links at Heron Bay, Phase III, 7 lights, 33 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1
· Parkwood at Heron Bay, Phase III, 8 lights, 35 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1
· Legacy Lake, Phase II, 7 lights, 36 lots, Georgia Power, District 2
· Keys Ferry Landing, 14 lights, 54 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 1
· Crumbley Estates, Phase I, 7 lights, 34 lots, Georgia Power, District 5
· Cambridge Woods, 16 lights, 45 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 3
· Belaire Place, 11 lights, 30 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 4
WHEREAS, all County and State requirements for a public hearing have been met; and
WHEREAS, the Development Plan Review Staff for Henry County has reviewed the requests and submitted reports that are part of the public record; and
WHEREAS, the Development Plan Review Staff have reviewed and recommended approval of the requests; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of Commissioners of Henry County approve the requests for new streetlight districts.
Commissioner Harper made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Adams, and Freedman voting in favor (Commissioner Holder was not present to vote.).
Resolution for an Appeal Regarding the Interpretation of a Condition of Zoning.
WHEREAS, 3-D Construction Inc. c/o Dennis Duncan is appealing the interpretation of condition #5 of RZ-01-55 for Providence Lakes at Mount Carmel Subdivision, which states that “All homes shall have three sides consisting of a majority of masonry material (brick, stone, stucco or any combination thereof). Sidewalks shall be required on the interior of the subdivision;” and
WHEREAS, the Building Staff for Henry County has reviewed the request and submitted a report that is part of the public record; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves or denies the appellant’s request.
Commissioner Freedman made the motion to approve with the “Therefore” portion stating, “the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the appellant’s request; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Freedman stated, “when the zoning came through for 3-D Construction, one of the conditions said, ‘all homes shall have 3-sides consisting of the majority main stream material of brick, stone, and stucco or any combination thereof.’ The builder interpreted this to mean masonry materials such as hardiplank, and he built some of the houses that way. Our inspector said, ‘no, it said brick, stone, or stucco; it did not say masonry material.’ Actually, it did, referencing the second page of the packet. The builder is asking for some relief, because he made an honest mistake.”
Commissioner Harper said he did not want, by the Board’s action today, the Board having to achieve the definition that hardiplank is masonry; the Board has had the same appeal before.
Mr. Jaugstetter responded, “that is exactly what you will do if you approve it as an appeal.”
Mr. Dennis Duncan, the applicant, said his intention was to lift the quality in Henry County, and he has always considered hardiplank as a masonry product, and it is marketed on their website as a masonry product. He said, “when we build homes that have a condition to where we cannot meet the dirt to the bottom of the site of six (6”) to eight (8”) inches, we have always been allowed to take and put two (2) rows of hardiplank on those homes in those areas. When I agreed to that particular condition, I thought the brick, stone, or stucco was a generic, stating what types of masonry products we would like to see. I did not anticipate hardiplank to not be considered, due to the history.” Mr. Duncan said his houses range from $320,000 to $850,000.
Chairman Maddox asked if there was any opposition to the appeal; there was response from the audience.
Ms. Chris Rogers, who lives at 1171 Turner Church Road, said this is not about the hardiplank; the conditions were made for the homes to be 3-sided. She was concerned if the appeal was granted, a precedence would be set for people to run over the Board’s decisions in the future. Ms. Rodgers asked the Board to stop granting variances to everyone down the road. She said, “you said what you meant, now mean what you said.”
Ms. Judy Barker, who lives at 211 Edna Ruth Lane, said her subdivision abuts Providence Lake, and there was concern when this subdivision was started. She said the developer has built a very nice subdivision, and he has performed an excellent job. Ms. Barker said the neighbors are really pleased with what he has done, and they ask the Board to grant Mr. Duncan’s variance.
Mr. Jaugstetter said the proper way to do this would be to amend his zoning condition to remove or repair that condition; he said this cannot be done today because the Board would have to advertise it as an amendment to the zoning condition. But if the Board approves the appeal, then the message will be sent to the Building Department staff that masonry includes hardiplank, and there may be subdivisions where the Board did not intend for this type of material to be used. Mr. Jaugstetter’s personal opinion was that masonry does not include hardiplank; the Board has adopted the International Building Code where it defines masonry as brick, tile, stone, glass, or concrete block. His suggestion was to do this again as a modification or an amendment to the zoning condition, which would require a notice in the paper of advertisement.
Chairman Maddox stated apparently the County’s Building Department did not look at the conditions to approve what was placed on those houses.
Mr. Jaugstetter said when the Building Department went out to inspect after the homes were built, that is when they noticed this was not masonry.
Chairman Maddox said he did not think it was the builder’s fault, and to make him go back and redo the hardiplank homes would be out of the question. He thought building with the hardiplank material should stop now and conform to what the conditions were, and then the Board could make the decision later about absolute.
Commissioner Freedman asked Mr. Duncan if the Building Department has already approved some of these homes with hardiplank. Mr. Duncan replied, “six.” Chairman Maddox said he thought there was some fallacy on the builder’s part, but the major part is the County’s error because it was not reported on the first house built.
Commissioner Holder said he does not believe hardiplank is a masonry product, noting he has had some experience with hardiplank in the Orchard Subdivision. He said the way to correct this situation is exactly what the County Attorney, Mr. Jaugstetter, has recommended. He said the Board does not need to rule on whether, in this case, hardiplank is masonry or not; the applicant needs to reapply to get condition #5 readdressed or clarified, and instead of saying 3-sides consisting of majority masonry material, it should be stated more specific. Commissioner Holder said it will cause the Board a lot of grief if they do not get a better idea of what the real definition of hardiplank is.
Commissioner Holder asked Mr. Duncan what kind of hardship it would cause him to reapply. Mr. Duncan said it is based on how long it would take to make the determination. He said there is one house (with hardiplank) that will close at the end of January, 2005. Mr. Ray Gibson, of the Planning and Zoning Department, said this will have to go before the Planning Commission first, and February will be the earliest it can be scheduled on the Agenda. Commissioner Holder asked the Building Department to meet with Mr. Duncan to obtain the exact inventory of how many homes are being constructed with the hardiplank material.
Commissioner Freedman withdrew the original motion and made a new motion; Commissioner Harper withdrew his second.
Commissioner Freedman made the motion, in consideration of Mr. Dennis Duncan, 3-D Construction appeal, that the Board approves continued construction of homes currently under construction as confirmed by the Building Department with the combination of hardiplank and stone or brick, and then advises that he has to come to the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners to appeal the condition listed in the original zoning, and the Board does not recognize hardiplank as a masonry product; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Adams said he agreed with Ms. Rogers’ concern, and he asked Mr. Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director, if things could be tightened up to catch errors or problems quicker than this. Mr. Taylor agreed.
Commissioner Holder said, “we as a Board, many times, put the Planning Staff in a bad situation by not being definitive enough in the conditions we place on these zonings. We need to be more precise, because they have difficulty interpreting what the Board has said they want, and according to our Code, their interpretation may be opposite of what we may say is O.K.”
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Freedman, Holder, and Adams voting in favor.
The Bureau of Police Services Request Approval to Accept a Donated Television for the Classroom at the Police Department Firing Range.
WHEREAS, the Firing Range, which the Henry County Bureau of Police Services utilizes for weapons qualifications and training, currently has no functional television set in the classroom; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Bill Gray, Jr., of McDonough, Georgia, has expressed a desire to show support for his local law enforcement by donating a new 32-inch television set for the classroom at the Firing Range;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the donation of a new 32-inch television set, to be purchased by Mr. Bill Gray, Jr., for the classroom at the Firing Range.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the request; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Adams, Holder, Harper, and Freedman voting in favor.
Resolution Requesting Approval of a Bid Pertaining to a Mobile Command Center Vehicle for the Fire Department.
WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for a mobile command center vehicle for the Fire Department; and,
WHEREAS, three (3) vendors submitted bids for this project, as indicated; and
WHEREAS, this project will be 100% federally funded through a grant from Homeland Security/Office of Domestic Preparedness/GEMA; and
WHEREAS, North American Catastrophe Services’ bid meets specifications and is recommended by departmental personnel.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners awards the contract to North American Catastrophe Services in the amount of $268,000.00; the Chairman shall be authorized to sign all documents required for this purchase.
Commissioner Harper made the motion to approve the request; Commissioner Holder seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Freedman, Adams, and Holman voting in favor.
Resolution to Approve Change Order to Release Partial Retainage Amount to Shepherd Construction for FY-2004 Resurfacing Contract.
WHEREAS, the Henry County Department of Transportation has been requested by Shepherd Construction to release 40 percent of the amount of retainage currently being held, which equates to $110,079.09; and
WHEREAS, over 40 roads were resurfaced, affecting in excess of 55 miles of roadway, and that a high percentage of the roads are in acceptable condition, Henry County Department of Transportation is of the opinion that this is an acceptable request; and
WHEREAS, the remaining 60 percent of the current retainage to be held is sufficient to cover any punch list items remaining.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners do hereby authorize the release of $110,079.09 retainage to Shepherd Construction Company.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Holder stated, “in my District, Shepherd Construction has resurfaced Locust Road. I do not know who the inspectors were on this project, but you need to go see it. It has only been paved less than one month, and where they joined the pavement from one day to the next, you just need to ride it.” Mr. Neo Chua, DOT Director, said he would check this road.
Commissioner Adams asked why the Board would want to release any funds until they made all the roads right. He stated he has two roads the County spent money on, and he did not know if the mix was bad or temperature was bad, but they are crumbling.
Commissioner Freedman asked if the County has any other Shepherd projects that the County has problems with. Mr. Chua answered, “no.”
Mr. Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director, stated this request deals specifically with the annual resurfacing contract the County had with Shepherd. He said staff has gone through and made assessments of all the roads being resurfaced by Shepherd and staff identified two roads still in need of repair, thus coming up with a ‘tally’ of how much DOT felt it would be, if Shepherd was not going to repair them. Until the repairs are completed, we are going to hold on to sufficient funding. He said the majority of roads Shepherd resurfaced have been inspected and are in fine shape.
Mr. Rob Magnaghi, County Manager, stated unless there is a time of essence issue, he would like for this to be tabled for discussion and further inquiry.
Commissioner Holman withdrew his motion; Commissioner Harper withdrew his second.
Commissioner Adams made the motion to table the resolution; Commissioner Holman seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Holman, Holder, Freedman, and Harper voting in favor.
Resolution Pertaining to the Purchase Lifepak 12 Biphasic Defibrillator System for the Fire Department.
WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for the purchase of a Lifepak 12 Biphasic Defibrillator System for the Fire Department;
WHEREAS, one (1) vendor submitted bids for this purchase, as follows:
VENDOR CITY/STATE BID AMOUNT
Medtronic Emergency Redmond, WA $21,010.40
WHEREAS, funds are available in the unallocated capital equipment funds to complete this purchase; and
WHEREAS, Medtronic Emergency Response Systems’ bid in the amount of $21,010.40 meets exact bid specifications.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners awards the bid for the purchase of a Lifepak 12 Biphasic Defibrillator System in the amount of $21,010.40 and authorizes the Chairman to sign all necessary documents to accomplish this purchase.
Commissioner Harper made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Holman asked about the age of the current defibralator.
Mr. Tommy Smith, Interim Purchasing Director, said first he would like to correct the Executive Summary. He said the Executive Summary stated, “the ambulance to be placed into service;” he said right now, it is in service, and this is an addition.
Deputy Chief Keith Starr, of the Henry County Fire Department, answered Commissioner Holman’s question stating the current Lifepak is a “Lifepak 10” that was purchased back in the 90’s.
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Holder, Adams, and Freedman voting in favor.
Resolution to Accept a Donation from WalMart, Inc. in the Amount of $850.00 for the Juvenile Court Program.
WHEREAS, WalMart, Inc. has made a donation to Juvenile Court in the amount of $850.00; and
WHEREAS, the funds will be used to purchase new chairs for the Juvenile Court Program.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves acceptance of this donation and the budget amendment in the amount of $850.00 and authorizes the Chairman to sign all necessary documents.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Harper seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Harper, Adams, Holder, and Freedman voting in favor.
There were no Commissioner(s) Comments.
12/23/04 Thursday All County Offices will close at noon.
12/24/04 Friday All County Offices will be closed in observance
of the Christmas Holiday.
12/27/04 Monday All County Offices will be closed in observance
of the Christmas Holiday.
12/31/04 Friday All County Offices will be closed in observance of
New Year’s Day.
1/03/05 Monday 9:00 a.m. Regular BOC Meeting
1/04/05 Tuesday 9:00 a.m. Regular BOC Meeting
1/17/05 Monday MLK, Jr. Holiday (No Meeting)
1/18/05 Tuesday 6:30 p.m. Regular BOC Meeting
Santa Clause will be at the Henry County Administration Building on Thursday, December 23, 2004, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for children of any County employee or anyone else (Pictures will be taken.).
Commissioner Holder made the motion to adjourn into Executive Session, in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 50-14-3, and other applicable laws, and pursuant to advice by Patrick Jaugstetter, the County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters; Commissioner Holman seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Freedman, Adams, and Harper voting in favor.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to reconvene into Public Session; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 4-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Holman, Freedman, and Adams voting in favor (Commissioners Holder and Harper were not present to vote.).
Commissioner Holman made the motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the affidavit of the Executive Session; Commissioner Harper seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Holman, Adams, and Freedman voting in favor.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to amend and move this resolution authorizing the acquisition of 0.35 acres of temporary construction easement more or less in Land Lots 27 and 28 of the 12th District of Henry County by the negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 32-3-4 through Section 32-3-19; Commissioner Harper seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Holder, Harper, Adams, and Freedman voting in favor.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to amend the Agenda and move this resolution authorizing the acquisition of 0.249 acres of temporary construction easement more or less in Land Lots 27 and 28 of the 12th District of Henry County by the negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 32-3-4 through Section 32-3-19; Commissioner Holder seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Harper, Holder, Freedman, and Adams voting in favor.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to amend the Agenda and move this resolution authorizing the acquisition of 0.847 acres of temporary construction easement more or less in Land Lot 27 of the 12th District of Henry County by the negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 32-3-4 through Section 32-3-19; Commissioner Harper seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Adams, Freedman, Harper, and Holder voting in favor.
Commissioner Holman made the motion to amend the Agenda and move this resolution authorizing the acquisition of 0.41 acres of temporary construction easement more or less in Land Lot 27 of the 12th District of Henry County by the negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provisions of O.C.G.A. Section 32-3-4 through Section 32-3-19; Commissioner Harper seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder, Freedman, Adams, and Holman voting in favor.
Commissioner Freedman made the motion to adjourn at 12:30 p.m.; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Adams, Holder, Harper, and Holman voting in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk