STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF HENRY

 

            The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a called public meeting at 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2004, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia.  Notice of this meeting was posted in the entrance foyer 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

 

            Linda G. Angus, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; LaTonya Nix Wiley, Deputy County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Lynn Bledsoe and Roy Clack, SPLOST Management; and others.

 

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to accept the agenda with the following amendments:

 

1.                  Resolution Pertaining to the Comprehensive Long Range Transportation Plan (Item III.D.)

2.                  Resolution Reference to the Moseley Road, which is a result of the purchase of the school property (Item III.E.)

 

Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.

 

SPLOST DISCUSSION:

 

RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO APPROVAL OF SPLOST BUDGET (EXHIBIT “A” OF THE RESOLUTION) SHOWING A REDISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS:

 

The purpose of the proposed resolution is to approve and adopt a budget for SPLOST I with a redistribution of funds without changing the final budget ($17,798,648). 

 

Mr. Harris stated the proposed resolution is the same process for SPLOST I projects as completed and approved for SPLOST II projects.  He said this resolution will finalize the totality of the SPLOST budget by asking for across the Board approval of the SPLOST I projects.  Mr. Harris said Finance Director Mike Bush recently indicated to the Board the amount of money which remains in SPLOST I, which total amount cannot change.  He said all the Board can do is redistribute the funds within the SPLOST I projects, which the proposed resolution will accomplish.

 

Mr. Harris stated some of the dollar amounts in the column entitled “SPLOST Project Budget” have changed after SPLOST staff has revised the original estimates to make sure there is enough money to complete each project.  He stated a couple of projects were moved to SPLOST II, which was agreed upon at the last Board meeting concerning this matter.  Mr. Harris said this resolution will clean up the remainder of SPLOST I. 

 

Commissioner Holder stated the Sowell Road project has been reduced.  He asked if that is because the alternative paving method will be used.  Mr. Harris answered affirmatively.  Commissioner Holder stated people in the area have already been approached and offered contracts for rights-of-way.  He asked the County Attorney for advice concerning the contracts.  Mr. Jaugstetter stated if the offer has not been accepted, the County can withdraw the offer.  He stated if the parties have accepted an offer and we have a contract with them, the County will have to buy their right-of-way, and then the County can sell the right-of-way back to property owners if it is not needed. 

 

Ms. Angus stated the concept discussed is when the County is dealing with people in good faith, the people have an expectation they will have a new road, not a triple-surface treatment road.  She said people have been offered money for right-of-way and, while the County can withdraw the contracts, the question then becomes whether it is a breach of faith.  Commissioner Holder said that is his point.  Commissioner Holder said the plans have not only been drawn, but the people’s yards have been staked for right-of-way, which resulted in many of them being upset because of the land they will lose.  He said there are others who probably anticipated the money, also.  He said the point is the possible breach of faith.  Commissioner Holder said there are many roads in the County where triple-surface treatment could be used, but possibly Sowell Road is not one where it can be used on.  Commissioner Holder said if the original budget for this road was $700,000, he would want the remainder to go to Whitaker Road.  Mr. Lynn Bledsoe stated this includes Whitaker Road all the way to Iris Lake Road.  He stated he talked with Ms. Ludy McIntyre, Right-of-Way Coordinator, concerning how many right-of-way contracts have been accepted and are ready to close, and her response was $61,000 worth of right-of-way, which is not totally budgeted.  He said some of the people would rather have the property back.  

 

Commissioner Holder noted the proposed budget designates $4,655,620 in Heritage Park.  He said that is larger than previous estimates.  Commissioner Harper said he is not sure what that amount represents, noting four ball fields have been built, a paved trail constructed and grading costs.  He asked whether the entire land cost was attributed to Heritage Park for the library and the senior citizens center.  Commissioner Holder said there was never $4.6 million budgeted for Heritage Park.   He said even if you included the area called “south central park” in the 1996 SPLOST, it does not equal this amount.  Commissioner Holder said it does not include the additional property purchased at the corner of Lake Dow Road and S.R. 81 because that property is financed.  Commissioner Harper stated the concession building was in the neighborhood of $100,000 because it was built in-house.  He said he is not sure how the $4.6 million total was calculated.

 

Commissioner Adams asked what the “source of additional funds” at the bottom of the exhibit attached to the resolution includes.  Mr. Harris said the projects listed in that column were previously started and were completed.  He said the projects came in under budget after completion.  Commissioner Adams stated one designation is $167,000 for the Cochran Library.  He said the project has not begun and he questioned how it could be under budget.  Mr. Harris said that figure represents money set aside from the SPLOST I allocation and this column identifies that money.

 

Commissioner Adams referred to the S.R. 42/Old Atlanta Road/Valley Hill Road project, which has an allocation in the proposed resolution of $710,400.  He noted the project came in under what was projected, however, the proposed budget appears to be over-budget.  Ms. Angus stated the wording of the spreadsheet may be confusing, noting the budget for this project reflects $710,400, and the bid came in at $469,940.  Mr. Harris stated the $612,200 estimate was submitted by the SPLOST Oversight Committee.  Ms. Angus stated the first column entitled “funds left to budget” is meaningless because when the Board divided the $17 million among all of the projects, that created the column which was approved.  Mr. Bledsoe stated the total budget includes engineering, land acquisition, soil testing and construction costs. 

 

Commissioner Holman stated there was $1.7 million allocated by each Commissioner at a Board meeting last May, but when he adds up the Pleasant Grove Road, Sims Road and Thurman Road, it adds up to $1.6.  He asked where District V was cut.  Ms. Angus said the best approach is to say the three projects are approximately $1.7 million and another District’s may be $1.8 million, but the money was not added to another District from one District.  She said the projects cost what they cost and staff is trying to balance the program.  Ms. Angus said if the Board wants to go back to the $1.7 million, money will have to come from the General Fund and lay over this budget because there are balances.

 

Commissioner Freedman said when you look at the road projects, in reality the projects’ costs to date are a million dollars short.  He asked where the million dollars is made up on the chart.  Mr. Harris said approximately $1 million will be picked up on the bridge projects, noting the original allocated amount for the bridge projects was $1.68 million and that has gone up to $786,000.   Chairman Maddox stated the $1 million mentioned came out of the Chairman’s Special Funds for the bridges.

 

Commissioner Adams asked for an explanation concerning the last column, “source of additional funds.”   He asked whether money will be taken out of the projects listed and moved to another project.  Ms. Angus answered no, stating the funds were not allocated when the budget was prepared last May and these numbers are needed to clean this up.  She said staff identified that one amount for the Cochran Library.  She said staff has been able to reduce some of the other allocations.  Mr. Harris said some of the listed projects are fully funded in SPLOST II, like the Cochran Library.  He said Pates Creek Road is also fully funded in SPLOST II. 

 

Commissioner Holman asked Mr. Bledsoe if he is comfortable with the proposed budget.  Mr. Bledsoe stated he is comfortable with it and helped create the document.  He said it is the best use of the funds, based on input from the Commission.

 

Ms. Angus stated the presentation of this matter, while it makes sense to the ones who created the document because they were tracking the projects that way, it may not have been the right format perhaps to lay out because what the Board should be concerned about is the columns entitled “SPLOST Project Budget” and “Difference.”  She said the other columns set out how and when the money will be spent.

 

Commissioner Freedman stated he still has questions about why the Heritage Park project is above what was allocated.  He said he still has not received a clear answer.  Ms. Angus stated it was a source of contention at the time, but it was resolved. She said there was money, prior to the Board determining the $17 million, that had been agreed to in Heritage Park.  She said when the Board took the $17 million and reduced it by the committed funds and arrived at about $10.3 million, the Commissioners agreed to split the funds divided by six and it became $1.7 million each of the Districts received.  She said East Lake Road was set aside as being something that was going to be done and that amount was set aside before the split happened, and so was Heritage Park.  Commissioner Freedman said when the Board was in debate about whether the money could be spent based on a lawsuit (Haugen v. Henry County) the Board decided not to spend that money and everyone held off on expenditures, yet expenditures were drawn down against that money for Heritage Park.  He said that amount was deducted from the total and when the Board split the remainder six ways, that money was already spent, so an extra $1 million plus went to the Heritage Park project.

 

Ms. Angus stated politics is gamesmanship, sometimes whoever gets there first.   Commissioner Holder stated “if that’s the way the game is played, then I need to learn how to play.”  He stated the budget as revised on November 19, 2001, allocated $3,090,000 for Heritage Park and now $4.6 million is allocated.   Commissioner Harper challenged other Commissioners to review the minutes and find where District III is the only District that expended SPLOST funds for a year.  He said that is incorrect and he did not ask for one dime to be spent on East Lake Road, Heritage Park or any other park that the other Commissioners did not vote by majority to authorize the expenditure.  He said he does not have the authority to expend County money without the Board’s approval.  Commissioner Freedman stated he voted against the last four expenditures the Board voted for because of that exact reason; the money was not there. 

 

Chairman Maddox read the resolution adopting the SPLOST I budget.  Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-1, with Commissioners Holman, Holder, Harper and Adams in favor; and Commissioner Freedman opposed.

 

AGENDA AMENDMENT:

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to amend today’s agenda to add a resolution authorizing the Chairman to sign utility relocations (Item III.F.); Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Holder and Adams in favor.

 

COURTHOUSE ANNEX:

 

Ms. Angus stated the Board has two resolutions to consider which address the additional $2 million required for the Courthouse Annex project.  She said, in theory, the Board has agreed we need to build with a ten year space projection in mind versus a meet the needs of today projection.  She said two funding sources have been identified; namely, source one is SPLOST II budget under Capital Projects which has enough left without funding the family community center (identified for discussion purposes as #2.a.), and source two is a ten-year lease/purchase amortized (5% interest) with an annual amount paid through debt service in the General Fund (identified for discussion purposes as #2.b.). 

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to discuss the two resolutions to determine the funding source; Commissioner Freedman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams in favor.

 

Commissioner Freedman stated proposal #2.a. which requires an additional allocation out of SPLOST II, is not realistic because all projects will not be completed in the program.  He said proposal #2.b., which requires a lease/purchase agreement, is the proposal he would like to discuss.  He asked about the cost of the lease/purchase.  Ms. Angus stated it would cost approximately $280,000 annually over a ten year period, or $23,323 per month.  She said it would come from the $7 million that is set aside in the General Fund for expenditures of the Board’s choice, and this was one of the $35 million choices in projects.  She said instead of taking $2 million out of the $7 million, she would recommend a lease/purchase and add it to the debt service schedule.   Ms. Angus stated a lease/purchase can be approved by a vote of the Board.  She said the costs are less than a bond issue.

 

Commissioner Adams asked whether the Courthouse Annex project has been expanded.  Ms. Angus stated the estimates which were made by the Oversight Committee were not made with the advice of engineers or space studies, cost of materials, or scopes of things drawn out.  Commissioner Holder stated the original estimate for the Courthouse Annex was $11 million and the Oversight Committee cut it to $7 million.  He said the Board knows there will be a shortage in SPLOST funds.  He said the Courthouse needs to be expanded to meet the needs of five, ten or fifteen years from now by at least shelling part of the building.  He said his opinion of how it can most logically be done with the least amount of impact is by a lease/purchase agreement for the additional $2.2 million as a supplement to the SPLOST funds.

 

Commissioner Harper stated he agrees with Commissioner Holder.  He said the Probate Court is going to remain in the old Alexander Library and even without that Court the County would be building a space only adequate to meet their needs today.  He recommended supplementing the SPLOST allocation with proceeds from a lease/purchase agreement due to the favorable interest rates.

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution which states “Whereas, the Courthouse Annex has a budget. . .”

 

Commissioner Freedman stated the motion is not appropriate because the Board is still in the discussion stage.  Commissioner Holman said there is a motion on the floor to discuss the two proposed resolutions, and other alternatives have not been discussed.  Commissioner Harper said he does not recall a motion to discuss in the past where a matter was discussed at length, noting parliamentary procedure says you make a motion to approve or deny something and you discuss that motion.  He said all the Board is doing now is discussing a motion to discuss the item. 

 

Commissioner Harper withdrew the motion he began making.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked about the FFE category and impact fee category in the budget.  Ms. Angus stated FFE represents “furniture, fixtures and equipment.”  Mr. Bledsoe stated the City of McDonough has estimated an impact fee of $100,000.  He stated the City is waiving the building permit fees and some other fees.   Ms. Angus stated she will discuss the impact fee issue with the City of McDonough.  Mr. Bledsoe said he has met with the City of McDonough and they do not want to charge any fees they do not have to charge.

 

Commissioner Holman asked why the resolution does not reflect $2.8 million, which figure would include the interest cost.  Ms. Angus stated the resolution would be to borrow $2 million and the remainder will be included in a debt financing instrument the Board would have to approve.  

 

Ms. Angus stated there are two contingent obligations floating, both of which cannot be funded and no choice has been made about either of them.  She said they include the $5 million community center and the other is the Fairview Library in the amount of $1.2 million, once the Board approves a SPLOST budget in excess of $90 million. 

 

Commissioner Harper said the County has more wants than the ability to pay for them out of the SPLOST program.  He said the capital has already been cut for the senior center, resulting in a cost savings, and now if you take this $2 million and leave it in the SPLOST pot, by doing it through a lease/purchase, more money will be freed up.  He said when the SPLOST budget is amended to reflect what is actually coming in, the actual income will exceed what is budgeted, so adjustments will free up the money which theoretically frees up the Fairview Library. 

 

Commissioner Holman said if he supports a lease/purchase for the shortfall on the Courthouse Annex project, the next time the SPLOST budget is adjusted there will be money available for the library.  He said he will support the lease/purchase agreement, but he feels the money for the Courthouse Annex should have come from the sales tax money.

 

Commissioner Holder said what Commissioner Holman just said is contingent upon him getting $1.2 million for the library.  He said Commissioner Holman has made the decision to not fund the library and put that money in other road projects.  He said if the Board goes back to the original resolution passed by the Board that accompanied the ballot, Commissioner Holman has changed that already and now he is wanting the $1.2 million put  back in when he, in fact, has taken the money and funded road projects.  He said what Ms. Angus said earlier, “who gets to the trough first may have merit.”   Commissioner Holder said the funds set aside for District V has been committed.

 

Commissioner Freedman stated the amortization schedule says the loan amount will be $2,040,000, which does not include interest.  He asked what the first year’s payment will be on this amount.  Ms. Angus stated $259,664 is projected to be the first payment.

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve a resolution, as follows:

 

“Whereas, the Courthouse Annex has a budget cap of $7.3 million;

 

“Whereas, the actual project cost will exceed the SPLOST oversight committee’s estimated project cost due to increasing construction material and labor cost;

 

“Whereas, due to insufficient funds, the project budget needs to be increased by $2,040,124.00, with this additional funding coming from a ten year lease/purchase agreement to be serviced from the General Fund; and

 

“Whereas, the budget increase will provide a facility that would accommodate the anticipated growth of the lower court system up to ten years.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners does hereby approve the budget amendment for the Courthouse Annex to cover construction and other associated costs in the amount of $2,040,124.00 to bring the total budget amount, funded by SPLOST II and a ten year lease/purchase agreement, to be funded by the General Fund, to $9,340,124.00.”

 

Commissioner Adams seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked whether the last word where it says “funded” by SPLOST II can be changed to “allocated” by SPLOST II. 

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams in favor.

 

RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO A BUDGET AMENDMENT TO COVER COST INCREASE OVER ESTIMATED PROJECT COST FOR WARREN HOLDER PARK:

 

This is a resolution to approve and adopt a budget amendment for the Warren Holder Park in the amount of $438,795.00 to cover increased estimated costs, which would bring the project budget to $768,795.00.

 

Chairman Maddox read a proposed resolution, as follows:

 

“Whereas, Warren Holder Park has been designated as a project and currently has a total project budget in  SPLOST II of $330,000.00;

 

“Whereas, the estimated cost for construction with project breakdown as listed is:

 

            Road                                        $106,350

 

            Football/Soccer/Parking             500,000

 

            Playground                                  50,000

 

            Total Construction Cost            $656,350

 

“Whereas, the construction cost plus all other associated costs brings the total project cost to $768,795.00; and

 

“Whereas, the project budget amount needs to be increased by $438,795.00.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners does hereby approve the budget amendment for Warren Holder Park to cover estimated costs in the amount of $438,795.00 to bring the total budget amount to $768,795.00.”

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holder seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked where the additional $438,795.00 is coming from.  Mr. Harris said SPLOST staff has recalculated all capital project estimates.  He said some Commissioners agreed to reduce the scope on some of their projects, which freed up approximately $2 million for other projects.  Commissioner Freedman stated the Board needs to make sure the $27 million cap is not raised.  Ms. Angus stated this resolution is the completion of the redistribution the Board previously addressed and this was one issue that was set aside because the things that had been addressed in the list that everyone voted on were more than $430,000. 

 

The motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Harper, Holder and Adams in favor.

 

RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO A COMPREHENSIVE LONG-RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN:

 

Chairman Maddox read the following resolution:

 

“Whereas, it is mandated by the State of Georgia, that Henry County form and adopt a long-range transportation plan;

 

“Whereas, it is needed expeditiously to aid both Henry County DOT and SPLOST in planning their transportation needs;

 

“Whereas, Georgia D.O.T. also requires this plan;

 

“Whereas, Henry County can plan for and budget for future needs; and

 

“Whereas, to expedite the process, funds of $2 million shall be designated and funded by SPLOST II for this plan.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorizes the Chairman to approve funds to be designated and funded by SPLOST II in the amount of $2 million.”

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Adams seconded.

 

Commissioner Holman asked how this is possible.  He said the Board just approved a lease/purchase in the amount of $2 million for the Courthouse Annex.  Ms. Angus stated the Courthouse Annex is a capital project and the transportation plan is a road project.  She stated this is a piece of the intellectual property the County must have that has put the County behind the funding game at the Federal and State level.  She said the study will include traffic counts where roads need to be enhanced.

 

Commissioner Holder stated it is a master plan, just like a park or building needs a master plan.  He said it will be the best $2 million the Board can spend because this $2 million can in turn be $100 million in projects.  He said without this plan, the County does not have necessary data when seeking Federal and State monies.

 

Commissioner Adams stated the County must be able to speak the same language as the State and Federal agencies.   He said this is an essential element of the game plan.

 

Commissioner Holman said he supports transportation 100 percent and, in fact, he would be glad to move the remainder of the $7 million in the General Fund budget to roads.  He said he supports a master plan for roads, but he has seen no proof of what $2 million is going to buy.  He asked whether the County went out for a request for proposal or did the County log onto an internet site.  Ms. Angus said a selection of vendors has not been made.  She said $2 million is a cost estimate based on the County’s number of road miles.  Commissioner Holman asked where he will be able to get a comparison when there is one estimate and he has heard he should trust staff, but he does not see any evidence to support the $2 million.  He said he is not against the issue, he just does not have a clue what the $2 million will buy the Board.  He said case in point is the $650,000 he voted to spend for KPMG, which he will never do again.

 

Chairman Maddox said he met with Congressman David Scott who wanted to know if Henry County has a master transportation plan.  He said the $2 million estimate is based on DeKalb County’s plan.  Chairman Maddox said Congressman Scott recommended County officials and staff visit his office in Washington where we may be able to secure funds for the $2 million plan.  He said that is where the estimate originated, and it may not cost $2 million.  Mr. Taylor suggested sending out requests for qualifications and interviewing several firms to determine costs.  Chairman Maddox stated most Metro counties have a transportation plan and that is why Henry County has not  been able to get State and Federal funds.

 

Mr. Taylor stated the first tangible thing the County would get out of the transportation plan would be traffic counts on roads and the second tangible thing would be what the capacity of our roads are.  He said once we know what the capacity of the roads are, we can see the ones which are over-capacity where the improvements need to be made to be the most effective within the overall transportation system. 

 

Commissioner Holman stated he is totally supportive of improving the transportation needs, however, he thinks the RFP should have been done first to find out the cost.  He speculated if $2 million is allocated, the entire amount will be spent.  Ms. Angus said she told the Board it may be less or it may be more, but that is the estimate.  She said staff has been looking for a way to fund this transportation plan to bring to the Board for six months.   She said she even thought about trying to set up an impact fee fund for transportation and lend money from the General Fund to fund it because the County has got to have this plan.  She said the proposed resolution is the easiest way to fund the plan that will make the most impact on the County.  She said it is the best investment the County could make.

 

Mr. Taylor stated the County must make a convincing argument to the people who have the money, staff cannot just say “we went out there and looked at it.”  He said staff must be able to provide traffic counts, volume capacity ratio, show what the whole County looks like, show future projected travel demand, and needs that have been identified.

 

Commissioner Holman asked what the $65,000 recently allocated will be used for collecting impact fees.  Mr. Taylor said that is another source of revenue which will be set up so money can be collected for transportation for the new residents as they come in. 

 

Commissioner Adams called the question; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

The motion to approve the resolution passed by a vote of 4-1, with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor; and Commissioner Freedman abstained.  Commissioner Freedman said he did not vote for the motion because he has questions about where the money will come from.

 

RESOLUTION TO MODIFY THE CURRENT SCOPE OF WORK FOR THE NORTH MOSELEY ROAD PAVING PROJECT TO INCLUDE FULL DESIGN AND PAVING IN ACCORDANCE WITH AASHTO REGULATIONS, IN LIEU OF AN ALTERNATE PAVEMENT DESIGN AND APPLICATION

 

This is a resolution to change the scope of work to be done on North Moseley Road from an alternative paving application to an AASHTO designed and constructed road.  This resolution also addresses the need to increase the budget amount to $1,973,043.

 

Chairman Maddox read the resolution, as follows:

 

“Whereas, the paving of North Moseley Road from S.R. 138 to Hemphill Road is currently a designated and funded SPLOST II project;

 

“Whereas, the Henry County Board of Education has recently announced their intentions to construct three schools (elementary, middle, high) to be located on property they have recently purchased on North Moseley Road;

 

“Whereas, the Henry County Board of Commissioners had previously decided to use an alternate paving application for this road;

 

“Whereas, it is the opinion of SPLOST staff that with the pending school construction, the road should be constructed in accordance with AASHTO regulations, to ensure a safe, durable road, taking the increased traffic volume into account; and

 

“Whereas, the SPLOST staff has reviewed this project and has estimated the cost to complete the work in accordance with AASHTO standards to be $1,937,043.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorizes this modification in the scope of work and the subsequent project budget increase of $1,594,863, to bring the total project cost to $1,937,043, with funding to come from the transportation element of the SPLOST II budget.”

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Harper seconded.

 

Commissioner Adams said the Board of Education should decide which dirt roads will be paved because they acquire property cheaper on dirt roads and then the County must pave the roads.  He said there needs to be more cooperation.

 

Commissioner Holman stated Mr. Harris has agreed to have conversations with the Board of Education because they have proposed a realignment of this road, with the Board of Education donating required right-of-way for land that faces their property. 

 

Commissioner Harper said the Board of Commissioners must pay for the road because the law will not allow the Board of Education to pay for the paving of the road.  He said in the Board of Education’s defense, they usually give the County as much notice as they can when they buy property.  He said the Board of Education would probably tell the Commission to stop high density development so they would not have to continue building schools, so they can turn it back on this Board.

 

Commissioner Holder said the Board of Education is reacting to what the Board of Commissioners has done as far as zonings; they did not arbitrarily go out and buy land and build schools.  He said there are not many large parcels left on paved roads.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked where the money will come from.  Mr. Harris said the transportation element of SPLOST II has been greatly reduced, principally because of utilizing alternative pavement.  He said the transportation element of SPLOST II now stands at $51.332 million, which takes into consideration the money needed at North Moseley Road. 

 

Ms. Angus stated the SPLOST II distribution is 70/30 on $90 million, which allocated $63 million for roads.  She said the designations are presently at $53 million, so the Board has $10 million remaining in road project money.  She said the Board may want to give the transportation element of the SPLOST II fund a rest for a while and let the projects play out because if the funds are overcommitted, the General Fund will have to cover them.    

 

Commissioner Holman thanked Chairman Maddox for initiative in meeting with the Board of Education at an early stage regarding North Moseley Park. 

 

Commissioner Holman said it bothers him the SPLOST II budget is a moving target and the Board keeps amending it, even though three copies are marked “final.”  He asked for a mechanism to keep track of the drafts, such as a revision date.  Ms. Angus stated the word “final” will be removed from the drafts.  She said Mr. Harris, in one year, has done an unbelievable job bringing order to something that was not orderly. 

 

Commissioner Harper called the question; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

The motion to approve the resolution passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CHAIRMAN TO SIGN UTILITY RELOCATION AGREEMENTS FOR APPROVED PROJECTS:

 

This is a resolution authorizing the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners to sign Utility Relocation Agreements for projects which have been approved and designated.

 

Chairman Maddox read the resolution, as follows:

 

“Whereas, in order to make roadway and safety improvements, it is necessary to relocate existing utilities that conflict with construction; and

 

“Whereas, the Chairman is hereby authorized to sign the Utility Company’s Relocation Agreements on approved and designated projects to expedite the projects.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves and authorizes the Chairman of the Board to sign Utility Relocation Agreements.”

 

Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holman seconded.

 

Commissioner Holman stated it is his understanding this resolution will expedite the utility work for the SPLOST program by authorizing the Chairman to sign the relocation agreements administratively.  Ms. Angus stated the resolution will also apply to Department of Transportation projects.

 

The motion to approve the resolution passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Holder and Adams in favor.

 

RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT THE REALLOCATION OF Q23 FUNDING FROM HE-126B1 (HAMPTON-LOCUST GROVE ROAD) TO HE-007A (JONESBORO ROAD):          

 

Chairman Maddox read the following resolution:

 

“Whereas, Henry County has requested to change the project scope of HE-126B1 (Hampton-Locust Grove Road-Phase I) from a roadway operations project to a roadway capacity project;

 

“Whereas, the change in the project scope will require the completion of a new purpose and need statement, and a new environmental assessment, as required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for projects utilizing Federal funding.

 

“Whereas, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is prepared to let HE-007A (Jonesboro Road) in October 2004 to begin the construction of this project;

 

“Whereas, HE 115 (Jonesboro Road) has no funding programmed but is ready for construction;

 

“Whereas, the reallocation of funding will assist in keeping the construction schedule for HE-007A (Jonesboro Road) on schedule, while keeping HE-126B1 (Hampton-Locust Grove Road Phase I) still a project in Henry County’s project listing for the 2003-2005 RTP/TIP as it completes the necessary FHWA and GDOT processes; and

 

“Whereas, during the RTP/TIP Amendment Update, the status of the revised Hampton-Locust Grove Road will be reassessed to assure the proper funding is available for the completion of this project.

 

“Now, therefore, be it resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners, approves the reallocation and reprogramming of $8 million in Q23 (Surface Transportation Program) programmed for FY 2006 from the construction phase of HE-126B1 (Hampton-Locust Grove Road Phase I) to HE-007A (Jonesboro Road) for its construction phase to be reprogrammed by the Georgia Department of Transportation for construction letting in October 2004.”

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution for discussion; Commissioner Harper seconded.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked what happened to the Jonesboro Road money. Ms. Angus stated GDOT believed and then led the County to believe that the money was available and the contract and bids were to be let in the fall of this year.  She said as that date got closer, the ARC, who controls the Q23 money, said the money is not there.  She said their first request was to move the money from the Hampton/Locust Grove Road project and it would be put back on the list later, which was not approached as a positive move by the County.  She said a meeting was held with ARC and one GDOT representative attended and there was a debate about who did not file the right form.  Ms. Angus said after the debate, they got together and said it was Henry County’s fault.  She said staff wanted the Hampton/Locust Grove Road to remain on the list.  She said in the meantime a discussion was held about expanding the Hampton/Locust Grove Road project from two lanes to four lanes.  She said that will involve a two year process of environmental impact, capacity studies and air quality studies.   She said since the project is two years out anyway and because ARC admits that somehow this project fell through the cracks, the Hampton/Locust Grove Road will be on the very top of the next TIP that comes out, which is usually revised annually. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked whether ARC is willing to put their promise in writing.  Ms. Angus said she will write a letter confirming the conversation.

 

Commissioner Harper said three months ago he and a City of McDonough representative met with D.O.T. Board member Dana Lemon about the Jonesboro Road project, which was going to be let in the Fall.  He was told at that time the County and City needed to have the median designed to prevent the installation of a concrete median.  Commissioner Harper said District III funds for this year were used to pay for the design and the City of McDonough paid for one-third of the cost. 

 

Commissioner Freedman said Jonesboro Road is a key project, in part, because of accident statistics.  He said during the last three years there were 1,171 accidents.  He noted on Hampton-Locust Grove Road there were 21 accidents during the same period.  He said he does not have a problem supporting this resolution, but he hopes the County has not given up on Hampton-Locust Grove Road.  He said it is wrong that this decision had to be made.  He said the County does not have a voice, either at ARC or GDOT.  Ms. Angus stated the Board has made an investment in staff to focus on this issue, which  is the key and is the reason Henry County is now being recognized. 

 

Ms. Angus stated she is concerned that Commissioner Holder is satisfied.  Commissioner Holder said nobody would be proud to have $8 million taken away from their area, but his question has been answered this morning about how the Jonesboro Road project could be let without funding.  He said “it got taken away.”  Commissioner Holder said he wants to be a team player and he does not want to slow the County down because of a project which is two years out.  He said it is the right thing to do for Hampton-Locust Grove Road to be designed as a four-lane road rather than two lanes because it is a major connector between Hampton, Georgia 20, Atlanta Motor Speedway and I-75.  Commissioner Holder said the Board’s cooperation in this matter should help the County’s position later in getting Hampton-Locust Grove Road as a priority on the next list.

 

Commissioner Holman asked how the $8 million was moved.  He asked whether it is ARC money.  Ms. Angus stated it is ARC money that has been designated to go on a particular road.  Commissioner Holman asked whether the County can give the ARC a heads-up of the need for the Fairview Road improvements.  He said he would like that road to be included on the TIP.  Ms. Angus stated the Board needs to have a discussion about the project list.  She said the best justification for Fairview Road is the master transportation plan because it will tell the County where road improvements are needed.  Commissioner Holman said staff “must, shall, will not do without” input from Commissioners when making decisions about LARP projects.  Ms. Angus stated that is staff’s intention.

 

Commissioner Harper’s motion to approve this resolution passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Holder and Adams in favor.

 

Commissioner Holder made a motion to adjourn into executive session as provided by OCGA Section 50-14-4 and upon advice of Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing personnel and real estate matters; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.

 

An executive session was held.

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign an affidavit in support of executive session; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper and Holman in favor.  (Commissioner Adams was absent during this vote.)

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion out of public necessity to amend the agenda for the following resolution and to approve the resolution:

 

 

“WHEREAS, during the 2000 Legislative Session, the Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation that creates a Georgia Greenspace Program intended to preserve community greenspace; and

 

“WHEREAS, the Georgia Greenspace Program promotes the adoption of policies that will enable the County to preserve at least 20% of their land area as connected and open greenspace which may be used for informal recreation and natural resource protection; and

 

“WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners recognizes that the preservation of community greenspace within Henry County is in the best interest of the citizens of Henry County; and

 

            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereby resolves to enter into a contract for greenspace acquisition with the following property owners:  (1) Robert J. and Tracy Schipper for property located in northern Henry County identified as the western portion of Henry County, Tax Parcel Number 063-03-039-000, consisting of 4.0+/- acres; and (2) Paul L. and Patricia Gregory for property located along the northwestern side of Butler Bridge Road, Tax Parcel Number 164-01-009-000, consisting of 44.35+/- acres.”

 

Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Harper, Holder and Adams in favor.

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion out of public necessity to amend the agenda and approve the denial of appeal resolution denying the petition of Felicia Bartlett for review of the decision of the County Manager; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Holman and Adams in favor.

 

Commissioner Holman made a motion to adjourn (11:50 a.m.); Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Holder, Harper and Adams in favor.

 

                                                            Leland Maddox, Chairman

 

Susan B. Craig, County Clerk