The Henry County
Board of Commissioners held a Called Meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, August 30,
2004, in the Community Room,
Leland Maddox, Chairman, presiding
Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner
Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner
Jason T. Harper, District III Commissioner
Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner
*** Lee Holman, District V Commissioner - (Absent)
Also attending were Linda Angus, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Mike Bush, Finance Director; Jim Luebbering, Stormwater Manager; Lisa Glover, Transportation Planner; and others.
Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order and asked for an Acceptance of the Agenda. Commissioner Harper made the motion to accept the Agenda; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Holder, and Freedman voting in favor (Commissioner Holman was absent from the meeting.).
DISCUSSION REGARDING HOUSE BILL 489.
Mr. Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, stated the referenced documents replace the changes discussed in small groups last week. Commissioner Adams made the motion to forward the documents to the cities; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Freedman said he had not seen this and would abstain from the vote. He said he noticed the City of Stockbridge would be required to provide its own Police Services and asked if that was correct. Mr. Jaugstetter said that was correct; Commissioner Holder said it would begin on July 1, 2005. Commissioner Freedman said this goes against what House Bill 489 is supposed to do, noting the purpose of House Bill 489 is to avoid duplication of services. Commissioner Holder said the other three (3) cities have the rollback in millage to take care of the Police Departments they are providing.
Commissioner Adams read the last paragraph, “should the City of Stockbridge fail to provide, then the County will do it.”
Chairman Maddox stated at the rate that we are being paid to provide them with Police Services, this County could not provide Police Services for all four (4) cities.
Mr. Jaugstetter said, “what we did on the Police Services Agreement, which is still attached, the County is providing the police service to the City of Stockbridge – we are going to provide it at the same level; we are providing it in unincorporated Henry County without the same tax revenue.”
The motion carried 4-1-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Holder, Adams, and Harper voting in favor, and Commissioner Freedman voting against.
DISCUSSION REGARDING USING THE IMPACT FEE COMMITTEE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION IMPACT FEE STUDY.
Chairman Maddox said the Commissioners received a letter from Lisa Glover, Transportation Planner, stating each Board member could leave their Committee appointee as is, or they could appoint someone else.
Ms. Glover said she is trying to get the Committee in place no later than September 20th. She said the Committee’s function and mission would be the same as it was with the original Impact Fee Committee. Ms. Glover said they would represent the community by putting together transportation impact fees. She said the Committee’s composition is to ensure the development community is not left out of the fee study.
Ms. Glover said she would compose a letter with a list of the Board members, and each Commissioner could determine whether they would like to keep or replace the appointee on the list.
Chairman Maddox tabled this item until the Tuesday, September 7th Regular Board of Commissioners’ Meeting, at which time each Commissioner will submit their appointee to the Committee.
Commissioner Holder asked the Deputy County Clerk, Shay Mathis, to check on how the appointments were made by referring to the Minutes of that particular meeting. He said it should reflect the discussion of a 7-member Committee,which were not District appointments.
DISCUSSION REGARDING THE STORMWATER PROGRAM.
Ms. Angus stated the Board voted to create on the General Fund’s books a loan or a receivable from whoever ends up funding the Stormwater fee, instead of spending $1.2 million out of the General Fund. She said if we, the Board, do not want to set the fee and take on the program in its entirety (meaning establishing the fee and collecting it), then we cannot keep it, because we cannot afford it; she said it is a mandate that has to be funded from a separate charge, whether the County does it, or whether we give it to the Water and Sewer Authority or the Regional Board. She said someone needs to set and collect a fee. Ms. Angus said last year the Board agreed to start the Stormwater Management Program with a loan of $800,000, to be collected by the General Fund when the fees were established. She said we have not begun to spend $1.2 million yet; we are still working on the $800,000 that was established as a loan last year.
Commissioner Holder referenced the $800,000 and said the Board has probably expended a good portion of it, if not all. He suggested any programs that are going to be implemented, should be considered individually by the Board. He said when Phase I was started, the Water Authority funded approximately $1 million, and then the County participated with the Water Authority in a $600,000 program. He said he felt comfortable that these funds can come back once fees are collected and the program is implemented.
Ms. Angus agreed, and said that is why we established an expenditure for the $800,000 last year; noting we established a loan to the Stormwater fund. She said, “the only critical piece is if the Board chooses to fund to allow another entity to take on Stormwater, when that transfer takes place, the documents have got to be watched very closely, because the County has got to be reimbursed in total or it will have to write off that debt.”
Commissioner Holder said he does not see it as a big “hang up” as long as the language is there to retrieve these funds.
Chairman Maddox stated the Board had discussed whether to retain the Stormwater or whether to discuss this with the Water Authority or leave it with the Regional Board.
Ms. Angus said she did not think there was a lot of knowledge in the regional approach; she thought the Water and Sewer Authority’s approach, effort, and fees would probably be similar to the County’s. She asked the Board to allow a document to be laid out regarding the pros and cons of each approach, so the Board will be more informed before making a decision.
Chairman Maddox asked if the Board should sit down with the Stormwater Committee now.
Ms. Angus said this is a good idea; she said the Board would probably want a document to work from. She asked the Board to be aware the retention ponds and the infrastructure need to be considered by the Board as part of the ongoing cost. She said it would be the most sound approach for this County to identify those and put them in the agreement so whoever funds it will be repaid.
Commissioner Holder said the Board needs to consider that whatever is done, they need to move fairly quickly. He stated it makes more sense if one entity takes Stormwater with the County and all four (4) of the cities under it. Every drainage basin (Towaliga Basin, Tussahaw Basin, Walnut Creek Basin, etc.) in this County has been dammed up or is being used by the Water Authority for drinking water. He said the way the Board is talking about it today, there would be five (5) different entities monitoring Stormwater Management. Commissioner Holder said the longer the Board waits, the more costly it will be to consolidate.
Mr. Jim Luebbering, Stormwater Manager, pointed out the County is in the second year of the 5-year program. He said the County is making great strides to catch up and to get ahead, and any entity who is willing to take it on, he encourages them to make sure the progress does not slow down. On December 17th, the County needs to hand in a report, with the Chairman’s signature, detailing everything the County has done. Mr. Luebbering stated, “there are some ‘hefty’ BMP’s that we promised in the permit; stormwater inventory and dry-weather monitoring are two costly items, and we have to find the funding somewhere.” He said the County has some huge items promised in the permit, and we cannot go back and ignore or avoid them. “This is a huge obligation; this money will get us 80% of the way there, and there will not be any money left over after paying for Stormwater.”
Chairman Maddox stated the Board should meet with Mr. Luebbering and his staff regarding which entity will handle Stormwater.
Commissioner Freedman said his thoughts were the same as Commissioner Holder’s in that the Water Authority should head this program. He said he asked the Water Authority if they took over the program, would they absorb the personnel the County has on board. He was told they would absorb the personnel and provide office space, absorbing the cost and responsibility. Commissioner Freedman said he had spoken to a couple of cities stating they would be deeply inclined to have a consolidated program if the Water Authority takes it over. He thought this was the best way to go, because the violation would be removed regarding House Bill 489 in the duplication of effort. He said this would be a great way to unify the County.
Chairman Maddox said once the Board meets with Mr. Luebbering and his staff, the next step should be to go to the Water Authority, depending on the outcome of the meeting.
EMERGENCY SPLOST MATTERS/BIDS.
Commissioner Harper stated the Board will discuss the SPLOST related matters in the Executive Session. He asked to move item VI (Emergency SPLOST Matters/Bids) to follow the Executive Session.
Commissioner Holder moved 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 purpose of discussing the acquisition of real estate. Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Holder, Adams, Freedman, and Harper voting in favor.
(An Executive Session was Held)
Commissioner Harper made the motion to reconvene into Public Session; Commissioner Adams seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, and Adams voting in favor.
Commissioner Adams made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Freedman seconded. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, and Holder voting in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk