The Henry County Board of
Commissioners held a regularly scheduled public meeting at 9:00 a.m., on
Monday, September 20, 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
Linda G. Angus,
Commissioner Holman made a motion to accept the amended agenda, with two additional amendments:
1. Item VI.E. – “Re-bid for Fire Station No. 11 Septic System;” and
2. Item VI.E. – “Resolution for Fire Protection Inspection.”
Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Freedman, Adams and Harper in favor.
Request of Leon Forrer to address Board concerning Unanswered Letters and the Stormwater Program:
Mr. Leon Forrer,
“We now have two new Commissioners
that have teen-age children and a Republican-elect Chairman who has minor
children. Do we want to keep going on
and knowing our past problems and mistakes.
I hope not. We surely do not want
the children to grow up and inherit our problems. We are in stagnant dead water. I have been involved with the
“What do we have our government for? The main reason is protection. I would like to read a column that Mr. Magnaghi wrote a year ago. I misplaced that, but one of the main things, the gist of the whole thing is, we don’t follow our ordinances and codes. And this is, Mr. Maddox, this is your quote out of the Atlanta Journal Constitution: ‘Either we need to follow an ordinance or change it. Otherwise, what would be the use of having a code, Maddox said.’
“Commissioner Adams, this is a quote
from you in The Daily Herald
Thursday, June 5, 2003: ‘Gerry Adams says that an ordinance is an
ordinance. We have got to follow these
ordinances to protect us.’ One of the
ongoing problems that has been here with us over the last four years is the
siltation of Lake Amah Lee and
“I have a letter to Mr. Steve
Bradshaw. I believe all you
Commissioners have seen it. If I am
reading it correctly, I get the feeling Mr. Rex Dickie of the Building
Department has instructed three companies to clean this pond up. We now have a stormwater program in place to
protect us. It is a very simple problem
to fix. If some builder or developer
silts our waterways, put a stop work order on them until they have cleaned it
up. If I were to throw a rock through
“If we don’t take hold of the stormwater program, and enforce the problems, we, ourselves, the County, will become liable to the property owners.”
Mr. Forrer handed out a letter to the Commissioners, dated March 17, 2004, addressed to Steve and Cathy Bradshaw, signed by Rex Dickie, Development Inspector, Building Department, referencing “Spring Head & Pond – Lots #21 thru 28, Pheasant Run Subdivision.” He read the contents of the letter, as follows:
In reference to the complaints received, there are measures available to correct the sediment accumulation in the pond adjacent to your properties.
The weather is a
consideration for clean-up procedures, per a conversation with Mr. Warren
There are three builders that have affected the drainage basin that affects the spring head and pond. These parties will be notified so a time frame can be implemented for the clean-up. The builders are listed below for your reference: 1. Craig Britt; 2. ManairCon, Inc. and 3. Billy J. Cochran.
Mr. Forrer commented “I get the feeling from this letter that we’re telling these people to clean this problem up. Is that correct?”
Commissioner Holder responded “Our inspectors came to see me, in December, heart of winter. These people in Pheasant Run wanted that project cleaned up and the silt removed immediately. The damage that the equipment would do in the area during the winter would create more silt so we wanted to do it at a time when the vegetation was growing. I believe in reference to Pheasant Run there has been a Biologist to go out within the last couple of weeks after Mr. Bradshaw was here a couple of meetings ago and I defer at this point to Mr. Gilbert or whoever was responsible for having the Biologist out there. The Biologist, and I read the report, saw no violations. This was an independent Biologist; not the County’s Biologist. If there is a problem, we want it fixed and each one of these developers in this letter you have given us had agreed that if there was a problem, they would remove the silt at the proper time. Bear in mind, you don’t go out in the wintertime and disturb more than what you are trying to repair. That’s the reason for the comment about March to early June.”
Mr. Forrer responded, “Right, I understand that perfectly. They were in agreement to go in there and clean the problem up. Good. I feel sure all of you have seen our storm log. It’s 45 entries in the storm log that was generated since 5/14/2004. This does not have all the stuff on the hurricane in there. How are we going to solve all these problems on the stormwater.”
Mr. Forrer stated “I’m through with
stormwater. Now a track and tracing
system is a must. The reason you haven’t
adopted this program, you have to take on the responsibility and accountability
of straightening out problems that have been created by employees or
yourselves. I have a perfect example of
a few letters that I have written different departments in
Ms. Angus stated “part of the problem that we have is that whenever people make requests that we have information, we supply the information. Whenever people make requests and particularly very frequently, a request that required us to perform work, specifically to respond to an individual, at times what happens is that our time becomes consumed by an individual’s demands for us to interact all the time. So, while a letter should get a response, there’s also some reasonable amount of time that we can devote and there is some amount of time that it’s not feasible.”
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Forrer if he has some letters he wants to have answered. Mr. Forrer answered affirmatively. He stated he will provide copies to Chairman Maddox. Mr. Forrer said “I’d like to have a written answer because all I get is the run around every time I ask for something.”
Mr. Forrer suggested “public comments” be placed on the beginning of the agenda. He noted sometimes the public must sit through a lengthy meeting to make a comment. He also noted “a few months ago the County went to having two Board of Commission meetings each week and I’d like for the Board to go back. Then you had individual committees when you came back, you ended up having three meetings in the morning and one afternoon Commission meeting. I’d like for you to go back to having Commission meetings two in the afternoon.” Commissioner Adams stated “with folks working around the clock, now, that was the reasoning for that one in the morning, for folks who work at night; and one at night for folks who work during the day.”
Approval to Accept Donation from Mrs. Linda Hatfield and Pine State Mortgage Corporation to Assist the Henry County Bureau of Police Services in Purchasing Bullet Resistant Vests:
Chief Henry White, Bureau of Police Services, informed the Board Ms. Linda Hatfield and Pine State Mortgage Corporation has donated $3,000 to the Bureau of Police Services to be used for the purchase of bullet resistant vests. Chief White stated the funds will purchase nine vests. He noted Ms. Hatfield led this benevolent effort after media coverage about a police officer’s life which was spared as a result of wearing a vest.
Commissioner Holder made a motion to approve the resolution accepting the donation; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Harper asked staff to send Ms. Hatfield a token of the Board’s appreciation for her generosity. The Board, Chief White and Ms. Hatfield were photographed later during this meeting.
Approval to Accept the 2004-2005 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant:
Chairman Maddox read a resolution authorizing the acceptance of the LLEB Grant. Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve this request; Commissioner Adams seconded.
Chief White and Lt. Terry Lunsford appeared before the Board to request Board authorization to allow the acceptance of the 2004-05 Local Law Enforcement Block Grant from the United States Department of Justice in the amount of $17,363. It was noted the grant requires a local match of $1,929. Chief White stated the Bureau of Police Services was allotted $50,000 in matching grant funds in the current budget. He further noted after acceptance of the grant, the County will have 45 calendar days to meet certain grant requirements, including plans for use of the funds, before the award is drawn down.
Commissioner Freedman stated the grant requires an outside advisory board to development a plan for the expenditures. Lt. Lunsford said an outside advisory board, comprised of certain members of the community, to develop a plan. He noted there is an advisory board in place.
Commissioner Harper’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Approval of an Agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service for funding of a Soil Conservation Position:
Chairman Maddox read a resolution approving an agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. It was noted the Board annually enters into an agreement with the Conservation Service to fund a full-time Soil Conservation position, with the Conservation Service reimbursing the County for one-half of the salary and benefits.
Commissioner Freedman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holder seconded.
Mr. Andy Johnson, District Conservationist, provided informational folders to the Commissioners outlining services provided by the Conservation Service. He said the subject agreement is an amendment to a five-year agreement that is already in force. Mr. Johnson stated the amendment is to fund a General Conservationist, who will work on the Federal Farm Bill programs with landowners, assist with conservation implementation, cost-share funding and other matters. He stated his agency works with developers, Water & Soil Conservation District on erosion sediment control, homeowner issues regarding natural resources, and they partner with the County closely on many projects, including erosion and sediment control, Greenspace program and other issues.
Commissioner Freedman stated the County gets a big return on its participation in funding this agency. He cited their participation and assistance in the development of the Cubihatcha Preserve on the Water and Sewerage Authority’s reservoir.
Commissioner Holder stated this cooperative agreement has existed for many years, noting he served on the Conservation Board for many years. He stated this agency looks at issues for compliance with Federal guidelines.
Ms. Angus stated one question which has not been resolved is the cost of living in our pay plan and how it is applied to outside agencies. She stated she will discuss this with the Board during executive session.
Commissioner Freedman’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.
Mr. Johnson stated he will be moving
Approval to Purchase Equipment for the Department of Transportation:
Mr. Neo Chua, Department of
Transportation Director, stated on August 24, 2004, the Board approved $1
million to fund additional crews for D.O.T.
He stated $364,500 per year will be budgeted for personnel, materials
will be budgeted in the amount of $427,614, which will leave $207,886 for
equipment. He stated additional
equipment will be needed and he proposed Purchasing used equipment through an
auction, which will be held on October 2 in
Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve; Commissioner Adams seconded.
Commissioner Adams stated he has
concerns about buying used equipment.
Mr. Chua stated he has worked for
Commissioner Holman asked what type
equipment is needed. Mr. Chuck Phyllis,
D.O.T. Construction Manager, stated squad trucks for the crews and rollers are
needed. He stated he previously worked
as a Superintendent with
Commissioner Holman’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Harper, Adams and Freedman in favor.
to Display Certain Historical Documents Inside the
Chairman Maddox read a resolution authorizing the display of the following historical documents in the Henry County Courthouse for public viewing and inspection:
2. The Bill of Rights
3. The Ten Commandments
6. The Emancipation Proclamation
7. The Magna Carta
The resolution also authorized the display of a plaque bearing an explanation of the historical display entitled “Why These Documents?’
Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Approval to Reallocate Funds from the District II D.O.T. Priority List:
Chairman Maddox read a resolution to reallocate funds
with the District II D.O.T. Priority List in the amount of $234,000 from the
Walt Stephens at
Commissioner Freedman made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holder seconded.
Chairman Maddox said he thought builders were supposed
Commissioner Freedman’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Approval to Accept Bid from Environmental Pumping & Repair Services, Inc., to Replace the Septic System at Fire Station No. 11:
Chairman Maddox read a resolution to accept a bid from Environmental Pumping & Repair Services, Inc., to replace the septic system at Fire Station No. 11 at a cost of $15,175.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve this request; Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Freedman noted there were no responses on the original bid and only one response on the re-bid of this septic system. Commissioner Holman stated this matter was previously tabled to allow staff to compare the cost of a new system versus hooking onto the Stockbridge sewer system. He stated the cost for tying onto the Stockbridge sewer system is estimated to cost $261,600.
Mr. Randy Doerr, Building Maintenance Manager, stated when he was advised by the Purchasing Department there was no response to the first bid, he contacted some of the vendors who received bid packages. He said the vendors said they did not have time to prepare a bid response. He said that is the reason the septic system was re-bid. He said the new septic system has been engineered, however, he is not sure the new system will cure all of the problems because of the soil.
Commissioner Holman’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Approval to Accept Certified Fire Protection’s Bid for Fire Protection System Services on a Renewable Contract Basis:
Chairman Maddox read a resolution to contract for Fire Protection System Services with Certified Fire Protection.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve this request; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman asked why this
service cannot be provided by Fire Department personnel. Chief
Commissioner Harper’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holman, Holder and Adams in favor.
Mr. Rick Lawford,
“I am currently in receipt of a letter
from the SPLOST Office of Henry County concerning the right-of-way acquisition
Commissioner Freedman asked Mr.
Lawford to call him where a meeting can be set up to talk about this
issue. Mr. Lawford stated “from past
conversations with you, I’d rather do it in a public forum, with this
particular issue, with all of the
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Lawford to write a letter to the Board requesting placement on an agenda. He said the next available agenda is October 19.
Commissioner Harper stated since Mr.
Lawford has received a letter about right-of-way acquisition and this matter is
going to be on a future agenda, SPLOST may need to halt right-of-way
acquisition until the matter is discussed.
Mr. Roy Clack, SPLOST Manager, stated the County will delay right-of-way
acquisition for the
Mr. Ron Anderson addressed the Board, as follows:
“Back on May 17th, there was a proposed code amendment that Mr. Harper brought before the Board. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper wasn’t at the May 17th meeting and there was some discussion. This is regarding tweaking a code amendment to make domesticated fowl part of the exceptions to the pet rules, specifically allowing a certain number of domesticated fowl, chickens if you will, to be included in the code that allows a hundred pound pot-bellied pig or two forty pound miniature goats. The motion was tabled at my request, actually, because my wife and I had a deal with the Code Enforcement people that if it were tabled, it wouldn’t be acted on. We do have two domesticated fowl, two pet hens, so I’m here today to ask the Board to reconsider the motion of the code amendment, and to vote on it and we actually feel kind of funny about this because we felt like we had the support of the Board at one time and then we’ve run into a little obstacle, so we would like your support on it and, if it’s possible to bring it back up today and have the vote.”
Chairman Maddox stated the Board will take this under advisement and he will consider placing it on another agenda. Mr. Anderson asked, in the meantime, if the Board would direct the Code Enforcement officers to honor the deal made with them to allow him to keep the hens until this matter is resolved. He stated he was warned he was going to be cited, so he moved the hens rather than having to go to Court. Chairman Maddox said he cannot direct the Code Enforcement officers, but he recommended Mr. Anderson leave his hens at another location until this is brought back before the Board.
Mr. Magnaghi said during discussions, staff agreed to wait and see what the Board did if they acted within a reasonable amount of time, and after a reasonable length of time and subsequent to receiving additional complaints from neighbors, staff contacted Mr. Anderson asking for voluntary compliance. Mr. Anderson said the two people who complained represented themselves as being the entire homeowners association, so there was a conflict there.
Chairman Maddox asked staff to place this matter back on the next Board meeting for consideration.
SPLOST Emergency Items:
1. Stockbridge Library:
Mr. Lynn Bledsoe stated the Stockbridge Library SPLOST
project was tabled to this meeting so an agreement could be finalized between
the City of
Commissioner Adams made a motion to table this matter until the first available meeting; Commissioner Freedman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Adams and Harper in favor.
Train Depot Platform –
Mr. Bledsoe provided a resolution to approve the bid
proposal for the construction of a Train Depot Platform at the
Commissioner Harper made a motion to award the bid to Jerry L. Johnson Construction Services in an amount not to exceed $34,000; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
3. Transfer of Funds in the Amount of $3,230,000 from both the Department of Transportation and SPLOST II Projects from Rock Quarry Road to Eagles Landing Parkway:
Mr. Bledsoe presented a resolution to transfer
$3,230,000 from the
Department of Transportation: GRTA Bond Money to
Widen Rock Quarry two lanes to four lanes from Eagles
Landing Parkway to
Bridge design to carry
Total Transfer Monies $3,230,000
Mr. Bledsoe’s resolution states the request is to
build a four-lane road on a six-lane footprint, which increased the
construction cost on
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution as presented; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman stated this is the first time he
has seen this resolution. He noted he
represents this area of the County. He
asked whether this is a Georgia D.O.T. request, demand or mandate. Mr. Bledsoe stated the concept has been
developed over a long period of time and the original concept was a
four-lane. He said the traffic count
requires it to be a six-lane by the year 2020, so the Georgia D.O.T. notified
the County’s design engineers they would not be able to accept the proposed
road without a modification. Mr. Bledsoe
said the road will be four lanes from
Commissioner Adams stated he has concerns about taking
funds from the
Commissioner Harper’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Holman, Adams and Freedman in favor.
Department of Family & Children Services Board Appointments:
Commissioner Adams stated he has not received a confirmation from his proposed appointee. He stated he will try to make the appointment at tomorrow’s meeting. Commissioner Adams made a motion to table the District IV DFACS Board appointment; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Holder made a motion to appoint Ms. Anita Richardson as the District I DFACS Board representative; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Holder made a motion, in accordance with the Official Code of Georgia Section 50-14-3 and other applicable laws, and upon advice of the County Attorney, to convene into executive session for the purpose of discussing legal, personnel and real estate matters; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman 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, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign a resolution and affidavit pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holder, Freedman, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Holman made a motion for the Board to hear the appeal of former employee Mark Amerman; Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion did not pass by a vote of 3-3, with Commissioners Holman, Holder and Freedman voting in favor; and Commissioners Maddox, Harper and Adams opposing.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the
Commissioner Freedman asked whether the Board can hear
public comment regarding this matter. Chairman Maddox said public comments will not
be heard since the
Commissioner Freedman stated he has the conditions from the original zoning, which he will add into the settlement. He stated the conditions are included in the December 16, 2003, minutes.
Commissioner Freedman made a motion to approve the rezoning of the Lunsford property with the area south of the ditch, or sanitary sewer easement, being 18,000 square foot lots, and the area north of the sanitary sewer easement being 1/3 15,000 square feet, 1/3 14,000 square feet, and 1/3 as low as 12,000 square feet. Those properties may be reduced from 18,000 square foot minimum by the same square footage dedicated to greenspace. This condition applies only to those lots north of the sanitary sewer easement. The minimum house size shall be one-half of the houses 2,000 square feet; the other one-half shall be 2,200 square feet. Overall density of the subdivision shall not exceed 175 dwelling units. Homes shall be built on site (no modular or manufactured homes), with two (2) car garages. The developer shall install sidewalks on both sides of the street. All yards shall be fully sodded and include a minimum of three trees in each yard. Underground utilities and streetlights required. All homes shall be brick or stone or any combination thereof (stucco deleted from original condition). The developer shall deed all remaining greenspace to the subdivision property owner’s association formed for the development. There shall be no mass grading or clear cutting of the site. The developer shall install trees between the sidewalk and curb. Uniform mailboxes throughout the subdivision.
Commissioner Holman seconded the motion.
Commissioner Holder stated he is not familiar with the conditions contained in Commissioner Freedman’s motion. Commissioner Freedman said he does not think 12,000 square foot lots is acceptable for part of the subdivision. Commissioner Holder said he thought the Board was actually going to vote whether to accept a counter-offer from Mr. Lunsford or not. Mr. Jaugstetter said the Board is authorizing him to present a settlement; the Board is not zoning the property today. Commissioner Holder said the motion is to rezone the property without notification. Chairman Maddox stated the motion is to authorize Mr. Jaugstetter to make a counter-offer to settle the Court case. Commissioner Holder asked whether the lot sizes (12,000, 14,000 and 15,000 square feet) included in the motion have been offered to the applicants prior to now. Commissioner Freedman said the motion is an offer of settlement.
Commissioner Freedman’s motion did not pass, with
Commissioners Freedman, Holman and Holder in favor; and Commissioners Maddox,
Commissioner Harper made an alternate motion. He prefaced the motion by saying “whenever you include a resolution for our approval, one of the whereases shall be that this Board recognizes that all property north of the sanitary sewer easement abuts property owned by Tim Jones, which is high density residential and not in conformity with the neighboring areas. That will prevent a precedent being set that would just carte blanche do it without recognizing that north of the sanitary sewer easement there is adjacent property which is not conducive.” The settlement offer is as follows:
The Board would rezone from RA to R-2, with the following conditions:
a. A minimum lot size south of the existing 20’ sanitary sewer easement would be 18,000 square feet.
b. On the property lying north of the existing 20’ sanitary sewer easement the lot size may be reduced from a minimum 18,000 square feet by the same square footage dedicated to greenspace, down to a minimum of 12,000 square feet per lot. This condition applies only to lots north of the sanitary sewer easement.
c. As to the minimum heated square footage of the homes, south of the sanitary sewer easement, ˝ shall be 2,200 square foot heated and ˝ shall be 2,000 square foot heated minimum.
d. As to the minimum heated square footage of the homes north of the 20’ sanitary sewer easement, the minimum shall be 2,000 square foot heated.
e. The homes shall be all sides brick or stone.
f. There shall be a boulevard entrance into the neighborhood.
g. The yards shall be fully sodded, where feasible.
h. Houses shall be built on site. No modular or manufactured homes. Houses shall have side entry 2-car garages standard where lot layout will allow.
i. There shall be no mass grading or clear-cutting of the site.
j. The developer shall install trees, non-fruit bearing, between the sidewalk and the curb throughout the entire development.
k. The developer shall install underground utilities and lights.
l. Uniform mailboxes must be provided throughout the development.
m. The developer shall install sidewalks on both sides of the street throughout the development.
n. (Regarding the maximum number of lots, “I’m not an engineer so I can’t set it.”) I would assume the maximum number would be 175, which is the maximum number of homes, 175, allowed if you had done 18,000 throughout the entire neighborhood.
o. The greenspace in the northern quadrant of the property would be dedicated to the homeowners association.
Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Holder asked Commissioner Harper to amend his motion so the entire lot would not have to be sodded. He noted some lots would require established trees to be cut if sodding is required. Commissioner Harper changed condition “g” above to require sod, “where feasible.” Commissioner Harper amended condition “h” to require two-car garages standard “where lot lay-out will allow.” Commissioner Holman seconded the amendment to the motion.
Commissioner Holman asked whether a decel/accel lane would be required on the boulevard entrance. Commissioner Harper stated the Department of Transportation would be required to make that determination.
Commissioner Harper’s motion passed by a vote of 4-1, with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor; and Commissioner Freedman opposed. Commissioner Freedman stated he is opposed to the 12,000 square foot lot sizes.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to adjourn (1:15 p.m.); Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Harper and Adams in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman