STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF HENRY
The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a regularly scheduled public meeting at 9:00 a.m., Monday, April 5, 2004, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board 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
Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager/Public Safety Division Director; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Tom Couch, Human and Community Services Division Director; and others.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the agenda, with the following amendments:
1. Add Item III.A. – “Political Signage;” (NOTE: The motion was amended to place this agenda item on tomorrow’s agenda)
2. Remove Item IV.B. – “Request approval to accept bids for Police Uniforms” and place this item on tomorrow’s agenda for a recommendation from the Purchasing Department;
3. Remove Item V.A. – “Request for approval to locate a subdivision sign for Windsong Plantation in the Right-of-Way of Country Club Drive;”
4. Remove Item V.B. – “Request for approval of a license for wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages” and place on tomorrow’s agenda;
5. Remove Item V.C. – “Request approval of a Resolution to support the Metro Atlanta Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program to Improve and Coordinate Timely Highway Incident Management;”
6. Move Item VI.A. – “Request approval of a resolution to issue a notice of intent to perform the necessary tasks to acquire the building currently operated by DFACS and to arrange appropriate financing” to Item XIII.B. (after executive session); and
7. Remove Item IX.2. – “Impact Fee Ordinance Amendment.”
Commissioner Adams seconded.
Commissioner Freedman asked why Item IX.2. (Impact Fee Ordinance Amendment) is being removed from the agenda. He stated Commissioner Holman previously removed this agenda item, which was included at Commissioner Freedman’s request. He asked for an explanation. Chairman Maddox stated when impact fees were implemented, they were to be collected at the time permits are issued, which he supports. He said the proposed change of collecting the impact fees when the CO is issued has already been discussed by the company who conducted the Impact Fee Study, which indicated this has been tried in other places and resulted in some mix-up.
Commissioner Freedman stated Mr. Ross’ statement dated February 6 did not say this has been tried and failed. He said this is an issue brought up by builders. He stated he supported impact fees long before Chairman Maddox came on the Board. He said he does not understand why impact fees are being collected before the impact is felt. He said if it takes a builder ten or eleven months to build a house and the money has been collected up front for $1,600 for every house he builds, which may not be sold for ten or eleven months, the County has sat on his money for a year or two, in some cases, and we have not felt the impact until somebody buys the house and moves in. He said the purpose of the Impact Fee Ordinance is for libraries and other things, based on the impact of the increase in the population. He said the Board does not feel the impact until the population increases after the house is sold. He said many people think this is an issue of fairness. He stated it increases the cost of the home. Commissioner Freedman stated “I think there is an undercurrent motive on this by you (Chairman Maddox) and other people, which has nothing to do with the fact that the issue is fairness. In fact the Board voted on it and passed it back on February 16th when I made a motion to approve the ordinance, 4-2-0, with Freedman, Holder, Harper, and Adams voting in favor; and Maddox and Holman voting against. Then somebody said it had to go to the Planning & Zoning Board, which I’ve never verified as being valid, and probably should have let that motion stand at that time. I would like to not have Mr. Holman’s motion approved where he is taking this impact fee ordinance off of the agenda. It’s an issue of discussion, there are people who are vitally interested in it, and if you feel so much against it, let’s discuss it and then you can make your vote known then. But don’t take it out before we’ve had an opportunity to discuss it.”
Commissioner Holman stated “since Commissioner Freedman is working diligently on this, I do make a request and plea to get our transportation element included in the impact fee collection so that monies will be collected for roads when we are collecting impact fees. I know that is not part of this issue about when to collect the fee, but currently the CIE element is not included for transportation and I’d like for him, and I’m glad to help him, to, as soon as possible, allow the collection of monies for our roads.” Commissioner Freedman stated that is not part of this issue. He stated the County Manager is working on that issue.
Commissioner Holder stated he agrees with Commissioner Freedman in the fact about collecting the impact fee at the time the permit is issued. He stated as far as the roads in the Capital Improvement Element (CIE), this has nothing to do with this issue and he does not know why this cannot be voted on today, noting if it is defeated, then it is defeated, and if it wins, it wins. He stated one thing Commissioner Freedman did not mention in his statement was the fact the impact fees are collected, plus time and interest accrued, which means the customer could end up with less home for the same money.
Commissioner Adams stated he is for impact fees. He said Commissioner Freedman is right that the Board “sits on their money and it is probably the right thing to do, however, there is one more thing, and it may be a compromise between the two sides given the fact we are still working on the transportation element part of it, which does not have anything to do with this issue today, but in the big picture it is part of the impact fee. He said HDR, who is contracted to re-write our Comprehensive Land Use Plan and ordinance re-write, is pretty close to being finished in a matter of 30 or 60 days. Before we start patching on what is not even here yet, why don’t we delay this until they have the re-write, and we’re not talking long, maybe a few weeks, and that will be in the re-write to collect at the CO. I’m for that; I think that’s fair, at the time the CO is issued. That might be a good compromise, let’s just delay it until then and we won’t have started patching on something that is already new anyway, which is a big problem with our ordinances now. We’ve got a million patches on them. I support collecting the impact fee at the time the CO is issued.”
Commissioner Harper stated he agrees with Commissioner Adams since the Board is only a few weeks away from adopting the whole plan. He noted a resolution was recently adopted for the Board to stop amending the ordinances at every meeting because HDR is being paid a quarter of a million dollars or $300,000. He stated he agrees with the premise of having all the amendments at one time.
Commissioner Freedman asked Mr. Danny Taylor when the ordinance re-write will be complete. Mr. Taylor stated a deadline was set of May 3rd for the Comp Plan, but a specific deadline was not set for the ordinances, however they should be complete at about the same time.
Commissioner Freedman asked Commissioner Adams, “do I have your agreement that we can put this back on the agenda and I’ll have your support after they get the ordinances rewritten?” Commissioner Adams responded “generally speaking, yes; things change, but generally speaking, yes.”
Commissioner Holman’s motion to approve the agenda, as amended, passed by a vote of 3-2, with Commissioners Holman, Adams, and Harper in favor; and Commissioners Freedman and Holder opposed.
REQUEST OF SI ELLIOTT TO ADDRESS THE BOARD CONCERNING ENTERTAINMENT TAX:
Mr. Si Elliott appeared before the Board and made the following statement:
“I think it is time that Henry County should consider the idea of an amusement tax or entertainment tax or surcharge on sporting events and other activities that come into the County, such as the raceway and maybe movie theaters down the road. Other states and cities are doing it and I think Henry County is missing out on a big opportunity. And, while I’m here I’d like to address one other issue. It’s not on the agenda, but I’d like for you to consider the idea of maybe one County governance for all of Henry County, such as Muscogee County, and maybe consider putting it on the November ballot as a referendum. That ought to start some interesting conversation.”
Commissioner Holder stated he supports the entertainment tax idea and it is something he has worked on since 1998 with every attorney the County has had during that period, plus outside counsel. He said he has not been successful because of the effect it might have on high school sports. He said he has not found anyone who is willing to “take it on.” Commissioner Holder stated the Board misses two golden opportunities each year at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Speedway has no problem with the Board implementing an entertainment tax.
Chairman Maddox stated he is for an entertainment tax as long as it does not affect school activities. Mr. Elliott stated he would also not support including school activities in the tax.
Commissioner Freedman asked Mr. Elliot what he means about one governance, like Muscogee County. Mr. Elliott stated he would like to see one County government take care of the entire county and eliminate or consolidate activities and “do away with duplicating the city governments” and let one organization govern. He said Clarke County is another example. Commissioner Holder said the difference is the fact Henry County has four cities, rather than one city, such as Athens-Clarke County.
Mr. Elliott suggested placing this on a referendum to allow the citizens to decide because it will save money. He said he has written letters about the entertainment tax to the newspaper for the last 25 years.
Commissioner Holman said he is in favor of an entertainment tax.
Mr. Jim Risher stated “it is a good idea. About 25 years ago I worked for a municipality that had a large sports stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome Stadium in the City of Pontiac, Michigan. I was Planning Director there for a number of years and we imposed a surcharge on every ticket for that sporting event. It did not affect school programs at all. It just affected the stadium tickets and other related businesses and it was a very good source of revenue for the City that went into the operations. I would support initiating a study that would lead to the adoption of this. As far as what he says about unified government, I think that is a good idea to let the people decide, also.”
Commissioner Holman asked if it would be appropriate to direct the County Attorney to draft the language appropriate for putting on the November ballot regarding the entertainment tax. Commissioner Harper suggested the County Attorney be directed to research entertainment tax.
Mr. Jaugstetter suggested Commissioner Holman make a motion to authorize the County Attorney to draft an ordinance to propose an entertainment tax or surcharge. He stated he would not draft an ordinance he would not be comfortable with the Board adopting. Commissioner Freedman stated the Board needs to coordinate with the different areas involved, such as the Atlanta Motor Speedway, to see how it can be done.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the County Attorney to research an ordinance to propose an entertainment tax or surcharge; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor.
AGREEMENT WITH THE GEORGIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY AND TO ACCEPT FUNDS
Chief Barry Jenkins stated this agreement is regarding the local emergency planning committee. This committee has assumed the responsibility of revising the hazardous materials annex of the emergency operations plan. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has made funds available for this revision in the amount of $3,915.40 and to develop an area contingency plan for hazardous materials.
WHEREAS, The Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee has the responsibility of revising the Hazardous Material Annex of the County Emergency Operations Plan, and,
WHEREAS, The Georgia Emergency Management Agency has made funds available for this purpose, and
WHEREAS, The Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee, under the authority of the Henry County Emergency Management Agency, has agreed to revise the existing Hazardous Material Annex of the Henry County Emergency Operation Plan and to the development of an Area Contingency Plan, and
WHEREAS, The Georgia Emergency Management Agency agrees to compensate the Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee in the amount of $3,915.40 to carry out this project, and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorizes the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners to sign the agreement between the Henry County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
Commissioner Harper made a motion for approval. Commissioner Holder seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
GEORGIA STORMWATER MANAGEMENT MANUAL, VOL. 1 AND VOL. 2, AS THE OFFICIAL STORMWATER POLICY AND TECHNICAL MANUAL
WHEREAS, Henry County has obtained a Phase II National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit to operate a municipal stormwater system; and,
WHEREAS, the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual, Volume 1 and Volume 2, regulates stormwater policies and technical guidelines for stormwater management; and,
WHEREAS, Henry County participated in the development of the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual approved by the Atlanta Regional Commission; and,
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County desires to reduce non-point source pollutants and stormwater discharges through Best Management practices and other structural and non-structural methods; and,
WHEREAS, the adoption of the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual will be an important step in preparing for the Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4’s); and,
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County has determined that it is in the best interest of the community to implement stormwater policies and technical guidelines to manage water quality and stormwater runoff; and,
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County is the governing body of the jurisdiction having authority to adopt policy concerning stormwater operations pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Georgia and the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and as amended from time-to-time.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of Commissioners of Henry County hereby adopts the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual, Volume 1 and 2, as the official Stormwater Policy of Henry County, Georgia; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any Resolution in conflict with this Resolution is hereby repealed.
Commissioner Holder made a motion for approval. Commissioner Holman seconded the motion.
Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director, gave an explanation of this resolution. This resolution adopts the manual as the official guide for the Stormwater Program. Commissioner Freedman asked if the Water Authority has also accepted these manuals as part of their NPDES. Mr. Taylor stated he was not sure if the Water Authority has accepted the manuals; this comes directly from the State. Commissioner Freedman stated he wanted to make sure this would not be in conflict with the Water Authority.
Mr. John Dean, Arcadis, added this has not officially been adopted by the Water Authority; it is part and partially integral to the watershed assessment and the implementation plan that goes along with it. From an official stand point, it is not adopted by the Water Authority but would be used as intended in all watershed management activities.
Commissioner Freedman stated in the future there should be coordination with the Water Authority because they’ve had this function for so long they have steps implemented.
Commissioner Holman asked what the stream buffer dimension is and whether that is addressed in the manuals (often refered to as “The Blue Book”) being adopted today. Jim Luebbering, Stormwater Manager, answered currently the requirement is a 25’ minimum setback. What is specified in the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual is an extension in the buffer of 50’, 75’ or 100’. It’ll reduce the requirements for water quality volume to be treated in the ponds, so there are credits spelled out in the blue book that will reduce the size of the structural controls if you are willing to extend the stream buffers.
Commissioner Holder stated in the watershed district, currently in the watershed critical areas there is a 500’ stream buffer, minimum of 25’, which becomes progressive due to the water quality and the closeness to reservoirs and the attributers that feed it.
Commissioner Holman stated currently there are two projects underway, the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and the Unified Development Code, and he questioned whether this manual will interfere at all with these projects. Danny Taylor replied the standards of the code that relates to stormwater management will not be changed.
Commissioner Freedman commented regarding stream buffers noting there are varying setbacks. It depends on whether it’s perennial or intermittent, that is a big difference on how far you set back. There’s no one set standard for your setback. The ordinance and law specifically talks about whether it’s a perennial stream or intermittent stream. Jim Luebbering added the Blue Book goes into details as far as the setbacks need to be from perennial or intermittent streams. Commissioner Freedman further stated there is not a set standard; it depends on what the stream is.
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
Danny Taylor asked if the issue discussed at Thursday’s called meeting regarding accelerating the schedule for stormwater fees so will they will be set to go out in the September bills, will be discussed today. Chairman Maddox asked the Board if they would like to discuss this issue. It was decided to discuss this issue at Tuesday’s meeting.
FY 2005 GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES (DHR) UNIFIED TRANSPORTATION GRANT/CONTRACT APPLICATION
WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereinafter referred to as the “Applicant” has requested assistance from the Georgia Department of Human Resources for the purpose of capital assistance; and
WHEREAS, this project is considered to be important and necessary to public transportation in Henry County; and
That the applicant while making application to or receiving grants from the Federal Transit Administration will comply with the Federal statues, regulations, executive orders and administrative requirements as listed in Appendix A of the FTA Circular FTA C 9070.1C and as also included in Appendix B of the Georgia Department of Human Resources State Management Plan and Application Package for Elderly and Disabled Transportation inclusive;
That the Applicant has or will make available in the required amounts non-federal funds to meet local share requirements;
That Leland Maddox, Chairman is empowered to sign contract on behalf of the Applicant; and
That the above named official may sign on behalf of the Applicant any assurance, certification, and other documentation that may be required as a part of the application submitted.
Commissioner Freedman made a motion for approval. Commissioner Adams seconded the motion. Commissioner Freedman commented there is no local match.
Commissioner Holman asked what the dollar amount is. Tom Couch, Human and Community Services Division Director, stated the Department of Human Resources pays our Transit Service, under a purchase of service agreement, for providing these services for DHR consumers. We are being reimbursed under a cost per unit basis for the one way passenger trips that are provided for various agencies (county counseling center, developmental disabilities, etc).
Commissioner Adams asked if this is open ended, no matter how many trips there are. Tom responded there is probably a projected estimate for the number of trips. Bob Bullington, Director of Transit Services, replied $324,000 divided by $10 a trip is 32,400 trips. If more trips are envisioned, DHR would make an amendment to the purchase of service agreement.
Commissioner Holman asked what if the fee was $20 a trip, who would pay for this. Tom Couch responded the State will pay for it. The State determines based on the money available, matched with the resources that the County has available and what the County determines as the cost per trip. Commissioner Holman asked what other Counties charge for trip cost. Mr. Couch replied that would be dependent on the level of service their Transit Agency provides. It may be different from county to county because some county transit agencies may have higher or lower costs based on the level of service and demand.
The motion passed 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
BOARD REAPPOINTMENT – CAROLYN BROWN TO THE MCINTOSH TRAIL COMMUNITY SERVICE BOARD FOR MENTAL HEALTH, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AND ADDICTIVE DISEASES
Commissioner Holder made a motion to approve the reappointment. Commissioner Adams seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
Commissioner Holder commented at last week’s meeting Arcadis was told the Stormwater issue would be discussed at this meeting. It needs to be confirmed when it will be discussed. This is the contract with Arcadis to establish a stormwater utility for unincorporated Henry County. The collection of fees is different.
Commissioner Holman made a motion out of public necessity to amend the agenda to add as IX – 2: “Discussion of a contract with Arcadis to establish a stormwater utility for unincorporated Henry County.” Commissioner Holder seconded the motion. The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
BID PERTAINING TO UNDERGROUND WIRING AT HERITAGE PARK
Whereas, bids were solicited for underground wiring at Heritage Park;
Whereas, four (4) vendors submitted bids for this project;
Whereas, funds are available in the SPLOST budget;
Now, Therefore, be it Resolved the Henry County Board of Commissioners awards the contract for installation of underground wiring at Heritage Park to Henry County Electric in the amount of $11,499.00 and authorizes the Chairman of the Board to sign all necessary documents to accomplish this purchase.
Commissioner Harper made a motion for approval, not to exceed $11,499.00 for Henry County Electrical. Commissioner Adams seconded the motion.
Commissioner Holman commented it has been brought to his attention some concerns regarding the purchasing in the SPLOST Department and the County Purchasing Department. He stated Michael Harris is working on these concerns and will address the Board.
Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director, commented it’s being addressed as to some ways to expedite the SPLOST purchasing procedures. SPLOST is working with the Purchasing Department to alleviate the problems.
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Holman in favor.
CONTRACT WITH ARCADIS TO ESTABLISH A STORMWATER UTILITY FOR UNINCORPORATED HENRY COUNTY
Commissioner Holder made a motion to approve the agreement with Arcadis G & M, Inc. Commissioner Holman seconded the motion.
Commissioner Holman asked the County Attorney if he was satisfied with the agreement. Patrick Jaugstteer, County Attorney, replied he has reviewed the agreement and from the legal standpoint it’s okay. Commissioner Holman asked if the agreement had been reviewed from the financial standpoint. Mr. John Dean, Arcadis, stated Jim Luebbering, Stormwater Manager, and Danny Taylor, Economic Division Director, had reviewed the financials.
Commissioner Holman read the resolution:
Whereas, Henry County presently has a need for professional services for a stormwater utility implementation project of behalf of Henry County; and
Whereas, Arcadis G&M, Inc. has prepared a Professional Services Agreement in which it agrees to provided said professional services under the terms and conditions set forth in said Professional Services Agreement; and
Whereas, upon review of the Professional Services Agreement, it has been determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Henry County to proceed with execution of said Professional Services Agreement;
Now therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, that execution of the Professional Services Agreement with Arcadis G& M, Inc., a copy of which is hereto attached marked Exhibit “A”, is hereby approved and authorized.
Commissioner Holder amended his motion to add, not to exceed $198,700. Commissioner Holman amended his second.
Commissioner Freedman commented regarding the price breakdown of the agreement. John Dean responded the rates are standard billing rates. Jim Luebbering stated he compared the rates. Firms are in competition and the rates are almost identical. He further stated in order to keep the cost down, the county is willing to do a lot of the work in-house. When something comes up and the county can do it cheaper or quicker it will be done in-house.
The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Holder and Holman in favor. Commissioner Harper was not present for the vote.
Commissioner Holman commented on the issue for Tuesday’s agenda regarding political signs. He stated he has received candidate complaints that the sign ordinance restricts the square footage to 2 X 4, which is 8 square feet. Many of the signs seen are 4 X 8 which is 32 square feet. This will be discussed tomorrow.
Chairman Maddox asked Commissioner Holman if he had read the sign ordinance and Commissioner Holman replied negative. Chairman Maddox stated he read over it twice and the County Attorney is going to review the ordinance. The ordinance does not address political signs, it addresses temporary stake signs.
Commissioner Holder made a motion to convene into executive session in accordance with the Official Code of Georgia and pursuant to advice of the County Attorney to discuss legal, real estate and personnel 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, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to sign an affidavit in support of the Chairman pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO PERFORM NECESSARY TASKS TO ACQUIRE THE BUILDING CURRENTLY OPERATED BY DFACS AND TO ARRANGE APPROPRIATE FINANCING
Commissioner Holman read the below-listed resolution:
“WHEREAS, currently there is a lease to own agreement with Bon Builders for the Henry County DFACS building; and
WHEREAS, DFACS is a state funded agency and the State rents the DFACS Building from the County; and
WHEREAS, the monthly rent is equal to the lease payment of the building; and
WHEREAS, Henry County has determined that in the best financial interest of the County to proceed with this acquisition; and
WHEREAS, Henry County wishes to purchase the building and make an addition to the building for much need space;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereby issues a notice of intent which authorizes the County Manager to proceed with the necessary tasks to acquire the building that is operated by DFACS and to arrange appropriate financing.”
Commissioner Holman made a motion to adopt the resolution; Commissioner Freedman 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 (10:51 a.m.); Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holman, Harper, Holder and Adams in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk