STATE OF GEORGIA

 

 

COUNTY OF HENRY                           

 

 

 

The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Meeting on Monday, May 3, 2004, at 9:00 A.M. in the Community Room of the County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia.  Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board of the County Administration Building.  The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting.  Representing Henry County were:

 

                        Leland Maddox, Chairman (presiding)

                        Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman, District V Commissioner

                        Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner

                        Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner

                        Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner

 

                        (Absent: Commissioner Jason Harper, District III Commissioner)

 

Also attending were Linda Angus, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager and Public Safety Division Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Tom Couch, Human & Community Services Division Director; and others.

 

Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order and made the following announcement: “we had one of our police officers, Sgt. Jimmy Curtis Gilbert, killed in an accident last Sunday morning about 7:00 A.M.  He had been on the force for about fourteen (14) years.  I would like for us to stand for a moment of silent prayer, and I would like for Commissioner Gerry Adams to have our invocation.”

 

(A moment of silence was observed in the memory of Jimmy Gilbert.)

 

Chairman Maddox asked for an Acceptance of the Agenda and Commissioner Holman moved to accept the Agenda with the following amendments.  Commissioner Holman asked the County Attorney, Patrick Jaugstetter, for advice on the discussion of a request from John Michael West to purchase County property located at the corner of Old Jackson Road and LeGuin Mill Road. 

 

Commissioner Holder said he had asked Mr. Jaugstetter to put this on the Agenda.  “I would like to delay this because we are planning an intersection improvement at this intersection, and I would like to see the plans from DOT and if we are going to impact this property.  I would hate to sell it and then have to buy it back.  This is not something we have to do today; therefore, I ask this to be removed from discussion today.”

 

Commissioner Holman moved to accept the Agenda with the following amendments:

 

Item III, Board Appointments to the Board of Tax Assessors, to be removed from the Agenda; Item IV-A (under Economic Development Division), Request Approval of a Resolution to engage Tischler and Associates of Bethesda, Maryland to perform a Transportation Impact Fee Study, to be removed; Item IV-B, Request for Approval of a License pertaining to the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages for Packaged Sales at the location of the Jodeco Shell Station, 3452 Jodeco Road, McDonough, has been tabled for Tuesday, May 4, 2004, meeting.  Also, Item VI, which is our Agenda Amendments/Emergency, we’ll add the Request to Approve a Bid for the Construction of Fire Station #4, located on Keys Ferry and call that VI-A.  That concludes the amendments to the Agenda.  Commissioner Freedman seconded with a question.

 

Commissioner Freedman asked if Commissioner Holman removed IV-A.   Commissioner Holman said it had been postponed, and stated the resolution was not perfected; “it has the language brought to this Board’s attention the word ‘sponsoring’ which does not indicate the agreement as to when it is starting, what is the scope, what is the amount of money and when it is going to end.  I would like to see discussion first before it is brought before this Board.”

 

The motion to amend the Agenda carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Maddox, Holman, Freedman, Holder and Adams voting in favor.

 

Chairman Maddox said he had a letter he needed to read (received on Friday, April 30, 2004) to the Board Members sent to the Honorable Sonny Perdue, Governor of the State of Georgia.

 

            “Dear Governor Perdue,

 

            The law requires that I resign my position as the Third District

            Commissioner in order to qualify for the office of Henry County

            Commission Chairman; therefore, I hereby tender my resignation

            As Third District Henry County Commissioner effective at

            10:00 a.m., April 30, 2004.

 

                                                            Sincerely,

 

                                                            Jason T. Harper”

 

 

Commissioner Holman asked the County Clerk, Susan Craig, to make a copy and distribute to the other Board Members. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked the County Attorney, Patrick Jaugstetter, if he was aware of that.  Mr. Jaugstetter replied, “you can run for office……it depends on when you would take office.   I was not aware of this until I just now read it.”

 

 

Resolution Pertaining to a Presentation by Georgia Department of Community Affairs Concerning the Water First Program.

 

Ms. Leigh Askew of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs was present to give the Board of Commissioners a briefing concerning the Water First Program.  This program sponsored by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and its statewide partners is designed to recognize and assist local communities in achieving environmental excellence in water management and stewardship.  As a part of the program requirements, Ms. Askew shall brief the Commission on its obligations and opportunities, while answering any questions the Board Members may have.

 

Chairman Maddox stated Commissioner Holman had been accepted on this Board.

 

Mr. Tom Couch, Human and Community Services Division Director, spoke:

 

            “Subsequent to our joint application with the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority in October, in late February Henry County was selected to be a part of the second Water First class making us a part of a select group of communities in Georgia who pledge to the State and to our citizens to be stewards of excellence for our water resources.  As a part of our obligation, I am pleased to present Ms. Leigh Askew who will give us a brief, interesting and compelling presentation on the Water First Program.”

 

“Good morning, I am Leigh Askew with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.  It is a new initiative and has been around for about two (2) years.  Basically, the Water First Program is a partnership between local governments and State agencies and other organizations led by the Department of Community Affairs working to increase the quality of life in communities.  It is an opportunity to pursue environmental excellence beyond what is required by the law.  It is a proactive approach to water resources, and it really makes the connection between land use and water quality and quantity.  It is also looking beyond your political boundaries in recognizing those inextricable links that are created by sharing water resources.  It is looking at the watershed as a whole.  It is a really important step a community can take and protect its valuable water resources for environmental, economic, social and health benefits today and in the future.   So why would a community want to go above and beyond the menial requirements that they already have to go through?  It is the responsible thing to do; protecting our water resources is vital for our future generations and it is an educational program providing community leaders and their constituents to the greater understanding of the importance of careful water management and the need for real protection of this limited resource.”

 

“It also provides a number of resources to help guide the integration of the management protection of water in the daily operations and Comprehensive Land Use Plans.  It provides incentives of participation in programs and is committed to the communities’ goals for improved water quality and through those benefits, to apply every year for community development block grants for water related projects and also to receive a point off the borrowing rate on State funded GEFA loans.  It also provides recognition; this is a program that has a limited number of participants and each year, a number of communities have the opportunity to present to a review committee to receive the official Water First designation.  That is what Henry County is working towards right now.”

 

“There are seven (7) major components to the program.  The first is the watershed assessment, and that is a comprehensive effort to determine the causes of water degradation within your watershed.  For example, Hall County, Forsyth County, and the City of Gainesville did a watershed assessment on Lake Lanier.  They determined what problems, what land uses or different things were causing problems in the lake.  Secondly, is stormwater master planning.  These are programs that manage the volume and flow of stormwater run-off.  For example, in Gwinnett County around the Mall of Georgia was to require porous paving that reduces the amount of flow off of large parking lots.  A lot of folks do not think about the fact that stormwater is not cleaned before it is returned to our streams.  So if you are dumping oil down a drain or your car is leaking something and it washes off of a parking lot, that goes untreated into your streams and then adds cost to you to clean up that water to make it drinkable.  Thirdly, is water supply planning.  This is a management tool to promote orderly and methodical development and wise investment while protecting your natural resources.  For example, a regional reservoir in Jackson County, the Bear Creek Reservoir, where four (4) counties came together to plan their future water needs and develop this reservoir.  Their costs that went into it were determined by how much water they would be taking out of it.  Fourthly, is water supply protection which is literally protecting our water supplies.  A lot of people do not know where their water sources are, and so educating the public on the streams, rivers, the lakes and the ponds used for drinking water, and an effort to protect those and again reduce cost in cleaning the water to make it potable.  Next is water conservation; from the years of draught, we have been very familiar with the problems caused by lack of water.  Building good water conservation programs by distributing indoor and outdoor water saver kits can reduce the use of water in our communities and to help people use it wisely.  Also the distribution of leak detection kits are helpful and can be cost effective in repair for a simple leak.  Another element is wastewater master planning; it is looking at the existing collection conveyance treatment and disposal facilities and assessing any potential changes for the future.  This would be very important to Henry County with the explosive growth and would ensure everything in place to handle that growth and the influx of large amounts of new residences.  Another element is developing an overflow response plan.  This would ensure your community knows who to contact if there is a sewer overflow, which can cause a lot of damage to streams, stream habitat, and wildlife.  The final element is water reclamation reuse; this is reclaiming wastewater and treating it to a level where it can be used for projects such as irrigation.  For example, water reclamation is used on a golf course in Hilton Head, S.C.   It reduces treatment cost, reduces the use of potable water, and gives that wastewater a place to go and a very suitable use.”

 

“Looking at current management practices and protections, it is again applying for the assistance which you have done.  It is setting those community goals and looking at a time line for which those things should be accomplished.  The County has done that as well, and has set a date for yourselves to advance the items in the Water First Program with a target date set for January, 2006.   Some of the things in your application included improving capacity to protect water resources due to growth pressure, utilizing public resources to raise public awareness of effective water stewardship, and seeking development innovations to current water resource management efforts.   What will DCA provide for this program?  We provide the staffing, we work with the review committees to select the applicants, we will help to direct you to various resources around the State, and we will work with you in reaching those goals that you have set.  We will bring together our work groups as necessary, and we also award the final designation as recommended to us by our review committees.”

 

“These are the communities who are at work in the program right now:

 

·        ·        Baldwin County, Eatonton, and Putnam County applied together.

·        ·        Cobb County, Columbus, Fairburn, Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Hall County also applied together.

·        ·        Others are Hartwell, Henry County, Jackson County, Jesup, Kingsland, Lee County, Richmond Hill and Rome.”

 

“We have three (3) communities that have received the Water First designation: Clayton County, Gwinnett County and the City of Savannah.  We hope to add four (4) or five (5) more to this group by year-end.   We are glad to have Henry County participating in the Water First Program, and I look forward to working with you and your staff in reaching these levels that you have set.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “thank you for being interested in our most valuable resource – water.  We are grateful to have DCA and you, who are inspired to do this, to help us make these things happen.  I know that Lake Lanier is an Army Corps of Engineers Program; does the Corps of Engineers interface on this around the State?”

 

Ms. Askew responded, “they do not at this time; many of the elements that impact our waters, such as Lake Lanier and Lake Hartwell (a Corps operated facility), would not be things the Corps would be addressing.  The Corps would not be responsible for mandating what can be done outside their guidelines.   We have a number of Federal agencies, including EPA, who have worked with us to design this program and to set it up.  There are about thirty-five (35) members of our stakeholder committee from State agencies to non-profits to Federal agencies to the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech who have been at the table with us in the design.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “what part does the Water First Program play in stormwater management?”

 

Ms. Askew responded, “stormwater management is one component of the program, and we will be happy to work with the communities in the areas they want the assistance.  Adopting the manual will be a good step for Henry County, as well as the ordinances as part of the Metro District.  Stormwater has become our biggest problem; the Clean Water Act was set up to end the point source pollution.  Now we have really realized, especially as communities continue to develop and pave, the implications that stormwater runoff has on our streams.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked, “regarding porous paving, we had a shopping center come in and they had looked at that, but they said it does not work because the holes or the porous part fills up with sediment and silt and are not effective.  Do you have any experience on that?

 

Ms. Askew said, “porous paving can require flushing out, just like pressure washing.  Porous concrete is the exact same material as sidewalks, but they use a larger aggregate (stone) that creates those pours.   Grass pave is another one; the Mall of Georgia has grass parking lots all around the borders and is very effective.  The Orange Bowl in Miami, its parking lot is done in grass pave.”

 

Commissioner Freedman asked Ms. Askew for some literature on grass paving. 

 

Commissioner Holman said, “I have attended a very long seminar at Clayton County in reference to stormwater management.  We have, as a governing authority, adopted the stormwater management manuals in this County.  Tomorrow we are having a joint BOC/Henry County Water & Sewer Authority meeting, and we want the Water Authority to know what we are doing with our stormwater management.  When we first became aware of the application to apply for the Water First community, the questions were very technical.  The first place that application went to was the Water Authority, and they filled out the technical information, and then along with our Tom Couch, Human and Community Services Division Director, he polished it off for us and sent it to your staff and here we are.  I am proud to be one of the participants.”

 

Ms. Askew said, “as you should be.  We have had a total over the two (2) years of 75 to 80 applications, and our review committee, consisting of experts from the University of Georgia, leaders from ACCG and GMA as well as folks from Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association, have reviewed these applications and have made the selections.   Every community that applies is not accepted in the program.”

 

Commissioner Holman asked how many of the 75 to 80 applications were accepted this year.

 

Ms. Askew said there were five (5) members selected this year out of 35 to 40 applications.

 

Commissioner Holman asked if there are any grants available.

 

Ms. Askew replied, “one of the areas of assistance that I can offer you is looking for grants.  You can apply again every year for Community Development Block Grants for water projects, and we are always looking and working with other State agencies to develop other incentives.  One area that I am happy to work with you in is looking for funding for various projects.”

 

Commissioner Holman asked if Ms. Askew was our contact for securing funding sources or is it the DCA.

 

Ms. Askew answered, “you would still have to go through the regular DCA programs.”

 

 

Request Approval of a Bid Pertaining to the Purchase of One Gas Fired Stationary Steam Kettle for the Senior Services Department.

 

Sealed bids were solicited for the purchase of one (1) Gas Fired Stationary Steam Kettle for the Senior Services Department.  Four (4) vendors submitted bids for this purchase as follows:

 

Food Service Equipment                       Gainesville, Ga.             $11,353.00

Owens Equipment Co., Inc.                  Lawrenceville, Ga.                      13,240.00

Atlanta Fixture & Sales Co.                  Atlanta, Ga.                                14,248.62

Norvell Fixture & Equipment                Augusta, Ga.                              19,800.00

 

Food Service Equipment’s bid in the amount of $11,353.00 meets bid specifications, and the vendor is bidding exact specifications as required by the department.  Funds are available to complete this purchase.

 

Commissioner Holder made a motion to approve the request of Food Service Equipment assuming it is a budgetary item; Commissioner Freedman seconded. 

 

Ms. Angus, County Manager, stated, “this is part of the grant we received and have to spend before June 30, 2004.” 

 

Mr. Tom Couch, Human and Community Services Division Director, said, “this is a part of the additional allocation from the ARC and was approved at the last workshop and was a budgeted item for $12,000.00 as a result of the solicitation process.”

 

Commissioner Holman said, “we applied for a grant; we received the money, and even though the center does not need the kettle, we just need to expend the money and this Steam Kettle has been identified as the purchase.  Where are you going to put it?”

 

Mr. Couch answered, “it was my understanding from Mr. Fowler that the Steam Kettle at the Heritage Center was subject to malfunctioning.  I forget how many years of age he told me it had on it, but this Steam Kettle, provided it is maintained properly through its warranty, would last a substantial number of years, and the existing Steam Kettle would be surplus.”

 

Ms. Angus stated, “the Steam Kettle at the Senior Center at Heritage was not purchased when the building was built; it was one they moved into that location.  The one in Fairview is a new one, and I do not know that the manufacturer was the issue.”

 

Commissioner Holder said, “that one came from the Senior Services when it was located on Spring Street; it has been there for years.”

 

The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Holman, Holder and Freedman voting in favor.

 

 

Resolution Pertaining to a Proposal for Construction of Fire Station No. 4 Located on Keys Ferry Road.

 

Sealed bids were solicited for the construction of Fire Station No. 4 to be located on Keys Ferry Road.  The SPLOST referendum approved funding for the replacement.  The SPLOST Management Department received nine (9) sealed bids for this project, and they recommended the lower bidder, Headley Construction Corporation.  Construction services are not to exceed the amount of $735,000.00.

 

Commissioner Holder moved to approve the resolution; Commissioner Adams seconded.

 

Commissioner Holder asked, “as far as the SPLOST budget is concerned, is $735,000.00 in for this fire station?”

 

Mr. Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director, responded, “the original amount for the fire station was $733,000.00.  As we stated previously, there are going to be a number of SPLOST projects that will exceed the original estimated amounts.   SPLOST actually met with the low bidder along with the Fire Department Personnel to make some modifications to the scope of the work to reduce the price.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “it says ‘reduce project scope by $34,000.00.’  Was there any architecture or design work in this bid?”

 

Mr. Harris said, “there is some modification work; we have to pay for the cost of the plans.  We had to weigh the architectural changes versus the cost of the additional site cost.”

 

Mr. Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager and Public Safety Division Director, stated, “in the plans you had originally to be the model, after going back and looking at that particular model, there was some valued engineering that could be done, such as the ceilings were considerably higher than needed to be and areas in the kitchen that required commercial hoods by modifying from an eight burner down to a six burner.  This particular design should be what we should use in the future because it reduces some of the cubic feet of space in the bays to make them more efficient.”

 

Ms. Angus said, “this and every other SPLOST project will have to be addressed again by the Board because the money is not exactly correct based on what was budgeted.  We will either have to reduce numbers or make new appropriations and all of these will come back to us.”

 

The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Adams, Holman and Freedman voting in favor.

 

 

Public Comments.

 

“My name is Derwin Binion, a resident of Henry County, and I live in the Lakeside – Winegate Subdivision off of Walt Stephens Road.  I am speaking on behalf of the citizens who live in the Winegate Community and in the Lakeside – Winegate Community.  We are encountering problems with traffic, and I have read about the plans in the Henry County 5-Year Plan prior to moving into the subdivision about two (2) years ago.  But I wanted to share with you the urgency and the concerns and some of the recommendations of the citizens in that area.  The intersection of Walt Stephens Road and Speer Road has a lot of traffic, and there is no traffic light there.  We all agree there should be a traffic light there, and according to the Henry County 5-Year Plan as of 2003, your plan was to have a traffic light at that intersection.  Also, there is a huge need for an intersection expansion at the corner of Highway 138 and Speer Road; there is a lot of congestion because there is no turning lane for the traffic turning left, allowing the other traffic to continue going straight or turn right to get on the Interstate.  Of course we all know there is a lot of congestion at the intersection of Speer Road and Walt Stephens Road in the morning when it is time to go to work and in the evenings when you are coming home from work.  Some days it is backed up to Highway 138, which means you can sit in traffic literally for 20 to 25 minutes on Speer Road and Highway 138 just to get down to the intersection of Speer and Walt Stephens.  That is not good.  Lastly, we recommend intersection improvements at the corner of Flippen Road and Walt Stephens Road.  There again is a lot of congestion; there are no turning lanes to allow other traffic that is continuing to go straight to continue forward, while the traffic that is turning left is allowed to turn and not back up.  We would like to recommend on Walt Stephens Road, given the continued development of the Monarch Subdivision and other subdivisions, widening the street from two lanes to three lanes to include a middle lane for turning.  There is a new school recently built, Red Oak Elementary, which will open next year, and the roads are really congested now, and with the school opening and no traffic light, there is going to be a great need for an additional lane to accommodate the buses and the parents who will be bringing their children to the school.   I have a petition signed by the residents of the two (2) communities that I will leave with the appropriate person for review.”

 

Commissioner Freedman said, “we have some good news for you.  First of all, the Walt Stephens, Speer, and Blackhall intersection design is almost completed.  It has been under design for a long time, but I will ask Mr. Michael Harris to speak to you about this.  About once a week I call Mr. Harris inquiring an update.  The design plan was done but we had it modified because the State requires turn lanes, multiple lights, and this is going to be a lengthy project.  We will have to relocate utilities and may have to do property acquisition.  Regarding Red Oak/Walt Stephens, we already have the money to pay for a light, and there will be a third lane for the buses to turn.   Regarding Highway 138 and Speer Road; that is a different issue.  We just re-asphalted Blackhall and Speer, and that intersection is in the City Limits.  I would ask you to go to the City Council and ask them to participate in that and also participate in the light at Red Oak and Walt Stephens.  That is entirely in the City Limits, and we asked them to pay one-third (1/3) of the cost.  Post Properties was going to pay one-third (1/3) and we were paying one-third (1/3) out of my road budget.  When we asked the City, they declined and said they did not want to participate.   Flippen and Walt Stephens is in Commissioner Gerry Adams’ District.”

 

Commissioner Adams said he had good news for Mr. Binion there.  “The design work is complete, and if it is not out for bid for the construction phase, it is very close to being out for bid.  As far as I know, there will be turning lanes all the way around.  Flippen Road will be widened from Walt Stephens Road down to Banks Road with a signal light there also, because both of those areas are bottlenecks.”

 

Mr. Harris stated he would go over the status of all these areas with Mr. Binion where all these projects lie. 

 

Commissioner Freedman asked for the status of the light at Walt Stephens Road and Blackhall Road.

 

Mr. Harris said it was scheduled to be bid out for construction in June or July.

 

 

Commissioners Comments.

 

Commissioner Holman asked Mr. Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Manager, “do we expect the study from Mr. Zucker to be available soon?”

 

Mr. Taylor responded, “I expect this towards the end of May.”

 

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, County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters.  Commissioner Freedman seconded; the motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Freedman, Holman and Adams voting in favor.

 

            (An executive session was held)

 

            Commissioner Adams made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

            Commissioner Holman made a motion, out of public necessity, to amend the agenda to allow the SPLOST group to address the Board; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

            Ms. Angus stated SPLOST Management would prefer to wait until the bids for Pates Creek Road are opened before addressing the Board.

 

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the affidavit pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

            Commissioner Adams made a motion to adjourn (11:30 a.m.); Commissioner Freedman seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.

 

                                                           

                                                            Leland Maddox

                                                            Chairman

 

Peggy L. Malcolm

Deputy County Clerk