STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF HENRY

 

The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Public Meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2, 2009, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted in the entrance foyer of the County Administration Building. The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting. Those present were:

 

                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman,

Reid A. Bowman, Vice-Chairman, District IV Commissioner

Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner

Rick Jeffares, District II Commissioner

            Randy Stamey, District III Commissioner

Johnny B. Basler, District V Commissioner

Also attending were Shay Mathis, County Clerk; LaTonya Nix-Wiley, County Attorney; Rob Magnaghi, County Manager; Phyllis Shrader, Deputy County Manager; Michael Sabine, Assistant County Manager;  Mike Bush, Finance Director; Angie Bailey, Social Services Division Director; Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director; Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director; Jim Luebbering, Building and Development Services Division Director; and others.

(NOTE: Audio of this meeting is available with the County Clerk in the Board of Commissioners’ Office and will be retained for a period no less than twelve (12) months from the date of this meeting.) 

Chairman Mathis called the meeting to order and called for an acceptance of the agenda.  Commissioner Stamey made the motion to accept the agenda; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

The Board presented the following proclamation in recognition of Severe Weather Week.  The focus of Severe Weather Week is to educate and inform citizens on how to be prepared for not just severe weather but emergency preparedness also.  Public Safety will be working throughout the community with several homeowners associations, senior centers and schools.

WHEREAS, Each year, Georgians face the threat of severe weather events such as lightning, thunderstorms, floods, flash floods, hailstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes, all of which are potentially dangerous to life, health and property; and

            WHEREAS, Urbanization and continued population growth increase the potential for these storms to cause death and destruction; and

            WHEREAS, During the past 31 years, severe weather events caused the deaths of at least 308 people in Georgia; and

 

            WHEREAS, Numerous weather-related injuries and substantial property damage occurred in Georgia in 2008; and

            WHEREAS, It is vital that effective public education programs concerning severe weather systems and preparedness procedures continue for the benefit of all Georgians; and

            WHEREAS, Departments and agencies of the local, state and federal governments, along with volunteer and professional associations, elected leaders and news media, are committed to informing Georgia citizens about safety and severe weather preparedness procedures so that they may better protect themselves, their families and their neighbors; and

            WHEREAS, the State of Georgia is launching Ready Georgia, a public awareness campaign to help Georgia’s Citizens understand the importance of emergency preparedness and provide them with the tools necessary to be prepared in the event of a weather-related or other emergency;

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Henry County Board of Commissioners that the week of February 1-7, 2009 be designated as “SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK” in Henry County, during which we hereby encourage citizens to become more aware of severe weather safety measures and to participate in the various awareness programs scheduled throughout the week.

Acceptance of a donation from Willett Honda to the Police Department

            Major Danny Butler, Police Department presented the agenda item to the Board. The request is for authorization to accept a donation from Willett Honda in the amount of $10,000 to be used to purchase taser units. 

            Commissioner Bowman made the motion to approve and authorize acceptance of the donation; Commissioner Jeffares seconded. 

Commissioner Holder asked if there was a bid for the purchase of the taser units or was the vendor a sole source vendor.  Major Butler stated the vendor is the sole source provider for Taser International.  The Police Department has been purchasing the units from DGG out of Florida.  They are the sole source providers in the southeast. 

The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolutions:

WHEREAS, Willett Honda is a supporter of the Henry County Police Department. The dealership wanted to show their appreciation for the men and women of the police department, whose efforts sometimes go unnoticed; and

WHEREAS, Henry County Police Department has deemed the donation would be used to purchase ten (10) X-26 tasers, four (4) year extended warranty, shipping and handling; and

WHEREAS, Henry County Police Department will purchase the tasers for $8,149.50, extended warranty for $1,791.60, and shipping and handling for $58.90 from DGG Taser and Tactical Supply.

WHEREAS, In appreciation for the bravery of these men and women, Willett Honda has donated $10,000 to be used for the benefit of the employees of the police department; and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the HENRY COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS that the Board hereby accepts a donation in the amount of $10,000 for the support and appreciation of the Henry County Police Department employees.

Amendment to the Code of Ordinances regarding Animal Control

            Gerri Dueringer, Director of Animal Control presented the agenda item to the Board.  The Henry County Animal Control Department is charged with the responsibility of animal control services in the unincorporated areas of Henry County as well as the cities of Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough and Stockbridge.  The cities of McDonough and Stockbridge currently have animal control ordinances that differ from the County’s causing the department to enforce three (3) separate animal control ordinances.  The proposed revision provides the County with an ordinance that is more defined, stronger than the current ordinance, updated and has clear definitions to make the ordinance easier for citizens to understand and follow.  The ordinance has been reviewed by the County Attorney as well as the attorney’s for the four (4) cities and will be adopted by all government entities unifying the county with one animal control ordinance.

            Commissioner Holder stated he spoke with a citizen in regard to animal control picking up dogs/cats that are caught in a trap set by the citizen.   Mrs. Dueringer stated because of the growth of the county and the number of animal control officers, they ask that if possible, the citizen bring their trap in to animal control.  Exceptions are made for disabled citizens, elderly citizens, etc.  If a citizen refuses to bring the trap to animal control they will not let the animal suffer, they will go out and get the animal.

            Chairman Mathis called for public comments from anyone wishing to speak regarding the amendment to the ordinance; there was no response.

            Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to approve the amendment to the Animal Control Ordinance; Commissioner Baslers seconded.  The motion carried unanimously (a copy of the ordinance is on file in the County Clerk’s office).

Contract for right-of-way acquisition with GDOT for Fairview Road at SR 155 North

            Roque Romero, SPLOST Transportation presented the agenda item to the Board.  The request is for approval of a right-of-way agreement for construction of Fairview Road at State Route 155 North.  Henry County agrees to abide by all State and/or Federal regulations, rules, laws, and guidelines when acquiring all necessary right-or-way and/or easements.  With approval of this agreement this project will be eligible for Federal and State funds for construction.  Funding for right-of-way is available for this project.

            Commissioner Basler asked for clarification regarding this project.  Mr. Romero stated the project is to widen Highway 155 as well as the side roads with turning lanes and signalization. 

            Commissioner Basler made the motion to approve the contract for right-of-way acquisition with GDOT for Fairview Road at SR 155 North; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, Fairview Road at SR155 is a designated SPLOST II Transportation project; and

            WHEREAS, Henry County agrees to abide by all state and/or federal regulations, rules, laws, and guidelines when acquiring all necessary right of way and/or easements; and

            WHEREAS, with this Right-of-Way Agreement, the construction cost of Fairview Road at SR155 North will be eligible for Federal and State participation; and

            WHEREAS, funding for the Right-of-Way is available within the project.

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves entering into a contract with Georgia Department of Transportation for the county to acquire right-of-way and authorizes the Chairman of the Board to sign all necessary documents for the Right-of-Way contract on Fairview Road at SR155.

Award of a bid to install an HVAC system in the existing building at 345 Phillips Drive

            Ronnie Glaze, SPLOST Capital Projects presented the agenda item to the Board.  The county building at 345 Phillips Drive will be the new location for the Registrars/Elections Department. The request is to award a bid to install the heating and cooling system.  Five bids were received and reviewed and staff recommended the bid be awarded to HVAC Concepts, Inc. 

            Commissioner Bowman stated the low bidder, Harbin’s Mechanical Services, Inc. did not provide a bid bond and that is a requirement, therefore they would be none conforming to the scope of work.

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to award the bid to HVAC Concepts, Inc. to install an HVAC system at 345 Phillips Drive; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, a county building at 345 Phillips Drive is in renovation for the Registrars/ Election Department; and

 

WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for the installation of an HVAC system in the existing building located at 345 Phillips Drive, McDonough, Georgia; and

 

            WHEREAS, five (5) sealed bids were received and reviewed; and

            WHEREAS, funding for this project is available in the project account; and

 

            WHEREAS, staff recommends the low bidder, HVAC Concepts, Inc. in the amount of $115,038.38.

                                               

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the proposal of HVAC Concepts, Inc. and awards Bid Number SP-09-25-103108-1 for the installation of an HVAC System in the existing building located at 345 Phillips Drive, McDonough, Georgia in the amount of $115,038.38. The Chairman is hereby authorized to sign all necessary documents for this project.  All budget amendments and/or transfers necessary for proper accounting of this resolution will hereby be approved.

Award of a bid to install a Fire Sprinkler System at the existing building at 345 Phillips Drive

            Ronnie Glaze, SPLOST Capital Projects presented the agenda item to the Board. The request is to award a bid to install a sprinkler system at 345 Phillips Drive.  It’s important that this building is brought up to the current codes.  The code requires that buildings over 12,000 square feet and multi-story buildings are to have sprinklers.  Four bids were received and staff recommends the bid be awarded to AT & T Sprinkler.

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to award the bid to AT & T Sprinkler to install a fire sprinkler system; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, a county building at 345 Phillips Drive is in renovation for the Registrars/ Election Department; and

WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for the installation of a wet pipe fire sprinkler system in the existing building located at 345 Phillips Drive, McDonough, Georgia; and

            WHEREAS, four (4) sealed bids were received and reviewed; and

            WHEREAS, funding for this budget amendment is available in the project account

            WHEREAS, staff recommends the low bidder, AT&T Sprinkler in the amount of $25,800.00; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Henry County Board of Commissioners approves the proposal of AT&T Sprinkler and awards Bid Number SP-09-20-100908-1 for the installation of a wet pipe fire sprinkler system in the existing building located at 345 Phillips Drive, McDonough, Georgia in the amount of $25,800.00.  The Chairman is hereby authorized to sign all necessary documents for this project.  All budget amendments and/or transfers necessary for proper accounting of this resolution will hereby be approved.

 

Award of a bid to install a Soil Vapor Extraction System at the West Asbury Road Municipal Solid Waste Landfill and to provide start-up monitoring and corrective action plan submittal

            Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  In June, 2007 Henry County received a mandate from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) regarding the closed landfill.  Regular monitoring is done at the landfill and some issues arose that needed to be addressed.  In August, 2007 the Board authorized staff to proceed with the necessary corrective actions to mitigate the problems.  The first step in that process was to move forward with the design to best address the concerns of the EPD.  The design is complete and has been submitted to EPD for review and approval.  It has been approved and now it’s time to move to phase two of the process, installation of the designed system.  The request is for authorization to proceed with installation of the Soil Vapor Extraction System (SVE).  Staff received six proposals for this project and recommends the bid be awarded to Golder Construction Services as the most responsive and best suited contractor for this project.

            Supplemental to the proposals to the proposals received for the installation of the SVE system is a proposal from TTL, Inc. to provide associated professional services which include oversight during the installation of the SVE system, provide start-up monitoring, and prepare a Corrective Action Plan to be submitted to the EPD for reimbursement through the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund.

            Commissioner Bowman asked who the vendor CETS was.  Mr. Harris stated CETS is one of the firms that submitted a proposal and they are based out of Mississippi.  An analysis was done on all proposals that were received.  There was a criteria evaluation that was part of the proposals.  Some of the primary areas that were looked at were experience, schedule, references, cost, quality control and intangibles.  CETS did score high in their cost category; they scored extremely low in their experience and references.  As it turned out, after reviewing their proposal and checking references, they had not done any type of work of this nature previously.  The majority of their work had primarily been gas station construction.  Staff felt for a project of this magnitude and seriousness the vendor needed to have experience and have done this type of work before.  

            Commissioner Bowman asked if this was part of the package to preclude anyone by virtue of their experience in building this type of project.  Mr. Harris stated the vendors were asked to list previous experience with projects of this nature.  CETS listed three projects that they had done previously and none of which had anything to do with soil vapor extracting systems.  They listed three references; one of the references the phone number was disconnected, one of the references listed had no recollection of CETS and the third one recalled them doing work in building gas stations.  Commissioner Bowman asked if it would be better to deem CETS as none responsive.

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Jeffraes seconded.  The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners is the custodian of the public facilities of Henry County; and

 

            WHEREAS, the West Asbury Landfill has been closed for over 15 years and during that time the County has regularly monitored the site to ensure compliance with Georgia Environmental Protection guidelines; and

 

            WHEREAS, in August of 2007, the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorized staff to proceed with having pilot testing done at the site, and have a system designed to remediate the migratory plumes which had been identified on the site; and

 

            WHEREAS, staff has solicited proposals to install a Soil Vapor Extraction System (SVE) at the West Asbury Landfill, and provide start-up monitoring and preparation of the required Corrective Action Plan; and

 

            WHEREAS, the West Asbury Landfill is registered on the Hazardous Site Inventory and all costs associated with the investigation, remediation, and post-closure maintenance of this site are eligible for reimbursement through the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners authorizes the award of Bid Number SP-09-24-11408-1 to Golder Construction Services in the amount of $217,675.00 for the purpose of installing the Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) System, and further authorizes an agreement with TTL, Inc. for associated professional services in the amount of $34,522.00 to include additional well installation, start-up monitoring and preparation of the Corrective Action Plan.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners directs staff to pursue reimbursement for this expense from the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund, as an eligible facility relative to the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund requirements.

Resolution delegating authority to the Tax Commissioner to make final determinations regarding the waiver of assessed penalties and interest on unpaid Ad Valorem Taxes

            David Curry, Tax Commissioner presented the agenda item to the Board.  The request is for authorization to waive penalties and interest on past due ad valorem taxes.  The Official Code of Georgia §48-5-242 provides that the Board of Commissioners has the power to delegate authority to the Tax Commissioner to waive penalties and interest. 

            Chairman Mathis stated this is basically housekeeping.  The former Tax Commissioner had the authority granted by the Board to do this.  Mr. Curry stated yes.

            Commissioner Stamey asked if the resolution had been reviewed by the County Attorney.  Latonya Wiley, County Attorney stated yes and to expound on what Commissioner Curry stated, the actual delegation of authority is to give the Tax Commissioner the ability to make a case by case determination as to whether or not to waive penalties where there is no willful neglect and where there is reasonable cause. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked if this was a practice that was done in the past.  Ms. Wiley stated it was a practice that the former Tax Commissioner exercised in the past.

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried unanimously approving the following resolution:

            WHEREAS, Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §48-5-242, provides the Board of Commissioners of Henry County with the authority to exercise discretion on a case by case basis, to waive in whole or in part, assessed penalties and interest on unpaid ad valorem taxes where it has been reasonably determined that failure to pay the underlying ad valorem taxes was due to reasonable cause and not due to gross or willful neglect or disregard of the law; and   

            WHEREAS, this same statutory provision provides that the Board of Commissioners has the power to delegate this authority to the Henry County Tax Commissioner under such terms and conditions as the Board of Commissioners deems appropriate; and

            WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners desires to delegate this authority to the Henry County Tax Commissioner under the terms set forth herein;

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, subject to the limitations of Georgia law and as provided herein, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County hereby authorizes and approves the delegation of authority as follows:

1.      The Henry County Tax Commissioner is hereby authorized to make the final determination regarding the waiver of assessed penalties and interest on unpaid ad valorem taxes as provided by O.C.G.A. §48-5-242.

2.      In cases of penalties arising from the failure of the taxpayer to comply with the terms, conditions or covenants required with respect to properties receiving any type of preferential assessment, the Henry County Tax Commissioner shall not be authorized to waive any portion of the penalty that represents a recovery by the taxing authorities of any amount by which taxes were reduced as a result of the granting of such preferential assessment.

3.      In each case where the Tax Commissioner makes the determination to waive any portion of assessed penalties and interest, the Tax Commissioner shall certify in writing and under oath that he has reasonably determined that the default giving rise to the penalty was due to reasonable cause and not due to gross or willful neglect or disregard of the law.

4.      The Tax Commissioner shall not be authorized to grant a waiver to any taxpayer who has (a) received a waiver in the preceding tax year; or (b) unpaid ad valorem taxes due on any other property for which a waiver is not being sought; or (c) failed to honor any term or condition imposed by the Tax Commissioner in connection with the waiver request.

5.      The Tax Commissioner shall submit an annual report to the Board of Commissioners identifying all waivers granted pursuant to this delegated authority.

Resolution supporting Local Legislation forming the Henry County Technology Authority

            Clark Rainer, Technology Services Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  The request is for approval of a resolution supporting Local Legislation forming the Henry County Technology Authority.  The main purpose of a Technology Authority in Henry County would be to establish a government structure in order to allow for the Technology Authority to begin work on building high capacity fiber optic network to provide broadband data services to all government entities within Henry County; specifically the Henry Board of Commissioners, the Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority; the Henry County Development Authority, the Henry County Board of Education, the four municipalities and the Henry County Hospital Authority.  The Board would be set up to use the Henry County Development Authority with no additional compensation to the board members.  A technical committee would be formed to make recommendations as to the technical layout, etc. of the fiber optic network. 

            Between the Henry County Board of Commissioners office, the Water and Sewerage Authority and the Board of Education, nearly $1.5 million is spent, per year on connectivity fees and charges and internet related services.  That is enough money to build a fiber optic network to support 170 buildings.  In addition, there is a tremendous economic development component to this.  One thing that is asked for by potential prospects, when considering locating their business in Henry County, is multiple suppliers of high speed network and internet connectivity. 

            Commissioner Bowman made the motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously (A copy of the resolution is on file in the County Clerk’s office).

Board and Authority Appointments

            Commissioner Holder made the motion to appoint Derrius Brown to the Zoning Advisory Board; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to appoint Charlie Tomlinson to the Council on Aging; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to approve the minutes for the January 20th meeting; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

1.      February 3, 2009 – There are no agenda items.  This meeting will be cancelled by the Board.

2.      February 9th and 10th , 2009 the Board of Commissioner will have a Called Meeting Retreat at Calloway Gardens at the Mountain Creek Conference Center located at 17800 US Highway 27, Pine Mountain, Georgia

3.      Monday, February 16, 2009 – Presidents’ Day – No Meeting and all County Offices will be closed in observance

4.      Tuesday, February 17, 2009 @ 6:30 p.m. Regular BOC Meeting

Executive Session

Commissioner Stamey made the motion 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 LaTonya Wiley, the County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

 (Executive Session was held.)

Commissioner Basler made the motion to reconvene into Public Session; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to approve the affidavit and resolution pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to cancel the February 3, 2009 meeting; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Public Comments

            The following people spoke during public comments:

§  Kurt Henry spoke regarding the pending personnel appeal of Ron Alexander.

§  Michael Abraham spoke regarding the pending personnel appeal of Ron Alexander.

§  Ron Alexander spoke regarding his pending personnel appeal to the Board.

Commissioner Bowman made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution authorizing acquisition of .011 acres of land, more or less and .123 acres of temporary easement, more or less and .018 acres of driveway easement, more or less in Land Lot 15 of the 6th District by negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provision of O.C.G.A. § 32-3-4 thru 32-3-19; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Bowman made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution authorizing acquisition of .271 acres of land in parcel 8 and .254 acres of land in parcel 10, more or less and .049 of permanent slope easement in parcel 10, more or less and .027 acres of temporary driveway easement in parcel 8, more or less in Land Lots 96 and 97 of the 12th Districts by negotiated contract or condemnation pursuant to the provision of O.C.G.A. § 32-3-4 thru 32-3-19; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a sign easement for property located in Land Lot 21 of the 6th District and to authorize the Chairman to sign the same; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve the purchase of certain property in Land Lot 207 and 208 of the 3rd District; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Basler made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution prohibiting the Chief Magistrate from practicing law while serving as Chief Magistrate of Henry County; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and deny a petition for review by Ron Alexander; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 4-1-0 with Commissioners Stamey, Jeffares, Basler and Bowman in favor and Commissioner Holder opposed.

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

                                                                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman

 

Shay Mathis, County Clerk