The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Public Workshop Meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 5, 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; Michael Sabine, Assistant County Manager;  Mike Bush, Finance Director; Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director; Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning 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 Jeffares made the motion to approve the agenda; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Mr. George Espada addressed the Board regarding Immigrations and a Community Health Center

            Mr. Espada stated he wanted to brief the Board on an assignment to gather information on an immigration project known as 287G which is being managed by Cobb and Gwinnett Counties.  Mr. Espada stated he would get information to the Board (tomorrow) with all the documents that have been gathered. 

            Chairman Mathis stated for clarification that the Board of Commissioners would not be the Board that will determine if the County moves forward on anything pertaining to the immigration initiative.  There have been conversations with Sheriff Keith McBrayer and any request would have to come from his office to the Board of Commissioners.  

Master Plan for Nash Farm Park

            Whit Alexander, Lose & Associates presented the agenda item to the Board.  Mr. Alexander stated their task was to come up with a passive recreation plan for the property that respected and preserved larger portions of the battlefield but would provide citizens of the county passive recreation opportunities.  The program features came from the members of the Steering Committee, the Commissioners, and Staff.  Some of the features are the Historic Battlefield, Trail Network (a series of trails), Open Play Lawn, Amphitheater, Bandstand, Playground, Heirloom Garden, and a Corporate Pavilion.  A cost estimate was prepared for the entire master plan to cost approximately $17 million with a large portion being the amphitheater complex. 

            Chairman Mathis stated the question could be asked, why a master park plan.  One thing about having a master park plan is it gives the opportunity to apply for grants. 

GDOT’s GATEway Grant

            Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director and Cheri Hobson-Matthews, Transportation Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  GATE is an acronym for Georgia Transportation Enhancement.  The GATEway Grant is offered by the Georgia Department of Transportation.  The GATEway Grants assist communities in their efforts to beautify roadsides along state routes. The maximum per jurisdiction is $50,000.  The funds are from the fees collected from the outdoor advertisement signs along the Interstate.  Staff is looking at these funds to supplement the current Bruton Smith Parkway funding.

Safe Routes to School Program

            Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director and Cheri Hobson-Matthews, Transportation Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  Approximately two years ago there was a joint meeting with the Board of Education the opportunity to apply for funding for the Safe Routes to School Program was discussed.  Since that meeting, various jurisdictions were awarded Safe Routes to School funding.  In light of that, the School Board made a determination that the buses would no longer pick up students within a one mile radius. 

            There have been discussions with the School Superintendent regarding potentials for the Board of Education to apply for the funds.  There are no matching funds required.  The Georgia Department of Transportation has a consultant that will help the Board of Education do a safe route’s to school plan.  There is also a consultant to actually do the entire process for installing and constructing sidewalks as well as preparing all of the preliminary engineering.  Staff would like to know the direction or the next steps regarding collaboration with the Board of Education.  In the event that Henry County Board of Education is selected to receive funding, there would be some type of contractual agreement for future maintenance of the sidewalks. 

            It was requested that this item be discussed at the joint Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education meeting on October 8, 2009.  Ms. Hobson-Matthews stated there will be a call for projects in the Spring of 2010.  The funding for the program is based on congressional districts.

            Chairman Mathis stated that some sidewalks could’ve been installed had there been applications the first time around.  Mr. Harris stated the program talks about five key points.  The points talk about education, encouragement, and enforcement that typically are handled by the Board of Education.  The construction point is typically overseen by the county and that is where the maintenance agreement comes into place.  There was no one from the Board of Education side to pick up the gavel and go with it.  After recently speaking with them, they have expressed a tremendous amount of interest. 

            Commissioner Holder stated in 2002 when this program was first proposed the current one-mile issue was not considered at that time.  The initiative in 2002 was for bike racks at the schools.  Ms. Hobson-Matthews stated the funds can be used for bike racks; that is one element of the program. 

            Ms. Hobson-Matthews stated Kimberly Borders is the consultant retained by the State to do the preliminary engineering.  They will visit the sites and make sure they are conducive for sidewalks and/or crosswalks or signage.  The funding can only be used for kindergarten through eighth grade schools.  Mr. Harris stated the Board of Education has a list of schools where there is interest.

            Chairman Mathis asked how much does it cost to construct sidewalks per foot.  Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director stated approximately $16 per foot.  Ms. Hobson-Matthews stated the most we can receive is $500,000 for infrastructure and $10,000 for non-infrastructure. 

            This item will be discussed at the joint meeting with the Board of Education on Thursday, October 8th.

Partnership with ARC and the U.S. Geological Survey to participate in the collection of GIS color imagery, high resolution LiD Data, and Hydro-Breaklines for 10 counties in the Atlanta Region

            Michael Harris, Planning & Zoning Services Division Director and Pat Delk, GIS Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  Every two years the county updates the GIS data, including the aerial maps.  This was last done in 2007 at a cost of $277,000.  This is typically done by each individual jurisdiction.  Since that time the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has requested that 10 of the metro counties partner together to come up with a consolidated contract to fly the entire region for a reduced cost.  The first cost estimate was approximately $89,000 to provide LiDAR imagery and the hydro-breaklines.  An email was received from ARC stating there were some modified estimates from the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) indicating the cost has increased.  ARC recommended that all the counties meet to try to come to some kind of census.  Staff will need to look into this to make sure that it is still a cost saving benefit. 

            Ms. Delk stated that if the county decides not to go with the LiDAR and hydro-breaklines and only do the imagery that would be a significant breakdown of approximately $68,000.  There has been a financial commitment from the Henry County Water & Sewerage Authority (HCWSA) in the amount of $22,500 to assist in the cost of the data.

            Chairman Mathis asked how much, of the cost, is an eligible reimbursement through the Stormwater Department.  Mr. Harris stated they have spoken with Jim Lubbering, Director of Building and Development Services as well as Mike Bush, Finance Director to identify that this is a legitimate cost that can be reimbursed by stormwater.  There has also been a verbal commitment from the City of Stockbridge to contribute approximately 25% of the cost and also contact has been made with the other cities but nothing has been committed. 

            Chairman Mathis suggested that staff contact the HCWSA to see if they would be willing to increase their contribution.  Also if at the next meeting there could be a breakdown of the total cost for each governmental agency and what stormwater would be eligible to pay.

            Commissioner Bowman asked who would be the stackholders for this service.  Ms. Delk stated as far as the imagery, Stockbridge, McDonough, and Locust Grove uses it exclusively as well as all the county departments.

            Commissioner Holder asked what methods were used when coming up with the use percentages for the participants.  Ms. Delk stated the current percentages were voluntary.  Mr. Harris stated as done with other joint plans the population and land area could be considered. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked if this could be postponed due to there not being much growth in the county since it was last done in 2005.  Mr. Harris stated there are a couple of options.

            Commissioner Stamey asked how the Board of Education benefits from this information.  Ms. Delk stated they use the information mostly for their transportation program.  When choosing a location for a new school they use the Ariel photography.

            Chairman Mathis asked that staff review the cost if we do this without the other counties.  Ms. Delk stated the cost would be significantly greater.  The reason the cost is reduced is because this is a project that the USGS is going to do regardless of the participation.  The USGS partnered with ARC to do a cost share with the counties to get this information at a reduced cost.  It’s not known if this opportunity will be available in the future. 

            Commissioner Holder asked if the information obtained through this service would be shared between the participating counties.  Ms. Delk stated there could be joint access to all the information obtained by participating counties. 

New Signage for all zoning requests

            Ray Gibson, Director of Planning & Zoning presented the agenda items to the Board.  Throughout the Unified Land Development Code (ULDC) process as well as the numerous public hearings over the last fewer years there has been some negative comments regarding the current zoning.  Currently a yellow sign is used for all zoning requests with the zoning information handwritten on the sign by staff.  Staff proposed a new blue sign with black letters that will include a rocker located on the top of the sign which will state the zoning action and staff will no longer be required to write request on the signs.  The cost for the signs would be approximately $24.69 per sign including the rockers, signage and the frame; it does not include the lettering.  The City of Stockbridge signs will remain yellow but the rockers will be added. 

            One of the requirements in the ULDC is to notify adjacent landowners of proposed rezoning request.  A postcard will be mailed to adjacent landowners indicating the request and asking them to notify the Planning & Zoning Department for questions and information. 

            Commissioner Bowman stated the blue sign is hard to read.  The information does not stand out enough to be read passing by.  Chairman Mathis asked if staff had tried white lettering.  Mr. Harris stated staff did some visual testing.  The blue sign with the white lettering was much better, more visible. 

Purchase of a 30+ passenger AA bus for the Transit Department

            David Williamson, Transit Director and Angie Bailey, Social Services Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  The Board approved a project list and grant to accept $400,800.00 from the Federal Transit Administration.  One of the projects identified was to purchase a 30+ passenger bus capable of accommodating wheelchair passengers with an estimated cost of $200,000.00 with a local match in the amount of $40,000.00.  Currently there are buses of this size available on the State of Georgia contract.  Purchasing from the state contract the department is in compliance with all FTA and ADA guidelines. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked if the bus that will be retired could be considered for the intimate services to transport the Spalding County Inmates.  Mr. Williamson stated yes it could be considered. 

            Commissioner Holder asked if the bus to be retired was purchased with grant funds.  Mr. Williamson stated that bus was purchased with county funds. 

            The Board indicated that staff could move forward with the purchase of the bus.

Phase 1 Environmental Site Study and Lube Shop

            David Williamson, Transit Director and Angie Bailey, Social Services Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  The Board approved a project list and grant to accept $427,674.00 in stimulus/ARRA funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  All ARRA projects are 100% reimbursable from the FTA and there is no local match required.

            One of the projects identified was a lube shop for the Transit Department at an estimated cost of $120,000.00.  An environmental study must be completed and approved before construction is approved.  JJ & G, who has previous FTA environmental experience, has submitted a proposal in the amount of $4,500.00 to complete the required survey.  The cost of the study is not reimbursable.  FTA must be notified by October 9th that we will be moving forward with the project.  If the proposal is not approved the $120,000 will roll back into the Atlanta region for redistribution to the region.

            Commissioner Holder asked since the funds are stimulus/ARRA funds, would the use of the lube shop be restricted to transit buses only.  Mr. Williamson stated there would be no restriction, but it would be a project designated for Henry County Transit. 

            A portion of the estimated cost is to also equip the shop.  There are also additional funds, approximately $35,000 that can be used for preventative maintenance. 

            The Board indicated that staff could move forward with this project.

Funding for DOT projects

            Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  There are a number of projects that need funding in each Commissioners district.  A budget review was done on 2003-2004 Fund Balance projects and Lease Purchase money designated for DOT projects.  There are funds available on these projects that could be moved to projects that have developed into higher priorities.  The following list of projects is either completed, no longer active or not a current priority:

            District                        Project                                                Balance

District I                      Woodstown Road                               $122,164

            District II                    Mitchell Road                                     $112,481

            District III & IV         Jodeco/Peach Intersection                  $  65,591

            District IV                   Davidson Pkwy/ SR 42 intersection   $  75,000

            District V                    Thurman Road                                    $  88,900

            District V                    Fairview Rd/Clark/Anvil Block          $200,915

            Staff would like to meet with each Commissioner that would consider transferring these funds.  A recommendation of projects will be provided to each Commissioner. 

Request by Lake Spivey Community, Inc. to place signage in the right-of-way

            Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  There was a call regarding a “sign topper” on top of street signs.  Staff was instructed to remove the signs on top of the street signs.  Federal Standards for Signs restricts any type of additional signs on street signs and STOP signs.  There was a meeting with the Lake Spivey Community representatives to discuss and get an understanding of what they were trying to accomplish by installing the sign toppers.  They were trying to do something that would promote their community.  They have approached the Postal Service and now have Lake Spivey as an address.  Staff suggested that signage be placed in the right-of-way like in the Ola, Flippen and Luella communities. 

             Commissioner Jeffares stated that Clayton County gave the Lake Spivey Community permission to place the toppers on the signs within their jurisdiction and they assumed it would be ok with Henry County. 

            Commissioner Holder stated there are no defined boundaries therefore making this a hard decision.  Commissioner Holder asked if the community was attempting to become incorporated as a City.  Mr. McMickle stated they just incorporated their name.

            Mr. McMickle stated he would like to remove the remaining signs and try to assist the community with their goal.  Mr. McMickle stated he would work with Planning and Zoning Services also.

            Mr. McMickle updated the Board regarding helping Douglas County in their clean up efforts from the recent floods.

Budget presentation

            Mike Bush, Finance Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  The first discussion was regarding the actual revenues for September, 2009 and the 2010 budget for the Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Services, Sheriff/Jail, Community Service, Coroner, Code Enforcement and Animal Control.

County Manager Comments

            There were no comments.

County Attorney Comments

            There were no comments.

Upcoming Meetings:

1.      Tomorrow, October 6th at 8:30 a.m. a meeting of the Governmental Services Authority and a Regular Board Meeting at 9:00 a.m.

2.      Thursday, October 8th at 5:30 p.m. a meeting with the Board of Education.  The meeting will be held at the Henry County Administration Building located at 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough.

3.      Monday, October 19th at 9:00 a.m. and Tuesday, October 20th at 6:30 p.m. are Regular Board Meetings

Executive Session

Commissioner Basler 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 Stamey seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

(Executive Session was held.)

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to reconvene into Public Session; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Commissioner Stamey made the motion to approve the affidavit and resolution pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Commissioner Jeffares made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.


                                                                                    Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman


Shay Mathis, County Clerk