Hart County Board of Commissioners
The Hart County
Board of Commissioners met
Chairman Randy Banister presided with Commissioners RC Oglesby, Daniel Reyen, Ricky Carter and Joey Dorsey in attendance.
1. Call to Order
Chairman Banister called the meeting to order.
Chairman Banister welcomed those in attendance.
Commissioner Oglesby offered prayer.
2. Pledge of Allegiance
Everyone stood in observance of the Pledge of Allegiance.
3. Approve Agenda
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to amend and approve the meeting agenda as follows:
Add item a) Agnew Subdivision
Remove item c) Water Authority Position Discussion
Reports by Constitutional Officers & Department Heads
Add item a) Jere Johnson, Director W&S Utility Authority
Add item a) Phillips Way Road
Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
4. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)
Reyen entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held
5. Remarks by Invited Guests, Committee, Authorities
6. Reports by Constitutional Officers & Department Heads
Water & Sewer Utility Authority Director Jere Johnson came before the Board requesting guidance with the range of salary offered to the applicants to fill his position. Mr. Johnson stated that the EPD had given the Authority a 90-day variance to have a Class III Water Operator on staff which will expire June 30, 2003. The vacancy was created by an employee being activated into military duty.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to table a decision until Mr. Johnson and Interim Administrator Caime could discuss the request. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried by a vote of 3-2, with Commissioners Reyen and Carter opposed.
County Attorney Gordon reported that Governor Purdue has signed the Local Legislation to enact non-partisan post for the Magistrate and Probate Judges positions.
7. County Administrator's Report
8. Chairman's Report
9. Commissioners' Reports
Commissioner Carter requested a representative of the Board of Tax Equalization to give a report to the Board of Commissioners. Chairman Banister stated that he would talk with Ms. Brown.
Commissioner Dorsey announced that the two new Pumper fire trucks purchased with SPLOST II funds would be arriving at the Central Station on Thursday around 3:00 p.m.
10. Consent Agenda
a) Agnew Subdivision
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to approve the consent agenda. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second. The motion carried 5-0.
11. Old Business
a) Ordinance 2003-01, Regulate and Govern the Enactment of Ordinances Final Reading
Commissioner Dorsey entertained a motion to adopt the Ordinance 2003-01, Regulate and Govern the Enactment of Ordinances. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second. The motion carried 5-0. A copy of the 2003-01 ordinance is recorded in the official Minutes Book.
b) SPLOST II Budget
Interim Administrator Caime presented a revised SPLOST II 5-year CIP request.
Chairman Banister entertained a motion to adopt the SPLOST II 5-year CIP as presented. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
c) Flood Plain Ordinance Discussion
Collis Brown present Flood Plain Coordinator explained the Flood Insurance Program through documents a community should complete. He reported that there was no cost to apply and FEMA has already completed the mapping and incurred the cost for the mapping. He said that Hart County would have to adopt a Flood Plain Ordinance and designate an Administrator to oversee the plan.
He reported that FEMA will periodically update maps and pay for them. FEMA will train the Administrator and permitting personnel to determine exact location within a Flood Plain area or close proximity for individuals applying for a building permit.
He added that federally backed loans require flood insurance when an applicant is near a flood plain for the life of the loan.
FEMA will request the state aid with the flood plain process. Mr. Brown left the State model for the county to review.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to move forward with the process of developing a Flood Plain Ordinance at the next regular scheduled meeting. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
d) Amendment to Chapter 26, Article II Emergency Management - 1st Reading
Chairman Banister asked for further discussion of paragraphs 2 & 3 which contained the wording "to seize".
Commissioner Carter requested wording to put in "…private property other than personal residence (home)…" in paragraph 2. Chairman Banister requested to replace "take" and insert "purchase".
Tom Hardigree voiced opposition of "taking" property as stated and also differences in reimbursement values.
Commissioner Reyen stated that the Emergency Management Ordinance is enforced currently and the amendment is to "tone" it down.
No further action was taken.
e) Board Appointments DFACS, RDC
No action taken
12. New Business
a) Discussion and Possible Action on Behavioral Health Building Lease
Interim Administrator Caime presented a proposal from the Georgia Mtns. Community Services Board with their desire for a monthly lease of $958 toward the maintenance/rent of the newly constructed facility in Hart County.
After discussing the matter, Chairman Banister reported when the Hart County Board of Commissioners considered applying for the grant to construct this facility, the Behavioral Health Board agreed upon $1,800 per month. Further the Hart County Board of Commissioners took this into consideration when applying for this grant and thereby foregoing other eligible grants for other needs in Hart County.
Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to maintain $1,800 for the monthly lease payment. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
b) Policy on Payment of Invoices
Interim Administrator Caime was directed to add verbiage of "Constitutional Officer" and present to the Board at the next meeting.
No further action was taken.
c) Water Authority Position Discussion - moved to Reports by Constitutional Officers & Departments Heads.
d) Acceptance of FY02 Audit
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to accept the FY02 Audit as presented by independent auditor Wayne I. Bowen. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
e) Discussion & Possible Action on Second Inmate Crew
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to fund a second inmate crew to pick up litter in the county from the Contingency Fund in the amount of $8,500 to supply transportation. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
f) Discussion & Possible Action on Reorganization of County Operations
Interim Administrator Caime and EMS Director Terrell Partain explained the proposal to reorganize the EMS and create 911 Dispatch Department without reducing services and improve the efficiency of the Department. Further, it would increase the revenues without increasing taxes. In addition, this proposal would reallocate expenditures from property tax revenues to E911 telephone revenues.
After discussing the matter, Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to accept the proposal and move ahead with the plan. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
Commissioner Reyen entertained a motion to recess the meeting for fifteen minutes before commencing with the next item on the agenda. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
g) Motorcross Track Issue
Sue Heath Taylor presented a petition to the Board opposing the Motorcross Track in the Rock Springs area. She also read a letter directed to the Board which requested that the Board deal with the noise issue caused by the activities at the Motorcross owned by Mark Knott.
David McElroy read a letter that was dated June 7th, 2003 to Interim Administrator Caime concerning noise, exhaust fumes and dust issue caused by the motorcross bikes. He also questioned if Mr. Knott is allowed to cut dead pine trees on his property since there was a stop-work order issued. Interim Administrator Caime responded that Mr. Knott had the authority to remove the trees.
Nancy Evans read the Hart County Nuisance Code and voiced her concern on how the issue of "disturbing the peace" is being handled.
Chairman Banister remarked that the Nuisance Code does not apply to this issue.
Mrs. Evans read the Georgia Nuisance Code and sited the code section. She requested that County Attorney Gordon file a complaint against the nuisance and further requested the county enact zoning laws. She remarked that the Hart County web-site promotes the county as a lake living community and a plus for living in the county.
Lovick Evans complained about the problem with noise created by the motor bikes. He read the Hart County Ordinance pertaining to noise. He requested that the Board instruct Interim Administrator/Public Works Director Caime on how to proceed with enforcement of the Section 34 of the county land use ordinance.
Attorney Gordon remarked that county regulations are designed not to punish procedures but to achieve compliance with law. He said he has studied the issue and does not feel that 145 individuals constitute "the public". He said that the law does provide individuals to file lawsuits if a nuisance issues does exist. However, fundamentally the issues being discussed are a private matter not a public one.
Chairman Banister read a letter from Attorney Norman J. Slawsky stating that in summary the neighbors in the area of the Motocross have demanded that Hart County take action, they have not shown they have a clear legal right for that action through enforcement of a county ordinance or law or for compelling the county to file a lawsuit to enjoin a public nuisance. Either action requires the Board of Commissioners to exercise their discretion which is not subject to be questioned by a court unless there is gross abuse or an arbitrary or capricious decision. Because mandamus is equitable, the court will consider the neighbors have a remedy available to them which is to file an action in Hart Superior Court for a private nuisance which could provide them with a remedy.
Mr. McElroy requested that the Board entertain a motion to ask the County Attorney to enforce the State Nuisance Law.
Attorney Gordon stated that in his opinion the issue does not rise to the level of a "Public Nuisance".
Commissioner Reyen entertained a motion to instruct Attorney Gordon to enforce the State Nuisance Law. No second was given, therefore the motion failed.
Mr. McElroy requested that the Board instruct Interim Administrator/Public Works Director Caime to enforce the Soil Erosion and Section 34 of the county ordinance.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to instruct Caime to continue to follow the Hart County Code of Ordinances Section 34 and the Board concur with the Administration. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion.
Commissioner Carter entertained a motion to table the request for further consideration. The motion carried 5-0.
Mrs. Taylor added that Mr. Knott was in violation of the County Ordinance when he began moving dirt without a permit. She stated that if he had submitted a plan prior to moving dirt some of the issues would have been addressed at that time. Therefore, the noise issue would not be a problem if he designed the tract differently.
Commissioner Carter asks what the Knotts could do to help Mrs. Taylor's concerns to appease the issue. Mrs. Taylor responded to eliminate the noise. She added that the Knotts have not contacted them to discuss the issue.
Attorney Brad Pratt, representing the Knotts, said that there are so many darts and different things being said that it is difficult to know what the neighbors want to be done. He said that he has not heard what the neighbors want to do the resolve some of the issues except shut the track down. He added that the judicial system encourages individuals to resolve issues and he is willing to listen to options.
Mr. McElroy asked Attorney Pratt if they would listen to a proposal to stop the noise. Attorney Pratt responded that he needs information to resolve the issue.
Commissioner Oglesby said that if years ago, if the county had started with something small, today we would have something in place.
Commissioner Dorsey stated that several years ago some county residents were strongly opposed to zoning. However, if it was presented right to begin with there may not be these type problems. Adding, that the proposed zoning ordinance was too restrictive for a rural community.
Commissioner Reyen entertained a motion to examine a land development ordinance or some method to control growth in the county. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion failed with Chairman Banister, Commissioners Oglesby and Dorsey opposed.
Rusty Graves requested the Board to re-visit land use issues. He added that the previous zoning ordinance was over powering.
13. Public Comment
Paul Crawford suggested that the Board consider a special use permit. He said he didn't think Hart County needs the type of zoning regulations that metro Atlanta has.
a) Phillips Way Road
Commissioner Oglesby said there are four residents at the end of Phillips Way Road and the road is in much need of repair.
Attorney Gordon stated that an adjoining land owner would not consent to give the county the right-of-way on the road.
No action was taken.
14. Executive Session
a) Personnel Matters
Interim Administrator Caime and Attorney Gordon withdrew the items from the agenda.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.
The meeting adjourned at 11:00 p.m.
Randy D. Banister, Chairman Betty S. Floyd, Deputy County Clerk