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Hart County Board of Commissioners

May 13th, 2003

5:30 p.m.

The Hart County Board of Commissioners met May 13th, 2003 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative & Emergency Services Center.

Chairman Randy Banister presided with Commissioners R C Oglesby, Daniel Reyen, Ricky Carter and Joey Dorsey in attendance.

1.                  Call to Order

Chairman Banister called the meeting to order.

2.                  Welcome

Chairman Banister welcomed those in attendance.

3.                  Prayer

Commissioner Oglesby offered prayer.

4.                  Pledge of Allegiance 

Everyone stood in observance of the Pledge of Allegiance.

5.                  Approve Agenda 

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to amend and approve the meeting agenda as follows:

            New Business

            Replace item f)          Fire Department Equipment

            Add item g)                Erosion & Soil Sedimentation Control

Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

6.                  Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)


Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting held April 22nd, 2003. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

7.                  Remarks by Invited Guests, Committees, Authorities 

8.                  Reports by Constitutional Officers & Department Heads 

County Attorney Walter Gordon reported that the local legislation for Non-Partisan Election and Re-districting are waiting for the Governor's signature and then will have to have pre-clearance from the Justice Department.

He reported that he is waiting direction from the Board to proceed with the Animal Control and Noise Control Ordinances.

Attorney Gordon remarked that Mark or Terry Knott have not retained neither him nor his law firm. However, he has been closing attorney representing Pinnacle Bank for transactual agreements. He also remarked that the board could request an independent attorney for the Motorcross Track issue.

9.                  County Administrator's Report

Interim County Administrator Caime reported that a total of 1,033 bags of litter were picked up during the Great American Clean-up. He also reported that surplus county equipment was auctioned for a total amount of proceeds of $12,000.

10.             Chairman's Report

No report.

11.             Commissioners' Reports   

Commissioner Carter remarked that it is a disservice to the taxpayers to allow them fifteen minutes for their tax appeal hearing before the Board of Equalization.

Chairman Banister remarked that direct questions and comments should be directed to Board of Equalization Chair Doris Brown.

Commissioner Reyen remarked that there is ample amount of time for the appeals to be heard since there are some no shows.

12.             Consent Agenda  


13.             Old Business

a)     Highland Ridge Subdivision Variance  

Commissioner Dorsey entertained a motion to remove the item from the table for discussion. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion.

After discussing the matter, no action was taken.

                 b)    Ordinance 2003-012, Regulate & Govern the Enactment of Ordinances -        2nd reading

Interim Administrator Caime read the contents of the ordinance. No further action was necessary.

14.             New Business 

a)     Presentation of FY'02 Audit - Wayne Bowen  

Independent Auditor Wayne Bowen presented the audit report for FY'02 reporting that the county has never been in this good of financial shape. He commended the Board for their fiscal responsibility. He also commended former Administrator Gary Cobb, Department Heads, Deputy County Clerk Betty Floyd and County Clerk Lawana Kahn for their diligence.

Chairman Banister commended the Department Heads for their efforts in maintaining their budgets.

b)     Motorcross Track issue - Mrs. Sue Heath Taylor

Mrs. Taylor explained that the Motorcross Track on Carnes Cemetery Road is a serious concern for all the citizens in Hart County. She remarked that it is the beginning of the demise of the heritage of the lake.

Mrs. Taylor remarked that the Motorcross Track affects one hundred nine property owners and that the value of property in the area needs to be addressed. Adding that Mr. Knott has violated the Land Disturbance Ordinance.

Mrs. Taylor commented about the Hart County Nuisance Ordinance and the State of Georgia Nuisance Code in that the noise from the bikes was creating a nuisance.

Gail McElroy remarked that her property adjoins Mark and Terry Knott's. She said that Mr. Knott's intent is to build a commercial track. Adding that the track has destroyed thirty-five acres of land and has severe erosion problems.

She also complained about the relentless noise from the dirt bikes, adding that she wears earplugs inside her home. She added that she complained to Mr. Knott about the noise and he responded that maybe she would get over it.

Paul Crawford remarked that the real issue is respect of others’ property. He asked for property and lives be protected.

Tom Hardigree remarked that he is developing a gated subdivision in the area and is concerned for future development in the area. He voiced his concern that development will be affected by the noise and other problems the track will bring.

Mrs. Taylor requested that the county follow the ordinances as written and consider the impact on the community. 

Lovick Evans said they are seeking relief for enforcement of the Soil & Water Erosion Control for the track of land. He said the property owners will seek advise from the Attorney General.

Chairman Banister remarked that everyone has presented valid points, a stop work order has been issued and Mr. Knott is in compliance of the stop work order.

Lovick Evans remarked that the several issues need to be resolved. He also voiced his concern that Mr. Knott did not get a land disturbance permit before beginning construction.

Mrs. Taylor brought up an issue pertaining to a septic tank permit that was issued for a residence on the motorcross track property.

Commissioner Dorsey reported that the Health Department Environmental Specialist issues and inspects septic tanks before the septic tank is covered up. He added that he visited the site and with his knowledge the septic tank was in accordance with the requirements enforced by the Health Department.

Chairman Banister asked if the group of citizens were willing to compromise. Mrs. Taylor and others from the audience were not willing to compromise until issues are resolved.

Mrs. Taylor asked that the board consider concerns of the citizens of the community; the tax base; violation taken care of and a special session meeting with the board.

Chairman Banister added that proper procedures have been taken to issue a stop work order on the development and that he will make decisions based on facts.

Mr. Evans voiced his concern that he didn’t think the Board understands the Soil Erosion Control Ordinance in that they are the issuing authority.

Chairman Banister remarked that the ENS Plan has to meet by the U.S.D.A. requirements.

Mrs. Taylor remarked that Mr. Knott was in violation at the time construction of the motorcross track began July 2002.

Mark Knott reported that a noise test will be done at the track next week and he will keep the noise below 96 decibels. He reported that the septic tank issue has been resolved. Adding that they have the same rights as other property owners. He said the track is not a commercial venture, but he charges $10 a day user fee to help hold down the number of riders. Also, stating that individuals pay through an honor box and sign-in sheet and parents or guardians must sign a release form for children to ride the track.

Mr. Knott said he is not opposed of changing the layout of the track if it would make the neighbors happy. He also said that he never told Mrs. McElroy that she “would get over it.”  He said he would be willing to sit down with the residents and discuss the situation.

Chairman Banister inquired about the hours the track operates. Mr. Knott responded that it is open daily at 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. in the winter months and from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the summer.

Mr. Knott reported that the most riders they have on the weekend is forty-five and that the track is a practice track.

Rusty Graves spoke in support of Mr. Knott adding that he lives next to a practice track that is smaller than Knott’s and has no objection to the track.

He said however, the county does not have any means to tell anyone what they can do with their property.

Mr. Graves remarked that several years ago a land-use plan was shouted down. He said there’s a better way to deal with issues by implementing a land-use plan.

c)      Uniform Bids

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to award the uniform bid to AmeriPride. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

d)     HVAC Services Bid

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to award McGee Heating and Air with the HVAC Service contract. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

e)     Recreation Advisory Board Appointment

Commissioner Dorsey entertained a motion to appoint Richard Byrum to the Recreation Advisory Board. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

f)        Fire Department Equipment

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to award Fireline the bid and attempt to negotiate with them for the low bid of $21,646.30. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

g)     Erosion & Soil Sedimentation Control  

Interim Administrator Caime reported that the Environmental Protection Division has highly rated Hart County for the ESC program.

15.             Public Comment  

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to remove Highland Ridge Subdivision from the table for discussion. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to grant a variance for Highland Ridge Subdivision based upon the fact that there will not be water lines installed by the county in the area within the next five to ten years. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to adopt the Highland Ridge Subdivision plat. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

16.             Executive Session

a)     Pending Litigation & Personnel Matters 

Commissioner Reyen entertained a motion to exit into executive session to discuss pending litigation and personnel matters as required by O.C.G.A. 50-14-2, 50-14-3 and 50-14-4(b). Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0. The resolution and affidavit is recorded in the minutes book.

17.             Adjournment

With no further action taken during executive session, Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to exit executive session and adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

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Randy D. Banister, Chairman                                  Lawana Kahn, County Clerk