Hart County Board of Commissioners
The Hart County Board of Commissioners met October 26th, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative & Emergency Services Center.
Chairman Daniel Reyen presided with Commissioners R C Oglesby, Randy Banister and Ricky Carter in attendance. Commissioner Joey Dorsey was absent.
Chairman Reyen called the meeting to order.
Chairman Reyen welcomed those in attendance.
Rev. Brad Goss opened with prayer.
Everyone stood in observance of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to approve the agenda as follows:
New Business: remove item c)Bid opening County Maps & item j)Carey Jackson/DDA; Add item j)Herb Emmel/Tax refund
Commissioner Banister provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
County Administrator Jon Caime reported that Commissioner Dorsey is in Michigan on business; Ga. Department of Labor's Rapid Response Team is addressing the loss of jobs at the Johnson & Johnson facility in Royston; The Department of Revenue has approved the 2004 tax digest; Received a response from Ga. Mtns. RDC to meet with the BOC; and 2004 un-audited expense figures are less than budgeted. He turned the floor over to IT Specialist Mary Hughes.
Ms. Hughes explained the expansion of the wireless network that includes laptops for the commissioners to use during the meetings. She also explained that the State of Georgia agreed to purchase a wireless network in the courthouse that would benefit the offices in the facility and the Administrative Building.
Commissioner Carter reported that the rumble strips on Jct. 77 were removed during the paving project and that several vehicles have run the stop sign at the intersection of Jct. 77 & Mt. Olivet Road and went into property owner's yard.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to replace rumble strips on Jct. 77 at the intersection of Mt. Olivet Road. Commissioner Banister provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
a) Landfill Ordinance
County Attorney Walter Gordon read the Private Landfill Ordinance Draft 3.0 and announced that the first reading was held during the February 24th, 2004 meeting, the second reading was held during the March 9th, 2004 meeting.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to accept and adopt the 3rd reading of the Private Landfill Ordinance. Chairman Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
b) ISO Changers
Commissioner Oglesby reported that the members of the ISO Committee are in attendance and asked for comments from anyone representing the committee.
Fire Safety Committee member, Alan Daniel, presented a summary of the ISO recommendations. He said the Fire Department needs a permanent facility for driver training; search & rescue house; drill tower; dry hydrant test pump and a burn building in order to keep the ISO rating down. He also remarked that the Fire Safety Committee could perform an ISO evaluation at no cost to the taxpayers.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to re-establish the Fire Safety Committee and report to the BOC quarterly with a plan for implementing the ISO recommendations. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion.
Chairman Reyen suggested that the Committee prioritize the various projects according to the ISO recommendations. He reported that the ISO Changers' study would be at no cost to the taxpayers.
Commissioner Banister appointed Jerry Byrum to serve on the Fire Safety Committee.
Chairman Reyen called for a vote. The vote carried 4-0.
a) Increase Solid Waste Tipping Fees
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to increase the Solid Waste Tipping Fees from $42/ton to $45/ton. Commissioner Banister provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
b) FY05 Purchasing Schedule Approval
The Commissioners agreed that the following items could be placed out for bid:
Lawn Care, Patrol Cars, EMS Ambulance, EMS Port suction, Recreation uniforms (football & cheerleading), Recreation Insurance,
Fire Vanna Grass Truck & Service Truck, Roads Backhoe
The Commissioners agreed that the following items could be negotiated with the current contractor:
Heating & Air, Garbage Bags, Grinding (Solid Waste), Uniforms
The County Administrator will be conducting a study between in-house bushhog and contracting out.
c) Bid Opening - County Maps (item deleted)
d) HC Property Owners Association - Small Acreage Presentation
Pete Nagele reviewed the Minority Member report of the Hart County Board of Tax Assessors that Mr. Fogerty and Mr. Burdick presented at the September 28th, 2004 BOC meeting indicating that they had tried to set a positive direction for the county and noting that he believed that the BOC should commend them for their presentation. He then reviewed the "small acre break point" report that Chief Appraiser Margaret Crossley presented at the September 28th, 2004 BOC meeting. Mr. Nagele noted that in his opinion, the Chief Appraiser's report was unsatisfactory and not responsive to the BOC's specific directions with regard to the development and administration of the number of acres used and the charge of $35,000/acre for the 2002 county wide revaluation.
Mr. Nagele presented the following chart showing a number of properties along Lightwood and Robinhood Lane to demonstrate the serious inequities evident in the administration of the small acre tract charges and concluded that there was an apparent appearance of favoritism for the former chairs of the Board of Assessors and Board of Equalization.
1/1/02 Revaluation - Lightwood/Robinhood
Lightwood Lot Unit Price = $220,000
Property Appraisal $/Water Front Acreage
68B 16 264,000 2,200 .38
18 286,000 2,383 .27
19 330,000 2,200 .36
22 242,000 2,017 .41
Small Acreage Tract Charge $35,000/acre
68A 107 186,640 203 3.95
106 188,530 1,047 3.99
64A 37 57,010 1,160 2.21
78E 07 59,050 187 6.27
Mr. Nagele noted that these facts were presented to the Performance Review Board, the Board of Assessors and the Board of Equalization.
Mr. Nagele also noted some regulatory standards relating to the break point and the code of ethics for government service and strongly urged the BOC as they appoint future members to the Board of Assessors consider individuals ability and strong desire to develop a fair and uniform appraisal process in the county.
Jay Earle followed up on Mr. Nagele's small acre presentation with property maps showing the difference between neighbor's land values and the apparently favored land values of the Board of Equalization (Doris Brown) and the former chair of the Board of Tax Assessors (Hedrick Isley). He also noted that the chair of the Board of Equalization (Ms. Brown) received a refund of over $800 for overpayment of taxes within an unusually short time after the BOA's meeting at which they reduced her valuation. Mr. Earle concluded that it has taken Mr. Emmel 3 1/2 years to get his tax refund request heard and it has not been completed.
Commissioner Banister entertained a motion to request the Chairman of the Board of Assessors to provide the BOC a clear written explanations covering the development of, calculations for and the policies covering the administration of the "small acre break point" number of acres and the $35,000 charge that was developed in preparation for the 2002 revaluations and as used for the 2004 revaluations. Chairman Reyen provided a second to the motion and directed that the report be presented at the November 23rd. 2004 BOC meeting. The motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner Carter made a motion to request the Chairman of the Board of the Assessors to explain why it has taken Mr. Emmel 3.5 years to get his tax refund request heard and some individuals get their refund in a manner of days. Chairman Reyen seconded the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to direct that the Chairman of the Board of Tax Assessors do a detailed review of the valuations of the former chairs of the Board of Assessors and Board of Equalization and present a written report certifying that the appraised values set for the two properties are fairly set, uniformly administered with other similar properties and in accordance with appraisal standards; or that errors, if any have been corrected provide correction details, by the November 23rd 2004 BOC meeting. Commissioner Banister provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Chairman Reyen commended the minority members of the BOA for their very thorough and positive approaches on implementing the Performance Review Board's recommendations.
e) Approval of two replacement computers for Magistrate's Office
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to approve the replacement of the computers in the Magistrate's office. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
f) Hart Haven House Reconstruction
County Administrator Caime reported that the county's insurance carrier will pay to cost to reconstruct the existing facility or will pay the County a depreciated cash value for abandoning the facility. He further explained that DCA grant funds were used to purchase and remodel the existing facility and that there are provision requiring a prorated payback of the grant until 2023 unless the shelter is relocated DCA and the DCA approves the relocation.
Commissioner Banister entertained a motion to formally inquire from the DCA for a potential relocation of the shelter and to determine what the ACCG will pay for the existing facility. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Fay Ward commended the BOC for their support for the Battered Women's Shelter.
g) School Resource Officer Contract
Chairman Reyen recommended increasing the School Resource Officer contract to $69,200. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
h) Realignment of Whiting Drive
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to proceed with the realignment of Whiting Drive at the intersection of Will Bailey Road if the landowner provides a ROW. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
i) Animal Control Ordinance
The item was deferred to the next regular scheduled meeting.
j) Herb Emmel
Mr. Emmel requested that the BOC not take any action on the tax refund issue until the information from the Tax Assessors' office could be reviewed.
Mrs. Emmel contended that the Chief Appraiser should not go back and correct their mistake that was missed during the 2002 re-evaluation. She requested that the information be sent back to Ms. Crossley and have her correct it.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to exit into executive session to discuss personnel matters. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
With no further action taken during executive session, Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to exit session and convene the meeting. Commissioner Banister provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Chairman Reyen entertained a motion to make an offer to fill two positions in the Board of Assessors' office. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Chairman Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 4-0.
Daniel W. Reyen, Chairman Lawana Kahn,