BUTTS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
122nd Session Covering Calendar Year 2020
Minutes of the Board of Commissioners for August 10, 2020
☐ Ken Rivers, District 1, Chairman
☐ Keith Douglas, District 4 Vice Chairman
☐ Robert Henderson, District 2
☐ Joe Brown, District 3
☐ Russ Crumbley, District 5
☐ Steve Layson, County Manager
☐ Michael Brewer, Deputy County Manager
☐ Ben Vaughn, County Attorney (By Phone)
Section 1: Workshop Meeting
Chairman Ken Rivers called the August 10, 2020 workshop to order at 5:00 PM in the Auditorium. The items for discussion included a discussion on property belonging to Zip Hinton located at Highway 42 and Bunch Road and the Development Agreement being worked out from the May meeting. Attorney Tim Haley was present along with the Developer, Mr. Hinton, to discuss the proposed draft and the terms and conditions that have been worked out between the County and the Property Owner. It will outline what can and cannot be done with the property. The intention of the property owner is to rezone the full 269 acres to M-1 (Light Manufacturing). Part of this land would then be donated to the County (144 acres) to be used in the best interests of the County, including putting the property up for sale if the Board wishes to. The Board could rezone it back to its original zoning if it wished to. This would be done for tax purposes to allow Mr. Hinton to get the full benefit of a tax break on the property by donating a bulk of it to the County.
Mr. Brown wanted to know the process for the County disposing of the land (It would need to be declared surplus, rezoned back to Agricultural/Residential and then put up for sale to the highest bidder or disposed of in other legal ways). Mr. Brown expressed concerns with the County holding the land any longer than was absolutely necessary so that the land could be put back on the tax digest.
The next item was the discussion of a Recreation Advisory Committee to advise the Members and the Leisure Services Department on how to beautify and improve the facilities at the Leisure Services Department. This idea was proposed last month by Senator Burt Jones. Deputy County Manager Michael Brewer presented a draft Resolution for discussion that would create and establish guidelines for a Recreation Advisory Committee. Discussion ensued about whether the committee was to be focused solely on Facilities or with Facilities and Programs. The general consensus among the Members was that there may be the need to have two committees, one to study each Facilities and one for Programs. There were other suggestions made as well. The Board will create two committees, utilizing the structure currently used for other committees. The facilities improvement committee will be appointed tonight as was previously planned and the programming committee will be set up and appointed at the next meeting if possible. Mr. Brewer will revise the Resolution to create and form two committees and incorporate the other suggestions into the document that the Members wish to see so that the Board can pass the Resolution next month.
The final topic on the docket for the workshop was the need to enact a short-term rental ordinance that governs the collection of taxes on vacation rentals, which are on the rise in the County at the lake and other places. Most other counties with short term vacation rentals have this already. The County Attorney was instructed to begin work on this. The workshop was then adjourned.
Section 2: Welcome and Recognitions, Opening of Meeting
Chairman Rivers called the Regular meeting to order and gave instructions to the public about social distancing during Board of Commissioner’s meetings. Following the Invocation by Mr. Henderson, the pledge of allegiance was held.
Item 2020-08-103 Adoption of Docket
With one removed revised, Mr. Henderson moved to adopt, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.
Item 2020-08-104 Approval of Minutes
Chairman Rivers called for the minutes of the July meetings to be approved. Mr. Henderson moved to adopt, seconded by Mr. Brown for discussion. Mr. Brown noted for the record that the vote to adopt the total millage rate for Butts County in July was a 3-1 vote, due to the Chairman not being able to be at the meeting when this was adopted (Mr. Crumbley voted in dissent). Mr. Brown stated he had been questioned about whether the Chairman had in fact supported the recent millage rate increase. Chairman Rivers stated and clarified for the record that although he was not there, he was in favor of the vote as it had proceeded and would have voted in favor if he had been there. He also noted that the millage increase was on the County’s mill rate, which he had voted on at the meeting to adopt that millage rate. The published minutes will reflect this and the minutes passed 5-0.
Section 3: Old Business
Item 2020-05-049 Development Agreement with Mr. Zip Hinton
Under Old Business, Item 49 was back up for a vote on a Development Agreement between the County and Mr. Zip Hinton from the May workshop. Mr. Brown moved to table the vote on the development agreement, seconded by Mr. Crumbley. Following discussion, the question was called, with Mr. Brown and Mr. Crumbley voting in favor of the motion, joined by Mr. Douglas. Mr. Rivers and Mr. Henderson voted in dissent and the motion carried 3-2 to table.
Section 4: New Business
Item 2020-08-105 County Resolution CR202014 Approving a Lighting Agreement with DOT
Mr. Brewer presented County Resolution CR202014 approving the adoption of a lighting agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the interchange of State Route 42, 87 and US 23 South near Flovilla. Mr. Douglas moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent. The resolution is attached to and made a part of the Book of Resolutions, Volume 1.
Item 2020-08-106 County Resolution CR202015 Creating a Recreation Advisory Committee
Mr. Brewer recommended the withdrawal of the Resolution creating a Recreation Advisory Committee so that it could be amended as per the suggestions made by the Members in the workshop and presented again at the September meeting. He did recommend the Members move forward with naming their appointees for the Leisure Services Infrastructure and Facilities Committee once it was approved, which was done as follows:
Member Brown: Burt Jones
Member Crumbley: Jim Herbert
Chairman Rivers: Henry Smith
Vice Chairman Douglas: Defers to a later date
Member Henderson: Carlos Duffey
Mr. Brown moved to accept all nominations seconded by Mr. Crumbley and approved unanimously.
Item 2020-08-107 Deputy County Manager’s Report on Appointments
Mr. Brewer reported that there was still an opening on the Transportation Board due to the resignation of Dwayne Elrod, who no longer met residency requirements. He also notified the Board that a member of the Board of Elections had abandoned their appointment by virtue of not having attended a meeting in over a year and requested the Board seek to replace the member.
Item 2020-08-108 Approval of Lighting Agreement for GDOT Project
County Manager Steve Layson presented the lighting agreement covered under CR202014 for approval by the board. Mr. Henderson made a motion to approve, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.
Item 2020-08-109 Chief Financial Officer’s Report
County Financial Officer Rhonda Blissit, CPA, stated that having completed 8% of the new fiscal year, the County had received 2% of the annual revenues and had expended 8%; however this is normal the first couple of months of the budget year due to revenues not coming in until October.
Item 2020-08-109 County Manager’s Report
Mr. Layson updated the Members on the building projects and that voting will remain in the room that it has been held in for the duration of the upcoming election cycle as the new election suite elsewhere in the building will be delayed due to COVID material shortages. He reported that Charles Abbot and Associates are now doing all our building inspections and its working well. Environmental work has begun on the intersection of Brookwood Avenue and Third Street by GDOT for the Roundabout planned for that interchange. Of course, this is a City of Jackson/DOT project of which we have no part, but we are property owners and therefore affected. The County received $290k of CARES Act moneys from the Federal Government due to COVID.
Item 2020-08-110 Executive Session for Personnel and Real Estate
Mr. Henderson moved to go into Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent. Mr. Brown later moved to reconvene, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent. Mr Vaughn gave a brief report on a personnel matter and potential real property acquisition.
Item 2020-08-111 Public Comment on Removal of Confederate Statue from Museum
The speaker making request, Jayla Perkins, was not present.
Item 2020-06-075 Adjournment
Mr. Brown then moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Crumbley. Meeting adjourned