BUTTS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES OF THE BOARD FOR SEPTEMBER 9, 2019
☐ 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 Administrator
☐ Michael Brewer, Deputy County Administrator
☐ Ben Vaughn, County Attorney
Section 1: Workshop Meeting
Chairman Ken Rivers called the September 9, 2019 workshop to order at 5:00 PM. The first order of business was to discuss recommendations from the Zoning Administrator for higher building standards to be imposed on future housing such as subdivisions. If put into place, all new homes would be required to have at least two listed design elements; no front facing garages in R1 and R2 zoning; exterior materials would be required to be stone, wood, masonry, concrete, concrete stucco, hardy plank, rock or brick on the front and both sides of a residence; built on a foundation; no visible air conditioning units; higher grade roof materials, etc. Commissioner Douglas noted that he did not think the County should be telling people how to build their homes outside of subdivisions.
The next item was the need for the County to replace a number of computers that would not run the newest version of windows and which would not be supported by Windows after January 2020. Mr. Layson noted the computers should not cost more than $75,000.00 and were being priced through state contract pricing in addition to our IT provider and others.
The IDA came forward to request some minor adjustments to the tax abatement schedule that would give greater weight in scoring to companies that bring higher paying jobs than the base threshold. This would only apply to new companies going forward.
The next item was a discussion on the progress of the Jackson Road improvement project being coordinated by the IDA. Bob White, Director, briefed the board on issues that had arisen during this project. The IDA will need to get their additional funding soon.
Local businessman Bill Jones came forward to address design standards in the I 75 overlay District. He noted that his new truck stop at Highway 16 and Interstate 75 will open in about 45 days and he is concerned with the road that the Georgia Department of Transportation installed between Wendy Lane and his privately owned road that will service the development.
Mr. Jones also noted that he felt that costs within the overlay district concerning design standards were excessive and cost prohibitive to businesses (particularly landscaping) and that he would like to follow the same standards as Liberty and Dollar General Distribution.
Commissioner Rivers then adjourned the workshop at 5:48 PM.
Section 2: Regular Meeting, Preliminaries
Chairman Rivers called the September meeting to order at 6:00 PM and asked Commissioner Douglas to deliver the invocation and lead the pledge of allegiance.
Item 2019-09-168 Adoption of Docket
Mr. Brewer requested the addition of one item, to approve the GDOT radar list for County roads. This became Item 171. Mr. Douglas then moved to adopt the docket, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.
Item 2019-09-169 Approval of Minutes
Mr. Douglas moved to approve the August minutes, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.
Section 3: Old Business
Item 2019-06-122 Special Use for Cell Phone Tower
Following discussion, Chairman Rivers made a motion to approve the cell phone tower, contingent upon the tower being moved 300 feet linearly back from the proposed original location. Mr. Brown seconded the motion for discussion. Mr. Brown rescinded his motion and the original motion died due to lack of a second. Chairman Rivers then moved to deny the special use and the motion died due to lack of a second. Mr. Douglas then moved to follow the recommendation of the planning and zoning board, seconded by Mr. Henderson. Following further discussion, Mr. Douglas rescinded his motion and Mr. Brown moved to table, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent.
Section 4: New Business
Item 2019-09-170 CR201926 Resolution Appointing a Voting Delegate
Mr. Henderson moved to adopt a resolution to appoint Chairman Rivers as the 2019 Voting Delegate to the ACCG Legislative Conference in October, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent. The resolution is made a part of the Book of Resolutions, Volume 1.
Item 2019-09-171 Adoption of DOT Road List for Radar Speed Detection
Upon a motion by Mr. Crumbley, seconded by Mr. Brown, the board voted with unanimous consent to approve the 2019 GDOT list of road upon which the County Sheriff’s Office may run radar.
Item 2019-09-172 Approve Process for Adopting Upgraded Housing Standards
Upon a motion by Mr. Brown, seconded by Mr. Crumbley, the board voted to begin the process of adopting upgraded building standards for residential housing. The action was passed 4-1, with Mr. Douglas in dissent. See workshop notes for additional information.
Item 2019-09-173 Approve Proposed Amendments to Tax Abate Schedule for Industry
Upon a motion by Mr. Brown and seconded by Mr. Douglas, the board approved with unanimous consent the recommendation of the development authority to amend the tax abatement schedule presented in the earlier workshop.
Item 2019-09-174 Approve Jackson Road Disbursements
Upon a motion by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Brown, the board moved with unanimous consent to approve disbursements on the Jackson Road development project presented in the earlier workshop.
Item 2019-09-175 Approve Financing for Computers for Various Departments
Mr. Douglas moved to approve financing for new computers to replace units that were soon to become obsolete, not to exceed $75,000, and seconded by Mr. Brown. The motion passed with unanimous consent.
Section 5: Concluding Business
Item 2019-09-176 Financial Report
Ms. Blissit noted that with 17% of the fiscal year completed, the County has collected 8% of anticipated revenues and has expended 14%. Ms. Blissit noted that tax revenues from the Tax Commissioner due to the Board of Commissioners had not been brought over and were in arrears from as far back as late June. This has resulted in the County having to borrow money due to revenues not being disseminated in a timely manner to the Commissioner’s Office.
Item 2019-09-177 Administrative Notes on Meetings
Mr. Brewer reminded the Board that when they approved the annual meeting schedule and holidays, that the October and November board meetings were moved so as not to conflict with Columbus Day and Veterans Day. The October meeting will be on the 7th and the November meeting will be on the 4th due to these holidays.
Item 2019-09-178 County Administrator Report
Mr. Layson reiterated the issue with the County not receiving its tax revenue within the disbursement schedule defined by Georgia law, which was constraining the County’s ability to operate. He also updated the Board on various projects, roads and general information.
Item 2019-09-179 Executive Session for Litigation and a Real Estate Matter
Mr. Crumbley moved to enter Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent. Later Mr. Douglas moved to reconvene the regular session, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.
Item 2019-09-180 Attorney Report
Mr. Vaughn stated that the board met to discuss two potential litigation matters and a real estate matter. The Chairman then asked for a motion to act on an item from Executive Session.
Item 2019-09-181 Appointment of Consulting Attorney
Mr. Brown moved to appoint Christian Henry of the law firm of Hall, Booth and Smith, PC as a special counsel on a legal matter, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent.
Item 2019-09-182 Adjournment Motion
With no submittals for Public Comment, Mr. Brown moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent. Meeting was adjourned.
Ratified this 7th Day of October, 2019
/S/ Ken Rivers, Chairman
On behalf of the Board of Commissioners
CERTIFICATION & ATTESTATION
I do hereby attest by my signature and seal below that the aforementioned minutes of the Butts County Board of Commissioners are an accurate representation of the official actions undertaken by the Board during the open meeting designated for the date and times stated herein. I also do swear and affirm that the Commissioners did enter upon an Executive Session for the purposes of discussing two litigation matters and one real estate matter, meeting the requisite conditions for going into closed session as allowed under Georgia law.
/S/ J. Michael Brewer, Deputy County Administrator
as Clerk of Butts County