122nd Session Covering Calendar Year 2020
2019-2020 Biennium
Minutes of the Board of Commissioners for November 9, 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

Section 1: Opening of Workshop

Chairman Rivers called the workshop to order in the Courtroom of the Central Georgia EMC Annex at 5:00 PM. The Board received a presentation from Public Defender Doug Smith about the need for additional staff due to a 62% increase in case load since 2016. The next item discussed was the desire by some Members to hold a TSPLOST referendum and to use much if not all of the funding to go towards a bypass around Jackson to alleviate traffic issues. Mr. Brown recommended getting our legislative delegation together to get an appointment with DOT and the Governor to see if the state would fund part of the project if we put that kind of money into the program. The next item was a discussion concerning development fees for commercial, industrial and residential properties. It is felt that there is money being left on the table and that if our fees are too low, it can attract undesirable growth to the county. The next item discussed was a spending plan for funds that have been received under the CARES Act program. Mr. Layson proposed that half of this money go towards our reserve fund balance, with the remainder designated to go to various projects. The final item discussed was a desire for speed bumps in residential subdivisions. The general consensus of the board was that in order to do this, at least 75% of the property owners in a subdivision would have to be in agreement with this and sign something to that effect.

Chairman Rivers reported that GDOT would replace the roundabout at Keys Ferry and Highway 36 will be expanded with a proper version. The workshop then adjourned at 5:57 PM.

Section 2: November Regular Session

Chairman Rivers called the Regular Session Meeting to order at 6:00 PM and asked Commissioner Crumbley to give the Invocation and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Following this, Chairman Rivers congratulated Mr. Henderson on his re-election to office earlier in the month.

Item 2020-11-140 Approval of Docket
Mr. Brewer requested that Item 143 be removed from the. This would move all items up on the docket. With no other additions or changes, Mr. Henderson moved to approve the docket, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-141 Approval of Minutes
Mr. Brown moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-142 Public Hearing for Rezoning of Property
A public hearing was held to rezone property belonging to R & B Metals at 957 Highway 42 South so that they can expand their business. The Zoning Commission recommended that this rezoning do pass without conditions or other imposed restrictions. The public hearing was opened and no one spoke in favor of or against the rezoning and was thus closed. Mr. Henderson moved to follow the recommendations of the Zoning Commission and approve, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-143 Appointment of Recreation Committee 2
Mr. Brown requested this item be postponed until later in the meeting. Later, Mr. Brown requested this item be tabled and motioned to do so, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-144 Need to Secure New Telecommunications Equipment for 911
The next item on the docket was a discussion on the need to replace the old telephonic switching system at E-911 that relays radio transmissions to the tower to a microwave system due to excessive cost escalation by AT&T. Director Sonia Sands presented information on this proposal and recommended that the County secure a consultant specializing in this type of system to advise the County further. The system will cost $150k total but will replace AT&T lines that will cost us $450k over the next 5 years. The savings will pay for the system in two years and then the County will own the system and will save nearly a half a million dollars per year. Mr. Brown moved to secure a consultant, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-145 Purchase of Recreational Equipment by Leisure Services
CFO Rhonda Blissit presented a proposal to purchase groomers and two Toros that would be used by Leisure Services for turf maintenance. These would be purchased at State Contract price. Mr. Henderson moved to approve the purchase, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-146 Financial Report
Ms. Blissit reported that with 33% of the year completed the County has received 31% of anticipated revenue and has expended 31%. While the County did pass a resolution authorizing the use of a Tax Anticipation Note this year, it was noted that due to the excellent financial management practices employed over the past two years, the County did not use it and would not be exercising that option. This is a year sooner than it was anticipated for the County to be independent of a TAN note and Financial Staff was commended for their excellent management of the treasury.

Item 2020-11-147 Approval to Make Improvements to Parking Lot
Mr. Layson noted that it was necessary to make repairs to the existing parking lot at the administrative office building which included sealing and striping the parking lot, as well as expanding the rear parking lot behind the new east wing. This would be done with CARES funding received. Mr. Henderson moved to approve parking lot improvements, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-148 Approval of CARES project list
Mr. Layson presented the project list previously discussed in the workshop. Mr. Henderson moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-149 County Manager’s Report
Mr. Layson reported that changes to employee insurance would be going into effect on January 1, 2021. He also noted that the Georgia Department of Driver Services will construct a new facility on property owned by the County and occupied by Southern Crescent Technical College. This will be a complementary facility to the technical college.

Item 2020-11-150 Executive Session
Mr. Brown moved to go into executive session for a personal matter, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent. Later, the board reconvened upon a motion by Mr. Crumbley and seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-11-151 Attorney Report
County Attorney Ben Vaughn reported that the Board had discussed two personnel matters and was now ready to make an announcement on one of them.

Item 2020-11-152 Appointment of County Manager
County Attorney Vaughn announced that Mr. Brad Johnson is now the sole finalist for the County Manager’s position, pending discussion on contract and terms. Once the contract has been vetted by all parties, a resolution will be presented at an upcoming meeting to authorize the chairman to sign all documents pertaining to the employment of the new County Manager, who is expected to take office in 2021.
Item 2020-11-153 Public Comment
Mr. Brewer reported that no one had signed up for public comment before the mandatory deadline.

Item 2020-11-154 Adjournment Motion
Mr. Douglas moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent. The meeting was adjourned.

Ratified this 14th Day of December, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners
Ken Rivers, Chairman of the Board


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 attest that the Board did enter upon an Executive Session with the purpose of said session being described herein and allowable under State of Georgia law governing open meetings.

J. Michael Brewer, Deputy County Manager
Clerk of the 122nd Session, Attesting