Work Session Minutes @ LCC 2011-01-10

Ordinance or policy? That question comes up for at least two items, Special assessment and Speed control devices, in the minutes of the 10 January 2011 Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission. -jsq

Monday, January 10, 2011


Chairman Ashley Paulk
Commissioner Joyce E. Evans
Commissioner Richard Raines
Commissioner Crawford Powell

Chairman Paulk called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

Before moving forward with the agenda, Chairman Paulk welcomed Commissioner Richard Raines and Commissioner Crawford Powell to their first regularly scheduled meeting of the Commission. Chairman Paulk added that he looked forward to working with both gentlemen.


The minutes were presented for the work session of December 13, 2010, the regular session of December 14, 2010, and the special called meeting of January 3, 2011. No changes to the minutes were requested.


Valdosta/Lowndes County Conference Center and Tourism Authority

, County Manager, Joe Pritchard, informed the Commission that two county appointments were available for consideration; one, to fill the unexpired term of Jeff Moxley and the other to fill the expired term of Brenda Duffy. Mr. Pritchard added that at the December meeting, Bob Montgomery came before the Commission and expressed his desire to serve. Commissioner Evans stated that she and Commissioner Powell had discussed several names to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Moxley. Commissioner Evans added she felt Moody Air Force Base should be represented. Commissioner Raines commented that with regards to the expired seat, Mr. Montgomery would be a good choice since Wild Adventures is the single, largest tourist attraction in Lowndes County.

Consideration of Vice Chairmanship

, County Manager, Joe Pritchard, stated that according to Lowndes County's enabling legislation, the Commission was responsible for choosing a Vice Chairperson. Mr. Pritchard added that in the past, the Commission has chosen an eight month, rotation system that had seemed to work well; however, the Commission was free to choose any system they wanted. Commissioner Raines stated he was in favor of the rotation as presented and that Commissioner Evans would be a natural choice to go first, due to her experience in office. Chairman Paulk stated Commissioner Raines made an excellent point and that he agreed.

Adoption of the Revised Speed Zone Ordinance

, County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented the Commission with a revised speed zone ordinance in accordance with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) requirements. Mr. Fletcher added that once approved, staff would send the document back to GDOT for execution. Commissioner Evans questioned the speed limit on Boring Pond Road. Mr. Fletcher explained that since the road has been paved, the new ordinance will allow for the new speed to be posted at 45 mph and 55 mph. Mr. Fletcher added that prior to the road being paved, the speed limit was 35 mph. Commissioner Raines asked if the document was a county ordinance. Mr. Fletcher replied yes, adding while the county can make certain recommendations, GDOT prepares the draft in accordance with their regulations. Chairman Paulk asked Mr. Fletcher to provide those in attendance with a short explanation of speed control devices. Mr. Fletcher explained that in the 1990's a previous Commission made the decision that speed control devices would not be allowed on county roads due to maintenance and safety issues. Mr. Fletcher added that over time that decision has become policy. Commissioner Powell stated he had received a request from citizens to increase the speed limit on portions of Old Clyattville Road to 55 mph. Mr. Fletcher replied that due to the curb and gutter installed on the road, he would not recommend it. Mr. Fletcher added he would be glad to check with GDOT to see what the state's recommendation might be. Commissioner Powell asked Mr. Fletcher to move forward with contacting GDOT.

Adopt Resolution accepting infrastructure for Glen Laurel Subdivision

, Phase I, County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, presented the resolution, stating all requirements had been met. Commissioner Powell asked Mr. Fletcher to explain the maintenance bond requirement as addressed by the resolution. Mr. Fletcher stated the contractor or developer is required to maintain a ten percent maintenance bond for a period of one year, in the event the county has an issue with the infrastructure. Mr. Fletcher added that to date, the county has not had a problem. Commissioner Powell asked if the ten percent for twelve months was standard, to which Mr. Fletcher replied yes.

Commission Meeting Calendar

, County Manager, Joe Pritchard, presented the proposed calendar for the Commission's consideration. Commissioner Powell asked if any of the dates conflicted with federal holidays, to which Mr. Pritchard replied no. Commissioner Powell added the Commission might want to consider moving the December meetings around to prevent such a wide gap between meetings at the end of the year. Chairman Paulk added the Commission could consider moving the meetings now, or wait and see what needs are at the end of the year. Mr. Pritchard added once the dates were approved, they would be posted on the county website.

Workers' Compensation Insurance Renewal

, Human Resources Director, Mickey Tillman, presented the Commission with Lowndes County's annual, Workers' Compensation renewal in the amount of $176,051.00. Commissioner Powell stated he noticed the county was utilizing the services of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and wondered if the county had bid the coverage in the last several years. Commissioner Powell also asked Mr. Tillman if he could contact other companies and have a price comparison for the Commission to look at prior to the regular meeting. Chairman Paulk added it would not hurt to make a comparison. County Manager, Joe Pritchard, stated that staff had discussed the coverage with several companies over the years; however, due to the county's relationship with ACCG and due to the annual rebate benefits, moving had not seemed profitable. Commissioner Powell added he understood the relationship, but it did not hurt to check. Commissioner Evans stated as a member of the ACCG Board of Managers, she did not think the county would find a better deal.

Special Assessment Rate for 2011

, Finance Director, Stephanie Black, presented the proposed special assessment rate at 5.25% (two percent above prime), in accordance with Lowndes County's financial policies. Commissioner Raines asked if the rate would fluctuate through the year in the event the prime rate adjusted. Ms. Black answered that the county is required to set the rate annually so the actual prime rate would not be considered again until the beginning of next year.

Proposal from Edwards Pittman for Davidson Road Improvement Project

, County Manager, Joe Pritchard, informed the Commission that County Engineer, Mike Fletcher, had been notified additional engineering would be necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Davidson Road project. Mr. Fletcher added that additional drainage work was required which created a need for additional environmental services, in the amount of $16,218.08. Mr. Pritchard added the Davidson Road project was being completed with assistance from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), for the benefit of Moody Air Force Base. Commissioner Evans asked if the cost was budgeted. Mr. Pritchard replied that the funds were not earmarked; however, they were available. Commissioner Powell asked how the cost estimate compared to the cost of the initial environmental work. Mr. Fletcher replied that it was about the same, but just a little more due to the accelerated time frame required.

Sprint Nextel Amendment Five for 800 MHz Reconfiguration

, ITS Director, Aaron Kostyu, presented the last in a series of change orders required to complete the 800 MHz rebanding project. Mr. Kostyu added that due to a federal mandate, Nextel was responsible for the entire cost of the project.


County Manager, Joe Pritchard, reported staff was in the process of compiling information for the annual Commission Retreat, scheduled for February 11-12, at the 4-H Camp in Lake Park. Mr. Pritchard asked the Commission to provide staff with a list of any items or issues they would like addressed during the retreat so that the appropriate information could be prepared.

Commissioner Evans made a motion to adjourn the work session, Commissioner Raines second. Chairman Paulk adjourned the meeting at 8:51 a.m.

Ashley Paulk, Chairman; K. Paige Dukes, County Clerk