Update: Board packet.
They took a little longer than ten minutes, because Commissioners had questions about the right of way abandonment and even more questions about rent, tenants, and services at the Leila Ellis Social Services Building, and about the Public Safety Radio System System Upgrade: Commissioners actually want to see what they’re voting in; fancy that! Plus a substantial presentation about the USGS water level gauge on the Little River and an unscheduled request for approval for a continuation of a Victims Assistance grant.
Here’s the agenda with links to the videos and a few notes, followed by a playlist.
LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2014, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
- Call to Order
Only in the Regular Session.
- Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Only in the Regular Session.
- Minutes for Approval
- Public Hearing
- For Consideration
- Abandonment of Unopened Right of Way off Water Oak Drive
Video. County Engineer Mike Fletcher said that section of road had never been maintaned by the county.
Commmissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know if it would be divided among the adjoining property owners.
Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted to know the original intent of the right of way.
Answer: to bring another road in and come back out to Rolling Pine.
Just another interior loop road. But since the Marmelgo[?] has come in there, there’s no need for that right of way.
- Section 5311 Rural Transportation Program Operating Contracts
Video. County Engineer Mike Fletcher said for the first seven months of the year MIDS has produced 20,984 trips, and in 2013 33,548 trips. He didn’t say, but if the 2014 trips keep on at that rate for a full 12 months, that will be about 7% above 2013. Commissioners had no questions.
- Leila Ellis Social Services Building-Approval of Lease Agreements
Video. Remember a year ago when it turned out the county had no contracts for tenants of that building, and didn’t even know who they all were? This time Chad McCleod (why him? isn’t he engineering?) said the Commission had “in a previous Commission meeting” approved a rate of 29 cents per square foot. In the Minutes 8 October 2013:
Leila Ellis Building-Available Space, Project Manager, Chad McLeod, presented the item. County Manager, Joe Pritchard, stated he wanted to reiterate that the Commission would be presented with leases, addressing the space requested by each agency, once staff received approval to move forward with proposed conditions. Commissioner Marshall stated he had visited the facility and had questions regarding the soup kitchen and public health. Mr. McLeod stated that staff had been directed to address those two spaces as well, once the current project was complete, stating public health was current on their rent. Mr. Pritchard added it was staff’s intent to have everyone paying the same cost per square foot. Commissioner Page made a motion to approve the rent in the amount of .29___per sqare foot, per month (verify with chad), Commissioner Raines second. All voted in favor, no one opposed. Motion carried.
There’s more in the LAKE notes for that meeting and you can follow the links to the video to see the Commissioners still seemed quite confused as to what they were voting on. Even the minutes seem confused (“verify with Chad”).
This time, Chad McCleod said they had talked to various likely tenants and he spelled out which ones would take how many square feet for how much total.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall wanted to know if CASH was a nonprofit and what services they provided.
Answer: yes, tax services, and they have offices throughout the state; Albany, Valdosta, and one other location.
Marshall waned to know if future tentants would come before the Commission or would they be handled by staff?
Answer from County Manager Joe Pritchard: to the Commission.
Answer from Chad McCleod: and these tenants would have to come back in five years.
Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted to know:What are they doing, what are they affecting as far as the citizens of the county? Are they really providing the services that we need to be provided, when we are supporting them through the Leila Ellis grant? Is there any type of a reporting mechanism we could put in place, asking them to keep tabs on what services they are providing, number of citizens they are assisting?
Answer from Joe Pritchard: “Yessir, you can make that request for that information.”
Answer from Chairman Bill Slaughter: “Yeah, I would think we would be able to do that.&rdqup;
Powell wanted to know what the rest of the Commission thought.
Answer: Bill Slaughter (apparently answering for all the Commissioners) said he had not problem with it and thought it was a good idea.
Powell tried asking “Ms. Evans” directly.
Answer: Bill Slaughter once again spoke before anybody else could, saying it didn’t even have to go in the lease agreement; they could just ask (he also said “require”) it of the tenants.
Answer from Joe Pritchard: The LACC is a new organization to meet the meeds of some individuals LAMP no longer services.
- GEMA Performance Partnership Agreement (FY 2014)
Video. Emergency Management Director Ashley Tye said the most recent census data was used to figure the grant size. Commissioners had no questions, other than the Chairman joking about rounding it up to $100,000.
- USGS Funding Agreement for Hwy 122 Stream Gauge
Video. Emergency Management Director Ashley Tye said this was the annual renewal, still at the same price, of the Little River gauge installed after the April 2009 floods per an agreement with USGS September 2009. USGS installed it, and its information is available to local citizens and to the National Weather Services (NWS). NWS uses it in forecasting for “proactive knowing what the river’s doing.” He noted what the Withlacoochee River is doing doesn’t necessarily correlate with what the Little River is doing.
Here are current graphs from that gauge and others on the Little River and the Withlacoochee River, upstream and down, in Flooding charts by WWALS. There are also links to the Lowndes County guages on the Emergency Management department page.
- Public Safety Radio System Upgrade
Video. Emergency Management Director Ashley Tye said this was to replace the obsolescent current system, and got a proposal from Motorola of $6,567,000, which is slightly less than budgeted, to come out of SPlOST funds, to be split equally between the county and the City of Valdosta, with attractive financing options, including no actual payments until September 2016, then three payments.
911 Director Danny Weeks added that they could reuse about 1200 of the mobile units through a software upgrade, while moving to a newer platform with enhancements including elimination of several single points of failure, and abiility to double system capacity. The current system was reaching a point where finding spare parts was difficult.
Commissioner Crawford Powell wanted to know whether fire, city and county, VSU, etc. would all tie in?
Answer: yes, also Echols County.
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall asked the County Manager whether the actual amount to the county should be half, i.e, $3 million and something.
Answer: Yes, technically, and attorneys from Motorola and the county were finishing documents for the next afternoon’s work session including a memorandum of understanding between city and county, in which the county would make the full payment and the city would pay the county.
Marshall wanted further clarification.
Answer: Motorola can’t put it in the name of two lease holders. The county has traditionally been the lessee or owner of record, and this would continue that tradition.
Marshall said he looked forward to seeing the documents before they voted on it.
Powell wanted to know if the other municipalities were also dispatched by the county, Hahira, Remerton, Lake Park.
Marshall wanted to know if the lease purchase agreement would be available before the vote.
Answer:Yes, we have a copy of that for your review here this morning, and we will also have the finalized documents from the attorney in the morning.
Marshall made it clear that “I like to look at it.”
- Reports-County Manager
Video. State Solicitor Juston Cabral reported on the VOCA-funded Victim Witness Program. He previously advocated for it at the 24 March 2014 Work Session and the Commission approved it at the 24 March 2014 Regular Session. He said he was informed last week that a 12-month renewal had been authorized, and he wanted the Commission’s approval for that.
- Citizens Wishing to be Heard Please State Name And Address
Only in the Regular Session.
Here’s a video playlist:
Videos: Alcohol, Transportation, Water, and Safety
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 22 September 2014.