LAURENS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
AUGUST 1, 2017 @ 5:30 P.M.
The Laurens County Board of Commissioners held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 5:30 P.M. Present were Chairman Trae Kemp, Commissioners, Jeff Davis, Emory Lake, Tommy Daniel, County Administrator Bryan Rogers, and County Attorney Billy Kight. Commissioner Roscoe Brower was absent due to illness. County Administrator Bryan Rogers gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first item was the approval of the minutes of the June 22, 2017 regular meeting. Chairman Kemp stated there was no meeting in July due to the holiday and so there was a meeting in June to cover the July meeting. Commissioner Jeff Davis made a motion to approve the minutes for the June 22, 2017 regular meeting. Commissioner Emory Lake seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was Presentation by Dan Styles, DNR Game Warden. Mr. Styles stated his department wanted to let the Commissioners know just what they do. Mr. Styles presented a power point to share with the Commissioners. Mr. Styles stated as an agency, they have several divisions such as, coastal resources, environmental protection, historic preservation, and state park post and wildlife resources. Mr. Styles also stated that hunting and fishing has an impact, especially in Laurens County because of the two wildlife areas and a river. Mr. Styles also stated boating is important economically. Mr. Styles stated because of the recent bill that just passed, they will have enough funds to hire 40 new positions, which will be a God send. Mr. Styles stated they also have their own Mission Statement and their own academy in which every officer goes through basic mandate like any deputy or policeman. Mr. Styles stated they have boating education and public education. They also investigate boating accidents. Mr. Styles also stated they have a ranger hot line and are dispatched by the State Patrol. Mr. Styles thanked the Commissioners for allowing him to come and share the operations of the DNR.
Next was Land Bank Executive Director. Mr. Joshua Kight was present along with Jay Studstill, who both were appointed by the board to represent the Laurens County Land Bank Authority. Mr. Kight wanted to give the Commissioners and update on what the Land Bank has been doing over the last few months, and also to introduce the new Executive of the Land Bank Authority. Mr. Kight stated they appreciate the county’s participation to the Land Bank for the purposes of rehabilitating neighborhoods, and a critical part of that is the county’s participation to agree to let go of some back taxes and property that is not productive so that they can get back into productive use. Mr. Kite introduced Cherisse Blackwell as the new Executive Director of the Land Bank. Mr. Kight stated Cherisse is from New Jersey and has spent over 10 years in real estate and she will definitely be and asset and will do a great job in making the Land Bank a successful part of the community. Ms. Blackwell stated she has been in Georgia about four and a half years now and she is very excited about working with the City of Dublin and Laurens County and she appreciates everything the Commissioners do. Ms. Blackwell stated this is an awesome, friendly community and there are so many gold mines here and many natural resources that have not been tapped into, and she is looking forward to discovering those resources.
The next item was Bid Approval for Paving Contract. Chairman Trae Kemp stated Epps Paving was the only bid received, and the bid was for $5.49 per SY. County Administrator Bryan Rogers stated even though it was the only bid received, it was still in line with what was expected. Chairman Kemp asked why there was only one bid. Mr. Rogers stated there are not a lot of contractors that do surface treatment paving, and with the time line of the projects, and the large amount of work out there at this time, no one could get to the project but Epps. Commissioner Emory Lake made a motion to approve the Bid for Epps Paving. Chairman Kemp seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Next was Bid Approval for Striping Contract. Chairman Kemp stated there were three bids on this project. Peeks Pavement Marking had the lowest bid at $79,040.70 for approximately 50 miles of striping. The other two bids were from Mid-State Construction at $82,900 and Mid State Striping at $82,620. Commissioner Jeff Davis made a motion to approve the bid of Peak Pavement Marking. Chairman Kemp seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was Tax Assessor Board Appointment. Chairman Kemp stated this board appointment is for Mr. J. M. Warren and he has been a tremendous asset to the county, both as a citizen and as a member of the Tax Assessors Board. Chairman Kemp made a recommendation to replace Mr. Warren with Mr. Hilton Culpepper. Chairman Kemp made a motion to nominate Hilton Culpepper to replace J.M. Warren on the Tax Assessors Board. Commissioner Jeff Davis seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was Development Authority Board Appointment. Chairman Kemp stated Mr. Phil Gay’s appointment has expired and he would like to be re-appointed to serve on that board. Commissioner Emory Lake made a motion to re-appoint Phil Gay to serve another term on the Development Authority Board. Chairman Kemp seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Next was the DFACS Board Appointments. Chairman Kemp stated the terms for Mrs. Brenda Smith and Mrs. Margaret Pauldo have expired, and they both have expressed their desire to be re-appointed. Chairman Kemp made a motion to re-appoint both Mrs. Brenda Smith and Mrs. Margaret Pauldo back to the DFACS Board. Commissioner Jeff Davis seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was Regional Commission Board Appointments. Chairman Kemp stated Mr. Ron Harrington Sr. and Mr. Roy Mosley would like to be re-appointed to the aging Board. Chairman Kemp ask if there were any comments from the public or from the Commissioners. Being none, Chairman Kemp made a motion to re-appoint Ron Harrington Sr. and Roy Mosley back to the Regional Commission Board on Aging. Commissioner Tommy Daniel seconded the motion. All voted in favor. Chairman Kemp also stated Mr. Ron Harrington Jr. serves as the private sector appointment to the Regional Commission, and he wishes to be re-appointed. Chairman Kemp stated Mr. Harrington has done a fantastic job, and he serves on several boards such as the fire board, regional commission board and aging board, and he is very active on all those boards. Chairman Kemp made a motion to re-appoint Mr. Harrington to the Regional Commission Private Sector Board. Commissioner Tommy Daniel seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Next was Surplus Vehicle. County Administrator Bryan Rogers stated this is an old Crown Vic that was turned over from the Sheriff’s Department when it was surplused, and it was a backup vehicle for the 911 addressing. He stated it had never been used much and was not in good shape mechanically. Commissioner Tommy Daniel made a motion to surplus the backup vehicle. Commissioner Jeff Davis seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was to Transfer Downtown Parking Lot to the Development Authority. Commissioner Jeff Davis stated the Downtown Development Authority is willing to take the lot where the county jail used to be. Commissioner Davis stated if the Commissioners will transfer it over to them, the Development Authority is willing to resurface it, curb, landscape and make it better public parking. Commissioner Jeff Davis made the motion to proceed with the transfer of the parking lot to the Downtown Development Authority. Chairman Kemp seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
The next item was Rural Fire Grant. Chairman Kemp stated the County has applied for and has been awarded a grant to purchase a new rescue/brush fire truck, which will cost about $104,000. The grant will cover $94,546 of the fire truck, and the balance owed will be $9,454. Chairman Kemp stated the truck is supposed to be equipped to respond to all types of emergencies as well as brush fires. Chairman Kemp made a motion to approve the Rural Fire Grant. Commissioner Tommy Daniel seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Mr. Nick Carroll stated the county is doing a good job on Stanley Cemetery Road, but when it rains, you can’t get in or out. Mr. Carroll stated over the weekend, it rained and the clay was not packed properly and everyone that came to a certain spot on the road got stuck. Mr. Carroll stated he is concerned that the emergency vehicles will get stuck if something isn’t done. Mr. Carroll asked if someone could talk to the contractor to see what they can do about it.
Ms. Dorothy James, who lives on the dirt portion of Ben Hall Lake road, was present and wanted to know when the Commissioners would be able to pave her road. Commissioner Tommy Daniel stated he is working on taking care of the road.
Commissioner Emory Lake discussed the Bridge in Brewton that had been closed by GDOT due to rotten timber piles. County Administrator Bryan Rogers stated this was one of the bridges selected for replacement with the upcoming SPLOST. Mr. Rogers stated the public works employees have done a great job working on getting this bridge repaired and hopefully, they will come up with an economical solution to replace the bridge in the next couple of years.
Commissioner Jeff Davis stated he would like to thank Public Works for what they have done on Lord Road in repairing that bridge. Commissioner Davis also thanked Mr. Don Bryant and everyone involved with getting the grant for the fire truck.
Mr. Rogers stated they are having trouble with people running over stop signs. There were about 15 knocked over about two weeks ago and a citizen ran through a cross road and almost had an accident because they were not familiar with the area.
Chairman Kemp stated at this time, the Commissioners need to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel matters and litigation. Commissioner Emory Lake made a motion to go into executive session. Commissioner Jeff Davis seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
Chairman Kemp made a motion to come out of executive session. Commissioner Jeff Davis seconded the motion. All voted in favor.
No action was taken as a result of the executive session.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.