NEWTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 1124 Clark Street Covington, Georgia REGULAR MEETING February 18, 2014 MINUTES

NEWTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 1124 Clark Street Covington, Georgia REGULAR MEETING February 18, 2014 MINUTES Present: Chairman Keith Ellis, Com...
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NEWTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 1124 Clark Street Covington, Georgia REGULAR MEETING February 18, 2014 MINUTES Present: Chairman Keith Ellis, Commissioners John Douglas, Lanier Sims, Nancy Schulz, J.C. Henderson, Levie Maddox; County Manager John Middleton, Attorney Tommy Craig, & Clerk Jackie Smith Newspaper:

Covington News, Newton Citizen Large group of citizens

Chairman Ellis called the meeting to order, extended a welcome, and read the thought for the day. The invocation was given by Pastor Ronny Brannen, Prospect United Methodist Church, and the Newton County High ROTC Presented the Colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance to our great flag. ADMINISTRATIVE: REQUEST APPROVAL FOR SQUARE PARK PERMANENT CHANGES City of Covington Planning & Zoning Manager Randy Vinson appeared before the board to present this request. When BOC approved the city taking on the responsibility of maintaining the Square it was agreed that they (city) would come before the board for approval for any permanent changes. Requested permission to place a gazebo on the Square (same area where the Thursday small concerts are currently held). Large concerns will be held at Legion Field. Provided a small-scale of the proposed gazebo. Gazebo will have lights, four fans, and speakers similar to what is now being use. Gazebo would provide a civic presence, band cover, and portable café tables for lunch crowd, photographic opportunities. Columns are 12 feet tall and will not obstruct the view for a pedestrian or a vehicles driving through the Square. Would like to remove pecan tree as it is dropping branches and concerned about safety issues. Talked with county arborist Debbie Bell and she is in agreement with the removal of the pecan tree. Board would like for Ms. Bell to appear before the board to discuss the replacement of the trees. (other than pecan tree that needs to come down) Requested permission to add more park benches to the Square. No cost to the county. Commissioner Schulz voiced her concern of approving the request since the city and the county is still in a trial basis regarding the square. The IA will come up for approval again in June.

Questioned about who would be the owner of the gazebo if the intergovernmental agreement was not renewed in June 2014. County Attorney advised the board that the gazebo would belong to the county according to state law. Commissioner Henderson questioned what policy was in place to allow all citizens to use the Square. County Attorney stated the permitting process is vested to the City of Covington by consent of this board; however if there is a circumstance where the board thinks someone is being unfairly treated they (BOC) has the power to address the issue when the agreement comes up for renewal. Commissioner Maddox voiced his strong support for approval and commended the city on their steps to add some “pop” to the downtown area and would like to see BOC approve request. Covington Square Gazebo Draft Concept Plan dated February 18, 2014 is made part of these minutes. Motion by Commissioner Sims, second by Commissioner Maddox, to approve a request by the City of Covington to construct a permanent pavilion and provide benches to the Square Park area with no cost to Newton County. Motion carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Schulz voting in opposition to the motion. COVINGTON SQUARE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS PLAN Requesting to take down the pecan tree where the limbs are dropping for safety reasons. County Arborist Debbie Bell as reviewed and agrees with the removal. Commissioner Maddox requested that BOC be informed of any significant changes to the Square. Mr. Vinson agreed. Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Sims to approve the proposed Landscape Concept Plan dated February 3, 2014 with the understanding that any significant changes would come before the BOC for their approval. Also, to approve the removal of the pecan tree that is dropping its limbs. Motion carried unanimously HISTORICAL MARKER: ATLANTA CAMPAIGN & MARCH TO THE SEA HERITAGE TRAIL Mr. Steve Longcrier of the Civil War Heritage Trails appeared before the board seeking approval to place a historical marker on the West side of the Square. Marker will reflect information about Sherman’s March to the Sea. Grant for cost of marker is provided by GDOT. State wide project. Route is from Northwest Georgia to the coast. He provided the following that is attached and made part of these minutes: Local Government Availability of Incidental Payments: Claim Form; March to the Sea Heritage Trail (Civil War Historic Driving Route) color brochure; Location Sketch; What Happens When Your Property Is Needed For A Transportation Facility Brochure

Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Maddox, to approve an historical marker “Atlanta Campaign & March to the Sea Heritage Trail” on the Square as presented by Mr. Steve Longcrier. Motion carried unanimously CHAIRMAN’S REPORT Paid tribute to all the employees who helped keep our roads clear and citizens safe again during this most recent storm. Next meeting: Agenda item – Civic Involvement Would like to see a scholarship fund set up for firefighter Brad Eavenson’s 12year old son. Would like to host a fishing tournament in his neighborhood and suggested a possible car show. Extremely proud of our Fire Services employees and the support they have given to Brad Eavenson’s family. COUNTY MANAGER’S REPORT Provided board a copy of the FY2014 Financial Report ending January 31, 2014. Briefed board on financial report. (attached and made part of these minutes) Pleased to announce that Kevin Criswell who is part of the IT staff has taken the position of IT director for the county. 7:30 p.m. ZONING The applicant and those in favor of the petition are allowed a cumulative time of tenminutes to address the board. In addition, a cumulative time of ten-minutes is allowed for those in opposition to the petition. This time does not include a response to any questions raised by the commission members. Zoning Administrator Judy Johnson sounded the following zoning: Information is made part of these minutes. Case Number: APP14-000006 Name: Troy Bledsoe, Planning Commissioner District One Original Case Number: VAR13-000149 Name of Applicant: Liberty Marts LLC Address of Property: 387 Highway 11 Tax Parcel: 112-116A District One Troy Bledsoe District One Planning Commissioner Newton County resident for over 41 years Mr. Bledsoe noted the following: Feels this will set a negative effect on ability to carry out functions as a planning commissioner. April 20, 2003 over 500 supporters attended meeting in support of watershed protection ordinance

Shared that state had praise for Newton County regarding this ordinance and quoted comments in a letter to Newton County. Georgia’s first county in state to grant protection to all of its rivers and streams. BOC has put Newton County ahead of the curve among other counties. Watershed Ordinance has been a very positive factor in planning process. Brick Store/Mt. Pleasant, Development Node is now in (hopefully) last round to developing the ordinance. Group has worked on this for the past 14 years. BOC adopted principal in 2001 Does not object to Mr. Price improving his property, but wants the plans to be incompliance with current ordinance. He stated that no exceptions have ever been granted in the past eleven years. Feels approving the variance would set a precedent and waken the effectiveness of the strict watershed protection laws for the county. Opposition Ricky Mott Willow Wood Community In favor of Mr. Price receiving the variance. Stated if residents want to keep the area rural then they should be the property. Kevin Price Bogart, Georgia Grew up in Newton County and have developed several pieces of property here. Wants to upgrade the property in question. Builds sites in Georgia and South Carolina from the ground up. Feels he and Mr. Bledsoe are talking about the same thing…”water quality”. His plan will actually improve the water quality. Engineers have met with staff on numerous occasions regarding the “blue book” and they are in compliance with the “blue book” County Ordinance states 50% impervious surface. Requesting 64% impervious surface and said he needs this to make the project work. Reiterated his changes would actually help protect the water quality even better. Regarding waste: Site presently uses septic tank. He proposes to be tied onto a sewer system and replace the septic tank. Currently attempting to tie on to the private sewer system in area. Support the Brick Store Overlay. Proposes to put in higher standards of water treatment on the site. Building Plans: Will meet or exceed what is out there. An estimated economic benefit to Newton County is around $5 million in sales per year. Project will create 60 jobs. Mark Walton Engineer/Patrick & Associates Using best methods, porous pavement, and underground retention pond. Using everything in “blue book.”

Board will be protecting the streams and rivers by approving this variance Regarding traps that catch debris: Mr. Price will sign an agreement to be responsible and record it at courthouse. County staff has reviewed plans and approves. Micheal Penland Surrey Chase Has vested interest in approval as he owns property in area. Original participant in Brick Store discussion Urge board to approve the variance Commissioner Douglas Host commissioner and represents the first district. Proud that we have four watersheds in the first district. Little River, Alcovy River, Bear Creek and Murder Creek Quality of life in the east is very important to me and citizens and will continue to fight hard to protect this. The east does not want to look like Conyers. 64% impervious surface is too great of a difference to approve tonight. Would like to meet and work together to get this reduced. Would like to table issue for 60 days, meet with Mr. Price and get this down to a much more manageable level so we can move forward. but if we don’t protect our watersheds no one will. Meet and work out differences between now and April 15th. Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Schulz, to table Case Number APP14-000006 until the April 15th meeting. Motion carried unanimously CITIZEN COMMENTS Dennis Taylor North Newton Requested board to consider rescinding everything that was done during the January 21, 2014 executive session. Suggested bringing issue before the public for discussion. Conclusion might be the same, but it would be done right. Larry McSwain 35 Glengarry Chase Expressed appreciation to the board for having ACCG’s Dave Wills for a work session regarding Newton County’s charter. Chairman Ellis closed the public comments @ 8:35 p.m.

COUNTY CLERK: APPROVAL OF BOC MINUTES DATED FEBRUARY 4, 2014 Motion by Commissioner Henderson, second by Commissioner Sims, to approve the BOC Minutes dated February 18, 2014. Motion carried unanimously 4-0 (Commissioner Maddox stepped away from the meeting) COUNTY CLERK: APPROVAL OF EXECUTIVE SESSION MINUTES DATED FEBRUARY 4, 2014 Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Sims, to approve the BOC Executive Session Minutes dated February 18, 2014. Motion carried unanimously 4-0 (Commissioner Maddox stepped away from the meeting) Note: Commissioner Maddox returned to the meeting. EMA: MOU BETWEEN NEWTON COUNTY EMA & NEWTON COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO EMERGENCY SERVICE AND A MOU BETWEEN NEWTON COUNTY & NEWTON COUNTY R.A.C.E.S.2 A. UPDATE ON EARLY WARNING SYSTEM EMA Director appeared before the board seeking approval of these two MOU’s: 1. Amateur Radio Emergency Service R.A.C.E.S. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service Information is attached and made part of these minutes. MOU with NC Amateur Radio Emergency Service MOU with R.A.C.E.S. (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) MOU’s are attached and made part of these minutes. Motion by Commissioner Sims, second by Commissioner Maddox, to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Newton County EMA & Newton County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and the MOU with R.A.C.E.S. (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) as outlined by EMA Director Tray Polk. Motion carried unanimously SENIOR SERVICES/DFACS: RESOLUTION R021814 – COMMUNITY SERVICE BLOCK GRANT FOR $150,000 – PERMISSION TO APPLY Senior Services Director Josephine Brown appeared before the board seeking approval to apply for this grant. Information is attached and made part of these minutes. Resolution is part of the housekeeping measure that is required for the CSBG Grant Resolution R021814 is attached and made part of these minutes. Motion by Commissioner Schulz, second by Commissioner Sims, to approve Resolution R021814 to apply for the Community Service Block Grant in the amount of $150,000.00. Motion carried unanimously

ADMINISTRATIVE: APPROVAL OF ASSISTANT COUNTY MANAGER JOB DESCRIPTION County Attorney Tommy Craig addressed the board and presented the newly created assistant county manager job description for their approval. Board received a copy of job description last week to review. Overview of job description and functions of position. Noted: Should you change the county manager position you would change the Assistant County Manager position. Commissioner Schulz commented she would like to table the approval until after the board has discussed the form of government. Motion by Commissioner, Schulz second by Commissioner Sims, to table until the March 4th board meeting. Substitute Motion Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Maddox, to approve the Assistant County Manager Job Description as written and with an ending date of December 31, 2014 for this position. Commissioner Sims noted his agreement that this is a temporary position but at the same time questioned what the duties would be. Agreed with Commissioner Schulz to wait two weeks and clear up some questions. Commissioner SchulZ said she was concerned about approving this tonight and changing it in two weeks. Commissioner Henderson recommended that the chairman and county attorney meet and bring back a recommendation to the board for consideration. Motion carried 3 to 2 with Commissioner Sims and Schulz voting in opposition to the motion. ADMINISTRATIVE: APPROVAL OF ASSISTANT COUNTY MANAGER SALARY County Attorney Tommy Craig addressed regarding the proposed salary for the newly created assistant county manager position. Proposed Salary: $82,316.00 Difference of $4,000 in current salary and the $82,316.00 Additional funding of $4,000: Public Works Department Motion by Commissioner Maddox, second by Commissioner Douglas, to approve $82,316.00 salary for the Assistant County Manager position. Motion carried unanimously

ADMINISTRATIVE: EMPLOYEE PERSONNEL POLICY REVISION – PARAGRAPH 3.309 INCLEMENT WEATHER County Manager John Middleton provided the board information regarding suggested changes to the Newton County Personnel Policy regarding Paragraph 3.309 Inclement Weather. No action necessary at this time, but will present to the board at a later date for approval. DEVELOPMENT SERVICES/GIS: ACCEPTANCE OF USGS GRANT IN THE AMOUNT OF $15,000 Planning & Development Director Lynn Morgan appeared before the board requesting permission to apply for a $15,000 USGS Grant for GIS. Information is made part of these minutes Updated our imaging program in 2013. These funds will help cover money we spent on imaging and equipment cost. Motion by Commissioner Sims, second by Commissioner Douglas, to approve the acceptance of the USGS Grant in the amount of $15,000 for Development Services/GIS Department. Motion carried unanimously DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: O-021814 - ADMINISTRATIVE PERMIT PROCEDURE CONTROL ORDINANCE Attorney Jenny Carter presented the Administrative Permit Procedure Control Ordinance to the board for action. Bulk of ordinance has been into effect since 2004 Went over changes highlighted in red Basically cleaned up some language. Biggest part is the adoption of the swimming pool code. This is currently enforced by Environmental Health. Ordinance O-021181 is attached and made part of these minutes. Motion by Commissioner Schulz, second by Commissioner Henderson, to approve Ordinance O-021814 – Administrative Permit Procedure Control Ordinance. Motion carried unanimously RESOLUTION R021814A – ACCG’S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION Chairman Ellis presented this to the board for approval. ACCG is celebrating 100 years of service to Georgia counties. Resolution R021814a is attached and made part of these minutes. Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Sims, to approve Resolution R021814a – ACCG Centennial Celebration. Motion carried unanimously

COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS Commissioner Douglas Reminder of Brick Store Overlay Public Meeting on Thursday @6:30 p.m. at Georgia Perimeter College/2nd building upstairs. Pat on the back to all first responders for taking care of all of us during the two severe storms we have just experienced. Extended sympathy on behalf of himself and his wife to the family of Newton County Firefighter Brad Eavenson who was tragically killed in an accident on Friday morning. Commissioner Sims Also expressed sympathy to Brad Eavenson’s family for their great loss. Would like to help pull some resources together to help make something happen for a college scholarship fund for Brad’s young son. Livingston Lane and Veal Road ….very glad that the county is just about ready to pave these two dirt roads. Noted that it has been a long time coming and the citizens in the area are very glad to get these roads paved. Commissioner Henderson Noted that February is Black History month and shared how he had learned that when Martin Luther King, Jr. was a boy he came to Covington and played as a boy in our community. He expressed appreciation for many of the leaders in our community: Marcus Jordan: First African American Assistant Chief Appraiser Anthony Avery: First African American Recreation Director Ezell Brown: First African American Sheriff Clara Lett: Director of Garden of Gethsemane/helping the needy. Flemmie Pitts: Unsurpassed historical knowledge. Many, many more. Black History Event to be held here on Saturday in Commissioner Board Room. Also, expressed appreciation for past year working with board and their support of the fourth district. Commissioner Maddox Expressed appreciation for all emergency response teams. Incredible! Visited Command Center and was so impressed with what they do. Would like to invite Chief O’Brien to come and talk with the board as soon as possible. EXECUTIVE SESSION Time: 9:30 p.m. Motion by Commissioner Maddox, second by Commissioner Sims, to enter into executive session for the purpose of litigation. Motion carried unanimously

REGULAR SESSION Time: 10:10 p.m. Motion by Commissioner Douglas, second by Commissioner Maddox, to enter into regular session. Motion carried unanimously With no further business, a motion by Commissioner Sims, seconded by Commissioner Henderson, the meeting adjourned at 10:11 p.m. Respectfully submitted, _________________________ Jackie B. Smith, County Clerk

________________________ William K. Ellis, Chairman

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