9/7/2021 BOC Regular Session Minutes
GORDON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
REGULAR SESSION MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 7, 2021
The Gordon County Board of Commissioners held their Regular Meeting on September 7, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the conference room of the Administration Building.
BECKY HOOD, CHAIRMAN
CHAD STEWARD, VICE CHAIRMAN
BRUCE POTTS, COMMISSIONER
KEVIN CUNNINGHAM, COMMISSIONER
M. L. BUD OWENS, COMMISSIONER
JIM LEDBETTER, COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
ANNETTE BERRY, COUNTY CLERK
APPROXIMATELY 12 GUESTS
Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.
Employees with Anniversary Hire Dates in September – Commissioner Cunningham read the list of employees with anniversary hire dates in September. Commissioner Steward drew the name of Adam Dortch with the Fire Department as September Employee of the Month.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairman Hood asked if there are any additions, omissions, or deletions to the Minutes for the Work Session and Regular Meeting of August 17, 2021. Commissioner Potts made a motion to approve the Minutes. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and Commissioners Owens, Potts, Steward, and Cunningham voted aye. Motion passed.
Commissioner Owens reported that he attended the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission meeting, Bucky’s tour with the Development Authority, hosted the Administrative Committee meeting and lunch, attended the Bucky’s ribbon cutting, chaired the Calhoun City Schools College and Career Academy Board, and attended the Parade Committee meeting with the Public Safety teams.
Commissioner Potts reported that he attended the quarterly Public Works Committee meeting, the Bucky’s ribbon cutting and grand opening, he had breakfast with Representative Matt Barton, met with several departments – Ursula with Planning and Development, and Charmon and Zelda with Finance, and Donna Reeve with GIS. Also met with a local developer, and he reported on work being done by the Public Works, Fleet Management, and Buildings and Grounds departments.
Commissioner Hood advised that she had met with City of Calhoun and both school superintendants related to Covid.
CONSIDERATION OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS
CONSIDERATION OF NEW BUSINESS
BUDGET AMENDMENT TO PLACE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN FUNDS IN FISCAL YEAR 2022 BUDGET
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is a budget amendment to place American Rescue Plan Funds in the fiscal year 2022 budget. Gordon County has received $5,629,316.50 in American Rescue Act Plan funds. In order to comply with our reporting, we have to show that those funds are in permissible line items in the budget. This is for the Board to consider a resolution for premium pay and that line item has been established and we put the bulk of the money in a line item for Broadband. The explanation for this is, we don’t have to use all of that money for Broadband. Our overall plan for Broadband is to get grant money to pay for it and we have that in process. If the need for protective equipment or something in response to Covid arises, we could move money out of that fund and use it in another place as needed.
Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to approve the budget amendment to place the American Rescue Plan funds in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. Commissioner Steward seconded the motion and Commissioners Steward, Cunningham, Potts, and Owens voted aye. Motion passed.
RESOLUTION TO ESTABLISH PREMIUM PAY FOR LOW TO MODERATE INCOME ESSENTIAL COUNTY EMPLOYEES USING FUNDS RECEIVED UNDER THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is a Resolution to establish premium pay for low to moderate income essential County employees, using the funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Federal Government sent Gordon County the $5.6 million under the American Rescue Plan Act, we have accepted that fund and it comes with many strings attached and there are only certain purposes in which we can use it. One is premium pay, two would be if we set up a fund to loan to local businesses, three would be for Broadband, and four would be for water and sewer projects. The County has lost a number of essential government employees, but during the pandemic the County continued to provide fire fighting response, law enforcement response, and we had to record deeds, and continue to collect tax revenue. We continued to provide government services during the pandemic while many people were home. So the American Rescue Plan Act has as an intended purpose, to provide relief to essential government workers who have been handling paperwork that could have Covid on it or meeting people directly during the pandemic, and that’s virtually everyone. There is a formula to apply which works out to $78,111. This Resolution to establish premium pay to low and moderate income people, by law, does not use our local tax money, this is federal money. It helps us to save tax money because we are losing people to higher paying jobs in the private sector. Hopefully this rewards our folks for being out on the frontline during the pandemic and incentivizes them to stay with the County. To reward those people who have worked through the Covid for the period January 27, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The Gordon County Board of Commissioners does not receive this premium pay, along with others such as elected officials.
Commissioner Steward made a motion to approve the Resolution to establish premium pay to essential County employees. Commissioner Owens seconded the motion and Commissioners Potts, Steward, Owens, and Cunningham voted aye. Motion passed.
BID AWARD FOR PROPOSALS TO CONTRACT A CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK FOR THE REMAINING 2012 AND 2018 SPLOST PROJECTS
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is a bid award for proposals for the County to contract a construction manager at risk for the remaining 2012 and 2018 SPLOST projects. He asked the Purchasing Director, Regan Bramblett, to speak about this item and Regan said that only one local proposal was received and that was from Momon Construction and the recommendation is to award them the remaining nine projects under SPLOST. They are the only local contractor that has applied and has extensive experience in Northwest Georgia. Their availability is good. Momon Construction did come out best on price also.
Commissioner Potts made a motion to approve Momon Construction as the Manager at Risk for the remaining 2012 and 2018 SPLOST construction projects. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and Commissioners Potts, Owens, Steward, and Cunningham voted aye. Motion passed.
BID AWARD FOR PROPOSALS FOR A PARTNER TO BRING BROADBAND SERVICES TO UNDERSERVED AREAS OF GORDON COUNTY
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is a bid award for proposals for a partner to bring Broadband services to Underserved areas of Gordon County. There was only one proposal and that was from Comcast. Comcast is proposing to bring Broadband high-speed internet that meets the federal definition to over 5,100 homes in Gordon County that are not currently served. It’s a little bit for everybody in all the different corners of the County that are underserved. This is a huge undertaking; their estimate was that the total cost will be about $13 million. They are participating with us in the grant process and we hope that grant money will take care of the local share. If not, then we can use ARPA money, there are two allocations of ARPA money. The County is supposed to get that amount of ARPA funds again in about May of 2022, another $5.6 in funds.
Chairman Hood announced that she is rescuing herself from this agenda item since she works for a division of Comcast.
Vice Chairman Steward asked for a motion on the item to award a proposal for a partner to bring Broadband services to underserved areas of Gordon County.
Commissioner Owens made a motion to approve the Comcast proposal to bring Broadband to Gordon County. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and Commissioners Potts, Owens, Cunningham, and Steward voted aye. Motion passed.
FIRST READING FOR THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENT FOR BROADBAND
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is the first reading for the Comprehensive Plan amendment for Broadband. This first reading does not require a Board vote.
DECLARATION OF SURPLUS PROPERTY FOR THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE FOR ELEVEN AUTOMOBILES AND A LIST OF MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Administrator Ledbetter advised that this is a declaration of surplus property from the Sheriff’s Office for eleven automobiles and a list of miscellaneous items.
Commissioner Cunningham made a motion to approve the declaration of surplus property from the Sheriff’s Office. Commissioner Steward seconded the motion and Commissioners Cunningham, Steward, Owens, and Potts voted aye. Motion passed.
MOTION TO AMEND THE AGENDA AND TO ADD AN ITEM TO THE AGENDA FOR A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN GORDON COUNTY AND ADVENTHEALTH
Administrator Ledbetter advised that the representatives of AdvernHealth have requested help from the County for additional staffing from the Sheriff’s Department personnel and the Fire Department personnel. This will require a Memorandum of Understanding with AdventHealth.
Commissioner Owens made a motion to approve the addition of an item to the Agenda for a Memorandum of Understanding between Gordon County and AdventHealth. Commissioner Potts seconded the motion and Commissioners Owens, Potts, Cunningham, and Steward voted aye. Motion passed.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN GORDON COUNTY AND ADVENTHEALTH
Administrator Ledbetter advised the Board that this is a Memorandum of Understanding between Gordon County and AdventHealth for interim additional staffing and assistance in the event of the emerging increase in Covid-19. Hospitalizations at Advent Health places extraordinary stress on its current staffing capacity. AdventHealth has requested assistance from Gordon County to provide additional staffing to assist in medical response to the Covid pandemic. The hospital will reimburse the County for the wages of all County employees assigned to AdventHealth including FICA and FUTA and for any employees’ worker’s compensation expense. No County funds will be used under this Memorandum of Understanding.
Commissioner Owens made a motion to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between Gordon County and AdventHealth. Commissioner Cunningham seconded the motion and Commissioners Owens, Cunningham, Steward, and Potts voted aye. Motion passed.
Commissioner Steward made a motion to adjourn the Regular Meeting. Commissioner Potts seconded the motion and all voted aye.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.