LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street - 2nd Floor
1.
Call to Order

2.
Invocation

3.
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

4.
Minutes for Approval

a.
Work Session-December 8, 2014
b.
Regular Session-December 9, 2014

5.
Appointment

a.
Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority

The appointment for Terri Lupo expired January 1, 2015. She was filling the unexpired term of G. Norman Bennett and would like to be considered for reappointment to the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority for a 5 year term.

 

6.
For Consideration

a.
Hotel-Motel Tax Rate

The County currently levies a hotel-motel tax as authorized by Georgia statute on accommodations in the unincorporated area at the rate of 5 percent. 3 percent of the amount levied is currently used to fund the County’s one-half of the Airport Authority budget. The additional 2 percent of the amount levied is used for the promotion of tourism, conventions, and trade shows by the Conference Center and Tourism Authority, as authorized by Georgia statute.
 

Last year, Valdosta increased the rate of the tax levied within Valdosta from 5 percent to 7 percent, as authorized by statute, which increase in the tax rate was and is used to increase Valdosta’s funding of the Conference Center and Tourism Authority.
 

The Conference Center and Tourism Authority has now asked the County to increase the rate of the County’s tax on accommodations in the unincorporated area from 5 to 7 percent, for the purpose of increasing the County’s funding of the Conference Center and Tourism Authority.
 

To increase the rate of the County tax, the Board must first adopt a Resolution specifying the subsequent rate, identifying the projects or tourism development purposes of the tax, and specifying the allocation of the proceeds. 

Subsequent to this Resolution, the General Assembly may pass a local Act authorizing the County to increase the rate of the tax, which Act must include provisions specified by statute which limit the use of the increase to (a) promoting tourism, conventions, and trade shows and (b) tourism product development.
 

Attached is a proposed Resolution of the Board of Commissioners. Also attached is a proposed local Act of the General Assembly.
 

Assuming the Board adopts the attached Resolution and the General Assembly passes a local Act authorizing the increase, the Board of Commissioners will then be authorized to amend its Ordinance levying the tax to increase the rate of the tax from 5 percent to 7 percent, effective the beginning of the County’s next fiscal year, which is July 1, subject to the requirements of the local Act authorizing the increase and also subject to the additional requirements of generally applicable statutes governing the levy of the tax and the increase in the rate of the tax.

 

b.
Special Assessment Rate for 2015

The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners is required to set the interest rate for Special Assessments at the beginning of each calendar year.  This rate is for all paving and utility assessments that are not paid off during the initial 90-day phase.  Unpaid assessments revert to an installment agreement which is to be paid over a period of up to ten years.  The rate is based on the current prime rate plus two (2) percent.  The prime rate is the interest rate charged by banks when they lend money to other banks, or to their “prime” customers.  Most American banks and credit unions use this index as a foundation for their loan products.  The current prime rate is 3.25%; therefore, the rate for special assessments should be set at 5.25% for 2015.  The prime rate has been 3.25% since December 16, 2008. 

 

c.
Section 125 Amendment and Adopting Resolution

The Section 125 Cafeteria Plan is a premium only plan (POP) that provides for a pre-tax deduction for qualified health plans for our employees. At the November 11, 2014 Commission Meeting the Board adopted the Section 125 Plan Document for the 2015 calendar year in order to comply with IRS regulations.

The IRS has subsequently issued Notice 2014-55 that permits election notices that were not previously permitted by our plan. The amendment states that employees may now revoke elections for employer sponsored health coverage during "Special Enrollment Periods" of a Marketplace Qualified Health Plan (QHP) as outlined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The amendment further states that employees who have a reduction of work hours (to less than 30 hours per week) may revoke their election from employer sponsored health coverage whether they are still eligible or ineligible to participate in the benefit.
 
We are seeking adoption of the Section 125 Premium only Plan Amendment and Resolution in keeping with IRS Notice 2014-55 to become effective January 1, 2015. 

d.
Sheriff's Office Position Reclassification Request

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the ability to reclassify an existing budgeted position. A position reclassification can be granted when the duties, responsibilities and/or certification requirements of a position significantly change or expand over time. When a position is occupied the changes shall be permanent and remain in place even after the incumbent leaves the position. The Sheriff’s Office is requesting the Board to approve the reclassification of the currently vacant Laundry Custodian position to a Jail Operations Officer position in keeping with the requirements of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council of Georgia.  The granting of this reclassification should include a salary budget adjustment of $3,096.64 to address the impact caused by upgrading the existing position for the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year.

7.
Bids

a.
Lowndes County Jail-Refurbish Showers Pod “A”-Bids & Contract

Lowndes County solicited bids for refurbishing the showers in Housing Pod “A” at the Lowndes County Jail. A mandatory pre-bid meeting was held on November 20, 2014, at the jail. Bids were opened publicly on December 2, 2014. The following contractors submitted bids:

$168,458.00 & 150days            Kellerman Construction
$132,000.00 &   45days            Quillian Powell Construction

b.
Lowndes County Jail- A New Roof for Housing Pod "A"- Bids & Contract

Lowndes County solicited bids for a new roof for Housing Pod “A” at the Lowndes County Jail. A mandatory pre-bid meeting was held on November 20, 2014, at the jail. Bids were opened publicly on December 2, 2014. The following contractors submitted bids:

$411,422.00 & 120days            Mike Harrell Roofing
$202,498.00 & 150days            Kellerman Construction
$176,500.00 & 135days            Quillian Powell Construction

 

 

c.
FY 2013 CDBG- Lowndes County Second Harvest Renovation Project-Bids & Contract

Lowndes County solicited bids for the FY 2013 CDBG Lowndes County Second Harvest renovation project. A mandatory pre-bid meeting was held on November 18, 2014, at the Second Harvest facility. Bids were opened publicly on December 2, 2014. The apparent low bidder was over budget so with the approval of DCA the architect and owner value engineered the project with the apparent low bidder.  The following contractors submitted bids:

$819,800.00            Quillian Powell Construction
$797,900.00            PDC Construction Company
$795,497.00            Kellerman Construction

$468,629.30            Kellerman Construction after value engineering
 

 

d.
Drainage Improvements for Moss Oak Trail

The Lowndes County Engineering Department has requested proposals for drainage improvements to Moss Oak Trail behind the Lake Park Library and park.  Currently, storm water runoff from the library and park sheet flow across Moss Oak Trail and across adjacent properties causing erosion and damage to the residents.  This project will include a concrete swale and parking area for the park and will capture the majority of the runoff from both the library and park.  The storm water will be collected in underground storm pipes and connected to an existing drainage structure that carries water into Francis Lake.  The cost of the project will be split between SPLOST VII Parks and Recreation funds and Road Improvement funds.

$80,633.00       Rountree Construction
$181,325.00     Reames and Son
No Bid             Scruggs Company 
 

 

e.
Automated External Defibrillator Bid
On April 8, 2014, the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners gave approval for the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency to submit an application for Homeland Security Grant Program funding.  On September 29, 2014, Lowndes County received notice that funding had been approved in the amount of $15,000.00 for the purchase of CPR equipment and training.  A portion of the grant funds are intended to be use towards the purchase of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) that will be placed in several high occupancy, public buildings such as the Lowndes County Judicial and Administrative Complex, Valdosta City Hall, South Georgia Regional Library, etc. Upon receiving notice of the award Lowndes County Emergency Management solicited sealed bids for the purchase of AEDs, wall storage cabinets for each AED purchased, and training units to be used in training individuals in the proper use of the AED. Lowndes County received bids from 6 vendors with the lowest qualifying bid being received from Lifeguard Medical.  Their price for 6 or more units was $694.00 per unit for the AED, $145.00 per unit for the wall cabinet, and $209.00 per unit for the AED trainer when purchasing 2 or more units.

If the bid is accepted the equipment purchased will be paid for using only Homeland Security Grant Program funds.  Lowndes County will purchase the equipment and submit a reimbursement request to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/ Office of Homeland Security.  No matching funds are required as part of the grant that will be used to purchase the equipment.

8.
Reports - County Manager

9.
Citizens Wishing to be Heard-Please State Your Name and Address
10.
Adjournment