BURKE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
November 8, 2011
The Burke County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday November 8, 2011 at 6:00 PM in
the Court Room at the Burke County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order by Chairman
Wayne Crockett. Also in attendance were Commissioners Abrams, DeLaigle, Kelly and Tinley.
County Attorney, Barry Fleming and Administrator Merv Waldrop were also at the meeting.
The Administrator gave the invocation for the meeting and then Mr. Tinley led everyone in the
Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag.
The first item of business was to consider the minutes from the October 11th, 12th, 19th, and 24th
meetings. The Administrator noted a correction to the October 19th meeting minutes. Mr.
DeLaigle made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Mr. Abrams seconded the motion
which was approved on a 5 to 0 vote.
After that the Chairman Crockett welcomed Farm Bureau President, Lee Webster to the meeting.
He presented him with a proclamation for Farm City Week which read as follows:
American farmers and ranchers literally help feed the world by producing a bounty of
agricultural products. To do this, they rely on essential partnerships with urban and suburban
communities to supply, sell and deliver finished products across the country and around the
globe. Rural and urban communities working together have made the most of our nation’s rich
agricultural resources as they contribute to the health and well being of our country and to the
strength of our economy.
During National Farm-City Week, we recognize the importance of this cooperative network.
Agriculture employs more than 24 million workers including farmers and ranchers, shippers,
processors, marketers, retailers, truck drivers, inspectors and others who annually contribute
more than $1.3 trillion to our gross domestic product. The agricultural industry provides us with
food and clothing as well as fuel for our energy needs. And as we welcome new opportunities for
trade, the hard work and successful cooperation between farmers and city workers will continue
to play a vital role in our nation’s future.
Farm-City collaborations help maintain and improve our food and fiber supply and contribute to
a better quality of life for countless citizens. We commend the many Americans whose hard work
and ingenuity reflect the true spirit of America and help to ensure a prosperous future for all.
This week, as we gather with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, it is fitting that
we count among our blessings the vital farm-city partnerships that have done so much to
improve the quality of our lives.
Now, therefore, I R. Wayne Crockett, Chairman of the Burke County Commission, by virtue of
the authority vested in me, do hereby proclaim November 18 – 24, 2011 as Farm-City Week. I
call upon citizens in rural and urban areas to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of all
those who, working together, produce and supply our community and nation with an abundance
of agricultural products.
The agenda item to consider closing of several roads in the Pineview Subdivision was postponed
until the end of the meeting.
Next the Commissioners considered a request to authorize the Sheriff’s Department to fill a
vacant Deputy position. Due to the hiring freeze the Board is considering all vacancies on a case
by case basis. In their discussion the Board members considered public safety to be a high
priority and wanted to see the position filled. Mr. Abrams moved to authorize the Sheriff to fill
the vacant Deputy position. Mr. DeLaigle seconded the motion and it passed on a 5 to 0 vote.
On the agenda next was the consideration of a contract amendment with the CSRA Probation
Services. The private company contracts with the County to provide probation and monitoring
services for the Superior Court, State Court and Magistrate’s Court. The amendment was created
at the request of the Administrative Office of the Courts to include their existing fee schedule.
There were no other changes in the contract. Mr. DeLaigle moved to amend the contract with
CSRA Probation. Mr. Tinley offered a second and the motion was approved unanimously.
After that the Board considered an amendment to the radio tower leases, establishing the leases
with the new owners, Grain Communications. The County has been leasing tower space for the
EMA and the Sheriff’s Department from Southern Distributing for many years. Southern has
sold its tower in Waynesboro to Grain Communications. Grain wants to continue the lease with
the County under the same terms as before. Chairman Crockett had a question about the
estoppel clause in the agreements. The County Attorney asked for the Board to give him a few
minutes to look over that clause before making a decision.
The Board then discussed naming a County Legislative Coordinator. The County Administrator
has served in that role for the past year. Mr. Tinley moved to allow the Administrator to serve as
the county’s Legislative Coordinator for the coming year. Mr. DeLaigle gave the second. The
motion carried with all in favor.
The next item of business was a request from the City of Keysville for a waiver of the disposal
fees for demolition of three homes that have been previously taken to the County’s C&D
Landfill. In addition the City was asking for the County to demolish an additional house. The
house is privately owned. The Chairman suggested that we waive the fees for the three houses
already demolished. He added that we should not be in the business of tearing down privately
owned structures. He noted that the City of Waynesboro condemned and took position of several
homes before they had them demolished. The County then waived only the disposal fees for
Waynesboro and did not participate in the demolition. Mr. Tinley made a motion to waive the
disposal fees on the three houses. Mr. Abrams seconded the motion and it passed 5-0.
After that the Commissioners considered an amendment to a contract with the CSRA Regional
Commission for Transit Services. The Regional Commission has seen its funding cut for the
Senior Citizens transit program. It is proposing to reduce the County’s funding from $21,211 to
$14,642. The Administrator noted that this is just the latest in funding cuts for Transit. This will
mean that we will have to pick up more of the cost of the operations of the system while still
being committed to provide the same level of service as in the previous contract. He noted that
we have little choice but to accept the reduced funding. Mrs. Kelly moved to amend the contract
with the CSRA Regional Commission. Mr. DeLaigle seconded the motion and it passed by a
A contract with G.A. Foods was the next order of business for the Board. The County has
contracted with the company for the purchase of meals for our Senior Citizens nutrition program.
The County must use G. A. Foods in order to receive reimbursements from the CSRA Regional
Commission. The proposed contract does not commit the county to any specific number of
meals but it does establish the cost of each meal ordered at $4.45 each. Mr. Abrams made a
motion to renew the contract with G. A. Foods. Mrs. Kelly offered a second to the motion,
which carried with all voting in favor.
The Board then considered a mutual aid agreement with the Georgia Forestry Commission. The
County has had mutual aid agreements with the GFC in the past. EMA Chief Sanders had no
objection to the agreement according to the Administrator. Mr. Tinley moved to authorize the
Chairman to sign the Mutual Aid Agreement with the Georgia Forestry Commission. Mr.
Abrams gave the second to the motion and it was approved by a 5–0 vote.
The County Attorney reported that he had reviewed the lease agreements and did not see any
reason why the County should not approve the transfer of the lease to Grain Communications.
Mr. Tinley moved to approve the lease agreements with Grain Communications. Mr. Abrams
offered the second and the motion was approved on a unanimous vote.
Next the Commissioners heard brief reports from various department heads.
Library Director, Elaine Sikes, reported that they have a Library Board meeting on the 5th
Tuesday this month.
Judge Wimberly reported that Magistrate Court fines are up and that they have been busy with
Public Works Director, Jesse Burke reported that they are patching and paving roads, doing
drainage maintenance, and painting the markings at the airport. He said that he appreciates the
help from the Code Enforcement officer and the Magistrates Court. He also noted that the new
trash truck is in.
Scott Lee, Building Official state that new construction is slow right now but that Code
Enforcement is keeping them busy.
After that Mr. Tinley moved to go into executive session to discuss a legal matter. Mr. Abrams
seconded the motion and it passed with all in favor. After hearing from the County Attorney,
Mr. Abrams moved to go back into regular session. Mr. DeLaigle made the second and the
motion carried unanimously. The County Attorney reported that the Board had discussed one
pending legal matter and had taken no action. Mr. Tinley moved to authorize the Chairman to
sign the Executive Session affidavit on behalf of the Board. Mrs. Kelly seconded the motion and
it carried unanimously.
The Board then considered its final item of business, a proposal to close the roads in Pineview
Subdivision. The Board had held a public hearing in October to get input on the impacts of
closing the roads. It was noted that the roads have never been opened and the current trails are
very seldom used. Mr. Askins, one of the landowners stated that he wanted the Board to build
the roads in the subdivision. If the County built the roads then they would be used, he said. Mr.
DeLaigle suggested that he did not feel comfortable using taxpayers money to develop the roads
in his subdivision for him. Mr. Crockett stated that he has been driving past this subdivision
twice a day, everyday for approximately 50 years and has never known of any traffic on the
roads. The County Attorney presented the Board with a resolution to use if they wanted to close
the roads. Mr. DeLaigle moved to close the roads in Pineview Subdivision. Mr. Abrams
seconded the motion. It passed with all five voting in favor of the motion. Mr. Burnsides,
attorney for Otis Askins, asked if the Board had adopted the resolution. Mr. DeLaigle then
moved to adopt the resolution to abandon Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Maple
Drive and Poplar Drive. The resolution read as follows:
A RESOLUTION OF ROAD ABANDONMENT BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF
WHEREAS, Burke County, Georgia, desires to abandon any interest it owns in several
roads known as Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive,
descriptions of which are attached hereto as Exhibit A and a filed plat showing said roads is
attached hereto as Exhibit B; and
WHEREAS, Section 32-7-2(b)(1) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated authorizes a
county to abandon roads from the County road system if the county determines (1) the roads
have for any reason ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no substantial public
purpose is served by them and/or (2) the roads’ removal from the county road system is
otherwise in the best public interest; and
WHEREAS, said Georgia Code Section provides that upon certification by the County,
recorded in its minutes, accompanied by a plat or sketch, and after notice to property owners
located thereon, the County may declare those roads to no longer be part of the County road
system, and the rights of the public in and to those roads as public roads shall cease; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners held a public hearing October 24, 2011 at 3:00
p.m. to consider abandonment of Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive,
and Maple Drive; and
WHEREAS, prior to the hearing date, the owners of property adjacent to Francis Avenue,
Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive received notice by mail of the
public hearing; and
WHEREAS, notice of the public hearing was published in The True Citizen, the legal
organ of Burke County, once a week for a period of two weeks prior to the public hearing date;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, following the public hearing and after
consideration of all testimony and evidence provided, the Board of Commissioners makes the
following findings of fact:
1. There has been very minimal development on Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive,
Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive;
2. No businesses and only one house fronts Francis Avenue and no homes or
businesses front Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive;
3. The house that fronts Francis Avenue has a legal easement to access the property
from Bates Road and has a Bates Road mailing address;
4. Poplar Drive, Elm Drive, and Sycamore Drive do not appear to have ever been
used as roads by the public;
5. Francis Avenue is a dead end road with very minimal to no public traffic and the
County has received no requests for maintenance of the roads for the past 40
years other than the request and subsequent mandamus action filed by Otis Askin;
6. Maintenance of Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and
Maple Drive will cost approximately $152,000;
7. The roads of Pineview Subdivision are not traveled by the public at large, provide
no thoroughfare for thru traffic, and otherwise serve no public purpose;
8. There are approximately 487 dirt roads in Burke County covering several
9. It is in the best interest of the County to direct the limited resources available for
the construction and upkeep of public roads to those county roads that have more
than very limited public traffic and serve a public purpose;
10. Closing these 5 roads will not hinder travel to citizens throughout the County at
large as there is limited development within Pineview Subdivision;
11. Closing these 5 roads will not hinder the ability of property owners to access their
property because, under Georgia law, a private citizen’s easement in a road does
not extinguish once a county abandons a road and the property owners will be
able to access their property along the private roads of the subdivision;
12. Abandonment of these 5 roads will not affect the ability of property owners
adjoining the roads to receive building permits for construction as long as all
building codes are followed and county ordinances are complied with;
13. There have been no representations to any of the landowners within Pineview
Subdivision that the roads would not be abandoned by the Burke County Board of
Commissioners and there is no contractual, equitable, or legal restraint on the
Board’s ability to abandon the roads at issue;
14. Based on the lack of development and travel along these 5 roads over the course
of approximately 50 years, they have ceased to be used by the public to the extent
that no substantial public purpose is served by them; and
15. Based on the lack of development and travel along these 5 roads over the course
of approximately 50 years, the roads are no longer useful or convenient to the
public, and as a result, it is in the best interests of the citizens of Burke County to
relieve the public from the high cost associated with maintaining these roads.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, based on the aforementioned findings of fact and after
consideration of all evidence presented at the public hearing, the Board of Commissioners
approves abandonment of any interest held by the County in Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive,
Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive, and said roads are removed from the County road
system, based on the following:
1. Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and Maple Drive
have ceased to be used by the public to the extent that no substantial public
purpose is served by them; and
2. It is otherwise in the best interest of the County to abandon any interest held by
the County in Francis Avenue, Sycamore Drive, Elm Drive, Poplar Drive, and
Maple Drive in order to relieve the public from the charge of maintaining roads
that are no longer useful or convenient to the public.
The motion was seconded by Mr. Abrams and approved on a vote of 5 to 0.
Being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.
R Wayne Crockett, Chairman Lucious Abrams
Allen DeLaigle Terri Lodge Kelly
Henry Tinley Merv Waldrop, Administrator