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Sumter County BOC approves moving forward with Enterprise Fleet Management

AMERICUS – At its monthly regular meeting on Tuesday, June 16, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) decided to move forward in partnering with Enterprise Fleet Management (EFM). The partnership will consist of a lease agreement between the county and the company in which EFM will provide a fleet of state-of the-art automobiles to the county.

Once again, due to concerns over COVID-19, the meeting was a virtual meeting, although with the exception of Commissioner Mark Waddell, every other commissioner was present in the council chamber at the Sumter County Courthouse. Commissioner Waddell was in attendance via the Zoom conference call.

The BOC has had discussions with EFM concerning this proposed lease agreement since the BOC’s May Work Session on Tuesday, May 12, but BOC Chairman Clay Jones told EFM representative Damon Martin at Tuesday night’s regular meeting that the BOC is ready to proceed with the lease agreement. County Attorney Kimberly Reid asked County Administrator Rayetta Volley to have Martin send her the actual contract before July because this particular contract is more complex than a standard contract. Martin, who was participating in the meeting, replied that he would send out the contract Wednesday morning. Commissioner George Torbert stated that, in his opinion, the county cannot sign up for this agreement this year, receive the vehicles and then back out of the contract because, for whatever reason, it may not be working. County Financial Director Janice Jarvis replied that once there is a rotation of the newer vehicles and the county is able to sell them for a higher amount of money, the county will be able to have a cycle of reassessment and will be able to reinvest money into the purchase of those vehicles. At the BOC’s Work Session a week ago, Commissioner Waddell told Martin that he believed the leasing program was a good program for the county, but that his main concern was what impact it would have on the bottom line. “I believe you can save us money,” Waddell told Martin. “It’s just how much is it going to cost us to get into this program.”

While the BOC agreed in principle to take part in the lease program with EFM, the contract still has to be reviewed. Therefore, the BOC will discuss the details of the contract in July before officially making its final approval.

The BOC approved a sole source justification for Lexipol LLC for updating and customizing the county’s SOP’s and SOG’s in the amount of $7,858.00. Sumter County Fire Chief Jerry Harmon told the BOC that he was pleased that the BOC made this approval so that his department could get its books in order. Jarvis stated that Chief Harmon was asking for this justification to be sole sourced because this will meet the specialized needs of his department. At the BOC’s June Work Session on Tuesday, June 9, Chief Harmon explained that his department has discovered that there are so many changes involving SOP’s that are outdated and that he feels that the BOC should allow Lexipol LLC to come in and rewrite the SOP’s so that the department can get back to where it needs to be.

Commissioner Torbert made a motion for approval and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The BOC also voted to approve the FYE 2021 Budget Resolution. Jarvis stated that this has already been discussed at the BOC’s previous Work Session and at a public hearing and, therefore, needs to be voted on and approved. Commissioner Torbert made a motion for approval and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the FYE 2021 Budget Resolution passed unanimously.

The BOC also approved several Board Appointments at its regular meeting. Volley stated that Chris Wooden, a member of the Andersonville City Council, is interested in serving on the Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council in place of Velma Coley, whose term will expire on June 30, 2021. Volley also stated that both Lester David Kitchens and Sherrill House would both like to be reappointed to serve on the Americus and Sumter County Hospital Authority and that their terms expire on June 30, 2020. According to Volley, there are five other Board Appointments in which those who currently serve would like to be reappointed. Martha Hart Ridgway, who currently serves on the Sumter County Board of Family and Children’s Services, would like to be reappointed to that board and serve in the area of education. Ridgway’s current term expires on June 30, 2020. Both Thelma Williams and Mary Story-Huffman currently serve on the Sumter County Library Board of Trustees. Williams has served a total of nine years and cannot be reappointed, while Story-Huffman does not want to be reappointed. Both of their terms expire on June 30, 2020, so there are two vacancies on that board.

Both Marcus Chatman and William David Baldwin currently serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals and both want to be reappointed. Each of their current terms expires on July 31, 2020.

The BOC approved a motion for Wooden to be appointed to serve on the Americus-Sumter County Tourism Council in place of Velma Coley. Commissioner Torbert made a motion for approval and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the approval passed unanimously.

Board Chairman Clay Jones asked for a motion for approval to reappoint Chatman to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Commissioner Roberson made a motion for approval and Commissioner Torbert seconded the motion. A vote was taken and the approval to reappoint Chatman passed unanimously. The BOC also approved the reappointment of William David Baldwin to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Commissioner Torbert made a motion for approval and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

When it came time for each department head to give a report to the BOC on the happenings in his/her department, Col. Eric Bryant of the Sumter County Sherriff’s Office told the BOC that his department is revisiting its policies as it relates to practices in law enforcement in response to what is going on around the world in regards to all of the protests of police brutality. “We will be revisiting some policies and mandating some things and we’ll be doing this by way of memos and newsletters to minimize the amount of overtime you have to bring officers in for training and things like that,” said Col. Bryant.

Volley stated to the BOC that she wanted to know whether or not the meetings in July would be conducted virtually, as they are now, or if they would be conducted in person. She also told the Board that she needed to have two Public Hearings in July. One is on the closing of Renecker Road and the other has to deal with an alcoholic beverage license for Plains MTD because they are changing ownership. Volley also stated that she needed to have approval from the BOC on three different issues. The first one she mentioned was an approval of the ACCG – IRMA Renewal Proposed Summary for property and liability insurance with ACCG in the amount of $344,485.00 for July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021. Volley stated that the amount of money has increased by about $20,000.00. “We did $321,000.00 last year, so it’s a little more than $20,000.00,” said Volley. A motion for approval was made by Commissioner Torbert and seconded by Commissioner Roberson. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The next issue Volley requested approval of was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOR) between the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Sumter County. A motion for approval was made by Commissioner Torbert and seconded by Commissioner Roberson. A vote was taken and the approval passed unanimously.

The third item that Volley needed approval of from the BOC was the renewal of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) Program. “This is the verification process so that we can be in compliance with the immigration laws,” said Volley. “And the only time we use this is if an applicant on their alcoholic beverage license application checks that they are not a U.S. citizen.”

Commissioner Torbert made a motion for approval and Commissioner Roberson seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.