Commissioners Make Decision on CorrectHealth BillBusiness, Community, Police & Government August 18, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- The Lumpkin County Commissioners decided to pay CorrectHealth the additional money required to bring them up to the new contract fee however they will not be paying the additional fee that was requested.
The board also voted to approve the amended intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the Board of Education for the proposed aquatic center. They approved a proclamation recognizing the 8U Baseball team for their state championship.
CorrectHealth sent the Board of Commissioners a bill requesting funds to help them break even on the months that the commissioners were bidding out for the service. During those months the commissioners were paying the original contract rate of $22,417.01, they requested at the first work session for the commissioners to meet the first proposed rate of $27,699.67.
To review that meeting visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/08/03/board-reviews-correcthealth-bill-for-uncontracted-months/. The commissioners decided it was only fair to pay the money back at the new contract rate of $29,000, viewing that it wasn’t CorrectHealth’s fault they were not under contract for those months.
The board however did not feel that they owed the extra $42,000 because a contract amendment never came before the board. In Dec. when the nursing shortage began affecting the situation, CorrectHealth contracted Sheriff Stacy Jarrard and presented him with two options, cut down on the nursing staff or bring in more contracted services at a higher cost.
Jarrard contacted County Manager Alan Ours and got what he interrupted as an okay to move forward with the higher cost. Ours does not have the authority to approve contract changes so the next action was that it should have been placed on the next available agenda but it was not.
CorrectHealth did send a contract amendment to the board but it was never signed and CorrectHealth moved forward with the contracted services in what they called “good faith”.
John Ritter, Director of Marketing and Business Development came with Jarrard to the meeting to explain why the board should pay the fee.
“I did bring an option where we could have remained revenue neutral by cutting the service, but the client(Sheriff Jarrard) requested no we don’t want that we agreed to move forward and have that extra nurse so we have 7 days 12-hour coverage in the facility and we honored that request, we fulfilled that request, and we paid for that request,” explained Ritter.
The board was unaware of the options and had no opportunity to find additional funding to cover the extra expense. Jarrard asked that the money come out of his budget to pay the company, however after Finance Director Abby Branan reviewed his budget she found no additional funds to cover the fee.
Heard in the clip above is Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery explaining to Ritter his view on how the contract change should have been handled. At this time it is unclear what next steps CorrectHealth may take to get the additional funds.
The Commissioners recently adopted new plans for the aquatic center. The original plans came in way over the budget set aside for the project so the board started the plans over.
After numerous meetings with the community to get their input the board finally settled on a plan that best fits the community’s needs. The Board of Commissioners and the Board of Education had an IGA for the original plans and now that the plans have changed the agreement needs to be amended.
The Board of Education voted to approve the amended IGA at their regular meeting on Aug. 8, to examine that meeting and the plans visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/08/09/board-of-education-approves-iga-with-the-county/. To see what the IGA looks like visit http://lumpkincountyga.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1656&Inline=True, it begins on page 48.
The Commissioners also made a proclamation recognizing the 8U Baseball Team GRPA Class C State Champions. The team was present for the proclamation and also received a Lumpkin County Coin from the commissioners. Commissioner Tucker Greene is one of the coaches for the team.
“I would just like to say thank you for the recognition for that group of boys that you saw before you, I’ve coached a long time and a lot of kids and this was one really really special group, and I was honored to be apart of it and I just thank yall for what yall did for them,” commented Greene.
Board Reviews CorrectHealth Bill for Uncontracted MonthsBusiness, Community, Police & Government August 3, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- Finance Director Abby Branan and Sheriff Stacy Jarrard brought the commissioners the bill for the uncontracted months where they paid the lower rate to CorrectHealth for their services.
CorrectHealth also sent a bill for a labor variance for four months. County Manager Alan Ours also made the board aware of the City’s vote to enter into mediation over the local option sales tax (LOST) slipt.
CorrectHealth is the inmate health provider that the board re-contracted with in April. The previous contract that according to CorrectHealth was set to expire on Dec. 31 of 2021 was put out for bid due to an unexpected price increase. To review that process visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/04/20/board-approves-inmate-health-contract/.
During the three months that the county was looking at their bid options, CorrectHealth worked with them on a month-to-month payment plan at the old lower rate. With the new contract finalized they are seeking additional funds to get them at least back to what the rate would have been for those three months had there been a contract in place.
To meet the original rate of $27,699.67 per month they are requesting an additional $15,847.98 from the county. The old rate that was being paid during that three-month time period was $22,417.01 per month. The board is considering paying them to meet the new contract rate of $29,000 per month rate.
Heard in the clip above is Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery explaining why the board should consider paying them at the new rate. The board has not taken action on this bill yet, it will be voted on during the regular meeting on Aug. 16 at 6:00 p.m.
The bill that was sent from CorrectHealth also includes a labor variance for four months. This is an additional $46,532.62 that they are requesting due to having to bring in contract nurses to keep up with the contract requirements.
Sheriff Jarrard did inform County Manager Alan Ours that CorrectHealth would be bringing in outside help to ensure that there were nurses at the jail. However, the Board of Commissioners was not made aware of this and did not vote to approve or deny this action.
According to County Attorney Joy Edelberg, there was also nothing stated in the previous contract to make the county liable for any extra labor expenses. Due to the Commissioners not being made aware and there being nothing in the contract there was no funding source setup for this expense.
“I feel that we owe it because we utilized the service and if I’ve got a way to pay for it take it out of me,” explained Jarrard.
To review part of Branan’s explanation of the bill visit https://youtu.be/L1GhC4hCLZE. This is also an ongoing matter and the board took no action on it at this time.
Ours also took time at the end of the meeting to inform the commissioners of the city’s decision to enter into mediation over the LOST split. The city voted at their meeting on Aug. 1 to take this step and to review why they took this action visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/08/02/city-votes-to-move-into-mediation-with-county-over-local-option-sales-tax/.
The county felt keeping the split at 75% for the county and 25% for the city was fair since their numbers say they could actually go for a split of 87% for the county and 13% for the city. They will now enter into mediation and they have until Dec. 31 to come to an agreement on the split.
Board Approves Inmate Health ContractCommunity, Police & Government April 20, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- The Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners approved the inmate health contract with CorrectHealth after the bidding process was conducted.
The board also decided to table the vote on the land-use revisions for another two weeks. This also extends the moratorium on commercial licensing until May 3 when they will take a vote on the revisions.
Sheriff Stacy Jarrard brought before the board a new contract with CorrectHealth that raised the cost to $60,000. This was a jump in cost from what it had previously been so the board directed staff to try to negotiate the cost down.
When that option did not work the board told asked staff to find out if CorrectHealth would be willing to work with the county on month-to-month bases while they put the contract out for bid. CorrectHealth agreed and staff opened up a bid for the contract.
They received two bids. A commission made up of staff and members of the sheriff’s office met with them last Monday. After the meetings, Jarrard requested to stay with CorrectHealth.
However, during the bid process, CorrectHealth’s contract price did go up again. The annual amount that will be paid for their services is $357,765.98 Jarrard and John Ritter Director of Marketing and Business Development for CorrectHealth were at both the work session and meeting to answer any questions the board or community may have had.
“Before the bid process the rate was $256,000.00,” stated Jarrard.
At the same meeting, the board decided to table the land-use revisions vote. The most current draft was put out on Friday, Apr. 15 right before Easter. To view that draft visit https://www.lumpkincounty.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=182.
Commissioners Stringer and Greene expressed concerns with the current draft and wished to have more time to work on a few small details. The rest of the board was in agreement and decided to hold another work session Tuesday, Apr. 26 at 9:00 a.m.
They will release another draft after that meeting and give the community a week to review the changes and express any other concerns. The vote will be held at a special call meeting on May 3 at 5:30 p.m. this will be after the work session.
Kathrine James and Steve Sylvestor were both present at the meeting and express further concerns with the document. Sylvestor felt that as the board has worked on the revisions they have become less restrictive. James felt that there was still some clarification needed on how long a person held a land-use permit without making any progress.
“I’ve gotten phone calls and emails both ways some saying we’ve gone too far and some saying we haven’t gone far enough, I think after going through it in a lot of detail I think its a good compromise between property rights and protecting property values,” commented Commissioner District 4 Jeff Moran.
The commissioners also ratified the joint proclamation with the City of Dahlonega to make the month of April Child Abuse Prevention Month. To review when the City approved the proclamation visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/04/05/council-approves-pay-adjustment-for-employees/.
Land Use Talks ContinueBusiness, Community, Police & Government April 6, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- The County Commissioners continued talks about the land-use revisions during the work session and gave the public another opportunity to comment at a public hearing directly after the work session.
The board also was made aware of how the bid process for the inmate health contract is proceeding. The Library also made a request for additional funding allocation.
The County Commissioners have had numerous work sessions and public hearings regarding the land-use revisions. In this meeting Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery reviewed notes the board had taken after a five-hour-long meeting with the public.
The majority of those notes reflected the need for an explanation of how the roads are classified. Also, the different types of business allowed on certain classifications of roads were talked about. All the notes the board had plus any extra they took after listening to the public’s concerns at the most recent public hearing will be given to Planning Director Bruce Georgia and his team.
The public expressed concerns about how fast the county is growing. Their chief worrying is that soon Lumpkin County will begin to resemble Dawson County. The public asked the board to take steps to slow down the growth occurring in the county through these revisions. To view the most recent updates on the land revisions and to take the survey visit https://www.lumpkincounty.gov/.
“Nancy Pelosi does not sit on this board, so we are not asking anybody to adopt anything unless we have full disclosure of everything. I think we work really hard to do that, we keep posting our different versions up so people can go through them and we get feedback and input on that,” explained Commissioner District 2 Bobby Mayfield.
Finance Director Abby Branan informed the board of where the bid process for the inmate health contract is so far. At present they have had two companies place bids. A meeting is set for next Monday to interview both companies. There will be four representatives from the Sheriff’s Office with Branan at the meeting. For more information on the inmate health contract process visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/03/16/the-board-to-seek-bids-for-inmate-health/.
The new Library has requested additional funding to meet the bigger utility cost they now have with the larger building. Due to having more space to heat/cool and light up along with an irrigation system that was not in place at the previous location the facility has a larger utility bill than before.
They are requesting $15,000 for the remainder of the year. The board will vote on this in their regular meeting on Apr. 19 at 6:00 p.m.
The Board to Seek Bids for Inmate HealthCommunity, Police & Government March 16, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- The Board of Commissioners is beginning to seek bids for inmate health contracts after the current contract was raised.
The board also approved funding for a program manager for the broadband infrastructure grant project. They also entered into a mediation compromise with The Complete Combatant, LLC. The board also is continuing the search for a location for the new animal shelter.
The commissioners have been working with Finance Director Abby Branan to work out a new contract for inmate health. The current contract with CorrectHealth has gone up to $60,000 over the previous contract. To review the talks the board has had so far visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/03/02/board-discuss-possible-locations-for-the-new-animal-shelter/.
CorrectHealth has agreed to a month-to-month contract while the commissioners start a bid process. The bids are due by Apr. 4 and Branan will have a contract for the board’s approval by the second meeting in Apr.
Development Authority Director Rebecca Mincey brought the commissioners a request for funding for a program manager for the broadband infrastructure grant project. Mincey has been working with the state and NTIA on the infrastructure project. The board approved the use of ARPA funds for the project.
“I’d like to publicly tell Rebecca Mincey how thankful we are for her hard work on these two grants, these are very competitive grants for broadband and infrastructure improvement in Lumpkin County. Not only were we the recipient of a State grant but also a Federal grant and it’s just unbelievable the amount of work that goes into that,” stated Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery.
Ken Jarrard outside legal counsel for the Board of Commissioners brought mediation compromise for The Complete Combatant, LLC. The compromise spells out terms that both The Complete Combatant and the board can agree to.
The terms state that the only firearms that will be allowed will be pistols. The times for operation will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. two days a week, one weekend per month, and two Fridays per year. This does not include the owner’s personal use, but it does include charity usage. They are also required to use noise baffling panels that once in place the county staff will be responsible for reviewing, the company will be in charge of maintenance.
The court now has to approve the compromise. If the judge does approve they will hold the compromise for the next year which means that if any of the conditions are not met by either side they can take them to court. With all these conditions the board approved the compromise.
There was public comment after the meeting where serval citizens expressed their concern and disappointment with this action. The board heard out the concerns of the citizens.
The board also is still considering options for the new animal shelter. At this time they are considering waiting till the architect has drawn up designs for the building layout. They also approved JMA Architecture for the project. To review the options they are considering for animal shelter visit http://lumpkincountyga.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1594&Inline=True beginning on page 312.
Board Discuss Possible Locations for the New Animal ShelterCommunity March 2, 2022
LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga.- Director of Special Projects Ashley Peck presented the board with three options for possible locations for the new animal shelter the county is building.
The board also followed up on the inmate medical contract that they talked about last month. Director of Development Authority Rebeccas Mincey brought the board an update on the broadband infrastructure grant project.
Peck along with other members of staff have found three county-owned properties that were presented to the board for the new shelter. There are two locations in Blackburn Park and one location near the transfer station that is up for consideration. The estimated cost for building the shelter is $1,202,000.00.
The first option in Blackburn park offers both room for expansion in the future and room to house large animals for a short time. There would be easier construction in this area which also means a shorter time for the project. It is the cheapest option and is 541 feet away from the closest neighbor.
The second option in Blackburn is the current site of the County’s Vegetative Debris Management Area. If chosen the county will have to move the site to another location and that will have to be approved by FEMA. This also offers the same room for expansion and housing for large animals.
The closest house to the site is 1,353 feet away, however it is also located behind Blackburn Elementary. In order to access the site, there is a need to build a new road and that will cost $323,775 of TSPLOST money.
There is also an additional $13,000 that would be needed for utilities. Making the total cost of this project $1,538,775.00 if this is the location selected.
Finally, the option by the transfer station is a more difficult site to build and there is little room for expansion if needed in the future. There would also be the need to build a 650ft road on the site. It will cost $254,154 to build.
There is an additional cost for screening, security fencing, utility, and water and sewer. All of that would bring the cost of the project up to $1,537,866.00. There are also downsides to this location’s proximity to both a firing range and the transfer station.
Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Blackburn park expressed their concerns again to the board after the meeting. If the board decides none of these locations are what they are looking for there are other options the county can pursue. The board will make a decision at their regular meeting on Mar. 15 at 6:00 p.m. To view the agenda before the meeting visit http://lumpkincountyga.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx.
“I’ve taken notes on what everybody said and we certainly take those seriously and appreciate your comments and taking the time to be here. We want to do what’s best for all of Lumpkin County and it’s tough when you come to these situations and you’re trying to improve the services for the county,” explained Chairman of the Board Chris Dockery.
Finance Director Abby Branan reviewed how the negotiations with CorrectHealth for the inmate health contract. When Sheriff Jarrard brought the contract amendment at the last meeting the board asked staff to go back and try to negotiate with the company for a different rate than what they offered. To review that meeting visit https://lumpkin.fetchyournews.com/2022/02/16/board-reviews-land-use-revisions-update-and-extends-moratorium/.
The company stated that they could not go lower than what they have already stated. That price is a $60,000 raise over the previous contract. The board told Branan to go back and see if they would agree to a month-to-month payment system in order to give the board time to bid out to see if there are lower options available.
“We may find out if they participate in the bid process that they do have the best bid out there but until we do it we won’t know,” stated Commissioner District 2 Bobby Mayfield.
Mincey informed the board that for the broadband infrastructure project they have also received the federal grant as well which is another 8 million for the project. They have already been awarded 3.7 million from the state. There’s still more work Mincey has to do before she brings the full report back to the board.