BOARD OF EQUALIZATION:
County Assessor Susan Murphy presented each commissioner with a copy of the preliminary property values. New residential assessment rate for 2020 is 7.15%. Increase for valuation for taxable property: $791,969,997.00. Personal property increase $692,677. Property tax appeals for 2019 - total of 877; adjusted 524; denied 352. Assessor “happy to talk to folks who walked through the door” and explain what their office does; thanked office staff; she received “no complaints” via online appeals.
CDS mylars, vouchers, pipeline report
ELECTED OFFICIALS/DEPARTMENT HEADS/STAFF REPORTS:
-Christina Stanton, CDS Director, introduced new planner, Greg (who is a landscape architect). Stanton has had complaints about potential Quail Run application. Watts rezone (on agenda) rescheduled for 8/14/19.
-Elbert County Fair Royalty introduced by Chaperone Mary Louise Jacobsen shared their activities promoting our county fair. Queen Kyra Doud invited everyone to upcoming fair; Princess Josie Thomas shared some of the fair activities.
-Susan Shick spoke about:
1) Audit - timely presentation appreciated (after 4 years of late audits that caused state to withhold tax revenues).
2) Independence - impact fee abatement agreement states that the county will remit/pay back all impact fees to developer for his cost to improve Rd. 158.
3) Request for county policy be written to ensure all future major developments require all documentation be made available to public at least 2 weeks before Planning Commission hearing and BOCC hearing (Independence information was not made available to public before public hearing).
4) Independence Special District Service plans be modified to ensure statutory obligations regarding major modifications be recognized as such. In the Independence Special District Servicer Plans, some modifications are currently exempted from being classified as material modifications when, in fact, they should be considered as material modifications, per state guidelines.
5) Concerns about a possible work stoppage at Independence; do commissioners have any knowledge of this?
6) Kevin Swanson, who gave the invocation at the June 26 BOCC meeting, is on record as saying there is Biblical justification to execute our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, and those who support them (including Girl Scout leaders).
Commissioner Richardson responded by saying that it is “common practice” to handle the SIA as the county did.
-Rick Brown addressed the invocation by Kevin Swanson on 6/26/19 (who has been characterized as a homophobe due to his many public speeches against gays). LGBT citizens live in our county; the message sent from commissioners by allowing Swanson to speak is that these individuals aren’t valued. Why no pastors from mainline churches? Asked commissioners to re-evaluate invocation policy. The invocation is clearly part of the meeting, regardless of whether commissioners try to deny this in an effort to avoid accountability for allowing Kevin Swanson to speak at a BOCC meeting. Commissioner Richardson stated that the county “sent invitations to all the churches in the county” and “can’t control who responds to their invites.” Richardson believes it is “not the government’s role to make determinations” about people’s faith.
-Marlene Groves asked why variance reports aren’t on county website yet; again asked who is responsible for conveying information to citizens via the county website. Commissioner Richardson stated (in regard to variance reports) that he and County Manager Sam Albrecht are “working on” quarterly reports which would provide “better information to the public.”
-Hemp Regulation Update: hemp is legal federally and statewide. CDS is putting together regulations to allow hemp growth; mostly driven by road and water usage. CDS currently has 21 approved permits and 8 pending. Annual permits required. Albrecht claims that the state plan doesn’t fit Elbert County.
-Approval of June 26, 2019 minutes
-Referee for Board of Equalization: County Clark Dallas Schroeder presented resolution to appoint Robert Stamp as hearing officer for property tax protests; passed.
-IGA between County Clerk and Special Districts/Remote VSPC site: Schroeder presented information about template to coordinate between county clerk and special districts for elections.
-Special event liquor permit approvals for Hi-Test Motor Show and Celtic Festival
future agenda items, workshops/study sessions, pending hearings, library board nominees, upcoming town halls (in Elbert on 7/17 and in Agate on 7/18; both from 6:30-8PM)
A link to board packet to review applicable documents for today’s meeting:
LAND USE PLANNING (at 1PM):
I was not in attendance; the following item was listed on the agenda:
-Schweiterman rezone (rezone of 35.4 acre parcel from agriculture (A) to residential agriculture (RA) for property located at 8781 CR 134, Kiowa).