Board of County Commissioners

Gadsden County, Florida

Regular Public Meeting

September 21, 2021

6:00 p.m.


Present:               Brenda Holt, Chair, District 4

                                Dr. Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, Vice Chair, District 2

                                Eric Hinson, District 1

                                Kimblin NeSmith, District 3 – appeared remotely

                                Ronterious “Ron” Green, District 5 – appeared remotely

                                Edward J. Dixon, County Administrator

                                Clayton Knowles, County Attorney

                                Marcella Blocker, Deputy Clerk



  Holt welcomed everyone to the meeting, asked or moment of silence and then led in Pledge



  Dixon said pulling Chattahoochee and Greensboro contracts for further discussion from Item 16 and pulling item 17.

Said was adding presentation


V/Green 5-0




 Dixon said September is Hunger Action Month and invited friends from Second Harvest and Farm Share.  Said BCC honored to present checks of $25,000 to Second Harvest and Farm Share.  During pandemic they worked hard to ensure Gadsden Countians had food and drink. 

Representatives from Integrity appeared at podium and wanted to honor this month.  These are funds from American Rescue Plan and BCC agreed to give money off top.  Checks were then presented to Farm Share and Second Harvest.



  V/Hinson 5-0


Hinson will rescind vote for item 2 Holt also


  Knowles said need motion to reconsider-all would need to agree.


  V made motion to reconsider item 2/NeSmith second 5-0


  V motion to approve/Green 3-0  Hinson and Holt abstained from voting



Ratification Memo



Approval of Signatures for Special Assessment Liens and Rehabilitation Contracts-SHIP, HHRP and Emergency Housing Repair Program



Approval of the E911 Rural County Grant Award Agreement for E911 System and MapSAG Annual Support and Maintenance



Approval to Accept the Emergency Management Program Grants; Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Agreement AO198; Emergency Management Performance Grant Agreement GO230; and Emergency Management Performance Grant ARPA Agreement GO250



Approval and Signature on the E911 Rural Grant Application fir E911 NICE Recorders Annual Maintenance





Anyone wishing to speak on agenda items or non-agenda items should schedule or notify the County Administrator’s Office before attending the meeting and will be asked to follow the Gadsden County Public Meetings Citizens Access Guidelines.  Also, public comment for Commission meetings can be submitted via email to until 11:00 a.m. August 17, 2021.  Comments submitted after the deadline but prior to the meeting will be added to the official record, but the County cannot guarantee that Commissioners and staff will have adequate time to review comments prior to the meeting.

  Dixon read aloud statement.



Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce-support Wild Azalea solar facility



David Gardner, Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce



Stephen Gibbs,



Seminole Electric Cooperative



Marion Lasley



Avant Garde Investments



James Graven



Jim Roberts, Fire Department item



Larry Ganus, 2174 Frank Smith Road, Quincy, FL



Steve Gibbs, 2627 Frank Smith Road, Quincy, FL



Integrity, Check presentation



  Bishop Green appeared before Board.  Was embarrassed with failure to post budget on-line so could be viewed 2 days in advance of meeting and how budget meeting transpired.  Applauded Chair, Administrator and other commissioners for handling issue diplomatically and was hopeful will be one little mistake that will happen for long time to come.


Shared with Chairlady, will be Countywide prayer initiative and asked people to attend when in their neighborhood.





Public Hearing-Approval of Resolution 2021-031 Grant Budget Amendments for FY 2021

  Dixon introduced above item and said was to maintain balanced budget.


Holt announced was public hearing and said was mainly donations and explained the grants. 


Green/V 5-0



Public Hearing-Approval of Ordinance 2021-010 Adopting Procedures to Acquire Property Interest in and Accept into the County Maintenance System Under Certain Conditions Certain Private Roadways Located within the Unincorporated Area of the County

  Dixon introduced above item and said sought approval to proposed changes to County’s Road Adoption Ordinance.  Hopes amendment to ordinance will give opportunity to bring 5 miles into public system every year-1 mile per district.


Holt announced was a public hearing and had 1 request to be heard.


   Larry Ganus, 2174 Frank Smith Road, Quincy, FL appeared before the Board.  Got excited when first read this Ordinance.  Still have hang-up to use in his community because requires all property owners to agree to be a part of this.  Have had problem in past getting 100% of owners to agree to it.  Other thing is limitation of roads and miles per district.  Asked them to consider his suggestions. Ended 6:26


   Steve Gibbs, 2627 Frank Smith Road, Quincy, FL appeared before Board at 6:26 p.m.  Voiced support for changes made but felt additional changes could be made.  Ended 6:27


  NeSmith had questions-lost connection.


  V said residents of Frank Smith Road questions was what he had questions about.  Would all owners of property be required to agree and other question was 1 mile per district.  If go with 1 mile per district per year, imagine roads…  Third item was the sunset provision, if road not fully done, what would happen to road?


  NeSmith was back.  Asked attorney if had had opportunity to read over and Knowles said he wrote it.  Regarding recommendation made by Administrator…Knowles said maximum required for participation was property law.  Are required under statute where have responsibility for maintenance.  The 1 mile per road per district was Board direction.


  Hinson said would like to extend number of sunset years and miles.  Some districts have long roads.  Hinson said Ganus served on Planning Commission for many years and was very knowledgeable.


V said was glad was going into discussion for this item.  Asked if possible, to table this and take out sunset provision.  Suggested with having heard discussions and concerns,


Holt read Marion Lasley’s email


Holt said the mileage of roads among the districts must be equal in order to be fair.


  Hinson said this was near and dear to his heart because…was road wad so jacked up, EMS and Sheriff Department had to stop halfway.  Now have COVID situation.  Hoped Board would consider moving this item forward.


  Green asked how could find determinable cost that would take to maintain roads?  Dixon said as pave roads to being into County system, have not done so in quite a while.  Have capability, just have not done so.


  V said in response to Greens question, when Curtis Young was Director of PW, costs will not be what was then because of materials, etc.  There is document that identifies roads and costs, realize will be higher now.  Document should be tweaked and brought back.  If doesn’t have to go back to P&Z, will expedite.


  Holt said up to this Board 


  Hinson said property value goes up, looking at aging community, have COVID going on, need to move forward and not table.


  Knowles said changing 1 mile per district per year, remove sunset provision, reiterate was maintenance and not paving ordinance.  Holt asked if could say up to 3 miles-
Dixon asked for leeway to address that.  Also must say subject to funding.


  Green said amendment was made for funding and was why had hand up. 


  V said now not very sure of distance for adoption, his personal recommendation was look at private roads and use one with longest distance.  Asked for adoption of first reading


V motion to adopt with revisions suggested/Hinson second 5-0



Public Hearing-Legislative-Consideration of Adoption of Ordinance 2021-006 (CPA 2021-02) to Adopt Chapter 11, Property Rights Element to the Gadsden County Comprehensive Plan

  Dixon introduced above item and said was for consideration of adding Chapter 11, Property Rights Element to Comprehensive Plan.


Holt announced was a public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak and no-one wanted.


  NeSmith asked if there were any new rights?  Dixon said did not have choice.  NeSmith said these were rights that homeowner have anyway and this was enumerating them-yes.


  V asked how this would conflict with neighborhood Ordinances that say could not have


  Knowles said that was dealing more with restrictions dealing with HOA’s once purchased land.  These were requirements for small scale comp amendments. 


  V/Hinson 5-0    



Public Hearing-Quasi-Judicial-Wide Azalea Solar Energy Facility (Florida Power & Light) Conceptual and Preliminary Site Plan (SP 2021-04)

  Knowles said if have had conversations, not required but suggested to acknowledge. 


  Diane Quigley was sworn in by Deputy Clerk.  She then introduced above item.  Is presented for consideration of conceptual/preliminary site plan to construct solar power generation facility on 1,102.36 ± acres.  Is for development of eight parcels totaling 1,102.36 acres with solar power generation facility to generate electricity.


Open House held on April 12 and 13th and addressed some concerns at meeting.  Was recommended by Planning to be approved and was approved 7-1.


  Holt stated have met with people from Gulf Power


  Green acknowledged and NeSmith did and said did not know was quasi-judicial hearing.


  V said did meet with 3 of applicants, asked questions and had conversations with couple of residents of area.


  Allara Mills Gutcher appeared before the Board and was sworn in by the Deputy Clerk.  She stated that Wild Azalea has met all requirements.  Made statement that have met requirements of Comprehensive plan, meet all requirements of land regulations,


Introduced 2 letters from


  Amy Goodwin, appeared before the Board and was sworn in.   Mission is to deliver clean, reliable energy to clients.  At height of employment, employ 200 workers. 


  Hinson said had read through information and wanted to make motion to approve.  Holt said had to have public input and asked for motion for 5-minute recess.


 Took 5-minute recess.


  Holt reconvened meeting at 7:53 p.m.


  Richard Williams, appeared before the board and was sworn.  He stated they were willing to go above and beyond what was


  V said had been very impressed with presentation.


  V Motion to adopt option 1/Hinson second 5-0 



Public Hearing-Quasi-Judicial-Gadsden County Solar (Florida Renewable Partners) Conceptual and Preliminary Site Plan (SP 2021-03)

  Diane Quigley appeared before the Board and was still under oath. 

Said this was approximately 787.55 acres with a solar power generation facility to generate electricity.  Difference in this from last is has well


Was approved with vote of 8-1 by Planning Commission


Diane read the options.


Green made it known did meet as well as NeSmith to gain additional insight to project; V did as did Holt. 


  Allara Mills Gutcher re-appeared before the Board and stated she was previously sworn in.  She said there was some confusion with recommendation made by Planning Commission


Michael Linehart appeared before the Board and was sworn in.  He read aloud a letter of support by Seminole Electric.


Project will sit behind existing vegetation. 


  Green asked he give enlightenment of possibility of students to learn.


  Holt asked if any sites would give reduction of rates to members? 


  Holt asked if any public comment and there was no-one.


  V motion to approve option 1/Green.  Allara wanted to confirm motion to approve included decommissioning   


  V amended to approve option 1 with changes/Green second  NeSmith had question.


NeSmith asked what decommission meant.  Required to return land as was or better


Chair called for vote 5-0





Approval of a Task Order with Joel D. Sampson Architect for Professional Architectural Services for the Interior Upgrades to the Historical Courtroom of the Gadsden County Courthouse


V/Green 5-0



Approval of the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management HO626 Agreement to install a generator at the Edward J. Butler Building


V/Green 5-0


Approval of Area of Operation Resolution 2021-028 concerning financing of an affordable multi-family residential rental apartment by the Escambia County Housing Authority


V/Hinson 5-0


Iron Bridge Road Safety Improvements-Bid Award


Hinson/V 5-0



CR 161 (Point Milligan Road) SCOP Construction Bid Award


v/Hinson 5-0



Approval of Fire Department’s Inter-Local Fire and Rescue Service Agreements

  Dixon said to approve interlocal agreements minus Greensboro


Hinson motion to approve


  Holt said had Jim Roberts that wished to speak


  Mr. Roberts appeared before the Board.  Represents Mt. Pleasant Fire Department.  They are lowest paid department in County.  Their agency has responded to over ?? to date and would like to have opportunity to be part of process.   Not sure how formula was treated and feels unfair to them.  Asking Board to look at future funding and formulas that determine and be inclusive of process. 


  Mr. Dixon said that was not why made only for 1 year-can sit down and discuss. 


  Green asked if about to approve $ to each fire department-had another group asked to be included


Dixon said have contract with City of Greensboro and are unable to recognize others.  City of Greensboro decides who provides service to City of Greensboro.  Green said still up to Board to give funding or not.    Dixon explained have pulled Greensboro and Chattahoochee.


  Hinson said get what saying.  We do not dab into cities or school Board, if so, may open can of worms.  City of Quincy has multiple fire stations as Havana.  Need to have discussion.


  V said know pulling Greensboro and Chattahoochee and does not see why should not consider ….When these 2…should look at how can provide


V said will withdraw motion and restate.


Dixon said amended agenda to exclude Greensboro and Chattahoochee.  V understood entire item was pulled.


  Hinson said felt needed to make decisions first, don’t want to step on toes. 


  NeSmith thanked her and County Administrator and asked for name of Mt. Pleasant fire department-Jim Roberts.


  Holt said just did budget and only have certain amount of money. 


  Dixon said in next year will look at whole system and asked for few more weeks to look at what happening in Greensboro and Chattahoochee.


  Green said wanted to be assured 2 excluded that are pulling out.


  Knowles wanted to reiterate if do not do before October 1st, may not have contract with Greensboro and Chattahoochee.  Dixon said wanted to make sure hiccups do not become additional problem.


  V asked what happens to Chatt and Greensboro and their funding?  Dixon said not talking about withdrawing funding.  Need to talk to Chattahoochee about how they plan to fit into picture.


  V motion for approval of agreements that exclude Greensboro and Chattahoochee/Green 5-0



Approval of Policy 21-001-COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Item Pulled



















Report and Discussion of Public Issues



Commissioner Eric Hinson, District 1

  Hinson said first wanted to talk about EMS in Havana.  Approved September 18, 2020, passed modular home and asked status.  Next was small business with American Rescue plan-received lot of phone calls about process.  Need to look at …Want to figure out way   Money already distributed.  Churches have large amount of money…


Dixon said he was correct.  Small Business goes through tiered approval, then subsequent review that takes into account PPE-they were approved and then ran out of money.  Will be coming in October.  Businesses that being funded


  Hinson said with Small Business, need to be more lenient with them.  Lease still ongoing, have bills still to pay for


Holt asked to workshop, Hinson agreed.


  Hinson said was trying to find way, date was September 18, 2020, Havana about to start building, trailer about to be torn down and have small window.  


  Kris said this was approved before his tenure, speaking with Keith Maddox, was brought to attention that Planning and Zoning wanted driveway, parking lot, etc, and would be in realm of $75,000.  Sent emails when he took over, Hinson is correct, trailer will be moved and was told needed budget of $75,000 for completion of site.  Holt asked what site and Hood said the relocation of their site.


  V said this was during Dr. Grant’s interim; purchased acreage to relocate Havana EMS, purchased mobile home and funding was all approved, for septic tank, don’t know why $75,000.  Should be up and running.  Actually, brought this up to Administrator because of broken-down mobile home.  From his understanding, money there.


  Dixon said will have better look at this tomorrow, don’t know where it is in the chain.  Don’t know but will report tomorrow.


  Hinson said like V said, goal was to spend $30,000 for home, $50,000 for land, have nice facility, could move in tomorrow.  Just need to be moved.  Dixon said if can be done, will


Hinson said doesn’t take holding pond for modular home.  Would like to see exercise machines, etc.  Thanked them for looking into it.  Hinson said if move EMS tomorrow, would be travesty to Havana.  Hinson asked him to find out who said that, wants to know.


  FCI, what was response to letter and outcome.  Dixon said been unable to met with them yet, had no time.  Hinson asked if anyone responded.  Dixon said they responded last week.  Hinson asked he send them response as well.


  Felt had great meeting today and thanked Board for presenting items to Farm Share and Second Harvest.



Commissioner Kimblin NeSmith, District 3

  NeSmith thanked Board for completing budget and getting it in on time, thanked community to allow him to travel.  Recommended to meet with legislative delegation to give them plans going into 2022. 



Commissioner Ronterious Green, District 5

  Green said Greensboro already addressed, Small Business.


Made motion for Proclamation for Catherine Simmons/V second


Thanked Hinson for assistance for Highway 27 Grill, wanted to ask if could go ahead and make workshop for evaluations for County Attorney and Administrator. 


  V said on point-yet to develop performance evaluation form. 


  Green asked of proper to take vote on proclamation-5-0



Commissioner Anthony “Dr. V” Viegbesie, District 2

  V aid had 2-3 things:


Census-should maybe look at redistricting-gave numbers and said District 1 has almost 2 times demographic amount of voters.


  Suggested they consider with elderly program, some type of learning services at library, maybe bringing youth and elderly together.


  Will send to Administrator and Public Works, was trimming limbs and hit



Commissioner Brenda Holt, District 4

  Knowles said can resend information, might behoove them to workshop it.  Holt said needed to make sure have funding.


  Hinson said forgot to mention, have family member that was part and wanted to make 


Hinson said talked to Robert F. Munroe, have issues leaving school.  Asked if could come to resolution to help resolve.  Understand is State issue because of State Road.  Thought could talk about light or another entry. 


  Holt said she was one of those citizens-need other entrance.   Need to have conversation with school. 


  V said he was very familiar with surroundings where located.  Will raise it with CRTPA at next meeting.  Dixon said will reach out as well.  Hinson said back entry might be way to go.


  Green felt was part of overall plan of school, doing in phases.    


Receipt and File





  Adjourned at 9:25 p.m.





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