Camden County 2020 Annual Report

Page 1

Camden County Georgia Award-Winning Government

2020 Annual Report 200 East 4th Street • P.O. Box 99 • Woodbine, Georgia 31569 (912) 576-5601 •

Camden County Board of Commissioners

From Left: District 1 Commissioner Lannie Brant, District 4 Commissioner Gary Blount (Vice-Chair), District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Starline (Chair). District 2 Commissioner Chuck Clark, and District 5 Commissioner Ben Casey After serving since 2010, Commissioner Jimmy Starline chose not to run for re-election. Commissioner Trevor Readdick (left) began representing the citizens of District 3 in 2021. Join us in thanking Commissioner Starline for his over ten years of service to Camden County as we welcome Commissioner Readdick to the Board of Commissioners.


2020 Annual Report

About the Board of Commissioners The Board of Commissioners (BOC) serves as ambassadors and liaisons to many local, regional, and state boards, as well as committees that cover a variety of important matters affecting Camden County residents and businesses. Topics covered by these boards include the economy, transportation, regional and local planning, environment, tourism, juvenile issues, and the arts. Members of the BOC are actively engaged in working for the good of the community. Each commissioner is elected by district to serve staggered, four-year terms. Annually, the BOC identifies and selects and Chair and a Vice-Chair to serve a one-year term. In 2020, District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Starline served as Chair and District 4 Commissioner Gary Blount served as ViceChair. In 2020, the District 1, District 3, and District 5 Commission seats were up for election. Their terms run from January 2021 through December 2024.


County Administrator Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic during 2020, your County staff has been able to achieve many exciting milestones while providing citizens continuity of County services. It is my pleasure and privilege to present the 2020 Camden County Annual Report, which will showcase the positive strides Camden County has made through these challenging times. This report provides an update on the work and efforts made throughout the county, which are a direct reflection of our 2020–2025–2035 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan model continues to be a useful tool for both leadership and staff. It provides a guide to help us establish value-based principles and a strategic focus for a year-long work plan. The Board of County Commissioners set the policy agenda which provides staff with a solid action plan to follow. The Strategic Plan also outlines all major projects and goals and places emphasis on outcome-based objectives, specifically targeting the next five to 15 years. Although progress was slowed by the pandemic, Camden County employees achieved many accomplishments and hit several milestones outlined in our Strategic Plan, in addition to being recognized for state and national awards. The benefits residents have seen is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication, and talent of your public servants. The following pages will outline and highlight many of these accomplishments making Camden County a great place to live, work, and play. I look forward to working with you in 2021. Yours for a better Camden, Steve L. Howard, MPA, ICMA-CM, CPM, CPPO County Administrator "And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." -Rainer Maria Rilke, poet, writer Mission The mission of Camden County Government is to deliver • DEFINED COUNTY SERVICES • with EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE • and in a FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE • and TRANSPARENT MANNER.


2020 Annual Report

2020-2025-2035 Strategic Plan Action Agenda

Camden County Goals 2025

• Financially Sound County Providing Exceptional Service and Value • • Grow the Local Economy • • Planned and Managed Growth • • Great Place to Live • Highlights from the 2020 Policy Agenda

Top Priorities include: • Georgia Power Building: Direction • Spaceport Camden High Priorities include: • Road Resurfacing • Joint Law Enforcement/Community Recreation Gun Range

Aerial View of Recreational Shooting Complex Under Construction

Highlights from the 2020 Management Agenda

Top Priorities include: • Right-of-Way (ROW) Mowing • Timber Tax Collection/Enforcement High Priorities include: • Hazard Mitigation Plan • Grants Match Fund

In-Progress Aerial Views of Road Paving

The 2020-2025-2035 Strategic Plan and Action Agenda, along with links to previous year's Strategic Plans are available on the Camden County website at:


Taxpayer Dollars at Work Where does the money go? Government Services Only. Does not include Enterprise Funds. Housing & Development 2.7%

Judiciary 5.6%

Culture & Recreation 2.2%

General Public Public Government* Safety Works 39.4% 34.5% 14.2% *General Government includes, but is not limited to: Board of Commissioners, Elections & Registration, Finance, Health Insurance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Tax Assessor, and Tax Commissioner.

Health & Welfare 1.3%

Debt Service 0.02%

Camden County Grants Management secured over $994,000 in grant funding in 2020, as a part of over $30 million in grant dollars requested. Although the money was requested in 2020, not all decisions were made during the calendar year. Additional grant dollars could be added to Camden County as a result of the work occurring in 2020. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) provided $900,000 in funding for the completion of the 200-yard rifle range, sidewalks, and fencing at the under-construction recreational shooting complex. Pending weather and other possible delays, it is anticipated for the range to open in spring 2021.


2020 Annual Report

SPLOST Update A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is a county-wide tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and participating municipal governments. It may not be used for operating expenses. This tax is collected on all items subject to sales tax, regardless of where the purchaser resides. In March 2019, Camden County voters approved SPLOST VIII and collections began on July 1, 2019, and will expire on June 30, 2025. SPLOST VII collections ended on June 30, 2019, but local governments have until June 30, 2021, to expend funding for those projects. The Camden County SPLOST VIII Board of Commissioners approved over $453,000 in equipment purchases for the Public Works Department funded by SPLOST VIII. The new equipment assists with SPLOST VIII maintaining county rightof-way. In 2020, SPLOST VII funds were used for a new parking lot at the Mary B. Smart Park on New Post Road in the Tarboro area of northwestern Camden County. At the site of the old Firehouse 18, the parking lot is adjacent to the new Firehouse 18. The total SPLOST VII investment for both the parking lot an firehouse is over $670,000. Additionally, the Camden County Public Service Authority (PSA) added a walking trail to Mary B. SPLOST VII Smart Park. Construction on the Kingsland By-Pass SPLOST VII Phase I began in 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in early 2021. The widening of Colerain Road/Laurel Island Parkway from Kings Bay Road to I-95 and is designed to serve as an additional hurricane evacuation route for southern Camden County. Phase II of the Kingsland By-Pass is still in New traffic signal on Laurel Island Parkway as part of the Kingsland the planning process. By-Pass Phase I project.


Camden County

306,420 tons

The Camden County Board of Commissioners held 16 regular meetings, 5 special called meetings, and 1 public hearing via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

752 applications

Camden County has almost 41,000 registered voters.

116 permits

Camden County Animal Control answered over 900 calls for service in 2020.


Camden County Solid Waste Authority disposed of over 300,000 tons of garbage at the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Construction & Demolition (C & D) sites.

22 teleconference meetings Camden County Human Resources Department received over 700 applications and resumes for employment in 2020.

40,909 registered voters Camden County Planning & Development Department issued over 100 new building permits in unincorporated Camden County in 2020.

949 calls

2020 Annual Report

By the Numbers

Camden County Planning & Development Department averages over six (6) inspections a day, with 1,508 inspections in 2020.

$56,247+ spent Camden County Public Works spent over 14,000 blade miles grading unpaved roads in unincorporated Camden County.

63.3% self-response rate Included in the $56,000 in additional PPE purchased due to the COVID-19 Pandemic is 3,800 additional KN95 masks to protect first responders.

18.33 average daily calls

1,508 inspections

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Camden County spent over $56,000 in additional cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).

14,632 miles

63.3% of Camden County households self-responded to the 2020 Census. This is an increase of 3.2% over the 2010 Census self-response.

3,800 KN95 masks

Camden County Fire Rescue averaged over 18 calls per day in 2020.


Public Safety Work continues on the Public Safety Radio Communications System. A SPLOST VII and SPLOST VIII project, includes three new towers and equipment installation at a fourth site with the goal of providing county-wide coverage for all public safety radios, including Camden County Fire Rescue, Camden County Sheriff's Office, Kingsland Fire and Police Departments, and St. Marys Fire and Police Departments. Construction on the final tower is near completion and the system will be operational in early 2021. Communications Officers with Camden County E-911 Did you know? answered almost 160,000 calls for service in 2020, averaging over 13,300 a month. Camden County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) and Camden County Fire Rescue (CCFR) joined with the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) to provide enhanced firefighting capability on Little Cumberland Island through updates to an existing water buffalo firefighting apparatus. The partnership saved taxpayers over $4,000 through a comprehensive rebuild of the equipment. CCFR continued holding recruit classes in 2020. In March, nine members of Recruit Class 2020-04 joined the department after completing their Basic Firefighter requirements. An additional seven members of Recruit Class 2020-05 joined CCFR after completing their Basic Firefighter requirements in December.


2020 Annual Report

Ways to Stay in Touch


Camden County JANUARY - The Board of Commissioners approved their 2020 State Legislative Priorities for the 2020 General Assembly session. FEBRUARY - Board of Commissioners adopt the 2020-2025-2035 Strategic Plan and the 2020 Action Agenda. MARCH - Camden County declared a Precautionary Declaration of Public Health Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This followed both State and Federal declarations and proclamations about the impacts of COVID-19 to citizens. APRIL - Camden County retains its Class 6 rating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). Unincorporated Camden County residents are eligible for a 20% reduction in flood insurance premiums, saving over $838,000 from 2012 through 2019. MAY - County Clerk Katie Bishop elected President of the Georgia County Clerks Association and she also serves on the 2020-2021 Board of Managers for the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) as the President of the County Clerks Section. JUNE - The hiring of new Public Works Director Shalana McNamee was announced. Coming from the private-sector, she leads the department responsible for the maintenance of 131 miles of public unpaved roads and 167 miles of public paved roads.

In JANUARY, the Camden County Board of Elections & Registration began making plans and preparing for what promised to be a very active election year. New voting equipment was delivered in FEBRUARY that utilized paper ballots; and Poll Worker Training began shortly thereafter in order for staff to be prepared for the Presidential Preference Primary in MARCH. The COVID-19 Pandemic did not deter our electors from turning out to vote in four different elections in 2020. The General Election in NOVEMBER brought the highest turnout in recent memory as nearly 24,000 voters, or 68.05% of Camden County’s registered voters, cast their ballots.


Voting Equipment

2020 Annual Report

Milestones JULY - Commissioner Lannie Brant appointed by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) as chair of the Natural Resources and the Environment Policy Committee for the 2020-2021 policy year. AUGUST - Camden County Board of Commissioners maintained the existing millage rate of 15.79 mills, which was a decrease of 0.15% below the rollback millage rate. Additionally, the millage rate for the unincorporated service area decreased by 1.40 mills, or 15.15%. SEPTEMBER - Camden County Emergency Management recognized National Preparedness Month and urged all residents to take action and make plan for possible natural disasters and emergencies. OCTOBER - Camden Board of Commissioners approved over $993,000 in paving and equipment purchases for road maintenance. This is in addition over $222,00 in paving and over $621,000 in road improvement projects earlier in the year. This totals over $1.8 million in projects and equipment for the benefit of unincorporated Camden County drivers. NOVEMBER - Camden Board of Elections & Registration and their staff ran the General Election with 68.05% voter turnout. This was followed by a hand-counted Risk Limiting Audit and a machine recount of the Presidential race. DECEMBER - Chairman Jimmy Starline presided over his last meeting of the Camden County Board of Commissioners. He served the citizens of Camden County as a Commissioner for ten and a half years. Additionally, new Facilities Maintenance Director Matt Zink began work for Camden County.

In August Camden County celebrated the opening of the new Coastal Pines Technical College Camden Campus. Bringing this campus to fruition has been a priority in the Board of Commissioner's Strategic Plan since 2015. Camden County participated, along with the Cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine, by providing in-kind service to assist in the construction of the roadway leading to the new campus. This campus is the culmination of countless hours of advocacy for the citizens of Camden County. Special Thanks for the dedicated efforts of community leaders from across the county and state for their assistance to making this campus a reality.


Award-Winning Government Since 2009, Camden County has been nationally recognized with twenty-five (25) Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The Annual Achievement Award program was designed to honor and recognize innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. In 2020, NACo recognized the Public Works Department’s Paved Roadway Inventory and Assessment in the Transportation category. The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) presented two awards to Camden County's Finance and Budget Department in 2020. The department was awarded a FY 2020 Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This was the fifth consecutive year for Camden County to receive this recognition. Additionally, the GFOA recognized the Finance and Budget Department with the FY 2019 Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (CAFR) for the 19th consecutive year. In collaboration with Georgia Trend magazine, ACCG hosted the 2020 County Excellence Awards to recognize counties that have taken innovative and cost-effective approaches to solving local issues. The program recognizes innovative county initiatives in the areas of health care, infrastructure and transportation, public safety, sustainability, and technology. Camden County Fire Rescue’s Recruitment/Firefighter Training Program received an award in the Public Safety category. Only six counties obtained this recognition in 2020. More information on Camden County’s program was featured in the June 2020 issue of Georgia Trend magazine. About our covers: The front cover is by Shannon Evertsen from the 2018 Showcase Camden County Photo Contest. The back cover is by Eric Walter from the 2019 Showcase Camden County Photo Contest.


2020 Annual Report

Spaceport Camden 2020 has been an incredible year for Spaceport Camden and the aerospace industry. Going into 2021, Spaceport Camden is at T-1 with hopes of receiving an official launch site operator license in the spring. In an effort to mark key milestones Spaceport Camden has reached this year, below is a 2020 summary of Spaceport Camden's and the state of Georgia's aerospace momentum.

Camden County and the Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER) at Georgia Southern University released a study on the economic impact of space tourism on coastal Georgia that estimates that a single launch could attract approximately 4,000-5,000 visitors to the area.

Direct space industry gross regional product has increased since 2008 for both Georgia and Camden County, while data shows statewide GRP has grown by 88% and in Camden County by 125%.



To deliver Defined County Services with Exceptional Customer Service in a Financially Sustainable and Transparent Manner.

Camden County Vision 2035 is the premier coastal community of Georgia - Beautiful and Safe.

Camden County 2035

has a strong regional economy and diverse job opportunities with four major pillars: • An Active Naval Submarine Base • A Successful World-Class Spaceport • Sports Tourism • Technology Corridor

Camden County 2035

has relaxed living with quality residential developments and abundant leisure choices for all.

200 East 4th Street • P.O. Box 99 • Woodbine, Georgia 31569 • 912-576-5601