JANUARY 17, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Ben Rozier with Councilman Michael Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the January 3, 2002 meeting were reviewed with CouncilmanWedincamp making a motion to approve said minutes. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized Lenny Mathis, Director of Ticket Operations with the Savannah Sand Gnats, who introduced the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of the team, Ken Shepard. Mr. Shepard explained that the “Savannah Sand Gnats” were interested in sponsoring a “Salute to Bloomingdale” night at the ballpark and had scheduled a tentative date of May 24, 2002. He explained that this would be a fun filled night of entertainment and hospitality for the entire community and would be a very affordable opportunity for everyone to come together as one with their family and neighbors. Mr. Shepard explained that the pre-game festivities that would include Bloomingdale residents would involve the Mayor throwing out the first pitch, a resident performing the nation anthem, recognition of the police and fire departments, and other various activities. Mr. Shepard also stated that $.50 from every ticket sold at a sponsor location will be donated to a charity of the City’s choice. Mayor Rozier stated that he felt this would be a good thing for the City and suggested we involve the Recreation Dept. and the area churches. Council agreed to participate in the event and the Mayor thanked Mr. Shepard and Mr. Mathis for presenting this information to the council.
Council was advised that no additional information has been received from TLC Communications on the proposed agreement to place an antenna on the City’s water tower.
Mayor Rozier reported that the sign ordinance was still under review by the council.
The Mayor informed council that Maintenance Supervisor, Fett Burke, reports that there still has not been enough rainfall to determine if the driveway at #308 E. Garvin Street will drain to the back of the property as indicated by Mr. Butler.
Council was advised that Maintenance Supervisor, Fett Burke, reports that the contractor has completed the 2001 paving projects as outlined in the contract and once DOT has given their approval of the work, the City can release final payment on the contract.
Attorney Gerard presented a proposed agreement with Bill Saxman to serve as a consultant on development and zoning issues for the City. After a brief discussion of Mr. Saxman’s duties, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve execution of the agreement. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier advised council that the City needed to take action on the proposed text amendment to the zoning ordinance that was tabled at the last meeting to allow private schools in an R-1 zone as a “conditional use”. The Mayor pointed out that the Planning Commission had recommended the zoning ordinance not be amended to add the text amendment but rather to rezone the property at #1105 E. Hwy 80. Mayor Rozier recognized Ms. Stanley who stated that she performs a teaching ministry at the Life Springs Worship Center for the children and does not feel the church is operating a school. She further stated that she was very upset that some people felt the church was being deceitful about the operation of the teaching ministry by not getting permission from the City prior to opening, but since they were already operating the ministry at their Port Wentworth location without the City’s permission they did not know they had to seek approval from Bloomingdale. Councilman Johnson advised her that when the City had been approached about constructing the church, a letter had been submitted indicating that the church would only be used for a couple of hours a few days a week. However, the school is being operated five days a week for several hours a day. Ms. Stanley asked to see the letter and once she read it stated that this letter was presented for the construction of the church and at the time it was submitted, their teaching ministry was not as large as it is today, but still insisted they did not feel they were operating a school. Attorney Gerard advised Ms. Stanley that no matter what the church called their ministry, it was a school by definition and the City was trying to help resolve the matter by approving this text amendment. Councilman Waller pointed out that the City officials have been trying to work out a solution to this problem for months and the text amendment seemed to be the best approach to the matter. After additional discussion on the issue, Mayor Rozier presented for council’s consideration a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow a private school as a permitted use within R-1 zoning districts only if a conditional use permit is granted by the Board of Appeals. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the first reading of said text amendment to the zoning ordinance, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to dispense with the second reading of the text amendment, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson then made a motion to approve the text amendment as outlined above, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Attorney Gerard advised Ms. Stanley that the church needed to present a letter to the Board of Appeals (City Council) requesting a conditional use permit to operate a private school at the Life Springs Worship Center located at #1105 E. Hwy 80. He suggested the letter be submitted as soon as possible so the matter could be placed on the February 7th agenda for consideration. Mayor Rozier informed Ms. Stanley that it would not be necessary for her to attend the meeting since council was already in agreement on issuing the conditional use permit for the private school at this location.
The police committee made a recommendation to council that Officer Ted Knowles be promoted to Corporal and Corporal Randy Walker be promoted to Sergeant (Detective). After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the promotions, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from DOT to sign the paperwork necessary for the resurfacing of Ash Street under the LARP program. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute said documents, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a recommendation from Planning Commission to deny a request from Beth Spivey to replace a single-wide mobile home with a double-wide mobile home on her property at #44 Cheyenne Road. Mayor Rozier pointed out that the Planning Commission’s recommendation complies with the City’s zoning ordinance since it restricts changes to structures and/or properties that are non-conforming. He explained that the zoning ordinance only allows one (1) principal building per lot and two dwellings on one lot is considered a non-conforming use. However, since both dwellings were already on her property, the structures, as they existed at the time of annexation, were considered “grandfathered-in”. Since the zoning ordinance restricts changes to a non-conforming use, enlarging or altering the size of the mobile home to a double-wide would not be allowed. The Mayor advised the Spivey’s that the only alternative he could see for their situation would be to subdivide their property. He pointed out that this would require the City’s acceptance of Cheyenne Road as a City street, but there would have to be some right of way issues resolved that would require a joint effort of everyone owning property along the roadway. Attorney Gerard outlined, for the Spiveys, the general process that would be required, but encouraged them to obtain a real estate attorney for the preparation of the necessary documents and advised them they would probably need a survey. After discussion of the matter, Mr. Spivey asked if there would be any problem in replacing the existing mobile home with another single-wide. Mayor Rozier advised him that as long as he replaced it with one having the same square footage as the existing mobile home, which we have been advised is 960 sq. ft., there would be no problem in replacing it with another one provided he could meet the current building codes and health department regulations related to the septic tank.
Council was advised that Susan Johnson, owner of the property located at #406 E. Hwy 80, and owner/operator of Hair Techniques housed at this same location, had some questions about the City’s restrictions on not allowing a business and a residence at the same location. Ms. Johnson had been referred to council by the Planning Commission at their January 15th meeting, but she was not present at the meeting. The Mayor pointed out that the City’s zoning ordinance allows only one principal use for property, so if Ms. Johnson is using the building as a commercial business, such as the existing hair salon, it cannot be used as a residence at the same time.
Attorney Gerard presented a resolution for council’s approval accepting an improved portion of Cregor Street as a city street. Council was advised that Fett Burke has checked the road improvements and states the Sparrows have done the work the City requested that they take care of prior to our accepting the road. The Sparrows have also provided the right of ways and easements required before the City would accept the road. After a brief discussion of the matter, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the resolution accepting the designated portion of Cregor Street as a city street. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed the possibility of issuing a pager to Dennis Baxter, the City’s building, plumbing, electrical inspector, to allow us to contact him during the day concerning inspections. We currently leave messages for him at his residence, but sometimes we need to discuss a particular situation and this would allow the clerk’s office to contact him without having to call him at his place of employment. Mayor Rozier advised council that there was a pager available since he already has one for the clerk’s office to use to reach him and suggested we issue the pager to Mr. Baxter. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue said pager to the inspector, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from the maintenance department for an additional telephone line to be used for a fax machine and/or computer. The cost of the installation is between $75 and $100 and the monthly fee would be approximately $53.00 per month. After a brief discussion, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to approve the installation of the additional telephone line, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a recommendation from Maintenance Supervisor, Fett Burke, to consider changing the type of driveway pipe currently used by the City from concrete pipe to A.D.S. Also, Mr. Burke was recommending increasing the cost to install concrete pipe. Council discussed the matter and agreed that it would be safer and easier to use the A.D.S. pipe, however, they felt that if a citizen wanted to use concrete pipe, the City should comply with their request. Council discussed the existing 16’ minimum driveway width and agreed to leave it the same, but since A.D.S. pipe came in 20’ lengths they decided we should require payment of a 20’ driveway when using this type pipe. If the customer wanted the driveway shortened, that could be done, but they would still have to pay for a 20’ driveway. Mr. Burke’s recommendation included an increase from $20 per foot to $21 per foot for installation of 15” concrete driveway pipe, $22 per foot to $23 per foot for the installation of 18” concrete driveway pipe, and to set $29.00 per foot for use of 15” elliptical concrete pipe. The A.D.S. pipe would cost $16.50 per foot for 15” pipe, $18.25 per foot for 18” pipe and $23 per foot for 24” pipe. (Note: The use of A.D.S. pipe requires payment for a minimum of 20’) After discussion of these recommendations, Councilman Myrick made a motion to adopt the City’s use of A.D.S. pipe for driveway pipe, to leave the minimum driveway width at 16’, but to require payment for a 20’ driveway when A.D.S. pipe is used, and to make the above-mentioned changes in the cost for installation of concrete driveway pipe. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier advised council that he had met with Mayor Floyd Adams with the City of Savannah on their proposal for providing additional water capacity to Bloomingdale and although he feels there may come a time when we have to take these steps to obtain water, he would like to leave our options open at the present time. He reported that Representative Ron Stephens was currently in Atlanta and is continuing his efforts to get our well permit increased.
The Mayor stated that a change needed to be made in the City’s appointee to the CUTS Citizens Advisory Committee. He pointed out that Councilman Waller has advised council he no longer wants to serve on this committee and since Councilman Wedincamp is willing to serve for the remainder of Mr. Waller’s term, which expires in June, 2002, he would like to appoint him to this committee. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the appointment of Councilman Wedincamp to the CUTS Citizens Advisory Committee, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp abstained from voting.
Council was advised that Mayor Buddy Carter of the City of Pooler has invited the Mayor, Council, and City Clerk to join him and Pooler City officials for a get-together on Thursday, January 24th at 6:00pm at the Senior Citizens Center. All of those council members present at the meeting indicated they could attend. Mayor Rozier stated that Councilman Tyler had advised him that he would be out of town.
Mayor Rozier reported that two new clerical employees had been hired in the police department.
Council was advised that the City has received tentative information from GMA on the 2002 Annual Convention to be held in Savannah from June 22-25, 2002. Mayor Rozier encouraged those council members wanting to sign up for classes to do so as soon as detailed information was made available by GMA.
The Mayor reported that the Patriotic Celebration has been scheduled for June 30, 2002.
Chief Anderson reported that the police department is in receipt of five (5) vehicles that have been condemned by the courts and would like to hold an auction here at the City to sell the vehicles. The Chief apologized for not getting this matter on the agenda sooner, but some of the information was only made available late this afternoon. Attorney Gerard pointed out that council needed to approve an amendment to the agenda to discuss this matter. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve said amendment to the agenda, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The Chief submitted the following vehicles with the minimum bid requirements as noted: 1993 Ford Explorer-$3500; 1990 Cadillac-$1000; 1992 Jeep Cherokee-$1600; 1988 Mercury Cougar-$500; 1977 Datsun 210-$300. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to consider the above-mentioned vehicles as surplus property and approve the selling of said vehicles with the minimum bids proposed by Chief Anderson. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The Chief was instructed to provide the clerk with detailed information on the vehicles so the proper advertising could be done prior to conducting the auction.
The Mayor recognized Cynthia Holley who stated she would provide some information to the City on the work being done by the “World Changers” organization in the City of Savannah in hopes it may be possible to have them do some home improvements here in Bloomingdale if the funds were available for the materials.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:25pm, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
THOSE PRESENT: Mayor Ben Rozier, Councilman Karl M. Johnson, Jr., Councilman John Myrick, Councilman Michael Ray, Councilman Ronald Waller, and Councilman Mike Wedincamp. Councilman Ferman Tyler was out of town.