JUNE 20, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman John Myrick leading in prayer.
The minutes of the May 16, 2002 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received the report from The Lambries Pierce Tomes Group regarding the operation of the Bloomingdale Police Department. The Mayor stated that since there were personnel matters related to the report that needed to be presented by their representatives, an Executive Session would be in order. Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn into Executive Session, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Rozier advised the citizens that the meeting should only take about 15 or 20 minutes.
(An affidavit on the Executive Session is attached to the original council meeting minutes)
After the completion of the Executive Session, Councilman Tyler made a motion to return to the general council meeting. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Representatives Bill Tomes and Jon Pierce stated that at the request of the Mayor and City Council of the City of Bloomingdale, The Lambries Pierce Tomes Group conducted an Organizational and Operational Review of the Bloomingdale Police Department. The purpose of the review was to examine internal City and departmental management practices, policies and procedures; measure departmental morale; examine current staffing levels and organizational structure; and assess the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of services. They reported that crime in Bloomingdale is virtually non-existent. The City of Bloomingdale’s UCR Part I crime rate is slightly more than one crime for every 1,000 residents. Their data collected from other municipalities in the Southeast indicates an “average” crime rate of 72 crimes for every 1,000 residents with a “low” crime rate, usually occurring in smaller cities, being around 25 crimes per 1,000 residents. The law enforcement philosophy of the Bloomingdale Police Department is strict enforcement of traffic laws and a proactive anti-drug strategy. Mr. Pierce reported that some citizens of Bloomingdale and surrounding communities feel that the police department’s extremely strict traffic enforcement policy is a form of harassment and claim that certain citizens are targeted for this strict enforcement. Other residents of Bloomingdale support the police department and their strict enforcement efforts, believing that these efforts have resulted in a safer community. It was noted that although the Bloomingdale Police Department enforces traffic laws and drug possession statues to the extreme, their practices are still within the letter of the law. Both the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office and the Bloomingdale Municipal Judge indicated that the cases made by Bloomingdale police officers were well prepared. They also reported that their research did not find any credible evidence of a pattern of abusive behavior by Bloomingdale police officers, as claimed by some members of the community. Mr. Pierce indicated that they did agree with some of the members of Bloomingdale City Council that the enforcement practices of the Bloomingdale Police Department have created a public perception problem. However, the Police Chief seems to be carrying out the law enforcement philosophy communicated by City Council over the past few years. With recent member changes on City council, that strict philosophy may be changing. Some members of City Council expressed serious concern over police practices; others were generally supportive but questioned the need for patrolling I-16, while others backed completely the actions of the police department. Some of the recommendations/findings included in the report from The Lambries Pierce Tomes Group were as follows: 1) City Council should decide on a law enforcement philosophy for Bloomingdale and communicate that philosophy to the Police Chief and the citizens of Bloomingdale; 2) Appoint a citizens’ advisory panel that would give feedback to the council or police committee on Police Department performance; 3) The current staffing of the police department is adequate, however, if the City were to increase its land area and population through annexation, one more officer per shift may be required; 4) There should be a supervisor assigned to every shift; 5) Court Administration should be separate from the police department , but it was noted that this could be achieved by transferring some administrative personnel from the police department; 6) The Bloomingdale Police Department’s Standard Operating Procedures Manual is well written, but there are small sections that do not apply to the department and should be eliminated; 7) Although sworn personnel are offered numerous training opportunities for both required and elective classes, the administrative personnel have not been afforded these same opportunities and it was recommended that more training be given to these employees, especially in the procedures and operation of any new computer software being used by the department; 8) Both the police department and court administration should write procedures for all aspects of their administrative jobs; 9) The police officers believe that the Chief is supportive of them, however, recently the morale of the officers has declined because they feel that the Mayor and some council members do not support them. The officers are receiving mixed messages about how they should perform their jobs. Once the City council determines its law enforcement philosophy and passes this information on to the officers, this perception may improve, however, some officers may elect to leave the department if the current philosophy changes; 10) The City was encouraged to establish a formal compensation system with pay ranges assigned to each job title that would allow for horizontal career growth through merit raises based on a formal performance evaluation. Mayor Rozier asked if anyone had any questions on the report and being none thanked Mr. Tomes and Mr. Pierce for their report.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard had revised the water agreement sent to him by the City of Savannah to reflect Bloomingdale’s request that we have a one (1) year option to accept the terms of the agreement. Attorney Gerard outlined for council some of the specific points in the agreement and advised council that a separate agreement would have to be signed with the City of Pooler for the transporting of water through their lines. Councilman Johnson made a motion that the agreement, including the one (l) year option clause, be presented to the City of Savannah for their consideration with the understanding that Bloomingdale would have up to one year to accept the terms of the water agreement. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The council discussed information provided by Attorney Gerard regarding the proposed agreement with Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers for the placement of a Miocene water plant at Taylor park. Attorney Gerard expressed his concerns about the plant being placed at Taylor Park because it is questionable as to whether or not a water plant is consistent with park purposes. Although the test well would be temporary in nature and could be closed without much cost if a resident decided to put up a fight over the legitimacy of its existence, he also questioned the purpose of digging a test well at the park if the City cannot install a water plant there. Attorney Gerard expressed concern about the extent of the City’s payment liability to Carter & Sloope if the proposed agreement were executed. He suggested we require two separate agreements. One to cover a test well and another to cover the water plant should council decided to pursue its construction. Councilman Johnson stated that he felt we needed to do some research on our own with people who have had experience in this area with the Miocene wells before we even go ahead with a test well and would like to table this matter until that could be done. Councilman Ray asked if anyone else has had experience in this area and was advised that one test well had been drilled in Pooler, but according to the engineer the well was not deep enough to reach the Miocene. Councilman Tyler expressed his concern that this matter was dragging on too long and we needed to make some decisions soon. He also questioned the use of water from the Savannah River plant. Councilman Johnson stated that we needed to look into the Savannah water studies. Mayor Rozier pointed out that according to Representative Ron Stephens the City had been promised additional water capacity by the Governor, but other cities lodged complaints so we were not granted the increase in our permit. After additional discussion by council, Mayor Rozier appointed a committee consisting of council members Johnson, Tyler and Wedincamp with Councilman Tyler serving as chairman of the committee. This committee would check with other companies that had experience in drilling test wells to obtain prices, contact developers currently using Miocene wells for information and pursue other water capacity options. A report on their findings will be presented at the July 18th meeting. Councilman Johnson made a motion that the City delay any action on the Miocene test well until additional information could be obtained, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard reported that at council’s request he had contacted Pooler’s City Attorney regarding information on Bloomingdale’s portion of the cost of upgrading the Pooler/Bloomingdale sewage treatment facility and was advised that Bloomingdale’s portion would be included in Pooler’s loan. The City of Bloomingdale would be required to post a letter of credit in the amount of approximately $1.3 million dollars as collateral for its agreement to repay its portion of the loan. This project qualifies for a S.R.F. loan with an interest rate of 3%. The rates for other GEFA loans are approximately 4.5%. Since Pooler is the lead agent for this project, they would be the appropriate entity to pursue the loan.
Councilman Tyler asked for a status report on the flow meter that was installed at Sangrena Woods for the measurement of the waste being pumped to our lift station. He was advised by Ernest Grizzard that this meter has not been repaired and Councilman Johnson stated that the City has been trying to get them to fix it for years. Councilman Myrick asked if we could either repair or replace the meter and charge the expense to Pooler, but Councilman Tyler stated that according to the sewage agreement Pooler should handle the repairs or replacement. Councilman Wedincamp reported that he had attended a council meeting months ago and City officials stated they would have it fixed, but nothing has been done. Councilman Johnson asked if Attorney Gerard could contact the City of Pooler about repairing the meter and Attorney Gerard stated he would get in touch with them and report back to council.
Mayor Rozier advised council that he had contacted the Morgan family regarding their water/sewer capacity needs for their proposed development off Wildcat Dam Road, but was advised that they did not have the information at this time. The Mayor stated that they indicated they were definitely interested in a portion of our sewer capacity and requested a meeting later in the month to discuss this matter. Mayor Rozier pointed out that there would be a difference in their capacity needs based on the type development that occurred on their property since commercial development would require less capacity than residential users.
Councilman Tyler stated that he felt the City needed to get some concrete figures on the cost for the construction of a sewer treatment plant and whether or not we could get funding so we could make a decision on pursuing the construction of our own plant. Mayor Rozier asked that the same committee he appointed to obtain information on the water situation look into the possibility of constructing our own sewer treatment plant. Councilman Wedincamp reported that the City of Pooler has expressed interest in purchasing our portion of the existing sewer treatment plant.
Councilman Tyler requested council’s opinion on pursuing the contracting of our sanitation service with a private vendor. He pointed out there were some repairs that were going to have to be made to one of the trucks and if we were going to make a change there was no need to make these repairs. Mayor Rozier stated that he would get Attorney Gerard a copy of the contract from Waste Management for him to review. Councilman Tyler stated that he would like to get some citizen input before we make a change in the service. Councilman Johnson pointed out that it was his understanding that we are one of the few cities that still handle their own sanitation service.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard had contacted James Brown with the DOT and informed him of the damage that has occurred to portions of Pine Barren Road in both Bloomingdale and in the unincorporated portion of Chatham County caused by Douglas Asphalt and asked that before final payment is made that the contractor restore the road to its pre-project condition.
Councilman Tyler advised council that the new fire truck that was supposed to be delivered in September will not be ready until December and he was expecting an ISO inspection before the truck arrives. Councilman Tyler stated that the poor mechanical condition of the existing trucks would probably cause the fire department to lose their current ISO rating and if that did happen the citizens would have to pay higher rates for their homeowner’s insurance. Council was advised that we are currently at a Class #5 rating, but could go to a Class #9 rating if we did not pass the inspection. Councilman Tyler reported that the 1968 fire truck would not pass inspection and the 1979 truck was questionable. Councilman Tyler then stated that the fire department had located a used 1989 fire truck that was available for $40,000 because of a mistake in advertising, but in order to get this deal the City would need to move quickly. Councilman Tyler stated that it would cost an additional $15,000 in equipment to outfit the truck, but pointed out that they could probably get about $2,000 for the old truck. Attorney Gerard advised the Mayor that since this matter was not on the agenda, council should approve its addition to the agenda before any additional discussion was held. Based on Councilman Tyler’s report that council needed to act on this matter now in order to take advantage of this price, Councilman Myrick made a motion to add the discussion on the used fire truck to the agenda. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler stated that if council approved the disbursement of a portion of the SPLOST funds already on hand, we could get the truck before the inspection. Councilman Ray stated that the City had already committed these funds to the purchase of the new fire truck. The clerk reviewed a copy of the minutes of the February 21st and March 7th council meetings and confirmed that the new fire truck was approved for purchase from the SPLOST funds. Councilman Johnson expressed his concern about rushing into the purchase of the second truck. Councilman Tyler pointed out that this was a very good deal and if council did not act on this matter tonight, the truck would not be available at this price. Council was advised that most the SPLOST funds that have already been received from the county
have been invested in a six month certificate of deposit based on previous information that the truck would not be available until September, so these funds were not currently available. Mayor Rozier asked if it would be possible to add a fee for fire protection service to the sanitation bill, but Attorney Gerard stated that these charges would have to be separated on an invoice so customers would know exactly what they were paying for. Also, there may be some staffing requirements for the fire department if the City decided to impose a subscriber’s fee. Council discussed the possibility of contracting with the county to add this type fee to the property tax bill. After additional discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to make a $4,000 down payment on the used 1989 fire truck as described by Councilman Tyler from the SPLOST funds that were available with the balance of the monies to be paid from the General Fund until the certificate of deposit was redeemed. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Council members Johnson, Myrick, Waller and Wedincamp. Councilman Ray voted against the motion and Councilman Tyler abstained from voting.
Council was advised that David Tyler has signed an easement conveying to the City of Bloomingdale a maintenance easement for the drainage ditch on his property located on the corner of West Garvin and Hickory Streets. Mr. Tyler has also provided a plot plan indicating where he plans to place a structure on his property in the future. Based on information provided by Mr. Tyler the structure will be constructed only in the portion of the property which is at least 100’ wide. Council was reminded that these two items were required by the City before they would grant Mr. Tyler a road frontage variance on his property. Since he has met these requirements, Councilman Ray made a motion to grant Mr. Tyler a 20’ road frontage variance on his property located on the corner of West Garvin and Hickory Streets and to accept the dedication of the maintenance easement for the drainage ditch located on this same property. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard presented an amendment to the City’s personnel policy, as requested by council, to prohibit employees convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs from driving motor vehicles for the City of Bloomingdale during working hours for a period of three (3) years from the date of conviction. The amendment also includes the stipulation that if driving a motor vehicle is an essential function of the employee’s job the employee will be considered for another position if one is available, but if not, the employee will be terminated. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said amendment to the personnel policy, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that OMI’s study of the maintenance department operation is still underway.
Attorney Gerard reported that a survey of the Maple Street lift station property confirms that a portion of the lift station encroaches on property owned by Donny Tuten. Mr. Tuten has indicated that the lot is available for purchase by the City at a cost of $20,000. Attorney Gerard stated that he would present this information to Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. since they have some responsibility for the resolution of this matter and advise council of their response and the City’s options at the next meeting.
Councilman Myrick reported that work on the football field at Taylor Park is underway and EMC has completed the portion of their study related to the drainage of the field and he was in the process of obtaining bids for this drainage work.
Attorney Gerard stated that he was working on the preparation of a policy regarding issues related to billing senior citizens for water leaks.
Mayor Rozier stated that he was concerned about the City’s current water usage being over our well permit and felt that the state would soon fine the City if we did not take some steps to control the increase. He suggested a moratorium on the issuance of new building permits for structures requiring City water service until a solution to our water shortage is addressed. Councilman Wedincamp expressed concern that once this was imposed we may have a problem lifting the moratorium. Attorney Gerard stated that there were some state requirements regarding this type action, so this matter was tabled until the July 18th meeting to allow him time to review the state laws regarding moratoriums.
Council was advised that the City has received information from the county regarding the fuel bids and the low bidder for Bloomingdale is Barrett Oil at +$.0925 for regular working hours (Monday through Friday) and +$.2500 for weekends/holidays above O.P.I.S. prices. Councilman Tyler made a motion to accept the fuel bid from Barrett Oil, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Lillian Brune who lives at #1008 E. Hwy 80 for a home occupation license to operate a car hauling business from her residence. Ms. Brune is the owner/operator of the business and she indicates that the only vehicle that will be parked at the residence related to the business will be a pickup truck with a four-car trailer. Ms. Brune stated that her son, who does not live at the residence, will be driving the truck, but will only come by to pick up the truck and the empty trailer. The trailer will not be parked at the residence when it is loaded. The City’s zoning ordinance, Section 800, states that a home occupation shall be permitted in a dwelling provided that the occupation is conducted by no other persons than members of the family residing on the premises. Attorney Gerard has indicated that council could consider the fact that the only involvement the son has with the business while it is being operated from the dwelling will be to stop by and pick up the truck and empty trailer. If council agrees with this interpretation, the home occupation license could be issued. Council was reminded that they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement if signs are not posted and there is no outside traffic. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the issuance of the home occupation license to Lillian Brune for a car hauling business to be operated from her residence located at #1008 E. Hwy 80. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Rozier pointed out that council may want to consider some changes to the home occupation section of the zoning ordinance that addresses the employment of persons living outside of the residence and if so, this can be considered during the update to the Comprehensive Plan.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from Michael Byrd to operate a carpentry business from his residence located at #381 Wallace Circle. His mother, Loretta Calvert, also lives at this residence and owns the property. Ms.` Calvert has provided a letter to the City giving Mr. Byrd permission to operate the business from this location. Mr. Byrd has indicated there will be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Based on this information, Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement for this home occupation license, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler then made a motion to approve the issuance of the home occupation license to Michael Byrd to operate a carpentry business from his residence at #381 Wallace Circle. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that during the budget work sessions council determined that rate increases would be needed for the water, sewer, and sanitation services. The rate increases will include the following:
1) A $1.00 per month increase on residential and commercial sanitation rates
2) A $1.00 per month increase in the base rate for water that includes 3,000 gallons; a rate of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons for usage from 3,001 to 20,000 gallons; a rate of $2.00 per 1,000 gallons for usage from 20,001 to 30,000 gallons; and a $2.50 per 1,000 gallons rate for usage over 30,001 gallons.
3) A $2.00 per month increase in the base rate for sewer for both residential and commercial users, plus a $.50 per 1,000 gallon rate increase for usage. Sewer only customers will be charged $25.00 per month for sewer service.
Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the first reading of the amendments to the water, sewer, and sanitation ordinances increasing the rates effective with the September 1, 2002 billing, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to dispense with the second reading, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the amendments to the water, sewer, and sanitation ordinances increasing the rates effective with the September 1, 2002 billing, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the renewal of terms for the following members of the Recreation Executive Board: Cindy Hashaw, James Stringer, and Terry Landon. These members’ terms expire on June 30, 2002 and their new terms would expire on June 30, 2005. Councilman Myrick made a motion to renew said terms, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. It was noted that Mike Hammond has moved outside of the City so he is not interested in remaining on the board. Council was advised that there are currently three (3) vacancies on this board.
Council considered the following recommendations from the Planning Commission:
1) The renewal of the terms for Del Ferguson and Margel Winn on the Planning & Zoning Commission. Their current terms expire on June 30, 2002 and the renewed terms will expire on June 30, 2006. Councilman Tyler made a motion to renew their terms, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
2) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the rezoning requests from the Morgan family for their two tracts of land on I-16 and the requests for the rezoning of eleven (11) tracts of land from various property owners between Wildcat Dam Road and Patrick Avenue from residential to commercial be denied because these zoning changes will not comply with the City’s current Comprehensive Plan. Attorney Gerard suggested the City accept their recommendation as a matter of information, however, a public hearing must still be held on their requests before any official action can be taken by council. The clerk was instructed to check the calendar and set up a date for said hearing.
It was noted that at their last meeting, council directed the Planning & Zoning Commission to begin, with the assistance of Bill Saxman, the process for the update to the Comprehensive Plan. However, Mr. Saxman has indicated to the clerk that he does not feel that he will have the time to commit to this project due to his father’s health problems and he has suggested council consider contracting with the MPC as the MPC will be handling the Comprehensive Plan updates for other cities in the area. Wayne Tipton, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission stated that he would get back with Mr. Saxman and get a definite answer on whether or not he would be willing to handle the update. Mr. Tipton indicated that he would present this information to council at their next meeting, but if Mr. Saxman was not interested he would contact the MPC and obtain a proposal from them.
Council discussed the need to set a date for a public hearing on the proposed 2002/2003 budget and Councilman Ray made a motion to hold the hearing on Tuesday, July 9, 2002 at 7:00pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that since the 2002/2003 budget will not be adopted before July 1, 2002, a resolution authorizing Mayor Rozier to approve distribution of funds for the continuation of City business until the adoption of the 2002-2003 budget scheduled for July 18, 2002 needs to be approved by council. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said resolution. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard reported that he has talked with the state regarding the zoning of the Union Camp property approved for annexation into the City on May 2, 2002. The City’s zoning ordinance provides that land area annexed into the City shall be classified as R-1 until such time as the classification is changed through normal amendment procedures. Based on information from the state the City needs to proceed with the rezoning of this property to one as similar in nature as the zoning applied by the county prior to its annexation. Therefore, council needs to submit a recommendation to the Planning & Zoning Commission to proceed with the rezoning of the recently annexed Union Camp property from R-1 to RA-1. Councilman Tyler made a motion to submit said recommendation, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The council was informed that the City has been contacted by the DOT regarding our plans for improvements to the portion of Stagecoach Road between the existing pavement and the Effingham County line. Effingham County is planning to pave their section of the road and the DOT wants to know if Bloomingdale has any immediately plans for their portion. Based on the completion of the right of way survey by Coastal Surveying Co., Attorney Gerard has prepared right of ways for the widening and relocation of Stagecoach Road through properties owned by Richard Meyer and the Oetgens. Execution of these deeds will provide the City with the rights of way needed to improve the road either now or in the future. Once the deeds have been executed by the property owners they can be submitted to the City for acceptance. Mayor Rozier pointed out that the Oetgens were present at tonight’s meeting and had expressed their willingness to dedicate the right of way for their property. Attorney Gerard distributed the right of way paperwork to the Oetgens for their review and execution.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a request from Bob Justis to hold concerts on the first Sunday of each month at the Bloomingdale Community Building to provide country, gospel and bluegrass music to citizens in the Bloomingdale/Pooler area. Mr. Justis has rented the building for July 7th, but wants the City to consider donating use of the building for future concerts. If this is not possible, Mr. Justis plans on accepting donations from sponsors to pay for the cost of renting the building, but indicates he will be displaying posters or signs around the inside of the building promoting these sponsors. The Mayor recognized Mr. Justis who reported that he had been able to secure a commitment from the Pooler Chamber of Commerce to pay the cost of the rental for the building through January, 2003, but asked that the City officials and citizens present at the meeting help to spread the work around town about the concerts. Mr. Justis stated that these musicians would be donating their time to provide this entertainment and hoped to reach several hundred people. Council advised Mr. Justis that there could be a parking problem if that many people attended since parking along the roadway was prohibited. Councilman Johnson suggested he contact the owners of Southern Marine Discount about the possibility of using their parking lot since they are closed on Sundays. Mr. Justis was also advised that in order to secure the building, the rental fees must be paid in advance and was reminded that nothing should be posted on the inside or outside of the walls of the building.
Council was advised that the City has received a request from Brian Bland to place a mobile home on a five-acre tract of land on Howard Drive--a private road located off Osteen Road. This property was subdivided prior to being annexed into the City. It was noted that the lots that have received permits in the past have met the City’s minimum road frontage of 125’, however, this lot is at the end of the road and has less than 42’ road frontage. Mr. Bland has provided a survey providing for the extension and dedication of the private road 125’ to allow him to meet the required road frontage for a building permit. The width of the easement is 60’. Council reviewed the survey and based on the fact that this subdivision had previously been approved along this private road prior to annexation and the extension of the private road would allow him to meet the road frontage requirements, Councilman Waller made a motion to accept the extension of the private road and approve issuance of his mobile home permit. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mr. Bland was advised that he would need to sign an agreement for indemnification prior to the issuance of his permit acknowledging that the City does not assume any responsibility for the maintenance or use of the private road.
Councilman Ray reported that he has been contacted by several citizens regarding the unsightly condition of the partially burned house located at #108 Church Street. Council was advised that a demolition permit was issued on September 26, 2001 to Julie Reynolds for the removal of the structure, but only a portion of the building has been removed. Council discussed the complaints and suggested we pursue application of the nuisance ordinance. Attorney Gerard stated that he would send her a certified letter, but needed her mailing address.
Council was informed that the City has been contacted by Coldwell Bankers about the availability of water and sewer for a subdivision development off Osteen Road and their representative was asked to put their plans in writing for submission to council prior to the meeting. Nothing, however, has been submitted. It was noted that their representative was present earlier in the meeting, but left. This matter was tabled until a written plan was submitted by the developer.
Council was advised the City had received a letter form Glenda Criswell, the site manager at Magnolia Lane Apartments, requesting that the City pay a bill they received from Roto-Rooter for $209 for checking problems with a sewage backup. According to information in the letter, the sewage backup was caused by a problem with the grinder pump, but a city worker had failed to thoroughly check out the pump on previous visits. Ernest Grizzard stated that he had talked with the worker that handled the calls, but there had been problems with the electrical service at this location. After additional discussion on the matter, the Mayor asked that the water/sewer committee investigate the complaint to determine whether or not the City should reimburse this expense to Magnolia Lane Apartments and advise Ms. Criswell the results of their findings.
Councilman Tyler reported that the maintenance department has advised him of a problem with a fence that is being constructed on Maple Street and expressed his concern that it could hamper the maintenance of the ditch in the future. Council was advised that the fence is being constructed so near the ditch that if there is any erosion of the property the concrete fence could fall into the ditch. Fett Burke stated that he could not find the property marker and was not sure her report that it was being constructed 2’ off her property line was accurate. Councilman Johnson stated that the copy of the permit application indicated the location had been approved and suggested we have the owner show us the property marker she used to determine the footage. Attorney Gerard advised council that the City could send her a letter advising her that if she constructs the fence she does so at her own risk and if the fence falls into the ditch that it will be her responsibility to immediately remove the debris,
however, he needs to know whether the ditch is actually on her property, on the property line, or on the ditch right of way. Councilman Tyler stated that he would visit the site with Fett Burke tomorrow to try to determine if the fence is being constructed on her property and will advise the clerk’s office their findings to pass on to the Attorney so he can include this information in his letter. Council discussed the City’s current procedures for approving the construction of fences and agreed that some changes in the process may be needed. Attorney Gerard stated that he could obtain copies of some fence ordinances for council to review.
Councilman Mike Wedincamp advised council that there were three (3) land owners living on Cheyenne Road that were interested in dedicating their rights of way to the City for the widening of the road to become a City street in an effort to resolve some of the problems with the road. He presented a copy of a survey for council’s review, but indicated that this was being submitted for information only at this time. Council was advised that if these rights of way were dedicated as a City street it would solve the access problem for five of the tracts, but the other four tracts would still have problems.
Mayor Rozier request that council consider approving funds for the cost of the service for a mobile telephone for his use. He stated that the Alltel service currently available through the City does not work in all of the areas he travels and he could not conduct City business on that telephone during the day. Council was advised that the Alltel service covers two telephones, one in the City car and one mobile telephone, at a cost of $57 per month. After a discussion of the request by council, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve a $57 per month allowance toward mobile telephone service for Mayor Rozier. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor advised council that LOST negotiations were currently underway between the municipalities and Chatham County and copies of the latest information related to LOST has been distributed to council for their review.
Mayor Rozier reminded everyone of the Patriotic Celebration to be held at Taylor Park on June 30, 2002 from 6pm until 9pm.
Citizen Martin Collins asked if the moratorium on building permits would apply to persons using their own wells and was advised that if approved it would only involve persons using the City’s water service.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve payment of the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Tyler made a motion to adjourn at 10pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present at the meeting.