January 16, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Del Ferguson leading in prayer. The minutes of the December 19, 2002 council meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler reported that he and Mayor Rozier had met with representatives with Thomas & Hutton Engineering to finalize the well permit applications for the upper and lower aquifers and these requests are being submitted to the state.
Councilman Tyler stated that he wanted to set up a workshop between council and representatives with Thomas & Hutton Engineer to discuss their cost figures on the waste treatment plant. After a brief discussion, council agreed to meet on Thursday, January 30, 2003 at 7:00pm.
Councilman Tyler reported he was working on the prices for the water line to Pooler and asked that this matter be tabled for future discussion and council agreed.
Mayor Rozier reported that information on a couple of options related to the replacement/repairs to the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge were still under review by the Morgans. The pipe system recently proposed was going to need county and DOT approval to make sure it did not interfere with the drainage of the Hardin Canal.
Councilman Tyler reported that he was working on some generic specifications for a proposed upgrade to the computer system(s) for the police department and the general offices and planned to present them at the next council meeting for review and discussion. If council approves the specs, the bid package should be reviewed by Attorney Gerard before soliciting bids on the upgrades. Councilman Tyler pointed out that the scope of the work would be bid in different ways so if the total job was too costly, it could be done in phases.
Councilman Johnson reported that members of the Planning & Licensing Committee consisting of himself, Councilman Waller and Councilman Wedincamp, along with the City’s building inspector Dennis Baxter, visited the construction site at #330 Wallace Circle the first of the week, but the owner did not show up. The owner, Kim Hickox, had been notified of the date and time of the meeting. Council agreed that the “Stop Work Order” should remain in place until the City was contacted by the owner to set up another meeting.
Attorney Gerard reported that the latest changes to the fence ordinance that had been requested by the Planning Commission have been made. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the ordinance. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. (Note: Since all ordinances require two readings, the second reading will be scheduled for the February 6, 2003 council meeting.)
Council discussed the Planned Overlay District Ordinance as proposed by the Planning & Zoning Commission for approval. Councilman Johnson stated that he had reviewed the ordinance and felt that it included some good checks and balances to protect the City and made a motion to approve the ordinance. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. (Note: This ordinance is also scheduled for a second reading on February 6, 2003).
Attorney Gerard reported that the City’s requested changes the mutual aid agreement proposed by the City of Savannah is still under review by their attorney.
Mayor Rozier stated that he felt the meeting held on Tuesday with citizens and representatives from Republic Waste Services regarding the upcoming changes to the garbage service went well.
Mayor Rozier presented a resolution prepared by Attorney Gerard authorizing the City to exchange with property owners the existing dirt road segment of Stagecoach Road for the 80’ wide right of way which the City wishes to acquire. Attorney Gerard pointed out that a condition of the exchange would be that the property owners must jointly submit to the City an appraisal indicating that the portions of the dirt road are less in value than the property which the owners are conveying to the City for the new right of way. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve said resolution, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the setting of the annual sanitation rate for D.K. Morgan’s mobile home parks for 2003. Mr. Morgan normally pays the fees, in advance, for all of his parks which eliminates the invoicing and collection of the fees by the City and Mr. Morgan receives a discount of $1.00 per month, per occupied mobile home. Mr. Morgan paid a rate of $12.00 per month, per occupied lot for 2002; however, since there was a sanitation rate increase in September, 2002, the rate would increase to $13.00 per month, per occupied lot for 2003 with the stipulation that he pay the fees in advance, in full. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the $13.00 per month rate with these stipulations, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received information regarding the proposed inmate service fee reimbursement agreement from Chatham County in late December. The agreement was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in accordance with the results of the 2003-2012 LOST negotiations. Attorney Gerard stated he reviewed the agreement and forwarded his suggested changes to Russ Abolt for consideration.
The council reviewed information regarding the subdivision of property by Phillips Properties without going through the City’s Planning & Zoning process. The parcel in question abuts Main Street with a portion of the property crossing the Pipemaker’s Canal. The portion across the canal is bordered by unopened portions of Moore & Hickory Streets. The survey submitted to the City shows only 54’ abutting an opened street (Hickory Street)—the City’s subdivision ordinance requires 100’ road frontage for property with City services. The City was made aware of the subdivision of the property by a prospective buyer who wanted to know how he could develop it; however, without approval of the subdivision by the City, no permits could be issued for this property. Council discussed the matter and agreed that unless the tract was properly subdivided, no permits should be issued. Council also agreed that the owner of the property should submit his development plans for this property to council, in writing, so he could be placed on the council agenda and until he does this, any questions regarding the property’s development cannot be answered. Mayor Rozier asked Attorney Gerard to notify the surveyor that the subdivision of this property had to be approved by the City and he should notify his client of this requirement.
Mayor Rozier presented a recommendation to appoint Doug McCurry to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Johnson asked if anyone knew Mr. McCurry and council members Ray & Myrick stated that he attend their church. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve his appointment. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed approval of an ordinance to subscribe to a plan of employee benefits consisting of group health to include three (3) options (PPO 90/80, PPO 80/60, and HMO), short term disability, life and accidental death insurance offered through the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System. If approved, the plan year would begin March 1, 2003 with the next renewal plan year beginning on the first day of March, 2004. Councilman Tyler stated he would like to look at other options before making a decision on this plan. Council was advised that quotes were solicited from five agencies, but the rates were all higher than those offered by GMEBS on dependent coverage. Also, the rates that were quoted from the other insurance companies were subject to change with the completion of medical questionnaires by employees because if there were any existing medical problems, the rates could increase. Council was reminded that the employees had been informed that the increase in the dependent coverage that they had assumed in January would continue until the new insurance plan went into effect in March, but if they made a change to the HMO coverage the cost would reduce—if council delays this change, the increased rate would continue until a decision was made on which plan to approve. Council agreed that unless the other companies had access to the medical information on the employees, the City would not get a fair comparison of rates. Councilman Johnson suggested we go ahead and approve the plan for this year, but start a littler earlier to get rate quotes for next year and provide the medical information on the employees when we solicit quotes. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the ordinance subscribing to the GMEBS plan as outlined above. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City needed to appoint the Judge and Judge Pro-tems for Bloomingdale Recorders’ Court for this year. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointment of Tom Edenfield as Judge and to appoint Bob and Brandon Galloway as Judge Pro-tems. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler advised council that the Christmas decorations that had been purchased a couple of years ago are in need of repair or replacement. He reported that apparently some damage had occurred to the lights when they were taken down last year. Councilman Tyler stated that there were sixteen decorations that needed to have the lights replaced and he estimated it would cost about $75 each to repair them if we did the work ourselves. He explained that the decorations were lit by rope lights in 18” sections and a spool of 150’ lights would cost $125. Councilman Tyler suggested council address this issue during the budget process for the upcoming fiscal year.
Mayor Rozier announced that a meeting of the Water Supply Task Force would be held on Wednesday, January 22nd at 9:30am at the MPC. A topic of discussion will be the Chatham County Comprehensive Water Supply Management Plan and the Annual Report on implementation of strategies during the year 2002 to be submitted to EPD by February 28, 2003.
Council was advised of a Source Water Protection Workshop to be held on Tuesday, January 28th from 9am to 3pm at the Coastal Georgia Center on Fahm Street. The City of Savannah is sponsoring the workshop that is being held to coordinate a watershed protection plan for the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers. The City of Savannah will be providing refreshments and lunch and those planning to attend the luncheon must RSVP to Deatre Denion by January 21st.
Councilman Myrick reported that the police department has nine (9) video cameras that need to be declared as surplus property since they had been recently replaced by new cameras. Councilman Ray made a motion to declare said cameras as surplus property. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick then asked that these cameras be advertised for sale through the bid process with a minimum bid being set a $750 each. Councilman Johnson made a motion to solicit bids on the cameras with a minimum bid of $750 each. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick stated that the Public Safety Committee needs to present a personnel matter for discussion and made a motion that council adjourn into executive session. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
A copy of a signed affidavit required by the Open Meeting Law is attached.
After the executive session was completed, Councilman Johnson made a motion to return to the general session, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that during the executive session council discussed personnel matters related to the resignation of Officer Jeff Kicklighter. Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept Officer Jeff Kicklighter’s resignation pursuant to the separation agreement discussed by the personnel committee to be drawn up by Attorney Gerard. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Citizen Mike Stanley asked council if his proposed subdivision was on the agenda for the Planning & Zoning Commission next week and was advised by the City clerk that it would be placed on the agenda.
Council reviewed the accounts payable and Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier and all council members were present at the meeting.