February 20, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the February 6, 2003 council meeting and the called council meeting of February 13, 2003 were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the latest proposal for the replacement of the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge included installing two 30” pipes under the roadway. These pipes would be larger than those upstream and downstream, however, the Chatham County Engineering Department was concerned about the possibility it could impede the water flow of the canal and wanted an engineer’s report indicating the pipes would not cause any problems. Mayor Rozier stated he planned to get with County Commissioner Kicklighter about having the county engineering department provide assistance with this project.
Attorney Gerard stated that he had not received any new information on the execution of the right of way documents for Stagecoach Road.
Attorney Gerard advised council that the City of Savannah’s attorney was still reviewing both the Mutual Aid and the Inmate Service Fee agreements.
Councilman Tyler provided council with bids from AquaSouth Construction, Inc. and Southern Champion Construction, Inc. for the repairs/replacement of the Maple Street Lift Station. Although these bids were higher than those previously provided by Crossroads Construction, Inc., questions were raised by some council members about whether or not all of the bids included the same work and type of materials. Councilman Johnson pointed out that the AquaSouth bid included specific details regarding the scope of the work they planned to do, however, the bids from Crossroads Construction included very limited details. Councilman Myrick expressed his concern that with a $30,000 difference in price between the top two bidders and the low bidder that something may have been left out of the low bidder’s price. Councilman Myrick asked if the City could get Thomas & Hutton to provide us with specific details on what needed to be done to either repair or replace the station and to solicit bids using their outline to make sure all of the work that was needed was covered in the bids. Councilman Tyler stated that this could be done. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the City needed to be able to compare the bids they received to make sure that everyone was bidding on the same work. Councilman Waller asked what kind of time frame we were working on and Councilman Tyler stated that we needed to get this problem fixed as soon as possible. Councilman Johnson pointed out that according to Councilman Tyler’s previous reports it was still going to take 2 or 3 months to get the station back up and running no matter which direction we took and he felt that we needed to take the time needed to make sure that we got accurate bids for the work. Mayor Rozier asked Councilman Tyler to get with Thomas & Hutton about preparing the specifications and meet with Crossroads to make sure their bid included all of this work. Attorney Gerard pointed out that all of the companies should provide new bids based on the specifications provided by Thomas & Hutton as this would allow council to better compare the prices. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve expenses related to the use of Thomas & Hutton Engineering to prepare specifications to use in soliciting new bids for the repairs/replacement of the Maple Street Lift Station. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Interim Police Chief, Roy Pike, reported that he had talked with the owner of the property on Osteen Road about the mobile home and junk vehicles that did not comply with the City’s ordinances and was assured the problems would be handled within thirty (30) days.
Council was advised that Councilman Tyler has submitted a copy of Attorney Gerard’s comments to Thomas & Hutton Engineering on their proposed consulting agreement.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has submitted a request to Senator Eric Johnson to change the scope of the DCA grant for $25,000 received for fiscal year 2002/2003 from the lighting of a ballfield to drainage work at Taylor Park, installation of the sprinkler system for the football field and to complete work on a 150’ baseball/softball field.
City Council was advised that the details on the financing of the E-One Pumper Fire Truck costing $242,371 included a down payment of $127,371 to be paid in April, 2003 with the balance of $115,000 to be made in quarterly payments beginning in July, 2003 at a rate of 3.87%. A resolution authorizing the financing of the truck through the GMA Direct Leasing Program needed to be approved by council. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve said resolution, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Planning & Zoning Commission has set a public hearing date for March 18, 2003 at 6:30pm to receive citizen input on a zoning amendment regarding secondary mobile homes for medical hardships.
Mayor Rozier stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending council consider requiring some control over the façade of metal buildings erected along Hwy 80 and other major arteries of the City. Some council members expressed concern about limiting these controls to only metal buildings in commercial areas since there are quite a few metal buildings being constructed in residential zones. Councilman Tyler stated that he would like to see the council conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on the matter. After a brief discussion, council agreed to hold the hearing just prior to the April Planning & Zoning Commission meeting. Chairman Wayne Tipton who arrived at the meeting just prior to this decision agreed that this would be the best time for the hearing.
Council reviewed a request from Elkin & Tony Marin to obtain a home occupation license to operate their management consultant service, EBN Enterprises, Inc., from their residence located at #1220 Bloomingdale Road. Mr. Marin assured council that only the office would be located on the premises and that there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Based on this information, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to issue the home occupation license for EBN Enterprises, Inc. at #1220 Bloomingdale Road. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a request from Freddie Humphries to operate his general construction contractor business from his residence located at #301 Conaway Road. Council was advised that Mr. Humphries has already been issued a renewal on one home occupation license under F.L. H. Construction; however, he is requesting a second license under the name of Humphries & Sons Construction Co. Council advised Mr. Humphries that the home occupation license requires that the business is conducted by no other persons than members of the family residing on the premises and with both licenses showing three employees, he cannot use this site as a gathering place for work related matters. Mr. Humphries assured council that the residence would be used for the “office only” portion of the businesses and there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Based on this information, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray made a motion to issue the home occupation license for Humphries & Sons Construction Co. at #301 Conaway Road. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a request from Jimmy Gene Autry to obtain a permit to construct a 30’ x 70’ metal building to be used as a workshop/storage area on his property located at #1203B Hwy 80. Council was advised that Mr. Autry’s residence is located on Lot #19C and he is requesting the building be placed on Lot #19B. Since the building will be considered an accessory building to his residence, Mr. Autry was advised by Attorney Gerard that he would have to combine these lots prior to issuance of the building permit. It was noted that since the enclosed area of the building would exceed 500 sq. ft. council must also approve issuance of the building permit. Councilman Johnson asked if he would be doing any kind of business from this location and was assured by Mr. Autry that the building would only be used for doing some furniture antiquing and for storage purposes. Councilman Johnson questioned how the City could control the use of the building once it has been constructed and was advised that since the property was zoned residential, Mr. Autry would not be able to obtain a license to operate any kind of business from this location. Mr. Autry stated that he operated his business at another location and had no plans
to move it to this building. After discussion of the request, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the building permit for the 30’ x 70’ metal building with the stipulation that Lot #’s 19B & 19C be combined prior to issuance of the permit. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that H.B. Waller has requested that he be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss a lot located on Pine and Boulevard Streets. Council was advised that a request had been made by a contractor to obtain a building permit on an 85’ lot that had been created by the subdivision of a tract of land consisting of Lot #89 and a portion of Lot #86. The lot was originally 127.5’ wide, but was divided into two individual lots—one with a road frontage of 85’ and the remaining portion being 42.5’. The subdivision was not presented to the City for approval. It was noted that since the subdivision created a substandard lot, it did not comply with the City’s subdivision ordinance. Mayor Rozier recognized Mr. Waller who stated that since the 85’ lot was already a lot of record on the original map of Bloomingdale, he did not feel it was necessary to obtain council’s approval to sell or develop it. Attorney Gerard stated that if that was the case, he was probably right; however, he would check into the matter. Attorney Gerard stated that he would research information at the courthouse and advised Mr. Waller of his findings.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City had received a request from Ellis Phillips to cleanup the trash and debris from his property located off Osteen Road, Main Street and the unopened portion of Hickory Street. Mr. Phillips stated that the timber has already been cut and removed, but assures the City that there will be no ground or land disturbance of any kind to require a land disturbing permit. Since the City is required to issue land disturbing permits if this type activity takes place, Mr. Phillips was asked to bring his request to council so there would be no misunderstandings about what was going to be done on the property. The Mayor recognized Ron Boykin who stated that Mr. Phillips was sick, so he was making the request on his behalf. Mr. Boykin assured council that the only type activity that will take place on the property will be to clean up the limbs and debris left when the timber was cut. Council approved the cleaning of the property as explained by Mr. Phillips and Mr. Boykin.
Council reviewed sign permit applications submitted by The Church of God of Prophecy and The Lifesprings Worship Center both located on Highway 80. One church is located in an R-A zone and the other in an R-1 zone. Since the signs that they are requesting are only allowed on property in commercial or industrial zoning districts, the requests are being presented to council for consideration as a variance to the sign ordinance. After a discussion of the requests, Councilman Tyler made a motion to refer these sign permit applications to the Planning & Zoning Commission for review to determine if the signs would be compatible to the area and to make a recommendation to council regarding a variance. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier advised council the City had received a request from Sidney Key for the rezoning of two lots located on Miller Street from R-1 to R-2 to allow for the construction of duplexes. Before submitting this request to the Planning & Zoning Commission, council needs to decide if they want to send it to Bill Saxman for his review and recommendation. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to submit the request to Bill Saxman, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that with the change to Republic Waste, there were sanitation rate adjustments that would have to be made to some of the beauty shops. Also, Republic Waste has listed the churches under commercial rates rather than residential although the City has always charged them the lower rates since they are non-profit organizations. Attorney Gerard pointed out that Waste Management provides the sanitation service to the churches in Garden City at no charge. Council was informed that the City Hall, community building, maintenance shop, and the fire department have all received carts and unless some other arrangement is made with Republic, these locations will be charged for sanitation pickups. Councilman Tyler asked who had initiated the original contract terms with Republic and Mayor Rozier stated that he had talked with them at first, but council had been involved in the final negotiations. The Mayor stated that he would contact Republic Waste regarding the rates for the churches and the municipal buildings. Council discussed the need to obtain rates from Republic Waste for dumpsters that could be offered through the City to those businesses that needed multiple carts. The Mayor advised council he would also talk with Republic regarding the dumpsters.
Mayor Rozier asked Fett Burke, Jr., the General Services Supervisor, to give him a report on the garbage trucks. Mr. Burke stated that the City no longer had any use for the 1988 GMC 7000 and the 1989 Ford F-800 garbage trucks and was requesting that these be declared as surplus so they could be sold. He pointed out that he had been contacted by a company who wanted to purchase the trucks as soon as possible. Mr. Burke reported that he felt the trucks were worth at least $4500 each. Mayor Rozier asked him about the remaining truck and Mr. Burke stated that, if possible, he would like to keep this truck for use in the trash operation. After a discussion by council, Councilman Myrick made a motion to declare the two garbage trucks as surplus vehicles and advertise them for sale with a minimum bid of $4500 each. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Fett Burke advised council that the 2002/2003 budget included the purchase of a 5205 John Deere Tractor and an 8’ Bush hog mower. After reviewing the bids received on this equipment, Mr. Burke stated that he felt the City should purchase a 10’ Flex Wing mower rather than the 8’ Bush hog, but the total price of $29,210 was more than the amount included in the budget. Mr. Burke pointed out that if the City used the 1996 Kubota tractor and the 5’ Alamo mower as trade-ins; we could obtain the tractor and the larger mower for $22,710 since Hendrix Tractor was willing to give the City $6500 for this equipment. Mr. Burke assured council that the City would no longer have a need for the Kubota tractor if they purchased the 5205 John Deere. After discussing the request, Councilman Waller made a motion to declare the 1996 Kubota tractor and the 5’ Alamo mower as surplus equipment with a value of $6500 and use them as a trade-in toward the purchase of the 5205 John Deere tractor and the 10’ Flex Wing mower. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that it needs to consider including an “emergency only” telephone number on the rental agreement information for the community building. It was noted that although Janice Williams is available to check the building before and after its use, there needs to be some way to make contact with the City if an emergency occurs with the building, such as water leaks, power problems, etc. Council members asked if this was a major problem and was advised that although there had been very few problems in the past, there was a water leak at the building this weekend and the renter had no way to contact anyone to report it. After a brief discussion of the request and with no objections from council, the clerk was instructed to list the “beeper number” used for water/sewer emergencies on the rental agreement information for the community building.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received alerts from GMA regarding the following matters:
1) The possibility of increasing, for a limited period of time, the state excise tax on certain tobacco products and alcoholic beverages to help raise additional revenues to narrow the current budget deficit the state is facing. The Governor suggests that without these time-limited revenue enhancements, the state will have to make some serious cuts in programs and services. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to submit a favorable response on placing the taxes on both tobacco products and alcoholic beverages. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Councilman Johnson, Myrick, Ray and Waller. Councilman Tyler voted against the motion.
2) GMA is in the process of obtaining support from the cities for the creation of a Municipal Option Sales Tax (MOST). The intent of MOST would be to provide revenue alternatives for major capital investments. Although the benefit of this tax would be for cities with numerous businesses that generate a great deal of sales tax collections within their municipality, GMA is asking that all cities adopt a resolution in support of State Legislation authorizing local referendums on the implementation of a Municipal Option Sales Tax. After a discussion of this request, Councilman Johnson made a motion not to approve passage of the resolution. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that council had a personnel matter to discuss. Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
(A copy of the signed affidavit required by the open meetings law is attached)
After the completion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that council had discussed reinstating driving privileges for City vehicles to an employee in the public works department. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve this action. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed the accounts payable. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Fett Burke, Jr. advised council that he had recently received a telephone bill that listed Bloomingdale taxes as one of the charges and when he contacted them about the fee, he was advised to contact the City Hall. Council discussed the matter and agreed that it was probably a franchise fee tax, but if Mr. Burke would bring in a copy of the bill we would contact the telephone company to make sure that was the fee they were charging.
Mayor Rozier stated that Councilman Mike Wedincamp had requested that he be removed from the Public Safety Committee and that he was replacing him with Councilman Ferman Tyler.
Citizen Russell Lee asked if the changes council was considering at the lift station were going to eliminate the problem with the smell. Councilman Tyler stated that it would not be completely stopped, but should be reduced by at least 95%. Mr. Lee was advised that the scrubber has been down for several days and this could be part of the recent problems with the smell. Mr. Lee reported that the smell has been going on for some time and Mayor Rozier stated that he feels this problem should be greatly reduced with the planned improvements.
Mr. Lee asked if the City has any plans to pave the portion of Main Street in front of his house. Mayor Rozier advised him that it was his understanding that the paving funds had been designated for specific projects, but he would look into this request.
Council was advised that a meeting would be held on March 3, 2003 at 7:00pm at City Hall with Stephenson & Palmer Engineering to discuss their proposal for a sewer treatment plant.
Mayor Rozier stated that a meeting would be held on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at the Bloomingdale City Hall at 10:00am with some the municipal Mayors to discuss their proposed annexation plans.
Being no further discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
The Mayor and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Tyler and Waller were present at the meeting.