April 3, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the March 20, 2003 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard advised council that in a previous meeting he had recommended the City require the owners of the two tracts of land that were involved in the transfer of properties related to the Stagecoach Road right of way acquisition to obtain appraisals from an MAI appraiser. However, due to the additional costs involved in using this type appraiser, he is suggesting that council change the requirement to the use of a licensed appraiser instead. Based on Attorney Gerard’s recommendation, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve this change. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that as agreed by council at the last meeting, Attorney Gerard has forwarded the City’s payment of the January jail bill to Chatham County with a letter advising them that the check was sent with the understanding that if, based on whatever terms are finally agreed upon, the City has overpaid for the month of January, adjustments will be made to future payments to make up the difference. Councilman Wedincamp asked about the amount of the January jail bill and was advised that it was $3405.
Mayor Rozier reported that Attorney Gerard has prepared the final draft of the Emergency and Disaster Mutual Aid Agreement with the City of Savannah which includes all of the changes he suggested in his December, 2002 letter as well as another change making each party responsible for the cost of replacing or repairing that party’s equipment if damaged or destroyed while at the other party’s emergency or disaster site. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve execution of said agreement with the City of Savannah. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor advised council that he had talked with Republic Waste Services prior to last council meeting about getting prices on dumpsters and thought this information had already been sent to the City. However, since it has not been received, he will contact Mr. Chilton prior to the next meeting so it can be discussed at that time.
Mayor Rozier informed council that he has contacted the City of Pooler and requested a meeting of both councils to discuss the repairs/replacement of the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge and the execution of the Third Amendment to the Pooler/Bloomingdale Wastewater Facilities Agreement. This request is to be placed on the agenda of their April 7th council meeting.
Council was advised that both surplus garbage trucks had been sold.
Council discussed the contents of the March 5th letter addressed to Councilman Tyler from Thomas & Hutton Engineering regarding their role in the upgrade to the lift station and agreed that they should submit another proposal to the City containing the information suggested by Attorney Gerard. Councilman Tyler pointed out that when he talked with representatives from Thomas & Hutton Engineering, they had indicated they would be willing to provide whatever information the City needed regarding this matter.
Attorney Gerard reported that he was still researching documents related to the property boundaries included in the proposed minor subdivision request from Phillips Properties and stated that he should have this information available for council by the next meeting.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that he had been monitoring the situation with Lynn Street and, in his opinion, the City would need to muck out some of the soft spots and replace them with suitable dirt before trying to do any more work on this street. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that although the City would not be in the position to pave the street at this time due to the lack of right of way, we should be able to make some changes in the way it was being graded to allow for better drainage of the roadway and adjoining properties. Councilman Johnson asked if the residents would have access to other routes they could use to go to and from their homes during this construction and Councilman Wedincamp stated that they would. Councilman Wedincamp stated that during the last rains, Ms. Toler had fallen when trying to maneuver in the muddy roadway and was having back and ankle problems as a result of the fall. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that residents along Lynn Street have been complaining for some time about the way the road has been graded because it is causing water to pool in their yards. Council discussed the possibility of obtaining the additional right of way that was needed to provide drainage ditches along the road, but since this was going to take awhile to secure, Councilman Wedincamp suggested we go ahead and muck out the soft spots and put some crush and run along the roadway. Councilman Wedincamp asked Ernest Grizzard, the City’s Water and Sewer Supervisor, if he had plans showing the location of water and sewer lines in this area. Mr. Grizzard stated that there were some plans at the shop, but the exact location of these lines were not shown. Mr. Grizzard also pointed out that there were gas lines along this roadway that would need to be located prior to any construction. Councilman Wedincamp asked what size water mains were in the area and Mr. Grizzard informed him that there were 2” water mains with ¾” service laterals. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he felt the maintenance department needed to locate these lines and get their exact location down on paper. Mayor Rozier asked that Councilmen Wedincamp and Tyler work with the maintenance department on getting the details of these lines recorded on prints.
Mayor Rozier reported that based on information provided in the March 26th letter he received from Chatham County Drainage Engineer Bill Uhl, Bloomingdale could use their drainage monies to handle local drainage problems in the City. With an anticipated $2 million dollars in SPLOST funds designated for Bloomingdale, the Mayor stated that we should be able to address some of the major drainage problems that currently exist, including those on the south side of Hwy 80. Councilman Tyler stated that he had talked with County Engineer Al Bungard over 1½ years ago about getting the engineering work done by their staff for the Conaway Phase Two project, but was advised that it could be another six months before they could start this work. Councilman Tyler pointed out that although he understands it will be important to make sure the Conaway Phase One and Phase Two projects are coordinated, he feels the City should go ahead and secure an engineer to start working on Conaway Phase Two, which is not a county project. Councilman Tyler stated that he had talked with Thomas & Hutton about handling his work since they have been involved in some consulting work with the county regarding the drainage plans for this area. Councilman Tyler pointed out that the county had originally agreed to do the drainage work on this project at no cost to the City, however, since that time, there has been some discussion about fees of approximately $50 per hour. Council agreed that before the City attempted to make any changes in the existing drainage in Bloomingdale, we needed to make sure that what we did was going to work and not cause other problems. Councilman Johnson stated that if we get a drainage plan developed by a certified engineer, they would be held accountable for the plan. Council also agreed that we needed to get prices from several engineers to develop a plan. Councilman Wedincamp asked if the City could also get prices from the engineer to develop specs for the drainage pipes on Stagecoach Road. He pointed out that he had talked with Susan Rogers with the DOT about the paving of the road and was advised that Bloomingdale needed to determine the size pipes that would be needed along the roadway. Ms. Rogers had told him that the state was very interested in getting the unpaved section of Stagecoach Road located within our City limits paved and they may be interested in providing more matching funds than they usually allow if we would proceed with this project right away. Councilman Waller expressed his concern about placing a top priority on this road since there was only one citizen living along the unpaved section and we have other roads that serve more citizens that need to be paved, such as Main and Church Streets. Councilman Waller was advised that there are about nine or ten families living at the end of Stagecoach Road that are Bloomingdale citizens and paving this section would benefit them as well. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt the discussion was getting off tract and asked that council make a decision regarding the engineering for the drainage issues. Councilman Tyler made a motion that the City pursue getting prices from engineers to develop a drainage plan for Bloomingdale for the areas not included in the county’s plan and to provide specs on the size pipes that would be needed along Stagecoach Road to properly drain that area. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick requested that council members review the draft of the proposed law enforcement philosophy that had been prepared by the sub-committee and be prepared to make a decision on the plan at the next meeting. Councilman Myrick stressed the importance of making sure that the council wanted to handle the police department in this manner before approving the
plan. Councilman Johnson made a motion to table a decision on the plan until the April 17th meeting, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized Willard Phillips who stated that he had some questions regarding the proposed agreement between him and the City to dispose septic tank waste at the Maple Street Lift Station. Mr. Phillips pointed out that neither Springfield nor the President Street plant required an agreement, however, he has no problem with signing an agreement, but is concerned about the $2 million dollar liability insurance requirement as well as the restrictions on the level of pH on the materials he dumps because this will require him to test the levels. Councilman Waller asked Mr. Phillips if he could postpone using the lift station until the questions on the agreement could be resolved. Councilman Johnson pointed out that the City would like to work with him to allow him to use the facility, but a little more time was needed to determine if these requirements could be modified. Mr. Phillips was asked how much liability insurance he carried and he indicated that he had $100,000 in coverage and that should be enough to handle any kind of damage that may occur at the lift station. Mr. Phillips was advised that the liability insurance would be for more than physical damage since we have an agreement with the City of Pooler for treatment and would be liable for any problems that may occur from the dumping of substances that interfered with the proper operation of the wastewater treatment plant. Councilman Johnson asked if Mr. Phillips had gotten any prices from the insurance company on the cost for additional liability insurance and Ms. Phillips stated that she had not gotten specific prices but was informed by the agent that they were very high. Mr. Phillips stated that it was causing him a hardship to have to drive to Springfield and Savannah to dump the waste and thought he would be able to get an answer tonight. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that the City’s concern was that once we allowed him to use the lift station for disposal, we would have to allow other companies to do the same and since some of these companies may pump out more than septic tanks, such as wash racks containing gas, grease, or oil, we need an agreement in place that will protect the City. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the information he had included in the agreement regarding the pH levels came directly from our agreement with the City of Pooler and had been included by the engineers as a protective measure for the treatment of the wastewater and is apparently standard criteria for this type agreement. Mayor Rozier asked if council would agree to approve an interim agreement to allow Mr. Phillips to start dumping the waste at the lift station merely on his reputation and the fact that he was a citizen of Bloomingdale. There were questions raised about the liability this could cause the City if someone else requested the same consideration. Councilman Myrick pointed out that we still needed to set a disposal fee. Attorney Gerard suggested that rather than trying to prepare another agreement he felt that the council could just agree to allow Mr. Phillips’ company and only Mr. Phillips’ company to dispose of septic tank waste into the lift station for a 30 day period until liability insurance and pH level issues could be resolved. But, if at the end of the 30 day period, these matters have not been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, Mr. Phillips would no longer be allowed to use the lift station for disposal of septic tank waste and he agrees to pay the fees, as determined appropriate by council, for any waste disposed of during the 30 day period. After additional discussion by council of this suggestion, Councilman Waller made a motion to allow Mr. Phillips to dispose of the septic tank waste at the lift station under the terms outlined above. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from David Ashley Bragg to operate the office only of his general contractor’s business from his residence located at #111 Poplar Street. Mr. Bragg has indicated that he is the only employee of the business and there will be no outside traffic related to his business coming to the residence. Council was reminded they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement if there is no outside traffic and based on Mr. Bragg’s assurance there would be no traffic; Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler then made a motion to issue the home occupation license to David Ashley Bragg at #111 Poplar Street to operate the office only of his general contractor’s business. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Kevin & Kay Heritage for the renewal of their “hardship” secondary mobile home permit issued for the dwelling on their property at #1230 Bloomingdale Road. The mobile home is occupied by Kay’s mother, Ho-Shim Shaw, who suffers from medical conditions requiring the assistance of a family member on a full-time basis. Council was advised that the Heritage’s have provided a letter from Ms. Shaw’s physician confirming the
need for this assistance. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the extension of the mobile home permit for an additional six months. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick advised council that the police department is requesting that council declare the ten (10) radar units currently being used by the officers as surplus property to allow them to be sold through the bidding process. Interim Chief Roy Pike indicates that once the radar units are sold, the department plans to replace them using the funds obtained from the sale of the radar units along with the $6,000 received from the sale of the video cameras. Councilman Myrick suggested a minimum selling price of $750 per unit or $7500 for all ten units. Councilman Ray made a motion to declare the ten (10) radar units as surplus property to be advertised for sale through the bidding process with a minimum bid of $750 per unit or $7500 for all ten units. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that during a recent meeting with maintenance department personnel, he had raised some questions regarding the City’s policy on the installation of driveways. He pointed out that the maintenance department was in the process of inspecting at least one driveway that had been installed by an individual without obtaining a permit from the City and although the man did a good job of installing the pipe, it was not on grade and was too high. Councilman Wedincamp stated that the policy indicates that driveways requiring driveway pipe must be installed by the City unless the City gives approval otherwise. Apparently approval has been given to some contractors to install individual driveways provided they are inspected, however, there has not been an inspection fee established so we are not getting compensated for this service. Councilman Wedincamp suggested that the price for these inspections should be as close as possible to the cost for the City to install the driveway. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that with the potential drainage problems we could face with improperly installed driveways we should require that only the City install driveways requiring drainage pipe. Citizen Bobby Thompson raised questions about who would be qualified to inspect the driveways along Hwy 80 and was advised that this policy only covered driveways along City streets, not state or federal highways. Council was advised that when the driveway installation policy was originally developed it was with the intention that the only driveways requiring drainage pipe that would not be installed by the City were those that were part of a subdivision development and the contractor would be responsible for their installation with the inspection of the driveways being part of the final approval of the subdivision. Councilman Tyler confirmed that this was his understanding of the City’s policy and felt the only thing that needed to be done was to change the wording of the policy to clarify the City’s position. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to make the following change to the wording: “Driveways requiring drainage pipe must be installed by the City unless the City Council* gives approval otherwise.” *Note: The word “Council” will be added to the policy. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Citizen Martin Collins stated that he wanted to install a walkway across the drainage ditch in front of his home to get to his mailbox and needed for someone to come out and let him know how much it was going to cost. It was noted that the currently policy requires minimum driveway widths of 16’ and since this would not be necessary for walkways, we needed to develop requirements and fees for pipes installed for other purposes. Mayor Rozier asked that Councilman Wedincamp as Chairman of the General Services Committee look into this matter and prepare some recommendations for council’s consideration.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a notice from Southern Sweepers of an increase in their price to sweep Highway 80. The previous price was $150 per month with the company to do the work on a bi-monthly basis. The increase that took effect on March 1, 2003 is $200 per month; however, this is the first increase in five years. Councilman Johnson asked Ernest Grizzard if they were doing a good job and was advised that they did good work. Based on this information, Councilman Johnson made a motion to authorize the continuation of the agreement with Southern Sweepers, Inc. to provide sweeping services for U.S. Hwy 80 on a bi-monthly basis at a cost of $200 per month for the months they perform the service. The motion was seconded by Councilman Ray and passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick stated that council needed to make a decision about the mobile home that is located at Taylor Park. Councilman Myrick pointed out that although the benefit of having someone living on the premises was initially a good idea; the City now needs this space for expansion of the park facilities. Council was advised that the mobile home is owned by Robert & Kim Coker who also live there. After council discussed the matter, Councilman
Myrick made a motion to have Attorney Gerard provide the Cokers with the appropriate notice as required by the agreement to move their mobile home from Taylor Park. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor advised council that a decision needed to be made regarding the meeting schedule for the summer months. City ordinance allows for only one council meeting during the months of June, July, August and September provided council votes to initiate this change. Councilman Myrick expressed his concern about the length of the meeting if only one meeting a month is held. Several council members pointed out that this has been the policy for several years and although these meetings may be a little longer, this schedule allows some time off for council and staff during the holiday and vacation seasons. Councilman Waller made a motion to initiate a change in the meeting schedule for the months of June, July, August and September to have only one council meeting during these months. The one meeting will be held on the third Thursday of each month. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Council members Johnson, Ray, Waller and Wedincamp voted for the motion and Council members Myrick and Tyler voted against the motion.
Council was reminded that they should review the Solid Waste Management Plan that was prepared by Bill Saxman before the April 17th council meeting. This information was distributed to council at the March 20th meeting.
Councilman Myrick made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss a personnel matter. The motion was seconded by Councilman Johnson and passed with six affirmative votes. (a copy of the signed affidavit required by the Open Meetings Act is attached)
After completion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session of council. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that council had discussed a personnel matter in the executive session. Councilman Myrick made a motion to reopen the application process for the police chief position with a deadline of May 9, 2003 for the submission of new applications. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Council discussed the possibility of having the names of finalists for this position available by the June 19th council meeting and Councilman Myrick indicated he felt that the committee could meet this schedule.
Mayor Rozier stated that he, along with the Mayors from the other Westside cities, were planning a “Rally for America” on Sunday, April 13, 2003 at 2pm at the Mighty 8th. Plans are to have several dignitaries attend the rally and give our citizens an opportunity to show their support for the troops. The Mayor encouraged everyone to attend the rally.
The Mayor advised council that he and Councilman Tyler have been talking about the need to conduct some annexation meetings to discuss the City’s plans with the citizens living in the areas proposed for annexation. Although there are no plans to introduce any annexation legislation this year, Mayor Rozier stated that he feels we need to start now to get public support for our proposals. Councilman Tyler indicated that he plans to have Thomas & Hutton prepare some maps to present to the citizens. The Mayor stated that he will get back with council on some firm dates for the meetings once the maps have been prepared.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 9:30pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present at the meeting.