October 16, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Waller leading in prayer. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by members of the Bloomingdale Elementary School student council.
The minutes of the October 2nd meeting were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized Glenda Anderson, a representative with the United Way Campaign of the Coastal Empire, who provided an overview of the program and made an appeal to the citizens and elected officials of the City of Bloomingdale to pledge their financial support of this very worthwhile organization. Ms. Anderson requested that if the employees of the City have not heard a presentation from the United Way that the organization be given the opportunity to share one with them in the near future. Mayor Rozier thanked Ms. Anderson for attending the meeting and stated he would see about scheduling a presentation of this information to the employees in the next couple of weeks.
Attorney Gerard reported that he is still researching documents to determine exactly how much of the Wildcat Dam Road is the City’s responsibility as far as maintenance and liability and has asked for internal documents from the county regarding this roadway.
Attorney Gerard advised council that he met with Bill Lovett and obtained the requested documents from him regarding Pooler’s GEFA loan and other contracts related to the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. Although Attorney Gerard has not yet had time to review all of the documents, he feels he now has the information needed to draft a letter of credit for Bloomingdale to present to Pooler to cover the City’s share of the cost for the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant.
The council reviewed information provided by the attorney outlining the criteria the City should use to determine whether or not David Hicks should be allowed to reoccupy the nonconforming mobile home located at #1301A E. Hwy 80. Attorney Gerard points out in this information that David Hicks would need to show evidence that he had no plans to permanently vacate the premises, however, correspondence from Mr. Hicks indicates that he not only requested that the services essential to being able to live at the residence be disconnected, he also stated he would be dismantling the mobile home and moving it from the property. The premises were being used as a storage facility, not a residence, and Mr. Hicks reported he was moving out of the City to another residence elsewhere. Attorney Gerard noted that council may be able to justify allowing the Hicks to move back into the home if the couple were able to provide information that they involuntarily discontinued use of the mobile home due to the structure’s substandard condition and their financial inability to repair it. Thus, the Hicks would need to provide something in writing that they only vacated the premises because they were not financially able to make the necessary repairs to the mobile home that would be required to continue living there and had no choice but to move until they could afford to pay for the repairs to restore it to a livable condition. Attorney Gerard stated that even with this information submitted to council, they would still need to address the requirement of the zoning ordinance that the nonconforming use cannot be reestablished after it has been discontinued for over sixty (60) days. Mayor Rozier stated he would see if he could get something in writing from Mr. Hicks to submit to council for their review and consideration.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard is in the process of preparing documents for Vernell McNeil to execute that would allow her to cross the City’s utility easement for the interceptor line located along the Old Central of Georgia Railroad bed for access to her property.
Attorney Gerard reported that he had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the City of Bloomingdale on Tuesday against B.M.A. dba Waste Systems of Savannah for the damages that occurred to the 1995 Ford garbage truck while under lease to his company. The attorney pointed out that he would need the total recovery and repairs costs from Fett Burke as soon as possible so he would have the information for the hearing and would know what to tell Mr. Anderson if he inquired about these costs. Mr. Burke stated that the repair costs could exceed the value of the vehicle which, according to the dealer’s representative, is at least $25,000. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the “blue book” value would be the figure that would have to be considered if the vehicle was totaled.
Councilman Tyler reported that rather than provide council with information regarding the bids for the fencing at the lift station tonight, he planned to include some additional fencing requirements at the well sites as discussed by the water/sewer committee and would submit the specifications for the fencing and details on requesting of the bids for all these items at the November 6th meeting.
Councilman Tyler stated that the water/sewer committee was recommending the following tap fee increases: Increase in the water tap fees from $350 to $1,000 and the sewer tap fees from $400 to $1200 for buildings permitted after January 1, 2004 and on water and/or sewer taps for existing buildings after January 1, 2004. Councilman Tyler pointed out that at the current tap fees the City was not able to recover the costs for labor and materials and adjustments had to be made. Councilman Tyler stated that the water tap fees had not been increased since 1986 and the sewer tap fees have been the same since the system was installed in the late 80’s. After discussing the recommendations, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the first reading of amendments to the water/sewer ordinances to increase the tap fees as outlined above. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to dispense with the second reading, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick then made a motion to approve amendments to the water/sewer ordinances to increase the water tap and sewer tap fees as outlined above effective January 1, 2004. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Teresa Roles to obtain a home occupation license to operate the “office only” of a photography business from her residence located at #201 Cypress Street. Ms. Roles has obtained a letter from the owner of the property giving permission for the office to operate from this location. According to Ms. Roles, there will be no outside traffic related to the photography business coming to the residence. Based on Ms. Roles understanding there could be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Ms. Roles at #201 Cypress Street to operate the “office only” of her photography business. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from Michelle Waters for a home occupation license to operate the “office only” of a janitorial business at #103 Ash Street. The Mayor recognized Ann Bird who stated that she was Ms. Waters’ mother and was here tonight on her behalf because she had to work. Mayor Rozier pointed out that a stipulation of the home occupation license was that there could be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and Ms. Bird stated that Ms. Waters would only be operating the office from the residence and there would be no outside traffic. Based on this information, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Ms. Waters at #103 Ash Street to operate the “office only” of her janitorial business. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that Bill Saxman has informed the City that council needs to approve a resolution officially adopting the Short Term Work Program update as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and authorizing implementation of said plan. After a brief discussion, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to approve said resolution, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Don Amerson asked to be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss with council the requirements for the opening of Poplar Street. It was noted that City records do not show this as an open street. Attorney Gerard reviewed a map presented by Mr. Amerson that he says indicates the roadway is open. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the map he presented appears to be a privately prepared map that shows the roadway, but does not necessarily prove that the street has been properly dedicated as a public right of way. Mr. Amerson stated that there is a sign at the end of the road and there are already two houses using the road. It was noted that the sign does not signify it as an open road and apparently the residents of the two houses have merely been using a portion of this property as private driveways to their houses. Mr. Amerson was advised that the City’s current requirements for the opening of roadways requires a 60’ right of way and paving, however, there may be some consideration given to reducing the right of way to 40’ if this is the width of other roads in the area. Attorney Gerard stated he would review the map provided by Mr. Amerson and further discussion on the matter was tabled until the next meeting.
Mayor Rozier stated that this concluded discussion of the items that were included on tonight’s agenda.
Councilman Tyler made a motion to amend the agenda to allow for a discussion concerning the pursuit of a permit for the lower Floridian aquifer and sewer treatment plant issues. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler stated he would like to set up a water/sewer committee meeting in a couple of weeks for the committee to discuss and review options for the expansion of the City’s water supply and the construction of the City’s own sewer treatment plant and to make recommendations on these issues to council. Councilman Myrick stated that any meetings and discussions regarding these items should be done with full council rather than just the water/sewer committee because of the magnitude of these issues. Councilman Tyler stated that all of the council would be invited to attend the meetings and he would advise them of the date and time later.
The Mayor recognized Ray Jones who stated he wanted to address a complaint to council about a situation that occurred regarding a visit from EPD to his business located on Bloomingdale Road. Councilman Tyler made a motion to amend the council agenda to hear Mr. Jones’ complaint. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Mr. Jones stated that he had been advised by a representative from EPD that they had received a complaint from Fett Burke with the City of Bloomingdale that he was dumping a coolant into the canal behind his business and he wanted council to know that he followed all safety precautions when disposing of any chemicals used in his business. Fett Burke stated that he would like to explain exactly what took place regarding this incident and stated that he had been contacted by Courtney Riche with the MPC and advised that the testing that had been done in the canal had indicated there was some traces of contaminants and asked Mr. Burke if he knew where these could be coming from. Mr. Burke reported that he had told her that the only business in this general area was the machine shop but he did not feel this was the source because they kept a very clean operation and he did not feel they would be dumping anything into the canal. Mr. Burke stated that he was advised by Ms. Riche that he still had to contact the EPD because this was a requirement of the City’s Stormwater Ordinance and so he called them. Apparently, when the EPD representative went to Mr. Jones’ business, he did not give him these details. Mayor Rozier advised Mr. Jones that since Mr. Burke was required to follow this procedure, he did not feel there was anything else he could have done. Discussion of the incident continued and the Mayor asked that Mr. Burke have the EPD representative come back out to meet with Mr. Jones and clear up any questions there may be about how the report was initiated. Mr. Burke stated he would call the representative tomorrow and get back with Mr. Jones to set up a meeting.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Bill Stone, a business representative with the Bloomingdale Elementary School Council, asked to address council regarding a concern about the possible elimination of some educational programs at Bloomingdale School. Councilman Waller made a motion to add Mr. Stone to the agenda, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Mr. Stone distributed some information to the Mayor and Council regarding the Academy Program and asked them to actively support continuing this program at the Bloomingdale Elementary School by contacting David Wegman, school board member, as well as any other representative they felt could assist in keeping the program at the school.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier and Council members Myrick, Tyler, Waller and Wedincamp were present at the meeting.