May 4, 2006
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with the Reverend Darrell Bailey leading in prayer. Mayor Tipton signed a proclamation declaring May 4th as “National Day of Prayer” after it was read by Reverend Bailey. The Mayor expressed his appreciation to the area churches that had provided lunch for the City employees and elected officials in recognition of the “National Day of Prayer”.
The minutes of the April 20, 2006 meeting were reviewed with Councilman Waller making a motion to approve said minutes. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the agenda for the May 4, 2006 council meeting, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton stated that he, along with Councilman Myrick and Representative Buddy Carter, had attended a meeting with Dr. Carol Couch and members of her staff to discuss water permitting issues. The Mayor asked Councilman Myrick to report on the results of the meeting. Councilman Myrick stated that during the meeting the Mayor had outlined some of the history related to the City’s requests for increases in our water permit. Councilman Myrick pointed out that although the EPD representatives reluctantly listened to the information, he felt it was a productive meeting since Dr. Couch indicated that there should be no problem in the City getting an increase in our permit up to our discharge capacity of 280,000 gpd. Councilman Myrick stated that by the time he and Mayor Tipton arrived back in Bloomingdale, however, the criteria had changed and the City was now working with the engineers to provide the data required by EPD. It was noted that in the Town Meeting held on Tuesday, Representative Buddy Carter and Senator Eric Johnson stated that they would support efforts to get Bloomingdale an increase in their ground water withdrawal permit.
The Mayor asked Councilman Strozier to report on the meeting with the engineers related to the water permit application. Councilman Strozier stated that due to changes in EPD’s criteria for groundwater withdrawal permits our application was being amended by the engineers and, hopefully, it will comply with their latest request for information.
Councilman Rawlings advised council that the “Keep Bloomingdale Beautiful” event held on April 22nd generated about 25 bags of garbage that was collected along Highway 80 and he hoped that future walks could be held to clean up the litter and debris along the City’s thoroughfares. Councilman Rawlings stated that the “Community Cookout” held on April 29th was well attended and there was good entertainment, food, and fellowship at this event. Mayor Tipton stated that he would like to express his appreciation to the citizens and members of the fire department that helped with the April 22nd cleanup walk and to especially thank one of our senior citizens, Joyce Maddox, who participated in the event and received special recognition for her efforts. Councilman Strozier asked about the committee’s plans for the surplus food and supplies that were purchased for the campaign and expressed his desire to have this donated to the Recreation Department. Councilman Strozier pointed out that the water, drinks, meats, and chips, could be used by this department in their efforts to raise money through the concessions at upcoming events. Citizen Mary Mitchell stated that they had asked Joe Young which supplies he could use and he advised them that he could use the buns. Ms. Mitchell advised council that due to the lack of space in the freezer at Taylor Park, the only thing that had been donated to the department was the buns and the other items, such as barbecue, hot dogs, sausage, and hamburger patties that needed to be frozen were in Susan Rogers’ personal freezer. Ms. Mitchell stated that she was storing the other food items and paper goods at her home and an inventory of all of the surplus items had been submitted to the City Hall. Councilman Rawlings advised council that since the committee had worked hard to collect these donations for the Keep Bloomingdale Beautiful campaign neither he nor the other members felt that the food or supplies should be turned over to anyone else to use. He stated that plans were being made to hold another event in the future and these supplies could be used at that time. Councilman Strozier expressed his disappointment that the committee was not willing to allow the Recreation Department to make use of the surplus food when it was questionable as to whether it would even be any good later in the year, however, if the members did not want to donate it to them, he would not press the point.
Councilman Myrick stated that the City had received responses to the letters sent out to four owners regarding the accumulation of junk cars, paint cans, and/or debris on their properties and some had asked for a couple more weeks to complete the work. Councilman Myrick made a motion to grant these extension requests until the May 16th meeting, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilwoman Winn reported that plans were still underway for the Patriotic Celebration to be held at Taylor Park on Memorial Day, May 29th. Councilwoman Winn stated that information on the celebration will be announced on local radio and TV stations and posters were being prepared. Councilman Strozier advised council that the committee had discussed nominations for the “Outstanding Citizen” award that is normally presented during the Patriotic Celebration and had agreed that Citizen Herman Rawlins should receive this recognition. Councilman Strozier pointed out that he had discussed this with other council members and they had agreed with the committee’s decision. Councilman Strozier pointed out that the Patriotic Celebration had not been held in 2005, so no one had received the award. Councilman Strozier advised council that the committee would like to nominate longtime City Attorney and Recorders’ Court Judge, Earl Waller, to receive this recognition. Councilman Strozier stated that Mr. Waller’s contributions to the City during his lifetime should be recognized even though it would be done after his death. After a brief discussion of these nominations, Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the recognition at the upcoming Patriotic Celebration of outstanding citizens as Earl Waller for 2005 and Herman Rawlins for 2006. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Council was advised that the entertainment that will be provided at the Patriotic Celebration will include Bloomingdale native Jimmy Maddox and everyone was encouraged to attend.
Mayor Tipton reported that the contracts with the DOT on the paving work for Church & Lynn Streets should be returned to the City by the end of May or the first of June.
The Mayor stated that council needed to discuss the preparation of construction plans for the Stagecoach Road paving project and it was his understanding from the DOT that the City would need to have plans on hand before cost estimates can be obtained or contracts prepared. Mayor Tipton reported that in order to pursue funding for this project we would need to have some idea of the cost and suggested that we obtain the design plans as soon as possible. Council discussed the use of several area engineers for preparation of the plans and decided that since the cost could vary between engineers it was decided to bid out the work. After additional discussion, Mayor Tipton directed Attorney Dickey to prepare information for the bid package for advertising and distribution to area engineers on the preparation of construction plans for the paving of Stagecoach Road. It was noted that the road must be designed to DOT specifications for heavy vehicular traffic due to the use of the road by numerous dump trucks.
Councilman Strozier reported that he had discussed with Donny Tuten the possible postponement of the payment for the purchase by the City of the lot on Maple Street until the new fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2006 and Mr. Tuten had agreed to a delay in the payment.
Council was advised that the driveway that had been improperly installed at #913 East Cregor Street had not yet been removed. It was noted that this matter had been discussed at the April 20th meeting and Mr. Schambach, who had installed the driveway for his father-in-law, agreed to remove it by today. Council agreed that the property owner should be formally notified that he has until the June 15th meeting to remove the driveway or further action would be taken. Council also discussed a utility building that had been placed on this property and agreed the owner should obtain the necessary permits for the building.
Mayor Tipton reported that he had reviewed GMA’s quote on the cost of the City’s property & liability insurance if we kept the deductibles the same as last year rather than reducing them to zero. Since the cost of the insurance would be $673 less than last year, he had initiated the renewal of the property & liability insurance with the same deductibles.
Chief Gossett reported that he had received a proposed invoice from Savannah Communications accepting the issuance of a purchase order for the purchase of radios and related equipment as approved at the April 20th meeting with payment to be delayed until after July 1st. The Chief pointed out that due to savings in the cost of the equipment we would be able to purchase 14 radios and the only cost to the City would be the 25% in matching funds ($12,388) as approved at the April 20th meeting with the balance of the cost being paid through the COPS Interoperable Communications Technology Grant Program
The Mayor presented a well permit request from Phong Nguygen on behalf of Randall & Ashley Hackle for their property located at #1436 Pine Barren Road. Council was advised that there is no City water available at this location, but City ordinance requires council’s approval before the issuance of a well permit within our city limits. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the issuance of the well permit at #1436 Pine Barren Road, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilwoman Winn abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest.
Mayor Tipton recognized Triet Bui who lives at #133 Michael Street who submitted a request for the installation of some signs in his neighborhood which included 20mph speed limit signs, signs noting children at play, and signs prohibiting ATV’s on the street. Mr. Bui stated that there are numerous unsupervised children playing in the streets and the 25mph speed limit is too fast for this area. Councilman Strozier pointed out that the 25mph speed limit is consistent with other city streets and would require a change by council. Mayor Tipton asked Chief Gossett for any suggestions he might have about these problems. The Chief stated that there have been complaints in this area about the ATV’s, but when officers answer the calls, these vehicles leave the area. Councilman Ray asked the Chief if he felt the parents were aware of the possible fines related to the use of ATV’s on public streets. Chief Gossett advised council that in talking with the parents of the youngsters riding the ATV’s they showed little interest in restricting the use of these vehicles on the streets, but it may take the writing of tickets and issuance of fines to get their attention. Council discussed the possibility of obtaining Chatham County’s electronic equipment that alerted motorists to the speed they were traveling and placing it along Michael Street for a period of time. It was noted that this had been done once before and did seem to help for awhile. Also discussed was the possibility of creating a neighborhood watch organization in the area so the neighbors could get involved in solving these problems and to help to police the area for the safety of the children. Chief Gossett stated he would work up some possible solutions to the problems discussed and present it to council.
Mayor Tipton reported that the City had received several calls regarding two carports that were installed in the front yard at #201 Cherry Street questioning their compliance with the City’s required setbacks. The carports were installed by property owners, Bobby & Debra Brune, and at least one of the carports is only 25’ from the front property line. Council was advised that the Brunes have submitted a written request asking for council’s consideration of a variance on the front yard setback of 10’. Mayor Tipton recognized Bobby Brune who apologized for their failure to contact the City prior to the installation of the carports to make sure they met the required setbacks. Mr. Brune advised council that he was having problems with the building’s tie-ins to the concrete on the carport in the front and the installer was going to have to redo some of the work. Councilman Myrick asked if he had the room to move the building back 10’ and Mr. Brune stated that he did, but it would be harder to pull a vehicle straight into it because of the carport on the north side of the house. Councilman Myrick advised Mr. Brune that although the City sympathized with the Brunes having to bear the expense to move either one of the carports these setback requirements needed to be adhered to and suggested that he have the contractor move the building back the required 10’. Mr. Brune stated that he was working 12 hour shifts and asked how much time council could give him to get the work done. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to table any further action on this issue until the June 15, 2006 to give Mr. Brune time to get the carport moved, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that on September 15, 2005, council approved the issuance of a permit for a 600sq.ft. accessory building to Kellie Robertson for her property located at #68 Cheyenne Road. When Ms. Robertson submitted her request for a building permit, she assured council that although she had a grass cutting business; it was not going to be operated out of this storage building. The City has received some complaints about the activity that is taking place on this property. The callers indicate that there are about three (3) people coming to the residence each morning, parking their personal vehicles at the back of the property and leave driving “Outsider Lawn Care” trucks with trailers and mowing equipment. In the afternoon around 6:00 o’clock they return with the trucks and equipment and leave in their personal vehicles. Council discussed this issue and several citizens present at the meeting confirmed the information. Mayor Tipton asked that Chief Gossett investigate the complaints and provide a report verifying these activities to the administrative office so the City can follow up with notice to the property owner of their violation of the conditions of their building permit. The Chief stated that he would have this information prepared and submitted to the City Hall.
Councilman Myrick stated that he felt he could provide a possible solution the complaint that has been received regarding the tractor-trailer activity at the residence of Steve Roberg located at #10 Perry Road. Councilman Myrick pointed out that the tractor-trailers were probably delivering tools for Mr. Roberg’s mobile tool business that he operated from his residence as a home occupation business. Councilman Myrick advised council that Mr. Roberg was a friend of his and he would contact him and offer the use of his business location for the future delivery of the tools. Councilman Myrick stated he would give council a report by the next meeting on this matter.
Council was advised that the renewal of a home occupation license was submitted to the City in December, 2005 for calendar year 2006 by Ashley Bragg to operate a general contracting business from his residence located at #111 N. Poplar Street. Mr. Bragg has since moved from this residence and the services were disconnected in March, 2006. Since Mr. Bragg no longer lives in the City limits, the home occupation license that was issued to him is no longer valid. Several council members pointed out that there is still some activity taking place at this residence and there are problems with construction equipment and vehicles being parked on City right of way near the property. Council discussed this issue and agreed that Mr. Bragg needed to be advised that his home occupation license is being revoked and it should be returned to the City and to inform him of the problems that are occurring with the equipment and vehicles being parked near the property.
Council was advised that an executive session was scheduled for the discussion of personnel issues. Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn into executive session, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilman Myrick made a motion to return to the general session, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Ray made a motion to execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Law. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. A copy of the signed affidavit is attached to the original minutes of the council meeting.
Mayor Tipton stated that this concluded the items that were received by the agenda deadline of Friday, April 28, 2006.
Councilman Rawlings stated that the City had received a request from Don Paul Enterprises regarding the rezoning of property located on Highway 80 and this matter was on the Planning & Zoning Commission’s agenda for their May 16th meeting. Councilman Rawlings reported that the applicant’s representative, Donald Shaw, had asked that the request be forwarded on to the City’s zoning consultant for review and comments prior to the May 16th meeting so members would have this information when they were considering the zoning request. It was noted that this request acknowledged that any expenses incurred for the review by the zoning consultant would be paid by the applicant. The council discussed the request and agreed that since the cost would be paid by the applicant they had no objections to forwarding it to the zoning consultant. Mayor Tipton advised Councilman Rawlings that in the Planning & Zoning Commission’s review of this request the developer needed to be advised that there would be no City water available to serve this project.
Councilman Strozier asked Ernest Grizzard to give a report on the flow meter at the lift station. Council was advised that the meter had been installed and the initial readings indicated between 105,000gpd and 110,000gpd of sewer wastewater was being pumped into the sewer line. Councilman Strozier reported that Ernie would be having a medical procedure tomorrow and asked that everyone keep him in their prayers.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:15pm, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton and all council members were present at the meeting.