January 18, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with the Reverend Darrell Bailey leading in prayer. Councilman Strozier stated that the recipient of this month’s Outstanding Citizen award was not able to attend tonight’s meeting so he will be recognized at the February 1st meeting.
Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 4, 2007 meeting, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the agenda of the January 18, 2007 meeting with the removal of the request from Oscar Criswell for a variance in the size of a sign at #406E Highway 80 due to a change in his design plans and the addition of discussion of potential litigation as requested by Councilman Myrick to the executive session. The motion was seconded by Councilman Ray and passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick reported that the contract on the design of the construction plans for the paving of Stagecoach Road had been forwarded to EMC Engineering and the project was underway. Councilman Myrick stated that the contract document and bid notice had been prepared by Southeast Engineering and reviewed by Attorney Dickey. Council was advised that a few changes needed to be made to the documents and once these were completed the invitation to bid would be advertised with bids to be presented for council’s consideration at the March 15, 2007 meeting.
Councilwoman Winn advised council that additional prices had been obtained for the truck budgeted for the Recreation Department and the lowest price received was from Brent Walker Ford at $12,999. It was noted that this price was $999 over the amount included in the FY 2006/2007. After a brief discussion, Councilwoman Winn made a motion to proceed with the purchase of the Ford F-150 XL truck and to amend the FY 2006/2007 budget to include the additional cost of $999. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented a request from Sidney Key for a home occupation license at his residence located at #305 Miller Street to operate the “office only” of his construction business. Mr. Key had been operating the office of the business from #210 Cypress Street, but has moved and is requesting the license be granted for his new residence. Mr. Key’s application indicates there are two employees in the business, but advises that there will be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue home occupation license to Mr. Key at #305 Miller Street, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Glenda Key to operate her one-chair hair salon from her residence located at #305 Miller Street. Ms. Key’s business was being operated from her #210 Cypress Street residence, but she has moved and would like to continue operation of the business from her new residence. Council was advised that a public hearing had been held in 2005 for the #305 Miller Street location with no objections from the surrounding property owners, but Ms. Key did not relocate at that time. There has only been one change in the surrounding property owners since the hearing and the owner had been notified of the request prior to this meeting, but has voiced no objections. Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the public hearing because one had already been conducted for this location and to issue the home occupation license for the one-chair hair salon at #305 Miller Street. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Recreation Department has been working with the City and a registered land surveyor to obtain an elevation certificate on the storage building being constructed at Taylor Park. The surveyor reports that the elevation of the building is 19.5’ and it meets FEMA’s requirement that the base floor be at the base flood elevation of 19’, however, the City’s flood ordinance requires the finished floor to be an additional ½’ higher. This additional one foot requirement was adopted at the recommendation of FEMA several years ago. Mayor Tipton reported that council would need to approve a ½’ variance on the height of the building or require the venting of the building as prescribed by FEMA. It was noted that the building was going to be used for storage only and was on the back portion of the 16± acres tract approximately 550’ from the concession building. After a brief discussion, Councilman Strozier made a motion to grant the ½’ variance, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Councilman Andrew Rawlings who presented a request on behalf of the Historic Society for a waiver of the rental fees for use of the Bloomingdale Community Building on February 12, 2007 for an auction and dinner. Councilman Rawlings stated that the group would be raising funds for future projects. Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the rental fees for this event, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton recognized Latrelle Kling who had requested to be placed on the agenda to discuss four items with council. The Mayor noted that it appeared there were five items on the list and these items were presented as follows: 1) Ms. Kling recommended council’s consideration of audio/video recordings of council meetings. Mayor Tipton advised her that it was his understanding this had previously been discussed, but council chose not to do it. A discussion was held regarding the cost involved in the administration and storage of recorded documents. Councilman Rawlings stated he would like to have meetings recorded. 2) Ms. Kling asked the Mayor for the proper procedure for the reporting of zoning code violations and Mayor Tipton advised her that she could present information to the City Hall. Ms. Kling stated that she had submitted a letter to him dated December 20th outlining zoning code violations that were occurring at #4E. Highway 80 with the business being located in this C-1 zone having over 50 vehicles on the property when they could only have 15 cars. Ms. Kling stated that nothing had been done about the problem. The Mayor asked if she had the date and time of these violations or pictures of the property and Ms. Kling indicated she did not have photos. After various comments regarding this issue, Councilman Strozier reported that he owned the property at #4E Highway 80 and it was being leased from him by Tommy Hunter. Mr. Hunter has two occupational licenses that were issued by the City. One license was for a transmission/auto repair shop and the other one was for a used car lot. The occupational license for the used cars is limited to 15 cars for sale at one time. Councilman Strozier stated that when the letter had been received by Mayor Tipton, he went down and talked to Mr. Hunter and reminded him of the 15 car limit. Mr. Hunter advised him that along with the 15 cars he had for sale there were also numerous vehicles parked on the property that were under repair, other vehicles that belonged to him and his employees, and he also had two rollbacks he used in his business. During further discussion, it was noted that citizens wanted to make sure that the City ordinances were enforced in a fair and equitable manner for everyone and the Mayor assured them that this was being done. The Mayor advised Ms. Kling that if she had information to submit regarding zoning violations in the future, the information could be submitted to the City Hall addressed to him and the City Council. 3) Ms. Kling asked if the City had a code enforcement officer. Mayor Tipton stated that the police department is currently acting as the code enforcement agent of the City as directed by the Mayor and Council. The Mayor pointed out that budget constraints had not allowed for the employment of a code enforcement officer at this time, but as growth occurs, it may be something council will need to reconsider. 4) Ms. Kling asked if the Mayor had a date scheduled on the follow-up meeting with citizens related to the Master Drainage Plan as discussed several weeks ago. The Mayor advised Ms. Kling that after talking with her earlier today, he had received a copy of the interoffice memo dated December 12th that had been prepared by the county’s engineering staff with their comments related to the drainage plan. The Mayor thanked Ms. Kling for bringing this document to the City’s attention since a copy had not been received by the City or our engineers until today. The Mayor stated that he wanted our engineers to have an opportunity to review and respond to the county’s comments regarding the drainage plan prior to holding any meetings so they would have as much information as possible to share with the citizens. Ms. Kling requested that the Mayor and Council table any further action on the current drainage plan because it needed more research. Mayor Tipton stated that the council had already agreed to pursue the drainage plan, with the exception of Councilman Rawlings who had withdrawn his support. During additional discussion on this issue, comments were made regarding the engineer’s calculations, additional expenses incurred for the engineers to research and address citizens’ concerns, and the revisiting of the maintenance easement issue. After these discussions, Mayor Tipton pointed out that he had been approached by area pastors and advised that members of their congregations were upset about flyers that were being placed on vehicles in the church parking lots during worship services and they asked that this be stopped. The Mayor stated that he had also gotten complaints from other citizens who said flyers had been left at their homes and he had reports that flyers were placed on City vehicles. 5) Ms. Kling asked if the third member of the Ethics Committee had been appointed. The Mayor recognized committee member Karl M. Johnson, Jr. who stated that he and fellow committee member William McCarty would like to nominate D. K. Morgan to serve with them on the Ethics Committee. Mayor Tipton thanked Mr. Johnson for this information and stated that action on their nomination would be on the council agenda for the February 1st meeting.
The Mayor stated that the next agenda item was a call for an executive session. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to adjourn into executive session for discussion of recreation and personnel matters and a potential litigation issue. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. After the completion of the executive session, Councilwoman Winn made a motion to return to the general session. Councilman Myrick 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 Act, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. A copy of the executed affidavit is attached to the original minutes.
Councilwoman Winn presented a recommendation from the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board to appoint Christian Lamont and Craig Stanfield to the board. After a brief discussion, Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the two appointments, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that this concluded the items presented prior to the agenda deadline of Friday, January 12, 2007.
Under committee reports, Councilman Rawlings asked that council proceed as soon as possible with the appointment of alternate members to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Mayor asked if he had a nominee and Councilman Rawlings stated that he had provided council with copies of information on one prospect yesterday. The Mayor asked that council review the information on this nominee and he would work with him to have this handled by the next council meeting.
Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills and the motion was seconded by Councilman Myrick. Prior to taking a vote on the payment of the bills, Councilman Rawlings asked to be able to review the bills before they were paid. It was noted that a copy of this information is placed at each end of the podium prior to the meetings, but there had been a problem with printing the invoice listing before tonight’s meeting so copies of the actual invoices were available for review if necessary. Although other council members confirmed the availability of this information at each meeting, Councilman Rawlings stated he had never seen it. The Mayor asked if it would be agreeable for a copy of the invoice listing to be placed in his mail box prior to each meeting and Councilman Rawlings stated that he would appreciate a chance to review it before voting on payment of the bills. After this discussion, Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn voted for the motion to pay the bills. Councilman Rawlings abstained.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:00pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton and all council members were present at the meeting.
Note: Section § 50-14-1 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated requires that the minutes shall, as a minimum, include a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. These minutes meet the minimum requirements. However, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to the citizens, the recording clerk has included additional background data and discussion on the subjects presented to council. The statements of individuals are not verbatim and may be summary in nature.