December 1, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer. The Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for attending. The minutes of the November 17, 2005 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
On behalf of the citizens of Bloomingdale Councilman Myrick presented plaques of appreciation to Mayor Rozier and Councilman Wedincamp for four years of service, Councilman Tyler for eight years of service and to Councilman Johnson for sixteen years of service. Councilman Myrick thanked them on behalf of the City for their years of dedicated service.
Mayor Rozier advised council that on November 22, 2005 the engineering firm of Carter & Sloope had submitted on behalf of the City applications to the EPD for a modification of the existing Upper Floridan Aquifer Groundwater Withdrawal permit to increase it to 2.0 mgd and to issue a new well permit in the Lower Floridan Aquifer with a withdrawal of 4.0 mgd. The Mayor pointed out that according to information from Representatives Ron Stephens and Buddy Carter, the City would have a good chance to get an increase in our withdrawal permit because of our pending lawsuit against EPD. It was noted that approximately 10 mgd in groundwater withdrawal permits had been released to the Chatham County water bank from area industries which may allow the increase in withdrawal permits in West Chatham and Effingham counties.
Attorney Dickey reported that he had received some information from a representative with Utility Services, Inc. indicating that before they could provide us with a price for the renewal of the water tank maintenance contract, they would have to review the construction plans for the proposed telecommunication towers at a cost of $750 and during installation of the tower(s) they would have to oversee the project, but could not provide a cost estimate for this expense. Attorney Dickey pointed out that Utility Services, Inc. would like for the City to consider allowing them to act on the City’s behalf to work with telecommunication companies interested in placing towers on the water tank with their company receiving a percentage of the rental income. It was noted that this type proposal had been submitted and rejected by council several years ago because they wanted 50% of the income, but Attorney Dickey stated that Utility Services indicated that this percentage was negotiable. Council discussed this information and agreed that until we could get a figure on the cost of the maintenance contract for the upcoming year, we could not make a decision on which option would be the best for the City. Councilman Johnson made a motion to allow Attorney Dickey to contact the two telecommunication companies interested in placing towers on the water tank to obtain drawings to submit to Utility Services with any costs incurred for their review to be the responsibility of the telecommunication companies. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that council had discussed the need to have extra patrols posted in the Boulevard Street area before and after school to help control the problems with vehicles speeding along this roadway. Mayor Rozier pointed out that there may be emergency situations that would not allow the police to be there during both periods every day, but the Chief indicated he would have an officer there as much as possible.
Council was advised that the clerk had sent a second request to two of the owners of property located along the Pipemaker’s Spur regarding a meeting to discuss the acquisition of right of way for an access road and to clean this canal.
Mayor Rozier reported that the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department has not yet executed the contract for fire protection services for FY 2005/2006 and, as previously discussed, funds cannot be distributed to the fire department until the contract has been signed. The Mayor stated that Chief Tyler had submitted an amended contract proposed by the fire department members to him just prior to the meeting and it has been passed on to Attorney Dickey for review. Attorney Dickey noted that he had questions on some of the portions that he had already reviewed, but needed time to completely review the document. The Mayor stated that he would like for the public safety committee to review the contract. Councilman Johnson stated that he felt the matter should be tabled until Attorney Dickey has had an opportunity to review the document and make his recommendation directly to council. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Johnson advised council that after concerns were raised at the last meeting about the extra traffic traveling on Lynn Street to access the old railroad bed, he and Buddy had looked at the situation and determined that the best way to eliminate the problem would be pull up the culvert and place dead end signs at the end of Lynn Street. This should stop traffic from getting to the old railroad bed from Lynn Street, thereby reducing some of the extra traffic. Councilman Johnson pointed out that allowing Lynn Street to remain a dirt roadway was still going to cause maintenance problems in the future and felt the City should pursue the paving of the road by obtaining the right of way offered by the property owner in the east side of Lynn St.
The Mayor reported that the City had received an update from Thomas & Hutton outlining their progress on the City’s Drainage Master Plan and copies were distributed for council’s review. The engineering firm has also furnished information related to the scope and fee estimates for wetlands and geotechnical work on Alternate 1 of the plan. The limits of design and permitting included in this phase of work are as approved by Council on October 20, 2005 and begin at the North Maple Street/Main Street intersection and construct a new outfall to the Hardin Canal. According to Thomas & Hutton’s estimates, the approximate construction cost for this phase of work would be $1.2 million dollars.
Council was advised that Chris Lightle with the firm of Karp, Ronning & Tindol has completed the City’s audit for FY ended June 30, 2005 and submitted it for review by council. Mr. Lightle stated that he would be available to attend a future meeting to answer any questions or to discuss with council the information included in the audit. Council agreed that prior to accepting the audit they would like an opportunity to review the information, so this matter was tabled.
Mayor Rozier reported that at the November 17th council meeting a public hearing was called for tonight’s meeting to receive citizen input on an appeal submitted on behalf of Hazel Donahue for a variance in the road frontage requirement from 100’ to 98.5’ for Lot #’s 1, 2, & 3 of her proposed recombination plat on her property located at #409 Cherry Street. The plan also includes Lot #4 which has a 25’ access driveway from Cherry Street to the lot. The Mayor pointed out that there are other lots in this area with 85’ and 90’ road frontage that were developed prior to the City’s current zoning ordinance and this information will be considered when making a decision on the variance request. The Mayor called the hearing to order and asked if anyone had any comments about the variance request. There were no comments from the citizens. The clerk reported that the City Hall had received calls from three of the property owners in the area and none of these owners had any objections to the road frontage variance. The Mayor recognized Doris and Barry Gibson who were present at the meeting on behalf of Ms. Donahue and asked if they had any comments to make. Mr. Gibson stated that there request was just as the Mayor had presented it, but wanted to make sure that building permits could be issued to the current or any future owners of the property. Mayor Rozier advised him that if the recombination was approved by council the variance would apply for present or future owners. Being no further comments Mayor Rozier closed the public hearing. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the variance request and the proposed recombination as outlined above. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Lillian Brune who had requested an opportunity to address council regarding repairs needed to her property at #1008 E. Highway 80 that were caused by City vehicles making large ruts in the yard when they were clearing debris. Councilman Johnson advised Ms. Brune that he had gone and inspected the property after she had made her complaint to the maintenance department and the ruts that she indicated were made by City vehicles were actually sink holes caused by the removal of large stumps of trees and this was done prior to the City doing any work on her property. Councilman Johnson pointed out that although she may not have had any trees removed since she owned the property there had been a large pile to tree stumps laying on the property for a long time. Councilman Johnson stated that the only damage done to her property had been to a fence post and this had been repaired. Ms. Brune advised him that she could show him where the ruts were located that were caused by the City vehicles. Ms. Brune also stated that there were some holes in her driveway that the City was supposed to fix, but they had not completed the job. Maintenance Supervisor Burke pointed out that the work was still underway and had not been finished due to the recent rains. Councilman Johnson stated that he would make another visit to the property to check into her complaints, but wanted to make sure that she would be there. Ms. Brune asked him when he would be coming by and Councilman Johnson advised her that he would call before he came.
Mayor Rozier stated that home occupation license requests have been received from several citizens and council has the option to waive the public hearing requirement for home occupation licenses based on the type business and/or activity that will be taking place at the residences. The following requests were presented:
1) Randy Roberts was requesting a license for a vinyl sign business to be operated from his residence located at #115 Michael St. Council was advised that after this request had been placed on the agenda the City received a call that Mr. Roberts would not be able to attend the meeting and to postpone the request until the January 5th meeting. Councilman Myrick stated that he would be interested in finding out exactly where Mr. Roberts would be doing the vinyl work before approving this license.
2) Jan Usher presented a request for a home occupation license for the “office only” of an office cleaning business to be operated from her residence located at #1422 Pine Barren Road. Ms. Usher stated that she would be the only employee and the work would be done at the homes of her clients with no outside traffic related to the business coming to her residence. Based on the information provided by Ms. Usher, Councilman Ray made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue the home occupation license, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
3) Latrecia Lewis presented her request for a license for the “office only” of a performing arts and educational consultant business from the residence located at #4 Broughton Street. Council was advised that Ms. Lewis has obtained a letter from the property owner giving her permission to operate the office of the business from this location. Ms. Lewis stated that she would be the only employee and there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Ms. Lewis explained that she conducted staff development workshops for performing arts educators and most of these were held out of town. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to issue the home occupation license, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier pointed out that in past years council has agreed to allow the City Hall to issue occupational licenses for the upcoming year to businesses purchasing first time occupational licenses during the month of December. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the issuance of 2006 occupational licenses to those businesses applying for first time occupational licenses in December, 2005. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was informed that the Mayor needed their authorization to approve initiation of the 3% cost of living increases for City staff effective January 2, 2006 as approved in the FY 2005/2006 budget and for the distribution of Christmas bonuses. Councilman Ray made a motion to take this action, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The council was advised that the City had received a request for information from Patricia French with RE/MAX 1st Choice Realty and Terry Powell Construction regarding the Oakland Hall Subdivision located on Cheyenne Road. Copies of their questions have been distributed for council’s review. The Mayor asked if anyone was present at the meeting regarding this issue, but no one responded. Councilman Wedincamp stated that it was his understanding they would be present at tonight’s meeting. The Mayor tabled discussion on this issue until the January 5, 2006 meeting.
Mayor Rozier reported that the December 15, 2005 City Council meeting has been cancelled and the next meeting of the Mayor and City Council is scheduled for January 5, 2006. The Mayor stated that the Inauguration Ceremonies for the City of Bloomingdale will be held at 5:00pm on January 5, 2006 at the Bloomingdale Community Building and since there were employees who wanted to attend the ceremony the offices would close promptly at 5:00pm.
Council was advised that the December meeting of CMA would be held on December 20, 2005 at the Civic Center and spouses were invited. If you plan to attend, please contact the City Hall as soon as possible.
The Mayor stated that the City Hall, police offices, and the maintenance department will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2005 and on Monday, January 2, 2006 for the Christmas & New Years’ Day holidays.
Mayor Rozier reported that council needed to hold an executive session for the purpose of discussing a personnel issue and this would be done after committee reports.
Mayor Rozier stated that this concluded those items submitted prior to the Monday, December 1, 2005 agenda deadline.
There were no committee reports made by the council members. Mayor Rozier asked Chief Gossett to give a report on the police building. The Chief stated that the police department had moved into the new building and were operational with the exception of a few minor problems. Once the paving of the parking lot is completed there would be a grand opening and dedication of the building and hopefully, this ceremony can be held before Christmas.
Councilman Johnson made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. A copy of the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act is attached to the original minutes.
After completion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Mayor Rozier stated that during the meeting personnel matters had been discussed.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Johnson made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Waller and Wedincamp were present at the meeting. Councilman Tyler was in attendance, but did not participate in the council meeting.