Official minutes of Council Meeting – January 15, 2009
approved by City Council 2-5-09
Mayor Tipton called the meeting to order. The Mayor reported that employee Janice Williams was in the hospital with pneumonia, Planning Commission Chairman Dexter Shearouse had undergone some very serious surgery this week, and Public Works employee James Sikes had lost his mother last Friday. Councilman Myrick expressed concerns for these employees and their family as he led in prayer. The Mayor stated that Councilwoman Winn was out of town.
Mayor Tipton presented the minutes of the December 4, 2008 council meeting and the called council meeting of December 22, 2008 for approval. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve these minutes, but there was no second to the motion. Mayor Tipton asked for comments from council on why the motion on the minutes failed to receive a second. Councilman Myrick stated that he did not remember some of the comments that were included in the minutes of the December 4th meeting and wanted to discuss them before they were approved. The Mayor presented the minutes of the December 22, 2008 called council meeting for council’s consideration. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 22nd meeting and Councilman Waller seconded the motion. The motion passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Strozier, and Waller. Councilman Rawlings abstained from voting. Attorney Dickey suggested the minutes of the December 4th meeting be tabled to allow councilmembers an opportunity to further review them. Councilman Ray made a motion to table the December 4, 2008 minutes for further review, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Under administration and committee reports, Mayor Tipton asked Pat Gaddy with Thomas & Hutton provide an update on the progress of the drainage canal. Mr. Gaddy reported that the project was going well. The problems with the wing walls have been corrected and all but one has been installed. The grassing is being put in place, the riprap is installed on all culverts except “C” and the contractor expects to be finished with the project by next month. The Mayor asked when the budget information would be distributed to department heads. Administrator Brady reported that the clerk’s office was working on this information, but had been shorthanded over the last couple of weeks. The Mayor was advised that a financial statement reporting the expenditures of each department should be available by the end of the month.
There was no old business discussed.
Under new business, Mayor Tipton presented for council’s consideration the appointment of Tom Edenfield to serve as the Recorders’ Court Judge for Bloomingdale for 2009 at a salary of $1050 per month and the appointments of Bob and Brandon Galloway to serve as Judge Pro-tems for the Recorders’ Court in 2009. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointments of these judges and the salary for Judge Edenfield. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a proposal received from Attorney Earle Duncan to continue representing indigent defendants as the Public Defender for Bloomingdale’s Recorders’ Court for the 12-month period from March, 2009 through February, 2010 for a fee of $3700. Attorney Dickey stated he had talked with Attorney Duncan and he felt this fee was more than reasonable based on the fees charged for similar positions in the county. Councilman Ray made a motion to accept the proposal from Attorney Duncan and appoint him as Public Defender, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that in January of each year council designates a floating holiday for the full-time employees. The requested date to be considered for 2009 is President’s Day to be observed on Monday, February 16th. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve February 16, 2009 as the floating holiday for 2009, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented for council’s consideration Pay Request #1 for $27,623 as submitted by O.C.S., Inc. for the work performed at the Bloomingdale Park. Mayor Tipton recognized Tim Baumgartner with EMC who explained that this invoice is a fair representation of the work performed so far and that EMC recommends payment of the invoice. During discussions related to the park, Councilman Strozier pointed out that there were three diseased trees that should be taken down and Councilman Myrick agreed that if there were problems with these trees, it would be better to remove them now. The Mayor asked that Mr. Brady get with the contractor to see about having the trees taken down before the parking area or shelter were installed. After this discussion, Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve payment of the request for $27,623 as submitted by the contractor. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed approval of a change order for the mucking of an additional 500 yards of material at the Bloomingdale Park at a cost of $12,000. Tim Baumgartner explained that the original contract had included some mucking work, but it was noted at the time the project was bid that until the work actually started it would be difficult to know exactly how much of the existing material would have to be removed. Mr. Baumgartner stated that when the contractor made this request, he had EMC’s geotechnical engineer review the information and he agreed that this was necessary to insure the stability of the parking area. Councilmembers questioned having to muck the area since concrete was being used for the parking lot instead of asphalt. Mr. Baumgartner explained that the only way the contractor could guarantee the pavement would not crack or break-up was to put down a good base and the type soil that was there now was very wet and did not drain well. It was noted that the contractor had cut a ditch through the middle of the area to be paved to try to dry it out, but it had not eliminated the problem. Mr. Baumgartner pointed out that three different people had come to the same conclusion that mucking the area was the best solution to the problem. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve a change order for $12,000 for the mucking of an additional 500 yards of materials from the Bloomingdale Park as requested by the contractor and recommended by the engineer. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that plans were underway to construction another ball field at Taylor Park, however, the section of the park that is being considered for the field contains two areas flagged as wetlands. The Mayor noted that Tim Baumgartner with EMC has been working on this project and asked him to explain the situation to council. Mr. Baumgartner noted that a couple of options had been considered for the development of the ball field and their recommendation would be to mitigate the larger wetlands area by purchasing credits from the wetlands bank controlled by the Corps of Engineers which is required so that there is no net loss of wetlands. This process requires the gathering of information on the area and the submission of a permit to the Corps and the purchase of the credits with a total cost of approximately $17,000. This process takes approximately 90 days. Once the permit is obtained and the area filled, there would be a waiting period before construction could begin to allow for the settling of the fill. Both Councilman Myrick and Recreation Director Young stressed the need for the additional field. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the initiation of the mitigation process and the $17,000 expense. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that the City had received a request from Alejandro Sanchez for a home occupation license at #165 Wallace Circle, but Mr. Sanchez was not present at the meeting. Councilman Waller made a motion to table action on this request until Mr. Sanchez could attend a meeting. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised a request for a home occupation license had been submitted by Stephen Klahr to operate the office of a business involving e-commerce from his residence located at #104 Boulevard Street. Mr. Klahr explained that he would be setting up a Web-site to sell merchandise via the internet, but advised council that there would be no inventory delivered or stored at his residence and he would be the only employee. After a brief discussion, Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue the home occupation license to Mr. Klahr. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton stated that state law requires that the City Council fix and publish the qualifying fees for the Mayor and City Council for the November 3, 2009 elections by February 1, 2009 and the fees should be 3% of the total gross salary of the office as paid in the preceding year. It was noted that the qualifying fees for Mayor would be $90 and for City Council would be $45. Based on this information, Councilman Ray made a motion to fix and publish the fees as noted. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Republic Waste Services of Savannah, Inc. had submitted notification of an increase in their rates of 3% effective January 1, 2009 as based on the Consumer Products Index. It was noted that the CPI was different from the PADD rates used as the basis for fuel surcharges. City Administrator Brady advised council that in order to maintain the level of revenue needed for the expenditures included in the adopted budget, there would have to be an increase in sanitation rates charged by the City to offset Republic’s increase. The Mayor recognized Citizen Jim Meyers who expressed his concerns about the City increasing user fees rather than going to a tax since property owners do not get credit on their income taxes for user fees. Mayor Tipton recognized Steve Hart who stated he was the operations manager for Republic Waste Services and he thanked council for considering approval of the 3% increase. Councilman Myrick noted that although the contract did not include the CPI increases, he felt they were warranted, but had to agree with Mr. Brady that the City’s rates would have to reflect the 3% increase. After additional discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the 3% CPI increase for Republic Waste on the sanitation rates they charged to the City and to increase by 3% the sanitation rates charged by the City to their customers. Councilman Ray seconded the motion. The motion passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Strozier, and Waller. Councilman Rawlings voted against the motion.
Mayor Tipton stated that council needed to discuss setting the annual sanitation rates for D.K. Morgan’s mobile home parks for 2009. It was noted that the City’s policy has been to base Mr. Morgan’s annual fees on the monthly rate times the number of occupied lots in each park as of January 1st and his rate was $1.00 per month less than the regular sanitation fee provided he pays the fees for all of his parks, in advance. Councilman Ray made a motion to allow the $1.00 reduction in the monthly fees provided Mr. Morgan paid the monthly fees for all of his parks in advance. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Citizen Barbara Rawlings stated that a friend of hers lived in one of the parks and she said she does not receive the newsletters from the City. Ms. Rawlings was advised that with the adoption of the fire protection fees, the City has been able to obtain individual addresses for the mobile home owners and these will help to get copies out to more of these citizens. It was noted that there had been some discussion of the possibility of offering a similar discount to those citizens who pay their fire and sanitation fees a year in advance. However, there will need to be some investigation of the costs involved in setting up the computer programs to accept this type arrangement and an amendment to the ordinance would need to be considered. Mr. Morgan asked if arrangements could be made to receive the trash service at the parks and was advised by Councilman Strozier that he had already talked with Public Works Superintendent Grizzard about having the trash truck add the parks to their weekly runs.
Council was advised that the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board has requested approval of the following appointments to the board: Debbie Shearouse – term to expire 6-30-09; Amber Mullenix & Sonya Carpenter - terms to expire 6-30-2010. The board has also requested the approval of the removal of member Tori Goodman from the board. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the requests from the board. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that the City had received a request from the Bloomingdale History Society to use, at no charge, the Bloomingdale Community Building on February 9, 2009 for their annual meeting. The Mayor noted that during the pre-agenda meeting when questions were raised about the fees being waived for a function not sponsored by the City, Councilmember Myrick had agreed to pay the fee. Councilman Ray had agreed to pay ½ of the $100 fee. Citizen Barbara Rawlings expressed her appreciation to these councilmembers and stated that she would like to invite everyone to their annual meeting. She pointed out there would be a display of quilts and other handwork with the activities beginning at 11:00am and the event would end with a chili supper.
Mayor Tipton stated that the minor subdivision for the AMB Property Corporation was removed from the agenda by the developer and that he had requested removal of the agenda item related to the presentation of information on the fire building by Boswell Design.
The Mayor recognized Herbert Black who wanted to discuss the City of Bloomingdale providing water and sewer for the development of his property located at Osteen Road and Main Street. Mr. Black stated that just prior to the meeting, he had received a copy of a water and sewer agreement from Attorney Dickey, but he had not had a chance to review its contents. Mr. Black pointed out that he had attended a meeting with members of the water and sewer committee several weeks ago and he had been advised that the City would provide him water and sewer at a cost of approximately $6,000 per lot provided construction of the project started within the next 24 months. Mr. Black stated that in his brief review of the water and sewer agreement there appeared to be other costs he was not anticipating. City Attorney Dickey stated the agreement was a rough draft that would need to be adjusted to include figures and timetables that both parties could agree to. However, the City could not invest any funds in water or sewer services for this project unless an executed water and sewer service agreement was in place to guarantee recovery of monies it may spend on the project. Mr. Black stated that he understood that, but all he needed tonight was verbal agreement from the City that they were willing to provide water and sewer service for the 78 residential lots located at Osteen Road and West Main Street. Discussion continued on the specific contents of the water and sewer service agreement as related to ERU’s, letters of credit, impact fees, engineering fees, and recovery of costs expended by the City. Attorney Dickey pointed out that the City cannot allocate its water and sewer resources without a definite timetable for construction to begin. Councilman Ray made a motion that the City will agree to provide water and sewer service for the 78 residential lots located at Osteen Road and West Main Street provided both Herbert Black and the City of Bloomingdale execute the water and sewer service agreement prior to any monies related to the development being expended by the City of Bloomingdale. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton informed council that discussions were being held with AMB Property Corporation regarding the metering station and he felt this issue would soon be resolved.
The Mayor noted an executive session had been requested for the discussion of acquisition of property, attorney/client and personnel issues. Councilman Strozier made a motion to adjourn into executive session, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilman Myrick made a motion to return to the general session and execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Law. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Ray made a motion to execute payment of the accounts payable, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton and Councilmembers Myrick, Rawlings, Ray, Strozier and Waller were present at the meeting. Councilwoman Winn was out of town.
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.