Official Minutes of Council Meeting July 16, 2009
approved by City Council 8-20-09
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. A draft copy of the minutes of the June 18, 2009 meeting was submitted to council with Councilman Myrick making a motion to approve the minutes with no changes. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The Mayor presented a draft copy of the minutes of the called meeting held on July 1, 2009 for council’s consideration. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes with no changes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Council reviewed the agenda for the July 16, 2009 meeting. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Under administrative and committee reports, Councilman Myrick reported that the Recreation Committee had contacted Dennis Baxter who was willing to draw up the plans for the handicapped bathrooms and downstairs meeting room as proposed for Taylor Park so the work could be put out for bids. The Mayor reported that the City had purchased the required 2.7 acres of wetlands credits as required by the state before the site preparation could begin on the baseball/softball field at Taylor Park and he had contacted Bobby Oglesby and instructed him to proceed with the work. Councilman Strozier stated that the side-arm mower was down and although the new budget will include a request to replace the mower, the repairs costing $2,000 needed to be done now to keep the grass cut.
Mayor Tipton asked for council’s endorsement of the submission of grant applications by Fire Chief Tyler for funds to use toward the purchase of fire equipment and the construction of a new fire station. Councilman Myrick made a motion to proceed with the submission of the grants, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the preparation of the water/sewer agreements with AMB Corporation were still underway. Mayor Tipton requested that the recording at City Hall be changed to include the acceptance of calls related to garbage cans not being emptied.
Mayor Tipton recognized Fire Chief Tyler who provided details related to the grant applications that were submitted on behalf of the fire department. The fire equipment application required 5% matching funds and $37,000 had been set aside from SPLOST monies for this purpose. The stimulus grant application for the fire station required the use of solar power, the construction of the building to meet certain “green” requirements and other additional items that were not in the original plans with the cost of the building estimated at $2.16 million dollars. Although the grant did not require financial participation by the City, in order to increase the credit points in the application, a $200,000 match from the City was shown. The Fire Chief noted that the close out date for applications was last Friday, but it would be approximately 90 days before the City would know if we were able to advance to the next stage of review.
The Mayor submitted the FY 2007/2008 audit report as prepared by Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPA for approval. Councilman Ray made a motion to accept the report as presented, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed an application from Hemin Patel for the issuance of a license for the sale of beer and wine at the convenience store located at #403 E. Highway 80. It was noted that the previous owner already had this type license, but Mr. Patel is the new owner of the store and must apply for a new license. City ordinance requires council approval on the issuance of a license for the sale of beer & wine within the City limits of Bloomingdale. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the issuance of the license, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a request for the issuance of a shallow well permit as submitted by Stacia Abernathy and Cathryn Wolfe for property located at Cregor & Lynn Street. The property is zoned RA-Rural, Agricultural. The Mayor recognized Ms. Abernathy who stated that the well would be used for the watering of horses and pasture grass. Ms. Abernathy was informed that when the timber was cut on the property, the contractor did not remove the temporary pipe that had been placed in the ditch nor had he repaired the damage that was done to the ditch by the trucks. Ms. Abernathy stated she had discussed this with the contractor who was going to do the stumping work and he included this work in his price. After discussing these issues, Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the issuance of the well permit after the issuance of the LDA permit and the completion of the repairs to the ditch. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Ms. Abernathy was reminded that the well could not be used for anything but irrigation and the watering of the horses.
The Mayor advised council that a resolution addressing the delay in the adoption of the FY 2009/2010 budget needed to be adopted. The resolution included restrictions regarding limitations on purchases and capital expenditures. Councilman Myrick made a motion to adopt said resolution, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. A work session to begin work on the 2009/2010 budget was discussed and council was advised they would be notified of the date and time as soon as possible.
Mayor Tipton reported that the council needed to adopt a resolution to secure the services of the Board of Elections of Chatham County to perform all duties as the municipal superintendent of elections, except the qualifying of candidates, and to perform the duties of absentee ballot clerk for the November 3, 2009 election. Council was advised that the resolution also included the setting of the qualifying dates and times for the election. Based on state guidelines, qualifying for the November 3, 2009 election will take place from 8:30am until 4:30pm commending August 31, 2009 and ending September 3, 2009 at 4:30pm with no qualifying to take place during the lunch hour between 12:30pm and 1:30pm. It was noted that the qualifying fees of $90 for Mayor and $45 for council were approved on January 15, 2009.
The council was advised that the Department of Transportation has notified the City that our LARP priority list for 2010 must be submitted by August 1, 2009. According to prior information received from the DOT, there were no funds available for the LARP 2009 requests. The priority list submitted in 2009 consisted of the following: 1) Poplar Street from U.S. Hwy 80 to Cregor Street – 2,000’; 2) Cregor Street from Cypress St. to Chestnut St. – 1,740’; and Walnut St. from U.S. Hwy 80 to Main St – 1,390’. Councilman Myrick made a motion to submit the same priority list to the DOT for 2010 as was submitted for 2009. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed rental procedures and fees for the new pavilion at Moore & Poplar Streets. The Recreation Committee recommended rental fees to reserve the pavilion of $50 per day for citizens and $75 per day for non-citizens. A $50 key deposit is to be charged for each reservation. The rental of the pavilion would be in addition to the cost for renting the community building. Council discussed whether or not to allow alcoholic beverages at the pavilion. Council was advised that due to problems that have already occurred, a “No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed” sign has been temporarily posted until council makes a decision on this issue. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made the motion to approve the fees as recommended by the committee and not to allow the use of any alcoholic beverages at the pavilion. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Council was advised that the public works department was making arrangements to provide a way to temporarily separate the parking areas in the event there are rentals from two different parties for the community building and the pavilion.
Mayor Tipton stated that he had received notification from the City of Pooler that Bloomingdale’s sewage treatment rate is increasing from $.72 to $1.78 per thousand gallons effective July 15, 2009 and the increase will be reflected on the September 1, 2009 billing. Council was advised that this increase would need to be addressed in the upcoming budget work sessions.
The councilmembers were advised that the MPC has contacted the City requesting the appointment of a representative from Bloomingdale to serve on the Chatham County Resource Protection Commission. The CCRPC was created in April, 2008 to preserve the natural, historic, cultural, and aesthetic heritage of Chatham County. The committee meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 2:00pm for approximately 1 to 2 hours. The City does not have anyone currently representing Bloomingdale on the committee. Councilman Rawlings volunteered to serve on the commission. Councilman Myrick made a motion to appoint Councilman Andrew Rawlings to the CCRPC, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that tonight’s agenda included consideration by council of two options regarding the 4.7 acres of property owned by G.M. Ortega located on Pine Barren Road that is being considered for the development of an apartment complex. Option #1 is the de-annexation of 4.7 acres of the Ortega property from Bloomingdale into the City of Pooler and Option #2 is to move forward with negotiations of a water/sewer agreement with the City of Pooler to serve the proposed development. During discussion of this issue, Councilman Strozier pointed out that the 72 units in the apartment complex would reduce the sewer capacity that would be available for 72 individual homes to be built in the City limits. Councilman Strozier pointed out that with part of the complex in Bloomingdale and part in Pooler, there would be different police and fire departments serving the area, the children would attend different schools and garbage pickups would be on different days. Citizen Jim Meyers stated that he felt the City should save its sewer capacity. Mayor Tipton pointed out that with the impact fees that would be gained from the apartment complex the City could obtain additional capacity and stated that the annual fire protection user fees of approximately $10,500 could be used toward fire equipment. It was noted that the Bloomingdale Police and Fire departments would respond to emergencies in both sections of the complex anyway. Citizen Zeke Boatright stated that he was opposed to deannexation of the property. Citizen Debra Brune stated she would like to see the property remain in Bloomingdale so the City could benefit from the fees that would be received from children that would be involved in our recreation program. Councilman Ray pointed out that the recreation program is not self-supporting, so additional expenditures would have to be budgeted for additional participants. Councilman Rawlings noted that the development of the apartment complex would provide additional greenspace that individual homes did not provide. After additional discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to move toward the deannexation of the Ortega property into the City of Pooler, the motion was seconded by Councilman Strozier. The motion received affirmative votes from Councilmembers Ray and Strozier. Councilmembers Waller, Rawlings, and Myrick voted against the motion and it did not pass.
Councilman Ray made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss attorney-client, land acquisition, and litigation issues. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilman Waller made a motion to return to the general session and execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
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 Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Respectfully submitted - Sandra Jones, City Clerk
Mayor Tipton and Councilmembers Myrick, Rawlings, Ray, Strozier and Waller attended 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.