Official Minutes of Council Meeting – August 19, 2010
approved by council September 16, 2010
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with Councilman Baxter leading in prayer. Council reviewed the draft copy of the minutes of the July 15, 2010 meeting with Councilman Crosby making a motion to approve the minutes with no changes, Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the agenda of the August 19, 2010 meeting with the addition of real estate to the executive session. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that Councilman Rawlings would not be at tonight’s meeting due to sickness.
During administrative and committee reports Councilwoman Griffin reported the church softball league had ended well and the new baseball/softball field at Taylor Park is underway with the items for completion being fencing, backstops and dugouts. Councilman Crosby reported that the planning commission is continuing to hold monthly workshops and welcomed new member, Betty Burke, who attended her first meeting this month. Mayor Tipton reported that the General Services Committee met today with the contractor for Phase I of the drainage plan and they had reached an agreement to finish the remaining items for Phase I to bring that portion of the drainage plan to a close. The Mayor reported that the public meeting held this month for Phase II of the drainage plan was well attended by citizens, council, and the engineers. He also reported that the engineers are in the process of surveying property to gather the data needed for the plans of the second phase. When the plans are ready there would be another public meeting scheduled for citizen review. Mayor Tipton complimented and thanked the maintenance department on the upkeep at the community building. Mayor Tipton stated that he was issued a life membership and T-shirt from the Bloomingdale History Society.
Councilman Baxter advised council that Groundworks Contracting had submitted two (2) change orders for replacement of unsuitable soil under the foundation area of the fire station and council will be looking at the first change order. Council was advised that when the old building was put in place, there was some unsuitable materials left on the site and soil had been put over that material prior to the construction of the old building. Councilman Baxter recognized Mark Crapps with Kern-Coleman Engineering who reported as the construction began for the new building the contractor began to see unsuitable material that included organics (wood debris). Additional testing was done by Whitaker Laboratories and they discovered that this material was significantly deep. With this finding the recommendation was to remove three additional feet of the material, put stabilization fabric down and backfill to secure a good building pad. Mr. Crapps also advised that additional bores were performed to determine whether the relocation of the building would be favorable but it was more cost efficient to place the building at the planned site. A meeting was held with the contractor requesting they review their cost to see if there were some areas that could be reduced and the contractor agreed. Councilman Baxter advised that the funds for this change order would be coming from the SPLOST account, not the general fund. Councilman Baxter made a motion to approve the change order for items #1-7 at a cost of $28,195. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion. Citizen comments received from Buddy Burke, James Myers and Billy Strozier which were addressed by the engineer. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor advised council that AMB Properties has requested to convert the “temporary” Certificate of Occupancy to a “permanent” Certificate of Occupancy for the warehouse space being occupied by the Mitzui Company. Councilman Baxter reported that the tenant build out for the warehouse was completed as required but the city issued a temporary certificate of occupancy to negotiate with AMB on items that did not affect the building. These items included the lift station, utilities, etc. Councilman Baxter made a motion to issue a permanent certificate of occupancy and continue discussion with AMB on the items mentioned above. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton advised council that the City has submitted a priority list to the DOT for the resurfacing of local streets under the LMIG (formerly LARP) program. Councilman Kerby reported that the state has allotted $20,000 for the resurfacing of the streets in Bloomingdale and the list of streets included: Hickory St. from Moore to Main; Cregor St. from Chestnut to Cypress; and Church St. from Hwy 80 to Main. Councilman Kerby made a motion to authorize the execution of the Right of Way Certification form and include striping of the roadways for the submitted list. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented two payment requests from Kern-Coleman & Co. on behalf of Groundworks Contracting Inc. for work performed on the site work for the fire station. Pay request #1 is for period ending June 21, 2010 in the amount of $23,335.58 & pay request #2 is for period ending July 27, 2010 in the amount of $23,953.95. Councilman Baxter stated that a letter has been received from the engineers recommending payment of these requests. Councilman Baxter made a motion to pay the invoices in the total amount of $47,289.53. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented a recommendation from EMC Engineering for the payment of Payment Request #3 in the amount of $54,943.65 on behalf of R. B. Baker for work performed on the Stagecoach Road project through July 28, 2010. Councilman Kerby made a motion to approve the payment of Request #3 in the amount of $54,943.65. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Nanci Zabko who submitted a request for a home occupational license to operate the office only of a design work/arts & crafts business from her residence located at #405 Maple Street. Ms. Zabko indicated she is the only employee and she will be making crafts and taking them to festivals or craft shows. Councilman Crosby made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue the license. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion. Councilman Baxter expressed concern and caution to Ms. Zabko that a home occupation license is for the “office only” portion of the business and should be confined to the inside of the home with no evidence of a business being operated at the residence. Ms. Zabko indicated she understood these guidelines and would be making the crafts inside of her home and would have no business traffic. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton recognized Bernice James, wife of property owner Jesse James, who asked to address council regarding a waiver of the water impact fee to tap into the city water service for their rental property located at #10 White Drive. Ms. James indicated the property is currently served by a private well. Councilman Crosby and Councilman Baxter explained to Ms. James that the impact fee ordinance is in place and when someone who was never been served by city water wishes to tap into the city service they are required to pay the water impact fee. Councilman Baxter also explained that there are other services which include sewer, public safety, recreation and roads that require paying an impact fee but since the city is already serving her property with sewer she would not have to pay these other fees. Ms. James questioned what the impact fee covers and Attorney Dickey explained that the monies received from impact fees pay for current infrastructure that is not being used and future infrastructure that the city would be required to fund. After additional discussion, Ms. James decided she would make improvements to her existing well instead of tapping into the city water service.
The Mayor advised that there has been an increase in the bank charges the City is required to pay for returned checks. The rate has increased from $5.00 to $10.00. Councilman Myrick made a motion to change the returned check charge fee to $35.00 effective immediately and to post a notice of these charges at City Hall. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor advised council that Sue Hargrove, President of the Garden Club, submitted a request to seek permission from council on behalf of the Bloomingdale Garden Club and the History Society to begin renovating the brick house located at #205 E. Hwy 80. The two clubs are requesting to have a legal contract drawn up to allow them access to the building for their meetings. They are also requesting that the building be a “Welcome Center” for historical items and artifacts relating to Bloomingdale. Ms. Hargrove informed council that the two clubs are in the process of pursing grants and fundraisers to help finance the renovations. Councilman Baxter stated he felt this is a positive move, but we should allow the City Attorney to draw up a lease agreement for council’s review before moving forward. Mayor Tipton expressed his appreciation for the clubs taking an interest to pursue this type project. The City Attorney advised Ms. Hargrove to have the clubs draw up a list of their desires for the property so he can begin working on an agreement. Attorney Dickey advised the city officials that a council body cannot bind another council to an agreement but an automatic renewal could be a part of the agreement.
Mayor Tipton presented a request from Patrick Graham with the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to support its efforts to acquire a Department of Transportation Small Community Air Service Development Grant by submitting a letter of support of the application to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant application will help to obtain a low cost carrier at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Councilman Baxter advised that there is no cost involved in this and made a motion to draft a letter to show our support for the airport. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick informed council that the owner of the building at #5 Adams Road has a list of office furniture and/or items that are in the building and wanted to offer these to the city at a cost of $3,000. Council agreed that the owner should supply the city with an itemized list with a cost per item and allow the City Clerk and staff to go review the items to see what would be of use to the city. The Garden Club requested that the city consider their needs when reviewing the items.
Councilwoman Griffin reminded council that discussion had been held previously on scheduling a retreat to allow councilmembers to have an informal discussion in a round table atmosphere. Council was advised that a place has been secured at no cost to the city. Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to hold a planning retreat on September 18, 2010. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion. During discussion Councilman Myrick asked where the retreat will be held and was advised by Councilman Baxter that a good practice during a retreat is to have the engineer attend and update the council on the current projects within the City, therefore, Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung have agreed to allow the city the use of their conference room located at #329 Commercial Drive in Savannah. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Baxter made a motion to adjourn into executive session for the discussion of real estate and potential litigation. Councilman Crosby 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 to execute the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton recognized Steve Terry who was attending the meeting on behalf of his father, Tom Terry. Tom Terry had submitted a request for reimbursement of $6300 for expenses he incurred during the process of obtaining a building permit to place an additional structure on his property on Adams Road. According to Tom Terry, during a meeting with members of the Planning & Zoning Committee at his property on Adams Road, recommendations were given to him that were to help him to acquire a building permit. During the process of acting on these recommendations, Mr. Terry created a fourth lot on his property which then consisted of a major rather than a minor subdivision. The guidelines for submission and approval of a major subdivision were provided to Tom Terry, but not all of these steps have yet been completed and he wants reimbursement of the monies he has already spent rather than continuing to pursue the acquisition of a building permit. Attorney Dickey informed Steve Terry that although a councilmember may give a recommendation, the requirements of the ordinances must be followed. He further stated that all official action on a matter must go through an official council meeting in which a vote would be taken. Attorney Dickey advised Steve Terry that it appears his father, Tom Terry, had followed the majority of the steps required for what he was trying to accomplish and once he properly completed the remaining requirements of the ordinance, it would be difficult for the permit request to be denied. No action was taken by council on Tom Terry’s request for reimbursement.
The accounts payable were reviewed with Councilman Myrick making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Kerby made a motion to adjourn at 8:50pm. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Respectfully submitted, Diane Proudfoot, Assistant City Clerk
Mayor Tipton and councilmembers Baxter, Crosby, Griffin, Kerby, and Myrick were present at the meeting. Councilman Rawlings was out sick.
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.