December 4, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the November 20th meeting were reviewed. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Councilman Ray, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a check in the amount of $2400 to the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department on behalf of the Yesterday & Tomorrow Club whose members held a fund raiser for their benefit on November 14th & 15th.
Mayor Rozier reported that he had not yet heard anything from the DOT regarding their providing assistance with issues related to the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge, but he would attempt to contact them again before the next meeting.
The council was advised by Attorney Gerard that he is waiting to hear from the City of Pooler’s attorney regarding his review of the Pooler/Bloomingdale Wastewater Treatment Facility Agreement Amendment.
The Mayor stated that he has advised David Hicks that he must submit his request, in writing, to City Council to reoccupy the nonconforming mobile home on Hwy 80 and include his reasons for vacating the mobile home. Mayor Rozier also advised him to include information on the steps he plans to take to repair the mobile home prior to its occupancy; however, nothing as of this date has been received from Mr. Hicks. Council agreed that if nothing has been received from Mr. Hicks by the December 18th meeting this matter will be removed from the agenda until the information is submitted.
Attorney Gerard reported that he has filed a lawsuit against Barry Anderson and his company in State Court in the amount of $21,991.74, together with towing expenses of $2500, plus the City’s attorney’s fees. He pointed out that the Magistrate Court action was dismissed since the amount sought to be recovered is in excess of the $15,000 jurisdictional limit of that court and in order to file with State Court the action had to be dismissed. Attorney Gerard stated that he had been advised by Barry Anderson’s attorney that steps were being taken to recover these costs from Chatham County; however, he was advised that the City’s claim is against Mr. Anderson, not the county.
Councilman Tyler stated that he would present specifications and details on bids for the fencing at the lift station and well site at the January 15, 2004 meeting.
Councilman Tyler advised council that he would also present a proposal for increases in reconnection fees for water/sewer services disconnected for non-payment and extension of service hours for these connections at the January 15th meeting.
Attorney Gerard reported that he was still checking with other government agencies about the pros and cons of the operation of a City-owned cemetery.
Council was advised that the City has received a sign permit application from Randy Wood and it is under reviewed.
The council was also informed that Lanier Supply has not yet submitted any information as directed by the City on their upgrade to the sign advertising their business. It was noted that the salesman had made initial contact with the clerk’s office after receiving notification about possible sign ordinance violations and indicated he would submit the required information; however, it has not yet been received. The clerk pointed out that the Planning & Licensing Committee had discussed this matter at a meeting earlier in the day and agreed that the improvements that had been made to the sign did not appear to be substantial and directed her to ask them to provide some general information on these improvements to the City for the Chairman’s review.
Council was advised that Jimmy Kerby had provided a written response regarding the questions raised about the number of vehicles that were parked at #416 Chestnut Street. Although the notice was sent to Jamie Kerby, the property is actually owned by Jimmy Kerby. According to Mr. Kerby’s letter, some of the vehicles belonged to employees that were working out of town and others were construction workers doing work on Jamie’s residence. Attorney Gerard pointed out that although the property in question is located in a residential zone, the zoning ordinance allows parking lots in R-1 zones. Some questions were still raised about the vehicles since Mr. Kerby has a home occupation license and some of the vehicles were connected to the business. Mr. Kerby was present at the meeting and advised council that he would try to keep the number of vehicles parked at this location to a minimum. Based on the information provided by Attorney Gerard, council considered this issue resolved.
Mayor Rozier reported that he had presented the City’s requests for consideration during the 2004 Legislative Session to the Chatham County Legislative delegation on November 21st and copies of the requests had been mailed to each member of the delegation as well as Representative Ron Stephens and Senators Regina Thomas and Eric Johnson.
The Mayor presented for consideration the plat from Joseph Thomas & Brian Bland showing the shift in the location of the private roadway known as Howard Drive that was approved by council at the November 20th meeting. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the signing of said plat by the Mayor and Council, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from “Count it all Joy Ministries, Inc.” to apply their $100 rental fee that was paid for the use of the Bloomingdale Community Building on November 30th to another day. This church rents the building on a regular basis for Wednesdays and Sundays. They used the building on Wednesday and were supposed to keep the key until Sunday, but dropped it in the mail drop by mistake. The mistake was not discovered until Saturday, so the church had to meet at another location on Sunday, November 30th. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to allow their $100 rental fee to be applied to another rental period. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City had received a request from Billy Bland to use his father’s former office (R.E. Bland Construction Co.) for his own personal office. A copy of his request and the City’s Zoning Ordinance “Section 801.Accessory Uses” was submitted to council for their review. It was noted that Mr. Bland had previously requested that he be allowed to operate a business from this location, but was advised that this would be in violation of the City’s zoning ordinance. Mr. Bland is now requesting permission to use the building as a personal office instead. The council was advised that they needed to make a decision as to whether this would be an acceptable use for an accessory building and if so, there needs to be a clear understanding with Mr. Bland that it cannot be used for any type business operation. Attorney Gerard reported that the use of the building as a “personal office” would be an acceptable use as an accessory building; however, it could not be used as a business office. The clerk was instructed to notify Mr. Bland of this information.
Mayor Rozier presented a building permit request from Patrick Goodes at #18 Hiram Road to construct a 24’ x 36’ garage/storage building on his property. Since the building consists of over 500 sq.ft. of enclosed space, council must approve issuance of the permit. Council was advised that the plans do not include bathroom facilities and there are currently no other accessory buildings on the property. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve issuance of the building permit, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that citizen Debra Brant had submitted a request to be added to the agenda to discuss the subdividing of her property located at #1101E. Hwy 80. Ms. Brant stated that her neighbor is interested in purchasing two acres of her property. Council was informed that the property was previously under the name of Corine Brant who is deceased. Mayor Rozier asked Ms. Brant if she now owned the property and she advised him that she did. Councilman Johnson asked her when she acquired the property and she stated that it was deeded over to her prior to her mother’s death. Ms. Brant was informed that there are non-conforming use issues that need to be resolved. The zoning ordinance only allows one principal building on a lot and the mobile homes are non-conforming uses that cannot continue because the property has now changed hands. Ms. Brant stated that she has owned the property for over two years and this is the first time she has been made aware of these issues. It was noted that since the water and sewer services were still in Ms. Corine Brant’s name, the City did not have any notification there was a new owner, however, when the subdivision request was submitted, these questions were raised. Ms. Brant asked what options she had as far as keeping the mobile homes on the property. Attorney Gerard advised her that unless she could get the property rezoned for mobile homes and subdivide the property into lots that met the City’s requirements with proper road access, the mobile homes would have to be removed. Discussion of the possibility of rezoning the property and developing access continued for a short time, however, Mayor Rozier stated that this could not be resolved tonight so he felt the matters regarding the non-conforming issues needed to be tabled to allow Ms. Brant an opportunity to develop a plan to present for consideration. Citizen Paul Lovezzola, who wanted to purchase a portion of the property, asked what he had to present to the City regarding his acquisition of the land. Attorney Gerard stated that the property would have to be surveyed and a plat prepared that would transfer the property from Ms. Brant’s tract to Mr. Lovezzola’s tract and this action would be considered a recombination of the two lots that could be presented directly to council. This plat should be reviewed, approved, and signed by council prior to its recording to make sure it complies with the City’s ordinances. Mr. Lovezzola stated that he would have this plat prepared for submission to council.
On behalf of the personnel committee, Mayor Rozier presented recommendations for the payment of the employees’ Christmas Bonuses at the December 8, 2003 Christmas party and the initiation of the salary increases as included in the 2003/2004 budget effective January 5, 2004. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the Mayor’s recommendations, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recommended the cancellation of the January 1, 2004 council meeting since it falls on New Years’ Day. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the Mayor’s recommendation, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received the completed audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2003. The audit included one finding regarding the accounts receivable function of the police department and an answer to this finding must be submitted by the Chief of Police to the Department of Audits as soon as possible. It was noted that Debbie Butler is available to attend a future meeting to discuss any questions council may have after they have had an opportunity to review the report.
Mayor Rozier stated that this concludes the items submitted for the council meeting prior to the agenda deadline.
Councilman Johnson made a motion that council consider amending the agenda to add discussion of a problem that has just started on Pine Barren Road with trucks damaging the road. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson stated that he and General Services Supervisor Fett Burke had inspected a portion of Pine Barren Road where trucks that are hauling dirt from the Jabot tract are beginning to damage the roadway and he wanted to know how the City should handle the problem. Councilman Johnson stated that it was his understanding that this was a DOT project and we did not permit this land clearing activity, but he felt we should be able to hold them responsible for the damage to the road. Attorney Gerard pointed out that DOT projects would be exempt from our Soil & Sedimentation Control Ordinance, but we did have provisions for holding the contractor responsible for any roadway damage. Attorney Gerard asked who was doing the work and was advised that it was Douglas Asphalt. Attorney Gerard stated that he would handle the appropriate notifications. Councilman Johnson also pointed out that they had not installed a pipe in the ditch where they were driving on and off the property but if this caused drainage problems in the future we should make them install a culvert. Attorney Gerard stated he would include this information in the notice to the contractor.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized former Mayor, Billy Strozier, who was in attendance at the meeting.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.
Mayor Rozier and Councilmen Johnson, Ray, Tyler, Waller and Wedincamp were present at the meeting.