May 2, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier.
The Mayor read a proclamation declaring May 2, 2002 as “National Day of Prayer” and Reverend Darrell Bailey from the First Baptist Church of Bloomingdale led in prayer.
Mayor Rozier presented letters of commendation to Captain Roy Pike and Lieutenant Marta Street recognizing their volunteer efforts in training fellow officers at the Armstrong Atlantic State University (Savannah) Law Enforcement Training Center.
Ray Richard with OMI made a presentation to council offering his company’s services to assess our maintenance department to determine if they could save the City money by taking over its operation. Mr. Richard assured the City that there would be no cost involved in the company reviewing the operation. Mr. Richard pointed out that OMI had been in business since 1984 and handled several city and county maintenance, road, and water/sewer operations. Mr. Richard explained that if the City contracted with his company, they would make use of the City’s equipment and facilities, but would actually be the employer of the workers. Their company offered excellent health, life and retirement benefits for the employees. Since there would be no cost to the City to assess the operation of our maintenance department, the Mayor gave approval for Mr. Richard to meet with supervisors Fett Burke and Ernest Grizzard on Friday morning.
Council reviewed the minutes of the April 18, 2002 meeting. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that preparation of the water agreement with the City of Savannah was still underway.
Council was advised that prior to the City’s annexation of the county’s portion of Pine Barren Road, the road damage must be repaired either by the county or the contractor who was hauling the dirt when the damage occurred.
Councilman Mike Wedincamp stated that he had met with David Tyler concerning the drainage ditch on his property off Garvin Street and Mr. Tyler had agreed to provide easements to the City for the maintenance of this ditch. Councilman Wedincamp reported that on the side of the ditch next to the dwelling Mr. Tyler would grant the City a 10’ easement, but on the other side of the ditch the easement would run between 25’ and 40’. Councilman Wedincamp advised council that he felt the City should grant Mr. Tyler’s request for a front yard variance on this property as long as the dwelling was set back to where the property was at least 100’ wide. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that Mr. Tyler advised him that he would provide a plot plan outlining the proposed location of the dwelling that would meet the City’s requirements. Councilman Wedincamp suggested that we table any action on the variance until Mr. Tyler submitted the surveyed plat showing the dedication the drainage easement to the City and the plot plan. Councilman Waller made a motion to table any action on the variance until Mr. Tyler submitted the above-mentioned items. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed a proposal from EMC Engineering to conduct a drainage study for the football field at Taylor Park for a cost of $3500.00. Councilman Myrick stated that he would like to see the work on the football field started as soon as possible so it could be used this fall. After the discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute the contract with EMC Engineering for $3500 to conduct the drainage study. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray abstained from voting.
Citizen Roger Allen advised council that arrangements had been made with the Army to have helicopters at the Bloomingdale School on May 8th and asked that the Bloomingdale Police Department be available to help them during the visit. Chief Anderson stated he would have officers at the school to provide whatever assistance was needed. Mr. Allen also reported that the Bloomingdale School was participating in a Book Fair with the assistance of Barnes & Noble and asked that anyone interested in helping support this program to visit the book store this weekend.
Reverend Tom Spaide and Travis Youmans, representatives from the Bloomingdale Church of the Nazarene, advised council they planned to have an outdoor gospel sing on May 4, 2002 with the Smileys, James Bradley, and Beth Ferguson scheduled to perform. Mr. Youmans explained that the sing would last from about 6pm until 8pm. Mayor Rozier asked them what type sound system they planned to use and was advised that the performers would be providing this equipment. The Mayor explained that there had been numerous complaints from citizens concerning the volume of the music coming from an outdoor revival conducted by a nearby church several weeks ago and council wanted to make sure that this would not happen during their event. Reverend Spaide and Mr. Youmans assured the Mayor and City Council that they would keep the volume under control so it would not disturb the neighbors. Based on their assurance, there were no objections from the Mayor or council for the church to proceed with their plans for the outdoor gospel sing.
Council considered a request from Brian Smith for a home occupation license to operate a septic tank installation/drainage field repair business from his residence located at #85 Godley Road. Mr. Smith indicated there would be no outside traffic coming to the residence and he would not be posting a sign. Councilman Wedincamp asked if he would be using a pump truck or any other large equipment in the business that would be parked at the residence and was advised that the only vehicle that will be parked at the residence would be his personal pickup truck. Based on this information, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Brian Smith at #85 Godley Road to conduct his septic tank installation/drainage field repair business. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier advised council that Attorney Gerard had prepared a resolution for council’s consideration approving the merger between AT&T Broadband Corporation and Comcast Corporation. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve adoption of said resolution, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard presented an ordinance, as requested by council, providing for the annexation of the Union Camp property known as Part of the Carter Brothers Tract between U.S. Interstate 16 and the Little Ogeechee River. Council was advised that this was an unincorporated island located off Bloomingdale Road that had not been included in previous annexation because Union Camp was not interested, at that time, in becoming part of the City. Attorney Gerard pointed out that current laws no longer allowed these islands and the City could annex the property without their approval. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the first reading of the annexation ordinance, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp abstained from voting. Councilman Waller made a motion to dispense with the second reading of the ordinance, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp abstained from voting. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the adoption of the annexation ordinance for the Union Camp property and Councilman Johnson seconded the motion. The motion passed with five affirmative votes with Councilman Wedincamp abstaining.
Council reviewed proposals from both EMC Engineering and Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. to prepare the City’s Consumer Confidence Report for 2002 that is due for distribution to water customers by July 1, 2002. Both firms agreed to perform the work for a maximum charge of $500. Council was advised that EMC Engineering has not prepared this report for any other water provider in the past; however, Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. has been preparing the City’s report since 1998 with last year’s charge being $385. Council discussed the proposals and decided that since the costs were the same, they would like to give another firm an opportunity to do some work for the City. Councilman Johnson made a motion to accept the proposal from EMC Engineering, Inc. to prepare the City’s CCR for 2002 at a cost not to exceed $500. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray abstained from voting.
Chief Anderson advised council that he would like to present a request to appoint a Bloomingdale officer to serve on the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team. The Chief pointed out that the City had provided officers in the past, but when our last representative resigned, he had not been replaced. Chief Anderson stated that the officer would serve for two years and all costs related to the officer would be reimbursed to the City by CNT. Councilman Johnson asked what benefit would the appointment be to the Bloomingdale Police Department and the Chief explained that it offered very good training for the officer on dealing with narcotics and preparation of warrants that could be beneficial to the department if and when the officer transferred back to duty in Bloomingdale. Councilman Johnson asked which officer was interested in transferring to CNT and the Chief advised him that Corporal Ted Knowles had volunteered for the assignment. Councilman Johnson asked if the City would be obligated to return Corporal Knowles to duty in Bloomingdale if he decided to leave CNT and the Chief stated that we would probably have to put him back to work in Bloomingdale. The Chief also advised council that we would need to appoint another officer to the force to replace Corporal Knowles as soon as possible. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the appointment of an officer to serve on the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team and appoint another officer to fill the vacancy on Bloomingdale’s force, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Chief Anderson presented a proposal from another probation service that requested an opportunity to offer their services to the Bloomingdale Police Department and asked if Attorney Gerard needed to review the information. Chief Anderson was asked if the department was satisfied with the service being provided by the current probation service and the Chief stated that they had been doing a good job. Council agreed that they were not interested in making a change at the current time.
The council was advised that GMA was requesting council approve the appointment of James A. Neal, Chairman or Mayor Jay Powell, Vice-Chairman as the agent and proxy to attend the annual meeting of GMEBS (Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System), the WCSIF (Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Fund) and GIRMA (Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency) to be held on Sunday, June 23rd at 10:00am in Savannah, Georgia with full powers to vote and act for the City on matters addressed by these entities at said meeting. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said appointments, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that GMA is also requesting the City designate one voting delegate, an alternate delegate, and/or a proxy to officially represent Bloomingdale for the business session to be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 from 10:00am-10:45am during the GMA Annual Convention. Council was advised that the meeting will be held to elect its Board of Directors for 2002-2003 and to consider proposed changes to the GMA Convention and By-laws. Since Mayor Rozier and Councilman Tyler planned to attend the convention and agreed to represent Bloomingdale at the business meeting, Councilman Myrick made a motion to appoint Mayor Rozier as the voting delegate and Councilman Tyler as the alternate delegate. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that they needed to address the response from Bill Saxman on the rezoning requests for properties located on the south side of Hwy 80 between Wildcat Dam Road and Patrick Ave. The council was reminded that Mr. Saxman’s recommendation was to deny these petitions because they do not comply with the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Saxman pointed out; however, that council may want to consider some changes in the City’s Comprehensive Plan during the Short Term Work Program (STWP) that is due for completion by October, 2003. Council discussed the need to set up a meeting with Mr. Saxman to discuss the preparation of the update to the plan and to give the council and the Planning Commission members an opportunity to meet him. Councilman Tyler made a motion to set up a meeting with Mr. Saxman to include the elected officials and members of the Planning Commission. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The clerk was instructed to contact Mr. Saxman about meeting sometimes within the next couple of weeks.
Councilman Johnson reported that he had been contacted by a citizen living on Osteen Road and asked about someone wanting to purchase some of her land to add to other property they were developing in the area for homes. The citizen stated that she had been informed the developer had already secured water and sewer for the property and she wanted to know if this information was correct. Councilman Johnson asked if anyone else knew about this development because he had not heard anything about it. None of the elected officials indicated they were aware of these plans, but Ernest Grizzard stated he had been asked about whether or not City water and sewer were in the area and he had advised the person he talked with that it was available.*Note: Councilman Wedincamp asked that the following information be added to this line: ….but the person needed to contact the City Council about obtaining the water/sewer service. Council members agreed that in the future any inquires about water and sewer extensions or property development should be direct to the City Council.
Wayne Tipton, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, advised council that the members of this committee had some concerns about the City being able to provide services to the areas proposed for annexation. Mayor Rozier advised Mr. Tipton that the annexation request had not been approved. Mr. Tipton reported that the Planning & Zoning Commission had discussed future development along Hwy 80 and wanted council to consider adopting facade requirements for these buildings. Councilman Johnson pointed out that was the type of information we could discuss with Mr. Saxman when we met with him about the update to the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. Tipton raised some questions about some previous zoning issues related to areas that had been annexed into the City and these were discussed with Attorney Gerard and other council members. Council agreed that some of these issues could also be discussed during the update to the plan and if changes were needed that would be beneficial to the City as a whole they could be included in the update.
Councilman Wedincamp advised council that one of our citizens, Ruby White, had experienced a water leak at her property last month while she was in the hospital and the water bill was over $300. He expressed his concern that the City does not have any mechanism to help citizens out with these type bills and suggested we consider giving citizens the opportunity to contribute, on a voluntary basis, a small sum toward a fund to be used for this type situation. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt there may be some other way to assist citizens who cannot afford to pay this type bill—maybe through the community benevolence fund. Council agreed that there could be problems trying to determine exactly who would qualify for distribution of these funds. Attorney Gerard stated that he would check with other cities to see how they handled similar situations.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Myrick made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
All members were present at the meeting.