Official Minutes December 6, 2018 Council Meeting
Approved by City Council at the January 3, 2019 Council Meeting
The Council meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Planning Commission Chair Dexter Shearouse giving the Invocation. Councilmembers Griffin, Grizzard, Harley, Kerby, Key, Otakie, Attorney Dickey, City Administrator Akridge and City Clerk Diane Proudfoot were present.
Councilman Grizzard made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the November 1, 2018 council meeting. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to approve the agenda of the December 6, 2018 council meeting with the addition of Item IIIA. Executive Session to discuss Attorney Client Privilege and Real Estate and Item #5 Purchase of two Police cars from SPLOST in the amount of $44,000 each. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Councilman Harley recognized Former Councilman Dennis Baxter and ask him to give a report of his health and Mr. Baxter reported that for the last 18 months he has been battling cancer and due to answered prayers was given a report yesterday that he was cancer free!
Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to adjourn into Executive Session to discuss Attorney Client Privilege and Real Estate. Councilman Otakie seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Mayor Rozier stated that the Public Hearing will take place as soon as executive session is over.
At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to return to the general session. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Law. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Mayor Rozier stated that Mr. Kleinpeter has requested over the phone to Attorney Dickey and Councilman Harley that the rezoning request be tabled due to Mr. Waller having the Flu and further stated that the Public Hearing would take place.
Zoning Map Amendment request from petitioner Michael Kleinpeter on behalf of property owner Horace B. Waller who is petitioning to rezone property located on the Southwest side of Bloomingdale Road adjacent to the Seaboard Coastline Railroad identified by PIN #8-0004-01-012A from RA-1 (Agricultural) to I-1 (Intensive Industry)
Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to open the Public Hearing. Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Mayor Rozier opened with the reading of the following: Proponents for the proposed zoning action, including the petitioner or the petitioner's agent requesting the zoning decision, shall have no less than ten (10) minutes for the presentation of data, evidence, and opinions; opponents of the proposed zoning decision shall have no less than ten (10) minutes for the presentation of data, evidence, and opinions. So long as each side is given no less than ten (10) minutes for the presentation of data, evidence, and opinions, the Hearing Officer may limit repetitious comments in the interest of time and may call for a show of hands of those persons present in favor of or opposed to the proposed zoning decision.
Mayor Rozier opened the floor for comments from anyone to speak in favor of the proposed rezoning: None
Mayor Rozier opened the floor for comments from anyone in opposition of the proposed rezoning:
Dennis Baxter - 501 Cherry Street
Pointed out that Mr. Waller had appointed a spokesperson authority to speak on his behalf and he would not even have to be present but he understands that Mayor & Council is given this as a courtesy but he did appoint a spokesperson and also acknowledge that neither one had appeared at the Planning Commission meeting but a partner spoke at that meeting. He would like to ask Council to please look over the Zoning Criteria checklist and they will see that there is nothing that would agree with the rezoning of the property from Single Family Residential/Agricultural to Industrial. One being spot zoning at its worst taking one of the lowest level zonings Single Family Residential/Agricultural to Industrial. Traffic that would be created on a road that one part has only a 50' right of way and the other is a 60' right of way, which is what is required in subdivisions so basically you will be allowing heavy truck traffic on an interior road. If you ride out and check from the railroad track on Bloomingdale Road to where Jimmy DeLoach will be coming in there are three dangerous curves and there are no traffic lights. If this is rezoned the warehouse will be rented to whoever comes up with the money and if rezoned anything allowed in I-1 would be permitted.
Traffic -Another issue is the recreation department is growing and the traffic will be increased and the route to the park will be a hazard. There will be a domino effect if this is approved, although it was denied last year and they have resubmitted with a decrease of the lot size, the adjoining property will come next.
Threat of law suits - he has heard there is a threat of suing the City if this request does not pass but there would be a great probability of residents who would have the right to sue due to the destruction of their property value.
Petition - has a petition of approximately 125 citizens that do not want this area Industrial or Heavy Commercial and would be happy to leave a copy but would have more names for the next meeting.
Mr. Waller has been opposed to a residential development on the same property due to it creating more traffic.
Michael Jordan - 410 Chestnut Street - added to Mr. Baxter's statements that warehouse will evidentially become an eyesore and the tractor trailer traffic will be bad. Grange Road in Port Wentworth is a fine example of the damage that comes from the trucking business.
Willene Stone - 804 Bloomingdale Road - stated that she attended the Planning & Zoning meeting and is not opposed to jobs being created for Bloomingdale but this will not improve property values.
Another issue is there is no City water and sewer in this area so how will it affect the water level.
Traffic is a scary thought of how dangerous the intersection will be with the trucks and cars flying off the parkway.
There is no place to pull over to allow emergency passage.
She does not see any benefit for anyone except Mr. Waller profiting from the land.
William Strozier - 305 E. Cregor Street - when Jimmy DeLoach is developed then Bloomingdale Road & Cherry Street, which are state streets now, will revert to a city street and when the trucks tear it up the citizens will have to pay for repairing and that is a major issue.
Loraine Phillips - 504 W. Hwy 80 - owns property next to the proposed and is concerned for the property value and the traffic that will be created. She request that council please vote no on this proposal as she has talked to a lot of people regarding this development and everyone is opposed due to the traffic and the decreased property value.
Anthony Boyd, Ms. Phillips' son-in-law stated he manages four operations with three of them having 8:00am - 4:00pm operating hours but the truck drivers come in off the road and park to take their 10 hour break at the site they are to load at the next morning even if it is closed and they will park anywhere they can. He also stated the drivers will go down Cherry Street to Hwy 80 and an example of that is Port Wentworth. The roads will be torn up all the time and it is very expensive to repair.
Wayne Tipton - 55 Tipton Road - stated that the effect that would happen to the Recreation Department needed to be a top consideration while considering this request.
Willene Stone - questioned if there is a weight limit on Cherry Street of 5 tons. Mayor Rozier stated that at this time the road is a state road but would become the cities after the completion of the parkway.
Tony Tucker - 6 Maple Street - stated someone ask him to speak regarding the school down Little Neck Road and the interaction of the buses and trucks . The noise that would be generated from a trucking company adjacent to the residences.
Councilman Otakie stated that he and Councilman Harley are new to the council but a year ago they sat as citizens listening to the rezoning at that time. He thanked the citizens for coming to express their concern and encouraged them to be involved with all development that comes up because it affects everyone.
Diane Amerson stated that a lot of citizens do not have computers and these rezoning matters affect everyone and they needed to know. Councilman Otakie stated that any suggestions for communication be turned in to them but this year there have been two (2) kiosk boards installed with one being at the Poplar Street Pavilion and at Taylor Park in which information is posted. Councilman Kerby also reminded citizens to read the memo on the city bill.
Betty Tucker - 503 Cherry Street - stated that she personally voted for each one on council and wanted them to listen to the citizens and do what is best for the whole city and rezoning affects everyone she right now has trouble getting out onto Cherry Street now and is concerned of it getting worse especially if this property is rezoned. Mayor Rozier stated he felt that all of the Councilmembers are concerned for all citizens. Mayor Rozier also stated that it has been said that Governor Deal has requested that Pooler no longer build residential on the parkway as it was intended for port related truck traffic and the parkway is going to change the base of Bloomingdale but one of our Officers has been appointed as Code Enforcement to improve the aesthetics of the City.
Councilman Otakie stated that the City is currently working on updating the ordinances to improve and ensure that Industrial development has a low impact on citizens and a Public Hearing will be coming up soon and invited citizen input.
Martin Collins - 369 Adams Road - has listened to everyone and wanted to ask if council is listening to the citizens or if they have already made up their mind.
Councilman Harley stated that last year during the previous hearing he made a decision to run for council and is in office to serve the betterment of all citizens and they are listening. He would like to have a copy of the current petition list and the updated one. He expressed that the citizens please be in attendance at the time this is voted on and their concerns are being taken into consideration.
Councilwoman Griffin expressed concern over the direct allegations made regarding the passing of the apartments and feels she has done her best with a good heart and made decisions that were for the best of the city but will not vote because of threats but will vote with her heart. She wants the best for the city this issue it totally different than the apartments were and she will do the best she can. Sitting on this side of the bench is not easy but she will make the best decision with her heart for the good of the city.
After no other comments, Councilman Kerby made a motion to close the Public Hearing. Councilman Harley seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Councilwoman Griffin reported that the fall Co-Ed league is finishing up tonight, our U-12 Bears Football team took the Rebel Bowl Championship with a win of 19-14 against the Rincon Colts.
1. Consider a Zoning Map Amendment request from petitioner Michael Kleinpeter on behalf of property owner Horace B. Waller who is petitioning to rezone property located on the Southwest side of Bloomingdale Road adjacent to the Seaboard Coastline Railroad identified by PIN #8-0004-01-012A from RA-1 (Agricultural) to I-1 (Intensive Industry). Councilman Kerby requested clarification from Attorney Dickey on the steps to table properly. Attorney Dickey advised that the legal requirement was to hold the Public Hearing which was just completed and it is up to council which meeting they wish to take action. Councilman Harley made a motion to table this matter until the January 17, 2019 council meeting. Councilman Otakie seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
2. Consider the allocation of an additional 20% of monthly SPLOST proceeds to Water/Sewer Improvements eliminating 10% allocation percentage for both Sidewalks and Drainage categories. Councilman Otakie made a motion to approve the 20% allocation of SPLOST proceeds to Water/Sewer Improvements. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
3. Consider transfer of $36,217.38 to the Water/Sewer Improvements Fund from the Phase III Drainage Fund. City Administrator Akridge stated this is the residual amount in the Phase II Drainage Fund. Councilman Otakie made a motion to transfer the $36,217.38 to the Water/Sewer Improvements Fund from the Phase III Drainage Fund. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
4. Consider the purchase of 223,000 gallons of wastewater capacity in the Pooler WWTP in the amount of $1,650,200. City Administrator Akridge reported that the City of Pooler has asked the City to participate in the expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, after several meetings council feels this would take care of the City's future growth, this is a one-time shot to purchase additional capacity and this would be the starting point to obtain an alternative water source in several locations coming from Pooler to Bloomingdale. Mayor Rozier stated this purchase would increase our capacity to 500,000 gallons per day. Councilman Otakie stated there has been a lot of consideration on this issue and due to EPD's plan to reduce our water supply in the next five years, council has been working hard to find an alternative water source and this is why we are considering this agreement with Pooler for water and wastewater. The reason this is a big deal is the City does not have city taxes and the revenue comes from LOST & SPLOST which is divided based on population with all the municipalities in Chatham County but Bloomingdale does not have a competitive population. The LOST & SPLOST are a huge portion of our budget but without it the City could face implementing taxes, bankruptcy or being annexed into Pooler so it is imperative for the City to have growth to insure our independence and sustainability. We need to have water available and what is being consider is capacity into the wastewater treatment plant so we can provide water & sewer in the future. Councilman Kerby added that the reason this is a onetime shot is a long time ago when Bloomingdale bought into the wastewater treatment plant we are given the option to buy in every time Pooler increases capacity but Pooler is now reaching maximum capacity. He also stated that an Engineer calculated the cost of a treatment plant and what Pooler is offering the City is a good deal. Councilman Harley added that council has met and thoroughly considered this issue taking into consideration all currently planned projects and projected ten (10) years out to make an calculation as best as they could to make this decision.
Councilman Otakie made a motion to approve the purchase of the 223,000 gallons of wastewater capacity in the Pooler WWWTP in the amount of $1,650,200. Councilman Harley seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
5. Consider purchase of two (2) Chevy Tahoe's for the Police Department in the amount of $88,000.
Councilman Harley stated that Police Department is trying to obtain two new vehicles a year and due to changes by Ford the cost of the Explorers is increasing tremendously and there is maintenance issues that cannot be done in house which cost a lot. Councilman Harley made a motion to approve the purchase of two Chevy Tahoe's fully equipped in the amount of $88,000 with the expenditure coming from CIP/SPLOST. Councilman Otakie seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Mayor Rozier reported that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the Council agenda prior to the deadline of Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Grizzard seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
There being no further business, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to adjourn at 8:36pm. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
Diane Proudfoot, City Clerk
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.