AUGUST 17, 2000
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Strozier with Councilman Waller leading in prayer.
The minutes of the July 20th meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier recognized Dr. Gretchen Reese, principal of the Bloomingdale Elementary School, who distributed complimentary copies of the school’s 1999/2000 yearbook to the Mayor and City Council. Dr. Reese expressed her appreciation to the City of Bloomingdale and the Bloomingdale Police Department for their efforts to help make the areas around the school a safer environment for the students. She pointed out that the crosswalks, signs and regular police patrols are a tremendous help. Mayor Strozier advised Dr. Reese that the City would be requesting an amendment to their radar permit to allow better control of the speed of the traffic on Pine Street. Dr. Reese introduced Andrea Carey, PTA president, who, along with Dr. Reese, invited the Mayor and Council to visit the school often and participate in the upcoming events. Dr. Reese stated she would provide the City with a school calendar outlining the activities planned for the new school year.
Mayor Strozier advised those present that at the June council meeting Mayor Buddy Carter from Pooler had discussed funding of the Senior Citizens Program with council. At that meeting he stated he would ask Kay Sapp, director of the Pooler/Bloomingdale Senior Citizens Center, to attend the July meeting to answer any questions the Bloomingdale officials may have about the program. The Mayor reported that although Ms. Sapp did not make the July meeting she is here tonight to make a presentation to council. Ms. Sapp stated that she had been informed by Dennis Baxter that if no additional monies were received from Bloomingdale to help with the funding of the center, it may change to a “Pooler citizen only” center. Ms. Sapp further stated that she understood there was a conflict about the budget, but expressed her concern that the loss of the use of this center would have a negative impact on those citizens who could no longer participate in the program. She stated that she felt the center was an important part of their lives. Ms. Sapp explained that she, along with two other workers, prepared meals and programs for the seniors. Mayor Strozier advised Ms. Sapp that to the best of his knowledge there has been no discussions about the City of Bloomingdale not participating in this program in the future. The Mayor stated that he felt that any problems that may exist between the cities on budgeting matters should be discussed between the elected officials rather than with the director and/or the senior citizens. Mayor Strozier also stated that he would like to appoint a committee to meet with him and elected officials from Pooler to further discuss the matter and he felt certain that something could be worked out. The Mayor appointed Councilmembers Johnson and Rawlins to this committee. Mayor Strozier thanked Ms. Sapp for her attendance at tonight’s meeting. Ms. Sapp advised Mayor Strozier that both he and the City council were welcome to participate in any activity sponsored by the center.
The Mayor reported that the state mandated water restrictions were still underway and with the continued lack of consistent rainfall it may be possible that these restrictions may be extended and increased. He encouraged all citizens to abide by these restrictions and stated that the City will be monitoring their compliance with the regulations.
Citizens were advised that the City is in the process of updating and revising its code of ordinances, but the process may take several months to complete.
Mayor Strozier asked the Christmas light committee if they had obtained an electrician to prepare the electrical boxes for the new Christmas lights. Councilman Waller stated that the maintenance department had been working with him on this project and it was determined that Judge Hearn had proposed the best price for the work at $60 per box. Councilman Tyler made a motion to allow Judge Hearn to prepare the boxes at a cost of $60 per box, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the City had taken the necessary legal steps to have the structure at #9 Chestnut Street demolished due to noncompliance with the nuisance ordinance. Fire Chief Tyler stated he is looking into the burning of this dwelling by the Bloomingdale Fire Department as a training session.
Chief Anderson reported that Juni Rickett’s attorney had requested his court date be passed on the subpoena issued by the Bloomingdale Police Department for violation of the City’s junk car ordinance. Mr. Rickett had done some cleaning up of his property located on Hwy 80, but at this time no work is being done. Mayor Strozier stated that if Mr. Rickett does not continue efforts to work on this problem the City will pursue enforcement of the nuisance abatement ordinance that may result in more severe penalties.
Councilman Rawlins reported he was still trying to get with the DOT concerning the removal of the dead trees on Hwy 80.
Mayor Strozier recognized Swinton Richardson who had requested an opportunity to address council concerning his notification of fees owed for repairs to his grinder pump. Mr. Richardson explained that he had hit the lid of the grinder pump last summer and reported it to the maintenance department, but nothing was done to repair it at that time. However, his grinder pump had stopped working a couple of weeks ago and when the City crews repaired it, he was sent a bill. Mr. Richardson stated he did not understand why he got this bill now when his grinder pump was still working when he reported the incident last summer. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Richardson that the bill he received was for the cost of the “riser” on the grinder pump tank that was damaged beyond repair and not for costs related to the repair of the electrical part of the grinder pump. The riser had been placed on the grinder pump tank a couple of years ago when he had put fill dirt in his yard and it was needed to protect the core. The Mayor pointed out that the damage to the riser had to be repaired to avoid ground water getting into the grinder core and causing damage. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Richardson that there was no record of his original notification since the call did not go through the City Hall, but the issue here is payment of the cost of the repairs to the grinder pump tank. Mr. Richardson stated he talked directly with the two maintenance workers here at the meeting—Ernest Grizzard and Buddy Burke. Mayor Strozier suggested that, in the future, he contact City Hall with complaints or problems and a record would be made of his call. Mayor Strozier informed Mr. Richardson that the $556 that was billed to him was the actual cost of the parts and labor needed for the repairs. Mr. Richardson asked if he could make monthly payments on these costs and Mayor Strozier stated he could have up to a year to pay the monies. Mayor Strozier instructed Mr. Richardson to get with the city clerk to work out the details on the payment.
Mayor Strozier reminded those present that a public hearing had been held on July 11th to discuss with citizens and interested parties the possible rezoning of property along the Jimmy Deloach Parkway from RA-1 to C-2. After the hearing, the Planning Commission was to submit their recommendation to council. However, since the Planning Commission was undecided as to the best recommendation to make, they failed to submit any recommendation within 30 days from the date of the public hearing. Therefore, based on our zoning ordinance regulations, the rezoning proposal was deemed approved. The Mayor pointed out that at tonight’s meeting the City Council would be acting on this proposal and deciding whether or not to approve the rezoning. Mayor Strozier reported that since the hearing the City has received information that curb cuts along the parkway would be limited to major residential developments and larger businesses. Since the curb cuts would have to be approved by the state on an individual basis, council decided it would probably be best not to approve the rezoning of all the properties along the parkway. Instead, council would handle the rezoning requests on an individual basis pending approval of curb cuts and site plans. Based on this information, Councilman Tyler made a motion not to approve the proposed rezoning of the properties along the Jimmy Deloach Parkway from RA-1 to C-2. Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier informed council that we had received a resubmission of a rezoning request from Michael Wedincamp for his property located off Jimmy Deloach Parkway. Mr. Wedincamp was present at the meeting and Mayor Strozier advised him that the request would be directed to the Planning Commission and would follow the established procedures for rezoning request that includes a public hearing. Mr. Wedincamp informed council that he understood from the county engineer that he would be able to get a curb cut for his property. Attorney Gerard stated that based on the information he obtained from the county engineer’s office the curb cuts would be limited to major developments such as shopping complexes and large residential subdivisions. Mr. Wedincamp stated that he felt there was some conflicting information being issued from the county engineer’s office and he would get back with them on the matter. Attorney Gerard stated he would also contact them to make sure there had been no changes in the information he obtained. The matter was tabled for future discussion.
Council reviewed a minor subdivision plat for property owned by Jean Prescott off Prescott Road. The Planning Commission was recommending approval of said minor subdivision plat. It was noted that council’s approval of the plat should be with the stipulation that the minor subdivision be approved by the Chatham County Health department since the newly created lot will require a septic tank for sewer disposal. Councilman Tuten made a motion to approve the plat with the above noted stipulation, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from Ken Schroeder for the recombination of lots that he owns on Ash and Chestnut Streets. Lot #’s 121 and 122 face Chestnut Street and Lot #’s 120, 123 and124 face Ash Street. The purpose of the recombination is to move the rear and side property lines of Lot #’s 120,121,122 and 123 to include an existing one-story block building in Lot #120 (Lot #3-new plat). In order to maintain the correct road frontage for Lot #123 (Lot #4-new plat), a portion of Lot #124 needed to be added to Lot #123. Mr. Schroeder is requesting a variance on the size of Lot #121 (Lot #1-new plat) from 15,000 sq. ft to 14,188 sq. ft. Mayor Strozier pointed out that these changes would correct problems that have existed for sometime with these lots. After a review of the plat, Councilman Rawlins made a motion to issue a variance for the size of Lot #121 (Lot #1), Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to approve the recombination of the above- mentioned lots, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed a proposed Well Ordinance amendment to require all wells being used as a source of drinking water be installed by a state licensed well driller. Attorney Gerard has furnished some information about state regulations that may need to be considered when making this amendment to our well ordinance. If this option is not possible, we may need to consider changing the depth requirement for an individual well in the City limits. Councilman Waller made a motion to table this matter for further study, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Michael Wedingcamp pointed out that he had noticed that in other cities where he had been installing sprinkler systems that backflow preventers are not always being installed and expressed his concern that similar problems may exist in Bloomingdale. Ernest Grizzard stated that backflow preventers are installed at the water meters for those persons having City water. The Mayor stated that since permits are not required for the installation of sprinkler systems it would be difficult for us to monitor this situation for persons having their own wells.
Mayor Strozier presented a request from Angelia Screen to operate a used vehicle business from 1724 E. Hwy 80. Juni Rickett owns this property and there is one business already operating from this location. Ms. Screen has obtained written permission from Mr. Rickett to use one section of the building for her office and she states in her application that she will keep no more than three (3) vehicles on the lot at a time. She plans to park the vehicles along the fence at the eastern end of the property. Mayor Strozier stated that an auto/truck sales business is allowed in a C-2 zone as a “conditional use”, but considering the problems we are currently having with the junk cars and debris on this property he is concerned about approving the addition of another business. Councilmembers also expressed their reservation about issuing the license at this location and Ms. Screen was advised that the license would not be issued until the problems existing with this property were cleared up.
The Mayor presented council with the Fire Protection Contract between the City of Bloomingdale and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department for the fiscal year 2000/2001. Councilman Tuten made a motion to approve execution of said contract by Mayor Strozier, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler abstained from voting.
Council reviewed a request from Ira Horowitz to operate a “lunch truck” business from his residence located at #5 Bragg Drive. A letter was submitted from H.L. Bragg, the owner of the property, granting his permission for Mr. Horowitz to operate the business from this location. It was noted that this would be a home occupation license and council would need to decide whether or not a public hearing should be held. Mr. Horowitz explained that there would be no outside traffic or a sign at the property. He stated that the only evidence of a business being operated from this site would be the “lunch truck” that would be parked on the premises. Mr. Horowitz stated that all of the sales would be made outside of Bloomingdale at various business locations. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tuten then made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Mr. Horowitz for his “lunch truck” business, Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Horowitz that he would be responsible for obtaining any additional permits required by the health department and provide copies of this information to the City of Bloomingdale.
The Mayor advised those present that due to the increase in dumping fees, labor costs, and fuel, it would be necessary for the City to raise garbage rates by $1.00 effective September 1, 2000. This usage would be billed October 1, 2000. Mayor Strozier pointed out that the increased fuel rates were also being passed on to the City on invoices for items used in the garbage and trash operations. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the first reading of the amendment to the garbage ordinance raising the rates by $1.00 effective September 1, 2000, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Rawlins made a motion to dispense with the second reading, Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Rawlins then made a motion to approve the amendment, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Chief Anderson presented a request to designate a portion of Pine Street as a “school zone” so an amendment to our radar permit could be submitted to DOT. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to make said designation, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard was preparing a procedural ordinance for granting telecommunications and cable franchises. This matter was tabled until a later date when this information will be submitted by Attorney Gerard.
Mayor Strozier reported we had received a request from CGRDC to appoint a representative from Bloomingdale to serve on the Historic Preservation Advisory Council (HAPC). The City of Bloomingdale does not have anyone serving on this council at the present time and no one volunteered to serve. The Mayor stated that this position is open and if any one is interested they should contact the clerk’s office.
The Mayor announced that the CMA quarterly meeting would be held on September 6, 2000 at the Senior Citizens Center on Varnedoe Ave. in Garden City. The meeting is being hosted by Garden City with the social hour starting at 6:00pm and dinner at 7:00pm. If you plan to go please let the clerk’s office know as soon as possible.
Mayor Strozier recognized Frank Johnson who has requested information regarding the subdividing of his property located on Cregor Street. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Johnson that this portion of Cregor Street has never been officially opened or dedicated to the City and does not meet the minimum standards for a public right of way. Council was advised that since the road had been used as access for nearby property for some time Mr. Johnson was informed he could be issued a permit for one dwelling. However, Mr. Johnson wants to subdivide the property into two tracts and was advised he would have to obtain the proper right of way and upgrade the road before the subdivision of the tract would be allowed. The Mayor also pointed out that the county maps only show 180’ road frontage for his lot and if this is accurate, he does not have enough road frontage to meet the 100’ minimum road frontage for both lots. Mr. Johnson stated that according to his plat, he has over 190’ road frontage and he was advised that we needed a copy of this plat. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Johnson that he would need to obtain the services of an attorney to obtain the required 40’ right of way needed to widen the road. He pointed out that since there was a church in a portion of the road the improvements to the road could start just past the church rather than from Elm Street. Mr. Johnson was advised to have his attorney submit this information to Attorney Gerard for his review and approval. Once Mr. Johnson has obtained the required right of way and it has been approved, the road would need to be improved to meet City specifications. Mayor Strozier advised him he would be provided with a copy of a “typical road section” for his use in preparing the road and Councilman Rawlins and Fett Burke would be available to meet with him to discuss these requirements. The Mayor informed him that after he has completed the road improvements and they have been approved by the City he can proceed with the subdivision of the property, but reminded him that subdivision of the property would also depend on having enough road frontage for two lots.
Mayor Strozier recognized Forrest Floyd who owns some property at #1716 E. Hwy 80 and is requesting a variance or text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow construction of a “billboard” on his property. Mr. Floyd pointed out that based on his understanding billboards are only allowed adjacent to interstate highways. Mr. Floyd explained that due to a tremendous increase in the assessment of his property over the last couple of years, he must find other sources of revenue. It was noted that the “80 West Mini Storage” business is located on this property and he currently has licenses for the sale of golf carts, utility trailers and propane gas. Council discussed several possible options, but there was some concern that if a variance or text amendment were approved, it would apply to all property with the same type zoning, as that owned by Mr. Floyd. The Mayor asked Attorney Gerard to prepare a list of options and how to proceed with said options at our next meeting.
The Mayor recognized Ronald Parkhurst, a resident of 101 Church St., who presented council with a petition signed by citizens living along Church, Pine and Main Streets. The petition requested attention to problems existing at #108 Church Street with loud music, profanities and obscenities, as well as suspicious activities. Mayor Strozier asked if these problems are reported to the police department as they occurred and Mr. Parkhurst stated that some were, but not all the time. Chief Anderson reported on the action taken in some incidents, but noted that even when arrests are made the juvenile courts are very lenient on the juvenile offenders. The Chief stated that one of the juveniles was even dismissed from a work camp because of his disruptive behavior. Several citizens voiced their concern about the problems with this residence, as well as other teenagers roaming the streets. The Mayor stated that the police department and the City will continue their efforts to work on these problems, but must have the cooperation of the residents. He encouraged the citizens to call “911” when these incidents are occurring rather than waiting to report them hours or days later to the police department. Chief Anderson also stated he would increase the patrols in this area.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Rawlins made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.
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