May 3, 2001
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Strozier who lead in prayer.
The minutes of the April 19th meeting were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the debris removal at #9 West Hwy 80 is nearly complete.
The Mayor recognized Sharon Johnson who stated that the health department had advised her that she would have to get a soil scientist’s report on her property located on Hwy 80. She was told that they would need this report to determine the minimum size needed for the lot she wants to divide from her property for possible use as a feed/seed business. Mayor Strozier informed Ms. Johnson that she would be required to provide the health department with the information they requested and they would have to approve the lot size before the City would approve the subdivision. The Mayor advised Ms. Johnson to have her surveyor check with the City Hall if he had any questions on the other requirements, such as side and rear yard setbacks, road frontage, etc., that would have to be met before the property could be subdivided. This matter was tabled for further discussion at the next meeting.
Councilman Tuten reported he has not been able to meet with Mr. Meyers on the Stagecoach Road right of ways, but would try to get with him in the next few weeks.
Council was advised that work has been underway on the football field at Taylor Park and it will continue as needed. Recreation Director, Joe Young, stated that a schedule has been set up to water the field late in the evening.
Mayor Strozier stated that Attorney Gerard has submitted contract documents to Carroll & Carroll on the 2001 paving projects and work should start on the roads in the next couple of months.
The Mayor informed council that the second reading on the charter amendment ordinance related to the municipal courts will be held at the June 21st meeting. This delay was necessary to comply with advertising requirements.
Council reviewed the proposed drainage plan submitted by RE Bland for the unopened portion of Boulevard Street west of Ash Street to Lot #277. Mr. Bland wants to open the street to a minimum of 35’’ west of the property line of Lot #277, but does not want to pave the street. The Mayor explained that when the original subdivision was approved, this portion of Boulevard Street was included in the plan but it had not yet been opened. The streets in the subdivision were widened from 40’’ to 60’’, but they did not have to be paved. After a discussion of the matter, Councilman Rawlins made a motion to approve the drainage plan submitted by RE Bland for the unopened portion of Boulevard Street west of Ash Street; to allow him to open Boulevard Street from Ash Street to a minimum of 35’’ west of the property line of Lot #277 to City specifications; and to waive the paving requirement based on the agreements regarding the original subdivision plat. The motion was seconded by Councilman Waller and passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor pointed out that he had advised Mr. Bland that the cost for the City to run the water and sewer lines to Lot #277 would be approximately $6.00 per foot.
Council was advised Attorney Gerard has not received any information from Ms. Sparrow regarding the proposed easement for Cregor Street.
Mayor Strozier informed council that the tree has been removed from the ditch at #314 Conaway Road.
The Mayor stated the Savannah Electric & Power Company had inspected the dead tree next to the property of George Wingate but reports that it is too far onto the property for them to remove. After a discussion of the matter Attorney Gerard suggested a letter be sent to the property owner advising him of the danger the tree poses to the neighbors and advise him he must take care of the problem.
Council reviewed a request form Denise & William Dixon to operate a fencing business from their residence located at #1205B Hwy 80. Ms. Dixon stated that all fencing materials would be delivered to the job site and only the office work will be done at their residence. The Mayor advised the Dixons that this would be considered a home occupation business and there should be no evidence of a business being operated from this location. He pointed out the residence cannot be used as a gathering place for the workers nor could work trucks be parked on the property. Based on the Dixons agreement to these stipulations, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement for the fencing business located at #1205B Hwy 80. Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to issue said license, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier recognized Ms. Glenda Sheley who was present at the meeting requesting a mobile home permit under the ""hardship"" provisions for her brother. The Sheleys had moved a mobile home onto their property located at #437 Wallace Circle without a permit and had been instructed to come to the meeting tonight to discuss the matter. The Mayor suggested a committee be formed to meet with Ms. Sheley to discuss the details of her request and bring back a recommendation to council. Councilmembers Johnson, Tyler, and Waller agreed to serve on the committee and a meeting was set for Monday, May 7th at 4:00pm. Mayor Strozier pointed out that even if a ""hardship"" permit were approved the requirements of the health department would have to be met before the mobile home permit would be issued. Ms. Sheley stated she understood this stipulation and expressed her appreciation for an opportunity to meet with the committee.
The Mayor reported preliminary information concerning Census 2000 population figures have been obtained from DCA and Bloomingdale’s figures increased from 2,180 to 2,665. He advised council that GMA wanted to know if Bloomingdale planned to challenge the count. The Mayor pointed out that in order for a City to appeal its population they must respond directly to the Bureau of the Census between June 30, 2001 and September 30, 2003. The cities must present specific examples of the undercount and provide the necessary evidence to prove the challenge. Councilman Johnson stated that neither his family nor his sister was ever sent census forms to complete and wondered if there were other situations where people were not counted. Mayor Strozier asked the news reporter if she would put something in the paper asking those citizens in Bloomingdale that did not receive a census form to contact the City Hall and she agreed to print this information. The Mayor suggested we wait to see if there are any responses from other citizens before deciding whether or not to pursue a challenge.
Council was informed we had received a letter from Dennis Baxter, City Manager from Pooler, advising us that they are pursuing an expansion of their wastewater treatment plant and the state is going to require that they upgrade the present plant to a higher level of treatment. Councilman Tuten stated he would contact Pooler to see if he could get more information on their plans.
The Mayor reported Jack Kingston had contacted the City and asked that a letter be sent to the reapportionment committee requesting that the City of Bloomingdale remain in the 1st Congressional District and give our reasons why we wanted to remain in this district. After a brief discussion, Councilman Rawlins made a motion to make said request, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilmembers Rawlins and Tuten reported they had met with representatives from the county engineer’’s office concerning the Conaway Canal project and a public meeting has been scheduled at City Hall on May 21st at 7:00pm to advise citizens of the proposed plan.
The Mayor reported that copies of Attorney Gerard’s report concerning the Cypress Natural Gas application for the gas line installation had been distributed to councilmembers for their review. The report outlines several alternate routes included in their application and Attorney Gerard needs some direction from council as to which route(s) to recommend as part of our petition to intervene in Cypress Natural Gas’’s application process. Councilman Johnson made a motion to table a decision on this matter until the May 17th meeting to give members an opportunity to review the report. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier stated that City ordinance allows only one meeting to be held during the months of June, July, August and September with approval from council. Councilman Waller made a motion to hold only one meeting during the summer months of June, July, August and September. The motion was seconded by Councilman Rawlins and passed with five affirmative votes. The Mayor pointed out that the meetings would be held on the third Thursdays during these months.
The city clerk reported the City has been notified that the Chatham County Commission approved a Greenspace Grant Agreement with the Georgia Greenspace Commission as well as a separate, local Intergovernmental Agreement (IA). The following information outlines the details of the IA. The IA formalizes the multi-year planning and revenue exchange concepts proposed some months back when the initial grant application was submitted to the GGC. As previously discussed, if Bloomingdale agrees to the Intergovernmental Agreement, we would allow our first two years allotment of funds totaling $22,440 to be transferred to the county in exchange for receiving SPLOST funds allocated for use in open space capital outlay projects. In addition to receiving a larger amount of monies, the use of these funds would be of more benefit to the City since the SPLOST funds can be used for a wider range of purposes than Greenspace funds. The estimated funds that would be available to Bloomingdale would be $122,400. The Chatham County/Savannah County wide Open Space Plan prepared by MPC in 1996 showed that Bloomingdale, Savannah, and unincorporated Chatham County had open space deficiencies, so our allocation of funds is a higher percentage than that of the other municipalities. The initial payment to the City for SPLOST months through January 2001 is estimated at $38,931 and would be distributed shortly after the municipalities have executed the agreement. For each remaining month of the currently levied SPLOST after January 2001, the County will pay municipalities each month a monthly installment for open space capital projects within 15 days after receipt of SPLOST proceeds from the Georgia Department of Revenue. Council discussed the matter and agreed that it would be in the best interest of Bloomingdale to participate in this agreement. Councilman Waller made a motion to accept the conditions of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IA) approving receipt of SPLOST funds in exchange for Greenspace funds and to authorize the Mayor to execute said agreement on behalf of the City of Bloomingdale. The motion was seconded by Councilman Johnson and passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier presented a request on behalf of Hope Seckinger to place signs on the street near her residence at #212 Cypress Street indicating there is a ""deaf child at play"". The Mayor reminded council that her daughter, Baylee, had lost her hearing from the medications she had to take the first months of her life as she struggled to overcome numerous heart/birth defects. Councilman Tyler made a motion to purchase and post the signs as requested, Councilman Rawlins seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Chatham County’s All-America Community has been selected as one of the top ""30"" finalists in the All-America City/County Competition from 93 nationwide applicants. The final stage of the competition will be held in Atlanta on June 21st through 23rd. The county has provided options for several levels of participation by Bloomingdale and we need to advise them which one we choose to do as soon as possible. The Mayor asked Councilman Waller if he would be available to represent Bloomingdale during this final portion of the competition. Councilman Waller stated he would check his calendar to see if he could participate and advise the clerk next week.
Mayor Strozier reminded everyone of the meeting/work session to be held on Saturday, May 5th at 10:00am at Donny’s river house in Eden.
The Mayor gave councilmembers an update of the meeting he attended with EPD on the water withdrawal permit. Mayor Strozier explained that although it was his understanding the meeting was to be held with Harold Reheis and the Mayors from Savannah, Bloomingdale and Pooler, there were elected officials and representatives present at the meeting from other cities and organizations that really had no part in this matter. The Mayor reported that it was apparent from the tone of the meeting that the decision had already been made before it even started to withdraw EPD’s previous commitment to increase our water withdrawal permit. The Mayor stated he outlined the history behind the City’s request pointing out that Bloomingdale’’s permit was well below that of our sister cities, but Mr. Reheis advised the Mayor and Representative Ron Stephens that he had made a mistake in his decision to grant us the increase and it would not be forthcoming. The Mayor and Council discussed the matter at length and all members expressed their disappointment that the inequities in the existing well permits were not considered when Mr. Reheis withdrew our promised increase. The matter was tabled for future discussions.
Council discussed the recent article that had appeared in the paper concerning the ""Pooler"" Senior Citizens Center. Several councilmembers questioned the fact that it appeared Bloomingdale had been dropped from the name of the center and expressed their concern as to whether or not Pooler could legally make this change. The Mayor stated that we had received our invoice for Bloomingdale Senior’’s participation for the month of April and there were 15 visits by our citizens.
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 Tuten made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
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