Mayor Strozier called the meeting to order and Ms. Julie Stanley led in prayer.
After a review of the August 16, 2001 council meeting minutes, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard reported that he had submitted some additional revisions to the proposed lease with TLC Communications on the placement of an antenna on the City’s water tank and was waiting on their response.
Mayor Strozier suggested that council members continue to review the ordinance that Attorney Gerard has prepared concerning damage to City streets and be prepared to discuss and possibly adopt the ordinance at the next meeting. Councilman Johnson made a motion we table action on the ordinance until the October 4th meeting. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City had rented the building located at #6 Adams Road to Judge Hearn for use in his contracting businesses.
The Mayor reported that Precisions Marketing, Inc. has obtained the permit for the billboard installed on property owned by Forrest Floyd located at #1716 E. Hwy 80.
Mayor Strozier recognized Ms. Ruth Jones who expressed her concern that Builtrite Transmission has not yet taken care of the garbage and trash around his business located at #301 E. Hwy 80. The Mayor advised Ms. Jones that the owner has been placed on the court docket and the case was scheduled for the first week of October. Mayor Strozier advised Ms. Jones that if anything occurs that should be handled immediately, she should contact the police department. Ms. Jones stated that there is a dog tied up in the yard on the other side of her property that was causing disturbances at night. Mayor Strozier encouraged her to contact the police department when the dog was causing problems, even if it was during the night.
Council was advised that Holly Ray had taken care of the problem with the overgrown conditions at her property located at #702 E. Cregor Street.
Chief Anderson reported that the police department would get the final word next week on whether or not the City would get the drug dog discussed at last meeting.
Mayor Strozier reported that Councilman Johnson would be working with Fett Burke on getting the Massey Ferguson tractor repaired.
The Mayor stated that in order to pave Drescher Road, some additional right of way would need to be obtained from the property owners and the street would have to be accepted as a public roadway. Mayor Strozier pointed out that this private road only had a 30’ right of way and the minimum required by the state for their participation was 50’.
Council was advised that the mobile home at #437 Wallace Circle moved onto property owned by Glenda Sheley without a permit has been moved.
The Mayor stated that the City’s appointed time to present requests to the Chatham Delegation for the 2002 Legislative Session has been scheduled for 1:45pm on October 18th at Savannah Technical College.
Council was advised that the widening of Wildcat Road by Douglas Asphalt has not been done due to a delay in the movement of some telephone poles located in the right of way.
The Mayor presented a request from Patricia Stanfield to operate an arts & crafts business from her residence located at #209 S. Church Street. Ms. Stanfield states she will be working on crafts in her residence, in the yard and in a 10’ x 16’ shed behind the house. These items will be sold on the Internet, at flea markets and at craft shows. Mayor Strozier advised Ms. Stanfield that a home occupation license was issued in residential zones provided there was no evidence that a business was being located from the location. Based on Ms. Stanfield’s understanding of this stipulation, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to grant the home occupation license to Ms. Stanfield, Councilwoman Key seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Richard Arseneau to operate his plumbing business from his residence located at #1401 W. Hwy 80. Mr. Arseneau has obtained written permission of the owner of the property to use his residence for the business operation. Mayor Strozier advised Mr. Arseneau that this home occupation license would carry the same stipulations as discussed with the previous applicant. The Mayor advised him that the residence could not be used as a “gathering place” for his employees and any advertisement of the business on the property must be limited to a 1’ square sign. Mr. Arseneau stated he understood these stipulations. Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Richard Arseneau to operate the office operation of his plumbing business at #140l W. Hwy 80, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Chris Wiley to operate a property management and maintenance business from her residence located at #1 East Main Street. Ms. Wiley has obtained written permission from Ash Street Baptist Church, the owners of the property, to operate the business office from this location. After a brief discussion of the stipulations of the home occupation license, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to issue the license to Chris Wiley to operate said business, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier advised council that some zoning issues related to the property located at #2 W. Hwy 80 needed to be discussed. Council was advised that the former owners, Jack and Martha Blackstock, have requested disconnection of services to this location the end of this month. Since the use of the property as both a residence and business (Black Jack’s BBQ) does not conform to the zoning ordinance and ownership of the property is changing, the services cannot be reconnected until these issues are addressed. The current owner, Alex DaSilva, was advised of this situation and instructed to prepare something in writing for presentation to council for their review. The Mayor pointed out that nothing has been submitted by the owner explaining his plans for the property and the health department has requested we do not reconnect the services to the barbecue business until they have notified us that the owners/operators have met certain stipulations regarding operation of the barbecue business. Mayor Strozier recognized Mr. DaSilva who explained that when he purchased the property, he thought he could continue the operation of the barbecue business and use the dwelling for three apartments. Mr. DaSilva stated that after he found out that he could not do this, he has been trying to decide how to use the property. It was noted that Mr. Daly with the Chatham County Health Department had indicated to Mr. DaSilva that he would work with him on keeping the business open while they made the necessary repairs to the building, but apparently, he has not advised the City of this agreement. Mr. DaSilva stated that he was thinking about moving the barbecue business to the buildings on the property next door, which he also owns, but would need some time to get the buildings prepared and dig a pit for cooking the barbecue. The Mayor asked him how long he thought it would take to do the work and Mr. DaSilva stated he felt he could finish the work in about 30 days. Mayor Strozier asked Mr. DaSilva to get something in writing from the health department stating he could continue to operate the barbecue business from its current location while work was being done to the new buildings and the City would allow it to operate there until the first of the year. Council agreed with the Mayor’s proposal. Mr. DaSilva was informed that he could have the services reconnected at #2 W. Hwy 80 provided no one lived in the residence while the barbecue business was being operated from this location. Mr. DaSilva stated he understood these stipulations.
Council was advised the construction on the lowering of the 10” sewer force main at the Pooler Parkway has been completed. The total cost of the project, including engineering fees, was $32, 544.04. This figure includes about $2000 in additional construction and engineering fees over and above the original contract. The Mayor stated the City needed to approve the submission of a request to Chatham County for the reimbursement of the costs to the City. Councilman Tuten made a motion to approve submission of said request, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that GMA has submitted information to the City concerning the collection of funds to assist in the relief efforts in New York City and the Washington area. The funds would be solicited from municipal officials and employees from across the country to be distributed to public employees and their families who were affected by the tragedy. The National League of Cities is in the process of identifying an appropriate organization/relief provider to handle the distribution of the funds. GMA is asking cities to give their officials and employees an opportunity to contribute to the campaign. Councilman Johnson made a motion to offer this opportunity to officials and employees through payroll deductions during the month of October. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier stated that plans were underway to hold a fund-raiser to benefit the victims and their families affected by the September 11th national tragedy. The City would sponsor the event, but would need volunteers to sell tickets, cook the meat and prepare the meals, take orders from local businesses and industries and to help with deliveries. The benefit would be held toward the end of the month. After this discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion that the City of Bloomingdale provides the seed money to purchase supplies for the benefit, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier reported that the City needed to address some zoning issues regarding a private school that is currently being operated by the Life Springs Worship Center at #1105 E. Hwy 80. He reminded council that the church had been approved as a “conditional use” in this R-1 zone on April 16, 1998. A public hearing was held at that time to allow citizen input on issuance of the conditional use permit for the church, but there was no mention of the use of the facilities as a private school. The Mayor pointed out that there was no mention of a school in the letter from the pastor asking that the City grant them approval to build on the property. Mayor Strozier stated that there had been rumors about the church being used as a school, but pointed out that no one had specifically asked whether or not a school would operate from the facilities. Some members feel the pastor should have presented this information to the citizens during the public hearing and do not feel that it was the City’s responsibility to ask whether the facilities would be used for anything other than a church.
The Mayor stated that the church has been given a temporary power release to allow them to use the church for their school until this issue can be resolved. He stated he had visited the school and was impressed by their program. The Mayor suggested the other members of the council visit the school so they can get a better idea of its operation. In an effort to help to resolve this matter, Mayor Strozier proposed consideration of a “text amendment” to the zoning ordinance to allow a “private school” as a “conditional use” in an R-1 zone. This proposal would be sent to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their consideration and a public hearing would be held for citizen input on the matter. Mayor Strozier suggested that, in the meantime, the church should make contact with the neighbors in the area and explain their operation to them because acceptance of the school by the neighbors would be one of the deciding factors on whether or not the amendment was approved. The Mayor advised representatives from the church that without approval of the amendment, the school could not continue at this location. Ms. Julie Stanley advised council that she did not realize their church was being operated as a “conditional use” at this location. Ms. Stanley, director of the school, stated this school was handled like other youth ministries in a church and she did not realize they had to get approval for this ministry from the City. Ms. Stanley advised council that she had operated this same type ministry from their church in Port Wentworth for four years and the City had not required them to obtain any special permits. Ms. Stanley stated that she did not feel there was any deception on the church’s part concerning the operation of the school since this was nothing different from their operation in Port Wentworth. Ms. Stanley stated that she considers it her calling to minister to these children and does so on a full-time basis without a salary. She further stated the school is not a moneymaker and they do not solicit funds from any one. She pointed out that the church keeps a low profile, there are no signs on the property advertising the school, they do not advertise for enrollment and they are not in the telephone book. Council members asked some questions about the operation of the school and after this discussion Councilman Tyler made a motion to recommend to the Planning Commission that they consider a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to allow a private school as a “conditional use” in an R-1 zone. Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve a minor subdivision on behalf of Ronald and Donald Vickery for their property located at the corner of US Hwy 80 and Conaway Road. This subdivision consists of the recombination/subdivision of two tracts of land containing two structures/dwellings. The two new tracts meet the minimum road frontage, property size, and set back requirements of the subdivision ordinance and each now contains one structure. After review of the plat, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the minor subdivision, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier presented a recommendation from the Planning Commission to approve a minor subdivision of the Haggary property on Garvin Street. This subdivision consists of the division of a 2.753-acre tract of land. The two new tracts meet the minimum road frontage and the property size requirements of the subdivision ordinance. However, Tract 1 has several structures on the property, including one dwelling and several other buildings. Since some of these buildings do not meet the minimum setback requirements, approval of the minor subdivision is with the stipulation that before any additional improvements to Tract 1 are approved, these buildings must be addressed. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the minor subdivision of the Haggary property on Garvin Street with the above-mentioned stipulation. Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the Planning Commission has tabled a decision on the rezoning requests of Wayne James at #77 Cheyenne Road and Charles Rogers at #53 Cheyenne Road until a development plan is submitted for their review.
Council was advised that we have recently had a problem with someone who had rented the Bloomingdale Community Center losing the key and contacting Janice to unlock the building. The rental was on a Sunday and she was called out at 6:30am. The Mayor suggested that we initiate a charge for this type situation so the employee can be compensated for the inconvenience. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to amend the City’s rental policy to include a $25 fee for an employee being called out to unlock the building in the event of a lost or misplaced key or for some other problem caused by the party renting the building. Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Strozier informed council that we had received notice from DOT that Garvin Street needs repairs prior to resurfacing under the 2002 LARP Resurfacing program and this information has been submitted to Councilman Rawlins.
The Mayor presented a request from GMA for the City to participate in a campaign to improve adult immunization rates in Georgia. Mayor Strozier submitted a proclamation encouraging immunization against influenza for council’s approval. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said proclamation. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the maintenance department has some surplus equipment the City needs to consider selling. The Mayor asked Fett Burke to prepare a list of the equipment and its value for council’s review at the next meeting.
Mayor Strozier reported that with the completion of the paving of Main Street, the City needed to make arrangements to have a dedication of the roadway. He reminded council that the portion of Main Street between Cherry Street and Osteen Road has been designated at Lucinda Williams Adams Highway. Council agreed for the Mayor to contact Ms. Adams and find out when it would be convenient for her to come to Bloomingdale for the dedication.
Recreation Director, Joe Young, advised council that the drainage around the football field at Taylor Park does not seem to be adequate. He stated the football field drains just fine, but after the recent rains, there was standing water in the areas around the field. Councilman Tuten agreed to meet with Mr. Young on Friday morning at 10:00am to check on the situation.
Citizen John Heerema asked for council’s assistance in getting something done about the unsafe conditions related to the swimming pool at #1 Michael Ave. Mr. Heerema stated that the county had purchased this property as part of the Conaway Canal drainage project and they were renting out the residence. He reported that the swimming pool was not being used, but it was not covered and he felt it posed a threat to the safety of children in the neighborhood. Attorney Gerard stated he would check with the county about the situation and report back to council.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilwoman Key made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tuten seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Johnson made a motion to adjourn, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.
Sandra Jones, City Clerk
THOSE PRESENT: Mayor Strozier, Councilman Johnson, Councilwoman Key, Councilman Tuten, Councilman Tyler, and Councilman Waller