April 4, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Michael Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the March 21, 2002 council meeting and the March 28, 2002 special called council meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized Bob Lytle, past president of the Savannah Scottish Games, and presented him with a proclamation declaring the week of May 5, 2002 through May 11, 2002 as “Scottish Heritage Week”. Mr. Lytle thanked the Mayor and Council for allowing him to accept the proclamation on behalf of their organization.
Mayor Rozier reported that he has not yet heard from Mayor Carter with the City of Pooler concerning a meeting with EPD to discuss the financing of the upgrade to the sewer treatment plant.
The Mayor stated that negotiations were still underway with the City of Savannah regarding their proposal to provide additional water capacity to Bloomingdale, but their latest terms are still not acceptable to the City. Mayor Rozier pointed out that Representative Ron Stephens has been involved in some of these negotiations and has agreed to withhold his support of the annexation bills for Savannah until Bloomingdale advises him they have been able to work out a water agreement with Savannah.
Councilman Myrick reported that his committee has been working on plans related to the development of the baseball/softball field at Taylor Park, but it is apparent that there are some issues that need to be resolved before construction can actually begin. Councilman Myrick stated that since the proposed location of the new field has changed from the master plan and there is a possibility that some of the area may be wetlands, he suggested we contract with EMC Engineering, Inc. to provide elevation information and details regarding any wetlands before we proceed with the project. Also, he pointed out that based on the proposal from Mr. Bella regarding the construction of a retention pond for drainage purposes, we needed to make sure that there would be enough room for the field in the proposed location. After a discussion of this matter, Councilman Myrick made a motion to contract with EMC to obtain the information outlined above, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Councilmen Johnson, Myrick, Wedincamp and Waller. Due to a family connection, Councilman Ray abstained from voting.
Attorney Gerard reported he was working on a letter to send to Douglas Asphalt Co. about the damage to Main Street caused by their trucks hauling dirt for road construction and needed some details from Fett Burke, Jr. regarding the specific damage that is occurring. Mayor Rozier asked Mr. Burke to get with Attorney Gerard on this matter as soon as possible.
Council reviewed Attorney Gerard’s comments regarding the placement of speed bumps on public roads and agreed that the problems they cause would not make them a good choice for slowing down traffic on Michael Street. Attorney Gerard suggested council look in to borrowing the “speed sign” the county often uses in problem areas that shows the actual speed a vehicle is traveling as it approaches the sign. There have been reports that this devise tends to make drivers more aware of their speed and often times it is enough to slow the vehicles down-at least for awhile. Chief Anderson stated he would look into the possibility of borrowing this devise from the county.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard had talked with the county about the Conaway Canal Drainage Projects and outlined this information in a letter that has been distributed to council.
Attorney Gerard reported he had placed a call to the county regarding the damage to Pine Barren Road caused by trucks hauling dirt for the Pooler Parkway, but they had not called him back. Attorney Gerard stated he would call them back and report his findings to council as soon as possible.
Mayor Rozier presented the nuisance ordinance for council’s approval. Council was advised that the first reading of the ordinance had been approved at the March 21st meeting. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve said ordinance, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard asked that council delay final approval of the sign ordinance that received a first reading at the last meeting to allow time for him to review the results of a recent Supreme Court case regarding signs.
Mayor Rozier presented the firearms ordinance for a second reading. It was noted that the first reading of the ordinance was approved at the March 21st meeting. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the firearms ordinance, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented the ethics ordinance for council’s consideration. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to approve the first reading of the ordinance. Councilman Ray seconded the motion. Councilman Waller made a motion to dispense with the second reading, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to adopt the ethics ordinance as presented to council, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from David Tyler for a road frontage variance of approximately 20’ to allow him to place a mobile home on the property located on West Garvin Street and Hickory Street. The road frontage of the lot is on West Garvin Street. The clerk advised council that this was already an existing lot, but the road frontage did not meet the current width requirement of 100’. It was noted that setting the mobile home back far enough on the property where it widened to at least 100’ would follow the City’s established policy for situations similar to Mr. Tyler’s. Councilman Wedincamp asked if the ditch that was shown on the plat was maintained by the City. Maintenance Supervisor, Fett Burke, Jr. advised council that the ditch was private and was not maintained by the City. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he felt we needed to make an on site inspection of the drainage ditch to see if we needed an easement for future maintenance before we approved the variance and asked that the request be tabled until he could make said inspection. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to table Mr. Tyler’s request for a variance until he could inspect the drainage ditch, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from Jimmy Kerby for two home occupation licenses for businesses to be operated from his residence located at #508 Ash Street. One business is for metal contracting work and all the materials used in this business are stored in a warehouse away from his home. The other business consists of labor contracting services for the Savannah Sugar Refinery. Only the office functions of these businesses will be conducted at the residence. Mr. Kerby has stated that there will be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and neither will there be any equipment stored on the premises and no signs advertising the business posted at the residence. Council was reminded that they have the option to waive the public hearings requirements for these licenses since Mr. Kerby has indicated there will be no outside traffic and no signs. Based on Mr. Kerby’s understanding of these requirements, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement on both licenses. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to approve the issuance of the two home occupation licenses to Jimmy Kerby as outlined above, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a proclamation declaring the month of April, 2002 as “Fair Housing Month” in Bloomingdale.
The Mayor recognized Coster Livingston, a resident of #7 Ray Street, who stated that he wanted to file a complaint with council regarding the noise coming from the tent revival being held on the grounds of the Church of God of the Prophesy located at 1501 E. Hwy 80. Mr. Livingston stated that he and many of his neighbors have not been able to listen to their televisions or carry on normal conversations for several nights due to the loud music coming from the tent revival. Mr. Livingston advised council he had reported the problem to the police department a couple of times and one officer stated he had asked them to turn down the sound, but the other officer did not seem to want to interfere with the services. Chief Anderson pointed out that the officer was concerned about approaching the church about the problem without a directive from council since their permit to conduct the revival had been approved by council. Some of the council members indicated that had been able to hear the music from several areas throughout the City but did not realize it was coming from the church services. Council discussed the matter at length and decided that the noise was causing a nuisance to residents and the problem must be eliminated. Council directed Chief Anderson make contact with the church and advise them that they must turn the volume down on their sound system and the services must be over by 10:00pm or they will face revocation of their permit. Also, council agreed that this problem must be addressed as part of the permit process if the church requested approval of the tent revival in the future.
Citizen Ann Williams asked Councilman Myrick if the soil at the ball field at Taylor Park had been tested and was advised that the results of the test had not yet been received.
Citizen Fred Chance complained about the odor at the lift station and asked if any thing was being done about the problem. Fett Burke, Jr. reported that Ernest Grizzard was currently out of town, but had been working on the problem last week. Councilman Johnson stated that he was not aware that we were having problems with the smell since we had changed to the scrubber system several years ago. Mr. Chance advised him that he had been calling to complain about the smell for several weeks. Mr. Burke stated that Mr. Grizzard had discovered a chemical crystallization problem caused by not replacing the drums on a regular basis, but apparently there are some other problems as well. Mr. Chance asked why the City did not use a sealed system and was advised that we were using the system recommended by our engineers at a cost that was within the City’s budget. The Mayor stated that when Mr. Grizzard returned to work he would see that he followed up on the problem with the smell.
Citizen Betty Tucker asked what street was involved in the discussion about the speed bumps and was advised that council had considered using them on Michael Street.
Citizen Fred Chance asked why the City could not give him a break on his bill for water that ran into his yard from a busted water line and was advised that the City’s ordinance requires he be billed for the water used. It was also pointed out that the City’s water bond requires that consumers must be billed for the cost of the water they use. Mr. Chance was advised that if he was on an “actual” sewer rate there could be an adjustment to his sewer bill provided the water did not go through the sewer system.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
All members were present at the meeting except Councilman Tyler who was out of town.