April 18, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the April 4, 2002 council meeting and the April 8, 2002 special called meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that although a verbal agreement had been reached with Mayor Adams to provide the City with additional water capacity, a contract has not yet been executed. Attorney Gerard stated that he had not received a response to his April 11th letter to James Blackburn, the City of Savannah’s attorney, about meeting to formalize an agreement between the two cities as he was directed by Mayor Rozier. The Mayor stated he would get back with Mayor Adams on this matter, but was not sure what would happen with the agreement if the information he had heard about Savannah’s annexation not being approved was accurate.
The Mayor advised council that it was his understanding that neither the City of Bloomingdale’s nor the City of Port Wentworth’s annexation requests had been approved by the Senate.
Mayor Rozier stated that he, along with Councilman Tyler and Fett Burke, had met with Mike Sims, the representative from Douglas Asphalt, regarding the damage to Main Street caused by their trucks hauling dirt for road construction and they were assured that the road would be repaired. Mr. Sims had advised them that the state would require that they get a written release from the City on the repairs they made to the road before Douglas Asphalt could get payment from the state. Attorney Gerard stated that he needed to know a cost figure for the repairs so he could advise Douglas Asphalt of the bond amount they will be required to post and Fett Burke advised him that Mike Sims stated at the meeting that he would contact Attorney Gerard about their agreement.
Attorney Gerard advised council that he was still negotiating with the county on the repairs to Pine Barren Road that would be needed before the City proceeded with the annexation of this roadway. It was noted that if we could identify other companies that had caused damage to the road, it may be possible to recover some of the repair costs from them. Fett Burke stated he would get with Ernest Grizzard and provide this information to Attorney Gerard.
Council was advised that David Tyler had asked to be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss his request for a road frontage variance on his property located on West Garvin Street, but he was not present. Councilman Wedincamp stated he would check into the drainage issues pertaining to the ditch located on the property by next meeting so a decision can be made on approving the variance.
Councilman Myrick reported that the soil samples taken from the ball field at Taylor Park had been tested by Whitaker Laboratories and no contaminants were found.
The Mayor reported that Senator Eric Johnson had reported that the state had approved a $25,000 Local Assistance Grant for the City’s use in lighting the proposed ball field at the park.
Mayor Rozier stated that Ernest Grizzard had reported to council at the pre-agenda meeting that he had completed repairs to the lift station that had been the source of the complaints from citizens at the last meeting. Mr. Grizzard reported to council that to the best of his knowledge there had not been any more calls on the smell since these repairs were made. Councilman Johnson asked if this was something that could be done more often to help eliminate this problem and Mr. Grizzard had advised him that they planned to change these drums on a more regular basis.
Council was advised that the sign ordinance that had received first reading approval at the March 21, 2002 council meeting needed to be submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission for consideration and processing prior to its final adoption. It was noted that a public hearing must be conducted to obtain citizen input and after said hearing the Planning & Zoning Commission must present the ordinance back to council for adoption. Councilman Tyler made a motion to submit the sign ordinance to the Planning & Zoning Commission as required by the zoning ordinance. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Denise & William Dixon to operate a fence contracting business from their residence located at #1205B E. Hwy 80. The Dixons stated that they will only be operating the office from the residence and all materials will be delivered to the job site. Also, the Dixons indicated there will be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and there will be no sign on the property. Council was advised that this type license would be considered a home occupation license and they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement if there will be no outside traffic and no sign on the premises. It was noted that the Dixons do not own the property, but will provide a letter from Vera Henry giving them permission to conduct the business at this location. William Dixon advised council that he would like to have his license include the construction of porches and decks and was advised that he needed to make the necessary corrections to his application to reflect exactly what type construction he planned to do. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Denise & William Dixon at #1205B E. Hwy 80 for a contracting license to build fences, porches and decks with the stipulation they make the necessary adjustments to their application to reflect this type construction work and they provide written permission from the owner of the property allowing them to conduct the business from this location. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported the City had received a request from Randy Wood at #1302E. Hwy 80 to have a musical jamboree on his property on May 11, 2002. Mr. Wood, who was present at the meeting, stated that the jamboree would be held in the early afternoon from about 1:00pm until 5:00pm or 6:00pm and if the event was successful he would like to hold these jamborees from time to time. Council advised Mr. Wood that the City had recently had some complaints about the noise being generated by a tent revival held in that same general area and asked if he anticipated any loud music that may disturb the neighbors. Mr. Wood stated that there would be a sound system in use, but he did not think the music would be any louder than the noise from the traffic on the highway. Councilman Johnson asked if there would be a cover charge and Mr. Wood stated that he was requesting a $10.00 donation from those attending the event to help defer the expenses of the group that would be performing. Mr. Wood reported that the Blue Grass Alliance would be providing the entertainment and invited everyone to attend. After a brief discussion, council agreed to allow Mr. Wood to hold the musical jamboree, but advised him that approval for future events would depend on whether or not any traffic problems occurred and/or if the City received complaints from the neighbors.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City had received a letter from the Morgan family dated April 15, 2002 indicating they were interested in discussing the possibility of reserving additional capacity at the sewer wastewater treatment plant. The Mayor reminded council that the City had already advised the City of Pooler that we were not interested in additional sewer capacity because we had not received any requests from developers before the March 15th deadline, so the council took no action on the request from the Morgan family.
Council was advised that the 2001-2002 Annual Report for the City of Bloomingdale Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Discharge Permit (NPDES Permit) has been completed and prepared for submission on Bloomingdale’s behalf to the EPD by the Metropolitan Planning Commission. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division requires Chatham County and all of the municipalities to maintain permits for the discharge of stormwater to the waters of the state (canals, rivers and bays). The current permit, which was re-issued April 1, 2000, requires that an annual report documenting all stormwater related activities be submitted to EPD. The current permit, as well as the annual reports, has been prepared by the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission as a joint effort between Chatham County, the Town of Thunderbolt and the cities of Bloomingdale, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth, and Tybee Island. The individual cost for each participating government is based upon a proportionate share of the total program cost with Bloomingdale’s share being $8500 for the last several years. The MPC is proposing to prepare the 2002-2003 annual report for the NPDES Permit at this same cost. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion for the City to accept the MPC’s proposal and include the $8500 fee in the 2002-2003 fiscal year budget.
The Mayor reported that preparation of the budget worksheets was underway and these will be distributed to the department heads and council members as soon as they have been prepared. Council was advised that since the budget needs to be adopted before July 1, 2002 and a public hearing must be held prior to the approval of the budget, the budget needs to be completed by the end of May.
Councilman Johnson stated that in his review of the Ethics Ordinance adopted at the last meeting, he noted that the Mayor and Council must appoint a committee to receive and process complaints against a governing authority member or City employee. He pointed out that one member is to be appointed by the Mayor, one member by the council and one member by both the Mayor and Council. This three member committee will serve for two years. Councilman Johnson suggested that we begin preparation of a list of candidates for this committee so they can be contacted about serving. It was noted that potential candidates can be provided a copy of the ethics ordinance to review outlining their responsibilities before they accept an appointment to the committee. Council agreed with his suggestion and he pointed out that anyone interested in serving could contact the Mayor, a member of council, or the city clerk’s office.
Mayor Rozier advised the council and citizens that there would be a public meeting held on Thursday, April 25, 2002 at 6:00pm to receive citizen input on the operation of the Bloomingdale Police Department. He pointed out that the meeting would be conducted by the study group hired by the City to assess the operation of the department and make recommendations on ways they may be able to improve the department to better serve the citizens. The Mayor stated that it was his understanding the study would include interviews of the Chief, all police department personnel, council members and himself. Attorney Gerard stated that when the study was conducted in Garden City interviews were also conducted with the recorders’ court judge and the district attorney’s office. Mayor Rozier invited anyone interested in expressing their opinion about the operation of the police department to attend the meeting on April 25th.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Tyler made a motion to adjourn, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 7:30pm.
The Mayor and all members of City council were present at the meeting.