May 16, 2002
Mayor Rozier called the meeting to order and Councilman Mike Ray lead in prayer. The minutes of the May 2, 2002 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Wedincamp asked that some additional wording be added to the minutes that Ernest Grizzard had advised the person inquiring about water/sewer service in the Osteen Road area to contact the City Council about obtaining these services. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the minutes with this addition, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported the water agreement with the City of Savannah was still under review.
Mayor Rozier stated that he has not heard anything from OMI regarding the results of their study on whether or not they could offer the City substantial savings if their company assumed responsibility for the operation of the maintenance department.
Council was advised that there have not yet been any repairs made to Pine Barren Road by the county.
The council was informed the City has not received the plat with the drainage easement designations from David Tyler on his property on Hickory Street, so no action can be taken on his road frontage variance.
Councilman Myrick stated that the drainage study to be performed by EMC at Taylor Park has not yet been completed.
Attorney Gerard reported to City Council that Mike Sims has indicated that the Maple Street Lift Station does encroach approximately 12’onto private property at Main & Maple Streets and that Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung, Inc. will review the situation and bring a recommendation back to the City as to the best way to resolve the problem.
The Mayor stated that he had not received any information from Mayor Carter regarding the financing of the upgrade to the sewer treatment plant. Attorney Gerard advised council he would contact Pooler’s City Attorney to see what he may know about this matter.
Council reviewed a letter from Attorney Gerard outlining his findings on how other cities handled leaks in water lateral lines of senior citizens. Attorney Gerard pointed out that some cities allow for an adjustment to their bills upon presentation of evidence that the line has been repaired at the senior citizen’s cost. He pointed out; however, that application of this policy would need to be limited to a small well-defined group of individuals who, it would appear, would be done a great injustice if relief were not to be granted. Attorney Gerard reported that the policy could possibly be unconstitutional since the City would be in effect giving away water for free, but the probability that someone would challenge it and a court would uphold their opposition would be very small. Council discussed the matter and asked that Attorney Gerard draw up a draft resolution containing some age and income guidelines for their consideration.
Councilman Myrick reported that he felt that it would be best to proceed with the proposal for the renovation of the football field at Taylor Park as provided by Bella Vista and requested that council approve said proposal at a cost of $16,620. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the proposal from Bella Vista for the renovation, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp expressed some concerns about the costs related to this renovation and felt there were some areas that could be done cheaper than his proposal--such as the use of sod rather than grassing with sprigs and the possibility of using volunteer help for the work rather than paying the cost of labor. Councilman Wedincamp advised council that he had some sod available for use by the City and felt it would cost less and there would not be any growing time involved. Councilman Myrick stated that he did not have any problem with advising Mr. Bella of the availability of the sod, but felt that it should be up to him as to whether or not he chose to accept that option. Councilman Johnson pointed out that the City would expect Mr. Bella to guarantee his work and we should allow him to use the materials best suited to the job. Some members stated that several attempts had been made to use volunteer help in the past, but this method has not been successful. Recreation Director Joe Young stated that some of the work that was done to the field last year was with volunteer help and City crews, but since they were not experienced in developing football fields the results were not as good as they could have been with a professional doing the work. Councilman Myrick advised council that he was concerned about diverting too much from Mr. Bella’s proposal since delays to the project could result in not having the field available for football season in August. Councilman Johnson stated that Mr. Bella needed about two weeks to kill the grass before he could begin work on restoration to the field. Councilman Wedincamp asked if it would be possible for him to change his vote to “no” and Attorney Gerard stated that although the results would still be the same that the clerk could make note of the change in the minutes. Based on Councilman Wedincamp’s request to change his vote, the motion to approve the proposal from Bella Vista to renovate the football field at Taylor Park at a cost of $16,620 passed with five affirmative votes from Councilmen Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Tyler, and Waller with Councilman Wedincamp voting against the motion.
Council was advised that the City has received a response from Bill Saxman on the rezoning request from the Morgans for two tracts located on either side of I-16. Mr. Saxman has recommended denying these petitions because the rezoning would not comply with the City’s Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. Council was also advised that the City has received rezoning requests for eleven of the twelve tracts located in an area on Hwy 80 between Wildcat Dam Road and Patrick Avenue. The clerk reminded council that Mr. Saxman had recommended these requests be denied because the rezoning of them from residential to commercial would not comply with the Comprehensive Plan. It was noted that council had delayed action on these requests because they were waiting on the petition from the Morgan family on the tract they own in this same area and it has now been received. Council was informed that these requests would need to be sent to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their consideration making use of Mr. Saxman’s information and input from the public hearing that must be held prior to their making their recommendation to council. Councilman Myrick made a motion to refer all of these requests to the Planning & Zoning Commission, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the results of the work session/meeting held on Tuesday, May 14th with elected officials, members of the Planning & Zoning Commission and Bill Saxman and agreed to direct the Planning & Zoning Commission, with assistance from Bill Saxman, to begin the process of updating the Short Term Work Program of the Comprehensive Plan as required by the State and to review and make recommendations on amendments to the current zoning ordinance as part of the development of the final plan. Councilman Tyler made a motion to handle the update of the Short Term Work Program of the Comprehensive Plan as outlined above, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a request form Phillip Webber, Director of the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, to consider approval of a Statewide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. This agreement reflects amendments to the Georgia Emergency Management Act to provide local governments with authority to enter into agreements for mutual aid during the time of emergencies. This authority provides a means for obtaining timely reimbursement of costs incurred by local governments that render such assistance and where needed, authorizes GEMA to coordinate emergency assistance between local governments and to provide available resources. After a brief discussion by council, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve said mutual aid and assistance agreement with GEMA. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed the PUD plans submitted on behalf of the Morgans to the City on Tuesday night. One question that was raised by the Morgans was whether the City had adequate water and sewer capacity to handle the proposed development. Mayor Rozier advised council that he would contact the Morgans to get more specific information on how much capacity they needed and their plans for participation if the City decided to pursue an increase in our sewer capacity at the sewer treatment plant. The Mayor stated he would report back to council at the next meeting.
Council was advised that work session needed to begin on the preparation of the 2002/2003 budget. After a brief discussion, council agreed to meet on Monday, June 3rd at 6:30pm.
The council discussed a possible amendment to the personnel policy related to defining acceptable driving records for employees driving City vehicles. One specific issue was related to employees convicted of DUI’s. Council agreed that an employee must wait at least three (3) years from the date of their conviction of a DUI before they would be allowed to drive a City vehicle and asked Attorney Gerard to prepare a resolution covering this stipulation for council’s consideration at their next meeting.
Council was reminded that the next regularly schedule meeting will be held on June 20, 2002.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick encouraged everyone to participate in the “Salute to Bloomingdale Night” to be held at the Sand Gnats game on Friday, May 24th.
Mayor Rozier presented Fett Burke, Jr. with a plaque of appreciation for his sixteen (16) years of service on the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Council was advised that there was a personnel matter that needed to be handled at tonight’s meeting, but it was not on the agenda. Councilman Ray made a motion to add this item to the agenda, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller then made a motion to adjourn to executive session to discuss the personnel matter. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
(An affidavit confirming the executive session consisted of a discussion of a personnel matter is attached)
After the executive session, Councilman Johnson made a motion to return to the regular council meeting. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The Mayor reported that the executive session consisted of a discussion on a personnel matter that will be handled by the department head.
Citizen Wayne James asked about the City’s recent annexation proposal and was advised that it was not approved. The Mayor pointed out that the proposal could be submitted at a later date.
Citizen Marty Jones expressed his concern that one of the baseball teams was not able to play their game tonight because the pitching machine was not available. Recreation Director Joe Young stated that he had been informed that the game had been cancelled, so arrangements had not been made to set up the machine. Mr. Young had a death in the family and was not at the park tonight, but would have made arrangements for someone else to handle the matter if he had not been advised the game had been cancelled. Mayor Rozier stated that it was apparent that more volunteer help was needed at the park. He pointed out that Joe was begging for help. He knew that he had been trying to run the concession stand by himself along with marking the fields and cutting the grass. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt council needed to get more involved in trying to promote more volunteer help at the park and planned to discuss this with the members at their next meeting. The Mayor pointed out that the Recreation Executive Board met on the first Monday of the month and encouraged council members and citizens to attend the meetings.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:30pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present at the meeting.