July 18, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the June 20, 2002 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the water agreement is still under review by the City of Savannah and it may be a couple of weeks before we hear back from them.
Councilman Tyler reported that he had been talking with engineers about the feasibility of the City being able to finance the cost for the construction of our own sewer system.
Council discussed the fact that a Miocene test well was scheduled for installation in Pooler and decided to wait for the results of this test before making a decision about pursuing a test well in Bloomingdale.
The council was advised that the GEFA loan application for the financing of the construction for the sewer treatment plant was to be submitted by the City of Pooler this month.
The Mayor reported that Attorney Gerard had contacted Dennis Baxter about repairing/replacing the flow meter at Sangrena Woods and was advised that this sewage will no longer be discharged into Bloomingdale’s sewer system as soon as it can be re-routed to go through the new YMCA lift station and this should be accomplished within six (6) months. Mr. Baxter asked that the current method for determining usage be allowed to continue until the change is made. Councilman Wedincamp voiced his objections to this proposal and stated that he felt we should give Pooler 30 days to make repairs to the existing meter or to install a new meter. Council discussed the matter and agreed that we should be getting more accurate information on the actual sewer flow from the Sangrena Woods area. It was pointed out that the construction could take more than six months. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to have Attorney Gerard send Pooler a letter outlining a 30 day deadline on replacing or repairing the meter. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Wedincamp also pointed out that we needed to insist that Pooler reimburse Bloomingdale for our portion of the monies paid to Pooler for the loss of the drain field of the sewer treatment plant due to the construction of the Pooler Parkway and that we receive any interest that may have accrued during the time they were holding these funds. Councilman Myrick made a motion to have Attorney Gerard contact Pooler about recovering these funds, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler reported that the 1989 fire truck had been received and he stated that, in his opinion, we have a truck that is worth more than we paid for it. Councilman Tyler asked if the title should be submitted to the City for processing and was advised that the truck should be put in the City’s name.
Mayor Rozier reported that OMI had advised him that their study of the operation of the maintenance department indicated that they could not provide the same level of service to the citizens of the City of Bloomingdale for any less cost than we were currently budgeting. The Mayor stated that they indicated that Fett Burke and Ernest Grizzard were doing a good job.
Attorney Gerard advised council that Bill Lovett with HGBD, Inc. was attempting to contact the contractor that installed the Maple Street lift station to see if he could provide information regarding its construction outside of the boundaries of the City-owed property.
Councilman Myrick reported that he had talked with the contractor regarding the work on the football field and was assured that he could be finished by the end of July or the first of August with the use of sod. Councilman Myrick reminded council that when bids were obtained on this project, the other quotes were much higher—one was around $50,000. The committee met with Bill Bella and discussed the project with him and since his bid was much more reasonable decided to have him do the work. It was noted that the dirt that was brought in for the field contains some nut grass and Councilman Myrick stated that he planned to meet with Mr. Bella before he starts work on Monday and will discuss this issue with him at that time.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard had sent Ms. Reynolds a letter regarding the partially burned residence at #108 Church Street and demolition is once again underway.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that he had talked with Ernest Grizzard concerning the request from Magnolia Lane to reimburse them $209 in expenses related to a sewer backup at the apartments. Councilman Wedincamp stated that since this was a matter of he said/she said, he felt it would be best to go ahead and pay the bill, this time, but had instructed Ernest Grizzard to discuss the City’s procedures with the current manager to make sure she understands both the City’s responsibilities and those of the Magnolia Lane management regarding the sewer service. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to pay the $209 reimbursement to Magnolia Lane, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier pointed out that copies of an ordinance prepared by Attorney Gerard providing for the reduction in water service charges for senior citizens experiencing water leaks has been distributed for council’s review. Councilman Tyler asked why the ordinance did not include other citizens and Attorney Gerard advised him that to avoid challenges to the ordinance because the City was providing “free” water, there needed to be a very limited group that this exception should apply to and since seniors with lower incomes seemed to be of the most concern to council, this was the group that was addressed. The Mayor asked council to review the ordinance and it would be placed on the August 15th agenda for consideration.
The council was advised that Attorney Gerard had sent a letter to the owner of the property located at #310 Maple Street advising her of council’s concerns about the fence being constructed so close to the ditch and her responsibilities regarding the removal of any debris that may hamper drainage if soil erosion causes the fence to fall into the ditch. Fett Burke reported that she has finished construction of the fence and it is very close to the ditch bank.
Mayor Rozier stated that Attorney Gerard has prepared a fence ordinance for council’s review and asked if members needed some time to review the ordinance before it was adopted. Councilman Ray made a motion to table any action on the fence ordinance until council has had an opportunity to look it over. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that Attorney Gerard had provided council with information regarding moratoriums on building permits after the issue was discussed at the last meeting and asked if council wanted to pursue action on the moratorium at this time. Mayor Rozier pointed out that he had brought this matter to council’s attention because he was concerned that if building continued, we may be faced with fines if we did not do something to control increases in our water usage that was currently exceeding our permit. The matter was discussed at length and some members expressed concerns about taking this type action. Attorney Gerard pointed out that if council decided to place a moratorium on building, they needed to make it for a specific time period. After additional discussion, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion not to take any action on a moratorium on building permits until further study could be done on the matter, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard has reviewed the standard garbage contract from Waste Management and provided council with a comparison of this contract with the one from Republic Waste Services he reviewed in March, 2002. A copy of his correspondence has been distributed to council for their review. Mayor Rozier stated that he wanted to talk with Bryan and Effingham counties to see if they were satisfied with the service provided by Republic and planned to have the representative from Republic Waste Services attend the next meeting to answer any questions council may have about the service he would provide to the City of Bloomingdale.
The council was informed that according to information obtained from the Department of Transportation an additional 20’ of right of way would be needed for Stagecoach Road before they would participate in providing matching funds for improvements to the road. Council was reminded that the survey and right of way deeds that were previously prepared were based on 60’ rather than 80’ right of ways. The right of way deeds had been distributed to the Oetgens and Meyers for their consideration. After a discussion of this information, Councilman Johnson stated that he would like to find out from the surveyor how much he would charge for the additional survey work before we authorized him to proceed with the project. The matter was tabled until this information could be obtained.
Mayor Rozier informed council that the Ethics Committee as outlined in the Ethics Ordinance needed to be appointed as soon as possible. The committee should consist of three (3) persons, one Bloomingdale resident appointed by the Mayor, one Bloomingdale resident approved by the Council, and the third appointed by the two above named subject to approval by a majority of Mayor and Council. All members shall be residents of the City of Bloomingdale and shall serve a two (2) year term. Council was advised that no persons shall serve as a member of the Ethics Committee if the person has, or has had within the preceding one (1) year period, any interest in any contract, transaction, or official action of the City. Mayor Rozier asked that council members be prepared to submit names for the appointment at the August 15th meeting.
Mayor Rozier informed council a resolution for the adoption of the 2002/2003 Fiscal Year budget needed to be approved. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said resolution, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received a request from Roy Joyner for the construction of a 40’ x 30’ enclosed building for the purpose of storing antique cars on his property located at #1709 U.S. Hwy 80. It was noted that City policy requires council approval for the issuance of permits for accessory buildings having over 500 square feet of enclosed space. The Mayor reminded Mr. Joyner that he could not operate any type business from this structure and Mr. Joyner stated that the only thing he would be doing would be storing his vehicles in the building. Based on this information, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve issuance of a building permit for this storage building, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed the updated Soil & Sedimentation Control Regulations Ordinance as prepared by Attorney Gerard. The council was advised that adoption of the updated ordinance was requirement by EPD for the continuation of the City’s certification as the “Issuing Authority” under provisions of the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the first reading of said ordinance. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to dispense with the second reading of the ordinance, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to adopt the updated Soil & Sedimentation Control Regulations Ordinance as prepared by Attorney Gerard. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was informed that the City has been contacted by the Chatham Co. Board of Assessors advising that the City needs to issue a letter verifying that the City of Bloomingdale does not levy a millage rate for submission with the digest. In order to take this action, council needs to officially set a millage rate and then roll it back. In the past, the rate has been set at .10mils. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to set the millage rate for 2002 at .10mils. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to roll back the millage rate to -0-. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to authorize the Mayor to send a letter to the Chatham Co. Board of Assessors verifying that the City of Bloomingdale does not levy a millage rate. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Planning & Zoning Commission has set a public hearing date for August 20th for citizen input on the proposed sign ordinance and the rezoning of the recently annexed Union Camp property off Bloomingdale Road. The public hearing will also include discussion of the rezoning requests for properties on Hwy 80 between Wildcat Dam Road and Patrick Ave. The Mayor pointed out that the Planning & Zoning Commission should have also included the rezoning requests from the Morgans for two tracts at I-16 as part of the hearing, however, due to an oversight these were not discussed at the meeting. Council agreed that these requests should be addressed at the same public hearing, so Councilman Tyler made a motion to add these items to the agenda for the August 20th public hearing. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Wayne Tipton, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission requested council go ahead and give approval of a contract with Bill Saxman for preparation of the update to the Comprehensive Plan and approve the costs related to this update. Councilman Johnson asked if he had the price quoted by Mr. Saxman to do the work, but Mr. Tipton did not have an exact figure. Mr. Tipton read council some information from a memo sent to him by Mr. Saxman indicating there should be a minimum budget of between $10,000 and $15,000 set aside for the work. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the City already has a contract with Mr. Saxman to do consulting work at a rate of $85.00 per hour, but there was some question as to whether or not we should commit to the hourly rate without some cap on the total cost. Councilman Johnson asked if Mr. Tipton had obtained a price from the MPC to do the plan and Mr. Tipton stated that it was his understanding from information he received from Mr. Saxman that they were charging approximately $12,000 to do the work for some other cities, but this amount could vary according to which aspects of the plan they were going to handle. Councilman Johnson stated that since he was now the Chairman of the Planning & Licensing Committee he would like to talk with both Mr. Saxman and the MPC before a decision is made regarding the preparation of the plan.
Wayne Tipton advised council that Randy Saxon had resigned from the Planning & Zoning Commission and stated that he would like to present two names for council’s consideration for appointments. The names submitted were Glenda Key and Ruth Wedincamp. Some questions were raised by council members regarding the appointment of Ms. Wedincamp due to the potential conflict with having a spouse on the council. Attorney Gerard pointed out that although there is probably no law against the appointment there is still a technical conflict because the Planning & Zoning Commission was created as a body separate from the elected officials to made decisions regarding zoning and planning issues that would be completely neutral and not influenced by politics. Some citizens may feel that no matter which way Ms. Wedincamp may vote on an issue, her vote may have been influenced by Councilman Wedincamp. Attorney Gerard stated that even though that may not be the case in this situation, there could still be the appearance of a conflict and this situation may not be in the best interest of the City. Councilman Myrick stated that Ms. Wedincamp’s appointment to this committee may leave the City open to criticism and could cause possible conflicts in the future. Based on these concerns, Ms. Wedincamp withdrew her request for consideration. Councilman Johnson made a motion to appoint Glenda Key to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it received affirmative votes from Councilmen Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Tyler and Waller. Councilman Wedincamp abstained from voting.
Citizen Adrian Brannen asked for some details regarding this committee because she might want to serve on it. The Mayor advised her that the Planning & Zoning Commission met on the third Tuesday of each month and suggested she attend some meetings to see if she was interested in serving on the committee.
Ms. Brannen advised council that she lived at #411 Cregor Street and the road in front of her house needed some attention. Ernest Grizzard stated that there had been some water/sewer lines run in the last few days and he had not finished filling in the holes he dug for the lines. The Mayor asked that the maintenance department look into this matter and take care of the problems with the road.
Council was informed that the City has received a rezoning petition on behalf of the Morgan family for the Planned Unit Development of properties off Wildcat Dam Road. The property is currently zoned RA, RA-1 & R-1 and the rezoning request is for mixed uses and includes light industrial, commercial, multi-family, and single family zoning. The request includes information regarding their water/sewer capacity needs of approximately 368,150 gpd after full development of the PUD. After discussion of the request, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to submit this request to Bill Saxman for his review and recommendation. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the DOT has submitted information to the City regarding the need for additional rights of way for the completion of the U.S. Hwy 80 widening project. Initial review of the maps indicates there may be a need to relocate some major water and sewer lines on Hwy 80 and/or along Adams Road. Mayor Rozier asked that Councilmen Johnson and Wedincamp meet with the DOT to determine exactly what would be expected of the City regarding these lines before a decision is made concerning the dedication of the right of way.
Council was advised that based on council’s approval of the proposed 2002/2003 budget, we need to approve the execution of the contract with the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department for fire protection at a cost of $40,000 for July, 2002 through June, 2003. It was noted that this contract must be approved and signed before any funds can be distributed to the fire department from the new budget. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve execution of said contract, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler abstained from voting.
Chief Anderson requested the council and/or police committee begin development of the City’s law enforcement philosophy as recommended by The Lambries Pierce Tome Group so this information can be relayed to the police department. Councilman Myrick indicated he would schedule a meeting of his committee to work on this plan.
Chief Anderson asked if council would consider putting some ceiling fans in the council/courtroom because of the need to circulate some air when large crowds were gathered for court or meetings. Councilman Tyler made a motion to act on the Chief’s request for the fans, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Wedincamp asked if we could install some additional speakers at the council tables before our next meeting because the citizens could not hear what was going on during the meetings. The Mayor asked Councilman Tyler if he could handle this request and he stated that he would take care of the matter.
Council was notified that the City has received a letter from GMA advising that Billy Edwards, City Manager of Hinesville, Mayor Roger Boatright and Mayor James Neal have been appointed to the GIRMA Board and they need ratification of the appointments by Mayor Rozier. Councilman Tyler made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to ratify said appointments, a second to the motion was made by Councilman Johnson and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that he had made some changes to the City Council Committee appointments and he planned to make changes every six months. He stated he had talked with other Mayors who handled their committee appointments the same way. Mayor Rozier asked that the committees remember that any time a quorum of a committee is present and City business is discussed, the meeting falls under the Open Meetings Laws and we must follow the requirements of these laws.
The Mayor informed citizens that he had been attending some meetings regarding the renegotiations on the distribution of the LOST monies and hopefully, an agreement can be reached with the county regarding distribution of these funds.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Wedincamp advised the clerk that he wanted to make sure we did not pay a bill from Rowe Well Drilling for repairs to the well until he has reviewed the bill to make sure we are being billed for the work they actually performed. The clerk advised Councilman Wedincamp that invoices related to the water and sewer operation were approved by Ernest Grizzard before they were paid and unless the bill has been approved by Mr. Grizzard, it has not been paid. Councilman Tyler made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:35pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present at the meeting.