November 7, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the October 17, 2002 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 the City has received the revised version of the water service agreement between Savannah and Bloomingdale and it is under review. The Mayor stated that he has not been able to reach Mayor Carter or Dennis Baxter regarding the amount of the transmittal fee that the City of Pooler plans to charge Bloomingdale for using their water lines to transport the water. Mayor Rozier advised council that he would try to make contact with Pooler before the next meeting.
Councilman Tyler stated that after a review of the City’s monthly sewer charges for customers who are not on City water, he suggested the City apply the same rate to the four (4) houses located in the City of Pooler whose sewer wastewater is being transported through Bloomingdale’s sewer line. Councilman Tyler advised council that these rates are based on an average of 9,000 gallons per household, per month, plus a base rate. However, since Bloomingdale’s crews do not maintain the grinder pumps at these residences, Councilman Tyler stated that we should not charge the base rate. The gallons will be billed at the same rate that Pooler charges Bloomingdale for treatment of the sewer wastewater. After a brief discussion, Councilman Tyler presented this recommendation as a motion to council. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Johnson reported that he had contacted Vince Helmly with Coastal Surveying Co. and he was given a price of $1600 for the survey work to add the additional 20’ right of way to the Stagecoach Road survey. The Mayor asked Attorney Gerard if we would need to obtain other bids on this work, but Attorney Gerard stated that since Mr. Helmly had done the initial survey work we probably could not get a lower bid. Councilman Johnson made a motion to authorize Coastal Surveying Co. to proceed with the additional survey work on Stagecoach Road at a cost of $1600. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the “Lure Coursing” agreement with the Savannah Lure Course Interest Club (Diana Miller & Laura Morgan) has been executed and proof of insurance has been provided by the club.
Councilman Tyler reported that he was working with the engineers on the preparation of a well permit.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that Johnny Padgett is withdrawing his request for temporary access off Main Street to his property located at #901 E. Hwy 80.
Council was advised that the drainage work at Taylor Park is underway; however, there have been delays to the project due to the recent rains.
Council discussed the proposed garbage service contract with Republic Waste Services. Richard Chilton, the general operations manager with Republic Waste, was present at the meeting to answer any questions council may have about the contract. It was noted that the changes in the contract requested by Attorney Gerard regarding indemnity have been made. Mr. Chilton reported that if the contract was approved, service would start in February, 2003. The Mayor outlined the terms of the contract which included:
1) A 90 or more gallon residential roll-out cart to be included in the base price
2) Residential rates: Base price for roll-out cart collection and disposal-once per week for one month from one residential unit - $8.31 – second roll-out cart available for $4.00 per month.
3) Commercial rates: Base price for roll-out cart and disposal-once per week for one commercial unit - $15.00 – second roll-out cart available for $10.00 per month.
4) Republic Waste will bill the City each month based on the total number of residential premises in the collection service area of the City and the total number of commercial premises served.
5) Rates of compensation for initial five year term-Republic Waste may adjust the annual prices for solid waste collection services by the lesser of the consumer price index (CPI) for all urban consumers-south or 3%.
Mayor Rozier asked Mr. Chilton if the City would be paying every month for vacant residences and Mr. Chilton advised him that if Republic Waste is notified, in advance, that a residence has been vacated and the garbage is not picked up, the City would not be charged. Councilman Johnson asked at what point a new residence would be charged and was advised that the charges would start when the cart was delivered. Citizen Billy Strozier asked if the carts for commercial business were any larger than those of residences and was advised by Mr. Chilton that they were the same size. Mr. Strozier questioned why commercial businesses were required to pay a higher rate and Mr. Chilton stated that this is their normal contract requirements since businesses normally are in a better position to pay the higher rate. After this discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve execution of the garbage service contract with Republic Waste Services, Inc. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge has been placed on the November 8th agenda of the Chatham County Commission meeting by Commission Dean Kicklighter and he is extending an invitation to the Mayor, City Council members and the City Attorney to attend the meeting. This matter was discussed at length by council. Mayor Rozier reported that although council had agreed to close the bridge, as advised by the DOT, access across the bridge was being granted to the one resident who lives on the other side within the City limits of Pooler. Mr. Young, however, is concerned that with a locked gate across the roadway, there would be no way for EMS or the police department to respond to an emergency. Some council members questioned whether or not the City would be required to reopen the bridge if Mr. Young has another access. The Mayor pointed out that Mr. Young has complained that the only other access to his property is through the Morgan’s property and the road is almost impassable. Attorney Gerard advised council that the City would be obligated to keep a public road open and the City needs to find a way to make the necessary repairs to the bridge. Councilman Tyler asked if the county would be required to make these repairs since the problems existed before the City annexed Wildcat Dam Road. Attorney Gerard stated that there would probably not be a very good legal argument requiring the county to make the repairs, but he felt the county should be willing to do the right thing by at least paying a portion of the cost. Attorney Gerard pointed out that although the county wanted Bloomingdale to take the road off of their hands, he did not feel they were deceptive about the bridge—the county officials probably did not know that the engineering department had received the notification when the annexation was being discussed. Council was also advised by the attorney that the City would have had some obligation to inspect the road/bridge before annexation to make sure we were willing to accept them in their current condition. Council discussed the costs involved in making the repairs and Mayor Rozier reported that initial estimates were between $25,000 and $30,000. Councilman Wedincamp stated he was in the process of obtaining some estimates for replacing the existing bridge with pre-cast culverts. Councilman Johnson made a motion to pass any action on the repairs/replacement of the bridge until after the Mayor has had an opportunity meet with the Chatham County Commissioners. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion. The motion passed with affirmative votes from Councilmen Johnson, Tyler, Ray, and Waller. Councilman Wedincamp voted against the motion because he felt we should not delay getting prices for the repairs or replacement of the bridge. Council was in agreement that he should continue to get these prices, in writing, for presentation to council and once Councilman Wedincamp understood they wanted him to obtain these prices, he voted for the motion.
Attorney Gerard presented an ordinance regarding the zoning classification for property annexed into the City on May 2, 2002 known as Part of the Carter Brothers Tract located on Bloomingdale Road. The property is being zoned RA-1 to comply with the zoning or the property as it existed prior to annexation. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the first reading of said ordinance. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Attorney Gerard had made the changes to the fence ordinance as suggested by the Planning & Zoning Commission and copies have been distributed for council’s review. The Mayor reported that Wayne Tipton had raised some questions about the need for permits for fences used for agricultural purposes, but could not make tonight’s meeting to discuss them with council. Councilman Johnson made a motion to pass any action on the ordinance until Mr. Tipton could present this information for consideration. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the revisions to the survey proposed by the Planning & Zoning Commission for distribution in the next newsletter to Bloomingdale citizens have been completed and copies have been distributed to council. Council approved the distribution of the survey without any additional changes.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that he had attended the meeting on the Chatham County Community Greenspace Program and the members of the committee had agreed that the City of Savannah has the most immediate need for this year’s funds with future allotments to be distributed to the other cities.
Council was advised that Terry Jones has resubmitted his request for a building permit to construct a pool house/storage building on his property located at #114 Conaway Road. Mr. Jones has removed the petition separating a portion of the downstairs that was noted for office space. The enclosed building consists of a total of 1374 sq. ft. (upstairs and downstairs). Note: City policy requires council to approve permits for structures over 500 sq. ft. of enclosed area. The Mayor pointed out that based on concerns expressed by council members at the previous meeting that there was a potential for conflict with the zoning ordinance should the structure be used for overnight guests or as a dwelling in the future, Attorney Gerard has prepared an agreement that should be signed by Mr. Jones prior to the issuance of the building permit outlining the restrictions that would be placed on the use of the pool house/storage building. The restrictions do not allow the building to be used as living quarters or for overnight guests. Mr. Jones expressed his dislike of having to sign the agreement since he did not feel council should care whether or not the structure was used for overnight guests. After his review of the agreement, Mr. Jones agreed to sign it as a stipulation to the issuance of the building permit. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the issuance of the building permit for the pool house/storage building with the restrictions outlined in the agreement that is to be signed by Mr. Jones prior to obtaining the building permit. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The Mayor then presented a request from Terry Jones to construct a garage/storage building at the same location. The enclosed building, upstairs and downstairs, consists of 1584 sq. ft. After a brief discussion, Councilman Wedincamp approved the issuance of the building permit for the garage/storage building. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler stated that although he knows the council is bound by the current zoning ordinance regarding the building requested by Mr. Jones, he would like to see the ordinance reviewed and possibly changed to allow more than one dwelling on a tract of land. Councilman Tyler indicated that he wasn’t sure how up-to-date our zoning ordinance was with other areas. Attorney Gerard pointed out that Bloomingdale’s zoning ordinance contains basically the same requirements as the other zoning ordinances in this area and it more up-to-date than some of our neighboring cities. Mayor Rozier advised those present that the City is currently involved in an update to our Comprehensive Plan and this request is the type thing that would be considered during this process.
Council reviewed a request from Avis Avin at #406 Wallace Circle to operate a home occupation business from this location to manufacture and sell mailboxes. It was noted that there would be no outside traffic coming to the residence as Ms. Avin plans to sell the mailboxes over the internet and at other locations. Council was advised that they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement where no outside traffic is expected. Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing and issue the home occupation license to Avis Avin at #406 Wallace Circle. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Loretta McKay at #11 Ray Street to operate a home occupation business from her residence. It was noted that the only part of the painting & repair business to be operated from this location is the office for said business. Ms. McKay could not be present at tonight’s meeting, so her son, Carl, was here to answer any questions regarding the business. Mayor Rozier pointed out that the application indicates there will be four (4) employees involved in the business and advised Mr. McKay that there should be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Mr. McKay stated that all of the employees were relatives and they lived nearby, but their vehicles were parked in their own yards. Attorney Gerard pointed out the home occupation ordinance only allows persons residing on the premises to conduct the business. Mr. McKay advised council that the only part of the business being operated from the residence was the office and the actual painting & repair work done by the other employees was at other locations. Based on this explanation, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing and grant the home occupation license to Loretta McKay at #11 Ray Street. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from Ethan Davis at #303 Cregor Street to obtain a permit to construct a 24’ x 36’ garage addition onto his existing home. Since the enclosed space will be over 500 sq. ft., council must approve issuance of the permit. The Mayor pointed out that the addition contains a bathroom, but Mr. Davis indicates that the addition will only be used as a garage and storage space. Mr. Davis advised council that he does plan to install a kitchenette upstairs for cooking fish, but the addition will not be used as a residence. Billy Strozier informed council that this addition was connected to the house, so there should be no problem with bathroom facilities being added. Mayor Rozier stated that since the property is zoned R-1, single-family residences only, the City wants to make sure Mr. Davis realizes that the area does not allow duplexes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to grant the permit as requested by Mr. Davis, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The council reviewed a request from Tony Blocker for the recombination of two lots at #1503 W. Hwy 80. Council was advised that both of the lots will still meet the City’s minimum road frontage and lot sizes. Mr. Blocker operates Chatham Nursery and wants to enlarge the office space currently used for the business. In order to make this change, he has to move the business off of the lot on which is residence is located and the recombination of the two existing lots will allow him to meet this requirement. Mr. Blocker has provided information regarding approval from the DOT for a culvert to be installed for the lot where the business will be located and a soil scientists report covering the septic tank permit. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the recombination as requested by Mr. Blocker. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson did not vote on the request.
Council was advised the City has received a request from Donny Tuten to provide a letter to EPD that the City is not aware of any permitted landfills in the area served by his water system on Stagecoach Road. Mr. Tuten informed the City that he had discussed this request with Chatham County and they were willing to provide the letter for unincorporated Chatham County, however, since Bloomingdale annexed this area in 1998, the county engineering office states that the letter must come from the City. Councilman Ray made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute said letter, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler asked for an update on the Chief of Police search and wanted to know if any steps had been taken to develop the directives for the police department as discussed several weeks ago. Mayor Rozier pointed out that applications for the Chief’s position had been accepted through October 31st, so he felt sure that Councilman Myrick planned to start the review process in the next week or so. Council discussed the importance of working on the directives for the police department as soon as possible since these needed to be in place before hiring a permanent Chief of Police. The Mayor stated he would get with Councilman Myrick as soon as he got back in town and see if a meeting could be set up. The Mayor questioned Captain Roy Pike, Interim Police Chief, about a report that a couple of the computers were not working well with the new software and Captain Pike confirmed this information. Mayor Rozier directed him to get with Councilman Tyler about taking the steps necessary to update this equipment.
Mayor Rozier recognized former Mayor Billy Strozier and thanked him, along with the other citizens, for attending tonight’s meeting.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Tyler made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:00pm. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present, except Councilman Myrick who was out of town.