November 21, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier. The Reverend Mark Minter, the pastor of The Church of God of the Prophesy, led in prayer.
The minutes of the November 7, 2002 council meeting and the November 15, 2002 called meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City of Pooler has advised him that they plan to charge the City of Bloomingdale a capital recovery fee of $63 for each new residential unit that taps onto Bloomingdale’s system once the agreement for purchasing water from the City of Savannah has been executed. This fee will be in addition to a transport fee of 10 cents per 1,000 gallons. The Mayor stated that Savannah’s agreement includes a $1500 tap-in fee and a cost of $1.30 per 1,000 gallons. Mayor Rozier pointed out that the capital recovery fee and tap-in fee would only apply to those residences outside of Bloomingdale’s existing water service area.
Council was advised that the well permit application was being prepared.
Councilman Myrick reported that he and Councilman Ray had met with Sidney Williams, the contractor doing the drainage work at Taylor Park, and due to the wet weather, this work has been delayed. Councilman Myrick pointed out, however, that since there has been some dirt made available by the City’s cutting down of the railroad bed, we will be able to raise the elevation of some of the lower areas at the park. Councilman Myrick reported that the original drainage plans were to use this approach for the drainage, but the cost of the fill dirt was prohibitive, so an alternative plan was used instead. Since the dirt is now available, some changes will be made in how the drainage work is completed.
Mayor Rozier stated that he had attended the council meeting in Pooler on Monday night to see if City officials would be willing to help with the cost of the replacement/repairs to the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge. He reported that the City of Pooler is requesting that both councils, along with representatives from the county engineering department, meet with the Morgan Family to discuss the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge issue. The Mayor pointed out that apparently the county plans to do some upgrading to the canal and before monies are invested in the bridge, these plans need to be discussed by all parties involved. Mayor Rozier advised council he would see if he could set something up the first of next week.
Mayor Rozier presented for a second reading the zoning classification ordinance for property annexed into the City on May 2, 2002 known as Part of the Carter Brothers Tract located on Bloomingdale Road. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the second reading of said ordinance. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Kelly Deas to refund her rental fee of $75 for use of the community building without the required 30 days notice because of an unexpected change in her wedding plans due to the deployment of her fiancé. Since the agreement requires a 30 day notice, council would have to approve this refund. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve said refund, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Jeri Patrick, a representative with Coldwell Banker, and Smoky Kenny, a local builder with Southern Family Homes, who requested information from council regarding the relocation of a drainage ditch on Maple Street at Lot #’s 248, 251, and 252. Mr. Kenny stated that he was interested in purchasing the property, but because of the way the drainage ditch cut across the lots, some changes to the ditch would need to be made before the property could be developed and he merely needed to know what steps would have to be followed to find out if the ditch could be re-routed. Ms. Patrick asked if the City had easements for the ditch and was advised by Attorney Gerard that any existing easements would have been obtained by the county. He pointed out that since the county had maintained the ditch for some time, there would be an applied easement even if there were no recorded easement. Mayor Rozier pointed out that this was a major drainage ditch for this section of Bloomingdale. Mayor Rozier stated that Councilman Tyler was not able to be at tonight’s meeting, but had advised him that this area was involved in the county-wide drainage plan and had suggested that before any major changes are made to this drainage ditch that the county engineering department be contacted. Based on Councilman Tyler’s information, the Mayor advised Mr. Kenny that he should contact the county about the re-routing of the ditch. Mr. Kenny asked if the City would participate in the cost of the project. The Mayor pointed out that the county is doing the engineering work for this portion of the plan on Bloomingdale’s behalf, but the City will be responsible for the costs once the details are completed and the project is underway. Mayor Rozier stated that if Mr. Kenny wanted to pursue the re-routing prior to the implementation of this phase of the drainage plan, it would be at his expense. Mr. Kenny was advised that the City would require an engineer to draw up plans to meet the county’s specification for drainage ditches and if approved, the engineer would have to certify that the ditch was installed as proposed. The Mayor informed Mr. Kenny that there has not been a definite timetable established for this project.
Council considered the following recommendations from the Planning & Zoning Commission:
1) Approval of the ordinance amending the Zoning Ordinance that clears up the inconsistencies between Code Sections 500 & 600. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the first reading of said ordinance. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick then made a motion to dispense with the second reading and to approve the adoption of the ordinance. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
2) Approval of the ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance to add Section 411-Planned Development Overlay Districts (PDOD). Attorney Gerard pointed out that there were some typographic errors in the ordinance that needed to be corrected and suggested council review the ordinance before giving their approval. Councilman Waller made a motion to pass action on the ordinance until council has had time to review it. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
3) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended council delay any action on the proposed fence ordinance until some changes can be made to the ordinance regarding the fencing of properties for agricultural purposes.
Council was advised the City has received a request from the City of Savannah to execute a mutual aid agreement that is now required for local governments to receive federal funding in the event of a disaster. A copy of this agreement has been distributed to council and to Attorney Gerard for review. The Mayor stated that this matter will be placed on the December 5, 2002 meeting agenda for consideration.
The Mayor stated that the MPC has prepared a response to EPD’s letter of October 25, 2002. The EPD letter requested some additional information on our NPDES Stormwater Permit Annual Report 2001-2002 and the Action Plan for the Proposed Modifications to the Area Wide Stormwater Management Plan submitted September 20, 2002. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the response letter. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the CMA Christmas party/meeting is scheduled for December 11, 2002 and will be hosted by Garden City. The meeting will be held at the Garden City gym starting at 6:00pm. Spouses/guests are invited and we must RSVP by December 4th with the number attending. The Mayor stated that the City of Bloomingdale will be receiving recognition by GMA as a City of Ethics.
Citizen Wayne Tipton asked if there had been any changes to the Bloomingdale Police Department’s high-speed chase policy. Mayor Rozier pointed out that when Captain Pike had been appointed Interim Police Chief, council did so with the understanding that no policy changes would be made without the approval of the Public Safety Committee and, to the best of his knowledge, no changes have been made to this policy.
Citizen Tom Terry wanted to know the City’s policy on the payment of garbage fees for rental property and was advised that the property owner was responsible for the payment of these fees. Mr. Terry stated that he did not think he should have to pay someone else’s bill. Attorney Gerard confirmed that the City’s Garbage Ordinance does hold the property owner responsible for the garbage fees. Council was advised that the City has several property owners that go ahead and put the bills in their name and include this fee in the rent. The Mayor asked Del Ferguson how he handled his rental property. Mr. Ferguson said that he was aware that he had to pay the garbage bill, but did not always know when someone was past due. The clerk pointed out that in cases where the property was served by City water and sewer or at least by City sewer the most that would be owed on garbage would be for three (3) months because when a bill is two months past due the services are disconnected. The Mayor asked why we would continue to serve residents with garbage pickup if they did not pay their bill and was advised by Attorney Gerard that the Garbage Ordinance makes it mandatory that all businesses and residences have the garbage service. The clerk stated that in the past, the bills have been being sent to the tenant; however, council may want to start billing the owners for the garbage service after the first of the year when the contract with Republic Waste Services, Inc. goes into effect. Several council members agreed that this may be one way to insure that the owners are aware of the monies that are owed.
Councilman Wedincamp asked if it was mandatory that someone had to take City water and sewer because if he had to pay another bill like he had to pay this week, he wanted to disconnect both of these services and install his own well and go back to a septic tank. Councilman Wedincamp was advised that he had to take City sewer service, but there was some question about whether the water service was required since it was available to him. Councilman Ray questioned whether or not he would be able to drill a well if he was already being served by City water. The Mayor asked him to explain what kind of bill he had to pay. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he was being bill for three water, sewer and sanitation bills at his place of business and he did not think he should have to pay three bills. Council was advised by the City clerk that there were three (3) businesses located in the building where Councilman Wedincamp’s business was located. There is currently three base water and three base sewer bills being charged to this account, along with three sanitation bills. However, the water usage was only being charged once. Council was also advised that when a second business opened at this location in November, 2001, the license was approved by council with the stipulation that a base water and sewer charge, along with a garbage fee, would be added to the billing for the initial tenant. Council agreed to allow these base charges rather than requiring the installation of another water meter and grinder pump because it would be less costly for the owner of the property. Also, the owner would have to separate the electrical service if another grinder pump was installed to avoid problems if electrical service was disconnected for one of the tenants. The council assumed that the second business operator would be billed for the additional water, sewer and sanitation charges; however, this would be between the two tenants. When a third business opened at this same location the first of the year, a third base water and sewer bill, along with another garbage fee was added to the bill. Councilman Ray suggested that if there were three businesses being operated from this location that Councilman Wedincamp ask that the owner install two more grinder pumps and two more water meters and then the other tenants would have to pay their own bills. Councilman Wedincamp questioned how this could be done if the plumbing was under the slab. Councilman Ray stated that it would take some effort to re-route the lines, but it could be done and if there were problems with all three businesses paying their fair share, this may be the best solution.
The Mayor thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 7:50pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor and Council members Myrick, Ray, Waller and Wedincamp were present at the meeting.