December 5, 2002
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.
The minutes of the November 21, 2002 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that council needed to decide on whether we want to execute the water service agreement with the City of Savannah and the City of Pooler for additional water capacity for Bloomingdale. He reminded everyone that Savannah’s agreement included a $1500 tap-in fee for new residential services outside the City’s current service area as well as a charge of $1.30 per 1,000 gallons for all water used. Pooler’s requirements include an additional $63 capital recovery fee per service connection and a10 cents per 1,000 gallon transporting fee for use of their water lines. Council discussed this matter at length and agreed that before the City commits to these agreements we need to find out what it will cost to actually run the water lines to tap onto Pooler’s line. Councilman Tyler pointed out that it may be possible to make this connection to the water line at Pooler from Main Street. He stated that Pooler’s lines were on the south side of U.S. Hwy 80. Council agreed to delay action on the agreements until the City could obtain prices from engineers to run the lines. Councilman Tyler advised council he would check into getting these prices and report back to council.
Councilman Tyler advised council that he had been working with Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. on the submission of well permit applications and obtained a price of $1500 for a permit for the lower Floridian aquifer. Councilman Tyler stated that he felt sure that for an additional $500 they should be able to prepare and submit another application to request an increase in our current withdrawal permit for the upper Floridian aquifer. Attorney Gerard asked Ernie Grizzard if he had completed the information requested for the application and was advised that he needed some help on some portions of the application. Councilman Tyler reported that he had also been talking with Carter & Sloope Engineering firm about the well permit applications and they still feel that pursuing a permit for the Miocene would be in the City’s best interest. After additional discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve up to $2,000 for the submission of a well permit application for the lower Floridian and an application for an increase in our existing permit for the upper Floridian by Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Tyler informed council that he would be meeting with representatives from Carter & Sloope Engineering next Wednesday to discuss costs related to a sewer treatment plant and invited anyone interested in attending to come to the meeting.
Council was advised that the drainage work at Taylor Park is still underway. Joe Young reported that although the work has not been completed what has been done looks good.
Mayor Rozier reported that he will be attending a meeting on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at the Pooler City Hall with elected officials from the City of Pooler, members of the Morgan family and representatives from the Chatham County Engineering Dept. to discuss the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge and the council was invited to attend the meeting.
Council was advised that Vince Helmly with Coastal Surveying Co. has completed the revision to the right of way survey for Stagecoach Road as requested by council and has submitted a bill for $1600 for the work. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay said bill, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard stated that he was still reviewing the mutual aid agreement as proposed by the City of Savannah.
Attorney Gerard advised council that the Planned Development Overlay District (PDOD) Ordinance is still under review.
Mayor Rozier introduced Debbie Butler with Whitfield & Butler, P.C., the City’s auditing firm, who reviewed with council the following information contained in the management letter included with the June 30, 2002 audit report:
1) Ms. Butler stated that the police department’s accounts receivable function continues to be weak and pointed out that this problem has been going on for several years. Council was advised that there needs to be a monthly/yearly report generated by this department to show exactly what is owed to the police department but, as of this date, the information has not been provided. Ms. Butler pointed out that she had requested a copy of the operating manual to see if this type report was included in the software program, but, apparently, there is not a manual available. It was noted that there have been additional problems getting the information because some of the computers will not run the software. Councilman Johnson asked Chief Pike how many of the computers would operate the system and was advised that two of the workstations would run the software. Councilman Tyler pointed out that he was working with Chief Pike to update these computers. Council discussed this problem at length and Councilman Johnson asked Ms. Butler if she would be willing to work with the department on this problem if we were able to obtain a manual and possibly set up a meeting with representatives from the software company so she could explain to them exactly what was needed. Ms. Butler agreed to meet with representatives from the software company and the police department. Chief Pike was instructed to get with Ms. Butler to set something up.
2) Ms. Butler advised council that the new reporting model for local governments requires a complete and accurate fixed asset inventory. She pointed out that the City needed to perform a complete physical inventory to insure that permanent cost records are maintained. Ms. Butler further stated that the City needs to adopt a price level for fixed assets. She reported that different cities are using various amounts, but it probably needs to be at least $1,000 or greater and any purchases under the set level would be classified as supplies. After a brief discussion regarding this recommendation, Councilman Tyler made a motion to set $1,000 or greater as the price level for fixed assets. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
3) Council was advised by Ms. Butler that all capital project funds require project-length balanced budgets, but since the SPLOST Greenspace and SPLOST Fire Department projects were began during the fiscal period, a budget was not adopted. Ms. Butler stated that council needed to adopt a budget for these projects during the current fiscal year.
4) Ms. Butler stated that the Water and Sewer enterprise fund reimburses the City of Bloomingdale $1500 per month for allocated expenses and she recommends that the monthly figure be increased to $1800 based on the expense allocation for the year ended June 30, 2002. A motion was made by Councilman Waller to increase said allocation from $1500 to $1800 with Councilman Tyler seconding the motion. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
5) The Mayor and City Council was advised that the overall financial condition of the City of Bloomingdale appears to be satisfactory. Ms. Butler pointed out that in her report she indicated that the City had an overall increase in cash of $635,048; however, some of these monies were restricted funds and only about $144,000 is allotted to the general fund.
The Mayor thanked Ms. Butler for attending the meeting and for providing council with explanations regarding the above matters.
Mayor Rozier presented a recommendation from Ethics Committee members Roger Allen and Troy Fields to appoint Joy Smith to serve as a member of this committee. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the appointment of Joy Smith to the Ethics Committee, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp abstained from voting.
Council reviewed a request to add Drenda Randall to the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board. Recreation Director Joe Young reported that Ms. Randall had been working with the program for a couple of years and had submitted a request to be added to the board. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to add Drenda Randall to the Recreation Executive Board. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Ms. Randall’s appointment will expire in June, 2003. The Mayor asked Mr. Young for information regarding the attendance to the monthly Recreation meetings of members of the board. Mr. Young stated that there has not been a quorum present at several of the meetings over the last several months, but he did not know how to get them to attend. Councilman Ray stated that since these members were volunteers there was very little that Joe or the council could do about their lack of attendance.
Mayor Rozier presented a request on behalf of Yvonne Drummond to refund her $100 rental fee for use of the community building on December 8, 2002 without the required 30 days notice. Ms. Drummond has been recently diagnosed with a serious illness and is unable to follow through with her planned use of the building. Council was reminded that they must approve refunds of the rental fees with less than 30 days notice. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve said refund, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed the Occupational License Fees for 2003. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to adopt the same Occupational License Fees for 2003 as those assessed in 2002. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed amending the agreement with GMA regarding health insurance benefits for employees and their dependents. It was noted that this amendment would allow the City to offer three (3) different health plan options. Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve this amendment and to continue paying $175 per month toward the cost of dependent insurance for those employees electing to carry insurance coverage for their dependents no matter which health insurance option they choose. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller stated that he would like to see the January 2, 2003 council meeting cancelled since this meeting would fall the day after New Year’s Day. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to cancel the January 2, 2003 meeting, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. It was noted that if anything came up that could not wait until the January 16, 2003 meeting, a called meeting could be held by City council.
Councilman Tyler advised council that he had received several inquires about the City’s plans to change our garbage pickup service and suggested we have a public meeting to answer any questions that the citizens may have about this matter. The Mayor stated that he would be available to attend a public meeting on this issue if council felt it was necessary. It was noted that it may be a good idea to have representatives from Republic Waste Services, Inc. attend the meeting in case some of the questions were related to service matters. Mayor Rozier agreed that they should attend and stated he would contact them and try to coordinate a date for the meeting and get this information back to council. This matter was tabled until the Mayor contacts Republic Waste Services, Inc.
Councilman Wedincamp asked Attorney Gerard the method that would be used if someone wants to be annexed into the City of Bloomingdale. Attorney Gerard advised him that if the property in questions abuts the current City limits, the property owner could petition the City to be annexed and if the council sees no problem in bringing the area into the City, the annexation could be approved. Councilman Wedincamp stated that the area in question was just past our City limits on Osteen Road. Fett Burke pointed out that the bridge that separates our current City limits from the property across the canal is in need of repairs according to a letter from the Department of Transportation. This same letter pointed out the problems with the bridge on Wildcat Dam Road. Some council members expressed concern about this issue and felt that before the City should consider annexing property across the canal we should make sure any repairs to the bridge are made prior to annexation.
Mayor Rozier raised some questions about the City’s uniform policies as they related to the general office, the police department, and the maintenance department. The Mayor asked the clerk for some figures as to what was currently being paid by the City toward the uniforms in these departments, but she did not have the exact figures available at the meeting. During this discussion, Councilman Ray stated that this matter was not on the council meeting agenda and since the council had approved a deadline for agenda items, he felt it should not have been brought up. Councilman Ray pointed out that one of the reasons for setting a deadline was to allow time for this type information to be prepared in advance of the meeting. The Mayor stated that he wanted to get some information about this matter so it could be discussed by council and Councilman Ray stated that it should be placed on the agenda for December 19th rather than being discussed tonight. Mayor Rozier agreed to postpone further discussion until the next meeting.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Tyler made a motion to pay the bills with Councilman Ray seconding the motion. The motion passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:10pm. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor and City Council members Johnson, Ray, Tyler, Waller, and Wedincamp were present at the meeting.