March 6, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer.
The minutes of the February 20, 2003 council meeting and the February 27, 2003 called council meeting were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the cities of Bloomingdale and Pooler had requested assistance from the Chatham County Engineering Department regarding the proposal for the repairs/replacement to the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge.
Attorney Gerard advised council that he was waiting on the appraiser’s report on the Stagecoach Road right of way.
Attorney Gerard reported that he had reviewed a revised copy of the Mutual Aid Agreement as proposed by the City of Savannah, but had returned the agreement to Attorney Blackburn for additional changes.
Council was advised by Attorney Gerard that he had not received any information regarding the changes to the Inmate Service Fee agreement.
Mayor Rozier stated that he had called Richard Chilton with Republic Waste Services, Inc. and asked that he contact him regarding the charges for sanitation service for area churches and the possibility of setting up a procedure to provide dumpsters through the City at those locations requiring multiple carts, however, he has not yet heard from Mr. Chilton on these matters.
Councilman Tyler reported that Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. was in the process of preparing the drawings for the replacement of the lift station. Councilman Tyler was questioned about the submission by Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. of their proposal to council for the work they planned to do regarding the replacement of the lift station, such as preparation of the drawings, bid processing, overseeing the project, etc., but he was not sure why they had not submitted this information for council’s consideration tonight. Councilman Myrick pointed out that it was his understanding the engineer would include a review of the contractors’ previous work history to make sure they were reliable and capable of handling the project. Councilman Tyler stated that he would check with them to make sure they would be presenting this at the March 20th meeting.
Councilman Myrick stated that he had distributed a report to each council member for their review from the subcommittee appointed by Mayor Rozier to develop a law enforcement philosophy for the Bloomingdale Police Department. The subcommittee, consisting of himself, Councilman Tyler, Interim Chief Roy Pike, and Detective Walker, used the recommendations in the Organizational and Operations Review from The Lambries Pierce Tomes Group as a guide in the preparation of their report. Councilman Tyler asked what the next step in the process would be. Councilman Myrick encouraged council to review the report and let the committee know their opinions and if council agrees with their recommendations, the Public Safety Committee should then be able to move forward in its efforts to fill the position of Police Chief. Mayor Rozier stated that although he supported the police department, he did not agree with some of the police department’s policies. The Mayor also stated that he had not planned to make any comments regarding the report, but felt that since some other council members had also expressed concerns, he would bring this information to council’s attention. The Mayor pointed out that Councilman Tyler advised him he had attended yesterday’s court proceedings and stated that it appeared to him that the officers were writing tickets for things that could be handled with warnings, such as a headlight being out, weaving without the evidence of alcohol, etc. Councilman Tyler expressed his displeasure with the Mayor’s comments and stated that he felt they were out of order because what he had discussed with Mayor Rozier was merely his opinion and did not appreciate it being brought up in this council meeting. Mayor Rozier apologized for bringing it up because he did not realize that was Councilman Tyler’s position on the matter. Councilman Johnson stated that, in the past, the police department had prepared monthly reports for submission to the Public Safety Committee and council regarding the number of citations that were written, the number and type of warnings issued, the type of criminal warrants taken, etc. and asked if this was still being done. Interim Chief Pike stated that to the best of his knowledge this had not been done for some time, but could certainly provide this information if council felt it was necessary. Councilman Myrick stated that he was concerned that council was straying from the subject matter which was the subcommittee’s report and its review. Councilman Myrick asked that council members read the report and be prepared to make their comments at the next meeting so the Public Safety Committee would know how to present the City’s position regarding law enforcement policies to prospective applicants for the position of Chief of Police.
Council was advised that the Mayor executed the lease agreement for the financing of the E-One Pumper through GMA’s Direct Leasing program and the documents were forwarded to the appropriate personnel for distribution.
Attorney Gerard has researched the information provided by H.B. Waller concerning his 127.5’ lot located at Pine & Boulevard Streets. He reports that although the original City Map indicates that 85’ of the lot was a lot of record, the remaining 42.5’ portion that would be created with the subdivision of the property, would not comply with the City’s zoning ordinance and cannot stand alone. Attorney Gerard notified Mr. Waller of his findings, in writing, on February 23, 2003.
Attorney Gerard reported that he had made some revisions to the information submitted to him by Councilman Tyler on the bid notice for computer quotes, however, before proceeding with the notices, he needed some guidance on how council wanted to handle the specifics of the bid process, such as, whether or not they wanted the bids to be sealed when submitted, the deadline for submission of the bids, a time line on completion of the work, how much warranty they expected on the equipment/work, etc. Councilman Tyler stated that we needed at least a twelve (12) month warranty. Attorney Gerard suggested that the bid notice be sent to all local computer companies and to our present service providers for quotes. Attorney Gerard pointed out that his revision included the bids being reviewed by the Budget & Finance Committee, but was not sure that was how council wanted them to be handled. Councilman Tyler stated that he definitely felt that this committee should be involved in the process since the financing of the project, either in whole or part, would depend on the funding that was available and this committee would be in the best position to provide this information. Mayor Rozier asked that Council members Johnson, Tyler, and Ray serve on a committee to determine the specifics of the bid notice and be involved in the review and presentation of the bids. The designated council members agreed to serve on this committee.
Councilman Tyler reported that the council had met with representatives from Stevenson & Palmer Engineering on March 3rd and he felt the company had good credentials and could be of service to the City in the future for some of our engineering needs. He pointed out that since the company only does work for public entities, they may be able to provide some unbiased information when asked to review projects being presented by the private sector.
Council was advised that the City has received a response from Bill Saxman regarding his review of the rezoning petition submitted by Sidney Key for two lots located on Miller Street. The request was to rezone the lots from R-1 (single-family residential) to R-2 (one & two family residential). Mr. Saxman’s recommendation is that the petition be denied and he lists his reasons in the memo distributed to council. Council was advised that the rezoning petition will need to be forwarded to the Planning & Zoning Commission, along with Mr. Saxman’s comments, for their review and if Mr. Key still wants to pursue the request, it must go through the public hearing process before the Planning & Zoning Commission can bring their recommendation back to council. After a brief discussion, council agreed to send a copy of Mr. Saxman’s comments to Mr. Key for his review and suggest that he attend the March 18th Planning & Zoning Commission meeting to discuss the matter with the members.
Mayor Rozier presented council with the only bid the City received on the surplus police video system cameras. The bid was from the City of Pembroke and included the purchase of all eight cameras at the minimum bid of $750 each. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept the bid. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the City had received a request from the City of Pooler for the execution of the Third Amendment to the agreement between Bloomingdale and Pooler for the wastewater treatment plant. The City of Pooler is also requesting an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $1,176,154 for Bloomingdale’s portion of the upgrade to the plant. Mayor Rozier and Councilman Tyler expressed their concern about a provision in the amendment obligating Bloomingdale to provide land suitable to receive all of Bloomingdale’s sewer effluent at no cost to Pooler. Councilman Johnson asked if there was anything like this in the initial agreements and Attorney Gerard stated that in his review of the previous agreements he found no such requirement. Attorney Gerard advised council that he had talked with Bill Lovett with Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung who indicated the City would need between 50 & 120 acres, depending on the quality of the soil, to handle the disposal of the effluent. Council discussed the matter at length and agreed that notice needed to be sent to Pooler advising them that Bloomingdale felt the disposal of the effluent should be Pooler’s responsibility at no additional cost and that this matter would need to be resolved before the City would sign the agreement. Council also discussed the importance of having something in the wastewater agreement addressing the possibility of Pooler, or some other entity, purchasing Bloomingdale’s capacity in the future should we build our own treatment plant and there should be some value established for this capacity. Attorney Gerard stated he would send notice to Steven Scheer, the City of Pooler’s attorney, about Bloomingdale’s concerns on the provision regarding disposal of the effluent and the inclusion of a clause in the agreement on the sale of our capacity in the future.
Council was advised that the DOT has submitted a right of way purchase proposal for 0.014 acres of City property located along the south side of U.S. Hwy 80 between Cherry & Walnut Streets. The proposed purchase price, based on the appraisal, would be $1100. Councilman Johnson made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute the documents related to the sell of the right of way to the DOT for a price of $1100. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented a request form Charles A. Clements to obtain a home occupation license to operate a gunsmith and supply business from his residence located at #107 Ash Street. Mr. Clements indicates on his application that he will be doing custom gun work, gun repairs, ammo reloading and providing firearms accessories from this location. Mr. Clements stated that he basically placed orders for himself, friends, and family, but in order to get a wholesaler’s license he needed a local business license. Council was reminded that they have the option to waive the public hearing requirement provided Mr. Clements confirms that there will be no outside traffic. The Mayor asked Mr. Clements if he would be having any outside traffic related to the business come to the residence and was assured by Mr. Clements that there would be no traffic. Councilman Myrick asked if he needed a federal license for any of this activity and was advised by Interim Chief Pike that there were no requirements from the federal government for small scale operations such as those described by Mr. Clements. Councilman Johnson advised Mr. Clements that it would be his responsibility to advise the City should his business operation change to the level that would require additional licensing and Mr. Clements stated he would let the City know if this occurred. Mayor Rozier reminded Mr. Clements that he cannot have customer traffic coming to his residence because he was not in a zone that allowed a storefront type business. Based on Mr. Clements understanding of the restrictions regarding customer traffic, Councilman Ray made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Charles Clements at #107 Ash Street. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Jesse Carter to obtain a home occupation license to operate the “office only” for a construction/carpentry business at his residence located at #106 Poplar Street. After being assured by Mr. Carter there will be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Jesse Carter at #106 Poplar Street. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier excused himself as moderator and turned the meeting over to Mayor Pro-tem Johnson to handle his request regarding a home occupation license.
Mayor Pro-tem Johnson presented a request from Ben Rozier to operate the “office only” of a delivery service from his residence located at #450 Adams Road. Mr. Rozier has a contract with the airlines to deliver luggage to passengers and has a storage facility at the airport. Mr. Rozier stated that his wife would merely be handling the paperwork of the business from their residence and there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to his home. Based on Mr. Rozier’s assurance there would be no outside traffic, Councilman Waller made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Tyler then made a motion to issue a home occupation license to Ben Rozier for the office of the delivery service from his residence at #450 Adams Road. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier resumed his role as moderator of the council meeting.
Mayor Rozier recognized Jeffrey Thornburg who was requesting permission from the City to construct and install a 5’ wide footbridge over the existing ditch in the rear of Lot #121A on Maple Street and to place a picnic bench with landscaping in the easement. Mr. Thornburg advised council he would be willing to provide a letter to the City stating that the bench would be moved out of the way when the City needs access to the easement for maintenance of the ditch. Fett Burke, Jr., General Services Supervisor, was present at the meeting and stated that he did not feel the bridge would not pose any problems with the maintenance of the ditch, but suggested the City crews be allowed to move the bridge when it was necessary to clean the ditch. Attorney Gerard expressed his concerns that there could be some liability on the City’s part if our crews damaged the bridge and felt that the owner should be responsible for moving it. Mr. Thornburg asked if it would be better to install a culvert in the ditch rather than putting a footbridge across it. Councilman Johnson asked him if that was what he wanted to do, but Mr. Thornburg stated he would rather use the footbridge because the culvert would be much more expensive. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he would be against the installation of a culvert in this area. Mr. Thornburg was asked what kind of landscaping he planned to place in the easement and stated he would be using juniper plants since they were very hearty plants and would not be damaged by the maintenance vehicles. Attorney Gerard pointed out that, by law, nothing should be placed in the easement that would interfere with the maintenance of the ditch and Mr. Thornburg advised him that he would be willing to sign whatever document was necessary to assure the City that they would have the access they needed to maintain the ditch. Questions were raised as to how this understanding could be transferred to any future owners and council agreed this should be one of the stipulations of said agreement. Attorney Gerard stated he would prepare an agreement between the City and Mr. Thornburg that would cover the City as far as any liability of repairs and/or replacements of any greenery or structures located in the easement and have this agreement apply to the current and any future owners of the property. Council agreed that with this agreement in place they had no objections to the installation of a footbridge, picnic bench or landscaping in the easement.
Mayor Rozier presented a request from Tom Terry to erect a 40’ x 24’ metal building on his property located at #414 Adams Road. Since the building will include over 500 sq. ft. of enclosed area, council must approve issuance of the permit. The Mayor pointed out that Mr. Terry indicates in his application that the building will be used for lawnmowers that are stored outside from the weather, for equipment that has been repaired and will also be used to repair machinery. Mayor Rozier reminded Mr. Terry that he has been issued a home occupation license for a saw/lawn mower blade sharpening and small motor repair business since his property was annexed in 1998 with the understanding that it be operated from the existing shop. The Mayor pointed out that his business was considered a “non-conforming” use in a residential zone, but was “grandfathered-in” provided it continued to be operated as it existed in 1998 within the confines of the shop located on his property at that time on Adams Road. Mayor Rozier asked Mr. Terry if he planned to do anything related to his business from this new building and Mr. Terry stated that he did. The Mayor informed Mr. Terry that if he moves his business to the new location he would be in violation of the City’s zoning ordinance that does not allow a nonconforming building or land use to be enlarged or altered in a way which increases its nonconformity. Mr. Terry stated that he was going to have to do something because his old shop was getting flooded. Mayor Rozier advised Mr. Terry that if the building was approved by council it would be considered an accessory building to his residence for storage purposes only and not for the operation of a business. Mr. Terry finally agreed that he would not operate the business from the new building. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to approve the issuance of the permit for the 40’ x 24’ metal building at #414 Adams Road with the stipulation that the building not be used for a business and Councilman Tyler seconded the motion. The motion passed with council members Johnson, Waller, Tyler and Wedincamp voting for the motion, however, council members Myrick and Ray voted against the motion.
Mayor Rozier recognized Joe Young, the City’s part-time Recreation Director, who asked council to consider looking into the possibility of constructing a gym. He pointed out that it was getting increasingly difficult to schedule our home games in the gyms of other cities and would like to see one built in Bloomingdale. Councilman Myrick stated that although he agreed with Mr. Young that the City had a need for a gym, he was concerned about both the construction costs and the operating costs for this type facility. Councilman Johnson asked if there was room at the park to construct a gym and if so, was this the best location. Councilman Myrick advised council that he envisioned a gym being close enough to residents so the kids could ride their bikes to the games and asked if the property at Wildcat Dam Road would be suitable. Mayor Rozier stated that there were some very nice gym facilities at Hendrix Park and these were in the same location as their ball fields. Mr. Young stated that he knew there would be several factors that needed to be considered such as location, size, and cost, but did not feel there was anyone on the Recreation Executive Board that would be able to make these decisions. After additional discussion by council, Mayor Rozier asked council members Myrick, Johnson, Ray, and Waller to work on a committee to investigate the feasibility of constructing a gym. These council members agreed to work on this project.
Interim Chief Roy Pike asked council for their input regarding the supervision of community workers assigned by Judge Edenfield to the City of Bloomingdale. He pointed out that there is no one actually in charge of the workers at this time. Attorney Gerard had previously advised council that in Garden City these workers are supervised by the police officers on duty at the time they reported for work. Joe Young volunteered his services to supervise some of the workers to clean up at the park provided he knew ahead of time when they would be available. Councilman Myrick instructed Interim Chief Pike to see if he could solicit some additional volunteers to do the supervision as extra duty and to check on the scheduling of the workers with the probation service.
Councilman Johnson advised council that he was concerned about the frequency of the called council meetings that have been held over the last couple of months and would like to see these limited to “emergency situations”. Councilman Johnson stated that he felt council should consider narrowing the scope of the discussions held at these called meetings because he felt the citizens were not as likely to attend those held outside of our regular meeting schedule. Councilman Tyler stated that the charter did not limit called meetings to emergencies and he was not interested in changing the charter. Councilman Johnson advised Councilman Tyler that he was not indicating the charter should be changed, but he would like to hear from other council members regarding the called meetings. Councilman Ray agreed with Councilman Johnson that the called meetings should be limited to emergency situations and council should be very careful to only discuss those items on the agenda. Councilman Tyler also agreed that the discussions should be limited to agenda items only.
Mayor Rozier informed everyone that Commissioner Kicklighter and the elected officials will host a meeting on March 11, 2003 at 7:00pm at the City Hall to discuss with Bloomingdale citizens the upcoming SPLOST referendum. The Mayor stated there should be county representatives attending the meeting to answer questions from citizens.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Myrick made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor and all council members were present at the meeting.