August 21, 2003
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. The minutes of the July 18, 2003 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 introduced Sue Hargrove with Wal-Mart Stores who stated that she wanted to make monetary presentations on behalf of the store’s “Good Works Foundation” to the Bloomingdale Police Department and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department. She presented Councilman Johnny Myrick, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, with a check for $800. She also presented a check for $500 to Councilman Ferman Tyler, Fire Chief of the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department.
Councilman Ferman Tyler reported that work on the Bloomingdale Pump Station Rehabilitation Project had been completed and he was waiting on Thomas & Hutton Engineering’s representatives to review the work. Ernest Grizzard stated that the repairs to the scrubber had just been finished. Councilman Ray asked if this work was going to control the smell and Councilman Tyler assured him that with the submersible pumps the smell would not be the problem it had been in the past. Councilman Johnson asked if Ernest Grizzard had obtained prices for the fencing around the Maple Street Lift Station that had been placed in the proposed budget. Mr. Grizzard stated that he had some prices together, but had some problems getting with some of the contractors. Councilman Johnson advised him that he would get with him about contacting representatives from Ram Fence to get a price. Councilman Wedincamp asked what kind of fencing was planned and was advised by Councilman Tyler that a wooden privacy fence was recommended because it would block visibility of the equipment from the neighboring properties. Councilman Myrick asked if a fence with vinyl strips had been considered and was advised that this type had not been priced. Since the fence would not be installed until after the budget was adopted, council agreed to allow the committee to continue getting prices on various types of fences before presenting a recommendation back to council.
The Mayor reported that although Attorney Gerard had advised County Attorney Jonathan Hart on July 11th of the City’s position that it would not be practical to spend even the $38,000 to repair the Wildcat Dam Road Bridge when the plan is to replace it within the next couple of years, the City has not yet received their response. Mayor Rozier pointed out that he had driven by the area several times over the last few weeks and noticed that the gate is being left open at night. The Major expressed his concerned about the City’s liability if someone is injured while traveling across the bridge.
Council was advised that since Attorney Gerard was not at tonight’s meeting; he did not have an update on the Stagecoach Road issue.
The Mayor stated that he had informed some of the owners of property on Perry Road of the City’s requirements regarding its acceptance as a City street, but had not received any official response from them. Mayor Rozier asked that this be taken off future agendas until they contacted the City Hall.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that he had visited the area surrounding Wayne Dotti’s property at #503 Oak Street and felt that unless Mr. Dotti could get the other property owners to provide adequate right of way, the City was limited in what they could do about the drainage problem at this time. Councilman Tyler suggested that once the City is in a position to proceed with a comprehensive drainage plan that we add this area, along with some other problem areas, to the top of the list.
Councilman Wedincamp stated that he had checked on the grinder pump elevation on property owned by Richard Kyall at #103 Cypress Street and determined that he has about 2” of fall from where the line was uncovered to the grinder tank. Ernest Grizzard pointed out that from where the line actually comes out of the house to the grinder pump he has probably 6” to 8” of fall, but the owner has cut into the line several places and this has caused the line to sag. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he did see where several patches had been made to the line. Councilman Wedincamp also advised council that he could not see any evidence that the tank had risen and did not feel the City should be responsible for the lowering of the grinder pump. After additional discussion, Councilman Tyler made a motion that the City deny the request from Richard Kyall to lower the grinder pump tank at the City’s expense. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier asked if Councilman Wedincamp had met with Mr. Anderson of Waste Systems of Savannah about the concerns of the maintenance department that he is not maintaining the 1995 Ford Garbage Truck that he is renting from the City. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he had not been able to get with Mr. Anderson. Fett Burke stated that Mr. Anderson had not been bringing the truck by for weekly inspections as agreed. The Mayor asked if council felt we should just declare the truck as surplus and put it up for sale before the value of the truck diminishes to the point that we cannot get a good price for it. Council discussed the issue and some expressed the opinion that at $750 per week rental, it would not be long before the City would have received a large portion of the resale value in rental fees. After additional discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to continue to rent the truck to Waste Systems of Savannah. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor asked Councilman Tyler for an update on the bids received from the engineers on Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan Study, Design, and Construction Phase services. Councilman Tyler stated that although he did not chair this committee, he felt the bids needed to be reviewed as soon as possible. Councilman Johnson, Chairman of the General Services Committee, advised council that he would set up a meeting of the committee in the next week or so to review the bids so a recommendation could be presented at the September 18th council meeting.
Council was advised that the Cokers had moved their mobile home from Taylor Park as requested by the City of Bloomingdale.
Mayor Rozier reported that David Hicks has not moved the mobile home located at #1301A East Hwy 80 as directed by the City and the deadline for the removal was July 23, 2003. The Mayor stated that he would contact Attorney Gerard about the matter to find out the next step the City should take to handle the problem and asked that council give him the authority to instruct the Attorney to proceed with whatever action he recommends. Councilman Ray made a motion to give Mayor Rozier said authority, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council agreed to table discussion and action on the Amendment to the Bloomingdale/Pooler Waste Water Treatment Facilities Agreement until Attorney Gerard can review it with them at the next meeting.
Councilman Johnson advised council that he had met with Janet Miller who owns Lot #240 on Maple Street to discuss the joint driveway issue between her and the developer of Lot #239. Councilman Johnson pointed out that based on the fact that Ms. Miller has a legal right to continue using the existing driveway that is located on portions of both lots, he feels that the best solution to this problem would be for the City to bear the expense to install a new driveway for Ms. Miller at Lot #240 when we remove the existing driveway for the developer to install one for the new structure to be located at Lot #239. Councilman Johnson stated that the developer would be responsible for the cost of the driveway he will be installing at Lot #239. After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson presented this recommendation as a motion, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented the Inmate Service Fee Agreement with Chatham County to council for approval. Councilman Myrick, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, made a recommendation to approve the agreement, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a recommendation to council to appoint Herman Rawlins to the Historic Preservation Advisory Council with the understanding that the City would reimburse him the cost of meals and mileage for him to attend the quarterly meetings. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointment, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised by Mayor Rozier that at Councilman Tyler’s request the annexation issue involving his property on Osteen Road has been taken off of the agenda of the August 22nd Chatham County Commission.
The Mayor also stated that Councilman Tyler had requested that discussion of the cost of the repairs to Engine #11 be taken off of tonight’s council agenda.
Citizen Roger Allen presented a request on behalf of John K. King, Principal of the Bloomingdale Elementary School, to provide some temporary assistance with parking and traffic control at the school. Mr. Allen also asked that the Bloomingdale Police Department help with traffic control for a function that will be held at the school on August 28th at 6:00pm to kick off the Bloomingdale Elementary School’s 40th year at it’s current location. The Mayor and Council were invited to the function by Mr. Allen. Mayor Rozier asked that Captain Pike relay this information to Chief Gossett.
The Mayor presented council with a request for a home occupation license from Viet Vinh Vuong to operate a general construction business from his residence located at #177 John Carter Road. Council was advised that Mr. Vuong indicates there will be three (3) employees, but stated that only the office will be operated from the residence and understands there can be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Council was reminded that they have the option to waive the public hearing and after a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to waive said public hearing. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to issue the home occupation license to Mr. Vuong to operate the general contracting business from his
residence located at #177 John Carter Road. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Larry Rawlins for the recombination of two parcels of property located on Conaway Road. Mr. Rawlins is enlarging his 2.3 acre tract to 3.6 acres by incorporating property from a 27.4± tract owned by Herman Rawlins. Since the recombination does not increase the number of lots and meets the City’s minimum requirements, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the request. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier advised council a building permit request had been submitted by Mark Beamon, Sr. to construct a 40’ x 40’ metal storage building/garage at his residence located at #109 Chestnut Street. Mr. Beamon plans to park his RV, truck and cars in the building. Since the structure consists of over 500 sq. ft. of enclosed space, council must approve issuance of the permit. In addition to the building permit, Mr. Beamon is requesting that the setbacks of 10’ side-yard and 15’ rear-yard be measured using Main Street as the front yard. Although access to his residence is off Chestnut Street and his address is #109 Chestnut, his house actually faces the corner of Main & Chestnut Streets. After a brief discussion and Mr. Beamon’s assurance that the structure will only be used for storage and as a garage, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve issuance of the building permit for the 40’ x 40’ structure using Main Street as the front yard for set-back purposes. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from Rothwell P. MacMillan and Tommy Hunter to operate an auto/truck sales business from the vacant lot at #6 East Hwy 80 with the office to be located at #4 East Hwy 80. Council was advised that the property is zoned C-1 with auto/trucks sales only allowed as a “conditional use” with the issuance of the license having to be approved by council and a limit on the number of vehicles that can be placed on the property of fifteen (15). Mr. Hunter was asked how they planned to finish off the property. Mr. Hunter stated that due to the wet weather, they had not been able to level out the large pieces of block that were placed on the lot, but once it dries up, these will be leveled and smaller white stone will be put over the top. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve issuance of the auto/truck sales license with a limit of up to fifteen (15) vehicles. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier recognized D.K. Morgan who was requesting a permit to place an additional building on his property located at #1724 E. Hwy 80 and to remodel and add bathroom facilities to another building that already exists on the property. Council was advised that the City’s zoning ordinance, Article IV, Section 402, states that only one principal building and its customary accessory building may be erected on any one lot and when Mr. Morgan purchased this property, three structures existed. One building had previously been used as a bakery with the other two buildings having been used by a trucking company. With the change of ownership, the use of all three buildings as principal buildings was no longer allowed since this constituted a “non-conforming” use of these structures. The City was approached about allowing the offices for a couple of businesses to operate from the old bakery building with one of the other buildings being used for storage or equipment and supplies. This was approved by council as long as the businesses were owned and operated by the same individuals. The storage building did not have bathroom facilities, but council agreed to allow the bathroom in the old bakery building to suffice since the businesses were owned and operated by the same individuals. Council was informed that Mr. Morgan’s request to remodel one of the buildings for use as another principal building on the property and to construct an additional building would not comply with the City’s current zoning ordinance. Mr. Morgan asked council how he could get permission to do the remodeling and to construct the additional building. Council discussed the request and suggested that Mr. Morgan consider subdividing the property to place the buildings on separate tracts. The Mayor asked Bill Saxman, who was present at the meeting, to look over Mr. Morgan’s proposal while the meeting continued and get back with council in a few minutes to see if the subdivision would be possible. After meeting with Mr. Morgan, Bill Saxman advised council that since the plat was not drawn to scale, he could not be exactly sure whether or not there was enough property for a division, but even with three tracts, there would still be a problem with use of one of the buildings unless it was only used as an accessory building to one of the principal buildings. Mr. Saxman stated that Mr. Morgan was going to get him a more exact drawing and he would meet with him to see if this could be worked out. Councilman Johnson pointed out that reimbursement for any expense for the time that Mr. Saxman devoted to the project would have to be between him and Mr. Morgan. The matter was tabled until Mr. Morgan could present a request that complied with the City’s current zoning ordinance. Council then discussed the possibility of allowing more than one principal building for commercial property. Mr. Saxman advised council that to allow for more than one principal building per lot in a commercial/industrial zone, the City’s zoning ordinance would have to be changed and he pointed out that the City needed to make sure that there were provisions for adequate access and parking.
Council was advised that the City has been notified by the SunTrust Bank that the commercial bank loan covering the sewer system and water extensions is due for renewal before the end of the month. The balance of the note is $200,000. The original note secured in 1993 was for fifteen years and called for one (1) principal payment and two (2) interest payments per year with renewals every five (5) years. The last renewal was in August, 1998 at a rate of 5.11% with the principal payment being $37,000 per year.
The SunTrust Bank advises that the tax free interest rate for the five (5) year renewal of the note in the amount of $200,000 will be 4.82% fixed for the term of the loan. The principal payment will increase to $40,000 per year with the note being paid off at the end of this five (5) year period. Council discussed the renewal and Councilman Myrick made a motion to renew the note with the terms outlined above and to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute the documents needed for the loan renewal. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the DOT is requesting the City’s priority list for possible funding for the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP). Fett Burke is recommending the submission of the following streets: 1) Cregor Street from Pine to Westhaven – 3985’; 2) Maple Street from Hwy 80 to end – 3075’ (300’ skip in road between Main and Cregor); and Boulevard Street from Cherry to Pine - 820’. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to submit these three (3) streets as our priority list to the DOT for resurfacing under the LARP program. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
City Council reviewed the following recommendations from the Planning & Zoning Commission:
1) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommends the denial of the request from Titan Transport Co. to operate a trucking company from a C-2 zone. The City’s zoning consultant, Bill Saxman, stated that this type business should be limited to an industrial zone and suggests that the City not consider a rezoning request until completion of the comprehensive plan. After discussing this recommendation, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the denial of the request from Titan Transport Co. to operate a trucking company from a C-2 zone and to delay any action on amending the zoning ordinance to address this issue until the completion of the comprehensive plan update. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
2) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommends that the rezoning request from Ellis Phillips to rezone a 9.5 acre tract of land on Main Street from RA1 to R3 to allow for townhouses be submitted to Bill Saxman for his review and recommendation. Council discussed this recommendation and Councilman Tyler made a motion to submit the request to Bill Saxman. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
3) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommends the approval of a minor subdivision on Cheyenne Road for Charles Rogers be approved contingent upon the resolution of the 60’ right of way roadway issue and the approval of the septic tanks by the Chatham County Health Department. Council was advised that once the Cheyenne Road issue is resolved, council can address the approval of this minor subdivision provided Mr. Rogers has obtained approval from the Chatham County Health Department on the septic tanks. Council discussed this issue at length with questions being raised about exactly what was going to have to be done to the roadway before the minor subdivision could be approved. Mayor Rozier stated that he wanted to table this matter until the September 18, 2003 meeting to allow time for him and Mr. Rogers to meet with Attorney Gerard to get his input on just what needed to be done about the roadway.
4) The Planning & Zoning Commission is requesting that they receive agenda information at least two weeks prior to their meeting to have more time to review the requests. Council was advised that in order to meet this deadline, there will need to be time allowed for agenda preparation and the mailing of the paperwork to members. A deadline of twenty (20) days prior to a schedule meeting as the deadline for submitting Planning Commission matters was suggested. The city clerk agreed that this would be a good idea and noted that the subdivision ordinance already requires a twenty (20) day deadline for submission of preliminary plats to Planning Commission. Council was informed that this deadline may delay action from the Planning Commission on requests from council because there will not always be twenty (20) days between a council meeting and a Planning Commission meeting. After additional discussion, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to set the deadline as outlined above. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board is recommending the appointment of Howard Raper to the board. Councilman Myrick asked if anyone knew Mr. Raper, but no one from council had met him. Before voting to table a decision on the appointment, Recreation Director Joe Young came into the meeting and stated that he knew Mr. Raper and felt he would be a good addition to the board. Based on his recommendation, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointment, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the final draft of the Comprehensive Plan Short Term Work Program has been completed and copies have been distributed to council for consideration. Bill Saxman advises that council needs to approve a resolution authorizing submission of this document to RDC for their review prior to its submission to the state. After a brief discussion, Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to approve said resolution, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that the GMA Board of Directors has appointed the following individuals to serve as members of the GIRMA Board: Mayor James V. Burgess, Jr. to a term expiring June 30, 2004 and Mayor Keith Brady to a term expiring June 30, 2005. GMA is requesting the Mayor ratify these appointments as required by the bylaws of GIRMA. Councilman Johnson made a motion to allow Mayor Rozier to execute the appointment ratification form. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was informed that CEMA has requested that Bloomingdale submit a reentry authorization request to obtain passes for those persons (City officials/employees) needed to provide immediate response to the health and safety needs of the citizens of Chatham County in a post disaster, post mandatory evacuation environment. The Mayor and Council will need to determine exactly who will be needed to provide the services outlined in CEMA’s memo and a copy of the information regarding the post disaster reentry policy has been distributed to the council for their review. Council discussed the request and agreed that passes should be ordered for all elected officials and city employees with the distribution of said passes to be determined at a later date. Councilman Tyler made a motion to order the passes as outlined above, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Johnny Myrick stated that he would like to see the City move forward as soon as possible to add some additional space onto the City owned building behind City Hall for use by the police department and to remodel the existing City Hall once the police department has relocated to incorporate the vacated space to add more room for the general offices. Councilman Myrick further stated that he would like to finance this project with the Capital Project Funds from the 1998-2003 SLOST monies and create a subcommittee to develop the plans and oversee the project. Councilman Myrick suggested a subcommittee consisting of himself, the city clerk, the police chief, Councilman Johnson and Councilman Wedincamp. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to use the Capital Project Funds for the construction of the additional space onto the City owned building behind City Hall and to remodel the existing City Hall for additional general office space and to appoint the subcommittee consisting of the members noted above. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that final drafts of the 2003/2004 budget are being prepared. Copies of the budget will be distributed to council in the next few days and a public hearing must be held at least one week before council takes action on the budget. With the proposed budget scheduled for adoption at the September 18th council meeting, the hearing must be held the week of September 8th. Councilman Ray made a motion to hold a public hearing for citizen input on the proposed budget on Monday, September 8, 2003 at 7:00pm. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor informed council that Chief Gossett is requesting some changes to the personnel policy regarding the suspension and demotion of employees, however, since these changes could be in conflict with the City’s charter, they need to be reviewed by Attorney Gerard prior to approval. Mayor Rozier stated that these proposed changes will be sent to Attorney Gerard for his review.
Mayor Rozier advised council that this completes the agenda items that were submitted by the August 15th deadline. The City received a call from Walter Cason on August 20th requesting he be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss drainage problems at #807 & #809 East Hwy 80 that he considers to be an emergency situation and council must approve the addition of this request to the agenda before it can be discussed. Councilman Ray made a motion to make this addition to the agenda. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mr. Cason stated that he wanted to see if council could give him some assistance with the overgrown condition of the portion of the Conaway Canal the runs beside his property. The Mayor advised council that this area is part of the countywide drainage plan. Mr. Cason expressed his concern that the standing water was a health problem for his family and hoped the City could give him some temporary help until the county can get to this portion of the project. The Mayor asked General Services Supervisor Fett Burke if he was aware of the problems with the drainage. Mr. Burke stated that the City had already cleaned out this ditch and could not see any overgrown conditions from Highway 80. Mr. Cason stated that the worse part of the ditch was toward the back of the property through the fence, but he can provide Mr. Burke access to this area. Councilman Johnson asked Mr. Burke if the City could spray weed killer on this growth to see if it would help with the drainage. Mr. Burke stated that if Mr. Cason would give him access to the problem area he would see what he could do. Councilman Johnson stated he would get with him tomorrow about meeting with Mr. Cason to look at the ditch.
The Mayor advised council that the meeting with the Governor on the City’s water situation will be held on Wednesday, September 3rd at 1:00pm.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.
Mayor Rozier and all council members were present at the meeting.