April 1, 2004
Mayor Rozier called the meeting to order with Councilman Waller leading in prayer. The minutes of the March 18, 2004 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Gerard stated he had not heard from Pooler’s City Administrator Dennis Baxter nor Steven Sheer, Pooler’s City Attorney, regarding the information he provided to them on the update to the Pooler/Bloomingdale Waster Water Treatment Facility Agreement Amendment. Attorney Gerard advised council he would call Mr. Baxter to see if he had reviewed the information.
Councilman Wedincamp reported he was still working on getting the signatures from the property owners on the rights of way deeds for Cheyenne Road. Attorney Gerard was asked what would happen if all of the signatures could not be obtained. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the deeds and the survey had been prepared based on obtaining these signatures, but if someone refused to sign it may be necessary to shift the roadway. Attorney Gerard advised council that he had heard from one property owner who was hesitant about signing the deed, but he might be willing to execute the document if he is the only property owner who is not signing it. Attorney Gerard stated he would try to contact this property owner.
The Mayor recognized Chief Gossett who introduced to the City Council Officer Christian LaVoie and Officer Gary Andrews who had both recently been hired to work in the Bloomingdale Police Department.
Mayor Rozier reported he had contacted Randy Wood about providing some bluegrass entertainment for the Patriotic Celebration, but was advised that most groups required substantial payment for this type event, so he was looking into getting some gospel groups.
The Mayor reported that the City of Rincon had expressed a desire to be part of the City’s suit against the EPD. Mayor Rozier advised council that he had received a copy of the civil action that Attorney Gallo plans to file against the EPD and it contains historical information about the City’s attempts to obtain an increase in its groundwater withdrawal permit. The Mayor stated that if council has no objections he would like to sign the document on behalf of the City once Attorney Gerard reviews it to make sure there are no problems with its execution. There were no objections voiced by council. Council was also advised that a Resolution had been introduced into the House regarding the release of groundwater withdrawal permits. Councilman Wedincamp asked if anything had been done about getting information out to citizens about the use of private wells for irrigation purposes and the Mayor stated he had contacted the newspapers and WJCL and would follow up with them on this matter.
Councilman Myrick reported that he had talked with Recreation Director Joe Young about the appointment of Richard Duke to the Recreation Executive Board and would like to make a motion to proceed with the appointment. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Rozier asked Mr. Young to provide an update on improvements to the park. Mr. Young reported that the fencing at the park had been completed and work was underway on the dugouts and covers over the spectator’s benches at the new baseball field. Mr. Young stated that he hoped to get a picnic shed constructed at the park. Mr. Young pointed out that long-term plans are to remove some pine trees behind the concession building and possibly construct another ballfield where the maintenance shed it currently located.
Mayor Rozier reported that Wayne Tipton had submitted for execution by council the plat for a minor subdivision of his property off Pine Barren Road that was approved on February 19th. It was noted that prior to the submission of the plat for council’s signatures, Mr. Tipton was required to have the plat approved by the Chatham County Health Department. Council was advised that the subdivision plat had been signed by Dewayne Tanner, the County Environmental Health Manager. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve council’s signing of the subdivision plat for recording, Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The council was advised that the amended site plan for property of R & R Electric Co. located on the corner of Drescher Road and Hwy 80 addressing stipulations discussed at the March 18th meeting had been submitted for council approval. It was noted that a copy of the minutes of the March 18th meeting outlining these stipulations had been distributed to council members. Councilman Myrick stated that it was his understanding that concerns were still being raised regarding the drainage of the property. Billy Strozier advised Councilman Myrick that he was familiar with the drainage in this area and the property drains toward Highway 80. Councilman Johnson confirmed this information and stated that since the property does not drain in the direction of the property owners at the other end of Drescher Road he felt it was an unnecessary expense to require the owner to provide a drainage plan, especially since the size of the tract did not require one to be submitted. After additional discussion and comments, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the issuance of a building permit for the structure shown on the site plans once the appropriate paperwork for said permit has been submitted and approved with the understanding that an agreement would be signed by Mr. Hearn that he would address drainage problems that may occur as a result of the development of this property. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Citizen Ruth Wedincamp raised question regarding Mr. Hearn’s use of Drescher Road as access to the property since it was a private road. Council discussed her concerns and she was advised that although it is a private road it is maintained by the City for use by public works and emergency vehicles and it is already being used by the public.
Council reviewed the amended site plan for development of property of D.K. Morgan located at #1720E. Hwy 80 that was submitted for approval on his behalf by Kern-Coleman. It was noted that the only stipulation included in council’s motion on March 18th was to add stucco to the façade and this information has been included on the most recently amended site plan. After a brief discussion, Councilman Waller made a motion to proceed with the issuance of the building permit as shown on the site plans once the appropriate paperwork has been submitted and approved. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Council was advised that Mr. Morgan’s contractor had submitted building plans for only the 40’x 60’ building although the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation and council’s approval of the site plan called for him to submit building plans to include both the 40’x 60’ building and the storage buildings connecting it to the existing building on the property when he requested a building permit. The Mayor asked Mr. Coleman how long the construction of the 40’x 60’ building was expected to take and was advised that it should be completed in approximately 90 days. Mayor Rozier pointed out that by the time the building was completed, the City will have addressed the approval of the Group Development Ordinance and the construction of the storage buildings may not be required. After additional discussion by council, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the issuance of the building permit for the 40’x 60’ building with the stipulation that Mr. Morgan sign an agreement that this building cannot be occupied nor could Mr. Morgan obtain a final electrical, building, and/or plumbing inspection until either he submits building plans for the four unit storage building showing its connection to the existing building or the council approves the Group Development Ordinance and Mr. Morgan submits and has approved the appropriate site plan for this type development. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City has received a request from the property owners on Church Street to discuss with council the paving of the street. The Mayor recognized Patricia Stanfield, a resident of Church Street, who stated that there were five of the eight property owners present at tonight’s meeting to discuss the paving of the road. Mayor Rozier advised those present that he had met with the DOT several weeks ago and they had looked at various unpaved streets in the City which included Church, Lynn, and Main Streets, as well as Osteen, Stagecoach and Perry Roads. The Mayor pointed out that, due to safety issues, it was his opinion that Stagecoach Road needed to be a top priority, but some council members had expressed their opinion in the pre-agenda meeting that Church, Main, and Lynn Streets needed to be addressed first since these were streets that existed in the original incorporation. Ms. Stanfield advised council that many of the citizens were concerned about the congested and unsafe conditions that currently existed at Main and Church Streets when children were being dropped off and picked up from school and asked if council could do anything about this problem. Chief Gossett reported that he had visited the school’s principal when he had been made aware of the problem and asked that the school provide a list of names of volunteers that could be trained to help with the traffic control problem since he did not have the officers available to stay at the school during these hours, however, he has not received this information. Citizen Roger Allen expressed his agreement with Ms. Stanfield’s comments concerning safety issues at the school and pointed out that the Board of Education may be willing to provide some land to help with the paving of the roadway. Some of the citizens raised questions about parents parking along Church Street and expressed their concerns that although signs had been posted the problems still exist and it was difficult for them to get in and out of their driveways. Chief Gossett reported that when tickets were written for these offenses, there were numerous complaints from the parents who were trying to pick up their children so the officers had been instructed to cut down on the number of citations. Councilman Johnson stated that in other counties the teachers are required to help with the traffic related to the dropping off and picking up of children at the schools and asked if this would be a possibility at Bloomingdale Elementary. Ms. Stanfield pointed out that there used to be three no parking signs in the area, but now there was only one and asked that the Mayor see that the other signs were put back up. Councilman Johnson commented that as the Chairman of the General Services Committee he would like to get back to the discussion of the paving of Church Street and pointed out that he felt this street needed to be one of the highest priorities along with the other “core” streets. Mayor Rozier stated that if council agreed that these “core” streets needed to be addressed first he would get back with the DOT about getting help with matching funds. It was noted that the monies that were currently available came from past SPLOST funds and there was a limited amount available. Mrs. Davis pointed out that after many years of scraping the dirt road there was a large pile of dirt at the end of Church Street that could be causing drainage problems and in further discussion several residents commented on the need to pave Church Street as soon as possible. Councilman Wedincamp suggested the City consider purchasing some “washout” materials at $35 a load to use on Church Street as a temporary solution until decisions could be made about the paving priorities. Council discussed this possibility, but concerns were raised about the possible use of a material that may not be suitable as a paving base. It was pointed out that if it was not suitable it could create more problems by having to be dug up before the road could be paved. Councilman Tyler stated that he would like to see the committee meet and establish a list of priorities to present to council so steps could be taken as soon as possible to proceed with the projects. A tentative meeting date was set for next Tuesday. Supervisor Fett Burke expressed his concerns about putting up the no parking signs if citations were not going to be written for those persons violating the notices. After additional discussion the Mayor asked that the Chief meet with Councilmen Johnson and Tyler, Roger Allen and Fett Burke to look at the traffic situation on Church and Main Streets to see if a solution could be worked out.
Council was advised that the City has received a written request from Kevin & Kay Heritage to renew the “hardship” secondary mobile home permit issued for the dwelling on their property at #1230 Bloomingdale Road. It was noted that the mobile home is occupied by Kay’s mother, Ho-Shim Shaw, who suffers from medical conditions requiring the assistance of a family member on a full-time basis. Council was informed that the Heritages have obtained a letter from Ms. Shaw’s physician confirming the need for this assistance and the ordinance allows the mobile home permit to be extended for six-month periods. Councilman Waller made a motion to allow a six-month extension of the “hardship” secondary mobile home as requested by the Heritages, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Reverend Todd Hill, the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church (formerly Gospel Lighthouse Church), who requested some information from council regarding the use of the church’s property located off Cregor Street. Council was reminded that in December, 1996 the church requested council’s direction in the opening of the street so they could obtain a building permit for a church. They were directed to obtain quit claim deeds from the property owners along the unopened portion of Cregor & Hickory Streets, to open the road to City specifications, and once the roadway was approved, to dedicate it to the City as a public right of way. The church obtained the quit claim deeds, opened the road and in December, 1999, it was approved by the City with the stipulation they provide dedication paperwork to the Attorney for filing on behalf of the City before it could be declared a public right of way so they could obtain their building permit. However, the opened portion of Cregor Street is now apparently being shown as part of the church’s tract of land by the tax assessor’s office and they are requesting information regarding the issuance of a building permit using this strip of land as an access driveway since they plan to sell the property rather than develop it. Reverend Hill stated that he would like to know if he could advise potential buyers that they can obtain a building permit. Attorney Gerard advised Reverend Hill that until he had an opportunity to check what was
actually on file with the county, he could not provide him a definite answer regarding ownership of the roadway. Council discussed the disposition of the buildings on the property and was advised by Reverend Hill that once the church sold the property they would have the funds to have a salvage company remove the buildings. Attorney Gerard asked that Reverend Hill provide him with any documents that he may have regarding this matter and he would do some research at the courthouse. The matter was tabled until the April 15th meeting.
Councilman Myrick stated that council had been discussing for some time the need for a code enforcement officer to handle various duties related to the application of zoning, building, drainage and development ordinances and possible inspection duties and he felt that with budget preparation approaching we needed to make some decisions regarding this position. Councilman Johnson pointed out that council needed to determine if there was a need for a full-time or a part-time employee. The Mayor stated that he had obtained a job description for this type position and council could look this over to see if it would meet our needs. Since other cities may have similar positions council felt that the City could get some help from them in determining specific job duties, salaries, hours, etc. Mayor Rozier advised council that Garden City has a code enforcement officer and he would get some information from them.
Councilman Myrick pointed out that some questions have been raised regarding the wording of the City’s Municipal Utilities Ordinance and felt council needed to consider some changes to clarify the City’s position regarding the extension of water and sewer lines being the responsibility of the developer rather than the City. After council discussed the matter and agreed that a change needed to be made, Attorney Gerard stated that he would prepare a draft changing the wording of the ordinance for council’s consideration.
Councilman Myrick advised council that the Public Safety Committee had been discussing the need to retire the City’s drug dog, “Chad”, due to his age and deteriorating health and the Chief’s position that this method of drug enforcement was not proving to be the most cost effective for the department at this time. Chief Gossett suggested that council consider allowing the officer who had been working with the dog to take possession of him for a pet since he was willing to give the dog a good home. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to declare the drug dog as surplus property, to set the value of said dog at $1.00, and to allow Corporal Richard Tatum to take possession of the dog for a pet. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised the City had received a request from Ellis Phillips asking if the City wants to inspect the construction of the extension of Moore Street as included in his preliminary subdivision plan approved by council in December, 2003. The subdivision ordinance requires that his engineer certify that the improvements have been installed in accordance with the requirements of the ordinance and in accordance with the design approved by the Mayor and Council on the preliminary plan, but Mr. Phillips indicated that on other projects, the cities and counties have preferred to have their own representative inspect the work as it is being done. Mr. Phillips plans to start working on the roadway next week and would like to know if and when we want to do any inspections. Councilman Johnson stated that it was his understanding that the “proof-roll” stage was a critical point in the construction of the roadway and asked Fett Burke if he was familiar with this process. Mr. Burke stated that the contractor would have loaded dump trucks drive on the roadway to determine if it was properly compacted and if there was no shift in the roadbed it was ready for pavement. After additional discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to advise Mr. Phillips that the City will require their representative to be on hand to inspect the “proof-roll” stage of the paving of the extension of Moore Street. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier stated that this concluded the items that were submitted by the March 26, 2004 agenda deadline.
Councilman Wedincamp requested council consider an addition to the agenda to discuss appointments to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to add this matter to the agenda, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to add Andrew Rawlings as a member to the Planning & Zoning Commission to replace Glenda Key who had moved outside of the City. There was no second to the motion. Councilman Myrick stated that he did not know Mr. Rawlings or his qualifications to serve on the committee. Councilman Myrick asked if the Planning & Zoning Commission was recommending this appointment and Councilman Wedincamp stated that the members wanted Mr. Rawlings on the committee. After a brief discussion, Attorney Gerard pointed out that Roberts Rules of Order did not require nominations to committees be brought as motions and a majority vote of council could approve the appointment. Mayor Rozier called for a vote on the appointment of Andrew Rawlings to the Planning & Zoning Commission to fill the unexpired term of Glenda Key. Council members Wedincamp, Myrick, and Tyler voted for the appointment, Council members Johnson and Ray voted against the appointment, and Councilman Waller did not vote. The appointment was approved with three affirmative votes. Councilman Wedincamp presented a recommendation on the appointment of Rebecca Reece to serve as an alternate member to the Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Wedincamp stated that Ms. Reece was Glenda Key’s daughter and she had expressed a desire to serve on this committee, however, the Planning & Zoning Commission members had not discussed this appointment. Mayor Rozier asked for a vote on the appointment of Ms. Reece to serve as an alternate member to the Planning & Zoning Commission. The appointment was approved with six affirmative votes.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Tyler 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 at 8:15pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier and all of the council members were present at the meeting.