April 15, 2004
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Reverend Terry Wilson of the Countryside Baptist Church leading in prayer. The minutes of the April 1, 2004 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve said minutes, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Judge Emory Bazemore who stated that he was a candidate for Chief Magistrate of Chatham County, Georgia. Judge Bazemore stated that he had been a member of the Georgia Bar Association for almost thirty-five (35) years and outlined his experience as an Attorney, a Magistrate Court Judge and Magistrate Court Administrator. Judge Bazemore explained his role in the development of the Magistrate Court website that allows for the filing of complaints, answers, Landlord-tenant disputes and responses online. Judge Bazemore asked for the support of the Mayor, Council, and citizens in attendance at the meeting.
Attorney Gerard reported that he was currently working with Dennis Baxter to finalize the update to the Pooler/Bloomingdale Waste Water Treatment Facility Agreement Amendment and copies of the draft that was sent to Mr. Baxter about two weeks ago has been distributed to council for their review. Attorney Gerard stated that the changes in the draft agreement have not yet been approved by Pooler’s elected officials. Council was encouraged to review the draft and if they had any questions to advise Attorney Gerard.
Councilman Wedincamp reported that there was one (1) property owner on Cheyenne Road that had not executed the right of way deed for the dedication of the roadway to the City. The Mayor recognized Gordon Jones, a property owner on Cheyenne Road, who stated that it was his understanding that if a road has been used for over seven (7) years it becomes a public road by prescription and wondered why the process that has been being followed by Mr. Wedincamp for its dedication was necessary. Mr. Jones stated that the road has been used by school buses, trash trucks, the post office, etc. and he felt that since it has been used by the public for over seven (7) years it should already be a public roadway. Mayor Rozier asked Attorney Gerard his opinion of this information. Attorney Gerard stated that he was not familiar with the specific code section that Mr. Jones was referring to, but asked if Cheyenne Road was a dead-end road and was advised that it was. Attorney Gerard pointed out that although the road may have been being used by the parties referred to by Mr. Jones they were providing services specifically to those persons living on the roadway, but the general public would not be using the road since it was a dead-end street. Attorney Gerard stated that there were several different criteria that would be used in determining whether a road was public which included, but was not limited to, the dedication of the roadway by the owners and acceptance of same by the City or County and/or the maintenance of the roadway over a period of time by the City or County. In this case, however, neither has occurred and since this is a dead-end street that would not be used by the general public, it would not be considered part of the City’s public road system. Attorney Gerard stated he would do some research on the code section submitted by Mr. Jones. The Mayor asked Councilman Wedincamp if the person who had not signed the right of way deed was present at tonight’s meeting and was advised that the property owner, Mike Mashburn was at the meeting. The Mayor asked Mr. Mashburn if he would explain why he was not willing to execute the right of way deed so the roadway could be dedicated to the City. Mr. Mashburn stated that the development of the area was the issue. Councilman Wedincamp pointed out that the property could be developed without his signing the right of way deed, but by not signing it he would be causing a hardship for a couple of the other owners whose property was located west of his tract. Attorney Gerard stated that dedication of the roadway to the City as a public road would increase the marketability of all of the property along Cheyenne Road and encouraged the parties involved in this issue to try to work together to resolve the matter.
Mayor Rozier reported that a tentative date of September 26th has been scheduled for the Patriotic Celebration. The Mayor stated that he was working on getting some entertainment and this was the date that one of the gospel groups was available to perform.
Councilman Johnson stated that the General Services Committee had met and discussed proposed paving projects and were recommending the following priority list: 1) Church Street, 2) Lynn Street, and 3) Stagecoach Road. Councilman Johnson pointed out that the committee was not sure how far the funds would go toward these projects since curb and gutter may be required for Church Street, but they felt Stagecoach Road needed to be added because of the safety issues involved. Mayor Rozier advised council that he would contact the DOT about these projects to see if matching funds could be obtained.
The Mayor stated that Chief Gossett and General Services Chairman Councilman Johnson had looked into the traffic congestion problems at the school and had some suggestions that may help with the problem provided the Board of Education was willing to work with the City to implement the plan. Chief Gossett advised the citizens that the Board of Education should actually be addressing this problem, but
the City was willing to try to help to work out a solution due to the traffic and safety issues. The Chief provided citizens with a drawing showing an outline of the plan which includes a dirt road from Pine Street to Church Street across the back of school property. This would allow parents to line up on school property and along the road right of way of Church Street as they are waiting to drop off and/or pick up their children in front of the school. The Chief pointed out that his suggestion would be for the City to provide the labor and possibly the materials to develop the road provided the Board of Education would allow it to be constructed on school property. The proposal was discussed at length with citizens being advised that the vehicles that would be traveling along Church Street would be far enough away from the residences as not to interfere with citizens pulling into or backing out of their driveways. Citizen Barbara Rawlings expressed her concern about the vehicles blocking the path of the school buses, but the Chief stated that there would be signs placed at the driveway used by the buses advising vehicles not to block the exit. Councilman Johnson pointed out that there would have to be an education process in the implementation of the plan, but felt that with the cooperation of everyone involved it would work. Citizen Bernard Neal stated he did not want the buses on Church Street, but was advised that the Board of Education had established the bus route and the buses were already using Church Street. Citizen Eutween Griffin stated that she felt this plan should work and it would help with the congestion problems—other citizens agreed. Mayor Rozier advised council that he would see if he could be placed on the agenda of the next Board of Education meeting to present the proposal. Chief Gossett was questioned as to what the parents should do in the meantime about the dropping off and/or picking up of children. The Chief pointed out that hopefully the school could help with some traffic direction during the remaining school term.
Attorney Gerard reported that his research of the questions regarding the ownership of Cregor Street indicated that the dedication to the City of all but a .003 acre portion of the Cregor Street Extension (which has a total of .0473 acres) from South Walnut Street to the church’s property (which includes some footage of unopened Hickory Street) occurred on December 16, 1999 when Council accepted title to the road extension finding it met city road specifications and had proper drainage features. The 0.47 acre portion of the extension had been tendered to the City for dedication by Lucille Redding on July 21, 1997 in a quitclaim deed. However, instead of dedicating to the City the remaining .003 acre portion of the extension that was required by council for the turn onto Hickory Street, she quitclaimed the piece to the Church in August, 1999. Attorney Gerard pointed out that the church would need to quitclaim this .003 acre portion to the City. Council discussed the need to secure the dedication of an additional 40’of right of way on South Hickory Street from both the church and the current property owners across the street since there is currently only 60’ of road frontage for the church’s property. These issues were discussed at length with Reverend Hill, the pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church (formerly Gospel Lighthouse). During this discussion, Citizen Charles Rogers asked that council allow him to get some maps from his vehicle that may provide some additional information concerning this issue. The Mayor agreed to postpone discussion until he returned and proceeded with additional business. (Note: Councilman Wedincamp had to leave the meeting prior to the completion of this discussion). When Mr. Rogers returned, Attorney Gerard reviewed the map that he provided. The Mayor asked Charles Rogers, one of the owners of the property across from the church, if he felt there would be any problem obtaining a quitclaim deeding the additional 40’ right of way to the City. Mr. Rogers stated that he did not have any problem with the dedication, but he could not speak for his partner. Reverend Hill asked if the church would have to open up this additional 40’ of roadway and council agreed that this portion of the roadway would not have to be opened. After discussion of the matter, council agreed to allow the issuance of a building permit for the church’s property on Hickory Street provided the church quitclaimed the .003 acre portion of Lot #13 and an additional 40’ right of way along Hickory Street to the City of Bloomingdale and the current property owners on the east side of Hickory Street also quitclaim an additional 40’ to the City and the paperwork is executed and filed prior to the issuance of a permit. Councilman Johnson made the motion to handle the issuance of a building permit as outlined above, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Attorney Gerard stated that he would prepare the documents that needed to be signed and forward them to the appropriate parties for their signatures.
Council was advised that copies of proposed changes to the Municipal Utilities Ordinances as requested by council at the last meeting and prepared by Attorney Gerard have been distributed for review. Council agreed that similar changes needed to be made to the sewer ordinance. Discussion on the changes to the ordinance was postponed until council has an opportunity to review them.
City Council discussed the approval of the establishment of the zoning as RA-1 for the properties of the Morgan Family and Ferman & Ginger Tyler located on Osteen Road that is proposed for annexation. It was noted that this zoning is the same as the current zoning for the properties. The Planning & Zoning Commission was to consider this matter at their March 16th meeting, but it was overlooked on their agenda. Council was advised that the zoning ordinance requires that the Planning & Zoning Commission make a recommendation on the zoning within thirty (30) days of the public hearing or it is deemed approved. The public hearing was held on March 16, 2004 so council can now act on the zoning issue. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the first reading of the zoning map amendment to establish the zoning of these properties to RA-1. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed
with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray made a motion to dispense with the second reading. The motion was seconded by Councilman Myrick and passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the establishment of the zoning of the Morgan Family and Tyler properties located on Osteen Road as RA-1. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented for council’s consideration the annexation petitions of the Morgan Family and Ferman & Ginger Tyler requesting the City annex their properties located on Osteen Road. It was noted that the zoning of the properties has been established as RA-1 and Attorney Gerard has prepared an annexation ordinance for council’s approval. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the first reading of the annexation ordinance to annex the properties of the Morgan Family and Ferman & Ginger Tyler located on Osteen Road. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to dispense with the second reading and Councilman Myrick seconded the motion which passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller then made a motion to approve the execution of the annexation ordinance to annex into the City of Bloomingdale the properties of the Morgan Family and Ferman & Ginger Tyler located on Osteen Road. Councilman Wedincamp seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that two (2) bids have been received on some minor construction and repair work that needs to be done at the Bloomingdale Community Center. Councilman Johnson pointed out that bids had been solicited from three (3) contractors, but only two had been submitted. The work includes repairs and painting of trim work and chair rail, replacement of one door unit, painting of the hallways and main meeting room as well as the installation of a doorway between the small meeting room on the east side of the building and the main meeting room and some other minor work. The bids were as follows: Kerby Enterprises, Inc. - $2950 and S/R Group, Inc. - $3345.87. Councilman Wedincamp stated that he felt a double rather than a single door needed to be installed between the two meeting rooms to allow for more room in moving tables and chairs back and forth. Councilman Johnson made a motion to accept the bid from Kerby Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $2950 for the work at the Bloomingdale Community Building. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Note: Councilman Wedincamp left the meeting at this time. Council discussed the merits of having a double door between the two rooms and decided that it would probably help to eliminate some of the damage to the doorway when moving tables and chairs. Councilman Myrick made a motion to amend the scope of work to include a double rather than a single door between the two rooms. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick then made a motion to amend the repair and maintenance budget to include the cost of this work. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Recreation Director Joe Young has received verbal resignations from the Recreation Executive Board by Don Bailey and Cindy Hashaw. Mr. Bailey’s term expires on June 30, 2005 and Ms. Hashaw’s term expires on June 30, 2006. Council was also advised that Mr. Young was recommending the appointments of James Cannon and Gregg Weissman to the board. Councilman Myrick reported that background checks on these individuals were clear and according to Mr. Young both of these nominees would be an asset to the program. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointments of James Cannon and Gregg Weissman to the Recreation Executive Board to fill the unexpired terms of Don Bailey and Cindy Hashaw. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the City had received a request from David and Michelle Clifton to separate Lot #76 from Lot #’s 79 and 80 all of which they owned on the unopened portion of Poplar Street. The Clifton’s indicate that Lot #76 would be 90’ by 184.5’. Council was advised that the Clifton’s did not provide a plat showing the properties, but according to copies of the tax maps on hand in the City Hall there are three (3) existing lots that were combined into one tract, however, the specific road frontage for the lots is not shown. Council was reminded that in previous discussions regarding Poplar Street it was noted that current owners/residents would have access to their property using the unopened portion of the street, however, the issuance of building permits for additional structures would require the opening of the roadway to City specifications. The Cliftons stated that there was a residence on Lot #76 and a second residence located on Lot #’s 79 & 80 and they were considering the selling of the residence on Lot #76.
Attorney Gerard advised the Cliftons that if they were going to sell the property they would need to officially separate the tracts and obtain separate pin numbers and this would be handled with the county tax office. The Cliftons informed council that they planned to add an addition to the house located on Lot #’s 79 & 80 and wanted to know if they could obtain a building permit. Council advised them that they would have to go through the building permit process, but since the structure already existed and the property was zoned for residential use there would be no problem with adding on to the house.
Mayor Rozier read a proclamation recognizing May 6, 2004 as a “National Day of Prayer” in the City of Bloomingdale. The Mayor announced plans for two prayer services to be held in the City on May 6th. One service will be held at the Bloomingdale Alliance Church at noon with lunch being provided and an evening service will be held at the First Baptist Church at 7:00pm.
The Mayor reported he had received a request from the Savannah-Chatham County Fair Housing Council, Inc. concerning fair housing month. Mayor Rozier read a proclamation declaring the month of April as “Fair Housing Month” in Bloomingdale.
Mayor Rozier reported that this concluded the items that had been submitted prior to the agenda deadline with the exception of an executive session issue.
Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss the possible acquisition of property. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
A copy of the signed affidavit required by the Open Meetings Law is attached.
After the executive session adjourned, Councilman Myrick made a motion to return to the general session, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier reported that there were no decisions to make at this time regarding the acquisition of property.
The accounts payable were reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Johnson made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with four affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Citizen Andrew Rawlings who asked if Osteen Road was going to be paved. Mayor Rozier stated that based on the recommendation from the General Services Committee it was not one of the top three (3) streets that was being considered and since funds were limited there may not be any monies for the paving at this time.
Mayor Rozier and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Waller and Wedincamp attended the meeting. Note: Councilman Wedincamp had to leave early.