February 17, 2005
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Waller leading in prayer. The minutes of the February 3, 2005 meeting were reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Dickey stated that he had not received any updated information regarding the City’s lawsuit against EPD on water permit issues.
Council was advised by Attorney Dickey that he had not received a response from David Hicks regarding the notification sent to him by certified mail that he must remove the non-conforming mobile home located at #1301A E. Hwy 80.
Attorney Dickey also reported that he had sent Kenneth Sikes a certified letter notifying him of the City’s plans to pursue removal of the residence on his property located at #308 Pine Street as outlined in the Nuisance Abatement Ordinance but had not yet received a response.
Mayor Rozier advised council that the City has not yet received the engineer’s construction plans and calculations from Southeast Engineering & Environmental regarding the extension of the sewer service to the PUD on Cheyenne Road. The Mayor recognized Toss Allen, a representative from Southeast Engineering, who reported that he was still working on the plans and was waiting on some information from Environment One regarding the grinder pumps.
Councilman Myrick reported that he had obtained bids on generators for both the police building and Well #1, but was advised by Councilman Tyler that his company would be bidding on the equipment, so he asked that review of the bids be postponed until the March 3rd meeting.
The Mayor reported that Attorney Dickey had prepared the changes to the proposed by-laws of the Recreation Executive Board as discussed at the meeting held on February 10th and copies had been distributed for council’s review. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the adoption of the by-laws for the Recreation Executive Board with the changes as prepared by Attorney Dickey. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Myrick reported that he was still working with the Recreation Department to determine which utility vehicle would best meet their needs at the park and he wanted to look at another model before making a decision. Councilman Myrick made a motion that council authorizes the Recreation Committee to make a decision on which vehicle to purchase at a price of up to $5500 and to amend the FY 2004-2005 budget to add the vehicle as a capital outlay item. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Recreation Department has purchased some supplies to rebuild the dugouts at the older baseball/softball field at Taylor Park with the labor to be donated. The department is requesting that the council amend the FY 2004-2005 budget to add the improvements to these dugouts as a capital outlay item. The cost of the supplies is approximately $1200. Councilman Tyler made a motion to amend the budget as requested. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier stated that council needed to consider the approval of the first reading of the two ordinances prepared by Attorney Dickey as requested by council. Copies were distributed for their review on February 3, 2005. The first ordinance prohibits the obstruction of any city right of way or easement by placing debris, trash, garbage, leaves, tree limbs, equipment, vehicles, buildings, and any other item or thing that would not be naturally found in said areas. The second ordinance allows for liens to be placed against property for all charges incurred by the City for the clearing of weeds, brush, trash, etc. from said property when said charges are due and remain unpaid for a period of sixty (60) days. After a review of the ordinances by council, Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the first reading of both ordinances. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Waller made a motion to dispense with the second reading of both ordinances. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Johnson made a motion to approve the adoption of the ordinance allowing for a lien to be placed against property for all charges incurred by the City for the clearing of weeds, brush, trash, etc. from said property. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the adoption of the ordinance prohibiting the obstruction of City right of way or easement with debris, trash, etc. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that the agenda included a request for a home occupation license by Dixie Williams, but Ms. Williams asked that this be postponed until March 3, 2005.
Council reviewed a request from Michael & Trisha Brower who live at #702 E. Moore Street for a home occupation license to operate a communications business from this location. The business includes telephones, computer networking and digital services. The owner of the property, Frank Moore & Company, has submitted a letter to the City giving permission for the Browers to operate the business from this location provided they conform to any applicable local codes. Mr. Brower reported that he and his wife would be the only employees and there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence. Based on this information, Councilman Tyler made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Councilman
Myrick made a motion to approve the issuance of the home occupation license to the Browers, Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received a copy of a request on behalf of Progressive Builders to address council regarding issues related to the development of property owned by New Hope Baptist Church located at Cregor and Hickory Streets. Mayor Rozier stated that the property is zoned RA-1/R-1 and located in a Zone A Flood Zone in which the base flood has not been established. The Mayor recognized Joe Jones who asked if the developer could tie into the water and sewer systems to serve a fourteen (14) lot residential subdivision. Mayor Rozier stated that at this time there had been no moratorium placed on the issuance of building permits, so, in his opinion, the services could be extended to the property. Mr. Jones was advised that a 2” water main is located at the corner of Cregor St. and the unopened portion of Hickory Street; however, questions were raised about whether this size water line would adequately serve the property which is several hundred feet from the church property. A 2” sewer main is also located in this same area. Ernest Grizzard reported that there is an 8” water main at Main Street approximately 600’ from the property and a larger sewer main at Cherry Street. Mayor Rozier advised Mr. Jones that the City would not be responsible for the paving of streets to the development nor would they open any streets. The Mayor suggested that Mr. Jones have his engineer prepare a plan to service the property with water and sewer and provide the plan and his calculations to the City for our engineers to review. Councilman Johnson stated that Ernest Grizzard would be able to show him or his engineer the location of the existing water and sewer mains. Mr. Jones asked what would determine whether or not a 2” line would serve the development and was advised that the number of users currently being served by the lines would be part of the calculation. The matter was tabled until the plans are submitted.
Mayor Rozier reported that the City had received a request from Kern-Coleman on behalf of their client Harlan Hostetter to meet with the City to discuss zoning and development opportunities for the 44 acre tract located on Highway 80 east of Ottawa Subdivision at Douglas Court. There have been no preliminary plans submitted by the developer. The Mayor stated that in the letter they mentioned meeting with the City’s Planning Committee or the Mayor and Chairman of the Planning Board. Councilman Myrick suggested that the meeting be open to any council members interested in attending and asked that they be notified, in advance, as to when the meeting would take place. It was also noted that the meeting would have to be advertised since there may be a quorum of the council in attendance. The Mayor stated he would contact Kern-Coleman to set up the meeting and advise council of the date and time.
Mayor Rozier stated that on January 20th the council had met with representatives from First Chatham Bank to discuss the use of the CDARS program when soliciting bids on certificates of deposit. The CDARS program is a deposit-placement service that allows local banks to offer higher interest rates for certificates of deposit by distributing funds to other FDIC insured banking institutions. Since there are certificates of deposit that will be maturing in March, 2005, council needs to make a decision regarding the acceptance of CDARS bids when soliciting rate quotes. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the inclusion of CDARS bids when soliciting rate quotes for certificates of deposit from area banking institutions. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has been contacted by First Chatham Bank about our considering participation in a pledging pool for the collateralization of public deposits that would replace the current dedicated method of pledged securities. The bank has provided the City with a packet of documents that includes a copy of the enabling legislation. Also included in the packet is information about GBA Services, Inc.—the company that has been contracted as the administrative agent for the State of Georgia Office of Treasury and Fiscal Services (OTFS) for the purpose of approving substitutions and withdrawals of pooled collateral pledged to public deposits. It was noted that a copy of this information has been distributed for council’s consideration and provided to Attorney Dickey for his review. Council was advised that if they approve the change in the method of collateralization of City funds, the Mayor will need to be authorized to execute the documents provided by First Chatham Bank. Attorney Dickey asked that this matter be tabled until the March 3rd meeting to allow time for him to review the information before making a recommendation to council and they agreed.
Mayor Rozier stepped down from the podium during the discussion of the next matter of business and Mayor Pro-tem Johnson presented the information.
Mayor Pro-tem Johnson stated that Mayor Rozier is considering a minor subdivision of a tract of land he owns off Adams Road. The parcel consists of approximately 4± acres and he wants to divide the property into two tracts using a 60’ privately-maintained access easement. Both tracts will abut the privately-maintained access easement the required 125’. The right of way dedicated for Adams Road is 50’. The Mayor plans to move the eastern property line of this parcel to allow for the access easement to abut the full 50’ width of Adams Road, but is requesting a 10’ frontage variance from council since the remaining 10’ of the privately-maintained access easement will not abut a public right of way. Mayor Rozier stated that over 400’ of one of the tracts abuts Towles Road, but since it is not a dedicated public right of way, he has to provide public access through the private road. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve a 10’ variance as requested for the abutment of only 50’ to Adams Road of a 60’ privately-maintained access easement onto Mayor Rozier’s property because the right of way for Adams Road is only 50’. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier returned to the podium.
Council was advised that the City has received notification from Southeast Engineering & Environmental that they reviewed the plan submitted by Stevenson & Palmer Engineering on behalf of Jimmy Kerby for the extension of City sewer to serve the proposed 1.1 acre lot at the corner of Adams and Tipton Roads owned by Brandon Paul and they recommended approval of the plan by the City with the following stipulations:
1) The 4” steel casing that will contain the 2” force main shall be installed directly on top of the existing culverts in order to provide the maximum amount of cover available.
2) The 4” steel casing shall be installed the entire width of the culverts (i.e. from end of wingwall to end of wingwall)
Toss Allen with Southeast Engineering & Environmental stated that the current plans had these stipulations noted on the plans, but they wanted to reiterate the importance of installing the sewer lines as outlined above. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the extension of the City sewer to serve the proposed 1.1 acre tract owned by Brandon Paul at the corner of Adams and Tipton Roads. Councilman Tyler seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Rozier presented the following recommendations of the Planning & Zoning Commission from their February 15, 2005 meeting:
1) The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended the denial of D.K. Morgan’s amended site plan due to inadequate access and parking. Council was reminded that at their January 20th meeting, the Mayor and City Council agreed to allow D.K. Morgan to rent the rear building on his property located at #1720E. Hwy 80 for the operation of an auto repair business with the stipulation that he install bathroom facilities, handicapped parking for the business and provide a designated access easement for traffic flow from his driveway at U.S. Highway 80 to the rear building. Mr. Morgan was advised that his engineer must make these notations on his site development plan and present it for review by the Planning & Zoning Commission. Mr. Morgan’s engineering firm, Kern-Coleman & Co., made the notations as instructed and review of the plan was included on the agenda of the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting for February 15th. Mr. Morgan was given until March 17, 2005 to make the improvements to the property as agreed to by council on January 20th. Council questioned Chairman Andrew Rawlings about their recommendation since Mr. Morgan’s plan met the stipulations outlined by council. Mr. Rawlings stated that the members were concerned that the access driveway was not clearly identified and there did not seem to be as many parking spaces as would be needed for the business. Mr. Rawlings was informed that there was parking in the front, rear and on the eastside of the rear building. Council members Johnson, Tyler, and Myrick reviewed the plan with Chairman Rawlings and Mr. Morgan and determined that if “No Parking” signs were posted on the eastside of the driveway and the westside of the rear building this should adequately identify the access driveway. After Mr. Morgan agreed to install the signs as discussed, Councilman Tyler made a motion to approve the amended site plan with the improvements to be completed by March 17, 2005. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
2) The Planning & Zoning Commission is recommending the approval of the minor subdivision plans presented for property of Brandon Paul located at the corner of Adams and Tipton Roads with the stipulation that the one parcel consisting of 1.1 acres will be served by City sewer and a private well and that these notations must be included on the final plat. A copy of information from the Chatham County Health Department was given to Mr. Paul that includes the statement regarding septic tank information for the 3.6 acre tract that must also appear on the final plat and be signed by the Director of the Chatham County Health Department prior to the recording of the plat. The $75.00 minor subdivision fee will need to be paid prior to the release of the signed plat. It was noted that the 1.1 acre tract will be served by City sewer as approved by council earlier in the meeting. Councilman Waller made a motion to approve the minor subdivision with the stipulations outlined above, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
3) Council was advised that the Planning & Zoning Commission had discussed Forrest Floyd’s property at Highway 80 and Douglas Court at their February 15th meeting and concerns were raised about the sign not being in compliance with city ordinance and not being the style of sign that was approved, that the screened-in area for the dumpster had not be established or installed and the areas of the lot not paved were to be sodded and adequate buffers established. The Planning & Zoning Commission recommended that the Certificate of Occupancy be withheld until the commercial sign, screening for the dumpster, sodding and adequate buffers are established and brought into compliance with current city ordinances. Councilman Ray pointed out that the development was still under construction and some of these items had not yet been completed. Council was advised that the sign met the requirements of the ordinance as interpreted by the building inspector and issuing clerk and the screened-in area for the dumpster would be constructed when the dumpster was needed. Councilman Johnson stated that he had looked at the site plans, but did not see where there was anything noted regarding the sodding of areas not paved. Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Rawlings stated that the area in question was at the other end of the lot that is not yet developed. Council voiced their concern that this should even be an issue since it was not part of the landscaping of the building that was under construction. Chairman Rawlings was questioned as to whether this matter had been on the meeting agenda and he stated that it was not; however, questions were raised about this development and he felt that they should be discussed. Attorney Dickey pointed out that there should be nothing discussed either as “old” or “new” business at the meeting unless it was received by the agenda deadline and included on the published agenda. If citizens or members had issues they wanted to discuss, they should be passed to the next regularly scheduled meeting so they could be placed on the agenda. Attorney Dickey stated that if the questions related to Mr. Floyd’s development had been on the agenda, he could have been notified so he could have attended the meeting to response to them. Chairman Rawlings advised council that he was not aware of this stipulation, but would make sure members abided by these regulations in the future.
Mayor Rozier recognized D.K. Morgan who had requested that he be placed on tonight’s agenda to discuss a grading problem on Morgan Road. Mr. Morgan explained that Henry Taylor, one of the residents living on Morgan Road, was placing a water hose across the roadway and it was interfering with the maintenance of the road. Mr. Morgan stated that every time the motor grader came to that section of the road the operator had to raise the blade to miss the water hose and this was causing a pile of dirt to be left in this section of the road. Mr. Morgan stated that the last time the motor grader was scraping the road he had moved the hose and Mr. Taylor had contacted the police. Mr. Morgan asked if council could have the police department inform Mr. Taylor that he must keep the hose out of the road. Attorney Dickey asked who actually owned the road and Mr. Morgan reported that there were several owners, but the City had been maintaining it for years so it could be used by the garbage truck, emergency vehicles and the police and fire departments. Attorney Dickey asked if there were any ingress and egress deeds, but Mr. Morgan did not know, so Attorney Dickey stated he would check into this matter and get back with him.
The Mayor recognized Andrew Rawlings, Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, who stated that he would like for council to consider an “Ole Town Theme” for the development of the City and the establishment of a Historic District. Councilman Johnson asked if he had any specific ideas related to this type plan and Chairman Rawlings stated that he did have some ideas to share with members. Chairman Rawlings stated that the Planning & Zoning Commission would be meeting on March 1st to discuss the Highway 80 Corridor Overlay/Historic District and Main Street Development and would like to invite council to join them. Council was informed that several property owners and bankers had also been invited along with representatives from DCA. Chairman Rawlings was advised that the City Hall would not be available on March 1st due to the Citizens Police Academy classes that have been scheduled, but the community building was available. Chairman Rawlings stated that he would prefer to meet at City Hall and after discussing possible dates with council the meeting was set for Thursday, March 10th at 7:00pm. The Mayor suggested that representatives from Lott Barber Architects be included in the invitation since they were currently serving as the City’s zoning consultants.
Council was advised that the City is currently receiving SPLOST 2003-2008 funds that are being collected and distributed by Chatham County based on approval of the referendum held in March, 2003. These funds are anticipated to be approximately 2.8 million dollars; however, this amount is based on estimated increases in sales tax revenues that may not be collected. The funds that have been received as of January, 2005 total approximately $510,000. Distribution of collected funds did not start until after adoption of the City’s 2004/2005 budget, so we must now prepare and adopt a five-year projected budget for expenditures from these SPLOST funds. The projects included in the referendum were: Recreational, Local Street Improvements, Public Safety Facility*, Improvements to City Hall* and Miscellaneous Capital Outlay Projects in the City’s Adopted CIP Plan. *Note: These projects are currently being funded from SPLOST funds on hand that were designated for “Other Capital Projects”. Copies of the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Distribution of the SPLOST proceeds by the County to the City of Bloomingdale have been distributed to Attorney Dickey and council for review. Councilman Ray stated that he felt the council should seriously consider including the cost of the upgrade to the sewer wastewater treatment plant as one of the first capital projects to be funded since the sewer rates would have to be dramatically increased for the citizens of Bloomingdale if we are required to finance the anticipated 1.2 million dollars the upgrade will cost the City. Councilman Myrick asked if this project would qualify for SPLOST funds and Attorney Dickey stated that as a capital project it should qualify. Council was asked to provide their input as to the development of this budget and provide this information in the next few weeks since we need to prepare and approve the budget as soon as possible.
Mayor Rozier reported that he had met with representatives regarding the Cypress Pipeline Project and to the best of his knowledge the pipeline would not have any impact on residents in our corporate limits except for some areas on John Carter Road.
The Mayor stated that he had asked Toss Allen with Southeastern Engineering & Environmental to provide council with an update on the plans for the paving of Church & Lynn Streets. Mr. Allen reported that the engineering plans had been prepared for Lynn Street and were ready to submit to DOT. As far as Church Street, however, council needed to make some decisions regarding the paving of this roadway. If the DOT participated in the project, they would require additional right of way, curb and gutter, the installation of retaining walls, removal of trees, and the relocation of numerous fences. These items would increase the overall cost of the project and even if DOT’s participation was 50% of the cost of the project, the City would still have to pay about $130,000. Mr. Allen stated that if the City decided to do the paving work as a City project only with no participation by DOT, the cost would be approximately $141,000 and could be done without additional right of way or curb and gutter. The drainage of the roadway would be addressed by constructing the road to drain to one side. Councilman Johnson pointed out that the City had done some paving projects in the past without DOT’s participation due to similar circumstances. After a brief discussion, the Mayor stated that discussion of this issue and a decision from council would be placed on the March 3rd agenda.
Mayor Rozier reported that Attorney Dickey had requested an executive session to discuss legal issues. Councilman Ray made a motion to adjourn into executive session. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. After completion of the executive session, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
A copy of the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act is attached.
The accounts payable were reviewed with Councilman Ray making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
Mayor Rozier and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Tyler and Waller were present at the meeting.