COUNCIL MEETING

November 17, 2005

 

 The meeting was called to order by Mayor Rozier with Councilman Ray leading in prayer.  The minutes of the November 3, 2005 meeting were reviewed.  Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the minutes, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

 

Mayor Rozier reported that Attorney David Sneed had contacted City Hall and asked that an update on the variance request from Gordon Jones on his property on Cheyenne Road be passed because they did not have any information to report to council at this time.

 

Attorney Dickey stated that he had sent a letter to Utility Services, Inc. regarding the placement of a telecommunications tower on the water tank, but had not yet received a response.  Council agreed to table discussion on this issue until a response was received from Utility Services.

 

Council was informed that the overgrown grass and weeds had been cleared by Mark Beamon, Sr. from his property located at #109 Chestnut Street.  Maintenance Supervisor, Fett Burke, stated that he had checked the property and the problems had been taken care of. 

 

Mayor Rozier advised council that he was scheduled to meet with the Chatham County Legislative Delegation on Friday, December 2nd at 10:30am to submit Bloomingdale’s requests for the 2006 Legislative Session.  The Mayor stated that along with additional funds for drainage and a request for an increase in our current water permit, he would ask for monies for our recreation program.

 

Councilman Johnson stated that he had reviewed the information on the portable speed humps that had been obtained by the maintenance department and felt that the $1600 cost of this type device was much more reasonable than the $3500 for an asphalt speed hump.  Councilman Johnson pointed out that this type speed hump could be removed prior to the resurfacing of a street and if council agreed to install this type on Boulevard Street he would recommend that the cost be shared on a 50/50 basis with the citizens.  Mayor Rozier pointed out that as discussed in the pre-agenda meeting the police department would be instructed to provide additional surveillance in this area to see if that would help with the speeding problems prior to the installation of this device.  The matter was tabled for a couple of weeks to see if the extra patrols would help to solve the problems.

 

Council was advised that there had been responses from two of the four property owners along the Pipemaker’s Spur regarding the acquisition of right of way for maintenance purposes.  The responses had been from Tony Blocker and Betty Johnson who had both expressed interest in providing the right of way.  After a brief discussion, the clerk was asked to send a follow-up letter to the other two owners requesting their response.

 

The council was informed that Mayor Rozier had received a letter from the Chatham County Department of Engineering confirming their discussions with Thomas & Hutton Engineering and providing an update on the status of the Conaway Branch Canal drainage project.  Council was advised that a copy of the letter had been distributed for their review.  The letter from the Chatham County Engineering Department included the following information:  The County noted that in a letter to the Mayor on March 26, 2003, they had described the project limits of the proposed Conaway drainage improvement project.  Phase 1 was to extend from Pipemaker’s Canal to Main Street.  The analysis of the area north of Main Street and west of Maple Street was added to Phase 1 at the request of the City of Bloomingdale.  It was understood that the County would only do the drainage analysis and propose recommendations for this additional area.  Acquisition and construction of improvements for this area would be the responsibility of the City of Bloomingdale.  The County has approved the recommended improvements for Conaway Phase 1.  The cost estimate for the proposed improvements exceeds available funds and requires that Phase 1 be divided into two sub-phases.  Phase 1A extends from Pipemaker’s Canal to Conaway Road and is currently under final design.  Construction of Phase 1B extending from Conaway Road to Main Street is subject to availability of additional funds.  A USACE Section 404 permit for wetland delineation for Phase 1A and 1B has been applied for.  Preliminary construction drawings for Phase 1A, Phase 1B, and the recommended improvements for the area west of Maple Street have been provided to Thomas & Hutton Engineering and the county noted that the above information was also discussed with Councilman Ferman Tyler.  Mayor Rozier advised council that he would contact Thomas & Hutton to obtain an update on their progress regarding a cost estimate for the improvements to the drainage ditch planned along Main Street.

 

Mayor Rozier stated that he had talked with some of the property owners on Lynn Street regarding the paving of the roadway and a couple of them were present at tonight’s meeting to discuss the issue with council.  It was noted that the DOT had agreed to participate in the paving of Lynn Street and we had received the City Right of Way Agreement on October 24, 2005, but prior to its execution the City must agree to furnish good and sufficient title to 50’ to 60’ of right of way.  The Mayor recognized Citizen Tommy Toler who stated that the road was in good shape right now and he did not want it paved.  Councilman Johnson pointed out that it had been relatively dry for several months, but if we had started having a lot of rain we would be back to the same problems that had occurred a couple of years ago when the citizens living on Lynn Street came to council complaining because their road was not passable due to the boggy conditions.  Citizen Wayne Purvis stated that he did not want the road paved either because there was already a problem with people speeding on the road and if it was paved it would be worse.  Mr. Toler stated that although the police department responds to calls about speeders in a timely manner, they are already gone before the police can get there.  Councilman Johnson asked Mr. Burke how often we graded the road and he stated that usually it was once a week, but in real dry or very wet weather it was not as often.  Mr. Toler stated that although the drainage pipe installed by the City at the old railroad bed had really helped with the boggy conditions of the road, it had increased through traffic.  Councilman Johnson asked if the citizens would be interested in having the road paved if the access to the old railroad bed was blocked.  Mr. Toler stated that there was still the concern about the people that would be speeding down the road if it were paved and the safety of the children.  Councilman Ray pointed out that the continued maintenance of an unpaved street is very costly and that was one of the reasons that the City wanted to eliminate as many of the dirt streets as possible.  It was noted that the City planned to get most of the right of way needed to pave the roadway from the other side of the street.  After additional discussion, the Mayor stated that he would turn the matter over to the Streets & Highways Department for further action.

 

Council was advised that the contract with the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department had been signed by the Mayor and submitted to the fire department for execution, but as of this date, it has not been returned to the City.  It was noted that until the contract is fully executed quarterly payments cannot be made to the department. 

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

The Mayor reported that the Letter of Credit issued to the City of Pooler for the financing of Bloomingdale’s portion of the cost of the upgrade to the waste treatment plant will be expiring on November 25th and needs to be renewed for another six month period.  According to Pooler City Administrator, Dennis Baxter, the construction loan should be converted to an installment note with the next six months.  After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to renew the Letter of Credit for six months, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Council was advised that the City has received the proposed lease supplement from GMA for the financing of the 2006 Ford F-650 Dump truck in the amount of $46,400.  The lease covers a four-year period at an interest rate of 4.37% with payments of $3,159.83 per quarter.  Councilman Johnson made a motion to authorize Mayor Rozier to execute the lease supplement documents, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Mayor Rozier stated that the City had received a request from Hazel Donahue for additional discussion regarding the recombination request for her property located at #409 Cherry Street originally submitted on August 18, 2005.  At that time, council had approved the recombination of eight lots into four lots as follows:  Lot #’s 1, 2, & 3 were to have 100’ frontage on Cherry Street and Lot #4 would have access to Cherry Street with a 25’ private drive.  This recombination did not require a variance from the City’s zoning ordinance requirements.  Ms. Donahue’s surveyor, Williams & Associates, has reported that their measurements of the width of the property where it abuts Cherry Street is approximately 4˝’ less than originally presented to council and Ms. Donahue is asking for a variance in the width of the private drive being used as access to Lot #4 from 25’ to 15’.  The Mayor recognized Barry Gibson and Jerry Crosby, Ms. Donahue’s son-in-laws, who were presenting Ms. Donahue’s request to council.  During discussion of the request and it was noted that rather than reducing the size of the private drive from 25’ to 15’, council would prefer a variance in the road frontage of the other three lots from 100’ to 98.5’ because of the problems caused by emergency vehicles being able to access Lot #4 with a 15’ wide roadway.  Attorney Dickey advised them that Article XII, Section 1200 of the City’s Zoning Ordinance required that a public hearing be held on a variance appeal.  Barry Gibson stated that he would have to check to see if this change would meet with the approval of the other parties and asked when the hearing could be held.  Mr. Gibson was advised that if council was notified tonight that they wanted to pursue the appeal as discussed, the hearing could probably be held on December 1st.  It was noted that the hearing had to be advertised for ten days and the notice would have to go to the newspaper tomorrow morning.  Mr. Crosby asked if the property were to change hands after the variance was granted would the new owners be able to build on the 98.5’ lots.  Mr. Crosby was advised that provided the applicants submitted the information as required by council for a building permit there would not be a problem granting the permit on a 98.5’ lot.  Mr. Crosby was also advised that all four of the lots would have to have their own culvert off Cherry Street.  After additional discussion, Mr. Gibson stated that they would like to present an appeal on Ms. Donahue’s behalf for a variance in the road frontage requirement on Lot #’s 1, 2, & 3 from 100’ to 98.5 with Lot #4 to include a 25’ access driveway from Cherry Street.  Councilman Ray made a motion to hold a public hearing on the appeal at the December 1, 2005 council meeting.  Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Council was advised that there were no recommendations submitted by the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting held on November 15, 2005 due to a lack of a quorum.

 

Councilman Myrick stated that he would like council to consider the cancellation of the December 15, 2005 meeting.  After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made the motion to cancel the December 15th meeting, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.  It was noted that if an emergency situation were to occur prior to the January 5, 2006 meeting, a called meeting could be held.

 

Mayor Rozier advised council that Councilman Johnson had requested an executive session to discuss a personnel matter.  The Mayor reported that this concluded the items submitted prior to the agenda deadline of November 10th.

 

The Mayor recognized David Steinhauser who stated that he would like to request that he be added to the agenda to present a request from the Westside Christian Church regarding a permit for their annual Christmas tree sale.  Councilman Wedincamp made a motion to amend the agenda to consider the request, Councilman Johnson seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.  Mr. Steinhauser expressed his appreciation to council and stated that due to the church’s involvement in the renovation of the house on their property for occupation by a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina, they had failed to submit their request for the permit prior to the agenda deadline.  Mr. Steinhauser advised council that the church had already ordered the trees and they were to be delivered this weekend and their youth wanted to start selling the trees the week of Thanksgiving.  Council was advised that the trees would be set up on their property located at #1010 E. Highway 80 with the customer parking to be located at #1106 E. Highway 80 and a temporary sign advertising the sale would be placed on the property.  After a brief discussion, Councilman Johnson made a motion to issue a temporary use permit to allow the Youth Ministry of the church to conduct the Christmas Tree Sale as a fund raiser with the same stipulations as approved in past years.  Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Councilman Johnson made a motion to adjourn into executive session for discussion of a personnel matter.  Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.  A copy of the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Law is attached to the original minutes.

 

After the executive session was completed, Councilman Ray made a motion to return to the general session, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

The Mayor reported that during the executive session council discussed a personnel matter.

 

During committee reports, Councilman Myrick stated that he and Recreation Director, Joe Young had been able to work out an arrangement with the Bloomingdale Alliance Church for the use of their gym as the practice gym for the Bloomingdale Bears and wanted to thank the church for their willingness to work with the City on this matter.  There were no other reports from council committees.

 

After a review of the accounts payable, Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:00pm, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.

                                                                 

Mayor Rozier and Council members Johnson, Myrick, Ray, Waller & Wedincamp were present at the meeting.