April 19, 2007
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with Councilman Ray leading in prayer. A motion to approve the minutes of the April 5, 2007 council meeting was made by Councilman Ray, seconded by Councilman Waller and passed with five affirmative votes. Mayor Tipton reported that Councilman Myrick had called him earlier today and advised him that he would not be able to attend tonight’s meeting. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the agenda for tonight’s meeting with the deletion, at Fire Chief Tyler’s request, of his request for discussion and updates on fire issues. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller presented Betty Tucker with the “Outstanding Citizen’s Award” for her many acts of kindness and service to the occupants of Moss Oaks Nursing Home. Councilman Waller pointed out that many of the current and past occupants were former residents of Bloomingdale and he expressed his appreciation, along with that of the other elected officials and Bloomingdale citizens, for her contributions toward the happiness and well-being of these residents.
Mayor Tipton reported that Councilman Myrick had recommended that the cost of the fencing around the police department impound yard be distributed from the SPLOST 2003-2008 account as part of the expenses related to the improvements of the public safety building. Councilman Rawlings made a motion to accept the bid from Westside Fence Co. of $5745 to install the fencing with the costs to come from the SPLOST 2003-2008 account, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor stated that at the last meeting he had mentioned the appointment of a committee to look into options related to future fire protection for the City, but had decided that he and Councilman Waller, the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, would work on obtaining information on these options and bring the details back to council for their review and consideration.
Attorney Dickey reported that the City had been in negotiations with International Paper Realty regarding the water, sewer, and CAT service to their 196± acres of property located on DOT Barn Road and Little Neck Road. The approval of these agreements by both the City of Bloomingdale and International Paper was a stipulation of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendation to rezone International Paper’s property from RA, Rural Agricultural to C-2/PDOD, General Commercial/Planned Development Overlay District. Attorney Dickey pointed out that a copy of the final draft of the water and sewer agreements have been distributed to council and reminded them that the City of Savannah had made it a condition of their water agreement with Bloomingdale that CAT service be extended to the International Paper Realty property. Attorney Dickey stated that the City of Bloomingdale and International Paper Realty would make a joint request to Chatham County to initiate the CAT service. The request would include the creation of a special tax district to include only the International Paper Realty property and the taxing for the service would not begin until International Paper Realty is ready for the CAT service. Attorney Dickey reported that only IP’s property would be taxed and other property owners in the area would not be taxed with the exception of those individual properties within the International Paper Realty special tax district. The Mayor recognized Steve Hartley, publisher of the Spirit Newspaper who questioned how the City of Savannah could require the CAT service be a stipulation of a water agreement. Mayor Tipton advised him that since they had the water capacity to serve the area, they were able to add this stipulation. The Mayor pointed out that originally, the City of Savannah wanted all of Bloomingdale to be included in the CAT service area, but the City would not agreed to it, so they finally settled for the IP property only. Citizen Dolores Waller asked what would be the result of not agreeing to the City of Savannah’s terms. Attorney Dickey informed her that International Paper Realty would probably petition for de-annexation of their property since Bloomingdale could not provide them with the water/sewer service needed to develop their property and it would be annexed by the City of Savannah who would then require the CAT service anyway. After this discussion was completed, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the second reading of the ordinance to rezone the 196± acres of International Paper Realty property located on DOT Barn Road and Little Neck Road from RA, Rural Agricultural to C-2/PDOD, General Commercial/Planned Development Overlay District subject to the approval and execution of agreements between the City of Bloomingdale and International Paper Realty regarding water, sewer, and CAT service to the property. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Attorney Dickey presented a recommendation to council to approve the agreements between the City of Bloomingdale and International Realty regarding water, sewer, and CAT service to International Paper Realty’s property located at DOT Barn Road and Little Neck Road. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the execution of said agreements, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor reported that in the process of updating the boundary, zoning and street maps, it was noted that when the annexation of the Morgan Family and the Ginger/Ferman Tyler parcels at Osteen Road and the Little Ogeechee River were approved on April 15, 2004 it may have created two islands between the previous city limit boundaries and the newly created city limit boundaries. It was noted that the islands contained property owned by the Morgan Family and Attorney Dickey stated that, if this was the case, the City needed to take the steps necessary to go ahead and incorporate these two islands. Also, there have been some questions raised by Chatham County regarding the concrete bridge on Osteen Road. The county is of the opinion that the bridge is within our City limits, but the City has never recognized it as being in Bloomingdale. Council agreed that we would need a surveyor to make a determination as to our exact city limits boundary line and since this information needs to be sent to the RDC as soon as possible to meet the contractual requirements, council also agreed to waive solicitation of bids and to use Vincent Helmly for the work provided it could be done for $2,000 or less. Councilman Rawlings made the motion to use Vincent Helmly for the survey work on the city limits boundary line at Osteen Road and the Little Ogeechee River at a cost of up to $2,000. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that Steve Walden, Assistant General Manager of Savannah has requested a six-month extension of the 4% fuel surcharge that was added as an addendum to the Residential Solid Waste Services, Collection and Disposal Contract between the City and Republic Waste in November, 2005 and renewed in September, 2006. The proposed extension would be effective April 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007. The Mayor recognized Barbara Griffin who commented that she was not willing to pay any increase in her sanitation fees and questioned why it was necessary for citizens to contact both Republic Waste and the City of Bloomingdale if they had problems with their garbage pickups. The Mayor advised Ms. Griffin that we had asked that citizens contact both parties so we were assured that Republic Waste was informed of the problems by not only the City but also the customers. Citizens were advised that when the City gets a call from a citizen who has had a problem with the service a written record is immediately faxed to Republic Waste and follow-up calls are made if necessary. The Mayor stated that it did not matter which party the citizen contacted first as long as they continued to call both Republic and Bloomingdale as this would alert the Republic Waste customer service of the areas where problems are occurring. It was noted that the service has improved over the last few months, but the service issues would be reviewed when their contract came up for renewal. Being no further discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion for a six-month extension of the 4% fuel surcharge as requested by Republic Waste with the effective date to be from April 1, 2007 through September 30, 2007. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Tony Carter who had submitted a request to obtain a well permit to replace the individual well at the residence located at #11 Ray Street. Mr. Carter indicated in his request that he just purchased this property and the well is non-repairable. It was noted that there is no City water available to this property, but City Ordinance requires approval from council for the issuance of individual well permits. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the issuance of the well permit, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Richard & Evelyn Marlowe for a home occupation license to operate the “office only” of a utility contracting business from their residence located at #1724 Pine Barren Road. It was noted that there are eight (8) employees in the business and the property is zoned RA-1, Rural Agricultural-Mobile Homes Allowed. The Mayor recognized Mr. Marlowe who stated that there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and only the office would be operated from the residence. Based on this information, Councilman Ray made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and to issue the home occupation license as requested. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City had received a request from Don Amerson for an amendment to his current home occupation license issued for the “office only” of a mobile welding business to be operated from his residence at #411 Poplar Street. The amendment will be to change the name from Amerson’s Mobile Welding to Coastal Welding Services and to add Kevin Souza as a second owner. Mr. Amerson assured council that there would be no change in the current operation of the business in which no outside traffic related to the business will come to his residence and all work would continue to be done at customer sites. Councilman Waller made a motion to make the amendments to the current home occupation license as requested, Councilman Rawlings seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented a written request from Kevin & Kay Heritage to renew the “medical hardship” permit for the secondary mobile home located on their property at #1230 Bloomingdale. A letter from Dr. Troy Murphy was submitted by the Heritages confirming that the medical condition of Kay’s mother, Ho Shim Shaw, still exists and that she requires daily assistance from her daughter. Ms. Heritage is requesting a six month extension of the permit which is allowed by the zoning ordinance. After a brief discussion, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve a six-month extension, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Councilwoman Winn who discussed with council the possibility of installing an open shed at the rear of the Bloomingdale Community Building to provide protection from the heat and rain for outdoor cooking. Councilwoman Winn also suggested the existing concrete slab be extended to go under the shed. It was noted that there are monies available in the Community Building/Recreation Fund to cover the costs. After a brief discussion, Councilman Rawlings made a motion to approve the installation of the open shed with a concrete floor at the Bloomingdale Community Building with costs coming from the Community Building/Recreation Fund and for the Recreation Committee to solicit and approve the prices for these improvements. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton stated that as noted at the beginning of the meeting, Fire Chief Tyler was out of town and had requested that he be removed from tonight’s agenda for discussion and updates to fire issues. The Mayor asked if either Zeke or Skippy Boatright, who had also requested to be placed on the agenda for discussion of fire issues, wanted to address council. Zeke Boatright advised council that Fire Chief Tyler could not be here tonight because he and other personnel were involved in fire fighting activities related to the large fire in Ware County. Mr. Boatright read a letter giving details of the manpower and equipment that was sent to assist in the fighting of the fires and outlined the fire equipment and personnel that was remaining in Bloomingdale to provide the City’s fire protection. Latrelle Kling commented on the involvement of both the fire and police departments in last Saturday’s Earth Day Walk in Bloomingdale and expressed her thanks for their participation.
The Mayor asked Councilman Rawlings to present any recommendations or reports from the Planning & Zoning Commission’s meeting held on April 10, 2007. Councilman Rawlings presented a recommendation to appoint Lucy Hamm as a regular member to complete the term of Tommy Bragg which expires on June 30, 2007. It was noted that Ms. Hamm has been serving as an alternate on the commission since February of this year. After a brief discussion, Councilman Rawlings made a motion to approve the appointment, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council discussed setting a date for the dedication of the flagpole at the Bloomingdale Community Center. It was noted that the Bloomingdale Lion’s Club has scheduled a fund raising sale at the community building on Saturday, May 5th and this may be a good date since some of the members would already be there. Zeke Boatright commented that the flagpole was already up, but they had not raised the flag because they were waiting for council to set a date for the dedication. The Mayor asked if May 5th would work for them, but Mr. Boatright stated he would have to check with the Woodmen of the World to see if they could come that day since they would be in charge of the program. After additional discussion, Councilman Rawlings set a tentative date of May 5, 2007 at 10:00 am for the dedication of the flagpole at the Bloomingdale Community Center. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. Mr. Boatright agreed to advise the City Hall if the Woodmen of the World would be able to schedule the dedication on this date and at the proposed time. Councilman Strozier reported that one of the yard lights at the community center was not working, but when it is repaired, it will provide a light on the flag at night.
Mayor Tipton reported that this concluded the items received by the council meeting agenda deadline of Friday, April 13, 2007.
Under committee reports, Councilman Rawlings gave an update on the Keep Bloomingdale Beautiful Campaign. He stated that due to inclement weather, the April 7th yard sales were limited, but the April 14th Earth Day Walk was well attended. Councilman Rawlings reported that several bags of garbage along with paint cans and tires were collected and thanked everyone for their help and support, especially Captain Pike, Sergeant Malphus, Dr. King, the Klings and the Griffins for providing a cool drink to the walkers, and members of the fire department and Planning & Zoning Commission. Councilman Rawlings pointed out that Councilwoman Winn won the Chili Cook-off and donated her winnings back to the History Society and he thanked her for her generosity. Citizen Becky Reece pointed out that there were some old railroad spikes, pieces of coal and what was thought to be an old whistle marker discovered during the walk.
Councilman Strozier advised citizens that the EPD has issued a level two drought declaration for the entire State of Georgia which requires that Georgians immediately follow a more stringent outdoor water use schedule until further notice. The level two drought schedule is: Odd-numbered addresses may water only on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Sundays – 12 midnight to 10 a.m. and Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses may water only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays – 12 midnight to 10 a.m. All citizens, including those on private wells, were advised that these restrictions are consistent with the state’s drought plan adopted in 2003. Citizen Zeke Boatright encouraged citizens to limit burning activities during this dry weather. Councilman Strozier pointed out that part of the City’s special conditions with the issuance of our recent groundwater permit increase requires the metering of all fire plugs and the estimated cost of $750 will be presented at the May 3rd meeting for council’s consideration. Councilman Strozier also reported that he and the Mayor had met with Mr. Stark to discuss the maintenance of the lift station at the Bloomingdale School and were waiting on a response from him regarding the school’s participation.
Councilman Strozier advised council that the plans being prepared by Kern-Coleman for the nine unit strip mall on Highway 80 indicated they were considering the use of one large grinder pump rather than single and/or duplex units and he felt our engineer should review the plans since this type unit is different than those we are currently maintaining.
Mayor Tipton announced that the Department of Transportation was holding a “Public Information Open House” here at the City Hall on Thursday, April 26, 2007 from 4:30p.m. until 6:30p.m. on a proposal to construct an interchange at the intersection of Jimmy Deloach Parkway and U.S. Hwy 80. The purpose of the Open House is to provide the public with an opportunity to view the proposed project, ask questions and to comment on the proposal. Citizens were advised that the Open House will be informal and there will be no formal presentation.
Mayor Tipton stated that Attorney Dickey was currently reviewing the personnel policy and if changes are needed, he will be presenting them at the May 3, 2007 council meeting. The Mayor also reported that the City is advertising for applicants for the City Administrator’s position.
The accounts payable was reviewed. Councilman Waller made a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilwoman Winn made a motion to adjourn at 7:45pm. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton and Council members Rawlings, Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn were present at the meeting.
Note: Section § 50-14-1 of the Official Code of the State of Georgia Annotated requires that the minutes shall, as a minimum, include a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. These minutes meet the minimum requirements. However, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to the citizens, the recording clerk has included additional background data and discussion on the subjects presented to council. The statements of individuals are not verbatim and may be summary in nature.