Official minutes of Council Meeting - February 5, 2009
approved by City Council 2-19-09
Mayor Tipton called the meeting to order and Councilwoman Winn led in prayer. The Mayor recognized Dr. John King, Principal of the Bloomingdale Elementary School, who provided information on issues related to the school. Dr. King reported that E-SPLOST funded the security fencing at the school. Other improvements expected this summer are a new roof, kitchen, a handicapped ramp in front of the school, and updates to the bathrooms so they will comply with ADA requirements. Dr. King reported the school’s art program will continue and along with providing use of school property for soccer and basketball programs, church services are held at the facility on Sundays. Dr. King expressed his appreciation to the City and the elected officials for their continued support of the school.
Councilman Ray made a motion to remove from the table the discussion of the draft copy of the minutes of the December 4, 2008 council meeting. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. After discussion of the minutes, Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the December 4, 2008 council meeting with the following changes: The removal of paragraph #’s 2 & 3 from page #2, all of page #3 and the addition of “the Ethics Committee made a report to council on their investigation of Ethics Action #’s 2008-1 and 2008-2. There was no action by council.” Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn. Councilmembers Myrick and Rawlings voted against the motion.
Mayor Tipton presented the draft copy of the minutes of the January 15, 2009 council meeting for approval along with the agenda of the January 15, 2009 council meeting that had not been voted on at that meeting. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the draft copy of the minutes of the January 15, 2009 meeting and the agenda of the January 15, 2009 council meeting. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The Mayor submitted the agenda for the February 5, 2009 council meeting for approval. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilman Rawlings seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The following information was presented under administrative and committee reports: Fire Chief Tyler reported that the local Junior Fire Fighters placed 2nd in a competition held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee last week and the fire department was involved in fighting a 60-acre grass fire over the weekend. Councilman Strozier noted that there was a pipe in the ditch along Main Street that Public Works Superintendent Grizzard felt needed to be removed. The parents who are picking up their children from school are turning around in the middle of the old railroad bed and are then using this as a driveway to pull out into the middle of the block where children are walking. Councilman Strozier pointed out that this is a safety issue and after discussions about the best way to handle the traffic flow along the old railroad bed, it was determined that the pipe should be removed. Mayor Tipton reported that discussions were still underway with AMB regarding issues related to the metering station and billing. The Mayor noted that temporary construction easements were being solicited from property owners on the north side of the drainage canal for placement of granite along areas draining into the canal to avoid erosion problems.
Mayor Tipton reported there was no old business.
Donald Smith submitted an appeal to City Council to allow a mobile home permit to be issued to him prior to the completion of the minor subdivision process for the property located at Elm & W. Garvin Street so he would not have to sign another year’s lease on rental property. A public hearing for citizen input on the appeal was scheduled for February 19, 2009 at 7:00pm.
Council considered a request from Susan & Butch Webster for the issuance of a building permit for the enclosing of an existing open carport at #406 E. Highway 80 for use as storage and to hold worship services. It was noted the two uses should be handled separately. The storage building consists of over 500 sq. ft. of enclosed area and council must approve the issuance of the building permit. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the issuance of the building permit for a storage building consisting of 576 sq. ft. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. During discussion about the use of the building for worship services, the Websters were advised that there could only be one principal building on the lot and to use the other building for church services could be considered the creation of a second principal building. During the discussion, Mr. Webster stated that the church services were being held in the front two rooms of the existing building. Attorney Dickey was asked if the second building could be considered an accessory building if the existing building were being used as the church. Attorney Dickey stated he would meet with the Websters after the council meeting to discuss this matter.
Mayor Tipton presented an Additional Services Agreement as related to Phase 1 drainage improvements from Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. for $7,648 for council’s consideration. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve execution and payment of the agreement. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Strozier, Waller, and Winn. Councilman Rawlings abstained from voting.
Citizen Wayne McCallister presented a request to council for a variance to the side-yard setback for a fence he is installing on his property located at #211 Poplar Street. Mr. McCallister is requesting council’s consideration of a variance for the portion of the fence running parallel to Cregor Street to be as close as possible to his property line rather than the 20’ side-yard setback requirement. Mr. McCallister’s fence is set back 80± from Poplar Street, so there should be no visibility problems for motorists at the intersection of Cregor & Poplar Streets. Public Works Supervisor Ernest Grizzard and Attorney Dickey as well as Mayor Tipton and Councilman Strozier had visited the site. It was noted that if the fence were installed 25’ from the centerline of Cregor Street and 7’ from the power poles, Mr. McCallister would be clear of any utility easements. Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve a side-yard setback variance for Mr. McCallister’s fence permit provided he installs the fence 25’ from the centerline of Cregor Street and 7’ from the power poles. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Winn and passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Myrick, Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn. Councilman Rawlings abstained from voting.
Council briefly discussed the possible adjustments that may need to be made to the walls and fence ordinance related to setbacks, heights and/or materials and Councilman Ray made a motion to have the Planning Commission review the ordinance for any possible changes that may need to be addressed. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that he had asked Fire Chief Tyler to obtain a cost estimate for the construction of the new fire department building based on the plans he had submitted to council. The estimate of $585,310 was provided by Jack Carter Construction, Inc., but it did not include construction drawings and plans for the project. Fire Chief Tyler had asked Mark Boswell with Boswell Engineering to attend tonight’s meeting to discuss with council the preparation of a cost estimate for the development of construction drawings, site plans and any other engineering duties council felt they would want to include in the project. It was noted that EMC Engineering had submitted cost estimates for similar work. After this discussion, it was the consensus of council that Mr. Boswell provide the City with cost estimates for the preparation of site work and architectural plans to include mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and foundation drawings as well as an estimate for contract services to assist the City with the project.
Councilman Strozier reported that a citizen had questioned the legality of the off-premise sign located at the corner of Adams Road and Hwy 80 since the City now owned the property and they did not think a private sign was supposed to be placed on public property. It was noted that the sign advertising Tom’s Saw Shop had been placed on the property with the permission of the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department when they owned the it; however, since then, the City has obtained ownership. Councilwoman Winn made a motion to table any action on this matter to allow Attorney Dickey an opportunity to research the state law regarding private signs on public property. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Citizen Barbara Rawlings announced the Bloomingdale History Society’s annual meeting will be held on February 9, 2009 at the Bloomingdale Community Building and extended an invitation for everyone to attend. Ms. Rawlings stated that there would be a quilt and needlework exhibit on display starting at 11:00am, a chili supper will be held at 6:00pm and an auction will take place at 7:00pm.
Councilman Myrick made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss real estate acquisition, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. At the end of the executive session, Councilman Myrick made a motion to return to the general session and execute the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act.
Mayor Tipton reported that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the council agenda prior to the deadline of Friday, January 30, 2009.
Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve payment of the bills, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 8:45pm, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton and all councilmembers 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.