Official Minutes of May 7, 2009 Council Meeting
Mayor Tipton called the meeting to order with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer. Mayor Tipton noted that today was the celebration of the “National Day of Prayer” and thanked those involved in providing the meal and program at the Bloomingdale Community Building for the citizens of Bloomingdale, City staff, and elected officials.
The Mayor submitted the draft copy of the minutes of the April 16, 2009 meeting with Councilwoman Winn making a motion to approve said minutes with no changes. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Mayor Tipton presented the agenda for the May 21, 2009 meeting. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Rawlings expressed his appreciation to everyone who provided their support to him and his family in the recent loss of his sister through cards, meals, flowers, and other expressions of sympathy.
Under administrative and committee reports Councilman Strozier noted that some complaints had been made to the City Hall regarding garbage cans being left out along the street after collections and in many cases are causing traffic flow problems. Councilman Strozier stated that in the past letters had been sent out to citizens alerting them to move the carts when this type problem had occurred; however, he felt we needed something in the ordinance to require the cans to be removed from the rights of way within a reasonable length of time after collection. Council agreed for Attorney Dickey to prepare an amendment to the ordinance addressing this issue for council’s consideration. Councilman Strozier advised council that apparently the Gravel Hill Cemetery committee had placed several cans in the cemetery for the disposal of trash from and around the gravesites and wanted the City to empty these cans. Councilman Strozier stated that the trash truck could not get to some of the cans and since this was a private cemetery, he was concerned about the City even going onto the property to empty the cans. After a brief discussion, council agreed that if the dry trash is properly bagged and placed at the front of the cemetery property, the trash truck would pick it up, but the truck should not go into the cemetery to empty the trashcans.
Mayor Tipton reported that work at the Bloomingdale Park was still underway. The Mayor also expressed his appreciation to the members of the City of Bloomingdale Fire Department for their quick response to the automobile accident that involved Councilman Rawling’s sister and thanked Ginger Tyler and others for the medical assistance provided at the scene.
The Mayor stated that the first order of business was the discussion and possible action on the proposed changes to the Fire Protection User Fees Ordinance and noted that a public hearing for citizen input had been held on March 23, 2009. Mayor Tipton reported that the proposal had been to change the fire user fees from a flat user fee to a fee based on property values, but it was apparent during discussions at the hearing that the citizens were concerned about their fire user fees increasing and preferred the flat fee. Councilman Strozier made a motion that the City continue the billing of the Fire Protection Users Fees on a flat rate method with the amounts as already established with the following changes: 1) To only allow the $8.00 per month rate for those persons 65 years of age or older for the residence where they live rather than on any additional rental property; and 2) To set the flat rate for residences with an assessed value of $20,000 or less at $6.00 per month provided the owner submits proof to the City Hall that they qualify for this rate. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion. Councilman Myrick asked if this lower rate would cover houses that were not livable and was advised that if they were valued at $20,000 or less the owner would be charged the $6.00 rate. Councilman Strozier pointed out that the reduced rate would help those people whose property was in the $20,000 or less price range to be in a better position to pay their user fees. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt the current fees were fair and did not want to see an increase in the overall rates at this time due to the economic conditions. The motion passed with affirmative votes from Councilmembers Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn. Councilmembers Myrick and Rawlings voted against the motion.
Citizen Walter Sapp presented a request to issue a home occupation license for the operation of the office of his roofing business from his residence located at #407 W. Hwy 80. It was noted that Mr. Sapp had anticipated retiring last year and did not renew his 2008 license; however, he was requesting the issuance of a 2009 license. Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing and issue the license to Mr. Sapp as requested. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Sidney Key to transfer his home occupation license for 2009 for the office of his construction company from #305 Miller Street to #210 Cypress Street as he has moved. Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the public hearing and transfer the license as requested. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Citizen Blake Key submitted a request to transfer his home occupation license for 2009 for the office of his construction company from #801 E. Cregor Street to #307 Miller Street because he has moved. Councilman Ray made a motion to waive the public hearing and transfer the license. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed a request from Mike Wedincamp for a permit for an open-air produce stand at Jimmy Deloach & Hwy 80. It was noted that the City’s zoning ordinance allows for the issuance of a temporary permit for the sale of fruits and vegetables for up to 45 days for a fee of $75.00 and Mr. Wedincamp was issued this type license last year provided he obtained a dumpster and a portable toilet. Mr. Wedincamp stated that he had not even used the dumpster last year because he burned the boxes and customers picked up any left over fruit and vegetables to feed to their birds. Mr. Wedincamp also requested the release of electric power to the site for refrigeration. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the issuance of a temporary permit for the open-air produce stand for a 45-day period at a cost of $75.00 provided he places a portable toilet at the site and, if any complaints are received regarding trash or debris, he must obtain a dumpster. Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Council authorized the release of electric power to the pole at the site as long as it is approved by the electrical inspector. Mr. Wedincamp was advised that he would have to return to council for any extensions of the temporary permit.
The Mayor presented a recommendation from the Bloomingdale Recreation Executive Board for the approval of the appointment of Glenda Criswell to the board for a term to expire on June 30, 2011, the removal of Enid Cuffy who has not attended a meeting in over six months, and the appointment of Richard Duke to serve as the board’s secretary. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve their recommendations as stated, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Citizen Gaddy Turner submitted a request to council for the replacement of a rental mobile home located on his property at #120 Towles Road. Council was advised that the mobile home and his residence are located on one tract of land, but were “grandfathered-in” when the property was annexed in 1998. Mr. Turner explained that the existing mobile home is 780 sq. ft. and the proposed replacement unit is 1040 sq. ft. Council was advised that the second residence is considered a non-conforming use and should not be enlarged according to zoning regulations. Mr. Turner informed council that due to the condition of the existing mobile home it would have to be torn down, but stated he felt it could be removed in about a week. After discussion of the request, Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the replacement of a rental mobile home on Mr. Turner’s property with a unit having up to 1040 square feet with the stipulation that Mr. Turner remove the existing mobile home within 30 days of the issuance of the mobile home permit. Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton submitted a resolution for council’s consideration to name the private drive located between #1203 E. Highway 80 and #1205 E. Highway 80 as “Autrey Drive” for “911” purposes provided there was no other street in Chatham County with the same name. Councilman Myrick made a motion to support the naming of the private drive as “Autrey Drive”, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. The Mayor asked Fire Chief Tyler to check with Chatham County dispatch to make sure there was no other street with this name to avoid problems with “911” calls.
The Mayor called for a motion to adjourn into executive session for discussion of personnel issues. Councilman Myrick made the motion, Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilman Waller made a motion to return to the general session and to execute the affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Act. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that the annual “Bo-Weevil Hill Family Festival” will be held on June 27th & 28th at the Bo-Weevil Hill Park and everyone was welcome to attend.
The accounts payable were presented with Councilman Ray making a motion to pay the bills. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 7:55pm. 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.