Official Copy of the minutes of the November 5, 2009
Council meeting approved at the November 19, 2009 meeting
Mayor Tipton called the meeting to order and Councilman Ray led in prayer. The Mayor presented the draft copy of the October 15, 2009 council meeting minutes for approval with Councilman Ray making a motion to approve said minutes with no changes. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. The November 5, 2009 council agenda was reviewed. Councilman Ray made a motion to approve the agenda, Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Under administrative and committee reports, Fire Chief Tyler gave his monthly report for the Bloomingdale Fire Department which included an average of 1½ calls per day with medical responses being approximately 67% of their calls. Fire Chief Tyler stated that the fire department’s annual Christmas event for area children would be held on Saturday, December 19th from 2:00pm until 6:00pm. Council was advised that the Bloomingdale Fire Department would be hosting the meeting of the Chatham County Fire Chief’s Association on January 11th. Councilman Rawlings reported that the Bloomingdale History Society would be meeting at the City Hall on November 9th at 7:00pm. He stated that the guest speaker would be providing information related to the Meldrim disaster and invited everyone to attend. Councilman Strozier stated that although the Patriotic Celebration was not held this year, the City needed to continue the tradition of naming a citizen of the year. Councilman Strozier pointed out that he had talked with several of the councilmembers and they were in agreement with him that the City should consider Reverend Darrell Bailey as a candidate for this honor. Councilman Strozier stated that Reverend Bailey has served as the Chaplin for our police department for several years and has been providing assistance during court. Mayor Tipton reported that the scrubber for the lift station that had been included in the 2009/2010 budget was on order. The Mayor expressed his appreciation to the candidates that had already removed their political signs posted in the City and reminded others that all political signs must be removed within seven (7) days of the election.
Councilman Strozier stated that prior to the General Election there had been some questions raised by candidates regarding the application of the sign ordinance to political signs and after input from several citizens as well as candidates council agreed that all political signs over 4 square foot in size should be permitted. However, not all candidates obtained permits for their political signs and he was of the opinion that the City should either require the other candidates to obtain permits for their political signs now or refund the sign permit fees paid by the candidates that had complied with the ordinance. Councilman Strozier pointed out that, in the past, there had never been any major issues raised about political signs, but before the next election, he felt the City needed to review the requirements of the sign ordinance regarding political signs and make whatever adjustments needed. After a brief discussion, Councilman Strozier made a motion to refund the sign permit fees to those candidates who obtained permits for their political signs, Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton reported that the City had not received any bids for the surplus Wayne compressor. Councilman Ray made a motion to reduce the minimum bid for the sale of the compressor from $500 to $300. Councilman Strozier seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a request from Debra Dean Kujawa to obtain a home occupation license for the operation of the office only of a marketing management and public relations business from her residence at #215 Conaway Road. Ms. Kujawa stated there would be no outside traffic related to the business coming to the residence and no signs would be posted. Councilman Strozier made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue the license as requested. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Council was advised that GMA has requested the City’s continued participation in the annual Mayors’ Christmas Motorcade by providing gifts to the Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah. It was noted that this marks the 51st year of the event and Bloomingdale has been a part of the program since its incorporation 35 years ago. Councilman Ray made a motion that the City participate in the program with $200 in gifts for the patients. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Mayor Tipton presented a recommendation from EMC Engineering, Inc. to distribute the final payment of $14,733.75 to A.D. Williams, Inc. for the parking lot paving project at the police department. The Mayor reported that the recommendation was based on their evaluation of the corrective action taken by the contractor and site inspections following rain events. Based on the contractor’s correction of the problem areas, Councilman Strozier made a motion to approve the final payment as recommended by the engineer. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Councilman Rawlings questioned the recent increase in water and sewer rates that appeared on the October 1st utility bills and stated that he was not aware of the council’s approval of these increases. Councilman Rawlings was reminded by several councilmembers that the increases were discussed during the budget workshops and council had concluded that in order to produce a balanced budget in this department, the increases were necessary. Mayor Tipton pointed out that the draft of the proposed budget presented to the council included notice of the increases and the adopting resolution specifically noted the increase in water and sewer rates being included in the FY 2009/2010 budget, so when the budget was adopted, so were the increases. Mayor Tipton informed the citizens that the City of Pooler had given the City notice of an increase in the sewer treatment costs the first of the year and our sewer treatment costs had increased to $1.78 per 1,000 gallons. The Mayor noted that only $1.00 of this increase had been passed on to the citizens, but it was necessary to help cover the treatment costs. Mayor Tipton advised the citizens that the $1.00 increase in the base rate for water was due to an increase in the operational costs for the water system. Councilman Rawlings insisted that he had not supported the increases when discussions were held during the workshops and had not been informed that these increases were being included in the budget or he would not have voted for its approval.
Mayor Tipton reported that he had requested an executive session for discussion of property acquisition. Councilman Ray made a motion to adjourn into executive session, Councilman Waller seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes. At the conclusion of the executive session, Councilwoman Winn made a motion to return to the general session and execute the signed affidavit as required by the Open Meetings Law. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented the accounts payable for approval and Councilman Ray made a motion to pay the bills. Councilwoman Winn seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Waller made a motion to adjourn at 7:45pm. Councilman Ray seconded the motion and it passed with five affirmative votes.
Respectfully submitted, Sandra Jones, City Clerk
Mayor Tipton and Councilmembers Rawlings, Ray, Strozier, Waller and Winn were present at the meeting. Councilman Myrick was out of town.
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.