Official Minutes of Council Meeting February 18, 2010
approved by City Council 3-4-10
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Pro-tem Dennis Baxter with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter advised those present that Mayor Tipton was sick and would not be at tonight’s meeting. The minutes of the February 4, 2010 meeting were reviewed with Councilman Myrick making a motion to approve the minutes, Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the February 18th agenda with the deletion of the executive session and the addition of discussion regarding disposal of tires collected by the maintenance department. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
During administrative and committee reports, Councilwoman Griffin reported that the new bathrooms and meeting room at Taylor Park were nearing completion. Councilwoman Griffin announced that t-ball, softball, and baseball signups were underway at Taylor Park. Signups will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00pm until 7:30pm and on the first and third Saturdays from 10:00am until 1:00pm. Councilwoman Griffin also reported that “Bloomingdale Bears” magnets are being sold for $5.00 each as a fund raiser and encouraged everyone to support this effort. Councilman Kerby stated that baby changing tables had been installed at the Bloomingdale Community Building and he thanked the maintenance department for their hard work with the cleanup on the City’s property on Main Street. Councilman Myrick reported that the building improvements at Taylor Park were costing much less than the original estimate and expressed his appreciation to everyone who had been working on this project. Councilman Crosby advised council that he and two members of the Planning Commission had attended training courses in Athens. Councilman Rawlings stated that prices were being obtained to replace existing water meters city-wide to help meet goals for reducing water usage. Councilman Rawlings noted that the new meters could be read using an electronic device that would save manpower as it currently takes two employees two or three days a month to read the meters. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter reported that both the police department and fire department personnel had been very busy the last few weeks and noted that two of the police officers were out on sick leave.
In observance of Black History Month, Councilman Rawlings gave a presentation recognizing Lucinda Williams Adams, a native of Bloomingdale, for her many accomplishments in track and field sports. Ms. Adams, who was called “Lady Dancer” competed for the United States in the 4 x 100 meters at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy, where she ran the third leg of the relay and she, along with her teammates, won a gold medal. She attended Woodville School (later Tompkins High) where her athletic abilities were first noticed by coach Joe Turner during recess. Ms. Adams was a member of the 1956 Olympic team which competed in the XVI Olympiad in Melbourne, Australia and competed in the 1959 Pan American Games held in Chicago where she won three gold medals and set the American record for the women’s 220 yard dash. She has been elected to the Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame, the Tennessee State University Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1994 she was named to the Georgia Hall of Fame. Councilwoman Griffin stated that Ms. Adams was honored in 1988 with a Key to the City by Mayor Billy Strozier and Councilman Ronald Waller when she attended the Olympic Day celebration at Bloomingdale Elementary School. Several years ago, Ms. Adams was again honored by the City with the re-naming of a portion of West Main Street between Cherry Street and Osteen Road as “Lucinda Williams Adams Highway”.
Council discussed a request from J. Hiers Co., Inc. for the City’s approval to release his bond for construction of Phase I of the Drainage project and the payment of retention monies in the amount of $28,428.19. The contractor has obtained a $15,000 completion bond to cover the grassing and erosion issues that are holding up the final approval of the project. Thomas & Hutton Engineering’s representative, Doyle Kelley, stated that he had presented this information on behalf of the contractor, but it would be up to council whether to accept his request. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion not to release the bond or final payment until the project was completed. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Dickey reported that if council agreed to allow individual citizens a reduction of $1.00 per month in their sanitation fees if they paid for the entire year in advance, an amendment to the City’s Fee Schedule Policy would need to be approved. It was noted that deadlines needed to be established for the advance payments to allow time for customers’ accounts to be adjusted. After discussing the matter, Councilman Crosby made the following motion: To amend the City of Bloomingdale’s Fee Schedule Policy to allow for individual citizens to receive a reduction of $1.00 per month for their sanitation fees provided the fees are paid, in full, one year in advance with the effective date for the change to be on the July 1, 2010 billing for June, 2010 service. The motion included the stipulation that the clerk’s office must receive full payment of twelve months of sanitation fees by January 15th to allow for the adjustment to be made to the customer’s account ,
except for this year, when the full payment for the remaining seven months of the year will have to be received by June 15, 2010. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Citizen Randy Roberts submitted a request to relocate his home occupation license for a vinyl signs business from #123 Michael Ave to #115 Michael Ave. Mr. Roberts stated that he had moved from his previous residence. Councilman Myrick stated that he was familiar with the business and there had been no complaints from any of the neighbors about this business operation. After a brief discussion, Councilman Myrick made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue the home occupation license to Randy Roberts for his vinyl sign business to be operated from his residence at #115 Michael Ave. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter reported that Ethics Committee members William McCarty and Roland Waller were recommending that Martin Collins serve as the third member of the Ethics Committee. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the appointment of Martin Collins to the Ethics Committee to serve a two-year term, Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council discussed a request from Fire Chief Ferman Tyler for the disbursement of SPLOST 03-08 funds as included in the FY 2009/2010 budget for the purchase of shore line kits at a cost not to exceed $4,000. Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the request for the purchase of the equipment, Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Attorney Dickey reported that after reviewing the state regulations regarding amendments to the Impact Fee Ordinance, he recommended that the Impact Fee Study Committee be involved in a review of the proposed change and informed council that two public hearings would also need to be held prior to the approval of any changes. It was noted that since Councilman Kerby was a member of the Impact Fee Study Committee and could no longer serve since he was elected to council, the council needed to appoint another person to the committee. Since Councilman Kerby was serving as a representative in the building business, it was suggested that he be replaced by someone in that type business. Councilman Kerby made a motion that council appoint Sidney Key to serve as a member of the Impact Fee Study Committee. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter stated that he had contacted the Department of Transportation regarding a traffic study at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and U.S. Hwy 80 to see if a traffic light was needed with the development as proposed by JDH. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter explained that to initiate the process, council needed to approve the execution of an application for a traffic sign permit. Council was advised that if a traffic light was approved, the financing of the light would have to be determined before it was installed, but at a minimum, the City usually paid for the electrical power to the signal. After discussion, Mayor Pro-tem Baxter made a motion to authorize Mayor Tipton to sign the traffic signal request, Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the City has received a copy of the completed Service Delivery Strategy for Chatham County as prepared by the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission. The February, 2010 report contains information related to delivery of services by Chatham County and all municipalities located within the county and it must be submitted to DCA by February 28, 2010. The state requires updates to the report as changes are made to the comprehensive plans of the county or one of the municipalities. Attorney Dickey stated that he would need to review the information in the document, especially the fire protection service area, prior to the Mayor signing the certification form. After discussing the matter, Councilman Crosby made a motion to authorize Mayor Tipton to sign the certification form after the City Attorney and City Clerk had reviewed the document to make sure it was in order. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter reported that the City participates in a bid process with Chatham County for fuel purchases and the lowest bid approved by Chatham County for amounts as used by Bloomingdale was with Strickland Oil. Councilman Myrick asked that council table this matter to allow him time to get with Barrett Oil, the current fuel provider, to see if he would be willing to lower his bid. It was noted that we would have to enter into a written agreement with the vendor to make sure the City will be receiving the same service as agreed to by Strickland Oil. Councilman Myrick made a motion to table the acceptance of the bid until the next meeting, Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter stated that the Public Safety Committee had met with Kern-Coleman & Co. regarding their proposal for engineering and architectural services for the construction of the Bloomingdale Fire Building and after reviewing the costs, the engineers were asked to consider the reduction of some of the fees and to resubmit their proposal. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter advised council that committee members had not had an opportunity to review the information and he suggested this matter be tabled until the next meeting. Councilman Kerby asked if it would be possible to go ahead and allow the engineer to proceed with solicitation of bids on the demolition of the existing fire building, but after further discussion, he made a motion to table action on this matter until the March 4th meeting to allow the committee time to review the proposal. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council was advised that the Public Safety Committee had obtained two bids for enclosing one bay at the maintenance building for storage of fire equipment and turn-out gear until the new fire building can be constructed. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter opened the bids and they were as follows: #1 – Port City Metals, Inc. - $11,480 and #2 – Metal Building Maintenance, Inc. - $9,688. Councilman Myrick made a motion to accept the low bid as presented by Metal Building Maintenance, Inc. for $9,688 after the Public Safety committee has reviewed the bid and to pay this expense from the funds to be used for construction of the new fire building. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
A request for the addition of part-time police officers was presented to council by Mayor Pro-tem Baxter on behalf of Police Chief Gossett. Council was advised that there were two officers out on sick leave leaving the department short-handed. Police Chief Gossett estimated the part-time officers would save the City anywhere from $30,000 to $42,000, plus costs for sick time, vacation, and school for other officers with council’s approval to allow the hiring of part-time officers for approximately $16,000 over a six month period. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter asked the Chief if the cost for the part-time officers could be paid from the salaries as budgeted and Chief Gossett stated he felt he would be able to stay within the existing budget. Mayor Pro-tem Baxter requested that the Chief monitor his budget closely and report back to council prior to the salary line item going over-budget. Councilman Kerby made a motion to approve the hiring of part-time police officers with the salary limits as discussed, Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Planning Commission Chairman Dexter Shearouse advised council that the Planning Commission had to make a change in their November 10, 2009 meeting minutes regarding the Ron Walker development at #608 Highway 80. The minutes were adjusted to include the wording that the berm on the west side of the property be a minimum of a 5’ planted berm. It was noted that the developer had agreed to this height and the engineer was preparing the plat showing the 5’ planted berm, but the Planning Commission wanted to make sure that their minutes and the minutes of the City Council meeting include this minimum height. Councilman Crosby made a motion to include this stipulation in the minutes of the council meeting, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilwoman Griffin stated that with the improvements underway to the concession building at Taylor Park, she would like to see the addition of internet service to the building. Councilwoman Griffin noted that access to the internet would improve the operation of the recreation program making it easier to stay in touch with other recreation departments, keep up with weather alerts and help in researching and ordering equipment. It was noted that the cost would probably be about $50 per month. After discussion of the request, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to run internet service to the building, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Kerby reported that during cleanup of City-owned property on Main Street and Hwy 80 and after picking up other tires dumped along City rights of way, the maintenance department has accumulated approximately 450 tires for disposal. Councilman Kerby stated that a price of approximately $1900 had been obtained for the pickup and disposal of these tires. After a brief discussion, Councilman Kerby made a motion to approve the disbursement of up to $2,000 for the disposal of the tires, Councilman Rawlings seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Rawlings commented that if citizens were aware of people throwing tires into rights of way or wooded areas to report this activity to the police department.
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter stated that this concluded the items presented for consideration for inclusion on the council agenda prior to the deadline of Friday, February 12, 2010.
The accounts payable were reviewed with Councilman Myrick making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilman Kerby made a motion to adjourn at 7:45pm, Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Respectfully submitted, Sandra Jones, City Clerk
Mayor Pro-tem Baxter and Council members Crosby, Griffin, Kerby, Myrick, and Rawlings were present at the meeting. Mayor Tipton was out sick.
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.