Official Minutes - November 18, 2010 Council Meeting
approved by Council on December 2, 2010
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Tipton with Councilman Myrick leading in prayer. The draft copy of the minutes of the November 4, 2010 meeting was presented with Councilman Myrick making a motion for their approval. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Councilman Myrick made a motion to approve the agenda of the November 18, 2010 council meeting with the addition of Item #6 under New Business for consideration of a request from Westside Christian Church for the sale of Christmas trees. Councilwoman Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Under administrative and committee reports, Mayor Tipton reported that the interview process for the City Administrator’s position was underway and six interviews had already been conducted. Councilman Baxter stated that the construction of the fire building was progressing and noted that meetings had been held this week with the contractor and engineers on concerns regarding the finish of the concrete flooring. Councilman Rawlings reported that the November 13th “Evening in the Park” was a great success and congratulated Councilman Baxter for being the 2010 Winner of the Chili Cook-off. Councilman Rawlings also expressed his appreciation to the members of the Garden Club, History Society, Lion’s Club and City staff who helped to make this event such a success. Councilwoman Griffin recognized Recreation Director Joe Young who reported that the new ball field is almost finished. He advised council that the football season ended with the minis’ team having a 7-3 record and the peewees being the Co-Champions in the CAA.
Mayor Tipton presented the resolution for council’s consideration that would authorize submission of a grant application to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Recreational Trails Program and an application for funds through Georgia Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhancement Program for the development of a park along the old railroad bed between Cherry and Chestnut Streets. Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the adoption of the resolution and to authorize Mayor Tipton to execute the necessary documents to submit the grant applications. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion. Councilman Myrick stated that he felt the proposed project would certainly enhance the area, but expressed his concerns about the disbursement of any additional capital monies until other projects that are already underway are completed. Councilman Baxter reported that he had talked with Assistant County Manager Pat Monahan about the use of Greenspace monies as some of our matching funds if the City were fortunate enough to be awarded the grants and stated that Pat Monahan had indicated these funds would be eligible for use and he also committed county funds for use as our matching monies for the Rails to Trails grant. Councilman Baxter advised council that he did not want to use our reserves as matching monies either, but felt that by obtaining in-kind services from staff, volunteers, and businesses, we could limit the amount of monies we would actually need to provide as the City’s match. Councilman Baxter further stated that if we applied for the grants and received them, but could not do the project due to financial issues, the City did not have to accept the grants. Councilman Baxter requested confirmation from Mark Crapse with Kern-Coleman & Co. and Ron Sadowski with Coastal Regional Commission that if the grant applications were submitted by CRC along with the conceptual drawings that had been prepared by Kern-Coleman & Co. and grants were awarded, but the City could not proceed with the project due to financial issues, would there be any cost from these agencies if the City chose not to accept that grants. Both Mark Crapse and Ron Sadowski agreed that there would be no cost to the City for their services if the grants were not accepted. Mark Crapse stated that he definitely felt this project would be a great asset to Bloomingdale and surrounding communities. Ron Sadowski commented that when a community develops this type project that ties in so closely with its history, it enhances the City and provides connectivity for the neighborhoods. Mr. Sadowski also pointed out that the City’s Comprehensive Plan showed this area to be developed as a linear park in the future. It was noted that the cost of the project as presented is estimated at about $800,000 and Mr. Sadowski stated that since the City’s annual dues to the CRC covers their grant writing services, there will be no cost to the City for the grant applications. Debra Brune asked what the project was going to do for the Recreation Department since the needs at Taylor Park are growing and the City is in need of a gym for its basketball program. Ms. Brune stated that there was nothing being done for the recreational programs at Taylor Park and she was concerned that if the City committed funds earmarked for recreation for this project there would not be any monies for improvements at Taylor Park. Councilman Myrick asked if a conceptual plan could be prepared by the engineers for the development of Taylor Park and Mark Crapse advised him that they could prepare a plan. In response to questions as to whether grant monies would be available for the future development of Taylor Park, Mr. Sadowski stated that there used to be several grants that could be pursued for active park improvements; however, monies are very limited at this time since the opinion of the state is that existing recreation programs should be self-funded. During the discussion, it was noted that the lighting of ball fields and the development of parking lots would not qualify for Greenspace monies. Mr. Sadowski advised council that he would look into what type grants may be available at this time for improvements to existing programs. Citizen Sue Hargrove stated that the initiation of this grant application had actually come from the Bloomingdale Garden Club and History Society and that the kind of money they were requesting could not be used for other type recreation projects. Ms. Hargrove pointed out that a passive recreation area could be used by all the citizens for events such as weddings, first Saturday craft and food fairs, and other types of activities with revenues generated by the renting of some of the areas to be used toward maintenance expenses. Councilman Rawlings stated that he did not feel that the comment about the City not doing anything at Taylor Park was accurate and pointed out that in the last couple of years, two ball fields had been constructed, handicapped bathrooms and additional meeting space had been added, and just recently, an additional 22 acres had been purchased for future expansion of the park. Mayor Tipton reported that the City had dedicated $500,000 in the SPLOST V funds for recreation and although a shortfall of approximately 15% to 20% was expected in collections, these funds could go toward improvements at Taylor Park. Recreation Director Joe Young commented that although he felt the project could be good for the community, he did not want the City to take monies that could be used for improvements to Taylor Park to fund it. Citizen Martin Collins voiced his opinion that the project was a great idea, but he questioned the City investing any monies in this kind of development without having the grant monies on hand. Councilman Baxter pointed out that the City would not start this project until it was sure the grant monies would be awarded. Citizen Betty Burke stated that she felt it was a great idea and expressed her appreciation to those involved in bringing the plan to the City. Councilwoman Griffin requested confirmation as to the cost to the City if the county agreed to pay the matching monies needed for the Rails to Trails grant and was advised that there would be no cost to the City for that grant if Chatham County provided the matching funds. Councilwoman Griffin asked about the matching monies for the T-grant and Councilman Baxter stated that we could use Greenspace monies for some of the match, in-kind services for some, and donated work for other portions with his hope being that very little money would have to be paid by the City toward the project. Citizen Martin Collins asked if the City could get monies for sidewalks and Councilman Baxter advised him that T-grants were available for this type project since the state encourages cities to install sidewalks where they are feasible. Being no further discussion, Mayor Tipton called for a vote on the motion to submit the grant applications as outlined in the resolution. The motion passed with five affirmative votes from Council members Baxter, Crosby, Griffin, Kerby and Rawlings. Councilman Myrick voted against the motion. Councilman Baxter asked Councilman Myrick if the City received the grant would he work with council to pursue this project and he stated that he would. Mayor Tipton asked Mr. Sadowski if he could provide some assistance to the City for public safety grants that could help with the purchase of equipment and vehicles and Mr. Sadowski stated that he would research what was available. Councilman Myrick noted that he had noticed in some smaller towns in Georgia that traffic lights were installed on roadways in front of fire departments that would stop traffic when fire trucks were leaving the station to answer emergency calls and he felt the City should pursue a possible grant for this type project.
Council reviewed a request from Bryan Briscoe to obtain a building permit for a 24 x 48 building for use as storage at his residence located at #13 Cherry Street. It was noted that since the structure will be over 500 sq. ft. council must approve the issuance of the building permit. Councilman Myrick asked if the structure would be used to house anything related to the home occupation bakery business operated at this same location. Mr. Briscoe stated that it would only be used for storage not for any activities related to the bakery business. After this discussion, Councilman Kerby made a motion to waive the public hearing requirement and issue the building permit for the storage building as requested by Mr. Briscoe. Councilman Crosby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor presented a recommendation from EMC Engineering for payment of Pay Request #6 in the amount of $109,247.51 as submitted by R.B. Baker for work performed through October 30, 2010 on the Stagecoach Road Paving Project. Councilman Kerby pointed out that the final pay request would be presented after the grass is established and we make sure the Georgia Department of Transportation is satisfied with the work. Mayor Tipton noted that according to the engineer’s calculations, the project was completed under-budget by approximately $9200.00. Councilman Kerby made a motion to approve the payment to R.B. Baker as requested, Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Council reviewed Pay Request #3 in the amount of $32,597.79 as submitted by Marchese Construction, LLC for work performed on the fire station project. Mayor Tipton stated that Kern-Coleman & Co., LLC is recommending payment of this request and provided documentation as to their review of the work performed. After a brief discussion, Councilman Baxter made a motion to approve the payment to Marchese Construction, LLC as requested, Councilman Myrick seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Councilman Crosby reported that the Planning Commission had reviewed the council’s request to consider an amendment to the “List of Permissible and Conditional Uses” as contained in the City’s Zoning Ordinance for the possible addition of massage therapist and massage parlor businesses. Councilman Crosby stated that after consulting with Attorney Dickey as to the regulations that would be needed for these type businesses, the Planning & Licensing Committee, along with the Chairman of the Planning Commission, is recommending the following: An amendment to the City’s Zoning Ordinance to add to the “List of Permissible and Conditional Uses” a massage therapist business as a “conditional use” in a C-1 and C-2 zone and to add a massage parlor business as a “conditional use” in a C-1, C-2, and an I-1 zone. Also, a public hearing should be conducted at the January 6, 2011 council meeting for citizen input on this proposed amendment. Councilman Crosby made a motion to accept the recommendations from the Planning Commission and the Planning & Licensing Committee. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The Mayor recognized Attorney Dickey who presented two ordinances for council’s consideration. The first ordinance pertained to regulations for the operation of both massage therapist and massage parlor businesses. Attorney Dickey advised council members that they will need to review this ordinance very carefully and noted that it required consideration of a fee for the application process as well as provisions for the regulation and enforcement of the ordinance. Attorney Dickey noted that there was a distinct difference between businesses using state licensed massage therapists and those offering massage services by personnel who did not have state licenses. Attorney Dickey advised council that the second ordinance was a “touch” ordinance that covered all other types of touch to the human body not included in the massage therapist and massage parlor ordinance. This ordinance is referenced as CSTTOM (Commercial Soft Tissue Touch or Manipulation). During discussion of the ordinances, it was pointed out that a cosmetologist can only massage the face, scalp or head areas for beautification, but not for therapeutic purposes. Attorney Dickey stated that with the proposed addition to the City’s zoning ordinance to allow for massage therapist and massage parlor businesses, these ordinances needed to be passed to provide a means for the regulation of activities conducted in these type businesses. Council was advised that the ordinances should be thoroughly reviewed and changes could be made between the first and second readings if necessary. After this discussion, Councilman Crosby made a motion to approve the first reading only of the massage therapist and massage parlor ordinance and the “touch” ordinance as presented by Attorney Dickey. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes. Council was advised that the second reading of the ordinance would be scheduled for the January 6, 2011 council meeting. Citizen Susan Rogers expressed her concern about the delay in the approval of the zoning ordinance amendment and ordinance adoptions for the massage therapist business. She stated that she had already hired a state licensed massage therapist to work with her and now it would be after the first of the year before she could get a business license from the City. It was suggested that she go ahead and present her request in a similar manner as the massage therapist license request that was currently pending, so it could be considered once the zoning amendment and ordinances are approved.
Council reviewed a request from the Westside Christian Church to conduct the sale of Christmas trees from their property located at #1010 E. Highway 80 with parking at #1106 E. Highway 80 from November 21st until December 19th. Councilman Myrick noted that the youth of the church had been conducting these sales for several years with no problems and in the request the pastor stated that the funds will be used for a mission work trip their youth will participate in during the summer. Based on the previous year’s requests, the sales will be conducted after school during the week until 8:30pm with hours on holidays and Saturdays being from 10:00am until 8:30pm and Sundays from 4:00pm until 8:30pm. The church will place a temporary sign that will not exceed forty square feet in area on the property to be removed within three (3) days after the termination of the event. It was also noted that since the event has been used as a fund raiser for the church’s youth, the permit fee has been waived in the past. Councilman Myrick made a motion to issue a temporary permit to the Westside Christian Church for the sale of the Christmas trees with the stipulations noted above and to waive the permit fee. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
The accounts payable were reviewed with Councilman Myrick making a motion to pay the bills. Councilman Baxter seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Being no further business, Councilwoman Griffin made a motion to adjourn at 8:15pm. Councilman Kerby seconded the motion and it passed with six affirmative votes.
Respectfully submitted, Sandra Jones, City Clerk
Mayor Tipton and all council members 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.