The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on August 16, 2010. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilman Bruce Allen, Councilwoman Rebecca Benton, Councilwoman Shannon Black, Councilman David Burke, Councilman Mike Royal and Councilman Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The invocation was given by Councilman Allen and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Burke.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilman Burke, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Burke presented the accounts payable information, making a motion to pay the bills in excess of $1500.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Royal reported that the police department responded to1232 calls during the period of August 3rdthrough the 12th, with 10,036 calls for the year and that the fire department responded to 96 calls this month.
PARKS & TREES/STREET/DRAINAGE
Councilwoman Benton reported that the parks & trees, street and drainage departments performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments performed routine maintenance and that all parameters are being met at the wastewater treatment plant.
Councilwoman Black reported that summer tumbling classes continue as well as practice for football, soccer and cheerleading. Further, that men’s basketball has begun and that the senior citizens will hold a bake sale on September 26th.
Councilman Allen reported that three (3) new single family residential and one (1) commercial permit were issued since the last meeting, totaling 79 single family and 23 commercial permits for the year, with 2035 inspections performed.
Karen Robertson, Executive Director of the Pooler Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, addressed Council in regards to the Chamber’s activities, noting that membership has increased.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Second Reading on ordinance regarding storage and disposition of grease fromfood preparation operations
Mr. Byrd presented an ordinance regarding the storage and disposition of grease from food preparation operations. Councilwoman Benton made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve the ordinance on Second Reading. Motion passed without opposition.
2. Second Reading on amendment to ordinance regarding uninvited entry upon premises
Mr. Byrd presented an amendment to the city’s ordinance regarding uninvited entry upon premises (no solicitation), stating that Mr. Scheer has added a provision to exclude non-profit organizations (Girl Scouts, etc.) as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the amendment on Second Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested 65 sq ft variance for an electronic message board at Towne CenterAmusement Complex
A public hearing was held prior wherein Attorney Josh Walker outlined the events leading to the request for a variance, noting that the proposed sign location is at the corner of Towne Center Drive and Barret Drive and will serve the entire Towne Center Amusement Complex. Further, that the petitioner has obtained a permit and has constructed the sign, unaware that the sign ordinance restricts the size of electronic message boards. Councilman Wall stated that it is apparent that the sign was permitted but that there is question to whether the electronic message board was considered. Councilwoman Benton questioned which criteria for granting a variance the request meets, wherein Mr. Walker replied that all three (3) have been met, reiterating the fact that the sign will serve the entire complex and that it is unique, also due to its location. Councilman Wall made a motion to table the item until the next meeting to allow Mr. Scheer time to further review the request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
2. Approval of recombination plat of Lots 37B and 37C, Westside Business Park
Mr. Byrd presented a requested recombination of Lots 37B and 37C in Westside Business Park, stating that the purpose is to shift the lot line because of the property being removed from the flood zone when the updated FEMA maps went into effect. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Burke, to approve the recombination. Motion passed without opposition.
3. Approval of final plat for The Fairways at Savannah Quarters, Phase 2
Mr. Byrd presented the final plat for The Fairways at Savannah Quarters, Phase 2, stating that the phase includes five (5) townhome lots, being changed from duplex to triplex townhome units. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the final plat. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of site plan for Phase 2 of Mitsubishi Power Systems (SavannahMachinery Works)
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for Phase 2 of Mitsubishi Power Systems which includes grading and rail track work to serve the southern portion of the site development in Phase 1. After discussion, Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the site plan, contingent upon Mitsubishi agreeing to contribute to the City’s Tree Bank in the amount of $6750.00 in lieu of meeting regulations of the tree ordinance to cover the six (6) acres of disturbed area in Phase 2. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Melissa Lindsey at the new Murphy Express
Mr. Byrd presented an application for alcoholic beverage sales (beer and wine by the package) for Melissa Lindsey at the new Murphy Express on Pooler Parkway. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Burke, to approve the license. Motion passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
6. Approval of Site Lease (Co-location) with Cricket Communications, Inc. for placement of communications facility on telecommunications tower at public works
Mr. Byrd presented a site lease between the City and Cricket Communications, Inc. for placement of a communications facility on the telecommunications tower at public works. After discussion, Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the site lease, contingent upon the application meeting all requirements set forth by CityScape. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
7. Approval of agreement with Chatham County for tax collection service
Mr. Byrd presented an agreement between the City, Chatham County and the Chatham County Tax Commissioner pertaining to collection of taxes by the Tax Commissioner, noting the cost being $4.00 for each parcel of real estate and personal property. After discussion, Councilman Burke made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve the agreement. Motion passed without opposition.
David Ong, resident of The Highlands in the City of Savannah, addressed Council in regards to the barrier that has been placed at the intersection of Benton Boulevard and Towne Center Drive, adjacent to The Coastal Bank and Home Depot. Mr. Ong expressed concern over the amount of additional traffic congestion in the area and the amount of illegal u-turns being made, stating that there was now more potential for serious accidents. Councilwoman Benton stated that there were several accidents prior to the barrier being placed, including the need for extraction of drivers and passengers. Mr. Byrd added that since the barrier has been placed, there have been no accidents. Further, that after meeting with representatives from The Coastal Bank, plans for installation of a traffic light have been made. Mr. Byrd stated for the record, that he approached The Coastal Bank and Home Depot about the need for a traffic light before the barrier was put in place, with no response from either business. Councilman Wall stated that Home Depot put a large amount of money into improving the median when the store was constructed, and commended Mr. Byrd on the pro-active stance he took for public safety, alleviating the possibility of a fatal accident that could have occurred at the intersection.
Richard Rice, resident of Westbrook Subdivision, addressed Council in regards to the issue of EMS service in Savannah Quarters, noting that it took 30 minutes for an ambulance from Southside Fire to arrive to treat a woman who was suffering a stroke at the pool a few weeks ago. Mr. Rice expressed concern over the fact that Savannah Quarters is not served by Medstar nor the Pooler Fire Department First Responders, requesting the City to look into this matter. Further, that all consumers are charged a $2.00 fee on their telecommunication bills (land line and cellular) for 911 service, which in his estimation, amounts to over $2,000,000 for Pooler residents alone. Mr. Scheer stated that a request under the Freedom of Information Act has been submitted to determine the amount of money collected annually for all four (4) West Chatham municipalities to determine whether there are enough funds to operate a dispatch center for West Chatham. Mr. Byrd noted that currently the State of Georgia sets the districts for EMS services, with the area south of I-16 being serviced by Southside Fire Department. Fire Chief Wade Simmons addressed the incident at the pool, stating that a response time of 26 minutes is unacceptable, asking the residents to contact County Commissioner Dean Kicklighter to express their concerns. It was then questioned by a resident if similar problems are being encountered in Garden City, wherein Police Chief C. E. Chan replied that there have been problems in all West Chatham municipalities and that a meeting has been scheduled next week with all police chiefs being invited to discuss problems with the dispatch system which is currently handled through the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Chief Chan reiterated the need for a West Chatham dispatch system, but reminded everyone of the cost of operation.
Gene Welka, resident of Westbrook Subdivision, addressed Council in regards to the quality of water provided by the City, requesting information on the testing that is performed. Councilman Wall stated that currently the City’s water from the aquifer is blended with water provided by the City of Savannah and is tested regularly and that it meets all standards. Mr. Byrd added that the water system is checked daily and that plans for “looping” the system are in place to improve the quality and flow of water in this area in particular.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Alllen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:14 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Burke and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on August 16, 2010. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilman Bruce Allen, Councilwoman Rebecca Benton, Councilwoman Shannon Black, Councilman David Burke, Councilman Mike Royal and Councilman Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The purpose of the hearing was to discuss a requested 65 sq ft variance for an electronic message board at Towne Center Amusement Complex. Attorney Josh Walker, on behalf of the owner, NRN Management, presented a request for a 65 sq ft variance on an electronic message board on an existing sign located at the corner of Towne Center Drive and Barret Drive. Mr. Walker stated that the sign is unique in that it will serve the entire complex and that is why the electronic message board was designed to be larger than is apparently permitted. Further, that the sign was located in an area that would not distract vehicular traffic, noting that the speed limit on the street is 25 mph. Mr. Byrd noted that the request is for a “directory” sign, adding that this is the first time a variance request has been submitted for one.
There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:56 p.m.