The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on December 7, 2009. Mayor Mike Lamb called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. 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 Seay. Mayor Lamb welcomed members and staff of the senior citizen center, presenting a flag (which was used for the Pledge) crocheted by one of the members, Joann White, noting that the crocheted flag was entered in the Coastal Fair and won a blue ribbon.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for November, and made a motion to approve the bills that are in excess of $1500.00, subject to availability of funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Allen stated that the police department responded to 1676 calls during the period of November 15th through December 5th, totaling 29,222 calls for the year and reported that the fire department responded to 39 calls this month, totaling 1865 for the year.
STREET/DRAINAGE/ PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments have performed routine maintenance and that yard debris will be picked up December 21st through the 24th and December 29th and 30th.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that all parameters are being met at the wastewater treatment plant.
Councilman Royal reported that fall tumbling sessions continue on Monday and Tuesday nights and that basketball practice will begin December 9th.
Councilwoman Benton reported that two (2) new single family residential permits, six (6) attached single-family residential and one (1) commercial permit has been issued since the last meeting, totaling 138 residential, 14 attached unit and 25 commercial permits for the year, with 3825 inspections performed year to date.
There was no OLD BUSINESS to discuss.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Release of maintenance bond for East Spine Road, Phase IV
Mr. Byrd presented a request from the developer to release the maintenance bond for Phase IV of the East Spine Road in Savannah Quarters, stating that a final inspection has been performed with the public works department recommending release of the bond. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to release the maintenance bond. Motion passed without opposition.
2. Approval of contract with Department of Transportation for traffic signal installation at Pooler Parkway & Isaac G. LaRoche Drive
Mr. Byrd presented a contract with the Department of Transportation for installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Pooler Parkway and Isaac G. LaRoche Drive. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the contract. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
3. Approval to extend senior citizen water & sewer rates to residents who lease property
Mr. Byrd stated that the City currently offers discounted water and sewer rates to those seniors (65 years and older) and those who are totally disabled, based on the requirements of the City’s senior homestead exemption (annual salary to not exceed $11,500 - excluding Social Security or pension benefits). Therefore, due to the influx of senior citizens and totally disabled people who lease residences currently in the City, it is his recommendation that the discounted rates be extended to individuals who lease residences. Councilman Allen made a motion to approve the discounted water and sewer rates (effective 1-1-2010) to be extended to those residents (lessees) meeting the requirements of the senior/totally disabled homestead exemption. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of Streamlined VCP Submission for the Employees’ Retirement Plan to meet IRS regulations
Mr. Byrd presented information regarding the City’s retirement plan and IRS regulations to file documents to correct certain late amendments to the plan using the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP), which is a streamlined process which will result in less paperwork and lower filing and legal fees. Councilwoman Benton made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve the submission. Motion passed without opposition.
5. Approval to adjust water & sewer receivables (bad debt through 12/31/07)
Michelle McNeely, Finance Director, presented a list of accounts that have been declared “bad debt” through December 31, 2007, asking that the amounts be removed from the books. Mr. Byrd stated that this will not forgive any debt incurred by those on the list, adding that if any of them return to the City and sign up for service, they will be notified that the outstanding debt will need to be paid prior to establishing new service. Councilman Seay made a motion to approve the adjustment of water and sewer receivables through December 31, 2007. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
6. First Reading on proposed 2010 budget
Mr. Byrd presented the proposed 2010 budget, noting that the General Fund balances at $10,401,190.00, the Water & Sewer Fund balances at $4,152,919.00 and the Hotel/Motel Fund balances at $620,000.00. Further, that the budget provides for a five percent (5%) increase to water and sewer fees and a $2.00 per month increase to sanitation service. Councilman Wall expressed appreciation to the City’s staff, noting that it was a difficult task in balancing the budget. After discussion, Councilman Seay made a motion to approve the proposed 2010 budget on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.
Joe Garcia, Adjutant of American Legion Post 322, presented information regarding proper procedures for displaying the American Flag, noting days approved for flying at half-staff. Councilman Wall stated that he has noticed flags not being properly displayed or flown at half-staff when allowed, and has made it a priority to see that regulations are being followed.
Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 6:39 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
Mayor Lamb called the meeting back to order at 6:45 p.m.
Councilman Allen made a motion to accept the Mediated Agreement and Consent Order approved by Mr. Scheer. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 6:46 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on
December 7, 2009. Mayor Mike Lamb called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The purpose of this hearing was to discuss the proposed 2010 budget. Mr. Byrd stated that the proposed budget includes operating expenses only and that the General Fund balances at $10,401,190.00, the Water & Sewer Fund balances at $4,152,919 and the Hotel/Motel Fund balances at $620,000. Councilman Wall noted that the budget includes a five percent (5%) increase for water and sewer fees and a $2.00 per month increase to sanitation service. Mr. Byrd added that this is the first increase in water and sewer rates since 1998. Further, Mr. Byrd expressed appreciation to Michelle McNeely, Finance Officer, for her hard work as well as all the department heads in ensuring that there would be no lay-offs or furloughs for employees.
There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:48 p.m.