The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on December 1, 2008. 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 Cowart and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Seay.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Allen, seconded by Councilman Seay, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for November.
Councilman Allen reported that the fire department responded to 142 calls in November, totaling 1690 calls for the year.
STREET/DRAINAGE/ PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments have performed routine maintenance. Further, that the amount of recycled material has doubled from the amount collected in 2007.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments performed routine maintenance and that all parameters are being met at the wastewater treatment plant.
Councilman Royal reported that youth basketball practice begins this week.
Councilwoman Benton reported that five (5) new single family residential permits and two (2) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 174 residential and 50 commercial permits for the year, with 6919 inspections performed.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Mr. Aaron Stewart
Mr. Stewart is a resident of N. Newton Street and has addressed Council in the past in regards to complaints about a pothole on Highway 80 near Newton Street and the possibility of placing speed bumps to slow traffic at the intersection of N. Newton Street and Symons Street. Mayor Lamb presented information regarding the City’s Street Superintendent Shawn McNelly requesting the Department of Transportation repair the pothole. Mayor Lamb then referred the matter of the speed bumps to Police Chief C. E. Chan who mentioned that traffic in this area has been monitored in the past, with no warrant for speed bumps, due to the four-way stop.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested zoning map amendment of 46.5 acres from R-1A to a PUD within the Jabot PUD Master Plan
A public hearing was held prior wherein a requested zoning amendment of 46.5 acres from R-1A (single family residential) to PUD (Planned Unit Development - Residential) was discussed. Harmony Partners, LLC, agent for Loretta Cockrum of The Foram Group has petitioned to add 46.5 acres to the Jabot Tract PUD and re-zone the parcel. Mr. Byrd asked that this item be tabled until the City receives an updated letter of credit associated with the water and sewer agreement. Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
2. Approval of final PUD of the Jabot Tract PUD Master Plan Amendment #5
This item was discussed in the public hearing held at 5:45 p.m. Mr. Byrd presented Amendment #5 of the Jabot Tract PUD Master Plan for final PUD approval, requesting that as in Item #1, this request be tabled. Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item, until the City received an updated letter of credit. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of final PUD/preliminary construction plan for H.H. Hunt Multi-family
Development in Savannah Quarters
Mr. Byrd presented a request for the H.H. Hunt Multi-family development in Savannah Quarters, a planned 21.5 acre residential community consisting of 280 units, a clubhouse, boat storage area, two (2) storm water lagoons and associated infrastructure, stating that this development is going to be located on Quacco Road, just south of I-16. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the final PUD and preliminary construction plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of recombination plat of a 1.25 acre parcel at 1810 Old Dean Forest Road
Mr. & Mrs. William Fountain have requested to combine two (2) of their parcels at 1810 Dean Forest Road into one (1) for tax purposes. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to approve the recombination. Motion passed without opposition.
5. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Rosa Campbell at Little Italy Pizza & Subs
Mr. Byrd presented an application for alcoholic beverage (beer and wine) sales by the drink for Rosa Campbell at Little Italy Pizza and Subs, stating that Police Chief C. E. Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the license. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
6. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Minh B. Pham at Lemongrass Grill
Mr. Byrd presented an application for alcoholic beverage (beer and wine) sales by the drink for Minh B. Pham at the new Lemongrass Grill at 125 Foxfield Way Suite #8, stating that Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the license, to include Sunday sales. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen opposing.
7. Appointment of new Finance Officer Michelle McNeely
Mayor Lamb introduced Michelle McNeely who has been selected for the position of Finance Officer. Councilman Wall made a motion to appoint Ms. McNeely to this position. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
8. Appointment of new PUD Review Board Member Craig Brewer
Mr. Byrd stated that there is a vacancy on the PUD Review Board, therefore, Councilwoman Benton made a motion to appoint Craig Brewer to the Board. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
9. First Reading on the proposed 2009 budget
Mayor Lamb presented the proposed 2009 budget, stating that the General Fund balances at $10,436,200.00 and the Water & Sewer Fund balances at $6,734,500.00, with $150,000 being put in reserves. Mayor Lamb commended Mr. Byrd and Interim Finance Officer Connie Ellis on the fine job they did in preparing the budget. Councilman Cowart added that the year’s process was the smoothest he has experienced in his many years on Council. Councilman Wall also commended Mr. Byrd and Ms. Ellis on their hard work, adding that Council has worked cohesively this year. Councilman Seay stated that the budget includes a three and one half percent (3.5%) cost of living allowance for all eligible employees. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the budget on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
Gale Brown, resident on Morgan Street, addressed Council in regards to tractor-trailers traveling down Morgan Street, noting that the telephone lines have been knocked down by the trucks, leaving her elderly mother without phone service in case of an emergency. Mr. Byrd stated that the drivers are mistaking Morgan Street for the S.H. Morgan Parkway, an industrial area. Councilman Allen added that the GPS that is being used is taking the drivers to Morgan Street, instead of S.H. Morgan Parkway. Public Works Director Matt Saxon stated that he will check to make sure the communications lines are at their required height in this area.
Steve Hartley, resident, reminded Council that the Christmas tree at Joe Baker Park was dedicated to longtime resident Leo McDonald. Further, that he has been notified that disabled residents in Pooler and Port Wentworth will no longer be provided services by Teleride, due to funding being discontinued by Chatham County, asking the Council to look into options to funding this much needed service.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Allen made a motion to adjourn at approximately 6:46 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.