The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on December 15, 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 Mayor Lamb and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Seay.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilwoman Benton, seconded by Councilman Allen, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Seay presented the accounts payable information for November.
Councilman Allen reported that the police department responded to 2507 calls since November 14th and that the fire department responded to 64 calls.
STREET/DRAINAGE/ PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments have 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.
Councilman Royal reported that youth basketball practice continues, with games beginning January 10th and that fall tumbling continues.
Councilwoman Benton reported that four (4) new single family residential permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 178 residential permits for the year, with 7147 inspections performed.
Jennifer Ranicki, on behalf of Kim Griffin, President of the Pooler Crossroads Chamber of Commerce, addressed Council in regards to activities of the Chamber.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested zoning map amendment of 46.5 acres from R-1A to a PUD within the Jabot Tract PUD Master Plan
Mr. Byrd presented this item which was tabled at the last meeting in order for the
City to receive an updated letter of credit from the developer, which has happened. Therefore, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the zoning map amendment. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
2. Final PUD Approval of the Jabot Tract PUD Master Plan Amendment #5
Mr. Byrd presented this item which was tabled at the last meeting as stated in Item #1. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to approve the Final PUD of the Jabot Tract Master Plan Amendment #5. Motion passed without opposition.
3. Second Reading on proposed 2009 budget
Mr. Byrd presented the 2009 budget (attached to and made a part of these minutes) for approval, stating that changes have been made to provide for $299,676 to be put into reserves and $20,000 to be put into beautification to upgrade the fountain. Councilman Cowart expressed appreciation to the department heads and Councilmembers on the successful work on the budget. Councilman Wall stated that the budget includes a new fire truck (pumper), four (4) new employees in the Parks & Trees Department, leased equipment for the Recreation Department, an addition to the public works building, the Parks & Trees Department moving to the new recreation complex, keeping the millage rate at 4.5%, a 3.5% cost of living allowance for all eligible employees and discontinuing commercial sanitation service, allowing businesses to seek outside providers for the best price. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to approve the 2009 budget on Second Reading to include the aforementioned changes. Motion passed without opposition.
4. Mr. Aaron Stewart
Mr. Stewart was not present.
Mayor Lamb provided for discussion on the news received about Teleride services being discontinued for Chatham County residents outside of a three-quarter (3/4) mile of a fixed route of the Chatham Urban Transportation area, stating that he has met with members of the Chatham County Commission and is still at a loss as to why the residents are losing this service. Further, that a proposed “Rural Transit System” is being considered in conjunction with the Coastal Georgia Rural Development Center to provide a van to transport handicapped residents, cautioning that specific details including costs have yet to be submitted to the City. 7th District County Commissioner Dean Kicklighter addressed Council, stating that this matter is a move to force municipalities that do not participate in transportation services (CAT) to do so, even though all residents (including Pooler) are already paying for Teleride services. Commissioner Kicklighter reiterated Mayor Lamb’s comments regarding the federal regulation that will not permit services to residents who do not live within three-quarters (3/4) of a mile from a fixed route (CAT), adding that this is “political posturing” and should not be tied into services for the handicapped. Further, that the “Rural Transit System” will cost residents $3.00 per trip while Teleride costs only $1.20 per trip. Commissioner Kicklighter recommended City officials to stand up to Chatham County and encouraged all residents to contact the Commissioners to let them know that Pooler’s citizens should not be treated as “second class”. Robin Shaw, whose husband is legally blind and requires dialysis, stated that Teleride has always picked her husband up at their door and dropped him off at the dialysis center, noting that the new proposed van will not, that it will only pick up at a bus stop, with the possibility of him having to transfer several times before arriving to the center. Ms. Shaw stated that discontinuing this service is not acceptable. Commissioner Kicklighter replied that it is not a done deal yet, that Chatham County Commissioners still have to vote on it.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested variance to place one (1) Billboard on the south side of I-16 between Pooler Parkway and Quacco Road
A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Byrd presented a request for a variance to place one (1) billboard on the south side of I-16 between Pooler Parkway and Quacco Road, stating that on January 21, 2003, a variance for three (3) billboards was approved by Council and only two (2) were built, leaving the one currently being requested. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the variance, based on the request meeting #1 and #3 of the criteria. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
2. Requested variance to leave the parking lot unpaved to operate a Used Car Dealership at 1121 W. Highway 80
A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Byrd presented the variance requested to leave the parking lot unpaved at a proposed used car dealership at 1121 W. Highway 80, stating that due to comments from Council in the public hearing, the petitioner has requested this item be tabled. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to table this item until the next meeting. Motion passed without opposition.
3. Approval of Site Plan for Daltile, a 12,357 square foot Office/Showroom/ Warehouse located at 110 Westside Business Park
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for Daltile, a 12,357 sq. ft. office/showroom/warehouse proposed at 110 Westside Business Park, stating that Planning & Zoning and staff have recommended approval. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
4. Acceptance of Maintenance Bond/approval of Right-of-Way Plat for East Haven Boulevard, Phase IV
Mr. Byrd presented this request from the developer of East Haven Boulevard to accept the maintenance bond and approve the right-of-way plat for Phase IV, stating that the public works department has inspected the project and approves the development to begin the 12 month warranty period. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to accept the maintenance bond and approve the right-of-way plat, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion passed without opposition.
5. Approval of Right-of-Way Plat for Blue Moon Crossing
Mr. Byrd presented this request, stating that this road will be private with City utilities. Councilwoman Benton made a motion to approve the right-of-way plat for Blue Moon Crossing. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
6. Release of performance bond/acceptance of maintenance bond for Westbrook Subdivision, Phase 8
Mr. Byrd presented this request from the developer of Westbrook Subdivision, stating that a final inspection was performed on Phase 8, with all punch list items being addressed. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to release the performance bond and accept the maintenance bond, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion passed without opposition.
7. Approval of Change Order #2 for Salter Street and Holly Avenue Water Main Replacements
Mr. Byrd presented a change order in the amount of $6285.50 to cover the cost of repairing the collapsed sewer line that occurred when the water line replacement project was being installed. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve Change Order #2. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition.
8. Approval of two (2) minor content changes to the IT (Information Technology) Policy
Mr. Byrd requested that this item be tabled in order to allow the city attorney to further review the changes and meet with Julie Moore, Human Resource Director. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Allen, to table this item. Motion passed without opposition.
9. Approval of revisions to Education Reimbursement Policy
Mr. Byrd presented revisions to the City’s Education Reimbursement Policy, noting Ms. Moore’s recommendations as well as Mr. Scheer’s in regards to the requirement of employees who participate to maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the revisions to include Mr. Scheer’s recommendations. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
10. Approval of Intergovernmental agreement between City of Pooler and Chatham County regarding the revisions to the new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps
Councilwoman Benton stepped down from her seat. Mr. Byrd presented an intergovernmental agreement to provide for the City of Pooler and Chatham County to conduct an independent professional engineering study of the Pipemaker’s Canal area which is affected by the new DFIRM, with the cost ($140,000) divided equally. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the agreement, with the City’s share of the cost not exceeding $70,000 and contingent upon Chatham County’s approval. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
11. Approval of the proposal from HGB&D to perform a new floodway study on the Pipemaker’s Canal
Mr. Byrd presented a proposal from Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Consulting Engineers for a new study of the flood conditions in the Pipemaker’s Canal basin, leading to the preparation of a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) for submittal to FEMA, as discussed in Item #10. Councilman Wall questioned whether the new drainage ditch in Bloomingdale will affect the Canal in a positive way. Steve Wohlfeil of HGB&D replied that the study will address the ditches in Bloomingdale as to their affect on the Canal, but will make no recommendations for the City of Bloomingdale, who have opted to not participate in the study. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the proposal, contingent upon Chatham County’s approval. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. Councilwoman Benton returned to her seat.
12. Release of Maintenance Bond for Park Avenue Extension
Mr. Byrd presented this request from the developer of Park Avenue Extension, stating that a final inspection was performed on November 25th. Councilman Allen made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Benton, to release the maintenance bond. Motion passed without opposition.
13. Discussion concerning New Year Holiday
Mr. Byrd stated that the City employees have December 31st and January 1st as holidays, which fall on a Wednesday and Thursday, and after speaking with several employees, it is their wishes to have Thursday and Friday off instead. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve January 1st and 2nd in 2009 as holidays for employees. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:10 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.