Council Minutes March 15, 2004

CITY OF POOLER
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
March 15, 2004

The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on March 15, 2004. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart,Jr., Mike Lamb, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. 

The invocation was given by Mr. Baxter and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Cowart. 

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: 

FINANCE

Councilman Lamb presented bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Wall reported on the community service program and gave the police report. Fire Chief Jay Hillis gave the fire report. 

STREETS/DRAINAGE

Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance, that roadside maintenance (grass cutting) has begun and that several paving projects will be underway soon. 

WATER/SEWER

Councilman Allen reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that all parameters at the wastewater treatment plant have been met. 

RECREATION

Councilman Seay reported that baseball and softball practice is soon to begin, with around 43 teams participating and 90 children playing t-ball. Further, that the tumbling recital was held last Saturday. 

PERSONNEL

Councilman Seay reported that the committee is still working on the revisions to the drug policy and that they have been asked to review the city’s “Code of Ethics” to resolve a matter in regards to Council not being able to vote on a particular issue due to the fact that four (4) members of city council had to abstain due to a conflict of interest. Councilman Seay made a motion to add Item #12 under New Business to act on this issue. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

BUILDING/ZONING

Councilwoman Benton reported that 9 new single family residential permits have been issued this month, totaling 46 for the year, with 1355 inspections performed. 

Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:

1. Approval of water and sewer master plan for the “keyslot” property on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway 

Mr. Baxter presented this item which was tabled in order to allow the Council time to review it. Mr. Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers was present to answer any questions. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay. Discussion followed wherein Councilwoman Benton stated that she has received negative comments from developers regarding the route of these lines. Mr. Baxter stated that this plan provides the most economical way to get water and sewer to this area and that he and Mr. Lovett will be meeting with the property owners/developers on Tuesday to discuss this with them. Councilman Allen questioned whether or not this plan provided for disposal of gray water (effluent). Mr. Lovett replied that it would cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars and that there was no where to put the effluent, and stated that this would be discussed with the developers. Jack Brewton, resident, questioned whether the city was going to dig a well for this area or tie into existing lines. Mr. Baxter replied that another metering station would be installed with lines being tied into the City of Savannah’s water supply and that the sewer line would be connected to Pooler’s treatment plant. Motion then passed without opposition. 

Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed: 

1. Request for conditional use to operate a family home daycare at 221 Longleaf Circle

A public hearing was held prior wherein no opposition was presented. Councilwoman Benton presented this request from Jan Humble to operate a family home daycare out of her residence at 221 Longleaf Circle and made a motion to approve, contingent upon the fence being completed prior to operating this daycare. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

2. Approval of Final PUD for The Village Green Townhomes in the Southwest Quadrant/Savannah Quarters Development

Councilwoman Benton presented the Final PUD for The Village Green Townhomes and made a motion to approve, contingent upon a 32' rear setback for accessory buildings being added to the construction plans and the subdivision plat. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

3. Approval of preliminary construction plan for The Village Green Townhomes

Councilwoman Benton presented the preliminary construction plan for The Village Green Townhomes and made a motion to approve, contingent upon EPD approval being received prior to construction beginning and a 32' rear setback for accessory buildings being added to the plat. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

4. Approval of final subdivision plat for The Village Green Townhomes

Councilwoman Benton presented the final subdivision plat for The Village Green Townhomes. Councilman Wall expressed concern about approving this final plat without EPD approval. Steve Wohlfeil of HGB&D Engineers addressed Council, stating that the owner’s fiscal year is closing March 31st and approval of this plat is necessary to close on this property. Mr. Wohlfeil asked that Council approve the plat, subject to EPD approval, or issue a statement regarding the plat being acceptable to the city’s requirements. Councilman Cowart expressed his concern over the fact that all three (3) issues regarding this project have come before the Council in the same night, stating that this has never been done before, which Mayor Carter commented that this would set a precedence. Cotter Christian of Savannah Quarters was present at the meeting and reiterated the fact that approval of this plat is required for the sale. Councilman Wall made a motion to table this item until EPD approval is received. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Cowart opposing. 

5. Approval of preliminary construction plan for Glen Sawyer’s commercial subdivision on Governor Treutlen Road

Councilwoman Benton presented the preliminary construction plan for Glen Sawyer’s commercial subdivision on Governor Treutlen Road and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. 

6. Approval of engineering proposal for clearing and grading plan at new recreation park site

Mr. Baxter presented this proposal for engineering services for the clearing and grading plan at the new recreation park site in an amount not to exceed $12,500 for Task A without prior approval of the city and Task B being performed on an hourly rate. Mr. Lovett was present to answer any questions. Councilman Seay made a motion to approve this proposal. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall. Councilman Cowart questioned if this work could be performed in-house. Mr. Baxter replied that he was instructed at the retreat in January to get a proposal from the engineer. Councilman Wall stated that the engineer will oversee this project, making sure the dirt is put in the right places and stated that this project has been delayed long enough. Mayor Carter then called for the vote on the motion. Motion passed with Councilman Cowart opposing. 

7. Approval of Change Order #2 for new fire station project

Mr. Baxter presented this change order in the amount of $3895.00 which will provide for the extension of fire rated gypsum board at two hour rated fire wall to cover rigid frame column and beam, change electrical service at the grinder pump, provide electrical rough-in for the dining/training area, provide an exit light and to delete a previous credit for relocating the transformer closer to the building. Robert Armstrong of HGB&D was present to answer any questions. Councilman Cowart questioned if these items were originally in the contract or added later. Mr. Armstrong replied that the items were both original and additional. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to approve this change order. Motion passed without opposition.

8. Approval of contract with River Hills Environmental for installation of monitoring well at old maintenance shop site on Rogers Street

Mr. Baxter presented this contract for the installation of a monitoring well at the old maintenance shop site on Rogers Street, stating that it is required by rhe EPD based on the last monitoring report on February 18th. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this contract in the amount of $1900.00. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed without opposition.

9. Approval to release performance bond/accept maintenance bond for Stonewater Subdivision, Phase II

Mr. Baxter presented this request from the developer of Stonewater Subdivision, Phase II, stating that all of the improvements are complete and have been inspected. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve the release of the maintenance bond and to accept the maintenance bond. Motion was seconded by Councilman Allen and passed without opposition. 

10. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Daniel T. Cronk at Ruby Tuesday

Mr. Baxter presented this application for an alcoholic beverage license for Daniel T. Cronk at the new Ruby Tuesday restaurant, stating that Police Chief C. E. Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Benton and passed with Councilman Allen and Councilman Cowart opposing. 

11. Approval of budget adjustments to complete 2003 audit

Mr. Baxter presented budget adjustments for 2003 to complete the audit. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to approve. Motion passed without opposition.

12. Revision and/or repeal of City of Pooler’s Code of Ethics

Councilman Seay stated that since the election there are now three (3) employees of International Paper on City Council and a matter arose wherein an item could not be voted on recently due to these councilmembers as well as Mayor Carter having to abstain due to a conflict of interest. Therefore, the personnel committee was instructed to resolve this issue by reviewing the city’s newly adopted “Code of Ethics”. Councilman Seay pointed out the fact that elected officials are sworn by oath to be ethical, that the city’s charter has a provision on prohibitions and that the State of Georgia has a code of ethics that applies to city officials. Further, that after consulting with the city attorney, the personnel committee has determined that there was no other alternative but to rescind the city’s “Code of Ethics”. Councilman Seay then made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to rescind the City of Pooler’s “Code of Ethics”.

Discussion followed wherein Councilman Cowart stated that a modification to the Code could have fixed this problem, which Councilwoman Benton questioned whether or not this was possible. Mr. Scheer replied that anytime you try to make something more restrictive than State law, you set yourself up for a conflict. Councilman Cowart reminded Council that the “Code of Ethics” was a Georgia Municipal Association program offered for cities to become “certified cities of excellence”. Mayor Carter called for the vote on the motion. Motion passed with Councilman Cowart opposing. 

Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:21 p.m. to discuss legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition. 

Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 7:50 p.m. 

Councilman Cowart brought a matter to the attention of the Council in regards to the lighting of the I-95/I-16 interchange which the State has put a rush on due to the upcoming G8 Summit and made a motion to add Item #13 under New Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition. 

13. Authorization for negotiation of contract for I-95/I-16 lighting

Councilman Cowart made a motion to authorize the mayor to negotiate a contract for one-third (1/3) of the construction and material cost for lighting the I-95/I-16 interchange. 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 7:52 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held prior to the regular city council meeting on March 15, 2004. Mayor Buddy Carter called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Bruce Allen, Travis Cowart, Jr., Mike Lamb, Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Rebecca Benton. City Manager Dennis Baxter and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.

The purpose of this public hearing was to discuss a requested conditional use to operate a family home daycare at 221 Longleaf Circle. Ms. Jan Humble presented this request, stating that she intends to keep four (4) full-time and two (2) part-time children in her home. Councilman Wall asked that the fence at this property be completed before the daycare business is opened. 

There being no further business to discuss, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:53 p.m.

City of Pooler, GA | 100 US HW 80, Pooler, GA 31322
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Date of Authorization: 2/13/08