The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on April 7, 2003. Mayor Buddy Carter called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Jack Brewton, Robert Bryan, Travis Cowart, Jr., Wayne Seay, Stevie Wall and Councilwoman Billie Tyler. 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 Seay.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Cowart, seconded by Councilman Brewton, with no opposition. The minutes of the February 24, 2003, called meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilwoman Tyler, seconded by Councilman Seay, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Bryan presented bills for payment and made a motion to pay, subject to funds. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Wall gave the police and fire reports and reported on the community service program and presented a letter thanking the fire department for assistance during an accident on I-95. Corporal John Schmitt of the police department addressed Council in regards to a blood drive the police association is sponsoring, asking for consideration to allow those employees who donate blood to receive two (2) hours compensatory time. Councilman Cowart made a motion to add this request as Item #12 under New Business. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Brewton reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance.
Councilman Seay reported that baseball and softball practice has begun with the Rama scheduled for April 26th and that dance and tumbling classes are ongoing.
Councilman Seay requested input from the Council in regards to updating the Charter.
Councilwoman Tyler reported that 30 new single family residential permits were issued in March, totaling 98 for the year, with 517 inspections performed.
Mayor Carter reminded Council of a meeting being requested by the City of Bloomingdale to discuss the bridge on Wildcat Dam Road, the senior citizens program and the wastewater treatment plant and informed Council of the City of Savannah=s intent to annex land in West Chatham County, which a press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 8th at 10:00 a.m. at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of Amendment to Agreement with Savannah Quarters, LLP regarding water and sewer services
Mr. Baxter presented this Agreement, stating that changes were made regarding the reservation of right to charge the owner for spray irrigation over the owner=s existing sewer flows in times of drought. There were questions as to the definition of Atimes of drought@ and whether or not the developer has approved this amendment. Mr. Bill Lovett of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers stated that Atimes of drought@ shall be defined as any period of time during which the State of Georgia issues restrictions or limitations on outdoor water use. Further, that the developer has not yet approved this amendment to the agreement. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item to allow the city attorney to further define this provision. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
2. Discussion concerning SEDA=s alternate plan for masonry wall behind Country Homes Subdivision
Mr. Rick Winger of SEDA addressed Council in regards to a letter he recently submitted to Mayor and Council outlining the alternatives that were presented to the residents, which Council did not receive, and asked that he be able to amend the proposal. Mayor Carter asked that Mr. Winger meet with the residents, Councilman Cowart and himself to discuss this proposal. Mr. Gary Smith stated that he and the residents were very close to settling this matter.
3. Second Reading on ordinance regarding establishment of the Pooler Economic Development Authority
Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item indefinitely to allow Council more time to look into the details of this ordinance. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Rick Tindol to present 2002 audit
Rick Tindol of Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPAs, introduced Mr. Carl Hoffman, manager of the city=s audit. Mr. Hoffman presented the 2002 audit, stating that the City of Pooler ranks among the best in the nation.
2. Award bid for Rogers Street widening project
Mr. Baxter presented the bids for the widening of Rogers Street between the Highway 80 pair, noting the low bid in the amount of $152,600.00, which will be funded by the State of Georgia. Councilman Cowart made a motion to award the bid to Griffin Contracting, Inc. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of revised site plan for Ruby Tuesday=s
Councilwoman Tyler presented the revised site plan for the Ruby Tuesday=s Restaurant and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of site plan for new fire station
Councilwoman Tyler presented the site plan for the new fire station on Pooler Parkway, and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of preliminary construction plan for Quacco Road Subdivision
Councilwoman Tyler presented the preliminary construction plan for Quacco Road Subdivision, stating that all the engineer=s comments have been addressed. After discussion, Councilwoman Tyler made a motion to approve this plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
6. Approval of final plat/acceptance of maintenance bond for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 4A
Councilwoman Tyler presented the final plat for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 4A, stating that all comments have been addressed, and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition. Councilman Wall questioned whether the additional amenities have been proposed. Mr. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman Company stated that the developer would have to answer that question.
7. Release of performance bonds/acceptance of maintenance bond for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 1
Mr. Baxter stated that all comments have been addressed and that an inspection has been performed. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Tyler, to release the performance bonds and accept the maintenance bond for The Villages at Godley Station, Northern Tract, Phase 1. Motion passed without opposition.
8. Approval of minor subdivision of 53.04 acre tract on S. Rogers Street
Mr. Baxter presented this minor subdivision of 53.04 acres on S. Rogers Street owned by the West Chatham Baptist Church. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to approve this minor subdivision. Motion passed without opposition.
9. Approval of List of Roadways for the use of speed detection devices
Mr. Baxter presented the List of Roadways as submitted by the Department of Transportation to be approved for the use of speed detection devices. Councilman Seay questioned why Newton Avenue was not on this list. Chief Chan stated that it would be added and that an error was found regarding the length of a roadway, which would be corrected prior to the list being submitted to the State. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this List. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
10. Approval of proposal from Hargray of Georgia, Inc. regarding telecommunications and video franchise fees
Mr. Scheer presented this proposal from Hargray of Georgia, Inc. regarding a four percent (4%) franchise fee for telecommunication services and a five percent (5%) franchise fee for cablevision services. Attorney Wes Jones, representing Hargray, gave a brief history of the events that have taken place since the original franchise agreement was entered into in 2001, stating that Hargray initially began installing these lines prior to the agreement being approved, due to the urgency of developers wanting these services installed in their new subdivisions. Further, that he met with the city attorney then, Wiley Ellis, to work out a franchise agreement and that there was some confusion later as to what the agreement actually required Hargray to pay. Mr. Baxter stated that the Council was mislead by representatives from Hargray as to what type of lines (fiber optic or copper) the original franchise agreement covered. Further, that the city was lead to believe that Hargray would pay $1.00 per linear foot for all lines installed, not just fiber optic. Mr. Jones stated that the city has received over $50,000 for the lines that have been installed and asked for Council=s consideration in adopting an agreement which is typical to the one the Georgia Municipal Association recommends. Mr. Scheer recommended that the franchise fees for both telecommunications and cablevision be set at a rate of five percent (5%). Councilman Wall stated that he received numerous complaints regarding the contractor breaking water lines and tearing up residents= yards when installing these lines and asked that the need for immediate repairs be addressed in the agreement. After further discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to table this item until an agreement is drawn up. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
11. First Reading on ordinance regarding mixed drink excise tax
Mr. Baxter presented this ordinance regarding a mixed drink excise tax which would require all businesses that dispense distilled spirits by the drink to pay a tax of three percent (3%) of the purchase price of the drink. Councilman Brewton stated that any type of tax should be an equal tax imposed on all people, not just a certain group. Mayor Carter stated that this excise tax would be a way to increase revenue without raising property taxes. Councilman Wall requested that the business owners be notified prior to this ordinance being adopted. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to table this item. Motion passed with Councilman Seay opposing.
12. Approval of two (2) hours compensatory time for city employees who donate blood
on May 16, 2003
Councilman Wall made a motion to approve two (2) hours of compensatory time for city employees who donate blood at the Pooler Police Association sponsored blood drive on May 16, 2003, in light of the national emergency. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 8:01 p.m. to discuss legal and personnel matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 9:00 p.m. Councilman Cowart brought Item #1 under Old Business back up for discussion regarding the Amendment to the Agreement with Savannah Quarters, LLP for water and sewer services and made a motion to authorize Mayor Carter, Mr. Baxter and Mr. Scheer to meet with representatives from Savannah Quarters, LLP to negotiate an agreement. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 9:04 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.