The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on September 15, 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 Mayor Carter 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 Wall, seconded by Councilman Bryan, 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 thanked Buddy Salter who filled in as interim fire chief after the passing of Chief Jimmy Fields and presented the new Fire Chief, Jay Hillis. Chief Hillis reported that the department has been identifying fire hydrants. Councilman Wall reported on the community service program, gave the police and fire reports and presented two (2) letters commending Officer Karen Zantow.
Councilman Cowart reported that the street and drainage departments have performed routine maintenance and has prepared for the hurricane if it hits this area. Further, that the park crew has planted flowers in Joe Baker Park and that 102 streets have been swept.
Councilman Brewton reported that the water and sewer departments have performed routine maintenance and that the slab at the new wastewater treatment plant will be poured soon.
Councilman Seay reported that football practice is still underway, with the Rama being held on Saturday at Port Wentworth.
Councilman Seay thanked all the employees, especially Officer Zantow.
Councilwoman Tyler reported that 16 new single family residential permits have been issued this month, totaling 245 for the year and that the permit for the Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant has been issued.
Mayor Carter read aloud a proclamation regarding “Tommy Roach Day” to be Wednesday, September 16, 2003.
Dennis Jones, Deputy Director of the Chatham Emergency Management Agency presented the County-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan, asking that it be made available to the public for comments.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Renewal of contract with Georgia International Maritime Trade Center Authority
Councilman Bryan presented this item which was tabled on May 19, 2003 to wait until the Chatham County Commission voted on the Cities of Savannah and Bloomingdale’s annexation requests. Due to the impending expiration of this contract (September 30, 2003), Councilman Bryan stated that a decision needed to be made and since Councilman Cowart is on the Authority’s board, he asked him to comment. Councilman Cowart stated that since he has been on the board, there have been several referrals for motels/conventions sent to Pooler and that a kiosk has been ordered and then made a motion to approve the renewal of this contract through December 2006. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall. Discussion followed wherein it was the general consensus of the Council to renew this contract for one (1) fiscal year, to allow the Authority to prepare for their budget. Councilman Wall stated that since the Authority is actually doing something for the city, the Council should cooperate with them and renew this contract and asked that the Pooler Area Chamber of Commerce regularly check on these referrals and report back to the Council. Councilman Brewton asked that a representative from the city remain on the Authority’s board at all times. Councilman Cowart then amended his motion to extend the contract with the Georgia International Maritime Trade Center Authority for a period of one (1) fiscal year to be reviewed prior to the expiration date. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
2. Second Reading on a zoning text amendment to add pawn shops as a conditional use in C-1, a light commercial zoning
Councilwoman Tyler presented this amendment to the zoning text and made a motion to approve on Second Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. Councilman Wall asked that Planning & Zoning come up with recommendations regarding what type of activities are going to be allowed.
3. Second Reading on amendment to noise ordinance
Mr. Baxter presented this amendment to the noise ordinance which would restrict outdoor events to not exceed certain decibel levels, noting that racing events at the Oglethorpe Speedway Park would be exempted due to the racetrack being in operation for many years prior to this amendment. Mr. Scheer stated that he has made minor changes. Ted Austad, manager of OSP, presented Council with concern about the restrictive decibel levels and the fact that the ordinance outlined “weekend” racing events only. Mr. Austad stated that there are practice sessions held on Tuesdays and then assured the Council that no event, including concerts held at the racetrack, would continue past 12:00 midnight. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this amendment to the noise ordinance on Second Reading, removing the provision regarding decibel levels. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton. Discussion followed wherein Chief Chan requested time to research other municipalities’ ordinances and bring a recommendation to Council regarding decibel levels. Councilman Wall withdrew his motion; Councilman Brewton withdrew his second. Councilman Cowart then made a motion to table this item. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition. Mayor Carter stated that Mr. Austad has agreed to not allow the concert being held this month to go on past 12:00 midnight.
Councilman Wall stated that he is still receiving complaints about the condition of the house/yard at 210 S. Rogers Street and asked Mr. Scheer if anything could be done. Mr. Scheer stated that the owner could be cited under the new nuisance ordinance.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of site plan for Family Fun Amusement Park
Councilwoman Tyler presented the site plan for the Family Fun Amusement Park on E. Highway 80, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed, and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition. Councilman Wall presented his concern over the bus parking, questioning whether it would create a problem with visibility on Highway 80. Terry Coleman of Kern-Coleman Engineers replied that it would not.
2. Approval of final plat for Forest Lakes Subdivision, Phase I
Councilwoman Tyler presented the final plat for Forest Lakes Subdivision, Phase I, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed, and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve, contingent upon the city attorney approving the bond. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
3. Award bid for pressure control valve station project
Mr. Baxter presented bids for the pressure control valve station project, recommending it be awarded to the low bidder, Southern Champion Construction, Inc. in the amount of $99,228.00. Councilman Bryan made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to award the bid to Southern Champion Construction, Inc. Motion passed without opposition.
4. Approval of list of streets to be resurfaced under the Local Assistance Road Program
Councilman Cowart presented a list of streets to be recommended for resurfacing under the Local Assistance Road Program (LARP), stating that Coleman Boulevard has been added in place of Beatty Street, and made a motion to approve this list. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan. Discussion followed wherein Councilwoman Tyler questioned why Coleman Boulevard was put on, due to the fact that there is a lot of construction traffic in that area. Mr. Baxter replied that the City of Savannah is going to resurface their portion of Coleman Boulevard and that this would complete the project. Councilman Cowart amended his motion to approve this list, removing Coleman Boulevard and adding Beatty Street back. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition. One of the residents on Middleton Street asked if E. Tietgen Street could be opened up all the way to Skinner Avenue, to alleviate traffic on E. Whatley Street. Mayor Carter instructed Mr. Baxter to check on this matter.
5. Approval of street resurfacing contract with Department of Transportation
Mr. Baxter presented a street resurfacing contract with the Department of Transportation. Councilwoman Tyler stated that she was concerned about resurfacing Brighton Woods Drive with new residential construction pending in that area. Mayor Carter agreed with Councilwoman Tyler and asked that the street and building departments work together when preparing lists of streets for resurfacing. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this contract. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
6. Approval of Disaster Recovery Services Agreement
Mr. Scheer presented this agreement which would “piggyback” Chatham County’s agreement for disaster recovery services. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this Agreement. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
7. First Reading on zoning text amendment regarding definition of “height of building”
A public hearing was held prior. Councilwoman Tyler presented this amendment to the zoning text to remove the sentence that states “Height is not to exceed three floors.”, and made a motion to approve on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Councilman Seay made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session at approximately 7:29 p.m. to discuss personnel and legal matters. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
Mayor Carter called the meeting back to order at 8:32 p.m.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Wall made a motion to adjourn at approximately 8:33 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on September 15, 2003. Mayor Carter called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilman 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 purpose of this public hearing was to discuss a requested zoning text amendment regarding the definition of “height of building”. Mr. Glen Sawyer has petitioned the city for an amendment to the zoning ordinance regarding definitions, particularly to delete the provision that states “Height is not to exceed three floors”. Mr. Cal Patel, developer, addressed Council, stating that he is proposing to build a four-story motel which will provide accommodations for conventions and meetings on the first floor, with the other three (3) floors being guest rooms. Councilwoman Tyler stated that Planning & Zoning would be looking at the height requirements in other zoning districts.
There being no further business to discuss, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:52 p.m.