The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on October 6, 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, Steve Wall and Councilwoman Billie Tyler. City Manager Dennis Baxter was also present. City Attorney Steve Scheer was absent. Attorney Travis Windsor was 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 made 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 reported on the community service program and gave the police report. Fire Chief Jay Hillis reported on upcoming activities for “Fire Prevention Week” and stated that the “First Responder Program” will be up and running soon. Councilman Wall reminded everyone that a barbecue dinner sale will be held this weekend as a fundraiser for the fire department.
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 and that all parameters have been met at the wastewater treatment plant and presented pictures of the progress at the new plant.
Councilman Seay reported that the football rama was held a few weeks ago in Port Wentworth and that the regular season is underway. Further, that the homecoming parade was held last Saturday, with the games to be held this Thursday and a dance on Friday evening.
Councilman Seay reported that the committee is still working on amendments to the employee handbook and thanked all city employees for the fine job they are doing.
Councilwoman Tyler reported that 36 new single family residential permits were issued in September, totaling 263 for the year, with two (2) commercial permits being issued and 499 inspections performed.
Ms. Glenda Anderson, Government Chairperson for the Coastal Empire United Way Campaign, addressed Council in regards to the charity’s campaign.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Second Reading on zoning text amendment regarding definition of “height of building”
Councilwoman Tyler presented this amendment to the zoning text to delete “height is not to exceed three floors” and made a motion to approve on Second Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
Councilman Wall presented Council with the copies of the traffic study that was performed on Symons/Newton Streets and E. Mell/S. Skinner Avenue, stating that the engineer has found that speed bumps should not be placed on Symons Street, but that a neighborhood speed watch should be started to monitor people speeding. Councilman Wall further stated that the traffic study does state that speed bumps could be placed on E. Mell Street, but it cautions that they will only divert traffic to another street.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Pooler Crossroads Chamber of Commerce’s request to waive permit fees for upcoming “Flying Pig Festival”
The “Flying Pig”, also known as Ms. Anne Smith, addressed Council, requesting that the permit fees be waived for the upcoming festival and for the city to provide security. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Bryan, to approve the waiver of permit fees and for the city to provide security. Motion passed without opposition.
2. Approval to release the maintenance bond for cutting of Morgan Street
Mr. Baxter stated that an inspection has been performed. Councilman Wall made a motion to release the maintenance bond for the cutting of Morgan Street. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
3. Approval of preliminary construction plan for “The Grove” at Brighton Woods Subdivision
Hal Kraft of Hussey, Gay, Bell & DeYoung Engineers presented the preliminary construction plan for “The Grove” at Brighton Woods Subdivision, stating that it meets all the requirement of the city’s ordinance. Councilman Wall expressed his concern over traffic and drainage, requesting that construction traffic be limited to the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and that the developer consider purchasing additional land adjacent to this subdivision to provide a second entrance. Councilman Cowart stated that he is also concerned with the additional traffic this development would create. Mr. Kraft stated that Brighton Woods Drive would not be overloaded and that the master plan submitted in the 1980's was approved for 258 residences. Councilman Wall reminded the Council that when the master plan was submitted, the developer was told that a second entrance would have to be provided. Mr. Baxter stated that the master plan provided for an alternate access from Winskie Road, but that the residents opposed it. Councilman Wall requested that the construction plan be sent back to the developers for them to address the aforementioned concerns. Councilman Cowart reiterated the drainage concerns and questioned what type of ponds were planned. Mr. Kraft replied that there are two (2) detention ponds shown on the plan and that a storm drainage analysis was performed on the land. Councilman Seay reminded Council that the drainage problem was most important. Councilwoman Tyler stated that an alternate construction access should be considered. Mr. Roger Livingston, Mr. Dwayne Johnson, Ms. Suzanne Upchurch and Ms. Jacqueline Seymour, residents of Brighton Woods Subdivision, presented their concern over the drainage problems that still exist, the need for an alternate access and the additional traffic on Brighton Woods Drive, which would create a safety issue in the neighborhood. Mr. Kraft assured the residents that their concerns have been addressed in this plan and that it has been designed to meet the city’s ordinances. Further, that he realizes there have been drainage problems in the past all throughout Chatham County. After further discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to table this item to allow the developer to look at the possibility of providing an alternate entrance and to make more drainage improvements. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
4. Award bid for SCADA system
Mr. Baxter asked that this item be tabled at the request of the city’s engineer. Councilman Wall made a motion to table. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of lease agreement with MedStar to rent portion of fire station
Mr. Baxter presented a lease agreement between the City of Pooler and MedStar to allow a portion of the fire station on S. Rogers Street to be rented. This will allow 24-hour ambulance service in the city. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this lease agreement. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
6. Approval of agreement with Department of Transportation for lighting the I-16/I-95 interchange
Mr. Baxter presented this agreement with DOT for the lighting project at the I-16 and I-95 interchange, noting that the State has agreed to pay for one-half of the installation costs, up to $100,000 and that Chatham County and the City of Savannah have agreed to each fund 25% of the maintenance/utility costs of the lights. After discussion about how the remaining installation costs could be funded, Councilman Wall made a motion to table this item to look into this matter further. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
7. Approval of resolution regarding adoption of Short Term Work Program 2003-2007 Update
Mayor Carter read aloud a resolution to adopt the Short Term Work Program 2003-2007 Update. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this resolution. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
8. Discussion concerning expansion of recreation park on S. Rogers Street
Councilman Brewton addressed Council in regards to the possibility of using additional land that is adjacent to the recreation park on S. Rogers Street for ballfields. Councilman Seay stated that a plan has been around for years and has been denied because of the condition of the land and the fact that there is not enough land for the number of ballfields needed. Further, that any money spent at this park should be used for improvements to the gym and that using money for further expansion of the land on S. Rogers Street is not worth the expense. Councilman Bryan requested that the city explore the possibility of selling the land. Councilman Brewton stated that the current park should be redesigned, that the city needs land for future effluent disposal, recommending that a municipal golf course be looked into. Councilman Seay stated that money should be put towards the construction of the new park. Councilman Wall agreed. After further discussion, Mayor Carter instructed Mr. Baxter to obtain bids to have this property surveyed.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:41 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.