The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on December 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 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 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 Bryan stated that the finance department has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for the year 2002, and commended the employees in the finance department.
Councilman Bryan made a motion to add Item #14 under New Business to approve the 2003 audit to be performed by Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPAs. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
Councilman Wall reported on the community service program and gave the police report, stating that the department responded to 599 calls. Fire Chief Jay Hillis gave the fire report, stating that the department responded by 52 calls and that defense driving classes were held recently for city employees.
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, that all parameters have been met at the wastewater treatment plant and that construction of the new plant is ahead of schedule.
Councilman Seay reported that the mini and pee wee football teams were champions for this year and that basketball signups are still ongoing.
Councilman Seay commended the city employees on the great job they are doing.
Councilwoman Tyler reported that 8 new single family residential permits have been issued this month, totaling 316 for the year with 5790 inspections performed.
Mayor Carter presented certificates to outgoing Councilmembers Jack Brewton, Robert Bryan and Billie Tyler, thanking them for their service.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of concept plan to rework intersection of Quacco Road with Pine Barren Road and to provide a separate entrance to Fred Williams’ Design Center
Councilman Cowart presented this item which was tabled in order to allow the developer to address comments from the Planning & Zoning Board, stating that the majority of the cost of this project will be paid by the developer with the city’s costs to be paid for through Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this concept plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Brewton and passed without opposition.
2. Second Reading on proposed 2004 budget
Councilman Bryan presented the 2004 budget, stating that it includes an increase in residential sanitation service from $12.00 to $13.00 a month, a three (3) percent across the board cost of living increase for eligible employees and salary increases for the positions of city clerk and zoning administrator. Discussion followed, wherein it was determined that the contract for the hotel/motel tax funds needed to be further reviewed prior to it being approved. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the budget on Second Reading, with the exception of the disbursement of hotel/motel tax funds (which will later be approved at a called meeting). Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of sketch plan for Hamilton Inn & Suites at corner of Parsons/Gray St.
Councilwoman Tyler presented this sketch plan for the proposed Hamilton Inn & Suites to be located at the corner of Parsons Avenue and Gray Street, noting the comments submitted by the city’s engineer regarding substandard right-of-way, drainage requirements and water/sewer capacity and made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve, contingent upon the project meeting the engineer’s requirements. Motion died due to lack of a second. Ms. Pam Lossing, real estate agent for the property, was present on the developer’s behalf, asking if it was common practice for the city to require the developer to show that roadways can accommodate the traffic associated with commercial projects, which Mayor Carter replied that this has been done in the past. Mr. Baxter stated that the 25' right-of-way shown on the plan for Gray Street was incorrect, that it has been determined there is a 30' right-of-way, which should be noted on the sketch plan. Councilman Bryan then made a motion to deny this sketch plan, based on the substandard streets, the errors on the sketch plan regarding right-of-way and the engineer’s comments not being addressed at this time. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart. Ms. Lossing questioned how commercial property could be located in an area with substandard roads, stating that the developer could only assume that this type of business was allowed. Mr. Scheer stated that it is Council’s responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and these concerns are taken into consideration. Mayor Carter then called for the vote on the motion. Motion passed with Councilwoman Tyler opposing.
2. Approval of minor subdivision of Parcel B-2, Godley Tract for International Paper Realty Corporation
Councilman Wall stepped down from his council seat. Mr. Baxter presented this minor subdivision, stating that it meets the city’s requirements. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
Councilman Wall returned to his seat.
3. Approval of sketch plan of proposed building addition and parking lot addition at Fred Williams’ Design Center
Michael Hussey of Fred Williams Homebuilders presented this sketch plan to add 1600 square feet for employee office space and additional parking to accommodate these employees. Councilman Cowart made a motion, based on Planning & Zoning and staff recommendation, to approve this sketch plan. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of site plan for Pooler Commons, Phase II
Councilwoman Tyler presented the site plan for Pooler Commons, Phase II, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed, and made a motion to approve. Motion was seconded by Councilman Wall and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of site plan for Bill Waits’ RV World on Continental Boulevard
Councilwoman Tyler presented the site plan for the proposed Bill Waits’ RV World to be located on Continental Boulevard. There were questions concerning the fact that Planning & Zoning has recommended approval without requiring the total number of trees being planted. Mr. Waits replied that there are only four (4) trees on the lot and that he plans to remove three (3) and plant 26 new trees. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this site plan with 27 trees, with the condition as follows: “The owner of this property accepts full responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the stormwater management system. Should the system fail to function correctly, the owner will be responsible for all costs and actions required to correct the problems so that the site remains in compliance with city code and does not adversely impact adjacent properties.” Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
6. Approval of minor subdivision off of Triple B Trail for Rayford Barnwell
Mr. Baxter presented this minor subdivision request from Mr. Rayford Barnwell, stating that it meets all requirements. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Cowart, to approve. Motion passed without opposition.
7. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for Michael Collins at Daiquiri Depot
Councilman Brewton stepped down from his council seat. Mr. Baxter presented this request from Michael Collins for an alcoholic beverage license for the new Daiquiri Depot on Pooler Parkway, stating that Police Chief Chan has recommended approval. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilwoman Tyler, to approve this license, including Sunday Sales. Motion passed with Councilman Cowart and Councilman Seay opposing.
8. Approval of alcoholic beverage license for William Johnson at Comfort Inn & Suites
Councilman Brewton remained away from his council seat. Chief Chan presented this request from William Johnson, General Manager of the Comfort Inn & Suites, for an alcoholic beverage license for the motel, stating that the motel is under new ownership and management. After discussion, Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this license. Motion was seconded by Councilwoman Tyler and passed without opposition.
Councilman Brewton returned to his council seat.
9. Approval of Franchise Agreement with Hargray for telecommunications service
Mr. Scheer presented this franchise agreement with Hargray of Georgia, Inc. to provide telecommunications service, stating that the fees have been increased to five (5) percent. After discussion, Councilman Bryan made a motion, seconded by Councilman Brewton, to approve. Motion passed without opposition.
10. Approval of vehicle to be used for first responders program
Mr. Baxter presented this request from Fire Chief Hillis to use one of the old police vehicles that has been placed out of service for the first responder program, and after discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Brewton, to approve this request. Motion passed without opposition.
11. Approval of budget adjustment for fire department
Mr. Baxter asked that this item be removed from the agenda, due to the fact that the funds have been budgeted in 2004. This request was honored.
12. Approval of resolution regarding 2003 GEFA loan
Mr. Baxter presented this resolution regarding the city’s application for a 2003 Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority loan which will allow for water lines to be run to the Morgan Tract and the property on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway that has been annexed into the city. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this resolution. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
13. First Reading on franchise ordinance for Hargray to provide telecommunications service
Mr. Scheer presented this ordinance regarding a franchise for Hargray of Georgia, Inc. to provide telecommunications service and for the company to pay the city five (5) percent of their gross revenue. Councilman Wall made a motion to approve this ordinance on First Reading. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
14. Approval for Karp, Ronning & Tindol, CPAs, to perform 2003 audit
Councilman Bryan presented this request from Rick Tindol, auditor, to perform the city’s 2003 audit, stating that the fee has increased $140 from last year. After discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 7:17 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Bryan and passed without opposition.