MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RICHMOND HILL November 05, 2002
Present from City Council: Richard R. Davis, Mayor; Councilmen: Harold Fowler, Floyd Hilliard, Van Hunter
Staff Present: Michael Melton, City Administrator; Linda Phillips, Asst. City Clerk; Steve Scholar, Director of Planning & Zoning; Vernon Rushing, Fire Chief; Billy Reynolds, Police Chief
Visitors: Dwayne Bloos, Victoria Bulwinkle, Marion and Elizabeth Bulwinkle, Pat Paruso, Kevin Trankle, Cheryl Holesovsky, Chris Swlderrl, Brian Watts, Brian Costlow, Linda Barker, Ernest and Beth Williams, Rick Fitzer, Evan Garrett, Alan Garrett, Alexys Long, Lisa Long, Owen Smith, Derrick Frye, Kelly Glenn, Tony Tharpe
Mayor Richard Davis called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. and welcomed Boy Scout Troop 400 to the council meeting. Councilman Fowler gave the invocation and Boy Scout Troop 400 led the pledge of allegiance.
Mayor Davis allowed Police Chief Billy Reynolds to move to the top of agenda to present two scholarships. Police Chief Reynolds explained the J. Edger Hoover Foundation gave the City of Richmond Hill two $500.00 scholarships to award to law enforcement related family members. This year Chief Reynolds presented the scholarships to Victoria Bulwinkle and Alexys Long. Victoria is an employee of the Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Department and is the daughter of Beth Bulwinkle, whom is employed with the Police Department. Alexys is the niece of Lisa Long, whom is employed with the Police Department. Mayor Davis congratulated and commended Victoria and Alexys on receiving the scholarships. Minutes of the regular meeting held October 15th, 2002, were approved with the following corrections: 1. Page 1, under Visitors, first name should be “Rick” instead of “Don.” 2. Page 6, item 5, fifth sentence, should be “Rick” instead of “Don.” Councilman Fowler made the motion to approve the minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all.
COMMITTEE REPORTS: Administration and Personnel: 1. Mayor Davis asked Council if they had any questions concerning the July and August Financial Statements. There being no questions Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the July and August 2002 Financial Statements. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. 2. Mayor Davis told Council the Blue Cross Insurance renewal was in their budget packet. Mayor Davis asked City Administrator Melton what the recommendation was? City Administrator Melton stated the recommendation was to continue the renewal as is and to absorb the 9% increase, with the employee portion to remain the same. Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the Blue Cross Blue Shield Renewal with the City picking up the cost increase of 9%. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. 3. Mayor Davis moved the Closed Session for Personnel evaluations on Billy Reynolds, Ursula Lee, Harvey Lashley, and Kathryn Busby to the end of the meeting.
Mayor Davis went back to the Public Hearing Minutes that was held on the same date as the October 15th, 2002 Council Meeting. Councilman Fowler approved the Public Hearing Minutes of October 15th, 2002 as submitted. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. Public Works: Councilman Fowler reminded Council they did not review the OMI written report submitted at the last meeting. Councilman Fowler commented on the excellent report submitted by OMI and that he didn’t see anything wrong with the report. Parks, Recreation and Culture: Nothing to report.
Planning and Zoning: 1. P & Z Director Steve Scholar presented a request from Scott Stafford for final Approval of his site and building plans for a 50’ x 100’ metal warehouse on Longwood Drive. This will be a sister building to the one that has just been constructed with Council’s approval. This property is zoned C-4.
Councilman Hilliard made a motion to approve the site and building plans for a 50’ x 100’ metal warehouse on Longwood Drive for Scott Stafford. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. 2. P & Z Director Scholar brought Council up to date on new projects for the City. a. The CVB will pay for Holiday banners as well as other banners for city light poles. These banners will probably be up about ten to eleven months out of the year. Mr. Scholar stated in his personal opinion this will add character to the city. The CVB is paying for all of the signs and brackets, estimated cost are about $35,000.00. The Christmas banners will be put up shortly. Councilman Hunter asked if there will be anything done on Hwy. 17 coming from Kings Ferry? Mr. Scholar explained the CVB is having 100 banners made for Christmas and every area of the city will have banners. City Administrator Melton told Council that area will also have some Christmas decorations. SEPCO is working on getting plans drawn up for lighting in that area as well. b. Mr. Scholar told Council the CVB has agreed to plant Crepe Myrtles down Hwy. 17 North and South to the city limits. Mayor Davis asked Mr. Scholar if DOT had approved this project. Mr. Scholar replied he was working with DOT and they’re initial response was it should not be a problem. c. Mr. Scholar told Council the CVB is also looking at having the city Welcome Sign at KOA replaced and directing one at the other end of Hwy. 17. Mr. Scholar stated the CVB had paid for an engineer to draw up plans for a new sign, this sign will be brick with columns. The CVB has also hired a landscape architect to work on the planting around the sign. As far as the actual planting the CVB is asking that the city go 50/50 with the cost of the Crepe Myrtles. This cost will be somewhere in the area of $5,000.00. Mr. Scholar stated that he is working with Mr. Gene Brogdon in getting with the organizations that sponsored the old sign the Exchange Club had installed at KOA. Mayor Davis said he thought that would be money well spent. Councilman Fowler stated he had been approached by several of the churches interested in the signs also. Mr. Scholar stated he had been in touch with the churches. The churches initially wanted to install a sign listing all the churches in the city as well as they’re ministerial plaque. Mr. Scholar stated he did not think DOT would approve this. Mr. Scholar suggested if they put the service organizations on the main sign, to put the ministerial plaque with a phone number as well for information purposes. Councilman
Fowler made a motion to provide $5,000.00 out of next year’s budget for the planting of Crepe Myrtles. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all.
Public Safety: Councilman Fowler commented on the good report Police Chief Reynolds submitted at the October 15th, meeting. Councilman Hunter asked newspaper reporter Tony Tharpe to get with Chief Reynolds about the two scholarships awarded earlier in the meeting, since Mr. Tharpe was not present at that time. Code Enforcement: Councilman Fowler asked City Administrator Melton what the latest report was on the A1 Motel. Mr. Melton reported he had written the owners giving them sixty days to correct the deficiencies at the motel. Mr. Melton stated the motel has significant as well as structural deficiencies. Councilman Hunter asked when the deficiencies have to be completed. Mr. Melton replied the first part of December.
Preservation and Beautification: Nothing to report. Public Relations: Nothing to report. Special Committees: UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Mayor Davis noted the next item on the agenda was discussion of Public Hearing for City Council pay raise. Mayor Davis told Council to comply with the law, you need to advertise it in the newspaper three times. Mayor Davis stated in all fairness, he thought the Council should hold a Public Hearing before the next City Council Meeting. Councilman Fowler made a motion to hold a Public Hearing on December 3 rd, 2002, at 7:00 P.M. before the next City Council Meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. Mayor Davis asked City Administrator Melton if there was any new information on the tennis courts. Mr. Melton stated that Mr. Paruso had some new information. Mr. Kevin Trankle addressed Council for Mr. Paruso. Mr. Trankle reported to Council that he had just returned from the Bryan County Commissioners Meeting. Mr. Trankle along with the Bryan County Commissioners feel the best alternative would be to beef up the existing tennis courts on Timber Trail and to build two lighted courts. Mr. Trankle told Council that the Bryan County Commissioners have agreed to replace the asphalt and resurface those courts to bring them back up to standards. The Bryan County
Commissioners have also agreed to install lights at the two newest courts. Mr. Pratt Lockwood, the Recreation Director for Bryan County will be the supervisor for this project. The Bryan County Commissioners stated they would build two new-lighted courts if the City of Richmond Hill would agree to pay half the cost. Bryan County has agreed to do all the grading, excavation, tree removal, and the packing of the dirt. The total cost of the entire project not including the grading, the excavation, tree removal, and the packing of the dirt would be $90,660.00. The cost for the new courts would be $58,420.00. The total cost of the new courts would not exceed $60,000.00, and the city’s part would not exceed $30,000.00. Mayor Davis commented that it sounded like a good plan to him. Councilman Fowler made a motion to go half of the money on the new tennis courts, not to exceed $60,000.00 overall and our cost not to exceed $30,000.00. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard. Councilman Hunter asked if there had been any follow-up with the Board of Education building these facilities on school property? Mr. Trankle replied that was the first place, he had went. The School Board told Mr. Trankle that with the expansion of the high school and the middle school, there was no additional room for the tennis courts. There was some property at the George Washington Carver School, but it would be more expensive in the long run to build. Mayor Davis asked if the new courts would be sufficient for the school teams. Mr. Trankle replied, he thought it would and the additional lighting will make a huge difference. Councilman Hilliard asked if the improvements and new courts would be done in a timely manner. Mr. Trankle told Council Mr. Lockwood is eager to get started on this project. Mayor Davis asked Council if they’re was any more questions or comments. The motion was carried by all. Mr. Trankle added that Bryan County Administrator David McCranie would be the point of contact between the City of Richmond Hill and Bryan County. Councilman Hilliard asked City Administrator Melton to thank Mr. McCranie and the Bryan County Commissioners for what they had done. City Administrator Melton asked Mayor Davis if they wanted to discuss the LOST proposal from Bryan County. Mayor Davis read the proposal from the Bryan County Commissioners on the LOST. The two offers to the city are as follows: a. A 30% share of the tax for five years. b. A 33% share of the tax for ten years. Mayor Davis recommended the 33% share of the tax for ten years, commenting this is closer to what the city had originally asked for. Councilman Fowler agreed with Mayor Davis. Councilman Fowler made a motion to accept the Bryan County Commissioners offer of the 33% share of the LOST for ten years. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all.
COMMUNICATIONS: Nothing to report.
1. Discussion of the possible building moratorium. Mayor Davis told Council the city had a signed agreement from Mr. Harold Reheiss of the EPD. The city should receive the permit in approximately 30 days. Mayor Davis told Council there was one issue that hasn’t been resolved and that is Bryan County has not signed the “Service Delivery Strategy Agreement.” The Bryan County Commissioners have publicly stated they will not sign the agreement. Until the agreement is signed the city will not receive the permit. Mayor Davis stated the city will have to take some measures to protect the city from violating its’ withdrawal permit. Mayor Davis stated he hoped it would never come to a building moratorium but the city may have to think in those terms. The city can’t sell water they don’t have. Councilman Fowler agreed with Mayor Davis stating he did not know what else the city could do to get Bryan County to sign the agreement. Mayor Davis recognized Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Williams, Mrs. Linda Barker, and Mr. Rick Fitzer, who are real estate agents, and building contractors in the city. Mrs. Williams stated they owned twenty lots in Richmond Place and had the option to purchase an additional twenty lots. Mr. Fitzer stated he owned seventy-five lots in Mainstreet and had millions of dollars invested in these lots. Both contractors said a building moratorium would be devastating to them and what could they do to help prevent this. Mayor Davis suggested speaking with the Bryan County Commissioners could be helpful in resolving this issue. Mr. Fitzer asked Mayor Davis what was Bryan County’s reluctance in signing the agreement. Mayor Davis explained the components of that agreement and what happened with the agreement. Mayor Davis invited any help the contractors could provide in this matter, also stating that Richmond Hill is pro-growth. Mr. Williams asked Mayor Davis when the building moratorium would go in to effect if one were issued? Mayor Davis replied that would be up to City Council, but it would probably be around March 31st, 2003. Councilman Fowler stated this would give Council time to decide what to do.
Councilman Fowler made a motion to recess. Councilman Hunter and carried by all.
The motion was seconded by
Motion to Enter Into a Closed Meeting of a City Council
Council member Fowler makes the following motion:
(1) That this Mayor and Council now enter into closed session as allowed by O.C.G.A. §50-14-4 and pursuant to advice by the City Attorney, for the purpose of discussing the following: Employee Performance Evaluations. (2) That this body, in open session, adopt a resolution authorizing and directing the mayor or presiding officer to execute an affidavit in compliance with O.C.G.A. §50-14-4, and that this body ratify the actions of the council taken in closed session and confirm that the subject matters of the closed session were within exceptions permitted by the open meetings law, said resolution to be in the form as attached hereto.
The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. Councilman Hilliard made a motion to re-enter into open session, seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the performance evaluation and grant the step increase for Chief Billy Reynolds. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the performance evaluation and grant the step increase for City Clerk Ursula Lee. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the performance evaluation and grant the step increase for Park Ranger Harvey Lashley. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the performance evaluation and make Kathryn Busby a regular employee of the City of Richmond Hill. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all.
Councilman Fowler made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign an affidavit for the closed session. The motion was seconded by Councilman Hilliard and carried by all. The resolution and affidavit is on file with the minutes. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:45 P. M. in a motion by Councilman Hilliard seconded by Councilman Hunter and carried by all. Respectfully submitted,
Linda Phillips Asst. City Clerk