The regular meeting of the Pooler City Council was held on March 17, 2008. Mayor pro tem Rebecca Benton called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Present were Councilmen Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay and Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present. Mayor Mike Lamb was out of town and Councilman Bruce Allen was absent due to having to work.
The invocation was given by Councilman Cowart and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Royal.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as printed upon a motion by Councilman Wall, seconded by Councilman Seay, with no opposition.
Report from the Standing Committees:
Councilman Seay stated that due to the new accounting methods, a monthly report of bills will be submitted at the first meeting.
Deputy Chief Mark Revenew reported on the police department activities since the last meeting. Interim Fire Chief Ashley Fields reported that the fire department responded to 75 calls in March.
STREET/DRAINAGE/PARKS & TREES
Councilman Cowart reported that the street, drainage and parks and trees departments performed routine maintenance and read aloud a letter from Lance Kline, resident on Symons Street, in regards to an ongoing drainage problem, asking Mr. Byrd to meet with the City engineer to determine what needs to be done to correct the problem.
Councilman Wall reported that the water and sewer departments performed routine maintenance and that all parameters are being met at the wastewater treatment plant.
Councilman Royal reported that t-ball signups end on Friday, that the baseball/softball season will begin soon and that indoor soccer games begin
Mayor pro tem Benton reported that eight (8) new single family residential, and two (2) commercial permits have been issued since the last meeting, totaling 45 single family residential and 18 commercial permits for the year, with 2083 inspections performed.
Chief Stan York of the Statesboro Police Department, on behalf of the Georgia State Certification Program, presented Deputy Chief Revenew with the City’s re-certification of the police department’s accreditation, stating that the Pooler Police Department and its personnel are among the finest in the area. Certification Manager Sandy Talley, Lieutenant Neal Owens and Sergeant Powell Harrelson were also present to accept this award.
Mayor pro tem Benton introduced the City’s newest employee, Chuck Jones, who has filled the position of Information Technology Specialist.
Under OLD BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Approval of Pooler Crossroads Chamber of Commerce’s amended 2008 budget
Mr. Byrd presented the Chamber’s amended 2008 budget, stating that the final figures have been worked out in regards to the Visitor Center’s budget. Councilman Cowart made a motion, seconded by Councilman Wall, to approve the budget. Motion passed without opposition.
Under NEW BUSINESS the following was discussed:
1. Requested sign variance to place a 4' x 8' directional sign at corner of Moonlight Lane & Blue Moon Crossing
A public hearing was held prior. Mr. Byrd presented this request from Dharmendra S. Patel Properties for a 22 sq. ft. sign variance to place a 4' x 8' directional sign at the corner of Moonlight Lane and Blue Moon Crossing to advertise The Village BP and Spirit Shoppe, stating that Planning & Zoning has recommended denial. Councilman Wall stated that the petitioner is not willing to reduce the size of the sign. Therefore, based on Planning & Zoning’s recommendation (the request not meeting two (2) of the three (3) standards for granting a variance), Councilman Wall made a motion to deny this request. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
2. Approval of site plan for Apprentice Shop Building at 129 Westside Blvd. in Westside Business Park
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for the Apprentice Shop Building to be constructed at 129 Westside Boulevard, stating that all the engineer’s comments have been addressed. Councilman Seay made a motion, seconded by Councilman Royal, to approve the site plan. Motion passed without opposition.
3. Approval of site plan for Sheppard Station Apartments located on Brighton Woods
Mr. Byrd presented the site plan for Sheppard Station Apartments, a proposed 65 unit apartment complex for the elderly on Brighton Woods Extension, stating that this project will satisfy the requirements set forth in the settlement agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) which was due to a lawsuit filed against the City in 2001. Further, that both the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the DOJ have approved the plan. Councilman Wall presented concern about not contacting the residents in the area, but added that this type of development is much needed and welcomed by the Council. Councilman Wall expressed appreciation of the hard work performed by everyone to resolve this matter with the DOJ. Councilman Cowart made a motion to approve the site plan, contingent upon EPD approval and the plan meeting all the requirements set forth in the settlement agreement. Motion was seconded by Councilman Seay and passed without opposition.
4. Approval of proposal for Solid Waste Management Plan with Integrated Science &
Mr. Byrd presented a proposal for a solid water management plan, stating that it is a requirement of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to maintain the City’s qualified status. Mr. Byrd added that Integrated Science & Engineering, Inc. has agreed to coordinate the plan with all the West Chatham County municipalities involved to reduce the cost by 30%. Mr. Scheer stated that due to the time constraints on this project, this company was the only source who could perform the work by the deadline. After discussion, Councilman Royal made a motion to approve the plan with the cost to not exceed $14,935.00. Motion was seconded by Councilman Cowart and passed without opposition.
5. Approval of Anti-Harassment Policy for City employees
Mr. Byrd presented an Anti-Harassment Policy to be incorporated in the City’s Employee Handbook. Councilman Wall made a motion, seconded by Councilman Seay, to approve. Motion passed without opposition.
Kim Griffin, President of the Pooler Crossroads Chamber of Commerce, addressed Council in regards to progress the Chamber is making, stating that the Board of Directors has been meeting twice a month. Further, that the by-laws committee has been formed to review the by-laws and that a new logo has been adopted.
There being no further discussion, Councilman Cowart made a motion to adjourn at approximately 6:29 p.m. Motion was seconded by Councilman Royal and passed without opposition.
A public hearing was held prior to the regular City Council meeting on
March 17, 2008. Mayor pro tem Rebecca Benton called the hearing to order at 5:45 p.m. Present were Councilmen Travis Cowart, Mike Royal, Wayne Seay and Stevie Wall. City Manager Robbie Byrd and City Attorney Steve Scheer were also present.
The purpose of this hearing was to discuss a requested sign variance to place a 4' x 8' directional sign at the corner of Moonlight Lane & Blue Moon Crossing. Councilman Wall questioned if a monument type sign that is much smaller would be acceptable as a compromise. Mr. Byrd replied that this was discussed at the Planning & Zoning meeting and was not acceptable to the petitioner, due to visibility. Greg Tsiopanos, resident, stated that a directional sign is not needed, due to the building being plainly visible from the street when entering from Pooler Parkway.
There being no further discussion, the hearing was adjourned at approximately 5:50 p.m.