April 12, 2007

Ball Ground City Council Meeting
April 12, 2007
Ball Ground Library

1.  Call to Order
Mayor Roberts called the April 12, 2007 meeting of Council to order and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council Members John Byrd, Ashley Holcomb, Frank Homiller, Lee Prettyman and Andrenia Stoner were present.

City Staff Present:  Attorney Darrell Caudill, Police Chief Dana Davis, Finance Director Randy Westbrook, City Adm. Eric Wilmarth and City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

2.  Comments from City of Ball Ground Residents – None

3.  Approve Minutes of the March 8th Regular Scheduled Meeting, March 14th & 30th
Special Called Meeting
Council Member Holcomb put forth a motion to approve the minutes of the March 8th,
14th & 30th meeting of council.  Council Member Stoner seconded the motion.
Vote     5 Yeas    0 Nays         Motion approved unanimously.

4.  Old Business
a) 2nd Reading of Application for Alcoholic Beverage License – Lauri
Grizzle/Mustard Seed Café, Applicant
Council Member Prettyman made a motion to approve the second reading of the
Application as submitted by Lauri Grizzle owner of the Mustard Café for an     Alcoholic Beverage Pouring License.  Council Member Holcomb seconded the     motion.
Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays     Motion approved unanimously.

5.  New Business
a) Accept Howell Bridge Road East beginning at Hwy 5 and ending at Rail Road
Crossing
Council Member Stoner made a motion to accept the Howell Bridge East     Extension beginning at the intersection of Howell Bridge Road and Hwy 5 and     extending east to the rail road crossing.

b)  Zoning Case #07-04-012 Northridge Development, LLC requesting to rezone     1.57 +/- acres from R-15 to TND.  If rezoned the property would be utilized for     town homes.  The Property is located on Old Canton Road, Kilby Street and     Tatum Circle and further described as Cherokee County Tax Map 94N02,     Parcel(s) 25, 26, 27A, 30, 35A, 35B, 37A.   The Cherokee County Municipal     Planning Commission recommended denial.
Prior to tonight meeting City Administrator Wilmarth received the following     statement via email from Benson Chambers, Attorney representing Northridge     Development, LLC:

On behalf of Northridge Development LLC please accept this e-mail as             the applicant’s request to withdraw their zoning application without             prejudice.   The Applicant would like an opportunity to review possible             alternatives and gather more information on ways to develop the property             for later consideration.

Council Member Homiller moved to accept the withdrawal of the Northridge     Development, LLC zoning application.  Council Member Byrd seconded the     motion.  Vote     3 Yeas     0 Nays Council Members Holcomb & Stoner     abstained from voting on this matter.

c)   Zoning Case #07-04-013 Adesso, LLC requesting to rezone 0.896 acres from
R-15 to RM-4.  If rezoned the property would be utilized for 4 homes with free     standing garages.  The property is located on Blackwell Street, Old Hwy 5 (Main     Street) and Hall Street and further described as Cherokee County Tax Map     94N02, Parcel 003.  The Cherokee County Municipal Planning Commission     recommended approval with conditions.

Prior to Mayor Roberts presenting the case Council Member Prettyman left the     meeting room due to his involvement in the sell of the property to the Adesso,     LLc Company.

Council Member Homiller moved to approve the zoning application.

Council Member Byrd seconds the motion.

Mayor Roberts opened the floor for discussion.

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City Administrator Wilmarth stated the Cherokee Municipal Planning Commission     recommended approval with the following conditions.

1)    Widening of Blackwell Street
2)    Extending Hall Street completely thru the project at a 20′ width.

Council Member Homiller responded that the City is not financially able to meet     the conditions.

City Administrator Wilmarth stated it is his belief that the RM-4 zoning which     would result in the construction of 3 homes does not warrant the recommended     changes to the streets.  A fourth home could be built but would require a variance     to lot size.

Mayor and Council Members asked Mr. Bluck for a commitment to build the     exact architectural design of homes as submitted.

Mr. Bluck answered he would.

Mayor and Council Members also asked Mr. Bluck to submit the elevation plans     of the homes for review by the Executive Committee.

Mr. Bluck replied yes.
Council Member Holcomb with the approval of Council Member Homiller put forth the following amendment to the original motion:
1)  Remove the conditions to widen Blackwell Street and extend Hall Street
2)  Submit architectural plans for review by Executive Committee
Vote    4 Yeas     0 Nays    Motion approved with Council Member Prettyman abstaining.

6.  City Administrator’s Report
Finance – Finance Director Randy Westbrook presented a statement of revenue and expenditures and account balances for Mayor and Council review.  Total account balances for period ended March 31, 2007 was $1,270,291.01.

Water & Sewage Department
Per the National Safety Standards David Dean is now certified to supervise trenched work sites in excess of 4′ in depth.   Joey Ingram will attend the same training at a later date.

Joey Ingram is also scheduled to attend Class III Water System Operators Certification training.

Water loss for the month ended March 31, 2007 was 31%.

Ken Hardcastle from Emory and Garrett was in town last week to conduct the first series of geophysical evaluations for new ground water sources.  Company representatives will be back in town the week of April 23rd to conduct electronic receptivity test on the areas they have selected from the geophysical evaluation.

United Utilities is in the process of reviewing our credit application for funding of the radio read meters.

Contact has been made with the Virginia Well Company for an estimate to inspect and flow test our well.  This is the same company that drilled the well in 1935 and did the flow test in 1987.  The anticipated cost is $7,000.00.

The Flatbottom Road Water Line Project has slowed because of the inability to obtain permission from a property owner to replace the existing 2½ inch line with an 8 inch line.

Roads and Streets Department
Quotes are being obtained for the expansion of parking spaces on Civic Drive in front of the Masonic Lodge.  Members of the lodge asked that in lieu of being compensated for the streetscape easement their parking area be expanded.  The parking area serves not only the Masonic Lodge but patrons of the city parks.

The southern end of Valley Street should be open to traffic by the end of the month as well as Howell Bridge East.

Georgia Department of Transportation would not ease restrictions placed on the entrances of the commercial corner at Howell Bridge Rd. and Ball Ground Hwy.  Therefore a number of trees near the entrance of the Lantern Walk Development were cut down.

Inspections will be performed next week on the streets in the Mountain Brook Development.  Should they pass inspection Council Members will then be asked to vote to approve their acceptance into the City inventory.

A letter received from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) pertaining to our request for changes in speed limits around the city showed no changes.  Contact will be made to GDOT Officials to discuss this matter.

Downtown Streetscapes Project
Eight of the twenty-one easements related to the project have now been signed.  A verbal commitment from three additional property owners has been given.  Consideration for plan changes is being given to the Hardware Store property.  If the changes can be made without resubmitting the plans to GDOT then the property owner is willing to sign the easement documents.

Negations with Robin Cowart of 220 Gilmer Ferry Road to sign easement documents have been unsuccessful.  Should the city be unable to reach an agreement with Mrs. Cowart it may become necessary to begin condemnation of the property.

Mayor Roberts and Council Members discussed the matter.

Council Member Homiller put forth a motion to double the money being offered for compensation of the easement and if an agreement is not reached empower City Administrator Wilmarth to begin condemnation of the property.  Council Member Holcomb seconds the motion.  Vote     5 Yeas     0 Nays    Motion passed unanimously.

Public Safety
Chief Davis provided a written report of the department’s monthly activity for Mayor and Council review.  The report stated that two car thefts and the theft of someone’s purse occurred during the month.  The two automobiles were recovered and the stolen purse turned out to be lost rather than stolen.

Upcoming Events:  Saturday, May 5, 2007 Library Funrun
Heritage Days Festival will be held May 19 & 20

Planning and Zoning
No application has been submitted this month.

Building plans for United Community Bank has been submitted for review.

Kris Boonruang presented for Mayor and City Council consideration a proposed Letter of Agreement from Lew Oliver Inc., Whole Town Solutions and (“Consultants”) for the following services:

  • Pre-charrette site visit:
  • Charrette Deliverables
  • Post Charrette Report

Lew Oliver, Inc. will coordinate and conduct the charrette that will include architectural designs and land planners at a total cost of $65,000.00.
Mayor and Council Members will further discuss this proposal at a future work session.

The Cherokee County Mapping Department is currently in the process of completing a new City boundary map.  Upon our review of the draft it will then be returned to the Co. Mapping Department for final print.

City Hall Project
Finance Director Randy Westbrook and Attorney Darrell Caudill were recognized for their hard work in completing the financing of the new city hall.  The loan closed in the amount of 1.7 million dollars.

Storm Water and Floodplain Management
A notice to proceed was issued to Ross Engineering to begin the initial assessment of the number and size of drainage basin located in the City.  The initial assessment will cost approximately $5,000.00.  However over a period of five years it will cost approximately $100,000.00 to maintain District Compliance.

7.  Mayor’s Report
Mayor Roberts thanked Kris Boonruang for his assistance in deciding the location of the new city hall.

It is time we developed our own Master Plan stated Mayor Roberts.  We should have the final say so rather than the Cherokee County Citizens Roundtable Committee.  At present there are no Ball Ground Residents on the committee.

Council Member Stoner commented on the intergovernmental agreement recently signed by the City and the Cherokee Board of Education for a new school site.  Council Member Stoner further stated the recreational facilities that will be torn down for the new school will be built back bigger and better however it will take time and money to accomplish the task.  This is a great opportunity and we will just have to be patient stated Council Member Stoner.

On or about May 1, 2007 will be the date of the groundbreaking for the new city hall announced Mayor Roberts.  Plans will be finalized and notices will be mailed out.

The Cherokee County Historical Society has put together a map outlining a proposed Historic District for the City announced Mayor Roberts.  Council Members Stoner was asked to review the map.

Mayor Roberts asked Council Members to mark their calendars for May 15, 2007 for a Cherokee Municipal Meeting.

8.  Adjourn to conduct Executive Session – Discuss Personnel Matter
Council Member Stoner moved to enter into an agreement for employment with Dana Davis.  Council Member Byrd seconded the motion.  Vote 5 Yeas  0 Nays  Motion passed unanimously.

As outlined in the agreement should Chief Davis willingly accepts and continues his employment with the City as of May 1, 2007, as Chief of Police of the City’s Police Department subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the employment agreement, and said employment shall terminate on May 1, 2010 unless extended or terminated sooner as provided in this agreement.
At this time Council Member Stoner moved to adjourn into executive session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter.  Council Member Byrd second the motion.
Vote 5 Yeas  0 Nays  Motion passed unanimously

9.  Reconvene Regular Meeting – Motion by Council Member Holcomb, second by Council Member Byrd to adjourn the executive session and reconvene the regular scheduled meeting.  Vote    5 Yeas     0 Nays   Motion passed unanimously

10.  Adjourn
There being no further business for council consideration a motion was duly made and seconded to adjourn at 8:45 PM.

The Minutes of this April 12, 2007 Meeting of Council is subject to approval at the May 10, 2007 meeting of Council.

__________________________            ___________________________
Mayor A. R. Roberts, III                Council Member Homiller

__________________________            ___________________________
Council Member Byrd                    Council Member Holcomb

__________________________            ___________________________
Council Member Prettyman                Council Member Stoner

Attest __________________________
City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

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