Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Council
City of Ball Ground, Georgia
Ball Ground Library- 7:00 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Item 1: Call to Order – Mayor Roberts
Item 2: Pledge of Allegiance – Mayor Roberts
Council Members Present: John Byrd, Ashley Holcomb, Frank Homiller, Lee Prettyman & Andrenia Stoner
Staff in Attendance: Darrell Caudill; City Attorney, Dana Davis; Police Chief, Randy Westbrook; Finance Director, Eric Wilmarth; City Administrator, Karen L. Jordan; City Clerk
Item 3: Public Comments from Ball Ground Residents
Jennie Way, Owner of Packrats Daughter asked questions related to the Downtown Development Authority.
Council Member Homiller outlined the requirements for appointments to the board. Council Member Homiller stated he thought the board would gain momentum once the streetscape project is complete.
John Jordan questioned why the utility polls were not going to be relocated to the back of the downtown buildings.
Mayor stated there were several property owners unwilling to grant easements for the polls to be placed on the property and cost.
Heidi Pryor asked for information associated with the Cherry Grove Properties annexation petition.
City Adm. Wilmarth stated the petition had been withdrawn but likely to be resubmitted later in the month.
Raymond Edwards asked for clarification of the location of the Forestar property?
Council Member Holcomb responded to the question.
Wyatt Holcomb expressed concerns of the proposed changes to the TND Ordinance. He stated he didn’t have specifics…..have not had time to fully read the whole ordinance.
Mr. Holcomb also asked why the public is not allowed to speak at council meetings concerning zoning cases.
Mayor Roberts asked the City Attorney to respond.
City Attorney Caudill stated it is a violation of the zoning law to have input after the county has held a public hearing. Comments should be made at or prior to the public hearing.
Mayor Roberts stated the zoning process should be better when the City is able to establish its own department.
Item 4: Announcements/Informational Items/Project Updates
Planning Charrette begins Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM -7:00PM
City offices closed Sept 3
Sept. 15 Movie in the park
a) Project Updates
1. Downtown Streetscapes
City Adm. Wilmarth thanked John Jordan for his assistance in obtaining easements needed for the project.
Negations are ongoing with Leland Phillips and the Robertson Family.
Council Member Homiller asked that condemnation proceedings begin with those remaining easements that have yet to be signed after Friday.
City Adm. Wilmarth replied that he thought proceeding with condemnation at this time could jeopardize getting the easement signed.
Council Member Homiller agreed to postpone condemnation for an additional week. No further discussion.
Questions concerning guidelines and procedures for TE Projects were answered by City Adm. Wilmarth.
2. City Hall Project
AT this time construction is ahead of schedule and with continued efforts Council should be able to conduct their first council meeting in the new building on December 13, 2007.
3. Valley Street Project
Currently the Ella Mae Fox property is under contract for purchase. Further discussion of the Valley Street right of way acquisition will take place later in this meeting.
4. Search for alternate ground water source
Surveys of the three proposed new well sites are complete and have been sent to the city attorney for contract proposals requesting permission to enter the property to test drill the sites. However only two of the three will require contract proposals, the third one is owned by the City of Ball Ground. Rindt McDuff and Associates have submitted an application to the EPD for permission to test drill all three sites.
5. Water Meter Change Out Program
As of today 450 meters have been changed to radio read meters. The project is on time and on budget.
On August 21, 2007 office staff and the public works dept. will begin training on the new system.
Consent Agenda – Council Member Holcomb moved to approve Consent Agenda Items 5 and 7(b) as listed below. Council Member Stoner seconded the motion.
Vote 5 Yeas. O Nays
Item 5: Approval of Minutes……Moved to Consent Agenda
July 12, 2007 Mayor and Council Meeting and July 26 & 27 Work Sessions.
Item 6: Old Business
a) 2nd Reading of Division 102.12 Traditional Neighborhood Design Overlay District
Council Member Homiller moved to table this item of business until the report from the Charrette has been completed. Council Member Holcomb seconded the motion.
Vote 5 Yeas. 0 Nays
b) 2nd Reading of Annexation Petition No. 2007-A05 Applicant Forestar (ga) Real
Estate Group, LLC request annexation of 505.83 acres, more or less into the City limits of Ball Ground. The subject property is located on the northeastern boundary of the existing city limit and further described in the Cherokee County Map Page 04N04, Parcels 105.
Council Member Holcomb moved to approve the second reading of Annexation
Petition No. 2007-A06 as presented. Council Member Stoner seconded the motion.
Vote 5 Yeas. 0 Nays.
Item 7: New Business
a) Request Approval to secure funding to extend Valley Street beginning at Beck
Street from the Cherokee County Development Authority.
Council Member Homiller moved to table this item of business for thirty days. Council
Member Stoner seconded the motion. Motion Approved. 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Nay
c) Request approval of change order for the addition of a sprinkler system for the New City Hall.
Mayor Roberts stated the change order was discussed at the July work session.
Council Member Homiller moved to approve the change order in the amount of $41,858.00 for the installation of a sprinkler system in the new city hall. Council Member Prettyman seconded the motion. Motion Approved. 4 Yeas 1 Nays
d) Consideration of Dump Truck Purchase
City Adm. Wilmarth stated the two dump trucks are in very poor condition and have become unsafe to operate. Therefore monies were allocated in the budget to purchase a replacement vehicle. A used 1999 model with 13,250 miles at a cost of $22,500.00 has been located. The vehicle can be purchased thru the GMA Lease Purchase Program upon Council approval. The monthly payments will be $426.15 for five years.
Council Member Homiller moved to approve the purchase of the 1999 model dump truck through the GMA Lease Purchase Program. Council Member Holcomb seconded the motion. Motion Approved. 5 Yeas 0 Nays
Item 8: City Manager Comments
Water/Sewer Department – The water department produced 4,080,000 gallons of water, purchased 1,780,000 gallons and billed 4,340,000 which results in a 19% water loss for the month of July. Several leaks during the month contributed to the 19% loss of water. The average daily flow of sewer was approximately 37,000 gallons per day.
The leak detection equipment has pinpointed three potential leaks. One site which has been dug into was within sixteen inches of the actual leak. The remaining two sites are yet to be checked due to the lack of staff. Three of the four public works workers are either out of work or on light duty due to injuries. Council will be asked to approve purchase of the leak detection equipment if the accuracy of leak location continues to be successful.
We have been awarded a $17,500.00 grant to purchase planet maids for the well house. We are currently seeking out manufactures that can provide an assessment of our needs.
Roads and Streets Department – Northridge Road was paved today as part of the 2007 L.A.R.P.
Signs have been ordered and should be installed within the next two weeks inside the Mountain Brooke Subdivision.
The City has received a $17,500.00 grant for the construction of sidewalks along Mound Street. This is a fifty-fifty match grant with the city contributing $17,500.00 toward the cost of construction. We will be soliciting design built proposals from contractors of the sidewalks.
Public Safety – Officer Bryon Reeves has completed an additional phase of Serious Accident Investigation Training.
Chief Davis attended the annual Chief of Police Conference held in Savannah.
Chief Davis continues to seek applications for an additional police officer.
Administration and Finance – Mauldin & Jenkins will begin the annual audit of the City’s financial records on September 4, 2007.
Finance Director Randy Westbrook presented a report of account balances, statement of revenue and expenditures for the period ending July 31, 2007. Cash on deposit as of July 31, 2007 totaled $1,081,324.58.
Staff is working with the new attorney’s representing Cherokee County on the reporting process of annexation petitions.
Parks and Recreation – Scott Reddy of Boy Scout Troop 1755 is working on an Eagle Scout Project which involves the City Park. Scott will be renovating the playground equipment and picnic shelter as part of his project. Scott along with the remaining members of Troop 1755 will be asked to attend the September Meeting of Council to be recognized for their work.
Item 9: Mayor and Council Comments
Mayor Roberts updated Council on his meeting with Cherokee County Commission Chairman Ahrens and County Manager Jerry Cooper. The group focused on reestablishing the City’s growth boundary agreement. The old agreement expired in December 2006. Mayor Roberts stated he continues to be very impressed with Chairman Ahrens. Chairman Ahrens represents all the citizens whether they are county or city residents.
Mayor Roberts encouraged Council Members to attend as much of the Charrette as possible. It will be an intense four days of planning which the end result will be a very good plan for future development of the City. Mayor Roberts stated he feels the plan will be one of the greatest in the State because of the enthusiasm shown by Lew Oliver and his staff.
Council Member Homiller expressed his desire for construction of sidewalks connecting downtown to the Lions Club Baseball Field. The present condition of the existing sidewalks and lack of, are unacceptable and have been for the past fifteen years. Several of the downtown buildings continue to pose a dangerous threat to passerbies. Downtown should still be a priority. Council Member Homiller asked that between now and the September meeting, Council Members review the Cherokee County ordinances related to abandon buildings and loitering be reviewed and considered for adoption. Feedback from staff and council members was solicited by Council Member Homiller.
Mayor Roberts responded by asking Council Member Homiller if he recalled the details of the City’s Unsafe Building Ordinance.
Council Member Homiller responded that a clear violation of the code warrants thirty days to abate the violation. If not, then a citation should be issued stated Council Member Homiller. Council Member Stoner and Prettyman agreed.
Mayor Roberts stated that we are trying to look to the future with changes and as opportunities arise to address those issues. However it is a delicate situation. You can get more cooperation from someone by working with those individuals rather than forcing the issue stated Mayor Roberts. Although there are times where we have to take a stand and act in the best interest of the City.
Council Member Prettyman asked Council to consider discussing an Adult Entertainment like websites with adult content as All Time Nude Pictures of Lake Bell – Ximage or similar. Ordinance at the next work session.
Council Member Prettyman commended City Manager Wilmarth for his work in assisting the Public Works Staff with a water leak that occurred on A. W. Roberts Drive and other projects.
Item 10: Adjourn
There being no further business for Mayor and Council consideration a motion was duly made and seconded to adjourn at 8:20 PM.
The Minutes of this August 9, 2007 Regular Meeting of Council approved this 13th Day of September, 2007.
Mayor A. R. Roberts, III Council Member Homiller
Council Member Byrd Council Member Holcomb
Council Member Prettyman Council Member Stoner
City Clerk Karen L. Jordan