September 17, 2009

Regular Meeting of the Mayor and City Council
City of Ball Ground, Georgia
Ball Ground City Hall ~ 7:00 P.M.

September 17, 2009

Item 1: Mayor Roberts called the September 17, 2009 meeting to order.

Council Members Present: John Byrd, Frank Homiller, Lee Prettyman & Andrenia Stoner

Council Member Ashley Holcomb was absent.

Staff Present: Darrell Caudill, City Attorney; Dana Davis, Police Chief; Donna England, Finance Director; Michael Chapman, Planner and Eric Wilmarth, City Manager, City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

Item 2: Pledge of Allegiance

Item 3: Scheduled Appearances
Mayor welcomed Mickey O’Malley and his wife Bess to the meeting. Mr. O’Malley will be sworn in as a new council member in January to fill the seat of Council Member Ashley Holcomb.

Item 4: Announcements and Informational Items
City Administrator Wilmarth announced the following:
• Annual financial audit began on Monday.
• Council Members were invited to attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor for Cole Edgar to be held on October 3, 2009 at 10:30 AM in Calvin Farmer Park.

Item 5: Approval of Minutes
a) Consider Approval of August 13, 2009 Minutes
A motion by Council Member Homiller, Seconded by Council Member Stoner to approve the minutes of the August 13, 2009 Council Meeting as submitted in writing by the City Clerk.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

Item 6: Old Business
a) Consider 2nd Reading of Reading of An Ordinance Authorizing the Cherokee County Board of Elections to Conduct City Elections.

Council Member Stoner put forth a motion to approve the 2nd reading An Ordinance Authorizing the Cherokee County Board of Elections to Conduct City Elections.

This motion did not receive a second. Motion dies.

Mayor and Council discussed the proposed ordinance.

Council Member Homiller put forth a motion, Seconded by Council Member Stoner to table the adoption of the ordinance for 60 days.

Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

b) Consider 2nd Reading of Annexation Petition 2009-A02 Submitted by Cherokee County Board of Education. The property consists of 10.22 Acres located at 185 Old Canton Road. The property is described as Cherokee County, Georgia and further described as Cherokee County Tax Map 94N03, Parcel 008. The property is presently zoned R-40.

Council Member Homiller put forth a motion, Seconded by Council Member Byrd to accept the second reading of Annexation Petition 2009-A02 submitted by the Cherokee County Board of Education for 10.22 acres located on Old Canton Rd.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

Item 7: New Business
a) Consider Adoption of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the 2007-2018 Cherokee Co. Solid Waster Management Plan between Cherokee County and the Cities of Ball Ground, Canton, Holly Springs, Waleska and Woodstock, Georgia

Cherokee County Principal Planner Margaret Stallings appeared before Mayor and Council to outline the proposed Cherokee County Solid Waste Management Plan of which the City of Ball Ground is a party to.

Mayor and Council discussed the proposed plan.

Following discussion Council Member Homiller put forth a motion, Seconded by Council Member Prettyman to enter into the Memorandum of Understanding for the 2007-2018 Cherokee County Solid Waste Management Plan Between Cherokee County, Georgia and the Cities of Ball Ground, Canton, Holly Springs, Waleska and Woodstock, Georgia.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

City Administrator Wilmarth stated that Mayor and Council Members should attend the Joint Public Hearing to be held on October 6, 2009 at the Cherokee County Commission Chambers.

b) Consider Deannexation Petition submitted by Cherry Grove Properties, LLC Property
Mayor Roberts presented the petition for Council consideration.

City Administrator Wilmarth stated Mr. Dale Turner submitted the request for deannexation of 37.43 acres located on the east side of Cherry Grove Road. The property is described as Map Number 04N06A, Parcles 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 009, 010, 011 & 012.

Mayor and Council discussed the petition.

Council Member Byrd put forth a motion, Seconded by Council Member Homiller to accept the first reading of the deannexation petition as submitted by Cherry Grove Properties.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

 c) Discussion/Schedule Public Hearing concerning the renaming of Gilmer Ferry Road.
Mayor Roberts presented for discussion.

Following Council discussion, Council Member Homiller put forth a motion, Seconded by Council Member Prettyman to conduct a public hearing on October 8 at 6:30 PM to obtain public input concerning the renaming of Gilmer Ferry Rd.

d) Discussion of 2009 Property Tax Millage Rate and scheduling of possible hearings related to setting of Millage rate.
Mayor Roberts stated the Council had several options:
• Set the millage rate at 5.194, which would be considered “revenue neutral”. Mayor Roberts stated that this is neither a tax increase nor decrease.
• Set the millage rate at 5.121, which is a tax decrease of 1.4%, even though it is the same rate we had last year.
• Set a millage rate of 6 mills, which would be a tax increase of 15.52%.

Hearing those options Council Member Homiller put forth a motion, seconded by Council Member Prettyman to set the Millage rate at 5.194 to remain revenue neutral.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

Mayor Roberts stated that so much has already been cut from the budget. We are operating the city to the bear bone. $5,000.00 would be another significant shortfall.

Council Member Homiller then put forth a motion; Seconded by Council Member Prettyman to fi fa all delinquent tax parcels that owes in excess of $100.00 either as individual parcels or as combined ownership.
Motion Approved 4 Yeas 0 Nays 1 Absent.

Item 8: Report by City Administrator Eric Wilmarth
Financial Report – An unaudited report of account balances, statement of revenue and expenditures for the month ended August 31, 2009 was presented by City Administrator Wilmarth. The report showed cash on deposit totaled $643,845.54.

Efforts to refinance City Hall have ceased. Staff has been unable to secure a bank willing to finance past a fifteen year period.

Administrative – City Clerk Karen Jordan and City Planner Michael Chapman are working with the Census Division to ensure that the City’s population is accurately counted during the 2010 Census count.

City Administrator Wilmarth stated he is registered to participate in a Webinar on the SAVE Program. He stated that GMA is encouraging all cities to become compliant with O.C.G.A.§50-36-1, which requires cities to participate in the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) Program. The city is already participating in the E- verify program. SAVE, however, is a different federal program used to verify that applicants for certain “public benefits” are legally present in the United States.

Water and Sewage Department – The Water System produced 4.3 million gallons of water for the month of August. An additional 1.5 million was purchased from the CCWSA. Sales totaled 4.3 million leaving us with a loss rate of 25% for the month. Several leaks accounted for approximately 8% of the 25% loss.

Roads, Streets and Streetscapes – Streetscapes continue to be behind schedule. The contractor is awaiting the arrival of a specialty cap block for the plaza area. Once the materials arrive, the contractor has stated he would have one week of work remaining.

Planning and Zoning – Karen Lance of Coma Properties, Inc. has submitted an application for the rezoning of 55.73 acres located at 1355 Ball Ground Rd, Ball Ground GA 30107. The application has been submitted to the Cherokee County Planning and Zoning Department for consideration.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 7:00 PM in the Board of Commissioners Chambers. City Administrator Wilmarth stated that at least 3 members of council must be present at the meeting. Mayor and Council will make a final decision on the request at their October 8, 2009 meeting.

Public Safety – Chief Davis presented a written report of the department’s activity for the month ended August 31, 2009 for Mayor and Council review. The report showed the Department to be investigating two thefts.

Parks and Recreation – The Ball Ground Business Association provided a free movie night to area residents in Calvin Farmer Park on August 29. Attendance was estimated to exceed 500.

On September 12, 2009, Ball Ground Grill did a cooking demonstration in the Downtown Park in addition to sponsoring a concert in the park. This event was a great success and benefit to the downtown businesses.

Item 9: Comments by Mayor Roberts and City Council
Mayor Roberts commented on his visit to Heritage Park located in Canton. He told Council that his future vision was to have a walking trail and bike path down the Valley Street Corridor and that he was willing to do put together a plan and make it happen.

Council Member Prettyman agreed with Mayor Roberts on the necessity for the walking paths.

Council Members Prettyman and Byrd also commended the Business Association on their work in putting together the movie night.

tem 10: Public Comments – None
Item 11: Executive Session (If Needed)
Item 12: Adjourn
There being no further business for Council consideration a motion was duly made and seconded to adjourn at 8:30 PM

The minutes of this September 17, 2009 Meeting of Council will be considered for approval at the October 8, 2009 Meeting of Council.

____________________________ _____________________________
Mayor A. R. Roberts, III                            Council Member Frank Homiller
____________________________ _____________________________
Council Member John Byrd                      Council Member Ashley Holcomb

____________________________ _____________________________
Council Member Lee Prettyman             Council Member Andrenia Stoner
Attest: __________________________
                  City Clerk Karen L. Jordan

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