City of Kingsland, Georgia

City Council

Minutes ● September 25, 2017

              Regular Meeting              City Council Chamber              6:00 PM

                            107 South Lee Street - City Hall, Kingsland, GA 31548

             

I.

Public Hearing - Starts at 6:00PM

Mayor Smith called the Public Hearing to order at 6:00 PM.

1.              Public Hearing:  Proposed Property Tax Increase -

The Kingsland City Mayor and Council have tentatively proposed a 2017 millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 13.94% or 1.04 mills.  The proposed increase includes an additional 1.00 mill to dedicate funds for public safety operatons and an additional .04 mills for general fund operations.  This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.50 mills, an increase of 1.04 mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 7.46 mills.  The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $41.60 and for a home with a fair market value of $300,000 is approximately $124.80.

Ms. Terri Keller, 156 Woodhaven Drive addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Keller stated that she would like to thank the first responders and feels they should get not only a fair wage but a great wage.  Ms. Keller reported that her neighborhood suffered some of the most devastating flooding in the city.  Ms. Keller said that her home did not receive any water damage, many of her neighbors, both in Woodhaven and the Meadows were flooded.  Ms. Keller suggested the city should have old plans reviewed by professional engineers. 

 

Mr. Danny Daniels, Miller Drive addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Daniels stated he is a former Fire Chief and has worked in public safety and stated it is unfortunate that equipment is so expensive.  He recommended a fund be set aside for equipment.  Mr. Daniels stated manpower in public safety is a big issue, not everyone will walk into a burning home, and police have the most dangerous job.  Mr. Daniels said that he sat down the with Finance Department and realized the amount of money the city was spending because of a retention problem; he stated as a citizen I need to trust our public safety employees and that requires retention.

 

Mr. Wesley Mills, 198 West Pine Avenue addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Mills was not in favor of a tax increase.

 

Ms. Cameron Luke, Brookshire Court addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Luke asked to be educated by Council so that others will not be so angry.  Ms. Luke inquired as to the use of the city's website and if the city was putting information on it.  Mr. Lee Spell, City Manager explained we were updating the website each time the county updated their information.

 

Mr. Jim Bryson, 110 Hydrangea Road addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Bryson questioned the increase in taxes at this time and wanted to know if the city planned on helping with money.  Mayor Smith stated there is no money set aside from the city, but FEMA and GEMA are working here.

 

Mr. Chuck Seymour, Hydrangea Road addressed the Mayor and City Council.  He stated he is against the raise.  Mr. Seymour stated he has over forty thousand dollars worth of damage to his home and he feels the city needs to spend their money to work on Colerain Road.

 

Mr. Ed Gushen, 104 Zinnia Road addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Gusher felt the drainage on Gross Road was the problem and the water could not go through the four foot pipe.  Mr. Gusher stated the city has had five to six years to fix drainage.

 

Mr. Kirk Woodward, 330 West Elizabeth Street addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Woodward stated he and his family are truly suffering and he holds the city accountable.  Mr. Woodward reported that every ditch is full.

 

Ms. Kim Presley, 105 Wolfbay Circle addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Presley stated she is all for pay increase, but noted that she is a resident

at Wolfbay and is amazed for her poor neighbors. 

 

Mr. Jim Bryson, 110 Hydrangea Road addressed the Council again and inquired as to the maintenance schedule for the drainage areas and the tracking period for how manholes are cleaned.  Mr. Bryson feels the problem is man made and wanted to know what plans are there to prevent this from happening again.  Mr. Bryson recognized the Salvation Army and Red Cross for their help.

 

Mayor Smith stated that he has lived here his whole life and this is the first time this has happened in over 70 years.  Mayor Smith stated he does not know how many more storms of this magnitude will come, the city is committed to continue to work on better drainage.  Mayor Smith stated the city's two engineers are present this evening. 

 

Ms. Yolanda Ramsey, 94 Honeysuckle Road addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Ramsey stated that Lakevine has flooded twice since 2005.  Ms. Ramsey stated that the city was grossly negligent regarding cleaning ditches and culverts. 

Ms. Ramsey stated that the Mayor, City Manager and City Clerk should be fired immediately because the taxpayers in her neighborhood have lost confidence. 

Ms. Ramsey thanked Councilman Day for coming to her neighborhood. 

Ms. Ramsey also expressed concern that the trash was being picked up and she called the police department to stop it and was told they could do very little about trash on the side of the road.

 

Mr. John Whitters, 118 Wolfbay Circle stated that his house did not flood but thanked the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Kingsland Baptist Church for their help.  Mr. Whitters spoke to an article in the Wall Street Journal about the aging sewer systems in South East Georgia. 

 

Mr. Tex Gill, 116 Wolfbay Circle addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Gill stated he knew there were drainage issues in Wolfbay, but was never really concerned until last year when his house was flooded with sewerage.  Mr. Gill asked what preventative measures were overlooked in the past eleven months so that this would not happen again.

 

Mr. Harris, 610 Mason Street addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Harris stated that he feels sympathy for everyone affected by the storm.  Mr. Harris asked the Mayor if this was the time to raise the millage rate.

 

Ms. Kay Harris, 610 Mason Street addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Harris stated she has lived here for nineteen years and was very sorry for everyone's loss.  Ms. Harris asked what the citizens can do because bickering will not solve the problem.

 

Mr. E. Taylor, 113 Hydrangea Street addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Taylor stated that fallen trees got into the area drains and clogged the drains.  He also stated that the lawn cutting crews pushed trees down.

 

Ms. Deloras Allen, 115 West Woodhaven Drive stated everyone needs to stick together to get things done.  She thanked Councilman McClain and Councilman Ham for their help.  Ms. Allen felt this would not be a good time to change the tax rate and would like to see the proposal appealed.

 

Mr. George Kaiser, 211 Laurel Island Landing Blvd. expressed concern that roads are flooding out in Laurel Island because the beaver problem still exists.

 

Ms. Kylee Seymour, Hydrangea Road asked if there was a plan in place to have EPA check to see if they are okay?  Ms. Seymour asked who was going to pay for her hospital bills for testing and antibiotics.  Ms. Seymour was concerned about the health of everyone who had exposure to the flood water. 

 

Councilman Ham stated he would speak to the Department of Health to see if he could arrange some kind of help.

 

Mr. Gonzalez, 114 Wolfbay Circle addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Mr. Gonzales expressed deep concerns for the on-going problems at Wolfbay Circle.

 

Ms. Lynne Starke, 234 East Lilly Street addressed the Mayor and City Council.  Ms. Starke stated she moved from Woodhaven Road some time ago, but was always concerned about the water there.

 

Mr. Robbie Cheek, Thomas & Hutton Engineering, Brunswick, Georgia and Mr. Trey Gavin, Carter & Sloope Engineering, Macon, Georgia addressed the audience and stated the engineering reasons behind the flooding and damages.

 

Councilman Day asked Ms. Filiz Morrow, Finance Director if she could look into reevaluating the flooded homes.

 

Mayor Smith asked Mr. Lee Spell, City Manager if he and City Clerk, Linda O'Shaughnessy could put something in writing to express concern for the citizens and get a letter to FEMA. 

 

The Public Hearing was closed at 8:34 PM.

             

II.

Call to Order and Welcome Guests

Mayor Smith called the regular scheduled meeting to order at 8:34 PM.

             

III.

Invocation and Pledge to the Flag

Councilman Ham gave the Invocation and led the audience in the Pledge to the Flag.

             

IV.

Roll Call

 

 

              Kenneth E Smith Sr              Mayor              

              Charles Grayson Day Jr.              Mayor Pro Tem             

              James Ham              City Councilman             

              Jim McClain              City Councilman             

              Richard A. Winters              City Councilman             

 

             

V.

Consent Docket

RESULT:              APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Charles Grayson Day Jr., Mayor Pro Tem

SECONDER:              Richard A. Winters, City Councilman

AYES:              Day Jr., Ham, McClain, Winters

A.              Approve the Council Minutes of the last regular Council Meeting             

1.              City Council - Regular Meeting - Aug 28, 2017 6:00 PM -

B.              Approve the Agenda as Presented             

C.              Approve the Payments of Accounts Payable as Due and Funds Available             

             

VI.

Recognition

1.              Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for FY/2016 -

Mayor Smith recognized the Finance Department and stated it was the thirteenth year in a row they have received this distinction.

             

VII.

Presentation

1.              Mr. Hal Shiff, St. Marys Children's Theatre -

Mr. Shiff was unable to stay through the lengthy Public Hearing he will reschedule.

2.              Laurel Landing Property Owners Association -

Mr. Bob Solito, 343 Laurel Landing Boulevard addressed the Mayor and Council on behalf of the Laurel Landing Property Owners Association.

Mr. Solito stated that there are four hundred and sixteen (416) individual units in the Laurel Island POA alone and more will be added by the developer in the near future.  There is only one exit or entrance into this area.  Mr. Solito stated that during and after Hurricane Irma the road flooded and people were not able to get in or out of the neighborhood.  Mr. Solito expressed the safety concerns with this issue.

 

Mr. Solito stated they would like to propose a new street connecting with the Fairways Edge subdivision.  This street would be paid for by the homeowners and developer. 

 

Mayor Smith stated he would like the association to meet with Mr. Lee Spell, City Manager and come up with something and report back to the board as soon as possible.

             

VIII.

Granting Audience to the Public

Ms. Susan Melfours, Laurel Island stated her concerns about the wetlands and was in support of another exit/entrance to Laurel Island.

             

IX.

Old Business

None

             

X.

New Business

1.              Proclamation:  October, National Domestic Violence Month -

RESULT:              APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Charles Grayson Day Jr., Mayor Pro Tem

SECONDER:              Richard A. Winters, City Councilman

AYES:              Day Jr., Ham, McClain, Winters

2.              Bid Award: Pest Control Services - Two Year Contract -

To provide monthly pest control maintenance services for city buildings.  Staff recommends low bid, Knox Pest Control.

Councilman Day made a motion to award Knox Pest Control.  Councilman Winters seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

RESULT:              APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]

MOVER:              Charles Grayson Day Jr., Mayor Pro Tem

SECONDER:              Richard A. Winters, City Councilman

AYES:              Day Jr., Ham, McClain, Winters

3.              Discussion - Kings Bay Fire Department Purple Heart Parking Spaces -

This discussion was tabled until next Council Meeting.

RESULT:              POSTPONED [UNANIMOUS]

AYES:              Day Jr., Ham, McClain, Winters

4.              Discussion - Water & Sewer Rate Schedule - RV Parks - City Councilman Jim McClain

Mr. and Mrs. Gay, Country Oak RV Park, Scrubby Bluff Road spoke to the Mayor and City Council regarding the water and sewer rate schedule. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gay explained they recently received a certified letter from the City of Kingsland stating their usage went from $260 to over $1,000 per month. 

The Gays stated that this was brought up ten years ago and Ms. Mungin, prior City Manager decided it could be called a main meter for the RV Park.  Ms. Gay stated that most RV's are self contained as opposed to a Hotel/Motel.  Ms. Gay also stated they are a small park and not a busy park, especially in the summer and did not feel it was right to pay for what they do not use.

 

Councilman McClain stated he did some investigation and back in 2007 the city had an agreement; Councilman McClain stated that all RV Parks should be treated the same.

 

Councilman McClain made a motion to oppose this item.

 

Mr. Lee Spell, City Manager asked if Council decided to grant this the city would need a document so future administrations have something in writing.

 

Councilman Winters asked to amend the original motion to draw up the agreement and bring back to the board.  Councilman Day seconded that motion.

The motion carried.

             

XI.

Mayor and Council Announcement

None

             

XII.

Adjourned

Councilman Day made a motion to adjourn.  Councilman Ham seconded the motion.  The motion carried.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:06 PM.

 

 

 

________________________________________

Kenneth E. Smith, Sr., Mayor

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

_________________________________________

Linda M. O'Shaughnessy, City Clerk