The following summary minutes are not official until adoption by Simpsonville City Council. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, notice of this meeting date, time, place, and agenda items was posted on the bulletin at Simpsonville City Hall and faxed to the newspapers, radio stations and any concerned citizens upon request.
SIMPSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL
January 10, 2006
City Council Chambers – 118 N. E. Main St.
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor: Call the January Business Meeting of the Simpsonville City Council to order. Ms. Bodkins would you call the roll please.
Ms. Bodkins: Yes sir.
Councilmember Bridges: Here
Councilmember Curry: Here
Councilmember Lawrence: Here
Councilmember Gecy: Here
Councilmember Larson: Here
Mayor Waldrop: Present
Mayor: Thank you. I think attorney Holmes has an announcement he would like to make before we proceed.
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Mayor we just had the pleasure of seeing the swearing in of Mr. Larson as a new councilmember. All of you know there is one seat, Mr. Gecy’s seat that was contested. Just so the record is clear tonight, Mr. Gecy continues to occupy his seat on City Council by State law. State law provides that until a successor is elected and qualified, that is if there are any additional protests, and there were to be another election, he will continue to serve. All of his votes will be legal and valid and he does duly represent the Ward from which he was elected.
Mayor: Okay, thank you very much.
Mayor: Would anyone like to ask blessings upon this meeting in your own way. Hearing none, Councilmember Bridges would you ask blessings upon this meeting for us in your own way.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ELECTION OF MAYOR PRO TEMPORE
Mayor: All right, our first order of business tonight is to make sure if my health fails somebody else can come over here and be obnoxious. It’s the election of the Mayor pro Tempore. So at this time I’ll open the floor to nominations.
Mr. Bridges: Mr. Mayor
Mayor: Mr. Bridges
Mr. Bridges: Mr. Mayor I’d like to nominate Ms. Lawrence.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Bridges. Do I hear a second
Ms. Lawrence: Well I’d like being it, I’ll second my own nomination.
Mayor: All right, I have a motion and a second. Any other nominations?
Mr. Larson: I’d like to nominate Mr. Gecy.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Larson. Do I hear a second.
Mr. Gecy: If she can do it I can do it. I’ll second it.
Mayor: All right. Thank you Mr. Gecy. Do we have any other nominations? All right then hearing none I will close the nominations and I guess it’s very simple we just call for the vote. All right, all those in favor of Ms. Lawrence…
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Mayor, it would be appropriate for you just to do a roll call vote and you would vote on one candidate.
Mayor: Okay, Ms. Bodkins would you call the roll please.
Ms. Bodkins: Councilmember Bridges: Ms. Lawrence
Councilmember Curry: Ms. Lawrence
Councilmember Lawrence: Ms. Lawrence
Councilmember Gecy: Ms. Lawrence
Councilmember Larson: Ms. Lawrence
Mayor Waldrop: Let me think, Ms. Lawrence.
Mayor: Well a unanimous endorsement I suppose. Ms. Lawrence congratulations.
Ms. Lawrence: Thank you very much
Mayor: And thank you all for participating.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES 12/13/2005
Mayor: All right, next item on the Agenda is approval of the December 13, 2005 Minutes. I’ll entertain a motion in that regard.
Mr. Curry: I move they be approved as written.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Curry do I hear a second.
Mr. Gecy: Second
Mayor: All right, thank you Mr. Gecy for the second. Any corrections, additions, deletions, comments, discussions. Ms. Lawrence.
Ms. Lawrence: I just want to comment on the fact that if that is the best our recorder can do we really need to consider getting a new recorder. These minutes were pretty bad. There was a lot that could not be heard and a lot that could have been missed.
Mr. Gecy: I noticed that to.
Mayor: Okay, so your recommendation would be that we not accept these minutes or….
Ms. Lawrence: Well I don’t see that we have any choice, my recommendation would be to try to….
Mayor: Well we do have a choice, I think we’re discussing this now and if you can convince the rest of us that we need to deny this motion….
Ms. Lawrence: Well I won’t vote for them because of the condition there in. But there’s no fault other than the recorder. I think there’s a problem with the recorder.
Mayor: Okay, Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I noticed that to in looking at the minutes. There were several, for the first time it seems, several times that they were inaudible and it was a conjecture between a couple of council people maybe overstepping one over the other. But sometimes when you couldn’t hear what one was saying. But I want to make a point that if that does occur, if a council person make a comment out of order, I would like for you to note that if you hear it, if you hear it on the tape. A comment was made by so and so who didn’t have the floor or something.
Ms. Bodkins: This tape was so bad you all sounded like a whisper through the whole thing.
Mayor: Everybody do that. (All of council tapped on their microphones) They’re all working. Are they wired directly into the recorder.
Mr. Gecy: Could there be any more care given to these minutes to find anything that you may have missed in the normal sequence.
Ms. Bodkins: I’m more than happy for anybody else to come down and listen to those minutes. I got everything I could off of them. It was just horrendous.
Mr. Curry: Have we tested the system?
Ms. Bodkins: Travis from Public Works came up and worked on that and he thought he had it working again, but I brought my recorder from downstairs to make sure. This one will pick up tonight.
Mayor: Anyone else. Well the motion before us is to accept the minutes as presented so if you don’t believe they’re accurate and you’d like for us to make another run at it the appropriate vote would be no. I must say that I noticed that it seemed to be written in a little broader context than it had been before. Maybe, it’s because of what you’re talking about. There weren’t too many specifics, so I don’t know whether that can be corrected or not but again I would suggest you let us know if you’d like to make another run at it. So, any further discussion. All right, hearing none, I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye –
In favor: Mr. Bridges – Mr. Curry and Mr. Larson
Opposed: Ms. Lawrence, Mr. Gecy, Mayor Waldrop
Is that 3-3
Mr. Holmes: The motion does not carry.
Mayor: It’s a tie so I guess if you could go back and carefully review those again and if someone would like to assist.
Ms. Lawrence: I’ll help.
Mayor: Feel free to set up a schedule and get together or something so that it doesn’t interfere with the normal work flow. All right.
REVIEW OF MONTHLY REPORTS:
Mayor: Next item on the Agenda is Review of the Monthly Reports and by the way Happy New Year to everybody, this is our first meeting of the year. I forgot about all that. It seems like the Holiday Season is over but it’s kind of extended for us. Anybody have any comments about any of the reports that are either on your desk downstairs or in your packets, department reports. All right hearing none, I’d like to thank those department personnel again for providing those for us. Very good information in there and we appreciate it.
Mayor: All right, this is the time where we invite citizen comments. No one has called ahead to be placed on the Agenda. Did we have anyone sign up tonight.
Ms. Bodkins: No sir.
Mayor: Okay. We’ll move on past Citizen Comments
CITY ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT:
Mayor: Next item is the City Administrator’s Report. Mr. Hawes
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir, Mayor and Council, before I get into my report I did want to announce that we received the resignation from the City of Simpsonville Housing and Board of Appeals of Mr. Bruce Larson. It was fully expected and it is going to be necessary that the nominating committee get together and receive nominations on that. We don’t have the nominating committee because Mr. Pelar and Ms. Thomas are no longer part of council.
Mayor: That’s a rough job. Ms. Lawrence has an idea.
Ms. Lawrence: Well how about if we let council members you know suggest someone that they, you know let a council member bring forth a person they think might be good at the job.
Mr. Hawes: That would be totally up to council if they feel that’s an appropriate way.
Mayor: Yeah, let each councilmember, everybody in agreement with that. All right, I don’t think we need to vote on that, we just need kind of an agreement, so everybody bring one to our next meeting…..
Mr. Hawes: Is there an intent through that action to disband the nominating committee
Mayor: Well we can form another nominating committee at some time, but I don’t know.
Mr. Gecy: I’d like to make that a workshop item.
Mayor: Okay, very good.
Mr. Hawes: Now, on to my report.
C-Fund Application – With regards to the C-Fund Application that’s currently before the Greenville County legislative delegation Transportation Committee, the City presented a needs assessment and prioritization for phase II of the paving plan and described that application to that group. The next step in the process is for the technical aspects of the submittal to be evaluated by the county engineer in the coming weeks. This is a continuation of the project that resurfaced eleven City streets last year. The CTC has not determined how the local match would work at this time. Last year the City contributed 100,000 to the 200,000 total of phase I. Once that group has determined how to set the match for the funds, the CTC will then act on whether to fund our proposal. Basically, they took our information and tabled it with the intent of trying to determine how the match was going to work at their last meeting.
FY 2006-2007 Budget Preparation – I have attached a schedule outlining the budget process over the coming months. We are continually evaluating revenues and expenditures in the current budget to identify operating efficiencies. I am working with our finance director to revise some of the line items so the general ledger can better reflect actual budget activity. Meetings with individual department heads will begin next week. And I have included the schedule three pages back.
Christmas at Heritage Park – was held December 19th through 23rd and every indication that we’ve received it was a rousing success. I heard more comments about that one activity, sponsored by our Recreation Department, than about any other single recreation activity that we held all year. We’ve had numerous comments and look forward to building on it for the future. I just want to commend Sandee Fix and Robbie and everybody at the Rec Department, Greg and all the folks who put a good bit of their pre-holiday time into it.
Mayor: Here, here
Median Extensions at Fairview Bridge – which was something that we have identified as being an important traffic control measure was approved by SCDOT in the past few weeks. The extensions for concrete medians would be from the ramp at Northbound 385 to the intersection of South Street. This will prevent left turns across three lanes of traffic that we’re currently getting when there’s heavy travel in the mornings, particularly to avoid having to go around the ramp, people will come up and make a left turn on the northbound 385 instead of going east over the bridge. We will install a planted median at the intersection of South Street and Fairview as part of the aesthetic improvements to that gateway to our city. That’s going to be a demo project to an extent. We’ve been approved by SCDOT to do that aesthetic improvement and this was something that we had discussed at the retreat this past summer of how we could better improve that whole intersection. We’re also working on lighting at that intersection as well with Duke Power. I’ll be meeting with them next week. Better light in that intersection and to create a full corridor effect into downtown with decorative lighting that will match those along the bridge. I’m real excited about that and we’ll be moving forward on that from here on in. And that was in the budget. The other median work will extend the concrete median through the I-385 ramp at – from South Street – I’m sorry from South Street down to Main Street so that there will be a complete extension of the ramp, of the median. That way people don’t subvert the short median that’s there right now to get to the Bi-Lo shopping center. I’m sure you’ve all observed that where folks have come down and actually go against the flow of traffic around the median and then cut into the Bi-Lo shopping center, just before they get to the railroad tracks there. So we’re going to extend that median as well. This was all approved by DOT and they feel it’s an appropriate project and they are supplying the materials – we will supply the labor.
Heritage Commerce Park – is moving forward. The city has procured an appraisal of the industrial portion of Heritage Park. This appraisal will help set a base value per unit of land with planned infrastructure improvements. We have made substantial progress with the property owner on land negotiations and other aspects of creating a viable business and commerce park at the Heritage site. The property value appraisal should be complete within the month.
Upcoming Events - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a City holiday is Monday, January 16th. And our next scheduled Council Meeting is the Workshop Meeting, January 24th. I’ll be glad to entertain any questions.
Mayor: Okay, thank you Mr. Hawes. Anyone have any questions or comments or responses to Mr. Hawes. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Hawes the area you’re talking about between Fairview and South Street are you talking about that little quadrant by Wilson’s 5 and 10.
Mr. Hawes: Yes. Well when you say quadrant, I’m talking about the median along the road from the railroad tracks up to South Street, to extend that median. As far as the planting area, is that what you’re
Mr. Gecy: I was thinking you were talking about Fairview Road exit is where you were talking about, having the additional lights in that bare piece of land that’s kind of like a median coming into the Bi-Lo store that way by Wilson’s.
Mr. Hawes: No this does not include land off of the road. This is improvements in the road, in the carriage way.
Mayor: I believe Ms. Lawrence has a question about that subject. Ms. Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence: You’re talking about that little two foot wide median that’s running down there now.
Mr. Hawes: Exactly.
Ms. Lawrence: Are we going to irrigate before we put anything in it.
Mr. Hawes: No, DOT will not allow us to run irrigation.
Ms. Lawrence: Yeah, I know where it is.
Mr. Hawes: It would have to be small plants, flowers, perennials, things along that line
Ms. Lawrence: With no water. Well if we’re going to do it can’t we – DOT won’t let us you’re saying
Mr. Hawes: They’ve indicated they would approve it without irrigation.
Ms. Lawrence: But have they indicated they would approve it with irrigation.
Mr. Hawes: No, because we asked about irrigation and they said no, they don’t want us to get under the road.
Ms. Lawrence: Well I don’t think it will look good because I don’t think it will live.
Mayor: Put Astroturf, Mr. Gecy you still have the floor
Mr. Gecy: I’m still on that subject. You talked about the lighting at Fairview where it comes up to Fairview Road, correct. Has Duke Power bent at all about putting any lights in there on those – I did notice in talking with the Police Chief, there are 2-3 light poles there that we could put a light on
Mr. Hawes: Right, that’s what we’re looking at doing.
Mr. Gecy: Is there objection to that or
Mr. Hawes: No, now that we’ve identified it – I have a meeting to discuss that with them this coming week.
Mr. Gecy: And even if we put just the old fashion regular light okay. We really need to light that place. That’s all I have.
Mayor: Anyone else have questions or comments for Mr. Hawes. All right, let me correct one thing that I overlooked. I’m a little rusty because of the Holidays, but I meant to back when we were talking about the monthly reports, to commend all of our Departments for their handling of this recent ice storm we had. Particularly the Fire Department, Police Department and Public Works Department. And Robbie I know that your recreation folks had some work to do out there to, I don’t want to leave you out but those three departments really put forth a great effort and I have nothing but compliments from the citizens out there the way you cleared the roadways and made sure that when the lights were out we had traffic direction and that sort of thing. So I wanted to make sure I didn’t let this meeting go by without complimenting you for that. So now back to the Agenda.
Mayor: Next item on the Agenda is Council Comments. Ms. Lawrence You’re loaded tonight aren’t you.
Ms. Lawrence: I know, I’m loaded. First off I have something that I would like to read to Mr. Larson. This is from Pat and she’s sorry she couldn’t be here because of her work schedule. “Bruce, I’m sorry I couldn’t be at your reception tonight but I did want to congratulate you and wish you the very best. I hope you enjoy your time on council as much as I. It takes dedication, integrity and honesty and a strong commitment to effectively serve the good people of Simpsonville. I believe you have these qualities and will pray daily that they come to you in abundance. Please let me know if I can help you in any way. In your Service, Pat Thomas”.
Mr. Larson: Thank you very much.
Ms. Lawrence: And I also wanted to comment Robbie on Christmas at Heritage Park. That thing was super. I can see it being another Gobblin Fest. That train’s not going to be able to run fast enough because it was great. We went the first night and it was just really good. The kids thoroughly enjoyed it. Santa Claus sitting there and this was the first year but they did an exceptional job. And then I had something that I would request that you put on the Workshop meeting please. I would like to discuss in depth our sewer concerns, issues and I would request that council be provided with a copy, and this is before your time Mr. Hawes. The November 15, 1999 Arcadia Study, and then the 2004 Caliber Engineering Study, a copy of the Goulding Study, I know it’s Jordan Jones and somebody, Goulding and if we could maybe have a map that shows all these manholes and throughout, so they’re big enough for us to see for the next workshop.
Mr. Hawes: We can do that no problem.
Ms. Lawrence: Thank you.
Mayor: And if I may add, can we be sure that Mr. Carter and whoever should be with him be included, make sure they’re here so
Mr. Hawes: Oh, absolutely knowing that it would be discussed I’ll make sure we have Joe and Jay.
Mayor: Excuse me I just wanted to…is that it. Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: I’d like to thank Ms. Thomas for her kind words. I’d also like to thank everyone who helped me during the campaign. Also everyone concerned with the City, all the Departments, Ms. Bodkins, Mr. Hawes, everyone in the City you’ve all been very helpful and very encouraging and I think everyone in this room is wanting the same thing and that is to make Simpsonville continue to be the great City that it is and hopefully we can all work together to get there. I look forward to working with everybody. Thank you.
Mayor: All right, anybody else. Mr. Gecy.
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Hawes I want to talk about Hunters Woods the current engineering that’s going on with the plan to run a parallel line through Hunters Woods. Has that created any fear of damage to the land or in someway upsetting to the natural creek bed that’s there. We’re all surprised that this sewer line ran down through this creek and crossed back over back and forth and some people have property that crosses over this creek. And we’ve talked to several people who some got the letter and some didn’t get the letter, but nonetheless they’re alarmed by the people that are – the threat of what may occur if this line is put in. Have we absolutely determined this is the only and best way to do this?
Mr. Hawes: Yes we have. As far as speaking to the fear that may have been created, I really can’t speak to someone else’s fear. I can say that every effort will be made from procurement of the contractor and execution of the work to minimally be invasive in any way possible. And typical of our contracts with contractors of this type there is a requirement that when they do the work it be replaced and put back to as close to original condition as possible. The intent is fully to get this in, put it back to as close to original as possible, and not have to revisit it again in any way shape or form.
Mr. Gecy: Is there any environmental study that is required or needs to be done prior to this.
Mr. Hawes: All studies that are required will be done.
Mr. Gecy: Has that been factored into the cost of the project
Mr. Hawes: Yes
Mr. Gecy: Do you see us being surprised by any overages in what our estimate is now?
Mr. Hawes: No.
Mr. Gecy: So, you’re saying that we can do this project for what fee have you been told.
Mr. Hawes: In the $200,000 range.
Mr. Gecy: Okay, so then the fear that it’s going to cost us more is not something that you anticipate.
Mr. Hawes: I always anticipate any cost overruns, but we don’t expect them.
Mr. Gecy: And the money that’s funding this, we’ve talked about this at the December 13th meeting, we talked about $250,000 that was already in place to do this project, or a project like this or a project worth $200,000, in the Fairview area. We talked about plan 1 and plan 2 and then we scraped those and now we’re doing a parallel line. What’s become of the $250,000 again, that we actually had in the budget to do this project.
Mr. Hawes: The necessitation of doing the project the way we did it was the fact that City Council agreed in November to enter into a Public Private Agreement with a developer farther down, actually at Harrison Bridge Road, allowing us to combine the two projects into a single bond issue and take care of that and allow us not to tap the $200,000 that was budgeted and take that $200,000 and put it into other beneficial projects throughout the City, one of which is a $50,000 project that council approved at it’s last meeting to do sewer infiltration studies.
Mr. Gecy: Where is the next big expenditure needed in our sewer system.
Mr. Hawes: That would be it right now.
Mr. Gecy: Where’s the next one.
Mr. Hawes: When you say next…
Mr. Gecy: After Fairview’s taken care of
Mr. Hawes: The sewer infiltration study I would say is a fairly large expenditure.
Mr. Gecy: Which capacity is the next worst is what I’m getting at. Which line is the most dangerous that we need to work on according to the plan. We have a plan right?
Mr. Hawes: We have not identified any lines that are over capacity at this time beyond that in the Fairview area. Because of its high growth rate those are approaching or are at capacity, therefore we’ve had to move on them quickly and make sure that they were taken care of in a way that met EPA standards.
Mr. Gecy: Is there not a capacity problem on the line on Hedge Street where we turned a developer down for a minimal discharge of sewer and yet we said the line couldn’t take it.
Mr. Hawes: Your definition of capacity problem is subjective at best. There is no capacity problem existing that when someone proposes a zoning change that would allow much more intense development of the property than exists that a capacity problem may have been created were that zoning change to occur.
Mr. Gecy: Well any time we have a development, and our consent order, asks the developer has to show a study of how his development is going to impact our sewer system.
Mr. Hawes: That’s absolutely correct and we did that and that’s where we identified that that developer would have to improve the line to support the capacity that is necessary to add the capacity that is necessary. We followed every rule and regulation about it.
Mr. Gecy: In answer to my other question though, where is the next worst system and certainly we have to upgrade our system all over the City. I mean, or are we fine now. If we fix Fairview are we fine. Is that system going to be….
Mr. Hawes: That is the primary concern at this point. But we are trying to identify through infiltration studies that we’re spending $50,000 on in the next two months to see if there are any other critical problems.
Mayor: Excuse me but if we’re going to discuss what Ms. Lawrence asked us to discuss at the next Workshop Meeting, I think that was a pretty thorough request for sewer issues – can we get these questions answered then so we can have this whole big discussion about the sewer.
Mr. Gecy: Yeah, you’re right. I needed to get those questions out. I did get a little general, but there was a pretty pertinent need to talk about some of those. I agree with you and I’ll pause at that.
Mr. Larson: I wanted to ask Mr. Hawes one question about that.
Mayor: Okay, Mr. Larson
Mr. Larson: Where the parallel line comes down through Hunters Woods does it tie into Western Carolina, at the same place.
Mr. Hawes: Yes, near it.
Mr. Larson: And that won’t affect their capacity
Mr. Hawes: No, they’ve approved that.
Mr. Larson: So they’re good with that then.
Mr. Hawes: Absolutely.
Mayor: All right. Anyone else. All right hearing no further council comments we’ll move on to New Business.
a. Presentation of FY 2005 Audit
Mayor: Has Larry Finney arrived yet. I don’t see him.
Mr. Hawes: I received word from Mr. Finney yesterday that due to allocation resources within his office he was unable to complete the presentation and rather than do a minimal presentation he wanted to give a full presentation and he requested that council please defer that to the workshop meeting.
Mayor: Okay, well we sure want the full skinny. Ms. Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence: When can we get a copy of the audit.
Mr. Hawes: We may be able to get it next week.
Ms. Lawrence: Because I mean I’d like to see it before he talks about it.
Mr. Hawes: That would be the intent.
Mayor: Okay, thank you sir.
b. Strategic Planning Retreat
Mayor: All right, next item is, Mr. Hawes you’re still in the bucket. Strategic Planning Retreat.
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir Mayor and Council, at our previous retreat in the summer. This past summer, there was some discussion of doing our retreat in perhaps a different way than we had the previous two years. For strategic planning purposes and budget purposes, whereby the last two years we had basically piggy backed on the Chamber of Commerce’s strategic planning as they traveled down to Charleston. We were trying to identify a way for me to get some direction as to how Council wants to handle this this year and in the future. I did want to bring up the point that we will be receiving another council member in March, with the election that is coming up and I need some direction as to whether council would wish to do the retreat after the council situation is settled with regard to its composition or if it would rather do the retreat at the typical time which is late February. And if you may or may not want to still work with the Chamber of Commerce and do it in conjunction with that or if you would rather do a retreat in such a way as it may be held in the City of Simpsonville or in Greenville County or perhaps in some other location. In my opinion its good to sort of get away to clear the mind and you all know my opinion on that. So, I really need some direction as to how we want to handle our retreat.
Mayor: Well I have an opinion about that that I’ll share with you. It’s just an opinion and I’m sure other people have opinions to. First of all, I think when we go off with another group like that we don’t get the focus that we get when we have our own retreat. I know we set aside time for ourselves but we have these other issues, with the Chamber on our minds, I think it’s hard to get focused on what we need to be focused on. I also don’t think it helps anybody for us to go way away to a place like Charleston where there are things to do that also take away from our focus. I agree with you we need to get away from City Hall but maybe somewhere closer – maybe Travelers Rest has a nice place. That would be my opinion and that’s all it is is an opinion. So if anyone else has an opinion they would like to share as to possible direction. Ms. Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence: Well I tend to agree with you about going as far away as Charleston with another group. I feel like when we get together we do have good conversation but it’s such a short time. I feel like we would probably be better served doing something even as close as here.
Mr. Larson: I agree with both of those opinions. I think it’s good to get away but I’d like to see us keep our money in this area. If we’re going to be spending money on retreats, I’d spend it with the local folks. There’s plenty of nice places away from City Hall that are still local here where we could have a retreat.
Ms. Lawrence: Well what about the Garden House
Mr. Hawes: That was one of the ones I was
Ms. Lawrence: Have you checked with them. I mean they have a nice meeting room and they have a lovely den. I know she’s going to cook if we want lunch.
Mr. Hawes: That’s certainly a possibility if council would like me to look into that and we can hold that retreat here.
Mayor: Why don’t you get back with us with some recommendations, based on these comments that were made. Oh and one other comment I would make. As much as I’d like to include new people that are coming, I think it’s important that we have our session early in the year so that we can have the whole year to work with it. I know there’s some people up here that already have some things on their minds, but we need to get into the plan. So if I don’t hear any objection to that I’d say lets go ahead and have it as soon as possible. Mr. Gecy:
Mr. Gecy: And actually I would agree with that because we have some issues with the budget that the City Administrator is preparing and needs guidance on. There are several issues and that would give us an opportunity to review those.
Mr. Hawes: Absolutely.
Mr. Gecy: I would agree with that and I kind of like the idea of doing it locally.
Mr. Hawes: Well let me just throw a date out for you because some council members may still attend the Chambers meeting. I know one who has submitted to attend the Chambers meeting so I wouldn’t want to schedule it on the same weekend. Perhaps the weekend before the Chambers. I think it’s the 17th.
Mayor: 17th of February.
Mr. Gecy: I can’t be there but you can do it without me.
Mayor: No we want to have everybody there.
Mr. Gecy: It’s my aunt’s 85th birthday and I’m not going to miss it.
Mayor: How about the week after the Chambers. As a part of your proposal why don’t you give us a couple of dates, bearing in mind asap. I think we all want to do it asap. And…
Mr. Gecy: How about the beginning of March
Mayor: Well that’s getting on down the line.
Mr. Holmes: The Chamber retreat is about the first weekend in February, so you’re going to do it mid-February or….
Mayor: Well, as soon as possible.
Mr. Hawes: Okay, I’ll look into that. I appreciate the direction.
Mayor: Thank you very much.
c. Appointment of Administrative Judge
Mayor: All right, you’re still – don’t slide that microphone away – you’re still up. Appointment of Administrative Judge – Mr. Hawes
Mr. Hawes: Yes sir Mayor and Council, City Council acted at the last meeting to finalize the creation and capacity for an administrative judge with regard to an employee who may be appointed as such. I believe City Council discussed possibly appointing the City Clerk of Court as Administrative Judge. This appointment would just take a single vote of council to make that effective.
Mayor: Okay, and we didn’t do that last time.
Mr. Hawes: No, you created the ordinance that allowed you to do that this time.
Mr. Curry: I move we do that.
Ms. Lawrence: I’ll second it.
Mayor: Mr. Curry moves and Ms. Lawrence seconds. Thank you Ms. Lawrence. Any discussion. All right hearing none – Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: And we’ve done this when we created the position but since we are going to appoint someone would you please explain the duties and the necessity for this judge position briefly.
Mr. Hawes: Certainly, the duties are similar to the duties of another judge, however, this one is subject to the oversight of the Chief Municipal Judge. The duties may be constrained by that Chief Municipal Judge. The intent of creating the position was to improve efficiency of the Court system and to identify ways that we can move through without cases that unnecessarily bog down the Court system. So the Clerk of Court could pass on some remedies to make the Court system move smoother.
Mayor: Okay, anyone else. All right, hearing no other discussion I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. Thank you Mr. Hawes.
ANNEXATIONS/REZONINGS – First Reading
a. AX-2006-01 – John Cox – Capewood Road
Mayor: All right, next item on the Agenda is annexations and rezonings and Mr. Zitricki contacted me today and offered his apologies but he is very sick and he could not make it tonight. But, he went out on the street to try to find just anybody that he could find to fill in for him and Al Spain just happened to be walking by. So Mr. Spain would you assume the position and….
Mr. Spain: Thank you Mayor and Council. I’ll try to speak up and into the microphone. First request we had tonight was AX-2006-01. It was an application by John Cox. It stated on the Agenda it was Joe Landreth and that was incorrect. The applicant is John Cox. The property is located on Capewood Road. Just to give you all a landmark it’s the property where the lake is on Capewood before you get to the 4-way stop at Neely Ferry there. There’s a lake on the left. The project was heard by the Planning Commission on it’s meeting of January 3rd. This proposal was for annexation and rezoning to PD. It was approximately 6.5 acres. The applicant was proposing to put 20 homes on the site consisting of anywhere from 1200 to 2,000 sq. ft. The lot sizes themselves ranged from 4,000 to about 7,000 sq. ft. However the overall density of the project met what they called the R-12 cluster which the Planning Commission has discussed in the past considering this PD. So it did meet the 12,000 sq. ft per lot as a cluster zone, but the individual lots were smaller than that. What they did is they had open space of approximately 2.68 acres on the site that was counted in. At the Planning Commission meeting Kevin Ross represented the applicant and spoke in favor of it. We did have a dozen people from the neighborhood that did appear and spoke in opposition. Some of their concerns involved traffic, fire protection, damage to the environment, devaluation of the property, and some of the utility problems that they have been experiencing out there. The Planning Commission after listening to the people speaking in and opposition to voted unanimously to deny this request for annexation and rezoning.
Mayor: Okay, thank you Mr. Spain. I’ll entertain a motion in that regard. Ms. Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence: Mr. Mayor I make a motion we accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny
Mayor: Thank you Ms. Lawrence do I hear a second.
Mr. Larson: I’ll second
Mayor: Thank you Mr., what is your name again – Larson. Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Larson is going to be kind of hard for me to handle. But Mr. Larson seconds. Any discussion.
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Mayor
Mayor: Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Spain when an issue like this comes to the Planning Commission and is unanimously turned down why is it necessary to bring it to us if it’s already been unanimously turned down.
Mr. Spain: The Planning Commission is just an advisory body. It’s the same reason when they recommend in favor of one that they would bring it to you. It’s up to council to make that final determination of whether or not to accept the Planning Commission. Should council decide not to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation it requires a super majority to overturn their decision. I believe Mr. Holmes might could add to that.
Mr. Gecy: So then what you’re saying is that a piece of business from the Planning Commission must be disposed of by us.
Mr. Spain: Yes. It is heard by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: Yes Mr. Holmes
Mr. Holmes: Just as a point of order there are two issues. The Planning Commission makes no recommendation on annexation. They are not legally allowed to do that. The Petition for Annexation comes to City Council. What the City Council has historically done is somewhat unique in that we allow an applicant for annexation to request a specific zoning. We allowed those to be double tracked. Technically they should be annexed and then the rezoning. The Planning Commission could only vote to reject the requested zoning. The Motion before you is to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation of denial. The only thing they can deny is the rezoning, not the application for annexation. It is theoretically possible then for this council to vote to approve the petition for annexation on first reading and to uphold the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny the request for zoning. So I just want to be clear. I’m not exactly certain what the motion is but if the motion only goes to the Planning Commission’s recommendation the only thing they can legally recommend to you and can have hearings on is the issue of rezoning not annexation.
Mayor: Well Mr. Attorney if I may this is a request for annexation, there’s no mention of rezoning.
Mr. Spain: Annexation and zoning is what is advertised
Mayor: Yes, but the title on my packet unless I’ve got another one of those odd packets that I seem to get it says annexation
Mr. Spain: It was duly advertised as an annexation and zoning for John A. Cox, LLC 503 Capewood Dr. That’s how it was advertised in the paper.
Mayor: Do you have a recommendation Mr. Parliamentarian.
Mr. Holmes: The significance of the numbers AX indicates annexation.
Mayor: Z would indicate a rezoning, then just so you understand, Mr. Spain is correct, the Planning Commission has to advertise and correctly notify the public that it is not only a rezoning but that these people are asking to annex in but by statute your Planning Commission does not consider annexations. It only considers zoning issues. So, that’s why this is an AX number. It is an annexation petition coupled with a request for a specific zoning. By statute zoning changes have to go through the Planning Commission, and they have to conduct Public Hearings. So what I’d ask is that either Ms. Lawrence rephrase her motion or that the only vote you’re going to take is on the rezoning issue and you still have the petition for annexation in front of us. It’s immaterial to me which, but I just want to make sure the record is clear, when you vote what it is you’re voting on.
Mayor: Okay, so we can annex this without rezoning. So Ms. Lawrence
Mr. Holmes: Well the property is currently zoned in the county. At some point it would have to be zoned. So you can say we vote yes to annex the property but we decline to give it the requested zoning that the application made at the time the petition for annexation was made.
Mayor: They have the option before second reading to withdraw their request for annexation.
Mr. Holmes: That is typically the way City Council has done that.
Mayor: So, Ms. Lawrence would you like to restate your motion and….clarify your motion – would you like to clarify your motion.
Ms. Lawrence: I’m going to withdraw it and give somebody else a shot at it, because I’m not really interested in the annexation issue.
Mayor: Well Mr. Larson had seconded it so would you, I assume your second is automatically withdrawn. Would you like to make a comment on it or make a motion or…
Mr. Larson: I was going to ask Mr. Holmes if we vote against the project we could still vote to that property being annexed.
Mr. Holmes: That’s correct
Mr. Larson: If we voted Ms. Lawrence’s motion that’s would have happened.
Mr. Holmes: That’s correct and obviously if it’s not annexed in then this property owner can go to Greenville County and ask for whatever to proceed. So the issue you have to decide is….
Mr. Larson: If we wanted to annex the property in but deny the zoning, what would be your recommendation on how to word that.
Mr. Holmes: That you would vote – your motion would be to approve the petition on annexation for first reading but to deny the requested zoning as recommended by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Curry: So move.
Mayor: Mr. Larson has the floor. If….
Mr. Larson: I agree with Mr. Curry.
Mayor: Okay, so you give up….Mr. Curry you have the floor
Mr. Curry: So move
Mayor: So move what
Mr. Curry: His recommendation.
Mayor: Did you get that. All right, do I hear a second.
Mr. Larson: I’ll second it.
Mayor: All right. Everybody’s clear. And I’ll remind council this is first reading. So they have time to change their mind. All right, any further discussion before I call for the vote.
Mr. Larson: I wanted to ask Mr. Spain a question. On the report where it says under sanitary sewer, it says it is available with capacity to service this site.
Mr. Spain: Yes sir
Mr. Larson: When these reports are done how do you determine the capacity or who determines that.
Mr. Spain: It’s determined by Public Works or the sewer, sometimes it’s Metro but most times it’s the City.
Mr. Larson: You take the word of
Mr. Spain: We get a letter from Joe Carter
Mr. Larson: So that information is ….we generate that information
Mr. Holmes: Mr. Spain what he’s asking is who generate the information. You have
Mr. Spain: Public Works
Mr. Holmes: Do you have in your hand currently a letter from Public Works that is presented to the Planning Commission
Mr. Spain: Not in my file here no. But I do have it on file.
Mr. Holmes: So what you’re telling council is that a condition of your approval would be if they did submit the letter
Mr. Spain: Yes sir. The developer has to submit it
Mr. Larson: Submit it. If they submit it and the line would handle 250 gallons a minute or whatever. Do we verify that information is correct.
Mr. Spain: Yes sir. Public Works generally before they write the letter they go out and investigate.
Mr. Larson: Okay
Mayor: Okay. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: One more comment on that. How long is permission to tie into the sewer effective.
Mr. Spain: I have no idea.
Mr. Gecy: If we say okay in 1999. If we said okay in 1999 and somebody tapped into our sewer line now there could be a potential over capacity sewer line. Is there any guideline on how long – are you saying yes there is.
Mr. Holmes: Yes there is.
Mr. Gecy: So when somebody has permission for how long – is it indefinite.
Mr. Holmes: There is a new statute in SC that provides, which council is going to need to take up and revisit in its zoning, that allows once approval to any kind of development has been given it cannot be withdrawn for at least two years. The developer has the right to renew that for at least I believe it’s another two years. So theoretically for at least 4 years that approval is still existing. What I would suggest to you is part of what Public Works has got to do is if a development has gotten approval for 20,000 of gallons a day then they have to reserve that capacity for that developer. If somebody else comes in later and says we want capacity, if we’ve already given somebody else that capacity we can’t go back unless we’re prepared to spend the money to increase the line.
Mr. Gecy: Thank you.
Mayor: Okay. Anyone else? All right, let’s see, we have a motion on the floor. I think we’ve had plenty of discussion, so all those in favor – I’ll remind council this is first of two readings – so all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Okay Ms. Lawrence opposes it.
b. Z-2006-01 – John Dickens – N. E. Main Street
Mayor: All right, Mr. Spain Z-2006-01 Mr. John Dickens.
Mr. Spain: This is application by the Dickens Company for a PD on N E Main Street. It’s located where the old service station tire store was next to Teal’s and the Simpsonville Pawn Shop. It consists of 3 parcels that the Dickens Company has purchased. It’s approximately 2 acres and Mr. Dickens, and I’ve given you all a packet of some of the materials that Mr. Ellis the architect submitted to us, for 5 two-story buildings totaling 34,000 square feet with a parking area in the rear and they will provide the required number of parking spaces as they need to. These five buildings are of mixed use and consist of retail/commercial on the lower level, residential space on the second level. And all buildings will be constructed using materials – will not use any metal or vinyl exterior siding and they will also have separate elevation appearances. The buildings as you all have noticed have been demolished on this site. And Mr. Dickens has gone in and cleaned up the site. There is still pending the alleyway abandonment which is in the works right now and should be accomplished before this site is started to be developed. The Planning Commission was very excited with this project and from the presentation given by Mr. Dickens and Mr. Ellis and they unanimously recommended that this PD be approved.
Mayor: Okay thank you Mr. Spain and this is a very impressive presentation, so apparently Bobby Ellis has some new software. Mr. Gecy
Mr. Gecy: I would be proud to make a motion to approve Z-2006-01 for approval.
Mayor: Thank you Mr. Gecy, do I hear a second
Mr. Larson: I’ll second
Mayor: Mr. Larson seconds. All right, any discussion.
Mr. Gecy: I wish we could share this with all the folks in the audience. It’s a beautiful design.
Mr. Spain: I have some large renderings downstairs that I didn’t put up
Mr. Gecy: This is wonderful
Mayor: All right. Ms. Larson or Lawrence – we’ve got to do something about this – your going to have to change your name or something.
Ms. Lawrence I just have one question. And this is beautiful gentlemen. It is really beautiful. Has anybody mentioned impervious concrete in all this parking lot.
Mr. Spain: No ma’am
Ms. Lawrence: Well I just thought it would be a nice concession.
Mr. Spain: That could be an item that council could address as part of their comment or the Planning Commission could address as part of the…..
Ms. Lawrence: They look like they’ve got such nice landscaping that that would really be a benefit to these trees and shrubs and things like that. Anyways, that was just a comment.
Mayor: Okay. Certainly\
Mr. Gecy: Mr. Hawes in our streetscape program is there a way we can help – you know we could stretch a little bit past where we were planning to incorporate this new development into the streetscape. It’s so close but…..
Mr. Hawes: Yes. It is right on the fringe of where our streetscape extends. I’ve spoken with Mr. Dickens concerning this. We are going to try to do whatever we can to incorporate some of the elements, the design elements that are going to be throughout our downtown in that area, because it is truly a high quality extension of our downtown.
Mr. Gecy: Good. If we could really move that that would be
Mr. Hawes: That’s what our intent is – we’ve had meetings with our consultants on this.
Mr. Larson: I’d like to add this. Everything I’ve know Mr. Dickens to be involved in has just been top notch, top quality and this will be a huge asset for the City and I wish them all the success and look forward to seeing the progress get going.
Mayor: I think we all do. And I owe an apology to someone. Due to the fact that I made a smart aleck comment about Bobby Ellis and in fact he’s lost a lot of hair and I’ve lost a lot of eyesight since I saw him last. I wasn’t aware that he was among us or I wouldn’t have been quite so smart with my comments. Yeah remember that he owes me one or I owe him one. All right, I digress, hearing no further discussion I’ll call for the vote. I’ll remind council this is the first of two required readings so all those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) opposed No. Aye’s have it it’s unanimous. All right I think that’s all we have from you Mr. Spain is that not correct?
Mr. Spain: That’s correct sir.
Mayor: All right, well thank you very much for filling in and you did Mr. Zitricki proud.
Mayor: I will entertain a motion regarding item number 13 Ms. Lawrence.
Ms. Lawrence: Mr. Mayor I make a motion that we adjourn.
Mayor: Thank you Ms. Lawrence do I hear a second
Mr. Curry: Second
Mayor: Mr. Curry seconds. Hearing no discussion I’ll call for the vote. All those in favor signify by saying Aye (AYE) Vote is unanimous we are adjourned. Thank you all for coming.
PAMELA J. BODKINS