2017 January Regular Council Meeting Minutes

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JANUARY 5, 2017



The regular monthly meeting for January 5, 2017 of the City Council of Tallulah Falls, Georgia was called to order at 6:09 p.m. by Mayor Pro-tem Deb Goatcher.

  • Mayor Pro-tem Deb Goatcher
  • Councilperson Bill Coldren
  • Councilperson Larry Hamilton
  • Councilperson Teri Dobbs
  • Police Chief Bill Goatcher
  • Fire Captain Mike Early
  • Town Administrator/Clerk Patti Polk

See attached sign-in list. (for attachments, contact Town Clerk)


A Motion was made by Councilperson Dobbs to accept the minutes of the December 8, 2016 Regular City Council Meeting.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.


Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher recognized Mr. Higgins with Higgins Construction for approval of building permit for Tallulah Falls School (TFS).   Mr. Higgins stated TFS is improving their baseball facilities to include a 40 x 80 batting cage and a 24 x 36 concession stand with bathrooms and locker room.  The batting cage will not be heated/cooled.  Higgins Construction has applied with the County Sanitation Department for a permit and believes it will be finalized by Tuesday, January 10, 2017.


A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to authorize construction and building permits based on the favorable outcome of the County Sanitation Department permit.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Dobbs and passed unanimously.


Attorney Report:

Allyn Stockton was not in attendance to provide attorney report.


Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher gave an overview of issues currently with the attorney.  The city dock title search is still in process.  The Habersham Service Delivery Agreement meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2017 and Chief Bill Goatcher will be attending.  A teleconference with MuniCode regarding the Town’s ordinance codification has been scheduled for January 16, 2017.


Councilperson Hamilton confirmed the Council would have the opportunity to review a final draft as part of the review process for the codification of Town Ordinances.  There are a few ordinances that have been brought to his attention that need amending.


Fire Report:

Attached hereto and made a part hereof.  (for attachments, contact Town Clerk)


Fire Captain Mike Early stated the Fire Department purchased needed tools and tool chest approved at the last Council meeting.

Captain Early stated the Waterfall Community has notified the Tallulah Falls Fire Department they will be receiving a $2,000 donation for assisting with the recent Rabun County wild fires.  With this donation, Captain Early asked for the Council’s approval to purchase Scene LED Lights to assist with fire related safety issues.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Dobbs to approve the purchase of Scene LED Lights for the Fire Department.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher asked for a thank you note to be sent to the Waterfall Community for their donation.

Chief Goatcher also recognized Scott & Dianna Neal for the $1,000 donation which will be split between the Fire & Police Departments.  A thank you note has been sent to the Neals.


Police Report:

Attached hereto and made a part hereof.  (for attachments, contact Town Clerk)


Chief Goatcher is currently pricing an all-wheel drive 2016 Charger for the Police Department.  The Charger will replace the Crown Vic that is nearing 100,000 miles and not worth putting more money into.  He will provide estimates at the next meeting.

Chief Goatcher asked for the Council to approve a payout of 2016 vacation time not taken by himself (6 days) and Sgt. Matt Nall (3 days).

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to authorize the payout for unused vacation days in 2016 for Chief Goatcher and Sgt Nall.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Dobbs and passed unanimously.

Police Chief Goatcher stated Tallulah Falls received a Safety Grant from the Georgia Municipal Association for $2,972.  The money has already been spent for the purchase of reflective shirts and jackets for Police and Fire Departments.


Financial Report:

Attached hereto and made a part hereof.  (for attachments, contact Town Clerk)


Chief Goatcher commented on the SPLOST VI Town Hall Renovations.  The gas tankless water heater and heater for the Fire Department have been installed.  The interior paint is currently being worked on.  Pending projects include replacing the kitchen cabinets, installation of an ADA compliant front door, bathroom fixtures, and the purchase of a stove and refrigerator.

For the replacement of kitchen cabinets, Captain Early stated a single bid from Panther Wood for replacing the kitchen cabinets was $5,000.  This includes a $1,300 discount for the Town of Tallulah Falls.

Councilperson Dobbs commented the bid seemed high for the square footage and work being considered.  She asked Chief Goatcher obtain more bids for the kitchen cabinet renovation.

City Clerk Patti Polk noted the used furniture given to us by United Community Bank (UCB).  Ms. Polk worked with Jan Garrison, UCB employee and volunteer on the Habersham High Angle Team, to acquire the bank furniture no longer considered usable to them.  A thank you note is being sent to Jan Garrison of United Community Bank for the furniture donation.

Councilperson Dobbs noted the incoming inclement weekend weather and Town Hall being an emergency shelter.  An email should be sent to residents as a reminder should there be a need.


Water Report:

Attached hereto and made a part hereof.  (for attachments, contact Town Clerk)

Chief Goatcher commented on the new drives and pumps installed on Hickory Nut Mountain are working well.

Chief Goatcher indicated the next project is the well on Hickory Nut Mountain.  He has spoken with a Geologist who indicated the Town can hydro-frac or dig the existing 300+ foot well deeper; needs to be 700-800 foot.  By digging deeper, it will cost approximately $4,000 – $5,000 but no telemetry will be required.  The cost for telemetry alone would be around $2,000.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to authorize digging a deeper well for Hickory Nut Mountain.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Dobbs and passed unanimously.

Chief Goatcher noted there is still a small leak on Hickory Nut Mountain but has been unable to locate it thus far.  The water loss appears to be about 3,000 gallons over a 24-hour period.

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher stated that she, Attoney Allyn Stockton, and Chief Goatcher met with Jim Aton of Hayes James on December 27, 2016 regarding a work order for next steps to move forward with water withdrawal from the lake.  Prior to requesting authorization from the Council to sign, they requested Mr. Aton complete a cost benefit analysis of the information he presented during the meeting for Council review.


Street Report:

Chief Goatcher discussed the Town’s application for the LMIG asphalt grant.  He indicated some movement has been made between Rabun County and Clayton so a settlement could come soon.  The Town’s grant application will be processed when a settlement is reached.  Chief Goatcher stated the grant is usually around $9,000 – $10,000 and the Town is required to match 30% of funds spent.


Public Safety Report:

Fire Captain Mike Early noted Tallulah Falls Fire Department is still in need of volunteers.  Some interest has been shown but awaiting applications.

Councilperson Dobbs asked if another firearms safety course is being planned by the Tallulah Falls Police Department.  Chief Goatcher responded there has been a lot of interest and participation in recent courses but he is waiting for it to warm up.  The plan is to have the course every 4 months.  An email will be sent out announcing the next course.


Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher noted the Special Election for Mayor will be held on March 21, 2017 at Tallulah Falls Town Hall.  The Qualifying Period will be held February 6, 2017 through February 8, 2017 and fee is $27.  Early voting will be held February 27, 2017 through March 17, 2017.  Qualifying and early voting will be held at the Elections Office in Rabun County.

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher announced the Tallulah Gorge State Park has a new manager, Jennifer Jones, who replaced former manager Danny Tatum.  The new manager will be invited to the February 9, 2017 Council Meeting for introduction.

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher gave a reminder for the Town Hall Meeting on January 19, 2017 at 6p.m.  The meeting will highlight 2016 accomplishments and Mike Early will present an overview of the Tallulah Falls web site and its’ features.

Mayor Pro-tem Goatcher suggested an open house for Town Hall, in April, once all renovations have been completed and Mayor has been elected.  As part of the open house, Councilperson Dobbs suggested incorporating a CPR course, blood drive, and refreshments. An email will be sent out announcing the event.


Open Floor:

Councilperson Dobbs gave a reminder of the Tallulah Falls School Upper School Dedication for Larry Peevy on January 18, 2017 at 1p.m.



Councilperson Dobbs made the Motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilperson Coldren.  The Motion passed unanimously.


The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.