2017 April Regular Council Meeting Minutes

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 TOWN OF TALLULAH FALLS

STATE OF GEORGIA

REGULAR MEETING

April 6, 2017

MINUTES

 

The regular monthly meeting for April 6, 2017 of the City Council of Tallulah Falls, Georgia was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Terri Dobbs.

  • Mayor Terri Dobbs
  • Pro-Tem Deb Goatcher
  • Councilperson Bill Coldren
  • Councilperson Larry Hamilton
  • Councilperson Robbie McCutcheon
  • Police Chief Bill Goatcher
  • Fire Captain Mike Early
  • Attorney Allyn Stockton
  • Town Administrator/Clerk Patti Polk
OTHERS PRESENT:

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

 

Mayor Dobbs welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked Preacher James Turpen of Tallulah Falls United Methodist Church to open the meeting with prayer.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Goatcher to accept the minutes of the March 9, 2017 Regular City Council Meeting and agenda for the April 6, 2017 Regular City Council Meeting.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

 

Attorney Report:

Attorney Stockton indicated he had one issue to discuss for potential litigation as well as the review and discussion of real estate bids in executive session.

 

Fire Report:

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

Acting Fire Chief Mike Early stated the Fire Department received a special training from Georgia Power for addressing power emergencies.

Acting Chief Early discussed the controlled burn that became uncontrolled by Y Camp personnel at the end of River Street.  To help alleviate any future confusion on burning, the Town’s website was updated with rules for burn permit applications.  All permits are issued by Georgia Forestry.  The website will be updated to include the burn ban on Hickory Nut Mountain, as defined by local ordinance, whereby the only exception to burning is full-time attended fires for “cooking and warmth.”

 

Police Report:

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

Police Chief Goatcher requested several year-end purchases be authorized since money was budgeted to cover these expenses and still available.  Specific items to be purchased include AED pads & batteries, taser, holster, extra ammunition, and uniform items.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to authorize the budgeted purchase of said items by the Police Department.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

Chief Goatcher requested the Town allow Worker’s Compensation Insurance coverage for the four (4) part-time police officers and increase the volunteer fire fighter number by one person to include coverage for the on-site summer month volunteer, Gary Verdino.  The amount will increase the premium by approximately $42 per person annually.

A Motion was made by Councilperson McCutcheon to allow Worker’s Compensation coverage for the five (5) individuals noted.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.

Chief Goatcher reviewed a lease agreement submitted to the Town from Carl Seaman for the use of his bathroom facilities during the weekend blue grass events in the amount of $1 annually.

Attorney Allyn Stockton reviewed the agreement and stated it doesn’t release Mr. Seaman from responsibility but the Town could sign the requested lease agreement.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to authorize the lease agreement presented by Mr. Seaman for the use of his bathroom facility during the blue grass weekend event for $1 annually.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

 

Financial Report:

 

none

 

Water Report:

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

Chief Goatcher noted several water meters needing replaced and asked for approval to purchase a case of new meters costing approximately $350 per case.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to authorize the purchase a case of water meters.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

Mayor Dobbs gave an update from Tallulah Falls Rabun County Water Authority representative, Dallas Taylor.  Mr. Taylor’s report referenced a new building under consideration for payments and other customer needs and indicated the County and City are in discussions to resolve their water disputes which will allow for finalization of the Rabun County Service Delivery Agreement.

Chief Goatcher stated the Town Hall parking area needs asphalting.  He is currently getting bids and will come back to the Council with a cost.

Street Report:

Chief Goatcher stated the Town Hall parking area needs asphalting.  He is currently getting bids and will come back to the Council with a cost.

 

Public Safety Report:

Chief Goatcher stated the 2017 Charger patrol car has been assigned a VIN and should be here soon.  However, the specific date is still unknown.

Chief Goatcher stated a resident fire arms class is being planned for warmer weather.  An email with the exact date and time will be sent to residents and will be posted on the web site as well.

 

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor Dobbs reviewed the building permit submitted by Ms. Sandy Duncan for 110 Tallulah View (Parcel #101A-007A).  Ms. Duncan is requesting a permit for the construction of a 1-car garage, valued at $30,000.  The garage will have no water, heating, or air.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to authorize the building permit.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

 

Mayor Dobbs gave an overview of the upcoming 2017 GMA Convention in Savannah, Georgia and asked for Council’s approval of her attendance.  The 4-day conference will allow for learning opportunities to help serve at her fullest.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to authorize expenses up to $2,500 for Mayor Dobb’s attendance at the Conference.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

 

Mayor Dobbs referenced the interview of Mr. Willard Ferguson during the April 6, 2017 workshop for the position of Consultant to the Surface Water Withdrawal Project.  As discussed during the workshop, Mr. Ferguson has many years of experience with the Habersham Water Authority, including Chairman, and can provide direction to the Town positioning itself to move forward on the project as well as conduct any research needed.  Mr. Ferguson’s resume is attached herein.

Mayor Dobbs stated she had attended a water meeting earlier in the week with Habersham Water Authority where several surrounding cities were interested in tapping the Tallulah Falls lake. At the meeting, the Town of Tallulah Falls was charged with overseeing the future Water Project which prompted Mayor Dobbs to reach out to Mr. Ferguson for consulting purposes.

Attorney Allyn Stockton indicated the fee and services proposed by Mr. Ferguson are reasonably priced and more than fair.

A Motion was made by Councilperson McCutcheon to hire Mr. Ferguson as a Consultant for the Surface Water Withdrawal Project on an ‘as needed’ basis; not a contract.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Hamilton and passed unanimously.

 

 

Mayor Dobbs stated the Town received four (4) local banks responses from the Town’s request for proposal on its’ business checking accounts.  All banks came back with similar bids regarding no fees; however, First American and United Community Bank gave an interest rate of .20% over the current .10% with United Community Bank.  As such, all business checking will remain with United Community Bank.

 

Mayor Dobbs announced the upcoming Habersham Bi-Centennial Work Group and noted Councilperson Deb Goatcher will oversee along with Work Group Representative, Dan Hayes.

Mr. Hayes reported on the Bi-Centennial meeting he attended April 6, 2016 noting several special events and festivals to coincide with the Bi-Centennial Celebration.  Mr. Hayes indicated the action items for Tallulah Falls include a decision on if the weekend bluegrass event and/or Founder’s Day celebration will be held.  Mr. Hayes further stated the Work Group is asking for more volunteers and historical information about Habersham County.

 

Mayor Dobbs discussed the Archway project for establishing the mission, vision, and values for Tallulah Falls.  The date has been set for April 26, 2017, 10am – 4pm.  Archway representatives, Sharon Liggett and Leigh Askew Elkins will be facilitating.  A second date to engage local businesses and residents is still to be determined.  Once determined, businesses and residents will be notified.

Mayor Dobbs announced Tallulah Fall’s participation in the 2017 Eclipse Event will include Saturday, August 19, 2017, and Sunday, August 20, 2017, Bluegrass on the Square.  The Town has agreed to pre-fund the food for the event and asked to be refunded if there are enough in donations to cover the amount loaned.

Mayor Dobbs commented on the Rabun County “Keep Rabun Beautiful” project.  She is requesting Tallulah Falls residents participate in this garbage pickup event on Saturday, April 22, 2017, starting at 8:30am at Tallulah Falls Town Hall.  The Tallulah Falls Police Department will assist with the distribution of orange safety vests and road patrol to keep participants safe.  All public safety officers are invited to golf for free at Kingwood afterwards as a thank you for assisting with the event.

Mayor Dobbs noted several meetings she has attended over the past few weeks with Georgia Power, the Tallulah Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Tallulah Falls School, and the Tallulah Falls Municipal Court.

Mayor Dobbs indicated in her meeting with Tallulah Falls School President, Larry Peevy, he agreed to a $1,500 donation to assist the Town with its’ needs.

Mayor Dobbs stated she would be attending the Comprehensive Planning Conference at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia on April 21st and April 22nd.

 

Open Floor:

None.

 

 

Mayor Dobbs announced the opening of sealed bids for the Terrora Building.

Attorney Allyn Stockton stated once the bids are opened in public, the Council will go into Executive Session to discuss real estate as well as possible legal litigation on a separate issue.

Mayor Dobbs recognized Pepper Kelley and Linda Garland with Coldwell Bankers Commercial Metro Brokers as the Town’s hired marketing firm for the sale of the Terrora Building property.

Mayor Dobbs opened each of the three (3) sealed bids, announcing the potential buyer, their business, the amount bid, and read aloud any enclosures.

  1. William Turk, Outdoor Retail Store, $106,000
  2. Doug Deslich, Therapy Clinic for Special Needs Children, $190,000
  3. Peter Gray, Medical Practice, $260,000

Mayor Dobbs called for the Executive Session at 7:13 p.m. for the Council and the Town’s Marketing Agents, Pepper Kelley and Linda Garland, to review and discuss all bids.

 

Mayor Dobbs called the regular Council Meeting back to order at 7:55 p.m. and announced the Council discussed real estate.

Attorney Allyn Stockton gave an overview of the sealed bid process and the Town’s decision to hire Coldwell Bankers Commercial Metro Brokers as its’ marketing firm in the Fall 2016.  The decision to hire a marketing firm was a result of the 2015 failed attempt to lease the building without any marketing representation.  As the hired professional marketing firm for the Town, the Coldwell representatives were invited into the Executive Session for discussion of real estate.

Mayor Dobbs asked for a motion to award the bid to Peter Gray for the purpose of a Dermatology Group business in the amount of $260,000 plus a 10% buyer’s premium and 90 days to close.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to award the bid to Peter Gray for the purpose of a Dermatology Group business in the amount of $260,000 plus a 10% buyer’s premium and 90 days to close.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

Mayor Dobbs recognized Mr. Peter Gray then advised Mr. Gray to get with the Town’s Marketing Agent, Pepper Kelley, to complete the transaction.

Mr. Peter Gray responded with his excitement for the opportunity be in Tallulah Falls and stated their facility will provide the best dermatology and cosmetic care in the area.

 

Maria Rodeghiero, Real Estate representative for Mr. Doug Deslich, questioned the sales agreement in the enclosed bid packet stating a conflict of interest concern.  According to Ms. Rodeghiero, the agreement was marked as ‘buyer’s agent’ and submitted by Mr. Kelley and Ms. Garland on behalf of Mr. Gray, the winning bid.

Mr. Kelley indicated this was incorrectly marked on the agreement since he was NOT an agent for the buyer and solely represented the Town of Tallulah Falls.

Attorney Allyn Stockton stated the packet material titled “BID PROPOSAL” he prepared would supersede the incorrect agreement submitted by Mr. Gray.

Mayor Dobbs noted the typo and indicated the Town had not signed the agreement as presented.  She further noted the bid proposal packet prepared by Mr. Stockton and the document titled “BID PROPOSAL” would prevail.

 

 

Mayor Dobbs called for a second Executive Session at 8:10 p.m. for the Council to discuss possible litigation.

Mayor Dobbs called the regular Council Meeting back to order at 9:00 p.m. and announced the Council discussed potential litigation.

Attorney Allyn Stockton stated he would modify the terms of agreement for the Habersham Radio Agreement to pay prospectively, without any retroactive payment, beginning July 1, 2017.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to move forward prospectively with the terms of the Habersham Radio Agreement without any retroactive payment.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson McCutcheon and passed unanimously.

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

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.