2017 July Regular Council Meeting Minutes

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 TOWN OF TALLULAH FALLS

STATE OF GEORGIA

REGULAR MEETING

JULY 6, 2017

MINUTES

 

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

  • Mayor Teri Dobbs
  • Councilperson Deb Goatcher
  • Councilperson Bill Coldren
  • Councilperson Larry Hamilton
  • Police Chief Bill Goatcher
  • Interim Fire Chief Mike Early
  • 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 Reverend James Turpen, Tallulah Falls United Methodist Church, to open the meeting with prayer.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Goatcher to accept the minutes of the June 8, 2017 Regular City Council Meeting and Executive Session.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Hamilton and passed unanimously.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to accept the agenda for the July 6, 2017 Regular City Council Meeting.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

 

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Attorney Report:

Town Attorney, Allyn Stockton, was not in attendance.

 

Fire Report:

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

Interim Fire Chief, Mike Early, stated the Fire Department Election held its’ annual election for Officers and announced the following election results.

Chief – Mike Early

Assistant Chief – Robbie McCutcheon

Captain – Jason Ivester

1st Lieutenant – Paul Marsteller

2nd Lieutenant – Matt Nall

3rd Lieutenant – Open

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren to accept the election results for Fire Department Officers.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

 

Police Report:

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

Chief Goatcher announced the new police car arrived at the dealership and is currently with Patrol Upfitters being prepped and should have for official use very soon

Water Report:

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

Chief Goatcher indicated the City of Demorest would be installing a water pressure reducer for the Town.  The emergency valve could not be opened and tested because it was at 160psi and should only be at 100psi.  Demorest did not give an estimated cost for the installation but Chief Goatcher recommends Demorest do the installation since these are their lines.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to install the emergency valve with Chief Goatcher’s recommendation and oversight of the cost to the Town.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

Mayor Dobbs addressed the need for the development of a formalized water policy to include language specifically addressing payment(s) when a water main break has occurred.  She asked for a written policy to be drafted and presented at an upcoming Council workshop.

 

Financial Report:

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

Mayor Dobbs gave an overview of three (3) payroll options discussed in the earlier workshop for possible outsourcing of payroll services presented by the Town’s Accounting/Auditing firm, Mixon and Associates.

 

  • Option 1 – Keep the payroll function in-house for $127/month.
  • Option 2 – Outsource “Payroll Only” to Mixon for $160/month.
  • Option 3 – Outsource “Payroll and Time/Leave” to Mixon for $175/month.

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to adopt Option 3 for outsourcing the payroll and time/leave functions to Mixon & Associates.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

Street Report:

Chief Goatcher commented on several tasks completed recently including hanging the Christmas light hangers, repairing the Christmas tree float, cleaning and repairing all the culverts around town.

Chief Goatcher stated he asked Mayor Dobbs to contact the Rabun County Street Supervisor to expedite the Town’s need to have asphalting done on Hickory Nut Mountain and other places in the Town.

 

Public Safety Report:

Chief Goatcher noted the tornado sirens that sounded during recent bad weather.  He stated when these sirens go off in the future, the City Hall emergency shelter will be opened until any threat of danger is over.

 

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor Dobbs discussed forming a committee to review the Town’s sign ordinance and organizing a future public hearing.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to organize a sign committee made up by the community for the purposes of reviewing the sign ordinance.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.

Mayor Dobbs noted from the MuniCode ordinance review, the corporate boundaries shown for the Town of Tallulah Falls are not correct and asked for a motion to have the town boundaries officially surveyed.  Although changes have been State approved, the Charter does not include Tugalo Village Road or Hickory Nut Mountain.

Councilperson Hamilton asked for the motion to be tabled pending further investigation of maps we may have available from the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission (GMRC) or 2010 Census Map which should outline the Town’s official boundaries.

Mayor Dobbs asked for a motion for the Town to join the Rabun County Chamber of Commerce just as we have with the Habersham County Chamber.  The Town, as a municipality, will receive a discounted rate of $123.50 for the Bronze level membership.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Goatcher to join the Rabun County Chamber of Commerce.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.

Mayor Dobbs noted Georgia being named the #1 filming location in the world for movies.  The Habersham County Chamber of Commerce developed the “Habersham Camera Ready” database for residents to upload photos of interesting sites, homes, properties, and businesses.  High resolution photos can be emailed to taylorjudy@windstream.net or jduncan@duncankitchens.com.

Mayor Dobbs gave an update on the Terrora Building Contract Amendment stating the closing had been scheduled for August 12, 2017.  There is an amendment pending signatures to allow the buyer to use a different attorney without any further cost to the Town.

Mayor Dobbs asked Chief Goatcher for an update on Lynn Pfaender’s request for water service located at 115 River Street.  Until further notice, Chief Goatcher responded that Ms. Pfender has asked for the request to be put on hold.

 

Mayor Dobbs noted the upcoming Founder’s Day scheduled for October 7, 2017 to raise money for the Tallulah Falls Volunteer Fire Department and asked Donna Verdino to discuss the planned activities for the event since she has been working on gathering information for the event.

Ms. Verdino gave an overview of activities and asked for the Council’s approval in support of the event and activities planned.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to move forward with the Founder’s Day activities scheduled for October 7, 2017.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Coldren and passed unanimously.

 

Mayor Dobbs gave a brief update on the Habersham Bicentennial Event and stated the next meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2017.

 

Mayor Dobbs reviewed the quote from GMA’s Property and Liability Insurance Program (GIRMA).  The Town currently pays $20,523 annually to Glatfelter Public Practice for a $2 million policy.  Two options are being offered:

  • Option 1$9,481 for $1M liability limit
    • $250,000 Cyber coverage included; an additional $750,000 included at a cost of $1,950 for total cost with added Cyber coverage is $11,431.
  • Option 2$10,195 for $2M liability limit
    • $250,000 Cyber coverage included; an additional $750,000 included at a cost of $1,950 for total cost with added Cyber coverage is $12,145.

Mayor Dobbs noted all GIRMA coverage is on an occurrence based coverage form.  The current coverage for Public Officials Liability & Cyber coverage are on a claims made form. Anytime a city moves from a claims made form to occurrence based coverage, it is recommend the client purchase Extended Reporting Period coverage.  The Town is in the process of securing a quote from the current carrier on the extended coverage.

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Hamilton to accept Option 2 for a $2M liability limit.  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Goatcher and passed unanimously.

 

Open Floor:

Mayor Dobbs recognized a local business owner of the Indian Springs Trading Post, Naomi Martin.

Ms. Martin introduced herself and discussed the original Indian Springs Trading Post sign being restored.  Also, the Trading Post has a community yard sale area dedicated to raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network.  The contributions they make are matched by Walmart.

 

Mayor Dobbs recognized local business owner of the Artists’ Kava House Bar and Grill, Michelle Halpern.

 

Mayor Dobbs called for an Executive Session at 7:16 p.m. for the Council to discuss personnel.

 

Mayor Dobbs called the regular Council Meeting back to order at 7:31 p.m. and announced no decisions were made during the discussion on personnel.

Mayor Dobbs commented on the need to comparison shop for the employee health insurance to determine if there could be a potential cost savings to the Town.

A Motion was made by Councilperson Coldren authorizing the City Clerk to comparison shop the Town’s health insurance plan(s).  The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Hamilton and passed.  Councilperson Goatcher abstained since she benefits from the family health policy under her spouse, Police Chief Bill Goatcher.

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

The meeting adjourned at 7:36 p.m.