MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE WALHALLA CITY COUNCIL
December 17, 2019
Present: Mayor Danny Edwards, Councilman David Underwood, Councilman Dennis Owens, Councilman Tjay Bagwell, Danny Woodward, Josh Roberts, and City Administrator Brent Taylor.
Mayor Edwards called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Councilman Bagwell led the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Keith Pace asked, “If the deed restrictions of the Chestnut St. properties are going to be on the agenda?” The Mayor responded, “It isn’t on the agenda.”
Ms. Darlene Greene thanked the Council for their support of the Stumphouse Mt. Bike park project. She gave each member a Christmas ornament with house Stumphouse logo on it to commemorate the recent opening of the newest six miles. The Mayor said, “Thank you on behalf of Council.”
Approval of Minutes: On a motion by Mr. Bagwell, seconded by Mr. Underwood and unanimously carried, the minutes for the regular meeting on November 19, 2019, were approved.
Discussion: Mr. Bagwell clarified that Mr. Underwood made the motion on Ordinance 2019-17 instead of him and asked that be corrected for the record.
Reading of Resolutions and Ordinances:
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-16 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE 2019-01 TO ESTABLISH REGULATIONS FOR MOBILE FOOD VEHICLES. The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and unanimously carried.
Discussion: Mr. Terry Stephens and Mrs. Tina Stephens commented they have a mobile kitchen and it will take up more than two parking spaces. Mrs. Stephens stated they typically are at Partners-In-Wine approximately 6 hours at a time and park in front of the business. They asked Council if they would consider making exceptions? Mr. Bagwell discussed the sizes of parking spaces and the desire to minimize spaces taken up by mobile food vendors, but added he could see the need for exceptions. Mr. Bagwell discussed amending parking in one location no more than 72 consecutive hours and a maximum of 15 days in a calendar month, but the vehicle could park at another location 250 feet away from the other location during that same month.
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to amend Section 5 paragraph G to include “exceptions” can be made upon request. Also, including “250 feet” in paragraph 8. The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and carried unanimously.
Mr. Owens made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-18 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTION 301 OF ZONING ORDINANCE 2017-11. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell and unanimously carried.
Discussion: Mr. Bagwell explained, the change is from Light Industrial to Residential. There are currently houses on these properties and it is surrounded by property with houses on it. It was an oversight from a previous re-zoning.
Mr. Owens made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-19 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTION 501 and 502 OF ZONING ORDINANCE 1994-8/2004-11/2017-11. Mr. Underwood seconded the motion and unanimously carried.
Discussion: Mr. Bagwell explained this makes real estate signs temporary signs and thus, not requiring a permit. It gives Council the ability to approve free standing signs in the downtown district. Also changes sign coverage on building from a maximum 25% and 36 square feet of building to 25% of a building. Mr. Bagwell stated that Council learned that given some of the size of our buildings, 36 square feet was too small. Also, this applies for signs located on the sides or rear of building. Mr. Bagwell referenced an example of allowing a free-standing sign in the downtown district. Christ Ministries Thrift Store proposed one with a Victorian style pole and sign. This style would be acceptable within the guidelines if free standing signs were allowed. Mr. Woodward asked for clarity on the allowable space for the signs. Mr. Bagwell restated the 25% of the building.
Mr. Owens made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-21 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND SECTION 402, 403, 403.5, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408 and 409 OF ZONING ORDINANCE 1994-8/2004-11/2017-11 11 ESTABLISHING R-10 SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED THERETO – Mr. Bagwell seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Discussion: The Mayor stated our current zoning classifications the City’s General Residential classification allows for 5,000 square feet lots and the next classification is 15,000 square feet. This ordinance allows for a 10,000 square feet classification. Mr. Bagwell stated this is another option to help the City in its planning.
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-22 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE FY 2020 BUDGET (ORDINANCE NUMBER 2019-4) SO AS TO RECOGNIZE VARIOUS REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES IN THE GENERAL FUND. Mr. Underwood seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.
Discussion: The Administrator explained this is for the culvert on South Broad St. and College St. When the budget was approved, we weren’t sure how much the cost of the project is going to be. The cost of the project is higher than anticipated, therefore, this adjustment is required. The funds are coming from the Oconee County Transportation Committee and city reserves. It is about 500 feet of pipe and will take 4 months to complete.
Planning Commission Report
The Administrator reported the planning Commission approved R-10 zoning classification. They tabled making a decision on regulating political signs and requested more information. They also discussed making changes to requirements in the General residential classification. The agreed to discuss it more at a future meeting.
Mr. Owens made a motion to approve a mural request by O’Kelley Heating and Air. It was recommended by the Fire Committee. It was seconded by Mr. Underwood and approved unanimously.
Planning Commission Report
The Administrator reminded Council that due to Sarai Melendez election to Council she must come off the Planning Commission. Therefore, Council needs to name a replacement.
Water Non-Payment Fee
Mr. Underwood made a motion to adopt Ordinance 2019-23 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE 2019-05 TO REGULATE, RESTRICT AND LIMIT, IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY, THE USE AND OPERATION OF THE WATER WORKS SYSTEM MAINTAINED AND OWNED BY OR WHICH MAY BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE CITY OF WALHALLA AND PROVIDING FOR VIOLATION THEREOF. The motion was seconded by Mr. Woodward and approved 4-2. Mayor Edwards, Mr. Underwood, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Owens voted in favor. Mr. Roberts and Mr. Bagwell voted no.
Discussion: Mr. Underwood stated he wanted to reduce the non-payment fee from $65 to $35. Mr. Roberts stated it cost the city $41.90 to reconnect a customer on during regular hours and $49 during non-business hours. Those figures were provided to him by Scott Parris. Mr. Roberts agreed that we need to lower the fee. He stated we should not have the non-payment fee lower than the cost to reconnect a customer. Mr. Bagwell stated it is closer to $35 when you don’t count the people who don’t actually have their water disconnected. Mr. Underwood stated most of the time staff is working then anyway. Mr. Bagwell said, “It is lost time that staff could be doing something else.” Mr. Roberts said, “If we lower it to $45 the customers gets a break and the city isn’t losing money. Everybody wins.”
Mr. Roberts made a motion to amend the ordinance to lower the fee to $45 instead of $35. The motion failed due to lack of a second.
Mr. Owens reported the department ran 125 calls for the month of November. 67 Calls were inside the city while 58 were outside the city. They were on multiple calls 25% of the time. The staff trained 239 hours and 4 members are getting EMT certification. The Fire Marshall performed 21 business inspections. The codes department worked on the food truck ordinance. They worked on incident response situations with the County Fire and Rescue for Stumphouse Park.
Mr. Bagwell thanked all the staff that worked hard on the Christmas parade. Phase III on Stumphouse Mt. Bike Park should be ready by the end of the year. Mr. Burrell resigned his Council seat on December 3. The election to fill his seat is March 3, 2020.
Mr. Underwood reported a presentation was made by Mr. Price describing the operations of the Department.
Mr. Roberts reported the department is going to put out for bid three pickle ball courts. 305 youths are playing basketball on 32 teams. Practice starts in December and games will start in January. The lights in the gym were replaced and look good. Two youth teams competed in the State Soccer championships.
Mr. Woodward reported the officers had training on their new weapons. The Zurcher system is operational. Two officers were promoted to corporal. The department is involved in the mentoring program at James Brown Elementary school. They had 61 incidents made 14 arrests and had 961 calls for service.
Mr. Underwood reported they had discussions with Laurel Ridge Estates regarding their water bill. SCDHEC is requiring a full set of plans for Stribling Shoals pump station. They are working on getting quotes for the Drive Thru at City Hall. Didn’t get the RIA grant for the Cane Creek basin. The OJSA sewer annual meeting is January 6, 2020.
Mayor’s Comments: The Mayor thanked Councilman Bagwell for his service and appreciated all his efforts.
Brent Taylor, City Administrator