MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE WALHALLA CITY COUNCIL
May 21, 2019
Present: Mayor Danny Edwards, Councilman David Underwood, Councilman Robbie Burrell, Councilman Dennis Owens, Councilman Tjay Bagwell, Councilman Josh Roberts, and City Administrator Brent Taylor.
Absent: Councilman Danny Woodward.
Guest: Leslie Hagerty, Oconee History Museum, Luther Lyle, Museum of the Cherokee, and Joy Waller, Walhalla Women’s Club
Mayor Edwards called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Councilman Roberts led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Public Input: Ms. Leslie Hagerty, Executive Director of the Oconee History Museum, addressed council to ask for a donation of $5,000 from the Hospitality Tax Fund to provide programs and tours for people visiting the museum. She stated visits to the Museum are up as well as people using their facility to rent space. They are involved in the Museum Off Main St. program which is a collaborative marketing effort among the three museums to attract more visitors to them.
Mr. Luther Lyle, Director of the Museum of the Cherokee, also asked for a $5,000 donation form the Hospitality Tax Fund. He stated they had 1521 visitors including 321 that came from over a 50-mile radius. He read a list of several schools that planned field trips to museum. He stated they have 10 display cases that are completely full.
Mr. Underwood made a motion and seconded by Mr. Roberts to fund both agencies at the $5,000 level. The motion was approved unanimously.
Mrs. Joy Waller of the Walhalla Women’s Club addressed the council regarding their project to rehabilitate the entry signs into Walhalla. They are modeling the signs after the ones that welcome people into Oconee County. They are working with the Oconee Hamilton Career Center principal Chad Lusk and his students to design and construct them. She estimates the cost to be $7,200. The club has allocated already $3,500 and is fundraising for the rest of them.
Mr. Underwood made a motion and seconded by Mr. Roberts to allocate $2,000 to the Walhalla Women’s Club for the project. The motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Underwood made a motion and seconded by Mr. Bagwell to amend the agenda to add to the agenda a change order for the main line water construction on the water plant project and to extend the survey in the Cane creek basin. The motion carried unanimously.
Approval of Minutes: On a motion by Mr. Bagwell, seconded by Mr. Underwood and unanimously carried, the minutes for the regular meeting on April 16, 2019, were approved.
Reading of Resolutions and Ordinances:
Mr. Underwood made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-06, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE UTILITIES DEPARTMENT TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT TO STUDY SEWER SYSTEM NOT TO EXCEED $35,000. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell and unanimously carried.
Discussion: Mr. Roberts asked how long will this study take? The City Administrator replied approximately four months.
Hearing no further discussion, Resolution 2019-6 was unanimously adopted.
Mr. Underwood made a motion to adopt Resolution 2019-7, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE UTILITIES DEPARTMENT TO PURCHASE MATERIALS FOR DUCK POND ROAD LINE RELOCATION NOT TO EXCEED $10,000. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell.
Discussion: Mayor Edwards stated this was the best time to move a line – when the road is under construction.
Hearing no further discussion, Resolution 2019-7 was unanimously adopted.
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to approve second reading and public review, Ordinance 2019-08, AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN EQUIPMENT LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT IN THE AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING RELATING TO PURCHASE OF CERTAIN EQUIPMENT BY THE CITY OF WALHALLA, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF OTHER NECESSARY DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS AND OTHER MATTERS RELATING THERETO. The motion was seconded by Mr. Owens.
Discussion: The Mayor stated for the record this is a lease-purchase for this fiscal year.
Hearing no further discussion, the motion unanimously carried.
Mr. Owens made a motion to approve second reading and public review, Ordinance 2019-09, AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE LITTERING WITHIN THE CITY OF WALHALLA, ESTABLISHING PENALTIES AND OTHER MATTERS RELATED THERETO. The motion was seconded by Mr. Bagwell.
Discussion: Daniel Fletcher, Codes Enforcement Officer, stated the City didn’t have an ordinance so any littering violations basically meant we are enforcing state law and they would receive most of the fines. Our ordinance mirrors those of the county and state. The Mayor asked how does this process work? Mr. Fletcher stated he would go through the normal process before people would get a summons or a fine.
Hearing no further discussion, the motion unanimously carried.
Mr. Woodward made a motion to adopt ORDINANCE 2019-10, AN ORDINANCE TO AMMEND ORDIANCE 1976-9 SECTION SIX RESISTING OR INTERFEING WITH POLICE OFFICER The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood.
Discussion: The Chief said the main reason for this Ordinance is that it keeps the interfering with an officer charge in city court along with any other charges, as opposed to it now being a state charge which would require it to go to General Sessions court. This makes the process more efficient.
Hearing no further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.
Approval for a Change Order
A motion was made by Mr. Underwood and seconded by Mr. Bagwell to approve a change order for $15,000 for expenses relating to relocating a line at new water plant construction site. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Mr. Underwood and seconded by Mr. Bagwell to allocate an additional $4,000 to extend the Cane Creek survey. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval for funds for the Walhalla Performing Arts Center
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to allocated $10,000.00 to the Walhalla Performing Arts Center to purchase new curtains and sound equipment. The motion was seconded by Mr. Underwood and unanimously carried.
Approval for funds for the pool
Mr. Underwood made a motion to allocated up to $7,500 out of the Hospitality Tax for miscellaneous items for the City Pool.
Appointments to the Board of Zoning Appeals
Mr. Bagwell made a motion to appoint Josh Holiday and Teara Barnwell to the Board of Zoning and Appeals. The motion was seconded by Mr. Roberts and approved unanimously.
Mr. Owens reported the department ran 108 calls for the month of March. Seventy-one (71) were fire calls and thirty-seven (37) were medical calls. Forty-two were inside the city and sixty-five were outside the city. The Fire Marshall performed twenty-eight business inspections and eight residential. He approved 16 fire plans and made 250 education contacts. The department assisted the Seneca Fire Department in the Egg Drop at Oconee Christian Academy event. The staff participated in 503 hours of training. They completed fire-hose testing. The Codes division made 20 new contacts, approved 3 new permits and 9 zoning verifications. The Codes division issued an order for 9 mobile home removals and condemned 6 structures.
Mr. Bagwell reported everything has been or will be covered in this meeting.
Mr. Burrell reported that the department picked up 261 tons of residential garbage for the month, twenty-seven tons of commercial garbage, and 12.5 tons of C&D waste. The department picked up 8 roll carts and delivered 23 roll carts. They are picking up debris from the storm. The replaced an Oak tree that was damaged by a vehicle. They helped the fire department with closing streets during the storm. They are experiencing several issues with trash trucks. He thanked Wayne McCall for helping getting knuckle boom truck fixed. Mr. Edwards asked about dead tree in front of O’Kelley’s? Mr. Price said they would get it when the purchase of bucket truck was complete.
Mr. Roberts reported an appreciation to all the staff that was involved in the clean up of Sertoma Park after the flood. The disc golf tournament had 72 participants. Super Saturday will be May 18 and the County tournament will start May 21.
Mr. Woodward reported the department received 671 calls for service. They made 198 contacts with the public. The department made 23 arrest. They responded to a homicide at Country Ridge Apartments. It was determined to be self-defense. They made two drug trafficking arrest. The Chief spoke at Rotary Club, attended a chief’s conference and went to a class on how to respond to major incidents. He also hosted a community meeting. They participated in active shooter training. Officer Hernandez left the department to become an officer in Seneca. He was replaced by a new officer.
Mr. Underwood reported council addressed an issue regarding Mr. Areneas being charged for sewer service for 20 years even though the house had septic tank. The City is looking into the best way to remedy the situation.
He also reported on the plan relocate the main water line from under Jenkins Road and getting an easement to go across private property. It was discovered they were going to have to go through a rail road right of way. They are exploring other opportunities.
He reported it would be a good idea to relocate a water line on Duck Pond Rd. at the same time the road is being reconstructed by the county.
Mr. Underwood recommended to Council they spend $35,000 to study the Cane Creek basin sewer lines to develop a plan of action to address infiltration. This study would be helpful to get grants and get ahead of any future DHEC action.
He reported the OJSA is considering a proposal to refund money to the cities over time. They have changed their budget to not borrow money for capital projects. The City Administrator was directed to write a letter to Sewer Authority expressing the Council’s position and concerns.
Mayor’s Comments: No comments were made.
Council went into executive session to discuss a legal matter. No action was taken.
Brent Taylor, City Administrator