City of McIntyre
April 15, 2013
Mayor Horne called meeting to order, led in prayer by Council member Eugene Moore.
Present were: Mayor Vicki Horne, Council members, Vickie Mixon, John Carswell, Katherine Scott, and Eugene Moore, also present were city Attorney David McRee, Chief Wayne Amerson, and Clerk Pamela Roberts, absent was Council member Rico Myrcik.
Motion to approve the April 1, 2013 minutes was made by Carswell, seconded by Scott, no opposition, motion carried.
Agenda presented new business as
a. Roger Browher
b. Bobby Gale
Mayor Horne welcomed Browher from Calvary Baptist Church. Browher expressed his thanks to council for allowing him to speak and was aware that council was considering changing the ordinance to extend the hours to 2:00am for establishments that sell alcohol by the container and that he was opposed to and that he hasn’t talked to anyone that is for it. Browher said that he felt that it poses more of a problem than any kind of solution to the community, saying that nothing good comes with the use of alcohol and where ever you make more allowances, for alcohol sales or consumption for this community and only to allow more liberty for them to have it open, it puts another encumbrance on the law enforcement if they are going to check it out, by pulling them off other duties to come in and see if they are enforcing the ordinance, and that it just made more of a problem for everyone. Browher said that his concern was consuming alcohol in such late hours, that nothing good comes after 12:00am.
Mayor Horne said that the ordinance and the changes actually read that there are no alcohol sales or consumption after 12:00am and the establishment is open until 2:00am.
Browher said that he understood, but that he has talked with law enforcement officials and that the minutes that you have, read that the official said that one of the reasons it was done away with to begin with was for the problems.
Mayor Horne said that to be fair for the people actually running it, that they aren’t from the area and before the owners weren’t properly monitoring the establishment and that sometimes you have to put the blame on the people running it, and that they should be more responsible, ensuring that there is crowd control and that they have more people there policing the establishment, and that they should be part of the solution, that they need to be able to manage the establishment.
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April 15, 2013
Browher said true, but if you don’t allow it then that’s the solution, and that he felt strongly against the change.
Mayor Horne welcomed Bobby Gale. Gale said that he has been here 25 years, serving the area as pastor for 13 & 1/2 years for the various Methodist Churches, he has served as the bailiff for the court, and Chaplin of the jail and does missionary work around the world and that there seems to be a common issue that affords him to come to this meeting to express his concern. Gale said that during his services, that he often found it tragic when he had to attend a young persons court case, to a young person funeral, related to alcohol. Gale said that the jails are completely filled right now and that every week he looked at that issue again. Gale said that if you look at the areas, you would see that alcohol was the relating issue. Gale said that Mayor addressed the issues that really should be addressed to the owners of the establishment. If a child is killed by a drunk driver, is the establishment going to be responsible, is the City of McIntyre going to be responsible, for passing these ordinances against the wishes of a percentage of the people. Gale said that the ordinance that were being talked about if they are monitored in a perfect world they would be monitored, and that everyone would do like they are suppose to do, but we don’t live in that perfect world. Gale noted cases in which he would see where alcohol contributed harshly on the young, and that most issues start with a can of beer. Gale said that he was deeply opposed to extending the hours in a county where we are already law enforcement strapped, and already paying as much taxes as we need to be paying, and that the county already had a extending problem, so if we want to do something to help our children we need to create map tutoring centers, not extending hours for night clubs and establishments. Gale said that these people are probably good people and business owners, but that wasn’t his concern or question, that his question comes when sometimes you put people at risk, a population at risk that may not do these things if you don’t give them the environment. Gale also noted that the highest risk susceptible groups were young men between the ages of 21-25. Gale encouraged council to reconsider the change.
Mixon noted that she did not vote on the change and was in agreement with the speakers.
Mayor Horne noted that she did not drink, and that you couldn’t stop other people from doing it, and noted that all the while the club was closed, you still had people that were being arrested for drunk driving, and still had people that was being locked up, who had their pictures in the Wilkinson County Post for DUI, and that it is an on going problem and that the council does what they can to represent everybody in this area and that council tries to make the best decisions that they can, and work with what they have. Mayor Horne said that council appreciated them coming and offering their opinions, but that they also had to look at others opinions, noting that some may be going
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April 15, 2013
to the club, and not drinking, noting that council has to represent all people. Mayor noted that it was a difficult job to represent everyone.
Gale said that he appreciated the job that they do, but if the decision caused one child to have an extra risk environment, that it doesn’t just effect that child, it effects the whole family, as well as the tax payers, the whole systemic system.
Browher said that he appreciated everything that they do, but that he had read the minutes and know the expressions of the law enforcement people, and that if council will listen to its law enforcement officials, not just in McIntyre, but the Sheriffs Department, you would make the right decision.
Mayor Horne said that they do listen and that sometimes council does stray off, but that most times they do listen to what the police chief says.
Mrs. Browher said that she believed that it puts everyone at risk if the council chooses to change the ordinance.
Mayor Horne allowed a representative from the VIP Sports Bar to speak concerning his promise to follow the ordinance, that he had 9 security persons at the establishment to make sure that the rules are followed. He also noted that he understood the concerns of the community, and that if the law enforcement monitored, he was sure the establishments would follow the rules, and noted that at the times Wayne or any officer came down to the club after 12:00am that the building was closed and empty at 12:30. VIP noted that they were not here to cause any problems, and appreciated the opportunity to be here, and said that they wanted to give back to the community, and that they had plans for the May Day Festival.
Mixon stated that someone had complained about having to close at 12:00, saying that was the ordinance, and that if they wanted to follow the ordinance then why ask someone on council to have it changed. VIP said that the change was in fact that the alcohol stops at 12:00, not closing the building, saying that now the building has to be closed at 12:00. Mixon said that they said they wanted to abide by the law, and the law says that the it closes at 12:00. VIP said that council had the right to change the ordinance, and change the business hours on Saturday night, saying that people are complaining as to why you have to leave the club at 12:00, saying that was the citizens of the community; Mixon said that was some of the citizens. VIP said that Mayor and council had the decision, and that they would have to abide by the rules. Mixon said that she always says what she thinks and she thinks 12:00 is long enough especially when it runs into a Sunday.
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April 15, 2013
VIP said that he appreciated her opinion, but that she speaks for one council, Mixon agreed that she had one vote, VIP says that council votes on what the majority says, and that he appreciated that, and that he would not be debating and respected everyone, but that the community is asking them why they are shutting down at 12:00.
Moore said that if you close the bar at midnight and the ordinance reads there is no sales or consumption, after midnight, then what are people going to do for two hours. VIP said that he doesn’t party, but that he wanted to explain, saying that when you walk in, there is a bar, and that bar will be shut down, saying that people don’t come to clubs only to drink but they also socialize, saying the day of house parties is over, that people, including himself go out to socialize. VIP reiterated the fact that the bar in the building would be shut down and that there will be no alcohol sales, and if the Chief wanted him to lock it up in a room, that wasn’t a problem. Moore asked about sales and consumption, VIP said that they are not going to sell after 12:00, Moore asked about consumption. VIP said that consumption would stop, that he could lock the bar and that no one would be in the bar area.
Gale asked the VIP representative if he would be willing to accept the responsibility for the liability for the people leaving the establishment. VIP asked Gale if he was willing to accept the responsibility of people leaving his church. VIP said that he was going to do what the law said.
Conversation ensued with members of the gallery and members of council over the issue for several more minutes. Carswell asked Chief Amerson when was the time that he had the most issues with the clubs. Chief Amerson said that there was going to be problems to happen all the time, not necessarily after 12:00, but that he guessed that not all the problems, but a good majority of the problems took place when people were leaving. Carswell voiced several issues and concerns about driving while drinking and the consequences of those actions, and what may happen if the ordinance change took place concerning those visiting establishments and breaking the rules.
Mixon said that she understood that when any one applied for a license, that they are given a copy of the ordinance, and if they do not read the ordinance then that was not council’s fault, that it is given to them to read and that it strictly reads 12:00am.
Mayor Horne said that due to the absence of council member Rico Myrick, she wanted to table the issue until Myrick was present. Questions from gallery concerned the presentation and voting for the change. McRee said that it would be presented tonight then voted on at the next meeting, but that Myrick wanted to be present. The decision was
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April 15, 2013
made to present the change at the next meeting and vote on the issue the following meeting.
Due to questions from the VIP representative, Mayor Horne asked Chief Amerson to clarify the ordinance. Amerson explained that you have a license for alcohol consumption on the premises, saying where ever you have alcohol on the premises, you must be inside the establishment, and they cannot be standing outside or in the parking lot. Saying further, that if there are security personnel there and if the establishment is aware of someone outside drinking, then they need to be asked to leave, if they don’t then the establishment needs to contact the police department, and that if the establishment is aware of the issue, and does nothing, then the police department will hold the establishment responsible. Mayor Horne noted that the fee for the pour by the drink was at $1,500 and that is not in anyway the cost of a human life, and Chief Amerson had the authority to pull anyone’s license and that people are not getting second chances any more. Mayor Horne said that council was trying to put things in place for the security of everyone, and put the responsibility on the establishment owner.
Mayor Horne addressed Kevin Jones who wanted to present an issue of water to Mayor and Council. Jones said that he had a trailer on Sandy Hill Road, but that there was no meter there because Willie Howell took the meter. Jones said that he came down about a month ago to get water, and that he was told $60.00, but to hold on, she had to call Willie Howell, then saying that it would cost $260.00, and he questioned the amount, and was told that Willie Howell said that someone was stealing services. Jones said that the trailer had been empty since 2009. Jones said that the trailer had burned in 2006, and asked the clerk how much service had been used from 2006 and 2013, and was told that the records did not go back that far. Jones said that he then asked the clerk how much service had been used since March of 2009 and 2013, and was told there was no service used. Jones then questioned the clerk that if there was no service there, but was just told that the meter was pulled for theft. Jones said that he sued Willie Howell in 2009, and believes this is the reason the meter was taken. Jones said that he was advised to speak with Rico Myrick, and that he spoke with Myrick, and was told to pay $120.00 up front, then $20.00 each month until payment was made, but felt that he shouldn’t have to pay that, because Willie took the meter saying that is was theft of service and how could it be theft of service when there was no services being used. Jones said that he was told that Chief Amerson caught him tampering with the meter, and in 2009 that he went to a truck, Bernard Hughes truck, and was asked what was he doing in that truck, and that he commented, but didn’t think that Amerson heard him, but said Amerson told him that he was an arrogant SOB, and that he was like the rest of them down here and that he was going to bust him upside the head first chance he got. Jones said that if Amerson had caught him tampering with a meter, that there was no thought in his mind that Amerson would have put him in jail, because that was a felony offense. Jones said that now they
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wanted him to pay $200.00 for a meter because of theft of services, when there was no theft of services.
Jones then commented that he stayed with his girl on Asbell Road and he had walked over to look at the meter, in which he had to dig it out, and notified city hall that the meter was filled with dirt. Jones said that Howell came up to the meter and saw where someone had been digging out the meter and told the lady there to let whoever had started digging out the meter finish. Jones said that he did not believe that the meter had not been being read, and presented a bill and meter readings that he had recorded. Mayor Horne asked Roberts if she knew anything about, Roberts said that she couldn’t say anymore than what she had been told, and explained that her and Jones had a conversation in the office, and was told by Jones that he had dug out the meter three times himself, and explained to him that sometimes sand washes back into the meter when it rains, and that she was told by Willie that the meter had been broken into after they had installed a lock on the meter, and that there was evidence of theft of services. Carswell said that Jones was talking about two different addresses, Jones confirmed that it was. Jones asked what meter was locked out; Roberts said the one that Jones had said was leaking a puddle of water. Jones said that Roberts told him it was locked out, but how could you be stealing service, Roberts said that she had already argued this matter with Jones and that she didn’t want to discuss it with him. Mayor Horne asked Amerson if he knew of any theft of service, Amerson said that he did not know what Jones was talking about. Mayor Horne said that she would contact Myrick and speak with Willie and them along with the water clerk would look into both issues. Jones said that he was told by Myrick that the policy was that when someone moved out the meters were removed. Mayor Horne said that the matter would be looked into.
Moore said that Mryick had contacted him and that he had gone to the property and was shown only one meter at the lady’s trailer. Jones said that his trailer was around the corner, and that the meter had been taken so there was no meter to show. Moore said that Jones told him that the meter that had dirt in it was the meter in front of the trailer and that he built a box to go around the meter, Mayor Horne said that the box wasn’t working that she had stopped and looked at it herself and the dirt was washing under the box. Moore said that he had told Jones that he would have to level the area for the box to work. Moore said that he wasn’t shown a second meter, nor informed about a second meter. Jones asked if he could be in attendance of any meeting with Myrick or Howell, Mayor Horne said that he could, but that there would be no arguing. Jones questioned the bill, and Mayor Horne advised him to have Janice come down to discuss it with Pam.
Mayor Horne invited Meg Mbugua to speak; Mbugua said that they wanted to give a brief update on the sewer and where they are. Mbugua said that they had most all the water information and other information, and that they were making some final changes
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to the sewer line layouts, and that they also had the DOT permit for Hwy 57 and 441 and are working on the RR permit. Mbugua said that she had brought along Robert Simmons, who is actually working on a Watershed Plan that is part of the whole project, and that
there is no increase in cost, but is required, and that he was going to talk a little bit about what else would be going on beside the sewer project.
Simmons said that when Meg and Richard finished the plans and submit them to EPD for the Sewer System, EPD will submit a permit back saying they have reviewed the plans and they have approved them and this is your permit to construct it and operate it. Simmons presented a sample and explained that on page 8 are the requirements of this permit, the city’s permit, is to have a watershed assessment and watershed plan done, and as Meg mentioned it is included in the engineers fee, but they wanted to give the council a brief explanation of what that is. Simmons explained that there are a few documents that have to be completed before we get the finished document. Simmons said that there are three documents in the process, one is the watershed monitoring plan, and noted that the good news was that they had already completed the first document, and it will be sent to EPD, for approval and once approved they could start on the second document, the watershed protection plan, and explained that there were a series of three documents, and that the good news was that they were getting started early, because the State wants all the documents approved before the plant is put into service. Simmons said that all these efforts were included in the engineering fees. Simmons said that there were several things that R&M were working on, and that he had been asked to do these reports.
Mbugua asked Simmons to explain the watershed assessment. Simmons said that anytime a municipality expands or in this case builds a treatment center EPD sees it as growth happening in the area, and that growth is good, but with growth, this document is a way to measure that the quality of the stream water in the area is maintained. Simmons explained that some may question what growth has to do the quality of the water in the stream, he explained that if you have a commercial site and then go out and build a building and disturb that area and don’t put up the proper mechanisms, then the sand and soil that they disturb could end up in the stream, and that would effect the quality of the water. The water assessment document is to make sure that quality is maintained on out. EPD is not measuring it today to catch a problem, but to catch a future problem. Mbugua said that council would adopt the watershed protection plan once you establish the base line. Mbugua said that the city would have to monitor the area, and Simmons said that monitoring would be annually, explaining that there would be samples of water and that they would look at the fish population to ensure that the quality compared to the base line is maintained and would be the responsibility of the cities. Simmons pointed out that EPD would require monitoring every June.
Mayor Horne asked about the permits for the Railroad. Mbugua said the application had been filled out, and that she would need to get with Roberts after the meeting concerning
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the application fees. Mayor Horne questioned the easements; Mbugua said that they had all right of ways for water gas, and fiber. Mbugua said that one thing that she needed to
talk a little bit about was the power, explaining that there is no power there now, and that the areas was in the Georgia Power territory, saying that they would need 3-phase power, and the closes that Georgia Power had was about 3 miles, and that it would be rather costly. Mbugua suggested the city contact Georgia Power, since they did have a relationship with them and see if they could negotiate with them on the price or other alternative. Mbugua said that she had some contacts with Georgia Power that they had been talking with. Moore asked if the city’s pumping stations were 3-phase, Mbugua said that they were. Mayor Horne asked if there were any alternatives, Mbugua said that it was all done based on territory, and didn’t know if Georgia Power would be willing to give up that territory to EMC. Mayor Horne asked about Solar Energy, Mbugua said that it would probably be more expensive than electrical, building the solar panels, and that it was possible that if you didn’t have enough then you could be fined by the state.
Mayor Horne asked about ground breaking. Mbugua explained that they had to wait on information, and could have designed it as it was in December without the water lines, but it was better to have the information, so they wouldn’t have to go back and redo work, that without having any existing utility maps made it difficult, but now with all the information now, the city had utility maps. Simmons asked Mbugua how long did she think it would be before the drawings could be finished and submitted, Mbugua said within a couple weeks. Simmons said that once submitted to EPD, that they had a review process and usually come back with a couple of questions. Mbugua said that it shouldn’t be long, and Simmons said ideally you want those permits in hand, before you submit for bids. Mayor Horne said that she understood about the compiling of the information, but she understood that we were on a time line, and wanted to know where we were on the time line. Simmons said that it was just taking a little longer getting the information to put on the plans, so that when they get the sewer lines in the plan, they are not put over existing lines.
Moore asked would it be additional monies to get the three miles of lines from Georgia Power. Mbugua said that typically you do it as part of the project, but with the power being three miles away, in which when R&M was looking at the original site, they were looking one mile away, but found out that it wasn’t Georgia Power territory, that theirs was three miles away, and that there was no way for them to know at the time how far or how much it would cost, but could come out of the cost of the project but if it becomes really costly, then the project could go over budget, but didn’t know without negotiating with Georgia Power. Mbugua said that she has spoken with Moore about some Road repair work, and how sewer may affect those repairs. Mbugua said that one thing we didn’t want to do is repair the roads then have to come back and tear it up for some reason. Mayor Horne requested that Rindt-McDuff give more frequent updates.
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Moore said that he had received two bids for paving 280 feet under the bridge and 400 feet on one lane on Old McIntyre Road. Moore said that the bids were from Shephard Paving and one from Womack, and that he requested one from Reeves and Georgia Asphalt but never could get anything from them. Moore said that Shepard Paving was the low bidder at $19,360, Mixon asked if that was for both streets, and Moore said yes, but that he didn’t like what they are doing, saying they are scraping under the bride and paving over, but that he thought that needed to be milled down and repaved that way it won’t come up again. Carswell said that if it is broke up now that it would break again. Moore said that Womack would be milling it down, and re-surfacing 280 feet under the bridge, and the 400 feet on Old McIntyre Road, the price was $22,750. Carswell asked if the city would be keeping the milling, saying that if we could we could mix it with the cold mix, and repair some areas. Carswell asked when they would get started; Moore said that Womack said they could get to it pretty quick. Scott asked about getting by Meg, Moore said that he already had, and that the area would not be affected by the sewage. Moore asked if we could do the project out of SPLOST funds Motion to accept bid from Womack Paving to fix under the bridge 280 feet both lanes and out on Old McIntyre Road, 400 feet of one lane for $22,750 and that we pay for it using SPLOST funds, seconded by Carswell, no opposition, motion carried.
Scott had no report.
Carswell said that he had some contracts that David had looked over for the mayor to sign for entertainment at May Day. Carswell made motion for Mayor to sign the contract for the entertainment at the youth party Friday night for the May Day Festival, seconded by Scott, no opposition, motion carried.
Mixon said council needed to discuss the hiring of a new Administrative Assistant for City Hall and asked Roberts when they would start advertising, Roberts said that she had already began advertisement.
McRee presented Mayor and Council the modification for the Beer and Wine license, to be presented at the next meeting, McRee gave a copy to Roberts, and also a copy of the existing ordinance for Alcoholic beverage, saying that he had highlighted provisions in it, and didn’t believe it needed to be changed. McRee said that there was also discussed at the last some changes to the personnel policy concerning retirement ages, saying that he had pulled the personnel policy and reviewed it, and that it was totally void of anything regarding retirement. McRee suggested contacting the RC about putting an amendment
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that would cover the retirement information. McRee said that he had one issue regarding real estate that needed to be brought up in executive session.
Neither Roberts nor Amerson had any reports.
Motion to enter into executive session to discuss land acquisition was made by Mixon, seconded by Carswell, no opposition, motion carried.
Meeting was called back to order at 6:42pm with Mayor reporting that they had entered into executive session to discuss land acquisitions, and that there were no votes nor motions made while in executive session.
Motion for adjournment was made by Mixon, seconded by Scott, no opposition, motion carried.