MINUTES OF A REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF TALLASSEE, ALABAMA
JANUARY 8, 2019
The Mayor and the City Council of the City of Tallassee, Alabama convened in regular session on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Tallassee Municipal Complex. The meeting was called to order by Mayor John Hammock and the following were recorded as present:
Mayor John Hammock
Council Members Jeremy Taunton
John Smith was present as city attorney and City Clerk Barbara Garnett acted as clerk for the meeting.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the council work session held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Wilson and a second by Council Member Taunton, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Mayor Hammock presented the minutes of the regular council meeting held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. There were no additions or changes. Upon motion of Council Member Godwin and a second by Council Member Brown, the minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.
Item 1: Mayor Hammock declared the public hearing open to hear comments for and against amending Zoning Ordinance #2007-431 to rezone property located at 120 Herren Street from Office/Institution to Development District Housing. He asked for those who wished to speak to sign in and they would be offered a time of up to 3 minutes to express their comments.
Mr. Jeff Rice, the developer of housing complex, stated that the hospital had requested the rezoning and that he had been working with them to develop a 48 to 56 unit apartment complex. This project is not a HUD project, the financing comes from tax credits. Initially, these units would be offered to the senior residents of the Housing Authority who meet the qualifications of this development. Due to the type of financing, the complex would be strictly monitored and inspected and the developer would be required to stay involved for 20 years. The rezoning of the property has to be approved before they apply for financing. There will be a full time manager and maintenance worker employed.
Council Member Godwin asked about the qualifications and security. Mr. Rice replied that the individual has to meet an age and income requirement. He stated that there would be one unit reserved for a courtesy officer or the manager. Each unit will have a security system installed but it will be up to the resident to pay for monitoring.
Council Member Taunton asked about what appliances would be provided. Mr. Rice stated that there would be connections for a washer and dryer but the appliance would not be provided. However, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator would be installed. The units are total electric with foam insulation, thereby being energy efficient which would help the resident on the electric bill. There will be a master meter for water. Council Member Taunton asked if the residents would bear the responsibility of grass cutting and painting. Mr. Rice replied that the maintenance worker would be responsible for all maintenance issues. Other questions asked were whether this development would interfere with the hospital’s helicopter pad, landscaping design, visibility from Friendship Road. Mr. Rice replied that there would not be any need to relocate the helicopter pad unless required by FAA, the landscape design is the standard quality and that being there is a 20 to 30 foot fall, the office or clubhouse could possibly be seen from Friendship Road.
Comments from the audience started with Steve Schmitt. He was concerned with whether this development would be in compliance with the current zoning ordinance.
Robert Drugone was concerned with the additional traffic issues, especially since there is a school zone in the area.
Don Ingram addressed the issues with the tax credit program, the requirements for applicants and whether the hospital could adopt a covenant regarding age restriction. He was also concerned with spot zoning, saying it could set a precedence.
Brad Davis and Lee Greer stated their concerns had been addressed and had no additional comments.
Jennie Rhine stated that it would be an asset for the community especially for those residents who are able to live independently but not able to maintain their own property.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
JANUARY 8, 2019
Bill Patterson asked what the hospital’s plans were for the remaining acreage and stated that he knew of a big development coming and the issue of everything working together.
Ann Christian asked about the interior of the complex and was concerned about the limited sight coming out of Herren Hill Road onto Friendship Road.
Adolphus Gauntt stated that he had several members of his congregation who would really appreciate the opportunity to live in a nice apartment complex. Most people don’t have a clue as to the poor conditions other have to live in.
There being no other comments, Mayor Hammock declared the public hearing closed and asked what action the council would like to take. Council Member Wilson made a motion to suspend the rules in order to consider the rezoning. Council Member Brown made a second. Upon a roll call vote, the following was recorded: Voting Yay – Council Members Taunton, Hill, Carr, Wilson, Brown, Godwin, Stough and Mayor Hammock. Then, Mayor Hammock asked for any discussion. Council Member Taunton stated that he would not entertain anything other than what had been discussed at this meeting. Mayor Hammock then called for a vote. Council Member Wilson made a motion that the rezoning be approved, second by Council Member Carr. Upon a vote, the motion passed. Council Member Godwin recused himself due to his involvement on the Community Hospital Board of Directors.
Item 2: Mayor Hammock stated that, as discussed in the work session, he would like the council to decide what action should be taken with the airport property that would be in the best interest of the City; sell the property, lease the farm land or cut timber. Alex Harwick had offered his services to assist Mayor Hammock in researching how much property would be needed if sold to someone interested in purchasing the property for airport operations and how much that would leave to lease as farm land.
Item 3 and Item 4: As discussed in the work session, Mayor Hammock stated that the funds from the sale of the Guest House and the lease of the water tank for a cell tower should not be deposited in the general fund where they would be generally absorbed. He recommended that the funds be placed in an interest bearing account until a determination for specific use has been made.
Item 5: Mayor Hammock stated that positions on the Recreation Board still needed to be appointed and asked the council members to seek interested persons.
Item 6: Mayor’s Reports: The Mayor’s reports were as follows:
The Chamber of Commerce annual banquet would be February 7, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory.
The balance of the $.02 gas tax account earmarked for street, sidewalk and drain repairs is $63,316. The TAPS grant for the downtown area would not pay for paving and the estimate for paving that arear is between $50,000 and $60,000.
There is a balance of $222,053 in the ad valorem tax account. The estimated cost of the waste water plant is approximately $4.2 million dollars funded by a loan with annual payments estimated at $260,000.00. The funds in this account will be used toward that payment.
Mayor Hammock expressed appreciation to the council members for having the courage to approve the increase in the utility rates. There have only been a couple of increases in the last 25 years. We are finally financially starting to head in the right directions and everyone will start to see improvements in the city.
Progress is moving forward with the replacement of the cast iron gas line in Ward 7.
Delivery has been made of the 2 patrol cars, 1 unmarked police vehicle, 1 building department vehicle, 1 cemetery vehicle and the city hall vehicle. Funds for these vehicles were not additional to the budget, but were available from reducing other line items. The budget was approved by the Council on September 25, 2018. He stated that he usually drives around 400 miles for work in his personal vehicle each week. At $.54 a mile which is the stated mileage rate, calculates to $216.00 a week or $864.00 a month. The payment for the city hall vehicle is $820.00 a month which results as a savings to the city.
Mayor Hammock recognized Chief Higgins. He distributed the statistical report for 2018. He stated that he appreciates every officer for the outstanding job they do. Mayor Hammock commended those investigators, detectives and patrol officers involved in the apprehension of the suspect in the kidnapping case. City Council Members gave a standing ovation for a job well done.
Mayor Hammock announced that he would be scheduling a town hall meeting in the near future. Everyone is welcome to come and express comments or ask questions.
Item 7: Council Reports: Council Member Taunton expressed appreciation to Mayor Hammock and the city workers for getting the potholes in front of Wal-Mart and the Armory filled in and for picking the trash up near the nursing home.
REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
JANUARY 8, 2019
Council Member Carr commended the Police Department for the apprehension of the suspect involved in the incident that happened on December 30, 2018. He also expressed appreciation to fellow council members for their approval of the senior citizen complex.
Council Member Wilson commended the police department and city workers for their attentiveness to citizen and vehicle safety, water issues and unstopping street drains.
Council Member Godwin expressed appreciation to the Community Hospital Staff and Board Members present at the meeting. He stated that he would be scheduling a finance committee meeting soon.
Council Members Hill, Brown and Stough had no comments.
Item 8: There being no further business before the Council, upon a motion made by Council Member Hill and a second by Council Member Carr, all Council Members present voted to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.
JOHN HAMMOCK, Mayor
BARBARA B. GARNETT, City Clerk