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Commisioners honor SEB Lady Jackets Flag Football team at Tuesday's meeting

Bulloch Commissioners honored the SEB Lady Jackets Flag Football team at Tuesday's meeting. In addition, they approved a 49 home Brooklet-area subdivision and other rezoning requests. Click on the image to read about all business covered.
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Members of the SEB Lady Flag football team with Commissioners

Bulloch County Commissioners met Tuesday evening, Feb. 6, 2024, for their bi-monthly meeting. Chairman Roy Thompson called the meeting to order at 5:30 P.M. and welcomed the media and visitors.

After Commissioner Jappy Stringer prayed and led the Pledge of Allegiance, Ty Lee called roll and confirmed a quorum. 

Chair Thompson continued the meeting by honoring the Southeast Bulloch High School Lady Jackets Flag football team for their GHSA Division 1 State Championship, continuing their 3-year winning streak. He read a meaningful proclamation of their numerous achievements and wished them success in their future seasons.

The meeting proceeded with a motion and unanimous approval of the four item zoning agenda.

Continue reading for all business covered at the two and half hour meeting.

ZONING AGENDA 

APPROVED BY  5-1 VOTE  1. KB Rentals LLC, has submitted an application to rezone approximately 75.77 acres from AG-5 (Agricultural 5 acres) to R-25 (Residential 25,000 sq. ft.) R-40  to develop a single-family residential subdivision. The property is located at Brooklet Denmark and Mincey Road, Parcel No. 125 000054 000, 125 000054 001.

Attorney Steve Rushing, spoke in favor of the rezone. Rushing presented an amendment to the original request, altering it from an R-25 to an R-40 which changes it to 49 lots from the original 76. Two of the buffers will be increased from 25 feet to 50 feet. He says the developers are attempting to mirror the success of the Brooklet South subdivision. 

Six citizens signed up to speak in opposition.

Angel Aycock spoke and her primary concern was that proposed development remain aligned with the rural vision of development. Aycock feels more comfortable with the amendment of the rezoning to R-40 and supports the project if it reflects this amendment.

Janice Cribbs lives on Mincey Road and states that she dislikes the farmland being destroyed, as she was raised and worked on farmland her entire life. She has concerns about the maxed capacity of the schools nearby and the negative impact on traffic and wildlife.

“These wildlife don’t have a say in this, so I really want y'all to think about this… I respectfully ask you to decline this,” she said.

John Harrington says although its a wooded lot, it is still agriculture and we want to maintain them. He says this will have negative impacts on hospitals and emergency services, with the out of character level of density to keep the area intact, could set precedence and change the land forever.

Lloyd Strickland says he has lived a mile from this property his entire life. He retired 4 years ago indebted to the bank, choosing to sell 100 acres under Ag-5 zoning rules. This property being located on Mincey Road, he says the Mincey family did not want anymore houses on the road.

Wright Tillman is concerned about the proposed intersection's safety.

Ronnie Nesmith is concerned about the integrity and access to dirt roads near the proposed subdivision. He is also concerned about his wells' supply with the introduction of more residents to the area, as well as the change in the land. He says the county does not have the resources to expand in this area.

Attorney Rushing rebutted that the subdivision regulations will be followed exactly. He says that it will take at least two years for residents to move to the area, so the concerns about resources can be alleviated in that time.

Commissioner Timmy Rushing thanked all the groups for working together on this to find a resolution. He knows not everyone will be happy, but they all worked to come to the best solution.

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APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY 2. Hawk Properties, LLC. has submitted a request for a conditional use of light manufacturing on a parcel zoned Heavy Industrial. The property is located at 622 Jake Strouse Road, Parcel No. 105 000001 015.

Zach Hawk represented Hawk Properties and explained his proposed plan to bring in like minded machine shops. He says this machine shop is quiet and clean and would not cause the normal disturbances of a similar business.

Terry Deal spoke in opposition saying that the property was zoned R-80 a year ago. He says that Hawk came to him and said that only his business would be on the property, and after Hawk rezoned the area to heavy industrial, Deal fears that the development has become more than what was originally proposed. He says that if this development continues, the sound buffers need to be improved. He says the informal agreements and promises that were made, are not standing.

Multiple members of Deal's family spoke in opposition as well, concerned about the development devaluing their property, decreased traffic safety, and excessive noise.

Hawk rebutted that buffers are already in place as well as fences that need to be put in place, stating that he is now having to exceed those expectations, which he is alright with because these are adding to the property. They were described as 25-foot buffers, possibly less with the addition of fences. Hawk says he is keeping natural buffers which include oaks and ponds.

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APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY 3. Hawk Properties, LLC. has submitted a request for a conditional use of light manufacturing on a parcel zoned Heavy Industrial. The property is located at 572 Jake Strouse Road, Parcel No. 105 000001 015.

Zach Hawk represented this use of land for an additional company under the same conditions as the previous agenda item. He says the company is trying to leave Savannah and come to Statesboro.

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REQUEST RETRACTED 4. Swift Transportation Company of Arizona, LLC. has submitted a text amendment application requesting to introduce text to the Bulloch County Code of Ordinances Appendix C Section 1423 Freight Trucking Facility. Specifically the request is to modify the prohibitions of maintenance or sales of any kind and temporary or portable structures for offices or storage.

Attorney Steve Rushing also represented Swift Transportation Company of Arizona, LLC. He says this facility is used to maintain trucks and take care of drivers' needs like showering. He proposed the ordinance be amended to reflect the companies need to maintain its own trucks on this property from the current prohibition of maintenance of any kind.

County Manager Tom Couch was concerned about the amending of the wording, stating that problems arising like this can be taken care of through due diligence, expressing disappointment.

Chairman Thompson asked that the board make a decision to vote or table the matter.

Couch says that getting this circumstance right for the future are more sensitive than approving this matter immediately would be improper.

Rushing retracted the amendment and the ordinance will stand as written.

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY WITH AMENDMENTS - CONSENT AGENDA - Item 4 moved to New Business

1. Minutes Approval: Tuesday January 16th, 2024 08:30 AM

2. Approve a Resolution to Approve the Bulloch County Board of Health's Environmental Fee Schedule

The Bulloch County Board of Health has adopted the updated fee schedule attached as Exhibit "A" to the attached resolution and has requested approval of same by the Board of Commissioners.  Approval of the attached resolution will accomplish this purpose and is recommended.

3. Approve a Resolution to Establish a Special Streetlight District for Bridgewater Subdivision

The attached resolution will create a special streetlight district for Bridgewater Subdivision.  This will replace and supersede the resolution that was approved on January 2, 2024, which inadvertently left out some lots that should have been included in the district.  Approval is recommended.

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Moved to New Business - 4. Motion to Appoint Patrick Woock to the Coastal Area District Development Authority(CADDA) for a term of two years from Jan. 1, 2024 ending Dec. 31, 2025

With the departure of long-time CADDA board member Bryan Burke, the Board of Commissioners came to the decision to fill the vacant board seat. Mr. Woock's 2 year term spans from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025.

5. Motion to Approve the Purchase of Lion PPE from NAFECO.

The Bulloch County Fire Department was budgeted to purchase PPE, the funding of this purchase is a reimbursement through the SAFER grant that was awarded to the County.. This purchase is for five sets of gear for new Volunteer Firefighters. It is a Sourcewell purchase on a Government contract that meets the AFG purchasing agreement.

6. Motion to Approve a Purchase of 2 Continental Extractors from Wholesale Commercial Laundry Equipment.

The Bulloch County Fire Department was budgeted to purchase gear extractors for staff. The gear extractors are designed to remove toxic chemicals and carcinogens from gear that are known to cause cancer to Firefighters. These machines meet NFPA1851 standards and will give our staff the ability to clean their PPE after each fire. The purchase price for two machines is $26,222.00. This includes shipping and installation at two locations.

7. Motion to Approve Service from Aviation Maintenance for Repairs and Maintenance of Jet A tank.

Remove existing liner, clean and recoat 100LL tank and clean Jet A tank.

8. Motion to approve an Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation for an Encroachment Permit for the construction of a decel lane and paving of a portion of Alford Road at SR 67.

JFSS Properties LLC is proposing to build a subdivision on SR 67 at Alford Road. The County is requiring the developer to pave a portion of Alford Road, from SR 67 to the entrance of the subdivision, as well as to install a decel lane on SR 67 at Alford Road according to GDOT requirements. The cost of the improvements will be borne by the developer of the subdivision.

The County is the permitee on the GDOT Encroachment Permit because Alford Road is a county-maintained road. Work done by the developer in the right of way will also require an indemnification agreement between the developer and Bulloch County. The County Engineer recommends approval of the agreement.

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9. Approval request for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant for the District Attorney's Office for $104,453.00

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council has approved the Federal Fiscal Year 2024 VOCA Continuation funding applications submitted by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia (PAC). The District Attorney's Office was selected to receive $83,562 in federal funds with base waived match funds in the amount of $20,891.

10. Approve a Resolution Authorizing Acceptance of Roads in Magnolia Farm Subdivision

The developer has requested that the County accept dedication of and title to the roads in Magnolia Farm Subdivision.  As indicated by the attached memo, County Engineer Brad Deal has inspected these roads and determined that they comply with all County requirements.  Approval of the attached resolution will implement acceptance of these roads and authorize Chairman Thompson to accept a deed for these roads on behalf of the County.  Approval is recommended.

11. Motion to approve repairs to damaged drain inlet boxes in roads of Windmill Plantation Subdivision by YDelta. Inc., in the amount of $24,600, to be funded by TSPLOST.

The roads in Windmill Plantation Subdivision are county-maintained roads. Three of the drain inlet boxes in the center of the inverted crown roadways have been damaged by traffic, causing the tops to break and the drainage grates to cave in, leaving holes in the road. The work consists of removing and disposing of the existing damaged tops, repairing the inside of the drainage boxes, removing brick from inside the boxes to accommodate a thicker top, and installing new tops with frames and grates.

Quotes were requested from three contractors for this work, however only two responded. Y-Delta provided the lowest quote and is a licensed utility contractor who is qualified to perform this work. The price provided is per drainage box. Currently, there are three damaged boxes that are recommended for repair at this time. The County Engineer recommends approval.

12. Motion to approve execution of a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., authorizing a Management Development Program series conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government

The University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government offers an extensive management training curriculum tailored for existing and emerging leaders in local government. The Management Development Program (MDP), conducted in 20 day-long sessions spread over several months, teaches critical management skills such as problem-solving, effective communication, self-awareness, ethics, conflict resolution, team dynamics, and other topics that impact a manager's likelihood of success. The program is designed to enhance the skills of existing managers and to equip new or potential managers so that they are prepared to assume supervisory and management roles.

Staff from the County Manager's Office and the Human Resources Department have collaborated with the Carl Vinson Institute on the program's curriculum, cost, and tentative schedule, and the County Attorney has approved the form of the agreement. Staff now seeks Board of Commissioners approval to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement authorizing the program.

If approved, the Bulloch County series will begin in March 2024 and end in October 2024, and all training and course activities will be conducted here in Bulloch County, eliminating the need for staff travel. The total cost of the series is $58,566 for 20 participants. The Management Development Program was anticipated and funded in the FY2024 budget.

Staff respectfully requests a motion to approve the execution of the Memorandum of Agreement required to conduct the program

13. Motion to adopt a resolution for approval of a Contract for Acquisition of Right of Way for a Federal or State-Aid Project with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the S&S Greenway Phase 3 Project.

On November 1, 2022, the County approved a resolution for approval of a contract with GDOT concerning right of way acquisition for the S&S Greenway Phase 3 project. This contract stipulated that Bulloch County will follow all GDOT and FHWA procedures for acquiring right of way or easements on the project, and that the County would fund all of the acquisition costs without reimbursement from GDOT. Subsequently, GDOT has approved funding for reimbursement to the County for right of way acquisition costs. GDOT will now reimburse the County for up to $248,000 for acquisition costs, with a $62,000 match required from the County. Thus, a new Contract for Acquisition of Right of Way is now required to be executed by the County and GDOT.

The total area of right of way acquisition required on the project is approximately 0.508 acres, along with 0.52 acres of permanent easement. The County Engineer recommends adoption of the resolution.

14. Motion to approve Master Services Agreement with MGT of America Consulting, LLC for the performance of a Workforce Development Study

At its meeting held on January 16, 2024, the Board of Commissioners voted to award the Workforce Development Study project to MGT of America Consulting, LLC. At that time, the Board authorized staff to proceed with the development of a written agreement to document the terms of the project. The attached agreement has been reviewed and approved by staff, including the County Attorney, and is now submitted into the official meeting records and for final approval before contract execution.

NEW BUSINESS 

APPROVED -  1. Motion to approve a contract with Parker Engineering, in the amount of $125,000 to perform surveying and engineering design services for the Clark Farm Road Paving Project, to be funded by TSPLOST.

TSPLOST funds are budgeted in FY 24 for surveying, design, wetlands delineation, and permitting for the paving of Clark Farm Road, from US Hwy 80 to the Candler County Line. Citizens living on the road submitted a petition for paving the road several years ago. A property line survey was done in 2010, and right of way was acquired for paving the road. Citizens were informed at that time that the County would pave the road, which is approximately 1.7 miles long from US Hwy 80 to the Candler County Line. This contract includes a topographic survey of the road as well as the development of preliminary plans, wetlands delineation and permitting, a hydrology report, and construction plans to be used for bidding the construction work.

Parker Engineering is located in Statesboro and has worked on similar design and surveying projects, such as the paving of Highpoint Circle and Antioch Church Road, and are qualified to perform this type of work. The County had previously budgeted $150,000 for these design services, and the cost proposal is below that amount. The County Engineer recommends approval of this proposal.

APPROVED BY 5-1 VOTE - 2. Motion to Appoint Patrick Woock to the Coastal Area District Development Authority(CADDA) for a term of two years from Jan. 1, 2024 ending Dec. 31, 2025

With the departure of long-time CADDA board member Bryan Burke the Board of Commissioners came to the decision to fill the vacant board seat. Mr. Woock's 2 year term spans from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2025. Burke wrote a letter that was read during the meeting, expressing his support for Woock’s appointment to the position.

After a brief break the council returned for public comment.

PUBLIC COMMENTS 

Sandra Butler says shes returning to the board to find out about the progress of paving Hightower Road.

"We were verbally promised that it would have been paved by now, really by April 2023," she said.

County Attorney Jeff Akins says that permitting is still awaiting approval. He recorded Butler's phone number and said that he would give her a call in the morning to talk about the details of the project's progress.

Butler says that her ancestors and family members deserve better than having to wait for 45 years for the road to be paved. Butler states that there have been lost petitions.

COMMISSION AND STAFF COMMENTS 

No staff members or commissioners made comments.

APPROVED 7:30 P.M. EXECUTIVE SESSION

Discussion of personnel and real estate.  After a 30 minute Executive Session the Commissioners returned and adjourned the meeting taking no further action.

Click Here for meeting agenda and supporting documents

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