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Street improvements, Tentative budget discussion at Brooklet Council May 16

Dixie Street, Oak Street, Colony Lane, Scarlett Place and Rhett Court were selected for 2024 Street improvements, and single family home developments on Old Leefield Road are now slated to become duplexes. The tentative FY25 budget was approved and the farmers market is looking to move online. This and more at the Tuesday May 24, 2024 Brooklet City Council meeting.

​ Mayor Nicky Gwinnett opened the meeting with a prayer for the family of the late Maybelle “Belle” Gay who passed away on May 12, 2024. She served the city of Brooklet from 1997 until 2016. Councilmember Keith Roughton then led the pledge of allegiance.

The agenda was amended to reflect multiple changes: items 16.4 and 16.5 were not discussed in the meeting

16.9 FY25 Tentative Budget Approval was added to the agenda.

Item 4a was removed from the agenda as the Mayor would’ve needed to recuse himself, Councilmember James Harrison was absent and Councilmember Jonathan Graham resigned. Only Mayor Pro-Tem Rebecca Kelly, who would have to step in, and the remaining two, present council members would have been able to vote on the matter. City Attorney Hugh Hunter says this raises an issue of a proper quorum to proceed and he suggested it was in the best interest to remove the item from the agenda tonight. It is to be re-advertised and placed on the next agenda.

4. Planning and zoning public hearing items:

  1. REMOVED - Application RZ 2024-016:

G3 ventures LLC. submitted an application to change from R1 zoning district to C2 zoning district to allow for a cabinet business on the .65 acres. The property is located at 407 North Cromley Road.

  1. Application RZ 2024-017:

Jason T. Franklin submitted an application to rezone from R2 to R3 to allow for duplexes on 19.28 acres. The property is located on Old Leefield Rd.

A representative of the item provided the council with drawing plans of the duplex development.

Mayor Pro-Tem Kelly asked if all the houses will look the same; the representatives responded that three or four alternating paint colors would distinguish the homes. They commented that they will hopefully be getting started in 60 days, with a turn around of approximately 14 months

Keith Stephens, EMC engineering, spoke on Franklin’s behalf saying that the original proposal was brought before council last year, and council asked for them to secure health department approval. They say this approval has been received and infrastructure is in ground. They are switching from single family dwelling to multi family dwellings for better cost of living opportunities with more affordable rent.


APPROVED 6. Motion to come out of public hearing and go into the regular session.


REMOVED 7.  Discussion of possible motion to approve the recommendation from the planning and zoning commission for application RZ 2024-016.

On April 9, 2024, the planning commission made the recommendation to approve the rezoning request application for RZ2024-016. 


APPROVED 8. Discussion of possible motion to approve the recommendation from the planning and zoning commission for application RZ 2024-017 .

On April 9, 2024, the planning commission made the recommendation to approve the rezoning request application for RZ2024-017.

An ordinance will be prepared by City Attorney Hunter to make this allowance.

APPROVED 9. Consideration of a motion to approve the minutes for the following meetings:

  1. February 8, 2024, work session
  2. March 14, 2024, City Council Meeting

APPROVED 10. Consideration of a motion to approve the April Financial Reports as presented

City Clerk Lori Phillips provided bank and fund balances according to Councilmember Bradley Anderson. At the last work session the council saw a one page summarized budget sheet.

11. Report from the City Engineer

City Engineer Wesley Parker says that the well project is moving along fine. He reports that the North Cromley Road/GDOT Tap Project is still in the preliminary engineering phase, as it requires federal studies because it is federally funded. Construction is estimated to be finished in 2028 and will be funded 20% by the City of Brooklet.

He reports that the horizontal and vertical design for the Brooklet/Statesboro sewage project is finished. The lift station design depends on how the council and new SEB high school move forward considering the maximum capacity limit proposed by Statesboro of 300,00-400,000 gallons per day.

He says the plan is to connect major infrastructure with a 12 inch water main. At this time they are unsure if they have passed this round of grant applications for funding.

The 2024 Brooklet Street Improvements bid opened this week with the lowest bidder slated to move forward with improvements to the following streets:

Dixie Street, Oak Street, Colony Lane, Scarlett Place and Rhett Court. Spence Drive re-striping is being considered depending on the cost.

Mayor Gwinnett comments that the cost is looking affordable and the council should take this into consideration.

Parker says there is not much to discuss regarding the Weyerhaeuser Company annexation rezone request and believes it would take a lot of time and money for the city to even draft a master plan. Councilmember Anderson says that a level of commitment should be made.

Anderson says that long time tax payers need to benefit as well from the sewer plan, not just new developments, and that this is a point of necessary consideration for the council.

The force main and pump system in the original proposal is only going to capture the downtown and business district, and part of Cone street. The bond for this project is around $6 million.

“I don’t know where we are going to get the funding to start adding the streets” Councilmember Roughton commented regarding other neighborhoods that are being considered for the sewer plan

Parker commented that it would cost around $400 per foot to extend the infrastructure

Approaches to funding this extension may need to be contemplated such as expanding the tax base. 

The current bond is based on revenues, in an agreement that the city has to charge sufficient amounts for their services to pay back the bond. As it stands the bond does not does not impact taxpayers but impacts service users.

Mayor Gwinnett proposes moving this to next months works session for more discussion.

12. Reports from Committee Members

Mayor Pro-Tem Rebecca Kelly reminds city workers that employee evaluations are due soon and thanked public works for their speed in getting water back on after the outage.

She recently read the Georgia Farmers Market Guide and learned more about the licenses and responsibilities; she says because Brooklet is sponsoring the farmers market they need to be diligent with the licensing.

Councilmember Keith Roughton acknowledged public works fast response to the damaged fire hydrant near Enmarket on Highway 80. He says they worked hard to alleviate the problem before morning rush by getting creative and finding a “neat” solution. He says by 8 am the next morning there was a new fire hydrant.

13. Police Chief Gary. Roberts introduced Nickki Garman who was hired last month to the department, and reports 28 calls to services this month.

He says that this month was busy with investigative calls and he reports that the department stopped some graffiti vandalization swiftly.

Major software updates at the police department have been stressful, he concluded.

Mayor Gwinnett thanked the department for settling the graffiti matter quickly.

14. Safety Coordinator Jim Stanoff reports that the sidewalk repair project is ⅔ completed, alleviating trip hazards.

He asked the council again to consider action regarding the tree on Cone St and E. Lane, as it is rotting and a hazard to fall on a powerline that would result in a blackout. 

15. Guest Speakers

Michelle Wilson of the Brooklet Farmers Market says that the market has brought $730 of revenue to the city in three weeks.

She says that vendors are ready to move into the online market, where customers would order online and pick up at a designated facility with a cooler and freezer. The council will place this consideration at a later meeting after a scheduled budget discussion on May 24, 2024.

APPROVED 16.1 Second reading and approval of an ordinance to provide for wellhead protection zones, to provide for definitions, establishments of wellhead protection zones, permitted uses within such zones, prohibited uses within such zones, for administration and other purposes.

APPROVED 16.2 Second reading of an ordinance and approval to regulate food trucks, to provide for definitions, administration, application procedure and contents, duties of permit holder, display of permit and identification, liability and insurance requirements, requirements for mobile food vendor sales, fire safety requirements, suspension or revocation of permit, penalties for violations, and limitations

16.3 Discussion and possible first reading of an ordinance to amend the street light requirements of the subdivision ordinance.

The town would take ownership of street lights at the same time it takes ownership of streets, and developers have to purchase electrical infrastructure. There will be a second reading at next month's meeting.

NOT DISCUSSED 16.4 find on the agenda.

NOT DISCUSSED 16.5 find on the agenda. 

16.6 City Manager/ City Charter Discussion

Brooklet is transitioning to a City Manager form of government. The city charter has changed and is effective as of today so a City Manager needs to be hired.

Councilmember Anderson suggested Mayor Pro-Tem Kelly and Councilmember Harrison create a list of well experienced, possibly retired potential hires for the interim position, and then move into a hiring process to fill the position long term.

They are hopeful to have this list by the work session and to begin scheduling interviews.

16.7 Attorney Search Discussion 

June 30, 2024 is City Attorney Hugh Hunter’s last day. Councilmember Anderson and Roughton will work through the two applications for the position that were received and make a selection, appointing them at the next meeting hopefully. Councilmember Anderson and Attorney Hugh Hunter will facilitate a transition.

APPROVED 16.9 FY25 Tentative Budget Approval 


The hearing for approval of the FY25 budget is anticipated for the June meeting.

The meeting was adjourned just before 8 pm.