City Council Minutes September 9, 2019 Regular Session

PRESENT: Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor; Council members: George Holt, Jim Windham, Mike Ready, Jeff Wearing. Sarah Davis was not present.  Staff members present: City Manager Matt Pepper, Deputy City Clerk Stacey Mullen, Utility Superintendent Jody Reid, Police Chief Dave Harvey, City Attorney David Strickland.

OTHERS PRESENT: Laura Gafnea of Oxford College, Peggy Madden, Art & Laurie Vinson, Dave Huber, Dana Payne, Patsy Burke, Cheryl Ready, David Eady, Judy Greer, Juanita Carson and Nicholas Cole.

1. The meeting was called to order by the Hon. Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor
2. Invocation was delivered by Chief Dave Harvey
3. Pledge of Allegiance

4. Motion to accept the Agenda for September 9, 2019 – Ready- Second- Wearing, Approved unanimous 5/0. Attachment A

5. Consent Agenda - Approved unanimous 5/0.   Attachment B

6. Mayor’s Report
Mayor Roseberry announced that Hoyt Oliver, who has been recovering from pneumonia at Riverside Health Center, is now recovering from home.  Mayor Roseberry reported that the Police Department had issued 72 citations, 49 warnings and made 10 arrests for the month of August.  Mayor Roseberry recognized Deputy City Clerk Stacey Mullen and expressed appreciation for her current role of managing the additional duties of the City Clerk until the position is filled.

7. Planning Commission Recommendations/Petitions


8. Citizen Concerns


9. Annual Mayor and Council Retreat

Mayor Roseberry stated this year’s Mayor’s Retreat will be scheduled for October 11th at The Center in Covington. During the Mayor’s Retreat, the Mayor and Council will discuss projects completed dating back to 2006 until the present.  In addition, they will set goals for the upcoming year for the city.  More information will be provided later.

10. Traffic Control on Williams Road

Chief Harvey made recommendations on where to place the speed tables on Williams Road.  He advised the speed tables would actually be placed in two places on E. Soule Street (within the city limits), as the street name changes from Williams Road once entering the city limits.  Chief Harvey explained the average speed on E. Soule Street is 48 mph, while the city speed limit is only 30 mph.  He stated that some drivers’ speed has been detected at 40 or 50 mph, and on one occasion, even 60 mph. 

To slow down the speed of drivers entering the city limits, Chief Harvey suggested installing speed humps similar to the one at Old Church. Councilmember Holt questioned the placement of the first speed hump (depicted on the map demonstration), which he believed would be 20 ft from the city limits. 

His concern was that this placement would not give drivers enough time to reduce speed safely.  Chief Harvey clarified that a warning sign would be 20 ft ahead of the first speed hump, and that the speed hump would actually be 115 ft away from the city limits.  This will give drivers adequate time to adjust to the speed decrease.  The second speed hump will be placed within 1300 ft of the first.  He further noted signage would be placed 20 ft before each speed hump, as well as at each location.

Councilmember Wearing questioned the size of the speed humps (per a quote from Designed Installations), which resembled the same size speed humps as those located in front of Old Church.  He inquired whether the width of the speed humps could be condensed by 5-10 ft to save costs.  Mayor Roseberry advised that GA Department of Transportation (GDOT) states that speed humps, like the type used on Godfrey Street, could be used for this project.  Jody Reid provided Mayor Roseberry with a price on one for $700, which would be cheaper than the other design for $7000.  Councilmember Holt described speed humps made of asphalt that he witnessed in an upscale area in Atlanta, with reflective arrows on top. Councilmember Windham mentioned other entities (Jersey, Social Circle, Gwinnett) who also used the asphalt speed humps.  Windham also questioned the decision of not having a speed hump at Mitchell Street (located off Soule St), to coincide with the sidewalk and aid the safety of its users.  Mayor Roseberry advised that such placement would not agree with GDOT requirements, which states speed humps should not exist within an intersection.  This matter will be placed on the agenda at a later date pending the research of a cost-efficient solution.  Attachment C


11. 107 W. Clark Street Renovation Project
The ad hoc Yarbrough House Renovation Committee reported on the progress of the 107 W. Clark Street renovation project.  The Committee met with the architects from Carter Watkins, to discuss the details of the renovation work.  The Director of the Newton County Library Systems (Lace Keaton) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Newton County Library Systems (Steve Whatley) came out to view the Yarbrough House and to discuss options for its development.  After discussion, it was determined there were stumbling blocks that prevented its development as a library, mostly due to financial restraints on the County’s behalf.  The city will continue to seek opportunities along the way, which may result in a sole venture.  Currently, the matter will be on hold.

Councilmember Wearing discussed that Great Estates Landscaping provided a quote to complete lawn enhancement work on the Yarborough House property.  The proposal is to temporarily prune the front of the house, which would include removal of brick, bushes and monkey grass, as well as an aesthetic overhaul.  Councilmember Wearing suggested Matt Pepper provide a purchase order to allow Great Estates to complete the proposed work.  Councilmember Holt questioned the need to request proposals for unwarranted projects as there is currently no defined plans for the Yarbrough House.  Councilmember Wearing further implied the need to at least keep the property maintained and in suitable condition until the construction commences.  Though Councilmember Holt suggested the city maintenance department handle the upkeep of the façade, Councilmember Wearing countered that the maintenance department may not have the availability to commit to such projects at this time.

Motion was made to approve the proposal. Windham-Second-Wearing, Approved unanimous 5/0.

12. Planning Commission Appointment   
 Council approved the nomination for a member of the city’s Planning Commission.  Councilmember Windham expressed the city’s intent in having more geographic diversity, which prompted him to nominate Ms. Kibbie Hatfield of Stone Street.

Motion was made to approve to nominate Ms. Kibbie Hatfield as a member for the Planning Commission- Windham-Second-Holt, Approved unanimous 5/0.

13. Invoice Approval

Motion was made by Wearing-Second-Holt to approval the invoices, approved unanimous 5/0.

Regular Session Adjourned at 7:25pm

Executive Session

Motion to go into an Executive Session at 7:28 pm – Ready – Second – Wearing, approved unanimous 


City Attorney David Strickland updated Council on ongoing litigation.

Council discussed personnel matters regarding appointment for David Eady (Post 4).

Motion to adjourn the Executive Session at 7:36 pm – Wearing– second – Ready, approved
unanimous 5/0.

Motion to adjourn Regular Session at 7:36 pm – Wearing – Second Ready Approved unanimous 5/0.

Respectfully submitted;

Stacey Mullen

Deputy City Clerk