2007-10-19 / News

Forest Acres City Council meets October 9, 2007

By John Dixon Cub@TheColumbiaStar.com

Roll Call

Forest Acres City Council met Tuesday October 9, 2007. Attorney Holloway, Councilwoman Ginger Dukes, Mayor Pro Tempore Curtis Rye, Mayor Brunson, Councilman Fetner, Councilman Shell Suber were present. Bob Massa stood in for Mark Williams who was at an International Administrator's Conference in Pittsburgh. Councilman Charles Fetner led those assembled in invocation and pledge.

Public hearing

City Attorney Lee Holloway presided over a brief public hearing to set tax millage at 51.4 million in support of the 5.6 mils previously approved budget for 2007-2008. The public offered no input for or against the proposed milage. The public hearing was adjourned and the Council meeting called to order at 5:25.

Business

The first order of business was to present a slate of candidates to the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Joseph Gentry, Harry L. Parker, Jeffery Muir, and Roy Powell were presented as additions to the Forest Acres Planning Commission. Elizabeth Canty, George Nikos, and John Boylston were presented for addition to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Minutes of the September 11 Council meeting were unanimously approved without corrections or additions.

Mayor's issues

• The matter of city signage was discussed. Bob Massa informed council that the city is currently waiting for final engineering figures to allow the project to go forward on the bids.

• Council tentatively agreed to hold a special meeting with the project engineers to finalize plans for the Quinine Hill Park Project.

New Business

• Council gave first reading approval to an ordinance for the City of Forest Acres setting tax millage for the 2007- 2008 fiscal year at 51.4 mils.

• Council gave unanimous first reading approval to an ordinance clarifying terms of members on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission.

Old business

• A request of $5,950 in Hospitality tax funds for

tourism advertising in Access

Leisure was withdrawn but may be submitted again at a later time.

• Council briefly discussed amendments to the City Sign Ordinance pertaining to digital billboards. Council agreed that allowing digital billboards would not be in keeping with the nature of Forest Acres. Council will consider ordinance alternatives and be prepared to vote at the November meeting.

City Administrators report

• The tree replanting program was discussed. Massa agreed to discuss anticipated costs with the City Manager upon his return and bring Council some hard figures on program costs.

• Many residents have complained of speeding motorists on residential roads in Forest Acres. Some of these problem areas are actually in unincorporated parts of Richland County. City officials have referred those concerns to the Richland county Sherriff 's Department. Chief Sealy and his officers will check out the locations in Forest Acres. At this time Council declined to discuss the numerous requests for speed bumps.

• The sanitation area overhaul is near completion. $10,000 in additional funding was approved for wax myrtles and the pouring of a concrete drop pad for the recycling bins.

Community Forum

• Mike McIntosh confirmed the State Museum was free to Forest Acres residents through the 15th according to a brochure he received in the mail. He reported the crosswalk materials discussed last month are free through a federal grant in school zones, and other safety related materials are eligible for other grant funds. Council agreed to add discussion of this issue to the November agenda.

• Citizens said the Zoning Board of Appeals has been routinely approving most tree removal permits denied by the city. In addition, judges have not been levying fines for individuals illegally removing trees within the city of Forest Acres.

• Mike McIntosh questioned why cars and trucks in the city's fleet of vehicles are routinely purchased from out of state dealers. Bob Massa explained there are no local dealers bidding on the state contract; therefore, the city has opted to purchase vehicles from the closest dealer with the best price yielding substantial savings for the city.

• Carol Kososki thanked council on behalf of the Appearance Commission for their support of tree replanting efforts.

• Ralph Bailey complained to council about the unkempt appearance of an area along Two Notch Road in the city of Forest Acres. Council agreed to look into the problem.

Council adjourned at 6:16. Council meets again Tuesday, November 13.

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