City of Bainbridge Planning Retreat
City Hall Renovation and Expansion Architectural PresentationBy: Will Rutherford and Darren Blankenship with Clemons, Rutherford and Associates.
Architectural Plans on the $3.5 million project were presented.
They explained how they had met with the employees at city hall in an effort to come up with the most workable plan to meet the city’s needs. City Council chambers could double as a municipal court and they showed an alternate plan that puts the use of the room for a court with its accompanying holding cells into a second phase of development. Council discussed pros and cons of each scenario. Safety features were pointed out as well as the workability of the project.
Budget Model was presented showing the cost of the proposed project broken down by category. They also presented Council with an estimated bid sheet showing specifics for each area of the renovation.
Items for Discussion and Action:Traffic Calming Ordinance
Citizens are responsible for initiating action for installing or taking out speed bumps, etc.
It will be brought to a council meeting for first reading and consideration for adoption.
The existing ordinance is outdated and has inconsistencies in it, as well as some sections that do not conform to state law. Proposed change in ordinance will allow bars to operate without food service requirements as in the current ordinance. The new ordinance would expand the hours alcohol could be served and addresses rules for serving food. The proposed ordinance also includes an excise tax for the first time; it also includes a fee increase for alcoholic beverage licenses. Distance regulations from churches and schools will now meet state laws. The responsible vendor program remains part of the new ordinance.
Will be brought to the April business meeting for the first reading.
Historic Preservation Ordinance
Council indicated they want to update the existing ordinance to be able to more effectively monitor the preservation of historic buildings the historic residential and commercial districts. Guidelines will be clarified in the various categories within the district (contributing, non-contributing, intrusions and vacancies) and the appeals process will be refined.
City manager will come up with new language to clarify guidelines and appeal process.
SPLOST Expenditures and Capital ProjectsCurrent commitments total $720,061 and include the following:
$84,458.23 a year through 2018 for fire truck payment.
$150,603.47 a year for police car lease (expires 2013 but will renew)
$500,000 payback to GEFA on the $9 million sewer project beings April 2012
Phase I (Alice Street) is complete. The sewer treatment plant upgrade and
Phase II sewer in the Douglas Hills/Twin Lakes/Back Lake areas is an 18 month project.
Expected SPLOST uncommitted revenue of approximately $5 millionCity Hall
Storm Water Improvements
Water System Improvements
Council discussed improvements being made to the playgrounds at College Street and Earle May Boat Basin and improvements to the restrooms at the Bill Reynolds Sports Park from this uncommitted $5 million.
City Hall renovation work can also apply for a USDA grant that is available only to communities under 20,000 people, plus a low interest loan that is available through USDA.
A storm water project has been identified off of Ponderosa that would include a force main from the pond and the pumping of the water to the Big Slough, at a cost of approximately $200,000.
Resurfacing/routine street maintenance will utilize LARP when possible. $1 million is in the SPLOST budget for this.
Resurfacing Roads (Repairing Potholes)
Cold winter and water leaks have made for difficult year in repairing pot holes.
Some areas identified as needing attention are: Donaldson Street, Sims/Shotwell intersection, Albany Road/Paulette Road intersection, Florida Street.
Citizens can now report potholes via the website.
The LARP list goes to the state and they prioritize them.
Manager will bring list of road projects to council
Internal and external information needs to circulate effectively with City Council.
Some of the items addressed by council were communicating trash pick up scheduling on holidays, as well as a public service/information column in the media.
The City Manager explained what will happen when the current communications manager leaves the city next month. The position will be housed at the welcome center on Dothan Road and will be filled by the person currently at the welcome center.
The Welcome Center will be used as the home of the convention and visitors bureau, which will pay 1/4 of the salary. The City will pay 1/2 of the salary and the other 1/4 will come from welcome center reserves. As a welcome center, the facility will be open/closed to coincide with city of Bainbridge hours/holidays. The changeover will take place May 1.
Manager will provide monthly progress reports and other appropriate items to Council
Image Issues within City
Among the items addressed were appropriate signage, landscape maintenance, and trash on major thoroughfares. Also discussed were ways to improve the image of the city’s sports programs when they appear in parades, etc.
Local Bid Preference
Discussed was why council does not consider local bid preference. Pros and cons were discussed and the one item that council did agree on was to ask companies from out of town who are awarded bids by the city to participate in sponsorships and funding of our teams and events.
Archway Project City
Look into UGA’s Archway project and how it can be used for agri-tourism and aqua-tourism.
Action: Manager will look into the cost of the program and perhaps ask the Archway manager to speak to the council and convention/visitors bureau.
Review of 2009-2010 Division Goals and Projects
Safe and Secure CommunityA grant has added 3-4 persons to the public safety force. We have met the need for equipment in public safety. In training, our assistant chiefs do the training as originally designed when public safety was set up. Spanish is a priority when hiring in public safety. We take means for clean/safe drinking water, as well as tank farm security. A new ordinance will help HAZMAT get reimbursement for their service.
TransportationWe are underway with Phase II of streetscape and searching for funding for Phase III. Connectivity/streetscape addresses bike lanes, walking trails, sidewalks, etc. Signage needs are being addressed. We have yet to begin uncovering the brick streets downtown. Stones and the marina entrance are two locations that need railroad upgrades.
InfrastructureWe will soon have to deal with the need for a south side fire station due to ISO requirements. City hall expansion/remodeling in the planning phase. There are some water pressure issues at the ends of lines and we need a plan to identify them. Moving the investigative division of public safety has helped some of the space issues but bathroom upgrades are desperately needed. GIS mapping system is a huge need, but also a huge expense for now.
DowntownStreetscape and events are ongoing. The city provides $5000 to DDA and it is used for façade grants. North Broad Street revitalization may occur after streetscape is finished. Storage enforcement downtown is an issue; maybe we could get them to put blinds on their front windows to hide it.
EnvironmentWe have added a maintenance clause to our tree ordinance. Holding pond maintenance is ongoing.
Growth and DevelopmentPlanning/zoning, HPC and DDA have all been trained. There have been no funds available to start the branding of the city. The city met with the Development Authority and the County for dinner recently.
RecreationThe new ball complex is underway. Mega ramp work will start once Corps of Engineers signs off on the project. We will aggressively recruit tournaments. It was suggested that perhaps we hire a person who would market our facility for tourneys, manage the summer ball program and run the tournaments. We are looking at expansion of the campground and trail, as well as marina campsites. We have upgraded our infrastructure to hold large events.
Executive Session, March 25, 2010 4:30 pmThe mayor and Council met in executive session to evaluate the City Manager and ask the mayor to meet with the manager to present his strengths and weaknesses to him. We unanimously agreed to rehire him for another year.
Edward Reynolds, Mayor
City of Bainbridge, Georgia
Vision for the FutureBainbridge, a vibrant, historic, waterfront community embracing its abundance of natural resources, providing for quality growth, security and sustainability We will realize our vision by achieving the following:
Safe And Secure CommunityProvide a professional, efficient, public safety presence while encouraging excellent medical and educational systems
TransportationCreate a multi-modal transportation infrastructure which connects the river and downtown to public spaces, businesses, neighborhoods and beyond
InfrastructureInsure modern infrastructure is in place to facilitate sustainable residential, commercial and industrial growth and development
DowntownApply progressive thinking and investment to create a downtown that is an attractive destination for shopping, living and celebrating community.
EnvironmentEmphasize, market and preserve our abundant natural and historic resources while fostering the development of recreation and green spaces
Growth And DevelopmentCommit to quality long term growth while encouraging infill development and aggressively market the abundance of water for business and industry
RecreationOffer leisure services, programs and facilities which provide for the needs and well being of citizens and visitors while promoting economic opportunities
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