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City of Bainbridge Planning Retreat
March 25 and 26, 2010

Division Presentations

Community Development – Dustin Dowdy

1) Streetscape – Updated council on project scope and provided pictures depicting work in progress. Work is complete on North West Street and in front of the courthouse except for benches/lights; will move to North Broad and then to East Water Street. Have more money than originally anticipated because of federal stimulus dollars.
2) Comprehensive Plan 2010-2030 ; being prepared by Robert & Co. at a cost of $54,880
3) Newcomer’s Guide being prepared by the department.

Leisure Services – Al Kelly

1) Phase Three of Bill Reynolds Sports Complex includes 5 basketball courts and over 500 parking spaces, plus 2 multi-purpose fields. Will make us ready for hosting tournaments. Discussed restroom/concession issues at this complex and BR I and II.

Public Safety – Larry Funderburke

1) Viper Team – High crime areas. Finally has been activated.
2) HAZMAT-the new ordinance to recover costs associated with their work should help.
3) Communication – Radio system-Discussed need to convert to digital 800 megahertz system or lose capability to communicate with each other in Bdge and other agencies around the area. Cost is $300,000-500,000. Can rent space from Tallahassee to get into the program. Most of our costs will be in radios. We will look at moving into the new communication.

Public Works – Tommy King

1) Work on new Sports Complex with leisure services.
2) Boat Ramps – next project. Waiting on Corps of Engineers to approve the construction plans; they have already approved the master plan. May take a visit or additional communication with COE to get the approval so we don’t lose bass tournaments that plan to use the new ramps.

Utilities – Ronnie Parrish

1) Automatic Water Reading meters being used.
2) Douglas Hill Sewage Project should be an 18 month project once work begins. Waiting on some people to sign easements.
3) Upgrade at Treatment Plant.

Financial Presentation – Chris Hobby/Lisa Taylor

The Fund Method of Accounting
General Fund
Water/Sewer Fund
Natural Gas Fund
Solid Waste Fund
Internal Service Fund

Budget Details-were provided to council
For FY 2010 budgeted expenditures were $9,015,653, but projected expenditures are $8,968,009.
For FY 2010 budgeted revenues were $9,015,653, but projected revenue is actually $8,678,102.

Major Sources of Income for the General Fund
Property Tax-the five year history:
2005-$879,798
2006-$941,202
2007-$979,300
2008-$1,041,444
2009-$1,057,120

Local Option Sales Tax-five year history:
2005-$1,801,244
2006-$2,025,008
2007-$2,095,724
2008-$2,164,440
2009-$1,984,332

The projection for FY2010 is $1,881,000 (basically back to the 2005 level)

Other taxes in the city also show a decline in the mid year projection of the current budget, including vehicle tax, mobile home tax, trans. Tax, franchise fees, intangible taxes, dog taxes and occupational tax licenses.

Inter-Fund Transfers are a prime source of General Fund revenue.

Internal Service Funds receive revenue through fees charged to other funds for services provided and they cover all operating expenses. This includes the employees benefit trust fund and the shop.

Staff projects a deficit of $210,875.

Steps already taken:
Reduction of two full time employees through attrition
New accounting/management procedures in city shop.

Recommended Council Action
Increase Ad Valorem Millage Rate to meet budget shortfall
1 mill of ad valorem tax equals $344,226.63, based on the 2009 tax digest
Based on current estimate, millage would need to be raised .613 mills
This would equal $49.04 in additional ad valorem tax for a home valued at $200,000.

Enterprise Funds hold their own. The revenue is realized from service fees and not from taxes. This is a major source of general fund revenue.
The city has three enterprise funds:
Water and Sewer
Natural Gas
Solid Waste

SPLOST 5-approved uses:

Sewer master plan and associated debt services
Current project is the Phase II master plan
City hall renovation and associated debt services
Road construction/maintenance
Current project involves streetscape Phase II
Recreation improvements
Current project is work on the Bill Reynolds Sports complex III, Go Fish boat ramp project
Water system improvements
Storm water improvements
Public safety equipment and building improvements
Current expenditures on equipment

SPLOST 5 Projections:

Year Revenue Expenditure
2009 $834,585 $143,329
2010$1,689,426 $2,300,000
2011$1,697,873 $235,061
2012$1,753,563 $720,061
2013$1,811,080 $720,061
2014$1,870,484 $720,061
2015$935,242 $720,061
Totals$10,592,253 $5,558,634
Available For Other Projects: $5,033,619

City Hall Renovation and Expansion Architectural Presentation

By: 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.

Action:
It will be brought to a council meeting for first reading and consideration for adoption.

Alcohol Ordinance
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.

Action:
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.

Action:
City manager will come up with new language to clarify guidelines and appeal process.

SPLOST Expenditures and Capital Projects

Current 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 million

City Hall
Recreation
Storm Water Improvements
Water System Improvements
Police Equipment
Street 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.

Action:
Discussion Only

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.

Action:
Manager will bring list of road projects to council

Communication Issues
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.

Action:
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.

Action:
Discussion only

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.

Action:
Discussion only

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 Community

A 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.

Transportation

We 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.

Infrastructure

We 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.

Downtown

Streetscape 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.

Environment

We have added a maintenance clause to our tree ordinance. Holding pond maintenance is ongoing.

Growth and Development

Planning/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.

Recreation

The 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 pm

The 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 Future

Bainbridge, 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 Community

Provide a professional, efficient, public safety presence while encouraging excellent medical and educational systems

Transportation

Create a multi-modal transportation infrastructure which connects the river and downtown to public spaces, businesses, neighborhoods and beyond

Infrastructure

Insure modern infrastructure is in place to facilitate sustainable residential, commercial and industrial growth and development

Downtown

Apply progressive thinking and investment to create a downtown that is an attractive destination for shopping, living and celebrating community.

Environment

Emphasize, market and preserve our abundant natural and historic resources while fostering the development of recreation and green spaces

Growth And Development

Commit to quality long term growth while encouraging infill development and aggressively market the abundance of water for business and industry

Recreation

Offer 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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