Bulloch Local Government

What Happened at the Oct. 4 Statesboro Council Meeting

Here’s what happened at the Oct. 4, 2022 Statesboro City Council meeting. Click here for the complete agenda packet.

Call to Order by Mayor Jonathan McCollar – Councilman John Riggs was not present
Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance by Councilmember Phil Boyum
Public Comments (Agenda Item): None present

Consideration of a Motion to approve the Consent Agenda
Approval of Minutes
a) 09-20-2022 Work Session Minutes
b) 09-20-2022 Council Minutes
c) 09-20-2022 Executive Session Minutes

Public Hearing & Consideration of a Motion to approve application for an alcohol license in accordance with The City of Statesboro alcohol ordinance Sec. 6-13 (a):

Statesboro Entertainment Concepts LLC DBA Fifth Quarter Bar & Grill
67 Gata Dr
Statesboro, Ga 30458
License Type: Bar with Kitchen

Initially, there was no one present to speak against the request.

Jefferson Allen, an attorney out of Atlanta, representing the party that is currently under contract with owner of the property, Turtle Properties, to purchase the property. When the purchase is complete at the end of the month, they will own, operate, and run the premises.

The applicant Fifth Quarter Bar & Grill, Allen said, is not the noted the tenant on the current lease for the property and the current lease is expired. He said they have been operating on a month-to-month basis. Allen also said the lease signed a year ago was signed with Oconee Investments LLC, not with the company that is applying for the alcohol license.

Allen said his client is planning to terminate the lease, with 60 days notice. There is currently pending litigation between Turtle Properties and Oconee Investments over who has the right to purchase.

Wes Taulbee, who is representing the current owners of the property, also addressed council, saying there is only an oral agreement on the month-to-month leasing of the property.

One partial owner of Fifth Quarter, Mr. Jarrod Miller, also appeared before council to state that there have been hurdles but they’re just trying to ‘bring something special’ to Statesboro. He said there is litigation pending, but there are also employees counting on the business opening and his understanding is that they may continue to operate until they’re not permitted to do so. He said the hurdles arose when it was announced their business was coming to town.

During council comments, Councilwoman Venus Mack asked Miller about his previous application and he stated that the process had been ripe with hurdles. “It’s always hard to come back home.”

Councilwoman Shari Barr asked if the application could be paused until the matter is settled. City Attorney Cain Smith said that’s not for the city council to consider because the application is about who has the right to seek the license at the time of the application.

Councilman Phil Boyum asked how the council considers the legality and validity of the leases presented before them. Smith said that’s not the factor for consideration, other than a lease existing. He said in this case, the city went beyond the standard because of the expired lease and confirmed with the legal counsel for the property owner that there was a month-to-month lease.

Boyum said it seems like ‘a not very good process’ to not verify leases beyond what is submitted with the application.

The city attorney replied that the city ordinance offers no differentiation between a long-term lease, a short-team lease, or ownership. “Any other matter is a private property rights issue and I would advise not getting involved in that,” Smith told Boyum.

Councilwoman Paulette Chavers said, ‘Well let’s vote.’

Chavers made a motion to approve the license, which was seconded by Mack. It passed unanimously without opposition, but Councilman Boyum did not voice a vote.

Consideration of a motion to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with Bulloch County Board of Commissioners for Geographic Information System (GIS) operation and maintenance.

Councilman Phil Boyum asked why city residents who are county residents have to pay twice. “This happens every time. Why are we kicking in extra money?”

City Manager Charles Penny said the city would benefit from the work that is being done.

“It’s not like the county is going to take a picture of the county and not the city,” Boyum said.

Penny said that’s a ‘real in-depth, philosophical question’ about the city and the county and he wasn’t sure if this was the topic to have the discussion on. “But I clearly understand your concerns, but in this case, we believe it’s a fair representation of what we should pay for.”

Jason Boyles said the imagery provided through the contract will provide the city with an enhanced level of service for the cost share.

The motion to approve was made by Boyum and approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to approve the award of a Department owned firearm to retiring Advanced Patrol Officer Justin Gawthrop.

Penny said the city needs to clarify the policy on awarding firearms for retiring police officers.

“We recommend this one,” Penny said referring to Gawthrop, who is retiring with 26 years of service, “but we believe we need to have a firm policy on awarding the firearm to officers.”

The item was approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to approve a Development Agreement with Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau to use $135,000.00 in TAD funds for funding assistance for the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market Building and Access Project within the South Main Tax Allocation District (TAD 1).

The CVB is seeking to extend access to the trail to allow people to go from the trail via a boardwalk and bridge to the Farmers Market building. Attorney for the CVB said the CVB is considering lighting in the long-term plan so as to make sure it is adequately lit later on and that project would be covered with CVB funds, not TAD funds.

The item was approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to approve a Development Agreement with West District Events OZ Business, LLC to use $151,193.00 in TAD funds for funding assistance for the Foxhall Event Space in the West District within the South Main Tax Allocation District (TAD 1).

Approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to award a contract for the Joe Brannen Hall and City Hall improvements project to BAK Builders in the amount of $1,383,335.00. Funding will be from 2013 SPLOST and 2019 SPLOST.

Approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to approve a contract with Y-Delta to construct a shelter extension for the maintenance shop at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in the amount of $34,000. This project is budgeted in the amount of $40,000 in FY 2023 CIP #WTP-13.

City manager Charles Penny said this was bid previously and only one bid was returned. The city re-bid the bid and believes this is a reasonable price given the circumstances. He recommended approval. It was approved unanimously.

Consideration of a motion to approve Task Order #6 in the amount of $49,840.00 with Goodwyn, Mills, and Cawood (GMC). This project will be paid from 2013 SPLOST funds.

A motion was made to Approved unanimously.

Other Business from City Council

City Managers Comments

Public Comments (General) – None

Consideration of a Motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss “Personnel Matters” “Real Estate” and/or “Potential Litigation” in accordance with O.C.G.A 50-14-3(b) — No need for executive session.

Consideration of a Motion to Adjourn – Adjourned 9:55 a.m.

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

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