City Council, June 10, 2013

Homewood City CouncilIt was only a 30-minute meeting, but a lot of business was either referred to committee, set for a public hearing, dropped or postponed. The Finance Committee got the majority of the big issues to consider before the next council meeting, see below. The council also approved a massive sign variance to the future Pep Boys automotive franchise on Green Springs Highway.

Members present:  Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Fred Hawkins, Patrick McClusky, Jenifer Champ Wallis, Peter Wright, council president Bruce Limbaugh. Mayor Scott McBrayer was also present.

Members absent:  Vance Moody, Walter Jones, Heather Reid, and Richard Laws.

Audience attendance:  10

Approved:  Minutes of the April 22, 2013 meeting.

Added to the Consent Agenda:  The Kent Drive/Grove Street sidewalk project near Hall Kent Elementary, already approved in the previous work session, was referred to the Finance Committee.

Old Business Agenda Items:

Postponed:  The council agreed to postpone a request by Brown-Mackie College to lease parking space at a city-owned building at 90 Bagby Drive due to the absence of Finance Committee chair Walter Jones.

Approved:  Based on a Finance Committee recommendation, the council passed a resolution hiring Maintenance Edge/Johnson Controls to perform energy audits on city utilities and other energy use to find cost saving measures. [Cost on this expense item is being requested.]

Approved:  On a favorable Finance Committee recommendation, the council passed a resolution to buy publicity in an Alabama Symphony Orchestra publication in exchange for services (performances) in the city.  The $5,000 cost discussed in April was to be shared with the Board of Education and the Chamber of Commerce. [Correction:  The arrangement was to split the $10,000 contract price equally to purchase a concert and various school activities.]

Approved:  Tuition reimbursement of $2,493 was approved for firefighter Brandon Broadhead on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, which further recommended that these reimbursements be allowed routinely.

Public hearings set for June 24 on two rezoning cases:  1.  The council will vote June 24 whether to 1. Rezone a lot at 1659 28th Avenue South from NPD (residential) to MXD (Mixed Use District) after a buyer proposed to demolish and rebuild a structure for use as her dwelling and a business. Also to be considered is a related amendment to the zoning ordinance for MXD, replacing the word “condominium” with the more inclusive word “dwelling units;” and 2. Whether to rezone the former Magnolia Apartments property, now owned by the Homewood Board of Education, from apartments to institutional use, as a campus and central office. The rezoning was heard on May 20, then carried over to the Planning and Development Committee, pending a final development plan.

Approved:  Based on a Special Issues Committee recommendation, and following a public hearing in which no one commented, the council approved a substantial sign variance for the Pep Boys automotive franchise under construction on 816 Green Springs Highway in the former Mazer’s building.

Referred nine requests to committees:  To Finance – 1.  To reimburse officer Scott Easterwood $2,405 for tuition; 2. To amend the city’s tuition reimbursement policy; 3. To amend the City’s Business License fee schedule; 4. To amend the General and Capital Fund budgets; 5. To transfer $8,000 from the Animal Control budget to the K-9 supplies budget; and 6. To A review the West Homewood Redevelopment Plan (West Homewood Village). To Public Safety – 7. To consider a crosswalk and signal at Hallman Hill Condominiums; 8. To close 29th Avenue South on Oct. 12 for the “Kick’n Chick’n” Wing Fest; and 9. To consider a stop sign at Kenilworth Drive and Melrose Place.

Dropped:  A request by the school board to apply for a grant to build sidewalks on Valley Avenue was dropped because the deadline was too close.

Set three public hearings for sign and fence variances June 24:  Public hearings were set for sign variances requested at the future Dunkin’ Donuts at 333 Green Springs Highway and for Big#1 MotorSports at 505 and 511 Cobb Street. A hearing is also set before the council considers a fence variance at 1500 Grove Place.

Approved:  The council approved payment of invoices. 

Before adjournment, Mayor McBrayer made the following comments:

  • He asked council to tell residents call his office or the police department to make extra patrols if they are out of town.
  • The West Homewood Village project video is completed and ready for the council to view
  • The Kick’n Chick’n event last year received some business complaints.  The Mayor will go door to door to those businesses and get their input or ask them to attend the public hearing on June 24th to give their input.
  • He recommended the council watch expenses carefully this last quarter of the fiscal year in order to achieve a surplus.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

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