The city council on Dec. 3 again heard an annexation and rezoning request for a residential development at the corner of Allen Street and Perimeter Road next to the Stonewall subdivision, which has been proposed with a density the Dawson County Board of Commissioners has objected to.
Applicants Michael Turner and Myles Montgomery have petitioned to annex into the city limits 11.407 acres and rezone to R-3, or single family residential with a density of three units per acre, as well as rezone another 2.768 acres already in the city from light industrial to R-3.
The applicants also asked for a variance of 3.74 units per acre as opposed to the standard three. The variance was approved by the planning commission Oct. 8, with conditions and contingent upon the city council approving the annexation and rezoning.
In a 3-1 vote Oct. 18, the BOC decided to send a letter of objection to the city in regards to the pending annexation and rezoning request for the 11.407 acre tract. The county has asked for a reduction in the density to three units per acre.
Turner said Monday night that he felt could propose a reasonable compromise to the county’s request.
“We re-calculated and re-planned and repositioned and what we came up with is a maximum density we’re asking for of 3.2 units per acre down from the 3.7 units per acre, that would change the lot mix from the 53 that we originally requested to something in the neighborhood of 44-45 lots,” Turner said.
Turner said that due to the reduction in lots he would also ask for removal of the second planned entrance on Perimeter Road.
City Attorney Dana Miles said he had only learned of Turner’s proposal that day and had not had a chance to communicate it to the county.
“You can vote on it tonight, contingent upon the county withdrawing their objection,” Miles said. “If they don’t withdraw the objection then we’re going through the arbitration process as required by state law. If they do, and you have already approved, then other than reaching a final agreement on the detention pond design and construction, this matter would be completed.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the annexation and rezoning as proposed, contingent upon the BOC withdrawing their objection.
Turner also asked to waive a portion of the fee amount paid for the rezoning and annexation applications because he will need to revise the previous applications.
Under the city’s ordinance the only portion of the $2,670.56 fee that could be reduced was the per-acre rezoning charge of $1,600. The council voted unanimously to reduce the balance owed by $1,600.
The council also voted unanimously to table a request from Fall Leaf Residential LLC for a site plan change for a planned 36.84 acre development located at the corner of Perimeter Road and Hwy. 9 near JC Burt Road.
The residential portion, located on 32.6 acres, was originally earmarked for 123 housing units at a density of 3.77 units per acre. The applicant is asking for a reduction to 102 units, with a new density of 3.12 units per acre.
The planning commission voted Nov. 5 to table the vote until their Dec. 3 meeting due to concerns that the development would disrupt a potential truck route, but the commission was unable to hold the meeting because they did not have enough members in attendance.
The planning commission will need to meet prior to the city council’s Dec. 17 meeting in order for the council to hear it.
In other business:
Firm issues clean financial audit
Bryan St. Pierre of accounting firm Alexander, Almand and Bangs presented the results of the city’s 2018 audit and comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR.
St. Pierre said the firm has issued a clean opinion of the city’s financial documents.
The city’s cash flow increased by $358,000, St. Pierre said, and total assets are up about $2 million.
“Overall the net position, what we call the net worth...is up about 1.67 million,” he said.
St. Pierre also said that spending is on track with the budget.
The city has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association each year since submitting the first CAFR to the association in December of 2014.
“We’re looking forward to getting the award this year as well,” St. Pierre said.
The council voted unanimously to accept the audit as presented.
City to start new garbage vendor, increase rate
The council also voted to approve a new garbage vendor for the city to start in January and to increase the rate that citizens pay for pickup.
City Finance Administrator Hayden Wiggins recommended the council vote to award a bid to Red Oak Sanitation at a price of $10 per home per month with pickup once a week and an additional $2 add-on for yard debris removal once per month per home.
The council also voted to increase the rate for garbage pickup from $13.25 per can to $14.50, an increase of $1.25 per household per month.
Manager can now approve up to $100k for park expenditures
In a 2-1 vote the council voted to allow City Manager Bob Bolz to approve changes to the contract with T.W. Phillips Grading for work on Main Street Park with a cap of $100,000.
“We’ve had four contract adjustments in the past few months, we’re entering into a phase where we’ve got a lot of possible bad dirt...dirt that won’t compact properly,” Mayor Mike Eason said. “Right now we have to come back to the council every time there is a contract amendment.”
Eason proposed that Bolz be allowed to approve emergency contract amendments in order to keep construction on the park moving forward.
Council member Mike French said he was concerned the decision would cause the council to be in violation of their own financial policy, which allows the city manager to approve expenses of up to $25,000 before having to go before the council. He said the policy also states all capital expenses must be approved by the council.
French voted against the motion and council member Caleb Phillips recused himself from any discussion and vote relating to the park.