MINUTES
COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA
SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
MARCH 15, 2016

The special called meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia was called to order at 9:04 A.M., Tuesday, March 15, 2016, on the 2nd Floor of the Citizens Service Center, located at 3111 Citizens Way, Columbus, Georgia Honorable Teresa Tomlinson, Mayor and Honorable Evelyn Turner Pugh, Mayor Pro Tem presiding.
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PRESENT: Present other than Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh were Councilors R. Gary Allen, Mike Baker, Jerry Barnes, Tom B. Buck III, Glenn Davis, Berry H. Henderson, Judy W. Thomas and Evelyn Woodson. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, City Attorney Clifton Fay and Assistant City Attorney Lucy Sheftall, Clerk of Council Tiny B. Washington and Deputy Clerk of Council Lindsey Glisson were also present. Councilor Bruce Huff took his seat at 9:07 a.m.

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ABSENT: No one was absent.

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INVOCATION: Led by Dr. Michael Stewart, Director of Pastor Care, Columbus Regional Health.

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Led by Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

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CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA:

THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS WERE SUBMITTED AND EXPLAINED BY CITY MANAGER HUGLEY AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNCIL:_________

Before a motion was made, Councilor Davis informed the Mayor and Council that he would be abstaining from the vote on the Uptown Tax Allocation District.

A Resolution –By the Council of Columbus, Georgia to create Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Tax Allocation District #2: 6th Avenue/Liberty District; to designate the boundaries of the redevelopment area and tax allocation district; to establish the last known tax increment base and adopt a redevelopment plan for the area; to establish the intent to issue and sell tax allocation bonds as necessary to effectuate the redevelopment of the area; and for other purposes.

After a brief discussion on the Council being responsible for approving projects within the TADS, Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those ten members of Council present.
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Before the resolution approving the Uptown TAD was presented or discussed, Councilor Allen made a motion allowing Councilor Davis to abstain from the vote on this item. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council being present, with Councilor Davis being absent for the vote.
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A Resolution – By the Council of Columbus, Georgia to create Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Tax Allocation District #3 uptown; to designate the boundaries of the redevelopment area and tax allocation district; to establish the last known tax increment base and adopt a redevelopment plan for the area; to establish the intent to issue and sell tax allocation bonds as necessary to effectuate the redevelopment of the area; and for other purposes.
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Councilor Woodson moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Allen and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council, with Councilor Davis abstaining from the vote.
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A Resolution – By the Council of Columbus, Georgia to create Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government Tax Allocation district #4: 2nd Avenue/City Village; to designate the boundaries of the redevelopment area and tax allocation district; to establish the last known tax increment base and adopt a redevelopment plan for the area; to establish the intent to issue and sell tax allocation bonds as necessary to effectuate the redevelopment of the area; and for other purposes.

Councilor Thomas moved the adoption of the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Woodson and carried unanimously by those ten members of Council present.
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THE FOLLOWING PRESENTATION WAS PROVIDED ON
THE CITY MANAGER’S AGENDA:________ _

To begin the presentation, a video produced by CCG-TV’s Mike King was shown depicting the opinions of parents and children who visited the Columbus Aquatic Center from a swim meet.

Parks and Recreation Director Dr. James Worsley, and Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge came forward to provide the Mayor and Council with funding options for the Aquatic Center.

Deputy City Manager Pam Hodge began the presentation by discussing the first option, where a portion of the Hotel/Motel Tax would be redirected to supplement the funds allocated to operate the Columbus Aquatic Center.
Columbus Aquatic Center Update
March 15, 2016

Reduction Options for FY17 Goal $500,000
Action
Estimated Cost Savings
1
Redirect a portion of the motel/hotel tax from Civic Center (2%), River Center (1%), Trade Center (1%), and CVB (4%) to the Columbus Aquatic Center$600,000
(per 1%)
Impacts
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Peter Bowden, Columbus Visitors Bureau (CVB) Director, took to the podium to answer a question asked by Mayor Tomlinson in reference to the CVB grant program. Director Bowden responded by saying that it is a tourism grant for performing arts that equals to approximately $200,000.
Councilor Huff inquired on whether or not it would be beneficial to have an audit done on the hotel/motel tax, how much has been collected in the past and how much is currently being collected.

In response, Deputy City Manager Hodge stated that there was a recommendation from staff for an audit to be conducted on three large hotels and three small hotels. She stated that if there were any discrepancies found, they would expand the audit, but Council did not approve an audit being done.

At this point, Councilor Huff made a motion to have an audit conducted on the hotel/motel tax. Seconded by Councilor Woodson, then the item was opened for discussion.

During the discussion, Councilor Davis stated that the audit could be handled by the internal auditor, and it would be unfair to have an audit done on only a few hotels versus all 54 hotels within the City. City Manager Hugley responded by saying that he was unsure if one or two employees would be able to handle auditing 54 hotels, but that a recommendation would be brought back for Council’s consideration.

Councilor Huff stated for clarification, his motion was for a comprehensive audit.

After the discussion, the vote was taken, with the motion being carried unanimously by those ten members of Council present.
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Dr. Worsley explained the second option, where the operational hours at the recreation centers would be reduced. In addition, he stated that over 200,000 citizens utilize the recreation centers per year.
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Reduction Options for FY17 Goal $500,000
Action
Estimated Cost Savings
2
Reduce operational hours at Recreation Centers from 44-30 per week$450,000
Impacts
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Councilor Henderson stated that this option is difficult for Council to decide on considering that there are not specific information on how many citizens utilize the centers at specific times and days. He also said that this type of information would be helpful for the pools, as well as the aquatic center.
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Reduction Options for FY 17 Goal $500,000
Recreation Center Proposed Hours
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
Total Hours
Current
11 to 7
11 to 7
11 to 7
11 to 7
11 to 7
2 to 6
Closed
44
Proposed
4 to 9
9 to 2
4 to 9
9 to 2
4 to 9
1 to 6
Closed
30
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Councilor Huff expressed that he is in favor of keeping the Aquatic Center open eighty-none hours, but not at the expense of reducing the hours at the recreation centers.

Councilor Allen stated that he wanted information on the regulations on indoor pools when there is bad weather, specifically lightning. City Manager Hugley informed Councilor Allen that there is a presentation that is to be shown during this Work Session that gives that particular information.

There was a brief discussion held between Councilor Davis, Dr. Worsely and Deputy City Manager Hodge on the projected revenue projection.

After discussions on the current budget of the Aquatic Center and revenue projections, Councilor Thomas stated that she was ready to move on and hear the recommendations of the City Manager, because the information that is being presented is the same information that has been heard time and time again.

City Manager Hugley stated that this is a new presentation, with some of the old information, to include new information that was specifically asked for by various Councilors.

There was a lengthy discussion held on the operating costs, projected revenue of Parks & Recreation and the third-party vendor, and the possibility of a governing authority handling the operations of the Aquatic Center.

In response to the discussion and questions asked, City Manager Hugley stated that he just needs the Council to set a budget, and from there he will go out to third-party vendors and ask what they are willing to give the City for that exact amount of money.

After a very lengthy discussion, City Manager Hugley presented his recommended funding options for the Columbus Aquatic Center. He stated that with his recommendations he tried not to impact senior citizens, children in recreation centers, or youth in athletic programs. The recommendations that he will be presenting will have the least impact according to the staff.

Deputy City Manager Hodge explained the recommendations, which are as follows:

RECOMMENDATION
Action
Estimated Cost Savings
Reallocation of 1/3 of 1% from:
River Center (Project funding)
Or
CCVC (Tourism Product Development funding)
$200,000
Fully implement the transition of the After School Program to MCSD or increase fees for the program to breakeven
$300,000
Or any combination of the options presented
$500,000
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With the recommendations being presented, Dr. Worsley skipped to option 6 in the original presentation. The information was presented as follows:
Reduction Options for FY17 Goal $500,000
Action
Estimated Cost Savings
6
Increase after-school fees in order to make the budget for Community Schools Division breakeven $300,000
Impacts
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Dr. Worsley explained that if Council was to choose to increase the fees for the After-School Program, the fees would need to increase by $6.00 for each child that is enrolled in order to breakeven.
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Reduction Options for FY17 Goal $500,000
After-School Program Weekly Rates and Increases
Annual Income
First Child

Current After
Fees Increase
Second Child

Current After
Fees Increase
Each Additional Child

Current After
Fees Increase
$60,000 and above$56$62$51$57$48$54
$50,000-59,999$51$57$46$52$43$49
$40,000-49,999$46$52$41$47$38$44
$30,000-39,999$41$47$36$42$33$39
$20,000-29,999$31$37$26$32$23$29
$12,000-19,999$27$33$21$27$18$24
Less than $12,000$21$27$16$22$13$19
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Reduction Options for FY17 Goal $500,000
After-School Program Rates Comparisons
Provider
Set Fee or Income Based Fee
Weekly Rate
Drop In Rate
Columbus Parks & Rec (current)
Income Based
$21-$56
$10-$20
Columbus Parks & Rec (proposed)
Income Based
$27-$62
$15-$25
Columbus Parks & Rec (proposed)
*Set Fee
$45
$10
MCSD After School (6 Schools)
Set Fee
$45
$10
YMCA
Set Fee
$75
$35
Child Care Network
Set Fee
$85
$55
St. Luke
Set Fee
$82
$55
Growing Room
Set Fee
$110
$60
Angel Academy
Set Fee
$115
$65
* Set fee will be adjusted based on enrollment. A 25% reduction is anticipated.
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Dr. Worsley explained that the City is the only organization in the area that has set fees based on the household income.

After discussions, Councilor Barnes made a motion to approve the City Manager’s recommendations as presented. The motion then dead, due to a lack of a second, and continued on for discussion.

Councilor Davis asked when the last time the fees for the after-school was increased. Deputy City Manager Hodge responded by saying that the fees were increased several years ago by $4.00, but that Council has not approved to increase them since.

Councilor Davis stated that he would be interested in revisiting the possibility of increase a number of fees throughout the City in order to help with the constant increase in expenditures to prove these services.

With the discussion at a standstill, Mayor Tomlinson asked the Council if anyone had a recommendation or proposal.

Councilor Allen made a motion to form an authority operating the Aquatic Center. There was not a seconded given at this time, but there was more discussion had on an authority or an advisory for the center.

With there being different types of groups being discussed, City Attorney Fay explained the difference between an authority and an advisory board.

To clarify his motion, Councilor Allen stated that his motion was to create an authority that would control the operations of the aquatic center. He stated that the task force that was formed should take the document that was presented by the City Attorney to collaborate and come up with one of their own.

Councilor Thomas made a referral requesting information from the City Attorney on what an authority is permitted and not permitted to do before Council votes on Councilor Allen’s motion.

Deputy City Manager Hodge stated that there is a financial impact to creating an authority, which the funds would receive a subsidy from the General Fund.

Mayor Tomlinson pointed out that there was a motion on the table made by Councilor Allen, but there having not been a second to that motion, it fails.

With there being some confusion, Councilor Allen restated his original motion to create an authority that would govern the operations of the Columbus Aquatics Center. Seconded by Councilor Davis for purposes of discussion.

During discussions, Councilor Woodson made a referral for the City Attorney to edit the document, changing the authority to a commission, so that once the funding for an authority is established, they can then entertain the change to an authority.

Councilor Allen changed his motion, stating that he wants the document sent to the task force for them to discuss whether they would rather an authority or a commission to be created.

After some discussion, Councilor Thomas made a referral for the City Manager to bring back the proposal for the third-party company, as been referred to as “Company A”, with the budgeted amount of $823,800.

In addition to the referral made by Councilor Thomas, Councilor Woodson added that she would like for the City Manager to bring back the RFP for Company A and to forward the proposed ordinance to the task force.

At this time the vote was taken on Councilor Allen’s motion, which was carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Baker being absent for the vote.
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Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh made a referral to Parks & Recreation to look into the possibility of increasing the after-school program fees, in order to balance the revenues and expenditures for the program.

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Columbus Aquatic Center Grounding & Lightning Protection

Grounding Purpose

*Slide was shown entitled: Ways to Ground a Building

Inspection Process
Lightning Protection
Value Engineering
Georgia Department of Public Health’s Pool Rules and Regulations, Chapter 511.3.5.18, Article 10, Warning/Safety for Swimming Pools:
Other Indoor Pools
FacilityLightning Grounding SystemDo you clear the pool when lightning occurs during normal operational hours?Do you clear the pool when lightning occurs during swim meets?
Cherokee County Aquatic CenterYesNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimmingNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimming
Cobb County Aquatic CenterNoNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimmingNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimming
Georgia TechYesYes, patrons are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for tem (10) minutesNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimming
Augusta Aquatic CenterNoYes, patrons are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for 30 minutesYes, patrons are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for 30 minutes
Cummings-ForsytheNoYes, patrons are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for 30 minutesNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimming
Keldron Fieldhouse and Aquatic CenterNoYes, patron are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for 30 minutesYes, patrons are cleared from the pool and must stay clear until there is no lightning for 30 minutes
Frances Meddow Aquatic CenterYesNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimmingNo, patrons are allowed to continue swimming
Can Lightning Protection be Added?

* A slide was shown entitled: Example of Commercial Grounding

During the presentation, Councilor Allen made a referral requesting a list of the items that were removed from the original plans of the aquatic center in order to meet budget.

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With there being no other business to come before the Council, Councilor Woodson made a motion for adjournment. Seconded by Councilor Henderson and carried unanimously by those ten members of Council present, with the time being 1:40 p.m.

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Lindsey A. Glisson
Deputy Clerk of Council
The Council of Columbus, Georgia