February 22, 2011 Minutes



FEBRUARY 22, 2011

7:30 PM


Mayor Greg Zarus*

Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie deNobriga

Council Member Melanie Hammet

Council Member Cindy Diamond

Council member Bitsy Pitts


City Clerk Valerie Caldwell

Police Chief Y’Hudah-Green

Public Works Director Phil Howland


Due to illness, Mayor Zarus participated from the audience and Mayor Pro-Tem deNobriga

chaired the meeting.


Council Member Greg Creech


Mayor Pro-Tem deNobriga called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm, and welcomed those in attendance.



The pledge of allegiance was led by Mayor Pro-Tem deNobriga.


Mayor Zarus presented the status of the senior housing project and briefly discussed the reintroduction of the project at a later date.

Council Member Pitts announced March 4th as Arbor Day at which time the Tree Authority Board would be selling seedlings.

Chief Green disseminated the January monthly report and announced that the reserve officers successfully completing probation would be sworn in.


Motion to approve minutes of the January 19, 2011 meeting was made by Council Member Pitts, seconded by Council Member Diamond and was approved 2-0. Council Member Hammet abstained as she had not been in attendance.  Motion to approve minutes of the January 25, 2011 meeting was made by Council Member Pitts, seconded by Council Member Hammet and was approved 2-0 with Council Member Hammet abstaining as she had not been in attendance.


On recommendation of legal counsel, this item was removed from the agenda.




James Schwarzlose questioned the cancellation of the 5:30 pm meeting in which reconciliation of the bond was to be discussed. Mayor Pro-Tem deNobriga stated that the meeting would be rescheduled.

Mayor Zarus reported that the Public Works Director had met the requirements for the Harrison’s grant submittal for FEMA buyout of their property [item removed from Consent Agenda] and that no further action was needed by the City at this time.


Arts & Culture – No Report

TAB – Council Member Pitts announced the City has received the prestigious Growth Award. Pine Lake is one of only twenty four cities in the State of Georgia to hold the designation of Tree City. In order to qualify for the Growth Award, the city must be a designated Tree City and have for 2 consecutive years consistently managed tree funding.

ARB – Council Member Hammet reported the meeting had been cancelled.


MARTA Memorandum of Understanding

Public Works Director Howland requested this item be tabled. Motion to table was made by Council Member Diamond, seconded by Council member Pitts and was unanimously approved.

Discussion of Health Insurance

Mayor Pro-Tem deNobriga stated that there had previously been discussion during budget preparation to bring practice in line with written policy regarding payment for insurance coverage for employee dependents. Following a brief discussion, motion was made by Council Member Hammet to terminate city payments for dependent insurance coverage, however allow coverage to continue by payment through employee payroll deduction as of April 1, 2011. This motion was seconded by Council Member Diamond and approved 3-0.

Discussion of Lake Dredging

Council Member Hammet led a discussion relative to the financial management of the project and the framework for project management. Also discussed was effective community communications and Council Member Hammet stated that Kris Casariego would spearhead the communications for the project. Mayor Zarus interjected that the project work plan would be available by the upcoming Friday. Council Member Diamond questioned the possibility of not having sufficient funding to complete the project. Mr. Howland assured Council sufficient funding would be available. Council Member Diamond asked what would happen if expenses exceeded the budgeted amount. Mr. Howland stated that would not happen. Administrative costs incurred prior to the adoption of the capital budget for this project was also discussed. Council Member Hammet stated she would like to assemble a constellation of people for the project management, including a communication node. She further stated she was concerned about the “variable” costs relative to the disposition of the mud dredged from the lake, and expressed concern that disposal costs may exceed budgeted amounts. She then asked Mayor Zarus about possible contaminates that would increase disposal costs. Mr. Howland reported that results from the recent testing were expected shortly and would be reviewed prior to project commencement. It was announced that the public hearing on the capital budgets (including the budget for this project) was advertised for March 14, 2011 with an adoption date of March 22, 2011, and that no work could begin until the budget had been adopted. Council Member Diamond stated she expected a notebook be kept on this project containing all relevant information, including a financial accounting. Mayor Zarus stated the lake had been dredged in the 1960’s as well as in the 1980’s. Council Member Pitts expressed concern about the heavy truck traffic during this project and the possibility of damage to the streets. It was determined that the City would contact the City of Clarkston to glean information on its recent lake dredging project. Further financial discussion is projected for the March 14, 2011 public hearing on the project budget.


Budget Amendment

At the request of the City Clerk, motion to table was made by council Member Hammet, second by Council Member Pitts and was unanimously approved.


Mayor Zarus discussed Home Rule charter amendments. The Clerk was instructed to place this on the next Council Agenda.


There was a brief discussion regarding funding for Trash Amnesty Day. Mr. Howland was directed to see if a credit had been issued to the City for missed pick up days during the recent blizzard.


Motion to adjourn was made by Council Member Diamond, seconded by Council Member Pitts and was unanimously approved. 9:06 PM



Valerie Caldwell, City Clerk