The Richmond Hill City Council met in regular session Tuesday to discuss appeals from the Board of Zoning, the financing of a new fire truck, and street improvements.
Before the meeting began, Mayor Russ Carpenter recognized the accomplishment of three Eagle Scouts – Ethan Frank Falls, Tyler Scott Schell and James Roger Votava. Carpenter made a proclamation of recognition for the Eagles Scout of Boy Scout Troop 400. Carpenter said the goal of the Boy Scouts is to develop citizenship through community service projects, and these three scouts have progressed to a high honor in the program.
Then, Mayor Carpenter made a proclamation honoring Black History Month with the help of the Bryan County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lead by Pastor Herbert and Johnnie Quiller.
In his proclamation Carpenter highlighted the national goal of Black History Month to encourage black voters, politicians, and communities to get involved. He said it is the goal of Richmond Hill to work toward being a more inclusive community where everyone is respected for their contributions.
According to Johnnie Quiller, the Bryan County NAACP was reactivated on Feb. 24, 2019, with “a lot of work and effort,” taking on the MLK Parade that she said has grown the organization.
As a result of that growth, the group plans to hold a health fair and Freedom Fund Banquet scheduled for March 28 that allows the group to provide scholarships.
“It’s not just about African Americans,” Quiller said. “It’s about everybody. We're focusing on the community."
After taking photos and reading the proclamations, the meeting began.
The council held a public hearing on a petition filed by Magnolia Coastal Properties requesting a variance to allow a zero side setback for the construction of a pergola between Way Station Coffee and a set of office buildings both owned by Magnolia Coastal Properties.
After the public hearing, in which no comments were heard, the council voted to approve the petition with Council member Steve Scholar recusing himself from the vote.
The council then approved the financing of a new fire truck through a lease/purchase agreement with South State Bank at an interest rate of 2.37 percent. According to City Manager Chris Lovell, this is a clarification for a truck that was approved for purchase at a previous meeting. Council member Robbie Ward recused himself from the vote.
Then, the council approved an allocation of $132,167 in a Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) with a 30 percent general fund match of $39,650, and $250,000 of 2020 SPLOST VII funds for improvements to seven streets. These include Bald Eagle Road, Glenmary West, Glenmary East, Cherokee Street (The Bottom), North Oak Drive, Hill Street, and Spruce Street (Blueberry).