The Winder City Council is generally supportive of building new public restrooms at the city-owned Chimneys golf course but was not comfortable with the price proposed at its work session Monday, Jan. 6.
City staff recommended the council approve an amount “not to exceed” $50,000 in funding for the restroom facility, which would have running water and a septic system, but several council members balked at that price.
“I don’t think $50,000 would be required to build them, in my mind,” said councilman Sonny Morris, who has spoken in favor of the public restrooms, which he said are needed at the course. Morris made the motion to table the item until more information could be obtained, and it was removed from the agenda for the council’s voting session on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
City administrator Donald Toms said staff had looked at the cost of a concrete slab as well as the cost of running a water and septic line, while leaving some room for the actual construction. But he said actual price quotes for the whole project had not been obtained.
Councilman Chris Akins said those quotes and other details were needed in order for the council to make “an intelligent decision.”
“(The restrooms are) an accommodation we ought to provide,” Akins said. “If we’re going to run an efficient business, a good business, it’s something we need to offer, but I think it needs to be priced out and quoted.”
Councilman Travis Singley said council members should determine what building materials they wanted for the restrooms to help with getting a more accurate price quote.
Monday’s meeting was the first for new council members Kobi Kilgore and Holly Sheats, who were sworn in by city attorney John Stell prior to the meeting. Kilgore defeated incumbent Al Brown for the Ward 2 seat in November, while Sheats was elected to the at-large seat previously held by Michael Healan, who chose not to seek re-election.
Mayor David Maynard and Singley were also sworn in Monday for their third terms. Maynard ran unopposed while Singley fended off a challenge from Holt Persinger for the Ward 4 seat.
The council also voted Monday for Morris to remain the mayor pro tem.
In business at Tuesday’s voting session, the council:
•approved an agreement with Peachtree Recovery Services to assist the city with recovering funds owed to the city in the event of third-party property damages. The program is offered through the Georgia Municipal Association. The agreement gives PRS the ability to retain 16.5 percent of all amounts recovered for each claim after the deduction of any paid administrative fee. At a December work session, the council also discussed proposals offered through GMA for hotel/motel tax revenue management and alcohol excise tax management, but those ultimately were not recommended to the council.
•approved an event permit for the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom March on Monday, Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. The march will begin at Quality Foods, 280 North Broad St., proceed through the downtown area and end at White Oak Spring Missionary Baptist Church, 123 East New St.
•approved an agreement with First Christian Church to develop additional access points to the Chalice Walkway in an effort to improve sidewalk connectivity.
Also Tuesday, the city’s board of zoning appeals, which consists of the mayor, council and a representative from the city planning board, approved a request by Simplex Advantage of Lawrenceville, for an increase in the number of units allowed in an assisted living facility in a B-2 General Commercial zone from 30 to 40. The board voted in July to grant Simplex a variance to go from 22 to 30 units. The company plans to build a more than 40,000-square-foot facility on Resource Parkway off Loganville Highway.
Tyler Lo, a representative for Simplex, said the company was requesting another increase so the project could be feasible. Under the variance granted in July, the units must be at least 350 square feet. City planning director Barry Edgar said the company has room to expand by 10 units and will have to add some parking to the site.