MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

W. HAROLD PATE BUILDING

1725 REYNOLDS STREET, 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM 224

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2019 AT 2:00 PM

 

PRESENT:                             Michael Browning, Chairman, District 1

Bill Brunson, Vice Chairman, District 4

Dr. Peter Murphy, Commissioner, District 2

Wayne Neal, Commissioner, District 3

Allen Booker, Commissioner, District 5

David O’Quinn, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2

 

ALSO PRESENT:                 Alan Ours, County Manager

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

Dhwani Patel, County Clerk

 

Discussion and consideration of voting on the following:

 

1.         Receive an update on the wayfinding signage plan and forming a Tourism Improvement District REPORT1 REPORT2

 

                        Scott McQuade, President and CEO of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), provided a background on the wayfinding signage project that started approximately 2 years ago in partnership with the CVB, The City of Brunswick, and Glynn County. The wayfinding signage plan is part of the Gateway Initiative that goes back 4 decades which aims to restore, protect, and enhance the aesthetic quality and overall character of the City of Brunswick and Glynn County gateways. It also aims to provide positive visual cues that signal community pride and attractive business, enhance visual wayfinding experiences when moving along the City and County’s major roads, and clean up visual clutter and promote economic development. The wayfinding signage plan has been broken down into four phases and covers the entire county. The plan starts at Interstate-95 and leads visitors into various aspects of the community.

Phases 1 and 2 are Glynn County’s phases that address the areas on the perimeter of the County near the interstate, Phase 3 encompasses the City of Brunswick and is the City’s responsibility, and Phase 4 encompasses St. Simons island and is the responsibility of the CBV. Mr. McQuade also presented a sample of the new signs and mentioned that they altered the top circle slightly to be more weather friendly.

Alan Ours, County Manager, reported that he would look at the accommodations excise tax and fund balance to determine if there were funds to pay for Phase 1 and 2 of the plan and, if not, he would recommend looking at it during planning for the next fiscal year. Aaron Mumford, County Attorney, recommended the Board provide written authorization for Phase 4 of the project at a future Board meeting.

                                Mr. McQuade also provided the Board a background on bed tax by outlining the 20-year trend. He then provided a comparison of St. Simons revenue and Jekyll Island revenue to showcase how a community that is reinvesting in infrastructure can benefit from its rewards. Mr. McQuade recommended that Glynn County should consider the process in which to move forward to manage and maintain our tourism products.

                                Mr. McQuade then showcased some tax comparisons across the state, the breakdown of how CVB receives funding, and the CVB’s expenses by department. He also outlined how an increase of the accommodations tax funding would be required to be split between Glynn County, the CBV, and Tourism Product Development by law. He also shared some ideas with the Board about tourism projects that could be implemented in Glynn County as well as funding mechanisms for these projects, including a Tourism Improvement District.

 

2.         Discussion about private businesses operating on the beach and other public places REPORT

 

                                Pamela Thompson, Director of Community Development, reported that the current county ordinances state that businesses that operate on the beach must have the approval of the Board of Commissioners. Due to an increased number of businesses desiring to operate on the beach, staff is prepared to draft a policy for this however they wanted information and guidance from the Board on how that policy should be drafted.

Ms. Thompson then showcased drone videos of various businesses operating on the beach. She also provided the Board with a background of the Pukana Adventure Co., a paragliding company that was operating on the beach.

Lisa Gurganus, Glynn County Parks and Recreation Manager, reported that Glynn County has contracts through requests for proposals (RFPs) with vendors for concession sales and slushies on the beach. These vendors pay the County for exclusive concession vending on the beach, but there are other businesses that operate on the beach by providing services.

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney, specified that county ordinances distinguishes between products and services. He stated that to sell a product such as food, bracelets, necklaces, or blankets, citizens must have a permit. The County has contracts with product providers. Services are not currently regulated outside of county parks because its difficult to define service providers.

Ms. Gurganus provided the Board with examples of beach ordinances and rules from various other coastal communities that Glynn County could use as examples that might benefit the community. The Board asked staff to work with the Revenue Study Committee to determine potential revenue streams from different kinds of services.

 

3.         Discussion regarding bike paths and sidewalks REPORT

 

Commissioner Murphy began the discussion by stating that that current Glynn County ordinances pertaining to bicycles are unclear and outdated leading to confusion regarding where bicycles can legally be ridden including sidewalks, bike trails, and multi-use trails. He stated that there are also misunderstandings about who has the right of way on the road with the addition of bicycles. Commissioner Murphy then outlined what is stated in current Glynn County bicycle laws, in current Georgia Bicycle laws, and in "Georgia Bike Sense" a guide for cyclists and motorists.

Mr. Mumford reported that State law clearly states that bicycles cannot be ridden on sidewalks, with the exceptions of persons under 12 years of age. Unfortunately, state law does not define what is or isn’t a sidewalk. John Powell, Police Chief, provided clarification on who would have right of way in different scenarios. Ms. Thompson recommended beginning with an inventory of the current concrete path system to determine if there are any conflict points where the County might need to do some improvements for safety. Dave Austin, Public Works Director, stated that he could provide the board with the number of miles of sidewalks in Glynn County.

           

EXECUTIVE SESSION/POST EXECUTIVE SESSION ACTION

 

The Board did not hold an executive session during this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:53 p.m.

 

 

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Michael Browning, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County, Georgia

Attest:

 

 

_____________________________

Dhwani Patel, County Clerk