Adel Mayor Buddy Duke called to order the Monday, July 3, 2023, meeting of the Adel City Council.
Council Members present were Greg Paige, Walter Cowart, Celestine Hayes, and Jody Greene. Council Member Terry McClain was present by audio conference due to his being out of town.
Others present were City Manager Mark Barber, City Clerk Rhonda Rowe, City Attorney Tim Tanner, Police Chief Chad Castleberry, and members of the public.
Councilman Cowart gave the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Approval of minutes
Councilman Paige made a motion to approve the minutes of June 19, 2023, as presented. Councilman Cowart seconded with all in favor.
Councilman Paige made a motion to enter into public hearing to gain input on two rezoning applications. Councilwoman Hayes seconded with all members voting in favor.
Sherlene Johnson (210 N. Martin Luther King Drive)
This application, filed by Sherlene Johnson, requested that property located at 210 N. Martin Luther King Drive be rezoned from R-8 (Residential) to R-8M (Residential). The application stated that the rezoning was being requested in order that a mobile home might be placed on the parcel. The Greater Cook County Planning Advisory Commission met on June 20, 2023, and received a unanimous vote to deny the request.
Mayor Duke asked if there was anyone in the audience to speak either for or against the application. No one initially spoke in favor of the request.
Louise Allen spoke against the application, stating that she lives across the street from the property location. She said no trailers are there and they don’t need any trailers. “There are places for trailers, in the trailer parks,” she said. She added that she has been in her location for 53 years and “trailers are not good to have in residential areas.”
Fairy Gear also spoke in opposition, stating that the proposed location is close to her area in which she owns her home. “Trailers bring down property values,” she said. “There are already some there. If they keep coming, there won’t be a residential area.” She added that they own their home and want it to keep its value.
Treva Gear, Fairy Gear’s daughter, added that there are three or four on the adjacent street that are not well kept. “This would open the door for more to come and will be a problem,” she said.
Sherlene Johnson then said she wanted to speak in favor of the application. She said this was her mother’s land and “you should be able to do what you want with your land. It has already gone down if you look around.”
The trailer will make a difference; it’s their land and they need to do something with it, she said. “The school around it is going down.” She added that she doesn’t think “it’s just because of bringing it down that it’s not wanted there.”
Ella Kusack also spoke in favor, stating they “do not want it to sit and not be used.” She said they have considered selling the property: “It used to be a spot where people hung out.” She said they would rather have a trailer there in case someone needs it and they will be “very particular” about who they let live there.
There was no one else present to speak either for or against the application.
Artis Bailey and Cynthia Folsom Bailey (827 N. Elm St.)
This application, filed by Artis Bailey and Cynthia Folsom Bailey, requested that property located at 827 N. Elm St. be rezoned from WLI (Wholesale Light Industrial) to GB (General Business). The purpose of the rezoning was to allow for a childcare learning center, preschool, afterschool, summer day camp, and an all-purpose event space to be placed on the parcel. The Greater Cook County Planning Advisory Commission met on June 29, 2023, and unanimously approved the request. Andrell Durden spoke on behalf of the applicant, stating that the property has been in the family for over 100 years. It hasn’t been utilized in many years, he said. “The construction of a building would beautify the area. It will be used mainly by the kids in that area. It will be beneficial for the City, community, and parents in the area.”
There was no one else present to speak either for or against the application. The public hearings were then declared closed.
This ordinance, rezoning property of Sherlene Johnson located at 210 N. Martin Luther King Drive from Residential (R-8) to Residential (R-8M), was read for the first time. The second reading and adoption or denial of the request will be held at the next meeting on Monday, July 17.
This ordinance, rezoning property of Artis Bailey and Cynthia Folsom Bailey, located at 827 N. Elm St., from Wholesale Light Industrial (WLI) to General Business (GB), was read for the first time. The second reading and adoption or denial of the request will be held at the next meeting on Monday, July 17.
City paid holidays
Following a discussion at the last meeting concerning the Juneteenth holiday, this item was asked to be placed on the agenda. The Council was provided a packet containing the federal holidays and the holidays the city currently takes. City Manager Mark Barber said the City of Adel is also trying to sync holidays with Cook County: “They do have a few more than the City right now. When they’re observing a holiday and we are not, the County has to make accommodations for the landfill to be open.”
Barber noted that Good Friday is another holiday for the Council’s consideration that the County observes and the City does not. “That would leave us one difference between the two, which is Columbus Day,” he said. “The County does not observe Juneteenth at this time. If we do pass to add Juneteenth tonight, that will not interfere with what we’re trying to do to coordinate the two schedules between the organizations.”
Barber also noted that with any holiday, there is a cost associated because of public safety and the holiday pay they receive; that amount is anywhere between $6,000-$7,000 per holiday.
Barber also included in the Council’s packet a list of the holidays neighboring communities are observing as paid holidays. Right now, Cook County pays for 12 holidays; the City of Adel has 10.
The Mayor asked if there was any interest in adding the additional Juneteenth holiday. Councilwoman Hayes stated that on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation that makes the federal Juneteenth holiday commemorating the end of slavery a paid day off for Georgia employees. HB 1335 expanded the number of paid holidays for Georgia employees from 12 to 13. It updates the law to stay in line with the federal government to designate Juneteenth as a holiday.
Councilwoman Hayes made a motion to make Juneteenth a holiday for the City of Adel. Councilman Paige seconded. All were in favor.
The staff was asked if there was any further discussion on this, to which Barber replied only if the Council wanted to consider adding Good Friday to help the holiday schedule align with the County. “We could bring this back at another time if the Council wished,” he said.
It was the consensus of the Council to go ahead and take action that night. Councilwoman Hayes made a motion to accept Good Friday as a paid holiday for city employees. Councilman Paige seconded. The decision was unanimous.