REGULAR MEETING OF APRIL 2, 2019
Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Regular meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 6:00 p.m. on March 6, 2019. The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman and Impey were present. Also present were City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.
The Mayor called the meeting to order.
Alderman Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept the Addendum to the Agenda.
The Mayor presented a proclamation to the South Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center representatives, proclaiming April 2019 as "Child Abuse Prevention Month” (Exhibit 3-b).
The Mayor presented a proclamation to the Start by Believing public awareness campaign representatives, proclaiming April 2019 as "Sexual Assault Awareness Month” (Exhibit 3-a). The representatives thanked the Ocean Springs Police Department for creating an environment that victims feel safe reporting the crimes and thanked the city for their continued support.
Motion was made by Alderman Papania and seconded by Alderman Cox to adopt an Ordinance for the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi prohibiting parking or standing vehicles on portions of Lafayette Circle (Exhibit 3-a). The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:
Alderman Gill Aye
Alderman Authement Aye
Alderman Bellman Aye
Alderman Cox Aye
Alderman Papania Aye
Alderman Blackman Aye
Alderman Impey Aye
The City Clerk explained the loan is to purchase new computers, a copier at City Hall, repair of the Building Department stairs, City Hall flooring and two air conditioning units for the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to authorize the Mayor to execute the general obligation loan contract with Community Bank for $109,000.00 with an interest rate of 2.89% to be repaid monthly for a period of three years (Exhibit 4-b).
Mr. Michael Dorris, Jr., representative with Del Sol Consulting, discussed prepositioning contracts for natural disaster management services which he said are paid for and encouraged by FEMA. The purpose is for the City to be proactive rather than reactive. They offer prepositioning contracts which are no cost to start but are paid on an hourly rate for what is needed. They act as a liaison between the municipality, FEMA and MEMA and help with correct documentation and knowing the current rules and regulations. Alderman Blackman asked the Planning/Grants Administrator if we currently have a plan in place. She responded affirmatively that it is part of the City’s Continuity Plan which needs to be updated.
John McNeese, representative with Debris Tech located in Picayune, Mississippi, discussed debris removal monitoring services in the event of a natural disaster. He said they have developed an electronic system of monitoring debris working with FEMA and help municipalities get maximum reimbursement as quickly as possible. They are ahead of the changes FEMA is planning to make as they are currently completely digital and electronic from pick up to disposal with GPS. They provide daily reports from a database and provide the City with breakdowns so that City can look at it from the budget/financial standpoint. They can break down by Ward, public, private, or any way the City would prefer. They advise to go ahead and put the plan with a company in place now because there is an additional 2% reimbursement if the City is in a prepositioned contract for debris. Alderman Gill asked if the fees are 100% reimbursable, he responded it would depend on the contract and typically the 100% reimbursement is only for an allotted amount of time such as sixty to ninety days.
Alderman Authement requested the board to consider the information presented tonight as hurricane season is quickly approaching and he would like to see something in place before the season starts. Alderman Gill agreed that it was a good idea to have in place before hand. Alderman Authement said he would request the Request for Qualifications at the next board meeting. The Planning/Grants Administrator said that the City’s Continuity Plan needs to be updated and that it will help identify other contracts that need to be in place; this can be discussed at the next Department Head meeting.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except item (6-r), which was removed by Alderman Authement.
Alderman Authement requested to table item (6-r) because the Tree Committee has not approved the minutes.
Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims (Exhibit 7-a).
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the monthly budget report (Exhibit 7-b).
The Parks & Recreation Director discussed the amenities for the Dog Park. She started with the sign for the rules for the dog park, trash receptacles, leash stations, water fountains, benches and the estimated cost related to each. She also talked about a beginner course for the small dogs and another course for the large dogs. The Eagle Scouts have offered to build ramps with the City providing the materials. Alderman Cox asked about benches that are not being used at Public Works and if they could be used for the Dog Park. Traci James has also offered to contribute some funds for the Dog Park amenities. There was discussion of a plaque for the Dog Park with the Mayor and Aldermen’s name but if the donated sign was used there will be no need for plaque. There are two additional signs needed for Inner Harbor Park and John Gill Fort Bayou Children’s Park with the same format of other city park signs. Alderman Papania suggested naming the Dog Park, "The Ocean Springs Dog Park”. Alderman Cox suggested the "City of Discovery Bark Park”. Alderman Impey suggested naming the park after the previous police K-9 that is deceased. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to name the Dog Park, "The Ocean Springs Dog Park”.
The Parks & Recreation Director then spoke about the change order for the Freedom Field Project in the amount of $8,580.11. While working on the parking lot, on the Vancleave Avenue side, drainage issues were discovered. Public Works recommended the contractor provide a quote to correct the drainage issues. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the change order for the Freedom Field Project in the amount of $8,580.11 (Exhibit 7-e).
The Parks & Recreation Director said she needs the funds allocated to purchase the signs for the John Gill Fort Bayou Children’s Park and Inner Harbor Park. The Aldermen said the funds should come out of the 2% funds and asked the City Clerk to review to see if available.
The Mayor spoke about the MLK Basketball Court and a needed shade structure and painting and improvement of the court. A representative from Compton Engineering said the structure will be a metal galvalume structure with vinyl blanket insulation in the roof. A local business owner has offered to provide new goals. Alderman Cox expressed that the cost is too high and the galvalume structure is excessive. Alderman Gill asked if the neighbors have been notified and if they want the structure. The Parks & Recreation Director responded that although she has not specifically asked the neighbors, they are aware that updates are coming and no one has had a negative response. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to approve the contract for professional services contract with Compton Engineering for design of shade structure at MLK Park in the amount of $8,500.00 (Exhibit 7-f)
The Planning/Grants Administrator introduced Renee Collini and Mikaela Heming from the Resilience to Future Flooding Group. They showed a video presentation regarding The Northern Gulf of Mexico future flooding, prevention and reducing the impact of flooding in our area and finished with funding of the projects. Ocean Springs is heavily featured in their presentations and future presentations for the Gulf Coast.
Alderman Gill said we received $400,000 in grants from the state for water and sewer improvements and wants to discuss where and what projects this money will fund. The Mayor and the Planning/Grants Administrator said there is a list of unfunded projects they are working to prioritize. They will update the list and send to the Board.
Alderman Gill said there was a customer, Herbert Ennetts, at 6505 Shoshonee Drive, that had a busted water hose that was not noticed for a couple of days and requested removal of the sewer charges to the customer. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to forgive the sewer portion of the bill, in the amount of $106.19, at 6505 Shoshonee Drive, due to the findings of the Board that the owner did not receive benefit of the services due to a busted water hose and the excess usage was due to unforeseen circumstances.
Alderman Gill also discussed the traffic concerns on Hwy. 90 from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to Bechtel Boulevard at 5:00 p.m. each evening. The Police Chief said the issue is controlled by MDOT and they have responded that they will not do anything until the equipment is a total loss. He said that we are aware of the problems and discussions are happening. Alderman Blackman advised the Mayor to reach back out to MDOT and have them ride the area during a congested time to see if they will make adjustments sooner rather than later.
Alderman Authement asked about a January 28th letter which was received from the Chamber of Commerce regarding the 2% food and beverage and lodging taxing for FY 2019. The City Clerk said she was not aware of a letter and would review and what has been sent directly to the Chamber.
Alderman Bellman said there is a popcorn tree at 304 Teringo Circle that is in the right of way and has busted the water line and needs to be removed. Motion was made by Alderman Bellman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to remove the tree at 304 Teringo Circle.
Alderman Cox reported that Mississippi Power completed the repairs to the lighting at Front Beach. They also installed a new LED light on pole # 28 and would like the Aldermen to go down and look at this type of light to see if they want to move forward with replacing the lights with LED. He also asked the Police Chief about the landscaping at the Police Department and if the landscaping was in the budget to get it addressed. The Police Chief said he will get some quotes to update the landscaping.
Alderman Papania asked the Planning/Grants Administrator about a note from Mr. Joe Gill regarding $225,000 for East Beach. She responded that it is FY2020 Tidelands Grants that have been requested and now have been approved but DMR will have to approve the 2020 budget before the amount can be confirmed, which should be June or July 2019 before any amount is certain. The south side of East Beach, sidewalk funds, have been approved in next year’s transportation plan through MDOT.
Alderman Impey said former Captain Timmy Tue is in ICU at Ocean Springs Hospital, and to please keep him in your prayers. He thanked the Public Works Director for the lights and electricity at Trentwood Park, he has received positive feedback already.
Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to accept termination of Custodian, employee #2346, effective April 2, 2019 and authorize to begin the process of filling the vacant position.
Dr. Bill Moore thanked the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce for the help at the Spring Arts Festival. He added that tomorrow, April 3, 2019, at noon is the first responder appreciation event at the Fire Station.
Alderman Gill suggested that the Parks & Recreation Director determine what all is needed for the Dog Park and to provide an estimate to approve at the next meeting so that the order may be placed.
Alderman Impey added that we are losing Building Official Hilliard Fountain and wished him the best in the future and said that he will be missed.
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to go into closed session to determine the necessity of going into executive session.
The City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the Building and Planning Departments.
The City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman, Gill seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to continue to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the Public Works Department. No actions were taken.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to come out of executive session.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox and seconded by Alderman Blackman to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on April 16, 2019. The motion passed with Aldermen Cox, Blackman, Impey, and Papania voting aye and Aldermen Gill, Authement, and Bellman voting nay.
Meeting ended at 8:28 p.m.
__/s/Patty Gaston________ ___/s/Shea Dobson______
City Clerk Mayor