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    City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - April 3, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF APRIL 3, 2018

    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 April 3, 2018.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman and Impey were present.  Also present was Deputy City Clerk Janice Hilton and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.  Alderman Gill was absent.                    

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    Alderman Ken Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

    PROCLAMATIONS

    The Mayor read a proclamation declaring April 2018 as Safe Digging Month and presented it to the Public Works Director John Russell. (Exhibit 3-c)

    The Mayor read a proclamation proclaiming April 2018 as Child Abuse Prevention Month and presented it to the South Mississippi Child Advocacy Center. (Exhibit 3-a)

    The Mayor a proclamation declaring the week of April 8 – 14, 2018 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week and presented it to Police Chief Mark Dunston and Dispatcher Supervisor Donna Staszko. (Exhibit 3-b)

    PUBLIC HEARINGS

    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to go into public hearing.

    The Building Official updated the Board on the status of the property located at 420 Jackson Avenue owned by Caroline Brou Gautier.  The Building Official stated this property has been boarded up for quite some time. He said they met with the daughter several years ago about the condition of the property.  He also said that last time they met with the daughter they were going to continue to maintain the property.  The Building Official has been told there are some people interested in purchasing this property and he would like to give them an opportunity to purchase the property and repair it.  He does not want to consider demolishing the home if someone is currently interested in purchasing it and fixing it up but at the same time he would like to clean it up so it is not a blight on the community or creating a rodent issue. The Building Official said this issue has been going on since Hurricane Katrina.

    The Building Official is requesting permission to obtain quotes to clear the property as far as maintenance of the property, cleaning the property, picking up bricks and debris, trim the shrubs in order to make the house presentable.  The Building Official would also request the Board to consider allowing a 60 – 90 day period to allow someone to purchase the property or have a valid permit on file to repair the home before requesting to move forward with taking steps to remove the structure.

    Alderman Cox said he would like to move forward with a motion to clean the lot but before a motion is made to remove the structure he would like to bring everyone to the table for a discussion.

    The Mayor asked if there are any proponents to speak in favor of the lot cleaning.

    There were no proponents.

    The Mayor asked if there are any opponents to speak against the property cleaning.

    There were no opponents.

    Motion made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to come out of public hearing.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to move forward with cleaning the lot located at 420 Jackson Avenue and allow 60 – 90 days for someone to purchase the property or have a valid permit on file with the City as recommended by the Building Official.  If no action has been taken then the Board will have a discussion regarding the removal of the structure to protect public health, safety, and welfare of the community. (Exhibit 4-a)

    Motion made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to go into public hearing.

    The Building Official discussed the condition of the property located at 176 Linda Circle owned by Jerry L. Goff.  The Building Official stated the file on this property goes back to 2001.  The property is zoned residential but the home is being used for a storage structure. The Building Official said the owner of the property does maintain the outside of the property just enough so the City will not continue enforcement on the property but now they are getting more complaints from the neighbors so the City needs to move forward with taking the next step.  The Code Enforcement Officer was able to go into the home today and stated it needs a lot of work.  The Building Department received a letter in 2014 from Mr. Goff stating he will repair the outside of the home and paint it.  Next he stated he will get a permit to improve the interior of the home.  He also stated he will comply with the guidelines set forth by the Building Department of the City of Ocean Springs. This letter is dated July 15, 2014 and the structure is still in the same condition as it was back then.

    The Building Official said the City has tried to be compassionate with Mr. Goff because he has had some health issues but the City has to consider the neighbors and surrounding property.  The Building Official is recommending the Board allow 60 – 90 days to allow Mr. Goff to submit a letter to the City to pull a permit and start the process of repairing the property.

    The Building Official asked Mr. Goff if there is power to the home.  Mr. Goff said he has had all of the utilities disconnected.  There is currently no power, water, or sewer to the home.

    Mr. Jerry Goff, owner of the property, spoke to the Board about how he obtained the house and the history behind it.  Mr. Goff said he put of the soffit, purchased the fascia boards, and painted the front of the house by himself.  He wants to make all of the repairs and move in the home himself.  Mr. Goff said a few years ago he has suffered some health issues that had laid him up for a while.  He said he feels well enough now and the doctors have cleared him.

    Alderman Blackman asked Mr. Goff what legitimate time frame he thinks he can have the work done.  Mr. Goff said as long as his health holds up he believes he can have it done in (3) three months.

    Alderman Authement said a lot of the neighbors have complained that the house has been boarded up and dormant for so long. Alderman Authement asked Mr. Goff if he could have the windows and blinds put in the house first in order to make the home more aesthetically pleasing.  Mr. Goff said he has recently applied for a homeowner’s improvement loan for the repairs that need to be done.

    Alderman Papania asked Mr. Goff if he can have the repairs done in (90) ninety days.  Alderman Papania made sure Mr. Goff understood that after 180 days if no repairs have been made the Board will move forward to take action.

    The Building Official is requesting to allow Mr. Goff (1) one permit cycle of 180 days to make the repairs.     

    The Mayor asked if there are any proponents to speak in favor of the lot cleaning.

    There were no proponents.

    The Mayor asked if there are any opponents to speak against the property cleaning.

    There were no opponents.

    Motion made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to come out of public hearing.

    Motion made by Alderman Bellman, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to allow Mr. Goff (1) one permit cycle of 180 days to fix and repair the property located at 176 Linda Circle. (Exhibit 4-b)

    NEW BUSINESS

    Ms. Stacy Howell, Executive Director of the Mary C., thanked the Board of Alderman for allowing her to come before them tonight to tell them about all of the great things going on at the Mary C. and to update them on their financial statements.  She also thanked the Mayor and Board for their continued support for the maintenance on the building.

    Mrs. Connie Moran, Treasurer of the Mary C., presented a detailed budget for the 2018 calendar year and a year-to-date budget through February 2018 for the Board to see.  Mrs. Moran said the Board can expect quarterly reports from the Mary C. once the Mary C. Board has reviewed and determined if any budget amendments need to be made, they will make the amendments, and then present it the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  She said their current value of all cash, savings, and CD accounts are approximately $53,000.00.  Mrs. Moran said they plan to take some of the CD money and look at more aggressive investments.  She said it is a goal of the Mary C. to build an endowment account over time.

    Aldermen Cox and Blackman thanked them for the very detailed report.

    Mrs. Elizabeth Feder-Hosey, Vice Chairman for the Mary C., talked about the Mary C. House Party that has been planned in conjunction with the 1699 Historical Society as the kick-off party for the 1699 Weekend of Discovery Event.  This kick-off party is scheduled for April 27, 2018 from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center. She also talked about a rock-paper-scissors tournament they are holding during the kick-off party to raise funds for the Mary C.

    Ms. Carolyn Clark added that as a part of their program they will be giving thanks to the City of Ocean Springs for their continued support.  Mrs. Feder-Hosey added that as a part of their corporate sponsorship drive they are going to create a board of thanks in the Mary C. lobby so all of the corporate sponsorships will be listed on the board throughout the year so everyone who comes into the Mary C. will see the recognition.  They will be adding the City of Ocean Springs to the board thanking them for their continued care and maintenance of the building. (Exhibit 5-a)

    Alderman Blackman talked about tentatively scheduling a date to move a recess meetings to the Ocean Springs Civic Center to include the East side of the City for those that do not want to travel to this side of the City to attend a board meeting.  Alderman Blackman suggested either the recess meeting on May 15th or June 19th as one of the meetings to hold at the Civic Center. He asked the Mayor to send an email out to everyone to see what date works best for the city staff.  (Item 5-b)

    OLD BUSINESS

    The Planning and Grants Administrator explained this amendment to the ordinance is to create an R-3 zoning that is exactly like our R-3 two-family zone creating the same size lots but without the duplex which is what this request is to have the ability to have smaller lots without the ability to have duplexes, two-family homes.

    Motion made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to Adopt an Ordinance to Amend Ordinance Nos. 13-1976 and 6-1984 to rezone Property Herein Described – 8900 Old Spanish Trail, PID #60135060.000, 60135060.030, 60135060.020, northwest corner of Old Spanish Trail and Hanshaw Road; rezoning from R-1 Single Family Residential to R-3A Single-family Residential District.  Motion passes. (Exhibit 6-a)

                       Alderman Gill                             Absent

                       Alderman Authement                   Aye

                       Alderman Bellman                       Aye

                       Alderman Cox                             Aye

                       Alderman Papania                       Aye

                       Alderman Blackman                     Aye

                       Alderman Impey                         Aye

     

    CONSENT AGENDA

    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda.

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    City Clerk:

    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the docket of claims. (Exhibit 8-a)

    The Mayor asked the Deputy City Clerk to inform the Board about the Sunplex Water Tank Painting bids received.  The Deputy City Clerk asked Mr. James Foster from Compton Engineering to discuss the bids.  Mr. Foster said all of the bids came in significantly higher than what was anticipated.  Mr. Foster said he was working off of a 2009 estimate to paint this tank.  Mr. Foster said the low bid received in 2009 was $230,000.00 which did not include any shrouding or containment on the tank.  Mr. Foster said because of that the contractor had to clean up a lot of cars and repaint a building.  The City chose to only paint the fluted column at that time.  Mr. Foster stated the current bid package was to paint the inside and the outside of the tank itself but the bidders included shrouding the tank due to the issues that happened in the past.  He said this is where the big difference in cost is.  The bidders did this to eliminate any damage to the surrounding properties.

    The Mayor requested to table this item. 

    Police Department:

    The Police Chief updated the Board on the traffic plan for Spring Break weekend in Biloxi on April 13-15, 2018.  The Police Chief said as events sometimes do there is a mission creep happening with this event.  It is getting bigger and bigger with a greater number of attendance.  He also said the footprint for the event is getting wider and wider.  The Police Chief stated the website that are sponsors or hosts of different parties during this event have advertised the hotels on the east side of Biloxi as their official hotels.  He has been told that there are some event promoters that are attempting to have a concert around Point Cadet.  The Police Chief said his concern is if Biloxi has to purge traffic eastbound, the Police Chief and his officers will shut down Highway 90 and Washington Avenue to divert all traffic north.  He said this will not be going on all day but it does occur for about 30-45 minutes at a time to allow them to move about 5,000 or 6,000 cars.  He said these periodic shut downs will more than likely to happen late at night.  He said when this happens you will not be able to turn onto Porter Avenue off of the bridge, Cox Avenue, Church Street, or Washington Avenue.  The Police Chief said the main reason for this is because Ocean Springs has the only hospital on the west side of Jackson County and if downtown Biloxi is in total gridlock then they will not be able to get to Merit Health.  If East Biloxi and Ocean Springs are both in gridlock then no emergency vehicle access will be available for fire, paramedics, and police.

    Alderman Papania thanked the Police Chief and Officers Lee and Morvant for the great job they did to diffuse the situation when a pit bull got out of its yard.  Alderman Papania also commented that these officers handled it very professionally.

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    Ten people spoke about issues and concerns with flying the state flag.

    ALDERMEN’S FORUM

    Alderman Authement spoke about a WAMA event at the White House Hotel on Sunday, April 8, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to allow WAMA to use (100) one hundred chairs for this event at the White House Hotel on April 8, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

    Alderman Authement thanked everyone that helped get the cemeteries cleaned up for the Easter Holiday.

    Alderman Blackman asked the Planning and Grants Administrator for an update on the Government Street Sidewalk and Pedestrian Bridge project.  The Planning and Grants Administrator has not received an update from the meeting that was held this morning. 

    Alderman Cox discussed lights on Steelman.  He said he contacted Mississippi Power and they are going to look into this issue and get some information back to the City.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to address lighting on Steelman since construction is about to begin behind Woody’s .

    Alderman Impey publically expressed his thanks to the Parks and Recreation Department for the pavilion in Trentwood Park.  He said this will create more family activity at the park.  He also thanked the Building Official for the design of the pavilion.

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to enter into closed session to determine the necessity of remaining in executive session.

    The Deputy City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in Public works and personnel in the Police Department.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to return to regular session. 

    The Mayor discussed the new proposed cost to hire The Retail Coach for recruiting Economic Development in Ocean Springs.  The cost for the first year is $30,000.00 with the option to renew the contract for an additional (2) two years at the new price of $28,000.00 per year.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until April 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.  

    Meeting ended at 8:07 p.m.

     

    /s/ Shelly Ferguson           ­­­­­­­­­­                             /s/ Shea Dobson

    City Clerk                                                     Mayor

    4/18/2018                                                    4/18/2018

    Date                                                             Date