City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - August 27, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. Special Call Meeting


    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Special Call Meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 9:00 a.m. on August 27, 2018.  Mayor Dobson presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, and Blackman were present.  Also present was Interim City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.  Alderman Impey was absent. 

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    The Special Call Meeting is for the purpose of any and all matters pertaining to the Radio Advertisement with Supertalk Mississippi; budget amendment to FY17-18 budget; and the FY18-19 proposed budget.

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to rescind the motion to spend $6,500.00 for a radio advertisement with Supertalk Mississippi. (Exhibit a)

    The Interim City Clerk discussed proposed budget amendments for the current FY2017-2018 budget.  The Interim City Clerk explained that she is proposing a reduction in revenue by $426,750.00.  She said the City has currently collected $13,387,527.00 out of the $15,026,385.00 that was budgeted leaving a current balance of $1,638,858.00 in uncollected funds.  The Interim City Clerk is estimating the projected final for FY2017-2018 to be $14,599,635.00.

    The Interim City Clerk commented that she had removed the $6,500.00 funds that were to be used to pay for the radio advertisement with Supertalk Mississippi.  She stated she did leave $1,000.00 in the aldermen’s miscellaneous promotions line item to pay WAMA the donation that Alderman Blackman said was supposed to have been included in the current budget. (Exhibit b)

    The Mayor announced we will start talking about the FY2018-2019 proposed budget by speaking with the department heads and hearing their requests.

    Building Department

    The Building Official spoke about some items he is requesting for the Building Department in the proposed budget for FY 2018-2019.  The Building Official is requesting (3) three radios for the Building Department as part of integrating an additional form of communication in the amount of $7,000.00.  He is requesting a transfer switch and wiring so they can connect the Building and Planning Building to the generator for emergency power in case of a power outage in the amount of $9,100.00.  The Building Official is also requesting a shed for storage in the amount of $6,000.00.  The shed would be placed on the slab behind the Building and Planning Department to store equipment such as chainsaws, pole saws, gas cans, etc. and can also be utilized by all departments in the City Hall complex.  He is also looking into a grant to employ an arborist up to $56,000.00 for salary and benefits.  This grant would require a 50% match of $28,000.00 from the City.  The Board would like to see what the decision is regarding the grant before making any decisions on this request.     

    Public Works

    The Public Works Director said they would like to create a position in Public Works Administration by transferring an employee who is currently in the street department to shop maintenance basically become a yard man at the complex.  This position would be responsible for maintaining the shop.  He is also requesting (2) trucks but since they just received (1) one from the police department they could get by with (1) one new truck in the amount of $30,000.00 for now.  The Public Works Director said they do have a couple of trucks that they plan on sending to auction.

    The Public Works Street Department is requesting a new boom truck for $185,000.00.  Alderman Cox asked the Public Works Director to look into the lease purchase option.  They need a new street sweeper for $140,000.00.  He is also requesting (2) two Street Department employees (replacing one moved to administration if approved and one additional).

    The Public Works Landscaping Department would like to add an additional landscaper to help with all the flower beds and the beach area.  He is having to pull someone from the street department to assist in this department right now. The Mayor said he is trying to come up with a program to help fund beautification. 

    The Shop Department at Public Works is requesting a tire machine for $14,000.00.  He said we need something to help with the big tires so no one else gets injured lifting or moving tires.  This would help will all departments.  He said they will also need training to learn how to use it.  They would also like $5,000.00 to replace PVC lines with galvanized lines.

    The Drainage Department would like to add (1) one additional employee giving them a total of (5) five in this department.

    The Public Works Director said they would like to get a new GPS system to start GPS on water valves, meter boxes, and drains to determine location, depth, etc.  The old system is not sufficient.  The cost for this will run approximately $16,000.00.  Alderman Blackman asked for the Public Works Director to look into upgrades to the current system before spending money on a new system.

    The Sewer Department is requesting a replacement truck to be used for a pump runner.

    The Public Works Director and the Police Chief are interested in hiring another mechanic and splitting the cost so the police department doesn’t have to take their police vehicles to various vendors for oil changes, tire repairs, brakes, batteries, and other minor repairs.

    Community Development & Planning:

    The Planning & Grants Administrator stated that are requesting quality, flat, format filing cabinets for plans that they have to keep on file at an estimated cost of $7,000.00.  The Planning & Grants Administrator said they will continue to do research to see if they can get them at a lower cost.

    Fire Department:

    The Fire Chief is requesting new air packs.  The Fire Chief said he has tried for the last few years to get a grant for new ones but has been turned down because our per capita income is too high.  He commented that the Fire Department is in dire need for some new air packs.  He is currently buying (7) seven out of this year’s budget and is asking the Board to match his $37,000.00 which will give him (14) new air packs.  He is also trying to get a battery powered jaws unit through a grant and has not been able to get that grant either.  He is requesting a new battery powered jaws unit at a cost of $30,530.00.  The equipment to retrofit the new fire truck is included in the loan amount. 

    Parks & Recreation:

    The Director of Parks & Recreation is requesting (2) two additional maintenance workers due to the loss of the inmates.  She said when that program ended she lost (8) eight inmates.  Her staff has taken on more duties and are struggling to keep up.  She is also requesting (1) one part time administrative position.  She would prefer a full time admin person but would settle for part time.  The Director of Parks & Recreation is asking to give the Mary C. additional funds to cover the cost of (9) nine hours of janitorial needs for $6,000.00 and $1500.00 for the janitorial supplies. Alderman Blackman asked the Police Chief if he has any contacts with Harrison County that he can speak to about the inmate program. 

    Police Department:

    The Police Chief asked for clarification on the proposed budget figure for the police department personnel line item.  The Police Chief wanted to state he was asking for (2) two new vehicles because that is what the finance committee agreed to do last year.  The Police Chief stated he would like to update the CAD Program upgrade in dispatch but understands if we are not able to.  The Police Chief talked about some payroll neutral personnel requests.  These are to transfer the 5th corrections officers position to a Lieutenant position and the correction officers, through attrition, he would like to convert back into police work or other administrative positions in the department when a position becomes available.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to go into closed session to determine the necessity of remaining in Executive Session.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to remain in Executive Session to discuss budget concerns on job position for Public Works Department.

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

    The meeting recessed for lunch at 12:00 p.m.   

    The meeting reconvened at 1:30 p.m.  Alderman Bellman and the City Attorney did not return to the meeting after lunch.

    A Water Technician in water billing came to the meeting to update the Board and discuss any issues the City has with water meters.  He said Aclara came down and spent a day and a half gathering information to take back and analyze to see what can be done to correct the issues.  Aclara is coming back on September 10, 2018, to go over findings and implement some ways to try to correct the issues.

    Alderman Blackman said he is ready to move forward with getting this issue resolved.  He said there is a meeting with a new company set up to discuss financing and installation cost to determine the best way to move forward.

    Alderman Cox stated as a part of the settlement with JCUA is to help with our water system.  Alderman Cox said we need to go to JCUA and ask for help.

    The Interim City Clerk notified the Board that there is a $15,828.00 monthly price increase for sewer.

    Alderman Cox suggested to increase the garbage fees by $2.00 now for the months on October 2018 thru January 2019 until this contract has been rebid and see if the price needs to be adjusted again at that time.  The City already has an ordinance in place to increase the water and sewer rates by 3% on an annual basis.  The board has agreed that the sewer rates need to be increase by an additional 3% and $2.00 on garbage rates to begin in October 2018.

    Alderman Blackman talked about hiring an in-house civil engineer and split the cost in thirds between the general, water, and sewer funds.  

    The rates for CTA is increasing again this year.  The Board requested the Mayor contact Kevin Coggin at CTA to negotiate fees.

    The Police Chief reminded the Human Resources Director to cancel $14,500.00 from the City’s liability insurance for the Police Department residential living area since they no longer have a jail.  (Exhibit c) 

    The Board discussed meeting again on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to review the FY2018-2019 Proposed Budget with changes made prior to the Public Hearing.  

    The tentative date for the Public Hearing for the FY2018-2019 Proposed Budget will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to adjourn the Special Call Meeting.

    Meeting ended at 4:03 p.m.


    /s/ Patty Gaston                                   /s/ Shea Dobson

    City Clerk                                            Mayor

    10/3/2018                                           10/3/2018

    Date                                                   Date