SPECIAL CALL MEETING AUGUST
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 6:00
p.m. on August 29, 2017. Mayor Dobson presiding,
Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman, and Impey were
present. Also present was City Clerk
Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.
called the meeting to order.
Special Call Meeting is for the purpose of any and all matters pertaining to accepting
resignation of Joshua Drummond from the Planning Commission and to select
another member to fill the vacant position; City of Ocean Springs 125thAnniversary of Incorporation; and the FY17-8 proposed budget.
was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously
carried to accept the resignation of Joshua Drummond from the Planning
Commission and select a new member to fill the vacant position. (Exhibit a)
Cody came before the Board to discuss the 125th Anniversary of
Incorporation Parade. Mr. Cody presented
a summary of events to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. Mr. Cody said they were not requesting to
close any roads but to have a rolling road block due to other events previously
scheduled in the downtown area. Mr. Cody
said there will be a ceremony following the parade at the Community Center.
was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously
carried to appoint Elizabeth Feder-Hosey as the new member selected to fill the
vacant position on the Planning Commission. (Exhibit a)
The City Clerk reviewed the procedure
for adopting a budget with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. She told the Mayor and Board that the meeting
tonight is for the Boards review and no motions need to be made. The City Clerk further explained that a
Public Hearing is held a week prior to adopting the budget and that the budget
has to be adopted on or before September 15th. The City Clerk tentatively scheduled a Public
Hearing for September 7th at 5:30 p.m. and adoption of the budget is
tentatively scheduled for September 14th at 5:30 p.m.
The City Clerk gave a summary of the
proposed budget for FY17-18.
The City Clerk started with the revenue
side of the General Fund. She stated the
ad valorem assessment increased to $2 million dollars which equates to a
$40,000.00 increase. The City had a net
gain of (8) new parcels for the year. She notified the Board that the Department of Revenue added a new
gasoline tax for next year which is estimated at $119,000.00. This tax is generated by the sales of
gasoline at the gas stations. The
utility franchise tax is down from what was projected. The county road taxes are less than
anticipated. The Building permits have
increased. Our local match from the
county, which is what they allocate for Parks and Recreation, is up $11,000.00
which comes to a sum of $231,000.00 received from the county. Parks participation fees are down. Police fines are down. The City finally received the balance from
Hurricane Isaac which was $15,000.00 less than the project worksheet stated
they would be. The projected operating
budget for next year is $13,902,419.00 which includes a 2 mill ad valorem
increase. The reason for the increase is
because our revenue is down. The City
Clerk said each department has decreased their budgets at or below what they
were last year. The Finance Committee
agrees to reinstate the 2 mills. There
will be a request to increase the debt service 1 mill which will be a total
increase of 3 mills.
The City Clerk presented the list of
the departmental capital requests.
The City Clerk explained some of the
expenses listed in the FY17-18 budget. The Mayor’s department attorney fees are less this year than projected
so the budget for next year was decreased. There was an allotment of $100,000.00 added for annexation fees.
The Board of Aldermen had $5000.00 in
their ward capital improvement fund. The
City Clerk said if there are any funds left that was not spent will remain in
the budget for next year.
The City Clerk’s department requested
$5000.00 to repair the fire pits on the beach. The fire pits are very popular and highly used by the citizens and are
in need of repairs. Alderman Gill asked
the city clerk to add $5000.00 to the City Clerk’s budget for a temporary
employee to help throughout the year as needed.
Human Resources’ is requesting a new
copier for their office.
The Planning & Community
Development Department budget has remained the same except CTA is requesting a
$4000.00 increase which would bring the Transit System budget up to
$64,000.00. The Mayor is in discussion
with CTA about a possible shuttle plan for employees who work in the downtown
area that take up valuable parking spots. Alderman Impey asked about the ridership numbers for CTA. The City Clerk said she was given a packet
with all of that information and will forward it to him. The Planning Department purchased a plotter
several years ago that has never operated properly. AGJ did get it working but the department has
asked to leave the $5,000.00 in their machinery and equipment line item for a
few weeks in case the plotter stops working in which case they will have to
purchase a new one.
The Building Department has asked to
increase the tree removal and maintenance line item to $25,000.00 to complete
the Washington Avenue project. They have
also asked for $5,000.00 in their building improvements line item to complete
the renovations to the building.
The Police Department budget for
computer software support has increased because the of the AGJ contract. The City Clerk looked at usage by each
department and the police department uses 50% or more of the IT usage. The police department has also budgeted
$60,000.00 for (2) new vehicles.
The Court Department is also asking for
a new copier and the Finance Committee recommends to increase hours for a
warrants officers from 20 hours to 30 hours.
The Fire Department has had to repair a
lot of their equipment this year. The
budget for General Repairs and Maintenance started out pretty low but so far
this year the fire department has spent $72,000.00 in General Repairs and
Maintenance. The Fire Chief has asked to
put $40,000.00 for next year. They have
requested $5,000.00 to paint the fire stations. He has also asked for a power unit for the Jaws of Life in the amount of
$14,500.00 to retrofit the unit he currently has instead of asking for
$30,000.00 to purchase a new unit.
The EOC Department has asked to put
$3000.00 in Travel Training Seminars for the EOC Director to go to the
Hurricane Conference if he chooses to do so this year or in the case we have to
open the EOC for an emergency.
Public Works Administration Department
has budgeted for a Public Works Director and did not budget for an Assistant
Director. Public Works asked for
additional employees but the City was not able to accommodate that request this
year. The Landscaping Budget was increased
by $6,000.00 in Materials and Supplies. The Street Department asked for $60,000.00 for asphalt repairs,
$60,000.00 for sidewalk repairs and $60,000.00 for concrete street panels. The Drainage Department’s budget had an
increase of $50,000.00 to their Drainage Project line item due to the lack of
the Pat Harrison Waterway District funding.
The Parks Department is requesting to
purchase a piece of equipment for $9000.00 to be used at Highway 57
Sportsplex. The City Clerk stated this
piece of equipment can be purchased through the 2 % funds so she will be moving
that money to the 2% fund.
The repairs to get the Taconi Building
up to the Health Department standards came from the 2% funds. Any routine maintenance from this point
forward will come out of the General Fund budget. The City Clerk said the rent collected for
the use of the building will help offset these costs.
The City has spent a lot of money for
repairs to the Mary C. last year. The
City did not budget as much for repairs to the Mary C. next year but that may
have to change if issues continue to arise.
The Porter Avenue sidewalk match for
this year was $40,000.00 and we had budgeted $50,000.00 so this amount has been
The City Clerk reports the worker’s
comp had a reduction of $26,000.00 this year which is reflected in the budget
The projected ending balance for next
year is $296,317.00. This amount
includes the 2 mill increase and deducting the $9,000.00 that will be moved to
the 2% fund for equipment in the Park’s Department.
The Food and Beverage tax had an
increase of $60,000.00 this year. We are
also going to be receiving $20,000.00 from the Jackson County BOS to assist in
the cost of Cruisin’ the Coast.
The Economic Development where we give
$30,000.00 to the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce and any overtime
expenditures for festivals is transferred to this line item from the General
The Highway 57 Sports Complex
expenditures consists of a punch list of repairs that need to be made at all of
the parks. The City Clerk said she
budgets $300,000.00 every year to cover the items on her punch list and this
year she added an additional $100,000.00 to purchase items requested by the
Parks Director. Some of these items are
to replace the lights at Alice Street, upgrades to Freedom Field, replace
lights at Freedom Field, playground mulch and railing at Fort Maurepas, raise
the infields at Highway 57, and (2) two pieces of equipment (1) is a John Deere
TX Turf and an Argrimetal 4420 Vac. Alderman Cox talked about getting the MOU with the Seabee’s to help
stretch these funds as far as we can.
The Fire Department is requesting a Flat
Bed Pumper Unit in order to use at festivals instead of using the large Ladder
Fire Truck. He would like to put the
pumper on his truck so he can maneuver easier and faster during festivals if
needed. He will also need generators to
run the truck during festivals. The cost
for this equipment is $24,000.00.
The Debt Service shows a reduction this
year which is due to the reduction the City will receive this year for
refinancing the bond.
The ending balance for the Food and
Beverage Tax is $459,951.00. This amount
may change once we know where we are with the road at which time we can do a
budget amendment to move that money.
The Water Department Fund for the
revenue side of water. The City Clerk
mentioned the City’s ordinance which includes a 3% annual increase every year
which is reflected in the budget. The
Finance Committee and approved for the City Clerk to raise the reconnect fee
from $30.00 to $40.00. The City Clerk
stated by raising this fee by $10.00 will generate $20,000.00 of additional
The City Clerk did reduce the cost for
water meters and replacement by $20,000.00. The Water System Improvements line item was increased from $280,000.00
The Sewer Department Fund revenue side
shows a reimbursement of $600,099.00 for the Section 592 Sewer Grant which we
do anticipate reimbursement before September 30th. The City Clerk stated that due to the
increased expenses in sewer she is requesting a 6% increase to the sewer
department billing fees.
The ending balance for sewer is
$105,996.00 and water’s ending balance is $787,077.00. Between these two the City has a reserve of
The Debt Service Fund major projects we
would like to endeavor this year are purchasing new accounting and utility billing
software for $200,000.00 and replace the Windstream phone system. We have received an estimated cost of
$176,000.00 to replace the hardware alone. Once the hardware is replaced our phone bill should decrease
significantly. The Police Department is
requesting a police car and body camera system at a cost of $350,000.00. Roof repairs need to be completed on several
city buildings. The Planning and Grants
Administrator is working on a grant for the roof at the library. The City Hall and Dewey Substation roofs need
to be repaired and if a grant is not received the Library roof will need to be
included as well. The City Clerk said we
will need to assess all other city building roofs to see if any additional buildings
need roof repairs. The City Clerk stated
that because of these major expenditures our current debt service millage will
not cover those payments. The City Clerk
is asking for an annual increase of (1) one mill in order to cover all of these
The Special Revenue Fund tourism hotel
tax has grown over the last several years. This year will receive $40,000.00. There was a previous motion made that the Chamber of Commerce would
receive all of the hotel tax. The
Chamber used to receive $25,000.00 but because we have been doing so well we
were giving them $35,000.00. The City
Clerk is requesting to set a limit of $30,000.00 and we can use the other
$10,000.00 for Economic Development to help with annexation fees. The Chamber also received $30,000.00 from our
2% funds which is a total of $60,000.00 the Chamber will receive from the City
this year. The City has 1.01 mill
dedicated to the library. We give the
library $135,000.00 per year toward operating expenses. The City uses the balance for building
insurance and repairs and maintenance to our building.
The Municipal Reserve Fund also called
the Emergency Fund currently has a balance of $900,527.00. Our goal is to grow this fund to a balance of
1.3 million. This fund is for the City
to have 50% operating funds in case of an emergency.
The Fire Rebate Fund is insurance money
we receive from the state based on our fire rating. The Fire Chief is looking to purchase a new
fire truck with the rebate money. He is
currently waiting to get a price on a couple of trucks that they have looked
at. The City Clerk said the cost of a
new fire truck runs $400,000.00 to $420,000.00 with no bells and whistles. The City Clerk would like to purchase (2) two
new trucks this year, however due to our good fire rating our money was decreased. The better the rating the less money you
receive. The City Clerk said we will
definitely buy (1) new fire truck but hoping to purchase (2) two.
The Forfeiture Fund is a floating
number. The Police Chief would like to
purchase new vehicles with these funds. The City Clerk budgets a base on $50,000.00 but also said no purchases
are made until funds are received.
The Garbage Fund is money we collect
from the customer to pay WastePro and salaries to our employees. No increase requested in the garbage account
at this time.
Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded
by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adjourn the Special Call
ended at 7:10 p.m.
Shelly Ferguson /s/ Shea
09/20/2017 09/20/2017Date Date