City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - August 30, 2018 - 6:00 p.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 6:00 p.m. on August 30, 2018.  Mayor Dobson presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman, and Impey were present.  Also present was Interim City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi. 

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    The Special Call Meeting is for the purpose of any and all matters pertaining to FY18-19 proposed budget.

    The Mayor and Purchasing Agent gave a summary of the proposed budget for FY18-19.  

    The Purchasing Agent started with the revenue side of the General Fund.  He discussed adjusting the utility franchise charges to $880,000.00 to include the additional $60,000.00 the City will be receiving for the lease of the tower at Dewey Avenue Substation.  The sales tax increased to $5 million dollars which equates to a $50,000.00 increase and the pro rata county road tax has continued to increase every year so he is projecting this number to be $812,000.00. There are no additional fees from water and sewer until the Interim City Clerk can review and validate the increase. The City has projected court fines at $400,000.00.  Alderman Blackman asked the Interim City Clerk to keep an eye on this number to get an idea of the progress AMS makes with collecting unpaid fines.   


    The Mayor explained some of the adjustments made to his budget for FY18-19.    The Mayor lowered the mayor’s youth Council budget to $4,000.00.  He adjusted contractual services down to $3,000.00 but the Interim City Clerk stated he needed to increase those fund because that is the line item Mr. Chic Cody is paid from and that is not enough to cover his cost per year.  The Mayor will increase contractual services to $8,000.00 to make sure there is enough to cover those charges for Mr. Cody’s services. There was an allotment of $100,000.00 for annexation fees that was removed from the budget.

    Board of Aldermen:

    The Board of Aldermen had $5000.00 in their ward capital improvement funds last year. Those funds have been adjusted to $2,500.00 for the proposed budget and any funds that were not spent from last year’s budget will remain in the budget for next year.

    City Clerk:

    The City Clerk’s department had an increase in contractual services due to the City Auditor and the additional cost required to complete the work.  The Purchasing Agent explained the computer software and support line item has increased due to the new financial software the City is purchasing this year.  The Board is considering recreating the Cemetery Committee and having them research the area to determine whether or not there are any plots left to sell.

    Human Resources and Risk Management:

    Human Resources’ building insurance and liability insurance line items include the library building.  The Purchasing Agent said they would like to reduce this by $20,000.00, $17,000.00 from building insurance and $3,000.00 from liability insurance, and take this amount out of the library millage.  The cost of health insurance has increased by $196,000.00.  This will result in an additional cost of $22,000.00 to the City after passing some of the cost on to the employees by requiring them to pay $50.00 per month depending on their insurance tier and using $75,000.00 from the Lockard fund.

    Community Development & Planning:

    The Planning & Grants Administrator stated there are some errors in the UDC (Comp Plan/Ordinance Update) and contractual line items.  She said the original UDC budget was $25,000.00 and contractual services was $15,000.00.  The Planning and Grants Administrator is asking to put $25,000.00 in contractual services because that is where she plans to charge all of the follow up UDC adoptions, updating of forms, rezoning, and evaluation for FY18-19. She is also requesting $10,000.00 in the UDC line item to update the entire map in shape files once the new zoning district is created.  She also said CTA is requesting a $6,325.00 increase to help offset their additional cost for fuel and maintenance which would bring the Transit System budget up to $70,325.00.  Alderman Impey asked about the ridership numbers for CTA.  Alderman Cox and the Mayor are going to call Kevin Coggin at CTA and discuss the cost increase.

    Building Department:

    The Building Department has reduced their tree removal and maintenance line item by $5,000.00 bringing it to $20,000.00 for FY18-19.  Alderman Gill asked to keep this line item at $30,000.00. He also reduced the ADA Travel/Training/Conference line item by $500.00.

    Police Department:

    The Police Department offered $118,000.00 in savings and now it has increased to $300,000.00 in savings.  The Police Chief stated he would like it in the minutes that traditionally the Board thanks the department heads for all the cuts they had to make.  The Police Chief stated he does not want any thanks for the second part of the cuts that are being made.  He had plans for the correction officer positions that are being cut from the budget.  He said the Sheriff has agreed to look into hiring them for Jackson County.  The Purchasing Agent said he did not know how to budget for the housing of the prisoners because he has not been given a daily cost per prisoner so it is not included in this proposed budget.  The Police Chief will get these numbers for him tomorrow.  Alderman Cox asked about the plan for fuel.  The Police chief said they are talking about purchasing a 4,000 gallon tank but they do not currently have a final dollar amount.  He believes it will cost around $50,000.00 for the tank.  The Interim City Clerk stated they are also looking into possibly adding readers to the Fire Department and Public Works tanks also.

    The Police Chief suggested getting rid of DigiTickets to save $34,000.00 per year and go back to writing paper tickets.  The Board has recommended to keep the DigiTickets system in place.

    Court Department:

    The Court Department did not have any significant adjustments to their budget. 

    Fire Department:

    The Fire Department did not have any significant adjustments to their budget.

    Public Works:

    Public Works Administration Department decreased their office supply line item by $1,000.00 bringing that to $6,000.00.    

    The Street Department significantly reduced their sidewalks and street panels line items.  The sidewalk line item was reduced by $8,200.00 and concrete street panels was reduced by $31,800.00.

    The Drainage Department reduced the drainage projects line item from $240,000.00 to $200,000.00.

    The Parks & Recreations Department cleaning and janitorial line item was increased to $24,000.00 because they have absorbed the janitorial duties of the entire city.  The funds for this increase came from taking the janitorial funds from the city departments and placing it all in one line item.  She said they reduced their chemical line item by $2,000.00, reduced their small tool and equipment by $1,000.00, reduced their materials and supplies by $3,547.00, and they reduced their tire and tubes line item by $2,232.00.

    The Purchasing Agent explained that the personnel services, office supplies, janitorial and cleaning supplies, gas and oil, small tools and equipment, and materials and supplies line items have all been removed for the Civic Center, Community Center, and the Senior Center since the City no longer has a facilities staff.

    Alderman Blackman thanked everyone for all of their hard work and time and he really appreciate the cuts they made.

    Alderman Blackman asked the Building Official to call and get a bid to dry the wet areas, cut the membrane, and hot weld in a new piece in the roof at the Dewey Avenue Substation.

    The Purchasing Agent stated the cost for the new computers are not in the General Fund.  He is suggesting to go out for a small loan to purchase these.

    The Public Hearing for the FY2018-2019 Budget will be scheduled for Friday, September 7, 2018 and the budget will need to be adopted on Friday, September 14, 2018.  

    Food and Beverage – 2% Funds:

    The Purchasing Agent discussed the Musco Lighting Fixtures that were purchased for $1.4 million in 2010.  The City Attorney has the paperwork to see if it is a possibility to refinance this loan. This loan is paid out of 2% funds.

    Alderman Blackman stated the Board has received an email from the engineer for the dog park.  In his opinion, it was way out of line at the cost of $166,000.00.  Alderman Blackman asked the engineer for a breakdown of bid packets.  The engineer is putting these packets together now.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated the City did not get approved for the $25,000.00 grant for the dog park.

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

    Meeting ended at 7:39 p.m.


    /s/ Patty Gaston___                              /s/ Shea Dobson_____

    Interim City Clerk                                Mayor


    10/3/2018________         _____                    10/3/2018__________

    Date                                                   Date