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    City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - December 18, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Recess Meeting

    RECESS MEETING OF DECEMBER 18, 2018


    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Recess Meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 6:00 p.m. on December 18, 2018.  Mayor Dobson 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.


    ADDENDUM

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to add the Addendum to the Agenda.


    PROCLAMATION

    The Mayor read a proclamation in recognition of Deputy Fire Chief Nathaniel C. Wilson. Commending him for his service to the City of Ocean Springs and for his continued success upon his retirement from city service (Exhibit 3-a).

    Alderman Blackman left the meeting at 6:05 pm.


    OLD BUSINESS

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox and seconded by Alderman Impey to adopt an Ordinance Amending the Code of Ordinances for the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Defining the Speed Limit on Magnolia Avenue (Exhibit 4-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          Absent
      Alderman Impey                Aye

    There was discussion of the Planning Commission Report: Rachel Schmitt – 3230 Cumberland (Oak Glen Marina Condominiums) – Unit 13/ PID: 61332013.000 – Application for a Residential Short Term Rental (STR) Permit (Exhibit 4-b). Alderman Authement recused himself and left the room. Motion was made by Alderman Gill and seconded by Alderman Papania to deny the application for short term rental permit because the city has not provided the required proof of the HOA approval pursuant to the ordinance. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Bellman, Cox, and Papania voting aye and Aldermen Impey voting nay. Alderman Impey said the resident did their due diligence, went through the process, and spent money; the HOA didn’t have a position for or against as of their letter dated November 8th from the HOA President and Board, and now at the end of the process they have a problem.


    NEW BUSINESS

    Retail Coach Will Kline gave an update, including Aldi Supermarket coming, Goodwill going into old Delchamps location and said that several other businesses that cannot be named are interested in Ocean Springs. He stated that he will give a more specific update in Executive Session.

    Jeepin the Coast Representative Jennifer Moran spoke about the past success of Jeepin the Coast along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and their desire to include Ocean Springs formally moving forward. In 2017 they had 1500 Jeeps on the Coast and their expectation is for this event to continuously grow in the next 10 years to become the size of Cruisin the Coast. The Aldermen suggested getting with Special Events Coordinator Chic Cody to submit a special event permit so that the city can formally consider participation and are interested in the event.

    The Mayor reminded everyone that the first meeting in January will be on Wednesday January 2, 2019 rather than the typical Tuesday.

    Alderman Cox explained the drainage issue and erosion of a ditch behind the homes on White Ave. and Holcomb Blvd. and the need to adopt a Resolution of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to provide labor, materials, and supplies to prevent erosion on Lot 10 of Holcomb Subdivision. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adopt this resolution (Exhibit 5-c).

    The Planning & Grants Administrator explained the Faith Christian Center church at 1710 Government Street is currently zoned as C-3 but there has been a change in the character of the neighborhood, including rezoning of other businesses close by to C-2. Motion was made by Alderman Authement and seconded by Alderman Cox to adopt an Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 13-1976 Rezoning Property Herein Described From C-3 (Highway Commercial) to C-2 (Community Commercial District) (Exhibit 5-d) 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         Absent
      Alderman Impey               Aye

    Alderman Authement removed item (e) Adopt an Ordinance to Amend the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Being Ordinance No. 13-1976, as Amended, by Providing for a Definition of "Townhouse” (Exhibit 5-e), no objections.


    CONSENT AGENDA

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of item (s) which was removed by Alderman Bellman.


    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    PARKS & RECREATION:

    The Parks & Recreation Director discussed the bids for the Freedom Field improvements (Exhibit A-3a). She said the bids were received but the lowest bidder did not submit their bid bond, and the difference in the amount of the bids between the lowest and next lowest were close financially. The City Attorney explained the legality of the situation and the issue will be discussed further in executive session.
    MAYOR:
    The Mayor said that he, Alderman Authement, and Alderman Cox met with Jackson County about the county moving forward with the work to address the run off on the beach and the need for the Planning & Grants Administrator to submit a revised application to identify further shoreline protection projects regarding wave action. The Planning & Grants Administrator explained they have been coordinating with Jackson County closely for FY18 and will continue for FY19. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to submit a revised scope for Tidelands FY19.


    PUBLIC COMMENT

    Debra Littlepage spoke regarding The Sands Front Beach Project and Exhibit 5-e, the definition of a Townhouse that was removed from the agenda. She said she thought that the new project development plat was based upon this definition, Alderman Authement clarified that it is not. She stated that she is for the new development and will submit a letter in agreement for the project. Alderman Authement explained that he has heard from many within his Ward 2 for and against the new project. He stated the plan of the Front Beach project is not based on the definition of Townhouse and they are moving forward with getting closer to something that will work for all parties.

    Diana Schmead from Ward 4 said that she observed city trucks removing the blue garbage receptacles on East Beach and they have not been returned. The Public Works Director explained that the city removes the beach trash cans for the winter season and returns them in the spring/summer season. The county has garbage cans on the beaches during the winter. Diana Schmead said there none out at East Beach now and explained in the past 2 years trash cans had not been removed by the city. Alderman Papania stated that he will investigate tomorrow. Dr. Bill Moore stated there are two trash cans on East Beach at this time but are not conveniently located and the residents that walk the beach and take home trash to throw away. The Mayor stated the issue will be investigated.

    W. T. Broome gave thanks to Public Works for the Evergreen Cemetery upkeep and stated that it is the cleanest it has looked since 2004. Additionally, he said there are 2 white pillars at the cemetery that need to be removed.

    Margo Post inquired about the run off at Front Beach and the city’s involvement with the county. She encouraged the city to partner with the county and form a committee of experts to explore a wide range of alternatives and the importance of a future plan for rising sea level. The Mayor explained the current plan with the county and said the beach erosion is due to both run off and wave action.

    W. T. Broome stated that he believes most trash and litter on the roads comes from garbage and dump trucks. He would like to see the city require all trucks have covering when taking trash to the dump. The Mayor said that we are currently negotiating the garbage contract and he is working on a beautification plan for the city.

    Doug Denehie thanked the Mayor and the Board for addressing the Taconi school zone issue. He said it has been a dangerous and long running issue. He also said that it will require the Police Department to monitor and enforce the speed limit. The Mayor said he will encourage the Police Department to write speeding tickets aggressively. Mr. Denehie also mentioned that heavy dump trucks are parking on the sidewalks on Porter Avenue for construction but residents and customers are ticketed for parking on sidewalks.

    ALDERMEN’S FORUM 
    Alderman Gill discussed the city budgets for landscaping and tree trimming. He said the Crepe Myrtles on Hwy. 90 need to be addressed with trimming overgrowth, the removal of suckers on the bottom and fertilization. He has been working with the Mayor to get estimate to trim the Crepe Myrtles from Ocean Springs Bridge to Hwy. 57, the current estimate is $15,000.00 from an experienced tree trimmer. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to use up to $15,000.00 out of the cash ending balance and allow the Mayor to secure quotes for the trimming and fertilizing of the Crepe Myrtles on Hwy. 90 from the Ocean Springs Bridge to Hwy. 57.

    Alderman Authement stated that the city currently does not have a Judge Pro Tempore. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to appoint Stacy Zorn as Judge Pro Tempore on an interim basis until after holidays.

    Alderman Cox talked about the success of the Christmas tree lighting at the Mary C. O’Keefe and the Christmas parade. He thanked all involved, especially the Parks & Recreation Director and Assistant Director, for the employee Christmas party success and said fun was had by all in attendance. Additionally he discussed the RFQ’s for the energy performance contract. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to enter into negotiations with the bidder for the energy efficiency proposal.

    Alderman Papania said that we have an Alderman that will have served the city for 36 years at the end of this term, a record for the city and Mississippi. He congratulated Alderman Gill and said that he was instrumental in having the Fort Bayou Children’s Park built.  Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to rename the Fort Bayou Children’s Park to the John Gill Children’s Park.

    Alderman Gill thanked the Mayor and Board of Alderman and explained that the park was built after Hurricane Katrina with the land dedicated the land to the city by the county as long as it remains a children’s park. Alderman Gill said that he wrote an essay and submitted it to the KaBoom Organization that had pledged to build 100 parks and Ocean Springs was chosen to receive one. KaBoom and the Parks Department built the park in one day in 2007. Alderman Papania asked the Parks Director to get a new sign for the park.

    Alderman Impey thanked Deputy Fire Chief Nate Wilson for 30 years of service and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

    The Mayor said it has been an honor to serve with Deputy Fire Chief Nate Wilson.


    EXECUTIVE SESSION:

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Cox 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 that a motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the Fire Department, Water Department and City Clerk’s Office; relocation and expansion of businesses with Retail Coach; MS Rising Coalition lawsuit and legal advice regarding Freedom Field bids.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to accept the recommendation of the Fire Chief to suspend employee #1873 for one day without pay.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to accept the bid from JLB contractors LLC because of their strict compliance with the requirements of the bid packet for the Freedom Field bid.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to come out of executive session.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on January 2, 2019. 

    Meeting ended at 8:42 p.m.

     

    _/s/ Patty Gaston____                            __/s/ Shea Dobson_______
    City Clerk                                                Mayor

    _01/15/2019_________                           _01/15/2019___________
    Date                                                          Date