MEETING OF DECEMBER 19, 2017
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 19, 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.
Mayor called the meeting to order.
Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried
to add the Addendum to the Agenda.
made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried
to go in Public Hearing regarding the lot cleaning of the property located at
4013 Yosemite Drive owned by Bridgett Broussard.
The Building Official explained that
this property has caused constant issues with the City over the last (3) three
years. The current owner of record has let the property back to the lending
institution, therefore she no longer owns the property. The Building Official said the City
demolished the home (3) three years ago because it was a blight on the
community. The Building Official stated
the City has had the responsibility of maintaining the property for the last
(3) three years. The Building Official
is requesting permission from the Board to obtain quotes for the initial cut
and sequential cuts for a period of (1) one year for this property.
Mayor asked if there are any proponents for the lot clearing.
No one came forward.
Mayor asked if there are any opponents against the lot clearing.
No one came forward.
Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded
by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to come out of Public Hearing.
Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded
by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the recommendation of the
Building Official to obtain quotes for the initial and sequential cutting of
the grass at the property located at 4013 Yosemite Drive for the safety and welfare of the public. (Exhibit 3-a).
Authement asked the Police Chief to update the Board on the status of the "on
foot police officer for the downtown area”. The Police Chief said he hopes to have a full time officer back on the
streets of downtown Ocean Springs in February. He said the position has been posted in-house to all employees and they
have until January 12th, 2018 to apply in writing. The Police Chief also said that all training
should be completed by that time. In the
meantime, the Police Chief said it is important to remember the police officers
continue to patrol the downtown area and some improvements have been made with
all the steps they have taken to help the homeless population. (Exhibit 4-a)
Building Official spoke on behalf of Wayne Borries because he is out of
town. The Building Official gave the
current Board a brief history of the ordinance that was suspended a year ago by
the previous Board requiring sprinkling of residential. The Building Official said there was a
difference of opinion on the interpretation of the ordinance. The City Attorney gave a clarification of the
ordinance and that is how the ordinance has been followed since that time. During that time Mr. Borries was issued a
permit and about a month later was when the previous Board suspended the
ordinance. The Building Official
requests allowing Mr. Borries continue to build his home without sprinkling and
then revisit the ordinance to have it reinstated.
made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to
allow Mr. Borries to build his home without sprinkling. (Exhibit 5-a)
Krisann Dikes, Industry Liaison for Singing River Health System and Manages the
Healthy Partner Program, and Lee Bond, Chief Operating Officer, presented
information regarding the Healthy Partners Screening Program through Singing
River Health System. Mr. Bond explained
that through this program screenings are offered every month at a discounted
rate or for free. Mr. Bond said that
providing these screenings at no charge or a discounted rate gives the employee
an affordable alternative for medical services. Mr. Bond also said this program was designed to improve health and save
lives which could potentially be a cost savings for the employer. There is no cost to the municipality for this
program. Mr. Bond said insurance covers most of the services offered through
this program but if the employee does not have insurance or insurance does not
cover the screening then the employee is offered a discounted cash price.
Scott Lemon, Lemon Mohler Insurance, came before the Board to talk about the
physical damage insurance on the city’s vehicles. Mr. Lemon met with the insurance committee
and went through the process and set goals. Mr. Lemon said for the last couple of years the City has qualified for a
special program through a company called EMC which writes the physical damage
for cars for municipalities that are insured with the Municipal
Association. The Municipal Association
handles the liability portion of it while EMC handles the physical damage
portion of it. Mr. Lemon said the
insurance committee has asked him to be prepared with some narrowed down
options at the January 2, 2018 Board Meeting. He wanted to come today to inform the Board of where he is in getting
the information requested and to let the Board know that the renewal period is
in mid-January. (Exhibit 5-c)
made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried
to adopt an Amendment to the Code of Ordinances for the City of Ocean Springs,
Mississippi Amending Chapter 11 to Prohibit Tobacco Products in Marshall
Park. Motion passes. (Exhibit 5-d)
Alderman Gill Aye
Alderman Authement Aye
Alderman Bellman Aye
Alderman Cox Aye
Alderman Papania Aye
Alderman Blackman Aye
Alderman Impey Aye
made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill to adopt a Resolution of
the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Request Local and Private Legislation
to Permit Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles on Certain Streets.
City Attorney clarified how this will work in order to get the ordinance passed
to allow these golf carts and low-speed vehicles on certain streets. The resolution, if adopted, and proposed
ordinance will be sent to the State Legislature requesting to pass local and
private legislation permitting the City to formally adopt the ordinance
pursuant to proper vote by the Board of Aldermen. The proposed ordinance is what the
legislators will use to craft the local and private legislation so even though
the ordinance is not officially passed the City will be bound by the draft
Papania invited one of his constituents to speak about some concerns he has
with this proposed ordinance.
Benton Howie, 105 Ashley Place, commented that the speed limit needs to be
increased from 30 mph to 35 mph in order to allow these vehicles on feeder
roads where the speed limit is 35 mph. Mr. Howie also said if we are going to allow golf carts and low-speed
vehicles to access the city from Gulf Hills the speed limit will need to be 35
mph in order to allow that. Mr. Howie
questioned what is the City controlling and why is the City taxing? Why is the City building a bureaucracy around
putting tags and collection fees to be able to use an electric vehicle in our
town? Mr. Howie is requesting the Board
to reconsider the taxing and stickering of these type of vehicles when we don’t
require this for any other vehicles to access the public streets of Ocean
Springs and to look at changing the speed limit to allow access to all of the
citizens of Ocean Springs.
Blackman also expressed his concerns about the speed limit and agrees it needs
to be changed to 35 mph.
Authement said he spoke to the DMV and the golf carts will not have a license
plate. Alderman Authement said there are
(2) two different types of golf carts, some with VIN numbers and some with
manufacture numbers. The stickering will
only be required for the golf carts and low-speed vehicles that have all of the
accessories of a street legal low-speed vehicle but does not require a license
tag. Alderman Authement said the fee is
not a tax but a fee only to accept the rules of the road that allow the golf
carts and low-speed vehicles on the public streets in Ocean Springs.
Gill withdraws his second on the motion to adopt a Resolution of the City of
Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Request Local and Private Legislation to Permit
Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles on Certain Streets.
made by Alderman Authement, second by Alderman Bellman to amend his motion to
adopt a Resolution of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Request Local
and Private Legislation to Permit Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles on Certain
Streets to include the request to change the speed limit from 30 mph to 35 mph. Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox,
Papania, and Blackman voting Aye and Alderman Impey voting Nay. Motion passes. (Exhibit 5-e)
Jane Beaugez came before the Board to speak about (3) three issues. The first issue is regarding the absence of
the light shining on the flag and the war memorial at Freedom Field. The second
issue is the maintenance and upkeep of Evergreen Cemetery. The third issue is the flying of the state
flag. Ms. Beaugez does not see an issue
with flying the flag.
citizens spoke against flying the state flag.
made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to
stop the Public Comment portion of the Board meeting tonight.
CONSENT AGENDA AND ADDENDUM
made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried
to approve the Consent Agenda and Addendum with the exception of Items (A-1d)
pulled by Alderman Bellman and (7-j) which was pulled by Alderman Blackman.
Bellman pulled Item (A-1d) from the addendum for clarification on probation for
an employee transferring from one department to another within the City. Alderman Bellman wanted to clarify that this
person is having to complete an additional six month probation because they are
changing positions and not because he obtained his equipment operators license.
made by Alderman Bellman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried
to accept Item (A-1d) on the addendum.
Blackman pulled Item (7-j) regarding the bid on the mini-excavator. Alderman Blackman is requesting to table item
(7-j) to allow the new administration to review the bids and confirm this is
the correct piece of equipment needed by the City.
made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to
table Item (7-j) until the new administration can review the bids.
Building Official updated the Board on Front Beach Street Lighting. The Building Official said (5) five solar
lights were secured and installed. He
said it does look better than expected. The
City Electrician has been able to repair (2) two more of the lights but will
need to have additional wires pulled on (3) three more of the lights to get
them operational. The Building Official
asked the Board how they would like to proceed with the panels, patch, and get
operational or replace one panel at a time.
Community Development and Grants Administrator stated she is working on a
mitigation project and asked the Board to be mindful of how much repair work
you do now as far as if it is reimbursable or how it might affect it. She is requesting a plan so she can try to
get funding for this project.
Blackman said if we can find other solar lights that are more aesthetically
pleasing, with the right lumens, that meet MDOT specifications, and the right
price then he would suggest we place more solar lights along Front Beach and
save the City a lot of money in the long run. (Exhibit 8-a)
Building Official wanted to discuss the roadway height clearance
requirements. The Building Official
stated the previous board adopted a height requirement of 13’6”. The Building Official stated one of the
issues when doing roadway clearances is oak tree limbs come out at an
angle. The Building Official suggests
looking at putting up some signage and trimming of limbs. His first area of concern is going to be
Porter Avenue (the parade route) because the Mardi Gras parades that start at
the end of January and again at the beginning of February. The Building Official is requesting each
alderman to notify him of any problem areas in their wards that need to be
addressed. (Exhibit 8-b)
Mayor discussed options of making the Facilities Department more
efficient. The Mayor said one option is
to make it a maintenance department under Public Works. This department would have less
responsibilities regarding set up for the rental. The Mayor mentioned the possibility of hiring
another person for maintenance. The
facilities department office would still remain at the Civic Center but they
would report to the Public Works Director.
Facilities Coordinator asked about the option of hiring a custodian and
mentioned some issues and concerns regarding the light systems, air
conditioning, and alarm systems that were brought up by the facilities
Blackman said there seems to be some miscommunication because it has never been
the Boards intention to not have staff available during the events only to stop
the staff from having to set up, break down, and cleaning of the facility.
Gill feels staff needs to be hands on at the facilities so the renter does not
damage the building, tables and chairs, or any of the equipment they use.
Community Development and Grants Administrator said the Community Center has an
Operating Plan that was a part of the restoration work approved by Archives and
History which included having someone on site at all times when rented.
Mayor said he is not prepared to take action tonight but wanted to put it on
the agenda for discussion. The Mayor
asked the Board to think about it and we will come back to it in the near
Cox updated the board about a match grant that the Mary C. O’Keefe was approved
for. The Mary C. was approved for
$100,000.00 to do repairs and maintenance on the building that will help with
programs. Alderman Cox said the match
for the grant is $25,000.00.
made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to
approve $25,000.00 pending finance committee approval of the project. The City Clerk said she feels our ending
balance is good enough to use funds from ending balance. Alderman Cox said the finance committee needs
to sit down with the Mary C. to go over stipulations of the grant. The Community Development and Grants Administrator
said the grant is to support programming so the City needs to be involved in
the scope of work.
Impey recognized Ms. Howell and told her he appreciates everything they do at
the Mary C. Ms. Howell in return thanked
the Board for all of their support.
Impey thanked all of the City employees for the work they do and wished all of
them a Merry Christmas.
made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to
go into closed session to determine the necessity of remaining in Executive
City Clerk returned to the Board Room and announced motion made by Alderman
Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to remain in
Executive Session to discuss an update on the JCUA litigation.
made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to
come out of Executive Session and return to regular meeting.
made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to
adjourn the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on January 2, 2018.
meeting ended at 8:20 p.m.
/s/ Shelly Ferguson /s/ Shea Dobson
Shelly Ferguson, City Clerk Shea Dobson, Mayor
1/17/2018 1/17/2018 Date Date