City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - February 5, 2019 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 5, 2019  

    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Regular meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 6:00 p.m. on February 5, 2019.  The Mayor 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.

    Mr. Carl King gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

    PROCLAMATION

    The Mayor read a proclamation for Judge Mestayer and presented him with a key to the city. Alderman Gill presented Judge Mestayer with a plaque for his service to the city (Exhibit 3-a).

    The Mayor read a proclamation proclaiming February 28, 2019 as Rare Disease day presented to Dona and Levi Krystosek (Exhibit 3-b). Alderman Impey and the Mayor then presented Levi Krystosek, "Little Levi”, with a proclamation for his contributions to Ocean Springs and a key to the city.

    The American Heart Association presentation was removed by Alderman Blackman who said that the AHA representative had an emergency and could not be present.

    ADDENDUM

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

    OLD BUSINESS

    City Attorney stated that the notification of increased fees for solid waste were advertised in local paper for three weeks. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to adopt resolution of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to adopt increased solid waste fees (Exhibit 5-a).

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to authorize the Mayor to execute the city of Ocean Springs contract for solid waste services with Waste Pro of Mississippi, Inc. (Exhibit 5-b)

    The City Attorney discussed the AT&T proposal stating that within 90 days of signing to pay $60,000 back rent and pay $800.00 monthly rent for the cell tower for a five year term. Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to execute the Land Lease Agreement and Memorandum of Lease for AT&T Police Station Cell Tower (Exhibit 5-c).

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to adopt a resolution of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to accept a vehicle from Jackson County (Exhibit 5-d).

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to execute the lease renewal with Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc. for 1491 Deana Road for $700.00 a month expiring December 31, 2019 (Exhibit 5-e).

    The Building Official discussed the 876 crepe myrtles on Highway 90 maintenance and quotes received. He said they are looking to remove trees that have shifted to be in the middle of the drainage way and those within fifteen feet of the light poles. The Alderman asked that the Building Official and the Mayor meet with the approved company to go over the exact scope of work to be completed. Alderman Gill stated he was concerned about the work taking place at high traffic times. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to award the contract of the Crepe Myrtle tree maintenance to King’s Sprinkler Systems, Inc. (Exhibit A-1a).

    Jason Overstreet discussed the quotes received for the Dog Park construction which are divided into 8 packages (Exhibit A-1b). The current quotes do not include restrooms. Alderman Impey discussed how the Dog Park has exponentially grown in cost. The Mayor agreed and said he has plans to try to get private donations to help with the cost. Motion was made by Alderman Cox and seconded by Alderman Papania to accept the lowest bidder on each section of work for the Dog Park. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, and Papania voting aye and Aldermen Blackman and Impey voting nay.

    NEW BUSINESS

    The Mayor spoke positively about AVL’s previous audit and recommended to appoint AVL for FY 17-18 audit. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to appoint Alexander, Van Loon, Sloan, Levens, Favre, PLLC (AVL) as the City Auditor for FY 17-18 (Exhibit 6-a).

    Linda Cox spoke on behalf of the Feral Feline Coalition nonprofit and said that in 2018 they spent $12,000 in Ocean Springs, fixing 228 community cats and giving shots.  Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to execute memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Ocean Springs and the Feral Feline Coalition of Ocean Springs (FFC) regarding the trapping and releasing of feral cats at Fort Maurepas (Exhibit 6-b).

    The Building Official said that one of the adjacent property owners of the easement adjacent to 125 and 129 Holcomb Blvd. complained about a leaning water oak over her house. Research verified, the easement does belong to the city. He is asking the boards permission to remove the tree per the city ordinance. Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to authorize tree removal in the easement adjacent to 125 and 129 Holcomb Blvd. (Exhibit 6-c)

    The Mayor opened the discussion of the appeal of Planning Commission denial of The Sands Townhouse Development sketch plat (Appeal - Exhibit 6-d) (Planning Commission – Exhibit 6-d1). Each party had one representative address the board for a time limit of five minutes. Leonard Blackwell, representing the neighbors, spoke against the Sands Project. He asked that a letter sent to the board dated January 14, 2019 be added as an exhibit and spread upon the minutes (Exhibit 6-d2). Donovan Scruggs, representing The Sands Development, spoke in favor of the project and explained that it complies with the ordinance as townhomes.

    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 a motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss possible litigation for The Sands Project. Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to come out of executive session.

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement and seconded by Alderman Bellman to override the Planning Commission denial of The Sands Townhouse Development sketch plat; the sketch plat is compliant with the zoning ordinances; the development qualifies as a group housing project; the housing units as arranged on the sketch plat will not destroy the intent and purpose of the subdivision regulations. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, Papania and Blackman voting aye and Alderman Impey voting nay.

    CONSENT AGENDA

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except item (w), which was removed by Alderman Blackman.

    Alderman Blackman asked about the tree at 132 Colmer Circle (Exhibit 6-w). He would like to explore other options and exhaust all efforts with a report from Public Works before moving forward. He would like for item 6 regarding the tree at 132 Colmer Circle to be tabled. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to accept the Tree Protection Committee meeting minutes from January 22, 2019 excluding item 6, 132 Colmer Circle.


    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims (Exhibit 8-a).

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept the monthly budget report (Exhibit 8b).

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to adjust the water/sewer accounts listed on Exhibit 8-c because we find the customers did not receive the benefit of the utility and the excess usages were due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the budget amendments (Exhibit 8-d).

    The City Engineer discussed suspending the contract time on the Cured In Place (CIPP) Lining Sewer Rehabilitation 2018 project with Suncoast Infrastructure effective December 11, 2018 until the City completes repair work on sewer lines and Suncoast is notified to resume work on contract (Exhibit 8-e); repairs need to be completed by the city before they continue their work. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve item 8-e; suspending the contract time on the Cured In Place (CIPP) Lining Sewer Rehabilitation 2018 project with Suncoast Infrastructure effective December 11, 2018 until the City completes repair work on sewer lines and Suncoast is notified to resume work on contract.

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Joanna Worch addressed the Board saying she is frustrated and saddened by the Boards approval of The Sands project stating it doesn’t fit the character of Ocean Springs and she believes it is against the city’s rules and regulations.

    James Lewis said that he thinks $160,000 for a Dog Park is ludicrous when MLK Park is in desperate need of updates and repairs. When other larger cities along the Gulf Coast have built dog parks for much less. Other parks need attention and our children should be our focus.

    Mike Illanne said he was disappointed in The Sands decision. He said he felt the decision sent strong signals to the community that they can rely on the city to enforce its ordinances and the property owners will suffer the consequences of developer’s mistakes or omissions. Until the city is willing to take a stand and enforce the ordinances, there will not be an efficient or timely resolution of this matter.

    Stacey Green said she lives directly across from The Sands Development and wants the Board to have accountability to the residents and constituents regarding the laws they are under oath to uphold.

    Greg Gipson echoed James Lewis’s remarks on the Dog Park and other parks in the city. He feels like Dog Park is not the best use of tax dollars. The Police department, Fire department, and our children should be taken care of first.

    Rodney Lancaster is a local business owner and would like to see Washington Avenue closed for various special events when Government Street is closed.

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

    Alderman Gill asked the Parks & Recreation Director about a 110 outlet at the Fort Bayou Children’s Park. She said that she previously responded by email that it would require the city’s Electrician. The Public Works Director expressed his concern that if electricity is at the parks, the homeless population at the parks would increase. He said he would look into outlets at Fort Bayou Children’s Park and Trentwood Park.

    Alderman Gill asked the Building Official about complaints regarding the pool at 105 Penny Circle. The Building Official said he would move on to the next step of the violation process.

    Alderman Authement verified that bounce houses are not allowed on public property and expressed concern with outlets being added to parks, would become an avenue for bounce houses to be at parks. He also asked the Parks & Recreation Director and the Mayor if one day this week they could go to Fort Maurepas to look at stage area for wires, lights and outlet covers that need repair. They agreed to meet at 8:30 a.m. on Friday.

    Alderman Bellman asked the Parks & Recreation Director if there is one more room for the 3-D school to utilize in the Taconi building so that they can continue to grow and not leave Ocean Springs. She responded that she has been working with the director of the 3-D school to accommodate them. 

    Alderman Papania requested two 30 mph speed limit signs and one "children at play” sign added to Holcomb Blvd. Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to direct Public Works to install two 30mph speed limit sign and one "children at play” sign on Holcomb Blvd.

    Alderman Papania expressed concern that the agenda packet is too large and would like to see it reduced by using summaries. He also discussed Barbara Circle paving and asked the Public Works Director to upgrade the importance of getting the drainage issues completed before paving. He also asked the Mayor to follow up with MS Power for the LED change out project and to provide an update.

    Alderman Blackman discussed Jeepin’ the Coast and their request of $2,500.00 to include Ocean Springs in their event schedule. Jackson County has agreed to help fund this project as a way to promote Jackson County cities. He asked the City Attorney to write a resolution. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to request funds from Jackson County for Jeepin’ the Coast for $2,500.00.

    Alderman Blackman received permission to form a community committee to start the planning process for a New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and festivities downtown. He has already consulted with the Police Chief and will keep all informed as the process moves forward.

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, 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 a motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the City Clerk’s Office.

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill and seconded by Alderman Blackman to approve Ryheen Brown for the position of Purchasing – Accounting Assistant at the pay rate of $33,386 annually. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Cox, Blackman and Impey voting aye and Aldermen Papania and Bellman voting nay.

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

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on February 19, 2019. 

    Meeting ended at 8:27 p.m.


    ___/s/Patty Gaston_______                     ____/s/ Shea Dobson______ 
    City Clerk                                                  Mayor

    __2/19/19______________                     __2/19/19_______________
    Date                                                          Date