City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - July 2, 2019 - 6:00 pm Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 2, 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 July 2, 2019. The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Authement, Bellman, Cox, Blackman and Impey were present.  Also present were City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi. Aldermen Gill and Papania were absent.

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    Chic Cody gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.


    ADDENDUM

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


    NEW BUSINESS

    The City Planner presented an amendment to the UDC sign regulations and said it is specifically for hospitals and medical campuses. Currently hospitals and medical campuses are categorized as a retail or office building but they have unique needs for directional signage that are being addressed in this proposal. The proposal is to have the regulations more similar with a big box retailers and shopping centers; with free standing signs, wall signs and directional signs.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox and seconded by Alderman Authement to adopt an ordinance; an amendment to the Unified Development Code for the City of Ocean Springs, MS amending Chapter 8 regarding signs permitted in commercial and industrial districts (Exhibit 3-a). The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows: 
     
       Alderman Gill                      Absent
       Alderman Authement          Aye
       Alderman Bellman              Aye   
       Alderman Cox                     Aye
       Alderman Papania               Absent
       Alderman Blackman            Aye
       Alderman Impey                  Aye

    Eric Page introduced himself to the Mayor and the Board as the new Executive Director for Jackson County Utility Authority. He said to contact him with any issues or questions and that he is looking forward to serving Ocean Springs.

    Alderman Authement requested that the Aldermen be prepared to vote at the recess meeting for Debris Monitoring proposals. The information will be in the Mayor’s office for the Aldermen to review at their convenience.

    The Mayor said in his opinion, committees serve a great purpose and are beneficial to the Board and the City. Alderman Blackman agreed and said it was a hasty decision to remove the committees previously. Alderman Impey agreed and said committees help streamline the processes. Alderman Authement said he thinks that previously there were too many new board members and some Aldermen felt like they were left out and not informed but now will feel more comfortable with committees. Alderman Cox said that both Finance and HR committees should be reinstated. Alderman Blackman agreed and said that all Aldermen need to be present for the appointments to the committees. Alderman Bellman confirmed that information would be given to the other Aldermen not on the committees. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to reinstate the Finance Committee and the Human Resources Committee.


    CONSENT AGENDA

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except items 4-o, 4-q, 4-r, and A-1c.

    Alderman Authement asked to table item 4-q, use permit for multi-function event center at 1512 Government Street, until the August 6, 2019 meeting.

    Alderman Bellman asked about a specific situation on the Tree Committee minutes on item 4-r, regarding 436 Whispering Pines Drive. Mr. Newman Smith, 434 Whispering Pines spoke as to why he wants his neighbor’s trees removed. The Board advised him that it is civil matter and not for the Board of Aldermen to decide. Mr. Phil Seymour, 436 Whispering Pines Drive, said that he did agree to remove two trees to appease his neighbor, a Sycamore and a Water Oak tree but did not agree to remove the Live Oak trees. He claims that Mr. Smith changed his diagram and resubmitted it to the Tree Committee with the Live Oak trees changed to Water Oak trees. He also claims that Mr. Smith said the Board gave him permission to cut any tree he wants from Mr. Seymour’s property including two Live Oaks on the opposite side of his property. The Mayor again said that this is a civil matter. Motion was made by Alderman Bellman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the Tree Protection Committee meeting minutes from June 25, 20019 (Exhibit 4-r)

    Alderman Cox asked the Planning & Grants Administrator about the progress of the Living Shoreline. She responded that the advertisement will be scheduled once the clearance of permits are received. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to authorize to Execute Tidelands Lease Agreement – DMR Tidelands FY18-P501-05OS OS Front Beach Living Shoreline (Exhibit 4-o).

    Alderman Impey said the day needs to be changed on item A-1c from Saturday to Thursday. Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to change the day from Saturday to Thursday, July 4, 2019 for the Wesson 2 mile run and approve the Run/Walk Permit (Exhibit A-1c).

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims; the Board finds that all expenditures are appropriate and authorized by law (Exhibit 5-a).

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the budget report (Exhibit 5-b).

    The City Clerk explained the presented budget amendments report. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the budget amendments (Exhibit 5-c).

    Police Chief Dunston serves as our representative as the Commissioner on the Jackson County Emergency Telecommunications Board and he updated the Board of Aldermen on the need for a county wide 911 radio system purchase to ensure emergency communications in Jackson County always work properly. He gave a history of the emergency communications systems in Jackson County and Mississippi. He said that the Wireless Communication Commission has been tabling the going forward with the county wide 911 radio system.  He asked that the Board of Aldermen support his effort at the next WCC meeting Thursday, July 11th in Jackson, MS.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the Contract Agreement between Jackson County Civic Action Committee and the MS Gulf Coast YMCA (Exhibit 5-e).

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to authorize Compton Engineering, Inc. to advertise for the MLK Park Shade Structure Project (Exhibit A – 2a).


    PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Katie Yow, 1219 Parktown Drive, said she appreciates the ditch being cut recently but it is unable to drain out because cuttings were thrown back into ditch. During the last heavy rain, her road flooded up to four feet into her yard. She showed pictures of the ditch and water in her yard but when the Mayor asked for the pictures she only allowed the photos to be viewed not kept. The Planning & Grants Administrator replied that the area she is discussing is included in a grant fund and clearing is the next step forward.

    Phil Seymour, 436 Whispering Pines Drive, asked about his recourse for his neighbor blowing leaves in his yard for over 15 years, and was told that it is a civil matter. He also said that he has been taking notes on his calendar and recently made a note that he is in fear for his life from his neighbor. It was advised for him to discuss his concerns with the Police Department.


    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

    Alderman Authement asked about the progress on the lights on Government Street. Alderman Cox replied that the City Electrician was scheduled to review since the cost estimate from Mississippi Power was high. The Public Works Assistant Director said he would follow up with the City Electrician. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to waive the rental fees for the Community Center on August 5, 2019 at 5:30 to have a community supper, hosted by the Water Anderson Museum of Art which is a 501(c)(3) organized under Mississippi law. 

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to waive fees for the rental of available city facilities for Comeback Coolers packing assembly for natural disasters as needed from July 2 until December 31, 2019; Comeback Coolers is a 501(c)(3) organized under Mississippi law.

    Alderman Bellman asked the Mayor if the resident of 1910 Stuart Avenue had contacted him about the need for a street light. The Mayor responded yes, that he notified Mississippi Power.

    Alderman Cox requested that Public Works grass cutters, edge Government Street from Holcomb Blvd to Downtown.

    Alderman Blackman said that the sidewalks on the East end of the City are in need of grass edging attention also. The Public Works Assistant Director replied they have been short equipment and manpower.

    Alderman Impey reminded everyone about the City Fireworks show Wednesday, July 3, 2019, starting around 7:00 p.m. with music and the fireworks will begin approximately at 8:45 p.m. The Police Chief added that there will be one way parking facing East on the seawall side at both Front Beach and East Beach, and that violators will be towed. Also, some other city employees will be utilized for traffic control rather than Police officers. Alderman Cox requested that Parks & Recreation have an employee at Fort Maurepas to help with the bathrooms. The Mayor said he will request Port-o-lets from Waste Pro for the event.
     

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, 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 Impey, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss the Fire Chief vacancy with Civil Service Commission and litigation on Nercado and Cheney.

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

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on July 16, 2019.


    Meeting ended at 7:52 p.m.

    _/s/Patty Gaston _________                     __/s/Shea Dobson_________
    City Clerk                                                 Mayor

    _August 6, 2019__________                   _August 6, 2019__________
    Date                                                          Date