City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - June 20, 2017 - 6:00 p.m. Recess Meeting

    RECESS MEETING OF JUNE 20, 2017  

    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 June 20, 2017.  Mayor Moran presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, McDonnell, Cody, Denyer, and Impey were present.  Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.  Alderman Dalgo was absent. 

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

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

    PROCLAMATIONS

    Senator Mike Seymour presented the State of MS Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 601 to the family of MS Representative Alvin Endt. (Exhibit 3-a)

    The Mayor read a Proclamation in recognition of MS Representative Alvin Endt of Ocean Springs, MS and presented it to Representative Endt’s family. (Exhibit 3-b)

    NEW BUSINESS

    The Mayor updated the Board of Aldermen about the withdrawal of Jackson County from the Pat Harrison Waterway District and the effect it will have on the budget for future projects and reimbursement on current projects with the City. The Mayor clarified this information with the Interim Public Works Director.    The Interim Public Works Director stated there are $57,000.00 that are constructed that the city will not get reimbursed for.  He also stated there are $75,000.00 worth of reimbursement money for projects that are approved but not constructed and another $100,000.00 in projects that were scheduled to be sent to Pat Harrison.  The Interim Public Works Directed stated there is discussion with the Jackson County Board of Supervisors for them to resume the program under the county and not through Pat Harrison.  The county is going to form a similar program so the cities in the county can apply for assistance from Jackson County.  Alderman Impey spoke to Supervisor Ross and was told the county will make sure the City of Ocean Springs is reimbursed for the projects.  It is the county’s intention to deduct that amount owed to the City from the amount the county owes Pat Harrison. Alderman Impey was also told it was a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors and of unanimous opinion that this program will work out better for the local drainage projects and the reimbursement process. (Exhibit 4-a)

    The Mayor thanked Mr. Ken Papania for serving as our representative for so many years on Pat Harrison Waterway District.

    OLD BUSINESS 

    The Mayor discussed the cost estimate to replace the roofs on the Dewey Avenue Substation and Ocean Springs Library.  The Mayor has explored the possibility of engaging with the MS Development Authority Energy Division to apply for a low interest loan for an energy saving roof system.  The Grant and Planning Administrator spoke to Mr. Spears with MDA about putting together a package to replace other energy savings aspects for the Ocean Springs Library such as air conditioning, retrofit the lighting, and a pitched roof.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said an energy study will be put together for the Ocean Springs Library building that will include the roof to help offset the cost.

    The best alternative for the roof on the Dewey Avenue Substation would be a pitched roof.  The quote presented is for a single-ply membrane over a tapered system which has a small pitch.  The Mayor stated 2% funding can be used for the Dewey Avenue Substation because this building is also used as a recreation facility for dance classes.

    The City Hall roof is secure for now.

    Alderman Gill is requesting the City Clerk to look into financing through the 2% funds to present to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  The Board is requesting to go with the retrofit roof system which means it will be a pitched roof system with a lightweight structural frame.  This will be a tapered slope roof built on top of the existing roof at a cost of $129,000.00.  The Mayor asked Joey Duggan, Compton Engineering, to finish the design for the roof so we can obtain quotes. (Exhibit 5-a)

    The Building Official gave an update on the property located at 210 Mitchell Street.  This property is currently under contract.  The purchaser of the property has a time frame and a schedule of repairs in place.  The Building Official is requesting to let the seller/purchaser to execute their contract and he will keep track of the progress on the property.

    Motion was made by Alderman Denyer, seconded by Alderman McDonnell and unanimously carried to rescind the prior motion which was to revisit the progress made in two (2) weeks to show that a contract is in place and if no progress is made than a Public Hearing will be rescheduled at that time. (Exhibit 5-c)

    The Mayor continued the discussion of the work program for the homeless modeled after the "Better Way” program in Albuquerque, NM.  The Mayor presented a short video on the "Better Way” program to give the Board a better understanding of the program.  The Mayor is suggesting to start a pilot program by making a grant of $10,000.00 to a non-profit agency to cover the cost to pick up four (4) homeless people two (2) morning a week to assist the City’s Public Works Department in blowing leaves off the sidewalks, pulling weeds, and pick up trash for six (6) months to see how successful the program is.  The non-profit organization would be responsible for disbursing the funds to the individuals.

    The City Attorney stated there are still liability and finance issues that need to be addressed.  The City is only able to match donations made to the non-profit organization receives.  The City Attorney said there will have to be an accounting trail to verify the City is only matching the amount the non-profit receives in donations and an account for the work that is being provided to the City in return.  The City can donate in-kind matching donations to the non-profit organization or the City is able to donate a van only after it has been declared as surplus.  If the City chooses to keep ownership of the van then the City would be responsible for maintaining the insurance on the vehicle.

    Alderman McDonnell would like to let the new board decide.  Alderman McDonnell’s recommendation to pass an ordinance of said amount pending verification of donations received.

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Ms. Beverly Agar, resident of Colonial Estates Subdivision, came forward to discuss the water well situation in Colonial Estates.  Ms. Agar said they have been fighting for years to get off a community well that is well over 50 years old.  She has copies of articles stating they have applied for grants and been denied.

    They Mayor stated she has been in contact with Lana Hawkins with the Colonial Estates Homeowners Association to let her know funding is in place.  The City has committed $10,000.00 and the County has approximately $10,000.00 to extend the water line to connect to our system around Tapp Road.  The City would sell water to Colonial Estates on a flow meter.  The Mayor said there will be a Memorandum of Agreement between the Colonial Estates Homeowners Association and the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi agreeing to pay the monthly fee for the water.

    The Interim Public Works Director met with the residents of Colonial Estates and let them know the City would not be taking over the distribution system but the City would bring a new line down and hook it into their distribution system. 

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to have the City Attorney draft a contract so the City can get Colonial Estates Subdivision supplied with City water for five (5) years.

    Ms. Melanie Allen, representative from HOSA was asked to express sincere thanks to the mayor and Board of Aldermen for their service and appreciation for all the support they gave to HOSA.

    Syrus Romoser, representative from Casula, LLC, came forward to discuss the property located at 1112 Turner Avenue that is set for demolition.  Mr. Romoser stated the property was under contract between Casula, LLC and Barry Carl Willard when he learned it was scheduled for demolition.  Mr. Romoser presented a three (3) step plan for repairing the property that will be completed within sixty (60) days from closing.  Mr. Romoser stated the intent for the property is to bring the property up to code.  Casula, LLC is a property management group that would rent it as residential or as commercial property.

    Alderman McDonnell stated this property has been an eye sore for years.  Alderman McDonnell is asking for a safeguard within this agreement to state that if any of the past deficiencies arise with this property than the process to demolish the property will move forward.

    Motion made by Alderman Denyer, seconded by Alderman McDonnell to suspend the motion for sixty (60) days to review and if no progress is made than the Board of Aldermen will have the option to tear it down or if satisfied with the progress than the Board of Alderman can rescind the prior motion that was previously made.  Mr. Romoser stated there is a federal tax lien on the property that has to be settled prior to closing on the property.

    Shea Dobson, Mayor elect, expressed his excitement to work with Aldermen Gill, Cox, and Impey.  Mr. Dobson also publically thanked Mayor Moran, Aldermen McDonnell, Cody, Denyer and Dalgo for their hard work, dedication, and passion for the City of Ocean Springs.

    Mr. Bill Moore, 257 Holcomb Blvd., thanked the outgoing board members for their service.  Mr. Moore asked the new board to keep the pilot program for the "Better Way” program in mind and looks forward to hearing what ideas they may have to help solve this problem.        

    Melissa Johnson, 1211 Lancelot Lane, thanked the board for their service.  Ms. Johnson stated it is not a crime or a sin to be homeless.  Ms. Johnson stated she knows a group of churches have gathered to discuss this problem.  Ms. Johnson feels if the City has a matching opportunity the churches would step up to help.

    Cynthia Sutton, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Mainstreet Tourism Bureau, thanked the outgoing Mayor and Board of Aldermen for all the partnering and support they have given to the Chamber over the years.  Mrs. Sutton is looking to forward to continue working with the new board.  Mrs. Sutton told the Mayor and Board that the Chamber recently won an outstanding marketing award for the State of Mississippi.

    CONSENT AGENDA and ADDENDUM

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

    Alderman Impey pulled items (i, o and t).  The Mayor pulled item (A-1a) to update the Board of Aldermen.

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the consent agenda and addendum except for items (A-1a, i, o, and t).

    The Mayor pulled the Proclamation of a Local Emergency, item (A-1a) to ask the EOC Director to give an update on Tropical Storm Cindy.  The EOC Director said 6” of rain is expected but not a lot of wind expected.  The storm is currently projected to go into the Texas, Louisiana line.  The Mayor is urging the public to call 911 if there are any trees down especially if they hit any power lines.

    Alderman Impey verified that the Harbor Master would be securing the kayak launch at the harbor.

    Alderman Impey pulled item (i) and deferred to Alderman Cody update the Board on the final plan for the Party at the Lawn at Seaside and Fireworks show scheduled for July 1, 2017 on east Beach.  Alderman Cody stated the initial plan was to have six (6) police officers to control traffic.  Alderman Cody stated that one (1) lane of traffic can remain open.  Alderman Cody’s recommendation, pending the Coast Guard’s approval for boats passing in and out to be escorted.

    The Fire Chief recommend the beach area be closed when the fireworks arrive on site.  The Fire Chief also states the safety zone is an issue and recommends they use the orange fencing instead of the caution tape.

    The City Attorney stated the Attorney General’s opinion is a private security cannot stop traffic or a pedestrian from entering public property.

    Alderman Denyer agrees to let the event happen.  Alderman Denyer supports the event and feels the fire department needs to help support the event and six (6) police officers are to work the event. 

    Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Denyer to approve the event contingent upon approval from all authorities to include the a-f conditions.  Aldermen Gill, McDonnell, Cody, Cox, Denyer voting Aye and Alderman Impey voting Nay.  Motion passed. (Exhibit 7-i)

    a)   Road closed only during the loading in of the fireworks and a window of ten (10) minutes before and after the fireworks show

    b)  A written plan must be submitted no later than noon on June 26, 2017 and agreed upon by the Fire Chief and the Police Chief

    c)   The Fire Department and Police Department are responsible for securing the area of the beach to be considered the safety zone and to aid all children and adults crossing the street not in the safety zone

    d)  The Fire Department is to be paid the same as the Police Department

    e)   The Hold Harmless Agreement must be signed by all property owners applying for the permit

    f)    The Permit applicants are required to clean up the beach after the event

    Motion was made by Alderman Denyer, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept item (A-1a).

    Alderman Impey pulled item (o) to discuss the status of going out for requests for proposals for IT.  The City Clerk requested the board to wait to replace the current IT company with all of the current changes taking place.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman McDonnell and unanimously carried to accept the resignation of the IT Administrator and to instruct the City Attorney to draft a RFQ to allow individuals and IT firms to submit qualifications. (Exhibit 7-o)

    Alderman Impey pulled item (t) and referred to the Human Resource Director for discussion.  The Human Resource director is asking the Board to accept the resignation of the Mayor’s secretary, approval to begin the process to fill the position of Executive Assistant to the Mayor and request to hire a temp in the interim.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to accept item (t) and allow to hire a temp in the interim. (Exhibit 7-t)

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    Mayor:

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to pull item (8-b) on the guidance of the City Attorney and ask that this not be addressed and if any statements are made let it be known it is a personal opinion and doesn’t reflect the policy of the Board of Aldermen or the City of Ocean Springs. (Exhibit 8-b)

    The Mayor provided a summary of near-term projects for the incoming Board as a transition.  The Mayor stated it is a summary of needs discussed at the Department Head meeting.  The Mayor said this should help the incoming Board know what items need to be considered for the upcoming budget including staff, equipment, and projects for each department.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to make this near-term projects and programs summary a part of the minutes and to provide a copy to the incoming Mayor and Board of Aldermen. (Exhibit 8-a)

    Community Development and Planning:

    Alderman Cox asked the Planning and Grants Administrator to update the Board on the parking issue with the YMCA.  The Planning and Grants Administrator updated the Board on a request and sketch for a parking expansion on the west side of Forest Hill Drive received from the YMCA.  The Planning and Grants Administrator met with the Interim Public Works Director and they feel there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed and get approval for.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said that three (3) parallel spaces and 50% of the perpendicular spaces are in the public right-of-way.  The City will consider this request as an application for a License to Encroach with conditions to include repair of the parking lot if the 12” sewer line that runs underneath the proposed parking area needs repairs.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to accept the parking plan and allow for a License to Encroach providing that the final design includes: each of the perpendicular spaces have a parking bumper, all striping as required by Public Works, provisions are made to replace the meter boxes with traffic rated boxes where required, handicap parking in order to be ADA compliant and include input from the residents of Forest Hill Subdivision.

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

    Alderman Denyer thanked all of the employees who worked so hard for so little.  Alderman Denyer encouraged the new board to pay competitive wages for all employees.  Alderman Denyer recommends putting the two (2) mils back to fund the city properly.

    Alderman Denyer left the meeting.

    Alderman Gill talked about the four (4) alderman who are coming off the board and thanked them for all of their work and love for the City.  Alderman Gill stated the hardest years were right after Hurricane Katrina.  He commented on how successful the Board was on getting the City back to where it is today.

    Alderman McDonnell thanked Alderman Impey for signing the MS Power LED street lighting retrofit agreement to complete this project in Ward 2. 

    Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to purchase a barricade from Buy-A-Barricade up to $370.00 out of the remaining funds in his Ward 2 account.

    Alderman McDonnell congratulated all the newly elected officials, thanked the city employees for their hard work, thanked the volunteers who give of their time freely, thanked the Chamber of Commerce, the church community, the citizens of Ward 2 for trusting him for twenty-four (24) years, his wife and two (2) children for allowing him to miss school and family functions, and he also thanked the Mayor and Board of Alderman.  He told Mayor Moran that she has done a lot of good things over the twelve (12) he has served with her even though he may not have always agreed on her philosophy.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to reserve November 4 and 5, 2017 for the Peter Anderson Festival.

    Alderman Cody thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication.  Alderman Cody stated he has enjoyed working the festivals.  He stated the he was very fortunate to work the all the city staff.

    Alderman Cox thanked the outgoing Board for allowing him to serve with them and help teach him.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to forego the annual raise for the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

    Alderman Impey stated he enjoyed serving and learning from the outgoing members of the board.  Alderman Impey stated he learned a lot from Alderman Cody about festivals and events that go on downtown and from Alderman Dalgo about figures and budgets who taught him a lot on the Finance Committee.  He commented that he is looking forward to working with the new board, same dedicated employees and looks forward to accomplishing a lot in the future with the new board.

    Alderman Impey asked for an update on information regarding the Singing River light survey.  The Mayor said Buck Williams is the new general manager.  Mr. Williams told the Mayor that Singing River does not have an LED option at this time.

    The Mayor read a statement regarding allegations made to the Board by Mr. Andre’ Kaufman.

    The Mayor expressed her sincere gratitude to the citizens of Ocean Springs, to all city employees, and to each of the members of the Board of Aldermen past and present with whom she has served since 2005.  The Mayor said it has been her honor and privilege to serve the citizens of our lovely town.  She stated it has been challenging and rewarding endeavor of her life. The Mayor also said it was gratifying to be on the team to create great new public space for the residents and visitors.  She wished the new administration the very best of success and wished the departing aldermen a bright future and thanked all of them for their service and for making Ocean Springs the jewel of the coast.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman McDonnell to adjourn the meeting until July 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

    The meeting ended at 8:48 p.m.

     

    /s/ Shelly Ferguson                                    /s/ Shea Dobson    

    City Clerk                                                     Mayor

    7/19/2017                                         7/19/2017

    Date                                                              Date

     

    **Minutes signed and approved by the new Mayor and Board of Aldermen