City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - June 7, 2017 Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF JUNE 7, 2017

    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 June 7, 2017.  The Mayor 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.

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

    ADDENDUM

    The Mayor requested to add an item under Old Business to the Addendum to discuss the homeless situation in Ocean Springs.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to add the item regarding the homeless in Ocean Springs to the Addendum under Old Business and to add the addendum to the agenda.                

    The Mayor congratulated Mr. Gill and everyone who prevailed in the election.  The Mayor congratulated the mayor elect, Shea Dobson, and invited him to the Economic Development Council meeting on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. to meet the members of the council and get caught up on some of the ideas they have for economic development projects moving forward.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Rhonda Price, Department of Marine Resources, presented the city with two (2) entry way signs designating Ocean Springs as part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area.  Ms. Price commented that this is a special designation that was received through a Congressional Legislation that set six (6) coastal counties as part of the Heritage Area through the National Park Service.  The Mayor stated there are three (3) points of entry and requested a third sign.  Ms. Price said she would get us a third sign (Exhibit 4-a)

    PUBLIC HEARINGS

    Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to enter into public hearing regarding the lot cleaning at the property located at 414 Russell Avenue owned by Lelia Mae Ryan.

    The Building Official stated the occupant of the property at 414 Russell Avenue is deceased. The Building Official and Code Enforcement Officers have tried effortlessly to find family members for this property by posting notices and advertising.  The Building Official is asking permission to obtain quotes to clean and secure the property.

    The Mayor asked if there were any opponents against the lot cleaning.  No one came forward.

    Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to come out of Public Hearing.

    Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the recommendation of the Building Official to clean and secure the property located at 414 Russell Avenue due to the property being a menace to the public health safety and the welfare of the community. (Exhibit 3-b)

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to enter into public hearing regarding the lot cleaning at the property located at 210 Mitchell Street owned by Andrew J. Tucker, Jr.

    The Building Official stated he had received a complaint in December 2, 2016.  The Building Official went by the property and saw holes in the roof and an addition has been added to the back of the house that has not been completed.  The Building Official stated no permits are on file for any of the work that has been done on the inside or outside of the home.  The house does currently have power but it does not have water or sewer which according to the ordinance makes the house uninhabitable. The Building Official is recommending to obtain quotes to have this structure removed due to public health and safety issues.

    The Mayor asked if there are any opponents against the lot cleaning.  No one came forward.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to come out of Public Hearing.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to accept the recommendation of the Building Official to move forward in securing quotes to remove the structure located at 210 Mitchell Street due to the condition of the structure being a menace to public health and safety.

    OLD BUSINESS

    The Mayor discussed the homeless situation along the coast.  The Mayor stated she has met with different Homeless Coalition representatives along the Coast as well as Living Well Ministries and a couples of ministers.  The Homeless Coalition has a new program they have received a grant for that will allow them to pay rent for a house or an apartment up to fair market rate.  The Mayor stated she has talked to the city attorney about a program that she has seen in other cities where the city makes a donation to a non-profit organization that has a van.  This organization would then designate someone to go around and pick up approximately 4 – 5 of the homeless on the street and bring them to work at our public works department blowing leaves off the sidewalks, pulling weeds, or picking up trash for 4 – 5 hours a day.  The city would have to pay them $8.00 to $10.00 an hour which would be paid to them through the non-profit organization.  Then the city could bring them to Lord is My Help for lunch during the hours they are working.

    The Mayor wants to ask the Board to consider donating $10,000.00 to start a pilot program to help the homeless community.  The Mayor stated if the Board is interested in this concept she will approach some of the non-profit organizations for more details.

    Alderman Impey stated he wants more information from the non-profit organization and the city attorney before any action is taken.

    Alderman Cody asked the City Attorney to return to the Board in two weeks with a recommendation.

    PUBLIC HEARING – Continued

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to go back into Public Hearing to discuss the property located at 210 Mitchell Street.

    Mr. Andrew Tucker, Jr., owner of the property located at 210 Mitchell Street, did not hear the Mayor ask for any opponents to speak about this property and asked for the opportunity to speak against the lot cleaning.  Mr. Tucker stated the Board has been misled on the information presented by the Building Official.  Mr. Tucker said he did obtain permits for this work right after Hurricane Katrina. He stated someone broke into the property and stole his equipment and that is the reason he has not been back to complete the job.  Mr. Tucker said he has someone interested in purchasing the property.

    Mrs. Cheryl Shook, 2519 Camino Grande in Gautier, MS, stood up and stated she is interested in purchasing the property located at 210 Mitchell Street from Mr. Tucker.  Mrs. Shook stated the contract is currently under review and that once the contract is agreed upon they should be able to close on the property in thirty (30) days.

    Alderman Denyer asked what they could accomplish in two (2) weeks to ensure that Mr. Tucker is able to sell the house to the company and satisfy the Board that progress is being made.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to come out of Public Hearing.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to rescind the prior motion made to remove the structure located at 210 Mitchell Street.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to revisit the progress made in two (2) weeks to show there is a contract in place and if no progress is made than a Public Hearing will be rescheduled at that time. (Exhibit 3-c)

    The Public Hearing for the property located at 110 Yellowstone Circle was pulled from the agenda.  The Building Official was contacted and informed that the owners of the property were coming in town to clean the property. (Exhibit 3-a)

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    Mr. John McKay thanked the Mayor and Board of Alderman for their years of service and everything they have done.  He enjoyed working with all of the Alderman as a Supervisor and wished all of them the best.

    Rev. Carl King invited the Mayor and Board of Alderman to the American Legion ribbon cutting scheduled for June 13, 2017 at 10:00 am at the Taconi Building.  

    CONSENT AGENDA and ADDENDUM

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of item (l) and (A-1d) which were pulled by Alderman Cox.

    Alderman Cox pulled item (7-l) to request waiting to hiring for this position until the new Board takes office.  The Human Resource Director stated she would like the current Human Resource Assistant to train the new hire in this position.

    Alderman Cox pulled item (A-1d) to ask to City Clerk if this position could wait until the new Board takes office.  The City Clerk stated she currently has two (2) openings in the court department so she feels it is critical to hire for this position.  The City Clerk is currently working court every Wednesday to fill one of the positions.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to hold item (l) until the new Board takes office.

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

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    City Clerk:

    The City Clerk stated she needs a budget amendment in the amount of $30,000.00 to allow the Fire Department to purchase a set of Jaws of Life.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to approve the budget amendment to purchase a set of Jaws of Life with purchasing options to be reviewed by the finance committee for approval.      

    ALDERMEN’S FORUM

    Alderman Impey thanked the Mayor and Aldermen Denyer, Dalgo, Cody and McDonnell for their service and stated he enjoyed working with all of them and is looking forward to working with the new Board.    

    Alderman Denyer would like to ask that Alderman elect Ken Papania be considered for the Finance Committee and he is looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the City and wished the new Board the best of luck.

    Alderman Cox also thanked the Mayor and Board of Alderman for their service.  He stated he has learned a lot from each of them and will miss working with them.              

    Alderman Cox asked the Parks and Leisure Services Director if she has talked to Mr. Rigby about the swing the Knights of Columbus wanted to purchase for the City.  The Parks and Leisure Services Director said she was working with Disability Connections to see if there was another piece of equipment the City could purchase instead of the swing the money was intended for.  The City Clerk stated the money had already been refunded to the Knight of Columbus.

    Alderman Cox said during the last storm the roof at the library leaked and that the City may need to get a loan to repair.  The City needs to repair the rooves at City Hall, Dewey Avenue Substation and the OS Library.  The Mayor said she would talk to the Regional Library to see if they would be able to help with the roof at the OS Library.           

    Alderman Cody thanked the citizens for allowing him to serve them for 36 years.  Alderman Cody thanked the Mayor and Board of Alderman for their service and stated it was an honor and privilege to serve with them.  Alderman Cody thanked the City Clerk, the Deputy City Clerk and the Department Heads for all of their hard work.

    Alderman McDonnell mentioned he requested a quote from MS Power to complete the street light retrofit project in Ward 2.  A letter was sent to the Mayor on May 19, 2017 stating the lights along Cox Avenue, Church Avenue, Washington Avenue, Rayburn Avenue, Desoto Street, Signal Street, Mosley Street and Catchot Place would be converted to LED fixtures at a monthly increase of $49.00.     

    Motion made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to finish the Ward 2 street light retrofit project at an approximate additional cost of $49.00 per month. 

    Alderman McDonnell asked for an update from the Planning and Grants Administrator on the language in the VRBO ordinance giving neighborhoods without covenants a voice about whether or not they want commercial activity in their neighborhoods.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated she has been talking with the City Attorney about the overall review of the ordinance and that there will need to be another draft submitted, advertised, and presented to the Planning Commission before approval.

    Alderman McDonnell asked about the final numbers are in his Ward funds.  The Building Official stated he was waiting on the final quote for the Ryan Family plaque.  The estimated quote is $3000.00.

    Alderman McDonnell invited city employees to his Birthday and Political Freedom Party on July 1st.       

    Alderman Gill congratulated all the new members of the Board.   

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, 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 Impey, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the police department. 

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to return to regular session. 

    No action was taken.                      

    Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to recess until 6:00 p.m. on June 20, 2017.        

    Meeting ended at 7:23 p.m.


    /s/ Shelly Ferguson                                        /s/ Connie Moran

    City Clerk                                                     Mayor

    06/21/2017                                                  06/21/2017 

    Date                                                             Date