RECESS MEETING OF MARCH 19, 2019
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 March 19, 2019. Mayor Dobson 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.
Alderman Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to accept the Addendum to the Agenda.
The City Attorney explained the easement needed for Jackson County Utility Authority (JCUA) is for JCUA to put equipment on our prior easement allowing City equipment. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to approve easement to JCUA for Colonial Estates (Exhibit A – 1a).
Motion was made by Alderman Papania and seconded by Alderman Gill to negotiate with Overstreet and Associates, Burk-Kleinpeter, Inc. (BKI); Brown Mitchell Alexander (BMA) for engineering services for the City of Ocean Springs and to add Aldermen Cox and Authement as members to the existing committee to negotiate. The Aldermen discussed how the committee will make a decision of majority rules in committee and would present a recommendation to the Board at the April 2nd Regular Board meeting. Aldermen Impey and Blackman would like to have Compton Engineering firm added to negotiations. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, Papania, and Blackman voting aye and Alderman Impey voting nay.
The Building Official gave an update on 418 Martin Avenue and said the house was damaged in Hurricane Katrina and has since been in disrepair. The current owners have not filed a permit for any repairs that the owner said would be completed; plus there have been recent complaints on the property. The only items that have been completed are the yard has been cleaned and bush hogged, and the windows were secured but now some have been pulled off. The owners are not fulfilling their obligation to repair in 3-6 months. Alderman Authement recommended the City move on to the next step of clearing property. Alderman Papania recused himself from this issue. The Building Official said that we will begin the process of property cleaning notice again.
The Building Official gave an update on 420 Jackson Avenue and said the oldest notice the City has on file is from 2006. No permits have been filed for any work on the home. The yard is being maintained. The owner sent a letter that she is on deployment with FEMA until November 30, 2019. The City has continuously tried to work with owner to get repairs completed. He recommends a property cleaning notice. The Board agrees that next step needs to be taken. The Building Official said he will move forward with the property cleaning notice.
The Building Official gave an update on 176 Linda Circle and said the repairs have stalled but some repairs have been made to the front of the property. The property owner, Mr. Goff, stated that the reason for the stall was because he has been sick and ran out of money. He assured the board, he has now secured a loan to complete the repairs needed to be acceptable. He has been unable to get a response from the contractor he was using and will move on to another contractor to get the repairs completed. Alderman Cox responded that he had been in touch with Mr. Goff approximately three weeks ago and would have liked to have been notified that the contractor was not responsive. He said he will meet with Mr. Goff after the meeting to follow up on finishing the work needed.
The Mayor began the discussion on the consideration of approval of the request for final plat of The Inlet Mixed Use Development; 2501 Bienville Boulevard PIDs: 60120400.000, 60120400.050, and 60120400.100 (Exhibit A-2a). He recommended Board approval of final plat with a few modest considerations of completion. Alderman Impey recused himself due to the engineering firm that he is employed with worked with the Thrash Group on a portion of the Inlet Condos and may work with them in the future. Tracy Ross, a representative of The Inlet, spoke on what exactly still needs completion like asphalt at buildings 1 and 2 and a fence dividing off buildings 1 and 2 from 3, 4, and 5. She also said that this is not approving occupancy but will allow them to start selling units in specific buildings 3, 4 and 5. The Building Official explained this is phasing the completion and separating buildings 1-5. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve the request for final plat of The Inlet Mixed Use Development; 2501 Bienville Boulevard PIDs: 60120400.000, 60120400.050, and 60120400.100; with the improvements made of temporary construction fence with a double gate adequate for Fire Department vehicles shall be constructed between buildings 2 and 3, the gate shall have locks accessible to the Fire Marshal; the final, top coat of pavement and all parking lot striping shall be installed around buildings 3, 4 and 5; and all sewer man holes must have rain tubs installed. Alderman Impey abstained.
Alderman Blackman asked for the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA) request letter (Exhibit 4-e) be added to the agenda due to there being a new director at the museum with new ideas for business with the City. Mr. Julian Rankin, WAMA Director, explained that the museum would like the complimentary use of the Community Center and Senior Center for WAMA programs that the museum puts on that their budget restricts them from renting as they currently do. They would like to expand the museums facility rental offerings for larger events to clients by subletting both the Community Center and Senior Citizen Center at a rate of $150 per facility per event. The museum would assume all staffing for overseeing events. Lastly, the Walter Anderson murals, on display at the museum, that are owned by the City, valued at approximately $6,000,000.00, be gifted to the museum so that they can be added to their blanket insurance policy or a letter that allows the museum to remove insurance for the murals and they would treat them as permanent collection but still belong to the City. There are six murals total. Alderman Blackman expressed that the City is not in the art business and feels the museum has the knowledge to properly care for the murals and would like to move forward with the transfer of ownership of the six murals. Alderman Gill asked about the event scheduling. Mr. Rankin responded that a memorandum of understanding would need to spell out all the policies for the events and programs. The City Attorney said he will research and give the Board further information concerning the donation of the murals.
A motion was made by Alderman Authement and seconded by Alderman Bellman to adopt ordinance amending Chapter 15 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi regarding miscellaneous offenses (Exhibit 4-a). The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:
Alderman Gill Aye
Alderman Authement Aye
Alderman Bellman Aye
Alderman Cox Aye
Alderman Papania Aye
Alderman Blackman Aye
Alderman Impey Aye
The City Attorney explained when the property was platted it was to be right-of-way. When an adjacent piece of property was sold, this property was included in the warranty deed and was not caught until now that the owners want to sell. The current owners are correcting back to right of way and then they can sell their property. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman and seconded by Alderman Impey to adopt ordinance accepting property through Quitclaim Deed – Mimosa Cove Subdivision PID # 61267006.000 (Exhibit 4-b). The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:
Alderman Gill Aye
Alderman Authement Aye
Alderman Bellman Aye
Alderman Cox Aye
Alderman Papania Aye
Alderman Blackman Aye
Alderman Impey Aye
The Police Chief began the discussion of no parking signs on Lafayette Circle that are needed on the inside north and south corners of Lafayette Circle. The Building Official recommended painting the curb with "No Parking” rather than erecting signs that can be knocked down. Alderman Papania said that several residents notified him that they could not back out of their driveways without effort due to the parking issues. There is concern that emergency vehicles could not make it down the street with vehicles parked on both sides. The City Attorney assured that he would have an amendment to the ordinance for the next meeting.
Alderman Impey recused himself due to the engineering firm that he is employed with worked with the Thrash Group. The Planning/Grants Administrator began discussion on the amendment to the special conditions associated with Ordinance 1-2007; southeast corner of Deana Road and Groveland Road PID# 60126140.000 (Exhibit 4-d). She explained the R-4 zoning had been given in 2007 with conditions directly relating to the proposal at that time about density and physical characteristics. Also in the Ordinance, it was stated that if the project did not get developed in a specific amount time then the property should revert back to its original zoning which was I-1. For the property to revert back to the original zoning of I-1, the City had to take action but the City has not taken proper action to do so. The issue was brought to the Planning Commission with a sketch plat for an apartment complex which would have been R-4 compliant. The Planning Commission made a recommendation to revert back to I-1, as it should have been when the project did not get developed in the specific time. The City Attorney explained other options; go through the process of permanently rezoning to R-4 by amending the prior ordinance; or rezoning by public hearing. Alderman Gill said he would like to see the area be rezoned to match the surrounding neighborhoods. Danny Watts, agent for the owner of the property, said that reverting back to I-1 would be the worst scenario and would be a use inconsistent with nearby properties. He requested the property remain R-4 as it is currently. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to overturn the Planning Commission recommendation to revert the property back to I-1. Alderman Impey abstained.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to direct the Planning/Grants Administrator to advertise a public hearing for rezoning of property at the southeast corner of Deana Road and Groveland Road. Alderman Impey abstained.
The City Engineer explained the letter requesting Jackson County Utility Authority (JCUA) transfer ownership of the Mission Control Unit back to the City and allow the City to have control of the water level in the Sunplex tank (Exhibit 4-f). The City will assume responsibility for the maintenance of the unit and the monthly communication charges. Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to request the Jackson County Utility Authority transfer the Mission Control Unit ownership back to the City of Ocean Springs.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims (Exhibit 6-a).
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to adjust the water/sewer accounts listed on Exhibit 6-b with the finding that the customers did not receive the benefit of the utility and the excess usages were due to unforeseen circumstances.
PARKS & RECREATION:
The Mayor removed the facility use agreement for Halstead Tennis Courts (Exhibit 6-c) to discuss with the Ocean Springs School District Superintendent before approval.
Kristopher Schneider, 3902 Baywood Lane, said this is the first board meeting he has attended. His opposition of apartments being built on Deana Road is why he attended this meeting and the Planning Commission meeting. He stated that he and his neighbors don’t want apartments built in their area and would like to see it rezoned to fit the surrounding neighborhoods.
Traci James, 3807 Queen Elizabeth Drive, expressed her support for the Dog Park as a citizen and business owner. She said she has been concerned about the recent negative comments at previous meetings that have been against the Dog Park. She said, our city already has 12 parks with activities for families where dogs must be on a leash. She would like to help fundraise for the Dog Park as it is an important issue for her and she already had a birthday fundraiser for the Dog Park. She gave her contact information to the Executive Assistant to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and is ready to help.
Melanie Allen, 1924 Kensington Avenue, said she is a proud member of the Ocean Springs community and thanked the Board. She supports and reiterated the previous comments about the Dog Park. She estimates there are approximately 10,000 dogs in Ocean Springs. The City has great parks, walking tracks, a civic center, a community center, splash pads, tennis courts, senior center but there is nowhere in this city for residents to take their dogs to get off a leash. She asked for the continued support and funding of the Dog Park.
The Executive Assistant to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen said the engineer for the Dog Park gives her an update each Monday and the contractor for the pavilions was ten to fourteen days behind schedule. He had said he would have the schedule available yesterday but she had not heard back from him to date. Alderman Cox said the dirt work has been completed. Once the pavilion contractor gets there it will happen quickly. Alderman Gill said he is keeping in contact with the engineer and once the pavilions are complete, Public Works will then install the water and sewer lines, then the concrete work will be completed, then the fence will hopefully be erected by this summer. The Parks & Recreation Director said she is getting quotes and has brochures on the amenities if Traci and Melanie would like to review and see if anything could be donated.
Dr. Bill Moore asked about the property clean-up process. Would there be an opportunity for the property to be sold? He also commented on the topic of donating $6,000,000 in murals to Walter Anderson Museum, and asked if it would be a tax benefit by donating the murals. Would it be better to curate it and the City keep the ownership of the murals? It seems to him, like too big of a donation for the City to give to the museum.
Alderman Gill stated if the City removes driveway ramps during paving, the ramps should be replaced by the City after paving is completed.
Alderman Authement announced this weekend is the Spring Arts Festival.
Alderman Cox asked the Public Works Assistant Director to address the lights at the Mary C. Center that hang from the front down to the tree, and said the lights need to be on a timer so that they don’t stay on all night long. He also requested ordering bulbs to replace the ones that are burned out. He also said the curb that was cut out in front of the Anderson Plumbing parking lot on Porter Avenue has not been replaced since road has been repaired. The Planning/Grants Administrator responded that she will reach out and get it corrected. Alderman Cox said he has received calls about the sign on the side of Fort Bayou Bridge that the City had adopted to maintain which is in need of maintenance and sprucing up. He also sent his condolences to the family of former alderman, Larry Cosper, who was very active in the City and will be missed.
Alderman Papania said he reads the Sun Herald each morning and noticed an article saying the other coastal cities received a total of $24,000,000.00 from Governor Phil Bryant for seven projects along the Coast. Unfortunately, Ocean Springs was not listed. He wants to see Ocean Springs bring in more funds. The Planning/Grants Administrator responded that there are several items in process, including an item from the agenda tonight regarding the authorization to apply for Infrastructure Program Funds for Deana Road and Steelman Lane (Exhibit A3-b). Alderman Cox added that June 1st is the deadline from the new committee for BP funds.
Alderman Blackman said that he has nine items for discussion. First, he asked to check the ditch that runs through Promenade neighborhood, which needs cleaning since it is holding water. He confirmed the Building Official has a game plan to clean and maintain the ditch at 111 Clear Springs Circle. There is a property on Eagle Point Road that the Building Official needs to follow up on videos of illegal dumping. The property at 101 Clear Springs has limbs on the Groveland side of the ditch that needs attention. He asked the Parks & Recreation Director about the lights at Clay Boyd Park; she responded that there is a purchase order in hand but the rain has delayed progress. He said he had already spoken with the Public Works Assistant Director about the Desoto parking lot issue that will be handled. He requested that Les Abres Lane off of Gollott Road be added to the City paving list. He asked the Planning/Grants Administrator about the progress and completion of the Children’s Wall in front of Civic Center. He would like the construction sign removed as soon as possible. He also asked her for an update on the Government Street sidewalk project. She replied that she and the City Attorney met with the contractors attorney last week and finalized the agreement, sent it to MDOT and expects once the agreement is accepted then the close out process with MDOT will be started. She was pressed for a start date and she replied there will be a 30 day minimum.
Alderman Impey asked the Public Works Assistant Director about the lighting at Trentwood Park as the funds have already been removed from his ward fund. He responded that the electrician has ordered equipment but has not started the installation yet. Alderman Impey also asked him about Jackson County paving in Ocean Springs and where do we stand in that process. He replied that they had been in touch and will start in Gautier in two weeks and then be on their way to Ocean Springs in approximately three weeks. He asked the Parks & Recreation Director about the lights at Gay Lemon Park, if they are on a timer. She responded that the lights are set on a timer so that if they are not manually turned off they will go off at 10:00 p.m.
Alderman Cox asked about the fence at the Harbor, so that the damaged areas can be repaired. He has the contact information for the person that originally installed the fence which he will give to the Public Works Assistant Director this week. He also asked about the Mary C. roof leaks, if repairs have been made, and stressed that it needs to be corrected as soon as possible as it is causing damage.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on April 2, 2019.
Meeting ended at 8:11 p.m.
__/s/Patty Gaston________ ___/s/Shea Dobson______
City Clerk Mayor