City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - March 6, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF MARCH 6, 2018

    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 March 6, 2018.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman, and Impey were present.  Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson 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.

    ADDENDUM

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to add the addendum to the agenda.

    PRESENTATION

    Mr. Chuck Branch presented information on NextSite, a retail consulting firm, who has partnered with Mississippi Power to come in and work with communities throughout the Mississippi Power service area. Mississippi Power is partnering with NextSite and is subsidizing the cost of NextSite’s work with communities. Mr. Branch said they are big believers of redevelopment as much as they are in new construction.  The data and things they do from an analysis standpoint supports our existing businesses as much as identifying new business entrepreneurs to help facilitate that development within Ocean Springs. NextSite’s process is to do research and market analysis to understand what makes our City unique, to understand the demographic characteristics, to understand consumer behaviors and attitudes, and consumer travel patterns to different shopping centers.  After that they identify realistic targets to make sure the targets they are approaching match the demographics.  NextSite then becomes an extension of your economic development efforts through marketing and recruiting by proactively reaching out to developers and tenant representatives who drive the decision making process. Then finally it is all about the results to effect positive change in our community while giving the City a return on their investment. (Exhibit 3-a) 

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    The Director of Parks & Recreation talked about a project to replace lights and light poles at the Alice Street ballfields. The Director of Parks & Recreation gave the Board a proposal from Mississippi Power with two (2) options and stated she is requesting to proceed with Option #2 at a monthly cost of $1,160.00, a seven (7) year minimum term required and includes complete maintenance of fixtures, poles, wiring, and cross arms. 

    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to move forward with Option #2 of Mississippi Power’s proposal to replace the light poles and lights at the Alice Street ballfields. (Exhibit 8-c)

    PRESENTATION CONTINUED

    Joey Duggan, Compton Engineering, gave the Board an overview of the low interest State Revolving Loan Fund Program for Water and Wastewater.  Mr. Duggan said these loans provide for water and wastewater system improvements for eligible infrastructure projects.  Compton Engineering has been working on identifying the City’s defective, outdated, and undersized water and wastewater system lines underground throughout the City of Ocean Springs.

    Mr. Duggan said the strongest areas for rehabilitation or replacement are mainly located in the downtown area, Fort Bayou area, with a few smaller areas scattered throughout the City.

    Alderman Gill asked before you determine there is infiltration in the lines, can the lines be smoked before just saying it has a leak. Mr. Duggan stated you can go in and smoke the line to determine if there is a leak but it will be a significant effort to do so.  He said in general they look at it with a global perspective of the City of Ocean Springs and determine based on the usage rates of water versus wastewater.

    Alderman Papania said the Board needs to schedule a work session and discuss the plan the City may want to go with and determine whether or not the City can afford to move forward with this project.

    Alderman Impey stated he agrees with the work session but he also feels this needs to be expedited and planned out.

    The Mayor will set up a work session to discuss the water and wastewater facilities plan and how the City may want to proceed. (Exhibit 3-b)           

    PROCLAMATIONS

    The Mayor read a Proclamation declaring the month of March, 2018 as American Red Cross Month   (Exhibit 4-a).

    OLD BUSINESS

    Mr. Mark Isaacs, a resident from Bay St. Louis, came before the Board to discuss the state flag and figure out how to move forward together for all of us.  Mr. Isaacs asked the Board to submit a resolution to call upon the legislature in Jackson to accept a new flag for all so that it can be flown here and bind this divided community.  Mr. Isaacs is happy to meet with the Board and other stakeholders to assist in drawing up a resolution and find a way forward together.   

    Alderman Impey notified Mr. Isaacs that this Board has already sent a resolution to the legislature requesting for a vote for a new flag.

    Mr. Isaacs said there is an important nuance of a difference in that the current resolution is about giving the voters a choice between the current flag and a potential new flag.  Mr. Isaacs said the call needs to be for a new flag for all. This is the specific change he is looking for.  (Exhibit 5-a)

    NEW BUSINESS

    Mr. Ronald Obranovich, 210 Sandy Drive, came before the Board to discuss a couple of safety issues occurring on Groveland Road. Mr. Obranovich thanked the Police Chief and Deputy Police Chief for their support and the presence of officers stopping speeders in the area.  Mr. Obranovich said he has a couple of issues he would like to point out.  The first issue is on the east side of Groveland where there is a partial sidewalk.  He said the traffic coming off north Ocean Springs Drive is going so fast that by the time they get to Clear Springs development they are going approximately 45 – 50 mph.  His concern is the entrance to the trailer park is also a morning and afternoon school bus stop.  The second issue is the sidewalk on the west side of Groveland Road that is used for walking, jogging, walking dogs, and additional activities.  Mr. Obranovich said the purpose he is here for today is to request adding stop signs to slow speeders down.  He would recommend putting stop signs on the west and east side of both entrances to Clear Springs.

    Alderman Blackman requested the police department to review the data from the traffic study to determine if any stop signs are needed. (Exhibit 6-a)

    Terrell Knight, Vice President of Government and Economic Development for C Spire, and Ashley Phillips, General Manager of Home Services for C Spire, discussed bringing ten (10) times faster internet speeds through a 1 (one) gigabyte fiber connection to the homes in Ocean Springs. Mr. Knight encourages the Board to not think of this product as a cable product, DSL product or a satellite product but about bringing technology to the City of Ocean Springs to help transform it. Mr. Phillips stated home values rise fiber option availability.  This technology is great for economic development and education.

    Alderman Impey asked what the deployment time would be for a city the size of Ocean Springs.  Mr. Phillips said they will be deploying fiber in the area for other purposes for cell towers and other government complexes at the end of 2018 or early 2019 and then they would branch off of that network from there. He said for a city this size it would take approximately 6 months to a year to build out.  They follow the demand and prioritize by going to those areas first.

    The Mayor stated he and the Board will look over the documents from C Spire and the City Attorney will also review them. (Exhibit 6-b)

    Scott Lemon, Lemon Mohler Insurance, discussed the property insurance renewal that is up for renewal at the end of May 2018. Mr. Lemon said the City is looking at a 10% increase.  Mr. Lemon also said he plans to come back to the Board on a monthly basis to give updates and options.  (Exhibit 6-c)

    Alderman Authement said he has received some complaints from residents on General Pershing about cars speeding down their road. Alderman Authement stated the current speed limit is 30mph.  He would like to request a traffic study to see if the speed limit needs to be decreased to 25mph.

    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill to have a traffic study done on General Pershing to determine if the speed limit needs to be decreased from 30mph to 25mph.  Motion passes with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, Papania, and Impey voting aye.  Alderman Blackman voting nay. (Exhibit 6-d)

    CONSENT AGENDA

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the consent agenda and addendum except for item (h) pulled by Alderman Cox.

    Alderman Cox pulled item (h) because he asked the Police Chief to reach out to Chief Galloway with the Ocean Springs School District to see if the school could use any of the four (4) vehicles before we send them to auction.

    Motion made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve to declare the four (4) vehicles as surplus and wait to send to auction until Chief Galloway has the opportunity to look at the vehicles to determine if the school district has a need for any of the vehicles. (Exhibit 7-h)

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    City Clerk:

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

    Community Development & Planning:

    The Planning and Grants Administrator gave an update on the Living Shoreline Project.  The Planning and Grants Administrator met with consultants, Allen Engineering, and they are shifting their focus to the west end of the beach. She said there are at least four (4) places along the beach that needs attention.  She said they are calculating some benefits to one (1) of three (3) locations starting at the Fayard property down to the Yacht Club.  She stated there is some erosion due to a combination of factors such as runoff, tidal erosion, and other things as well as the condition of the outfall.  They are evaluating these areas based on impact to make sure we can get a good cost benefit and permitting issues because some locations may require more permitting than others.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated she expects to have an evaluation on that in the next few weeks so she should be able to come back to the Board with a proposal and a solid budget to know how to move forward.

    Alderman Cox said after the meeting with the county he understood we were going to concentrate on working on the same spot and taking care of the same spot to see if the combination of two (2) would take care of the problem and wonders why we are not going to stick with what was agreed upon.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said scientifically we can’t evaluate what we are doing if their methodology is in the same area because it creates too many variables.  The County is taking a different approach as far as more hardscape.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated they are doing this as a pilot project to see if it works and try to isolate those variables so if they were to do it in conjunction with another project wouldn’t be able to study it properly. Alderman Cox said the County is proposing to upsize the outfalls so he asked what Allen Engineering is proposing as far as the outfalls.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated the outfalls will definitely be addressed but she could not say if the outfalls would be upsized or not.

    Alderman Papania asked about the possibility to get a grant to repair the seawall and road surface on East Beach.  He also asked the Planning and Grants Administrator to look into a grant for a sidewalk.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated it is time to submit for TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan) which are due by the end of May. She is looking at developing a proposal to enhance the shoulder to the ditch without having to pipe the ditch but still have a good surface.   

    PUBLIC COMMENT

    Dr. Bill Moore, 257 Holcomb Blvd., wanted to remind everyone that Disability Connections

    is looking for volunteers to help install equipment at Little Children’s Park on Friday, March 9, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The Planning and Grants Administrator stated this install has been postponed due to the playground equipment company requiring an installer from their company on site.        

    ALDERMEN’S FORUM

    Alderman Gill asked the Board to do a traffic study to lower the speed limit on Ocean Springs Road from Reilly Road to Highway 90. He would like to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph for the safety of families exiting their subdivisions. Alderman Gill will talk to Supervisor Randy Bosarge at the County and let him know what the City is planning and see if they are interested in continuing this study for a mile or two.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to have the police department do a traffic study on Ocean Springs Road to determine whether or not to decrease the speed limit from 45 mph to 40 mph.

    The Deputy Police Chief pointed out that there are three (3) requests to have traffic studies done so this will take time to gather information.  He said in order to get good information they will need to have their unit in the area for a week.

    Alderman Gill said the scope of work for the dog park is in and asked if any of the Aldermen have any changes, questions, or comments they want to make because he would like to move forward with this project.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to send the scope of work to local engineering firms for RFQ’s to do some of the design work.  Alderman Gill wants a layout for foundations, area for playground equipment, a double fence, a dog fountain, a water fountain, grading the property, foundation for a pavilion, and a cost estimate.  

    Alderman Gill discussed the City’s property at the southwest corner of Culeoka and Iroquois.  Alderman Gill said vehicles are cutting this corner and the vehicles are going into his yard.  The homeowner would like to put a retaining wall in this area to minimize vehicles from going into his yard.  The Building Official would prefer the City put some visible markers with reflectors as a precautionary measure. 

    Alderman Blackman asked what the liability would be if the City puts some reflective posts up on this corner.  The City Attorney said the City is able to place any traffic control device the City would like to put up but we have to have approval by the Board for the safety of people or property.

    Motion by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to place reflective barriers on the corner of Culeoka and Iroquois pending City Attorney approval.

    Alderman Authement said he met with Jackson County and Joe O’Neal this week and they are ready to move forward with the erosion control improvements on the beach.  The county wants to approve to go out for bid on this project at their next meeting.

    Alderman Blackman asked for an update on the Government Street Sidewalk Project.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said the project should resume in April. There are two (2) issues that need to be resolved.  The first issue is the submittal for the curve and a conflict with the utility poles but they are working on a redesign with MDOT.  The second issue is the railing next to the driveways.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said they are working with the contractor and waiting on a quote to modify the driveways.  

    The Planning and Grants Administrator said the Porter Avenue Infrastructure Project is at a stopping point.  The Planning and Grants Administrator said a CenterPoint gas line was found that was not in the right location.  The gas line has to be moved in order for the project to continue. She said the last update she got from CenterPoint was it would be five (5) weeks before they could start working to move the gas line.  The contractor will continue to maintain the sight but there will not be any work being done.

    Alderman Blackman asked the Mayor to contact WastePro to address all of the issues the City is having.  Alderman Blackman said he knows of (2) two trucks leaking hydraulic fluid in the last week.  One leak was in Ward 1 which looks like it went for miles.  The other was in Ward 5 but was mild compared to the leak on the roads in Ward 1 because the vehicle completely broke down in Ward 5. Alderman Blackman said the cleanup process was not ideal and it is still not completely cleaned up.  He said he has received multiple calls about WastePro missing days, skipping days, houses being skipped, and recycling not being picked up.  Alderman Blackman said equipment failure is not an acceptable excuse for not picking up trash.

    The Mayor let the Board know that City Hall and the Water Department has internally created a spreadsheet of complaints so we can keep better track the complaints.

    Alderman Impey discussed safety on Ocean Springs Road. Alderman Impey said MDOT has frozen a lot of their projects that were previously funded.  He thinks we need to speak to someone at the County while it is still in the preliminary design phase because he would like to see the triangular piece of property at the west end of Old CCC Camp Road changed to a 90 degree angle.  Alderman Impey said it is a very bad area and needs to be addressed.

    Alderman Impey publically sends his condolences to the family of Coach Jack Hughes.

    Alderman Gill stated the City does not have anyone in Jackson fighting for us to reinstate the funding going to be provided for repairs to Ocean Springs Road and Highway 90.  Alderman Gill requested the Mayor write a formal letter to our local legislators asking them to acquire or look for funding for Highway 90 and Ocean Springs Road.

    Alderman Cox said he has received several calls about the lighting around Gulf Coast Grill at the entrance of Lakeview. Alderman Cox said the median to the entrance of Lakeview Subdivision is very dark.  He asked Alderman Impey if Lakeview Subdivision has an active homeowners association the City could talk to or if the City could take out the shrubbery and trees.  Alderman Impey stated Lakeview does not have an active homeowners association. Alderman Cox said the trees and shrubbery may be blocking the light but it needs to be looked at and addressed. Alderman Impey, Alderman Cox, the Mayor and the Public Works Director will go out to this area and look at it to see what can be done.

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill 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 Blackman and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss litigation regarding JCUA, potential litigation regarding opioids, and litigation regarding The Sands at Front Beach Project.

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

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on March 20, 2018. 

    Meeting ended at 9:27 p.m.

     

    /s/ Shelly Ferguson                                    /s/ Shea Dobson

    City Clerk                                                     Mayor

    3/21/2018                                                    3/21/2018

    Date                                                              Date