REGULAR MEETING OF MAY 7, 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 May 7, 2019. The Mayor 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.
The Mayor asked for a moment of silence for fallen Biloxi Police Officer, Robert McKeithen. Reverend Mike Barnett gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Mayor presented a proclamation to Chapter B Directors, proclaiming May 2019 as "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” (Exhibit 3-b). The Directors thanked the Mayor and asked the public to "look twice and share the road”.
The Mayor presented a proclamation to the Ocean Springs Public Works Department, proclaiming the week of May 19 to 25, 2019 as "National Public Works Week 2019” (Exhibit 3-d). Alderman Impey commended the Public Works Department for having the longest perfect rating in water quality in the state of Mississippi.
The Mayor presented a proclamation to the Ocean Springs Police Department, proclaiming the week of May 12 to 18, 2019 as "Police Week” and May 15, 2019 as "Police Officer Memorial Day” (Exhibit 3-b).
The Mayor presented a proclamation to the Ocean Springs Parks and Recreation Department, proclaiming the week of May 18, 2019 as "Kids to Parks Day” (Exhibit 3-c).
The Code Enforcement Officer gave an update on 176 Linda Circle. He said that he went out at 11:15 a.m. today to take photos to present to the board tonight but the homeowner, Mr. Goff, said he did repairs between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. The board feels they have given ample time for repairs to be completed. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to allow the homeowner two weeks to complete all exterior repairs and remove all trash from property or the demolition process will begin.
The Code Enforcement Officer asked if there were any representatives for 418 Martin Avenue. There was no response. The home will be added to next agenda to be discussed for demolition.
The Code Enforcement Officer said the homeowner at 1518 Porter Avenue would like to address the board regarding a court date due to ordinance violation of having a portable storage container on the property. The homeowner’s son, Mark Garriga, said the storage container sits on a slab that the garage previously occupied. He also said that his mother was told she would be able to rebuild the garage, but then told she could not; so she added the storage container. The Aldermen said if the case is going to court May 29, 2019 then they are unable to address any issues until after the court date.
The Mayor began the discussion of filling the vacancies on the Tree Committee. Alderman Blackman said the long-range plans are to have a member from each Ward be on the committee. Short term, a committee is needed for the pending applications. There are currently three active members, and three city employees will be nominated temporarily for immediate action. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to appoint city employees, Ashlee Miller, Terry Franklin and Eddie Hibbard to the Tree Committee.
Scott Lemon from Lemon Mohler Insurance Agency gave an update for the city’s pre-renewal property insurance meeting. The policies have been changed to May 31st effective date. He said a Huntington Block Insurance representative will be meeting with the Human Resource and Risk Management Director, to reevaluate the coverage of the Walter Anderson murals in the Community Center. He said he would be in touch in the next week with options for the city.
The Mayor asked Dr. Tiblier from Ocean Springs School District to discuss the Downtown Art project. She would like to get approval to display student artwork throughout Downtown Ocean Springs on 18-20 banners to be placed on the light pole arms. Alderman Blackman asked Public Works to repair or replace any of the broken arms on the light poles. Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept and allow student artwork banners to be displayed in Downtown Ocean Springs.
Alderman Impey explained the need for a stop sign at the intersection of Palm Breeze Drive and Southwind Drive. He said the original plat for the neighborhood did not include the stop signs but it should have and we now need to correct the over sight. Alderman Gill stepped out of the meeting at 7:05 p.m. Alderman Impey said he witnessed a near accident while speaking to residents about the situation as there is no clear right of way. Motion was made by Alderman Impey and seconded by Alderman Blackman to adopt an Amendment to Chapter 14, Article I, Section 14-8 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi requiring stop signs at the intersection of Palm Breeze Drive and Southwind Drive (Exhibit 5-b) under the emergency provision of state law. The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:
Alderman Gill Absent from vote
Alderman Authement Aye
Alderman Bellman Aye
Alderman Cox Aye
Alderman Papania Aye
Alderman Blackman Aye
Alderman Impey Aye
Alderman Gill returned to meeting at 7:08 p.m.
The City Attorney stated the Mobile Food Vendors Resolution is still in draft form and needs some review and input from the board and public. This was intended just as a first look. He would like to get Section 6 Violations and Penalties to be enforced by the Court system rather than the board. The Planning and Grants Administrator said that this ordinance allows for enforcement purposes and permitting. Roxanne Sammies, joint business owner at 1316 Government Street, said she has been blindsided by another vendor in her leased building taking up multiple spaces in parking lot for his mobile food truck business. Planning and Code Enforcement will review the situation.
Alderman Authement explained that there is a blind spot at the corner of Ethel Circle and Porter Avenue. The Public Works Assistant Director agreed a mirror is needed to correct the blind spot. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to adopt a resolution to install a traffic mirror at the corner of Ethel Circle and Porter Avenue (Exhibit 5-d).
The City Attorney explained that the current Public Records Request Policy is outdated. The policy will be made current and updated. He asked the board and department heads to review before the next meeting when the updated version will be on the consent agenda.
The Mayor said that the Harbor Master has contacted him and said that people are racing on Harbor Road making it a dangerous curve in front of the Harbor House and would like rumble strips installed. The board was concerned that rumble strips would be too noisy and a nuisance to neighbors. It was suggested that visual deterrents would be better. The Planning and Grants Administrator said she could contact and request GRPC (Gulf Regional Planning Commission) to provide a traffic study before a final decision is made.
Alderman Blackman suggested that as Planning Commission appointments expire, they are replaced with members from each ward to ensure each ward is represented. Alderman Authement would like to appoint new members thirty days earlier so that there is a transition month and the new members could observe. The Planning and Grants Administrator said she would review the expiring members and the remaining members and give a recommendation on how to transition to have a representative from each ward, but it will take three years to fully complete. She would like to see a Policy in place to start the appointment application process in March or April each year.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except items (6-t; 6-u; 6-y; 6-bb).
The City Attorney requested items (6-t and 6-u) be tabled needing further information.
Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to table item (6-y).
Alderman Papania requested item (6-bb) be moved to Department Reports so that the Parks & Recreation Director will have the opportunity to discuss.
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims (Exhibit 7-a).
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept the monthly budget report (Exhibit 7-b).
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the budget amendments (Exhibit 7-c).
Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to accept the Drinking Water Inspection Report (Exhibit 7-d).
The Parks & Recreation Director said an Eagle Scout presented drawings (Exhibit 6-bb) and has offered to build running ramps for the Ocean Springs Dog Park for both the small and large dog areas. He is requesting the city purchase the materials to use. Alderman Blackman said to send him the material list and he will provide a cost estimate. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to accept the drawing provided by the Eagle Scout.
The Parks & Recreation Director said that she received a resignation late yesterday from a Maintenance Worker. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to accept the resignation of Maintenance Worker Brandon Lang, effective May 17, 2019; and authorize to begin the process of filling the vacant position.
The Parks & Recreation Director informed the board that the air conditioner has stopped working at the Parks & Recreation building. Airmasters gave a quote of $10,000.00 today and she will get a second quote tomorrow. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to repair or replace the air conditioning at the Parks & Recreation building.
Alderman Authement asked the Planning and Grants Administrator when the bond expires on Madison Place. She replied that it is close to expiring but no work has been done over the last eight months due to Corps of Engineers permits that were allowed to expire by the previous developer. The developer should be able to start again in the next thirty days. He then asked about the status of the fence at the harbor. Alderman Cox answered that the repair supplies should arrive in the next two weeks and the Parks & Recreation Assistant Director will start repairs. The Planning and Grants Administrator said the supplies were covered by the Tidelands Grant. Alderman Authement also inquired about the three light poles on Government Street that were damaged during a car accident. Alderman Cox said the supplier could not match exactly the existing poles but they have provided a very close match. They just need to know if those are acceptable to order and place.
Alderman Bellman said there is a pine tree at 306 Teringo Circle that has grown into a sewer line that has already been fixed two times and the tree needs to be removed. Motion was made by Alderman Bellman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to remove the pine tree at 306 Teringo Circle.
Alderman Bellman said the Public Works Department is in need of a sweeper and boom truck as being without the equipment is putting too much of a strain on the department and they are getting too far behind. Public Works had provided some examples of refurbished equipment available. The board asked the City Clerk and Public Works to meet and put together a purchase plan to present to the board.
Alderman Cox asked about Jackson County’s status regarding with the removal of the previous Human Resources building. The Public Works Director responded they should know something specific in the next few weeks. He also said there is a busted water line at 121 Sunhaven Drive that a contractor broke and tried to fix three times unsuccessfully. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to perform an emergency repair to the water line at 121 Sunhaven Drive due to previous city work on the water line.
Alderman Cox then congratulated Principle Susan Dollar, who retired with 38 years of service in the Ocean Springs School District and thanked her for her dedicated service to the city.
Alderman Blackman asked the Public Works Director about the trash on Groveland Road and the Public Works Director responded that it has already been handled. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to allocate $500.00 in Ward 5 funds for Bienville Place landscaping.
Alderman Blackman also commented that the Crape Myrtles are coming back nicely, except those that have been hit by cars. He asked Public Works to please remove all that are down and any that get knocked down in the future. He also said that landscaping needs to keep up the maintenance of the trees and the new sucker limbs growing. The City Clerk said that there has been discussion of hiring part time summer employees to help with landscaping and grass cutting. Alderman Blackman added that the School District has submitted a building permit for security vestibules and would like to have the fee waived. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to waive the $853.00 permit fee for the Ocean Springs School District.
Alderman Impey asked the Public Works Director now that the paving has been completed in Ward 6, when would the striping be completed. He responded that Jackson County also completes the striping. Alderman Impey also inquired about the timeline for getting the stop sign at South Breeze. The Public Works Director said it would be done immediately. He then added that the Public Works Assistant Director spoke with the dumps representative this week and we will run out of dumpsters around October, as they don’t have employees there to watch what is being dumped that should not be allowed. Alderman Blackman said he thought it ran fiscal year and not calendar year, it needs to be reviewed to see when the contract starts over.
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, 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 Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the Court and Fire Departments.
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to promote O. Ray West as Deputy Fire Chief at $58,000 per year and promote a Battalion Chief and Lieutenant.
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to come out of executive session.
The Mayor asked Court Clerk, Hailey Sheline, about the possible restructuring of the Court Department. The current senior Deputy Court Clerk has resigned, the lower Deputy Court Clerk will move up to the vacant position and rather than hiring a new lower Deputy Court Clerk, they would like to hire a part time cashier position and use pay and benefits difference for a raise for the two remaining full time Court Clerk positions. She also expressed that additional responsibilities and work load were added when the Corrections Officers were released. The Aldermen would like the new pay scale information before a decision is made.
Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on May 21, 2019.
Meeting ended at 9:35 p.m.
__/s/Vicky Hupe ________ ___/s/Shea Dobson ______
Deputy City Clerk Mayor