City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - November 19, 2019 - 6:00 p.m. Recess Meeting

    RECESS MEETING OF NOVEMBER 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 November 19, 2019.  The Mayor Pro-tempore Blackman presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman and Impey were present. The Mayor was absent. Also present were City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.

     

    The Mayor Pro-tempore called the meeting to order.

     

    Mr. James Lewis gave the invocation and the Mayor Pro-tempore led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to accept the agenda.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to accept the addendum.

     

     

    NEW BUSINESS

     

    Alderman Papania said that he has received complaints from residents about construction noise outside of normal working hours, especially the early morning hours. Ocean Springs business and homeowner, Chris Kwitzky, spoke in favor of an ordinance limiting the times for construction noise.  Alderman Cox is worried that a blanket approach is not the answer, he would like more discussion before an ordinance is approved.  Alderman Papania said that the proposed ordinance is based on the City of Biloxi’s construction noise ordinance. Alderman Gill suggested restricting times from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. for residential areas. Motion was made by Alderman Cox and seconded by Alderman Authement to table item 3-a, Construction Noise Ordinance (Exhibit 3-a). Motion was tied with Aldermen Authement, Cox and Impey voting aye and Aldermen Gill, Bellman and Papania voting nay. Motion carried with the Mayor breaking the tie and voting aye.

     

    Mr. James Lewis spoke in favor of a construction noise ordinance.

     

    Kevin Wade, Ocean Springs business owner, spoke against the construction noise ordinance. Although he did say that a starting time of 7:00 a.m. would be sufficient but is against an ending time.

     

    The Parks & Recreation Director, Stephen Defosio and Micha Butterfield with Northwood Church spoke about an addendum to the contract to rent the Civic Center to Northwood Church every Sunday in 2020. They said the church would like to install an audio and video system in the Civic Center that would remain and be City property when the church vacates the building. During their rental of the Civic Center, the church would be responsible for all maintenance and repairs of the equipment. They said the equipment is an almost $100,000 investment that the City would be able to utilize in the Civic Center. The City Attorney explained that the current Board cannot bind the next Board that will begin July 2021, and the contract could be voidable at that time. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to accept addendum allowing Northwood Church to install audio visual equipment in the Civic Center (Exhibit 3-b).

     

     

    OLD BUSINESS

     

    Melvin Chipley from AGJ gave a summary of the information technology services provided to the City since June 2019. He said there have been 3,845 technical tickets resolved. The client satisfaction report is 97%.

     

    John Lockard from Lockard & Williams Insurance reviewed the proposed Wellness Plan. He recommends partnering with Singing River Hospital System (SRHS) for a more intensive wellness program instead of the current requirements of an annual physical and non-tobacco user affidavit. SRHS will come on site and do a blood draw and determine cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, BMI and nicotine for compliance. He said the BMI would not be included for the discount. The cost for the blood kit test is $25/unit and he suggests starting with 100 kits for a total cost of $2,500. The employee would not be penalized for high numbers but would be required to be under a doctor’s supervision to be compliant. The health plan provides a smoking cessation plan for 90. He said with compliance in the wellness program the employee will be rewarded with a $50.00 per month reduction in insurance rate. He suggested waiting until May or June to do the testing for compliance for an October roll out at the beginning of the fiscal year.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to table item 4-c, authorize the Mayor to execute the contract with The Future Design Group for a new City Website until amendments can be made (Exhibit 4-c).

     

     

    CONSENT AGENDA

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda with the exception of items A – 1c and A – 1d.

     

    Alderman Cox said the start date needed to be changed to December 18, 2019 for both items A – 1-c and A – 1-d. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve (Exhibits A – 1c and A – 1d.).

     

     

     

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

     

    CITY CLERK:

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to approve the Docket of Claims; the Board finds that all expenses are lawful and appropriate (Exhibit 6-a).

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Gill 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 (Exhibit 6-b).

     

    BUILDING:

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to approve the parade route tree trimming by McClain’s Tree Experts in the amount of $4,800 (Exhibit A - 2a).

     

     

    PUBLIC COMMENT

     

    Julia Weaver, 334 Lovers Lane, said that she sent a letter to the Board, Mayor and County Supervisor asking for information regarding the concrete swales project proposed for Front Beach. She is requesting a meeting be held in Ocean Springs to discuss and inform citizens about the project and the goal before the work is started. Alderman Authement responded that after Thanksgiving the project will be placed on the agenda so that the Board and Mayor are also well informed.

     

    Mr. James Lewis asked what the bottom line was on the Dog Park. The City Clerk said approximately $130,000 but was not sure. Mr. Lewis said he would come by to speak to her tomorrow to get a definite amount.

     

     

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

     

    Alderman Authement said the MLK Park restroom will be removed and rebuilt with two restrooms. The Parks & Recreation Director said there will be an announcement posted before the work starts.

     

    Alderman Papania said that a citizen called about a sink hole after a heavy rain which Public Works fixed quickly and courteously. The homeowner would like to recognize their hard work and professionalism by offering a gift certificate to Woody’s to the three Public Works employees, Stephen Farnsworth, Ryan Hollingsworth and Matt Spicer. He then asked the Building Official to review the situation in the Canebrake neighborhood with construction issues including ash and noise. He said that he spoke with Brian Fulton with the County about the Monster Ditch and it is moving forward. He asked the Public Works Assistant Director to review the Saratoga Drive drainage system issues and compile a solution. He said he read an article in the Sun Herald declaring the Ocean Springs Tennis Courts as a benchmark for other local cities. Lastly, he said that there is a light out at 124 Colmer Circle which needs to be replaced.

     

    Alderman Impey said the current BP process is moving forward but we need to start thinking about projects for next year so that City is prepared. He said the public private partnership for the parking garage will need to get to Joe Gill before the legislature goes into session. He asked the Planning & Grants Administrator about the status of the CBDG Block Grant. She responded that the Bills Avenue project water and sewer bids are out now. She said that she should have more information on other projects and pre-development within the next few weeks. He then asked Cynthia Sutton, Director at Chamber of Commerce, about her experience on the trip to Atlanta for the Retail Conference. She responded that it was great working with the City and the Foundation Group at the booth and received good information. He wished everyone a good Thanksgiving.

     

    Alderman Papania added that he would like to see foliage placed around Public Works on Pine Street to camouflage the area between the Ryan Youth Center and Public Works. He requested that 100 seven gallon Japanese Yew shrubs be purchased for $2,000.00 to be funded from the landscaping budget.   

     

    The Parks & Recreation Director said that the Jackson County Super Bowl will be this Sunday at Greyhound Stadium, with a 11 and 12 year old championship and a 5 and 6 year old flag football championship. She added that the City now has 44 youth basketball teams and is utilizing all available courts.

     

    The Mayor Pro-tempore asked the City Clerk about Ward funds not carrying over like they had in the past. She responded that the auditor pointed out that there should be no carry over of funds but she could do a budget amendment to adjust them.

     

    Alderman Gill said that the Crepe Myrtles on Highway 90 are in bad shape and many of them have been hit by vehicles. He said the majority of them are turning black due to disease and would like to see it addressed when they are trimmed back this year. The  Mayor Pro-tempore said it has been considered but it is a very expensive treatment and will need to determine the timeline for MDOT’s expansion of Highway 90 before expensive saving measures were taken.

     

    Alderman Cox asked the Public Works Director about the grass cutting on Highway 90. The City Clerk said that the contract to cut the grass will be bid out and put on the next agenda.

     

     

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement 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 Authement and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss potential litigation of 415 East Beach, potential litigation of Lakeview Phase III Infrastructure, personnel in Public Works, the Chaney lawsuit, the 209 Front Beach lawsuit, the Sands appeal and the opioid litigation.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to begin the process of replacing employee number 2286 as a Street Laborer.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to authorize the City Attorney to begin legal action to enforce the developer’s warranty of Lakeview Subdivision.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to authorize the City Attorney to enter into limited settlement negotiations regarding 1307 Cove Avenue.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to come out of executive session.

     

    The Executive Assistant to the Mayor & Board was asked about the Retail Conference she attended in Atlanta with the Foundation Group. She said she had sent the Board a list of questions before the attending to establish the results they wanted from the Foundation Group. She answered to the best of her ability and gave them a print out of the results.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on December 3, 2019. 

     

    Meeting ended at 9:20 p.m.

     

     

    _/s/Patty Gaston___________              _/s/Shea Dobson_____________ 

    City Clerk                                            Mayor

     

    __12/17/19________________            ___12/17/19_________________

    Date                                                   Date