City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - October 1, 2019 6:00 pm - Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 1, 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 October 1, 2019. The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, 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.

     

    Chic Cody gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

    PROCLAMATION

     

    The Mayor presented a proclamation titled "Embrace the Gulf” to Beck Ginn, Melissa Pringle, Lee Yokel and Laura Bowie from the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Exhibit 3-a). They thanked the Mayor and the Board for being the first city within the southern five Gulf States to issue a proclamation and said that they have 25 more cities to visit for a proclamation.

     

    The Mayor presented a proclamation declaring October 2019 "Domestic Violence Awareness Month” to Rene Davis, Melissa Galatas and Amanda Conde with Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence (Exhibit 3-b). They thanked the Board for the acknowledgement and continued partnership with the City of Ocean Springs and the Police Department. They said they are sending two Ocean Springs Police Officers to New Orleans for strangulation investigation training. They said they offer emergency shelter, a crisis hotline, counseling services, housing services and legal services in Jackson County.

     

    The Mayor presented a proclamation declaring October 6 – 12, 2019 as "Fire Prevention Week – Not Every Hero Wears a Cape” to Interim Fire Chief Nate Wilson (Exhibit 3-c). He reminded everyone to check your smoke detectors and change the batteries every 6 months.

     

    NEW BUSINESS

     

    Damon Torricelli with Neel-Schafer, Inc. gave their annual update and discussed the City’s Stormwater Plan. He said MS-4 permits are issued every five years and Ocean Springs’ last one was issued in 2016. To date Ocean Springs has not received any word from MDEQ since they have had some turn over and have not reviewed the southern part of Mississippi. He said the key components of the plan are public education, public participation and involvement, construction site runoff control, spill prevention and good housekeeping. He said the City is doing a good job with all of the key components. He highlighted some needed items including a small construction site permit (1-5 acres) and a large construction site permit (5+acres) which both need to be filled out by developers, approved and posted on site; the large construction site permit also needs to be submitted to MDEQ. He stressed the importance of record keeping is and the requirement of the annual report and said the Ocean Springs Building Department is doing a great job on both of these. Alderman Blackman asked about a written report with any deficiencies or items to improve. Damon responded that they do an inspection every six months and have only found very minor instances that were corrected at the time of inspection. He said that the Public Works and Building Departments are doing a great job.

     

    The Planning & Grants Administrator spoke about an upcoming Continuity Plan Workshop scheduled for October 15, 2019 (Exhibit 4-b). She explained this will provide an "emergency bag” for businesses in case of disaster. The participants will receive a drive with fillable pdf information to customize for their own needs. She said the City has also worked on the City Continuity Plan to set up policies and procedures to help get back to business as soon as possible after a disaster. This workshop is being offered to businesses to assist them setting up a plan to get going as soon as possible after a disaster because if they are closed more than three months, the chances of reopening are minimal. She said it would also be beneficial for households to attend.

     

    The Mayor explained that MDOT has requested that Ocean Springs and Biloxi split the future cost to maintain the lights and landscaping of the Biloxi Bay Bridge and have submitted a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Biloxi Bay Bridge Lighting & Landscape Area (Exhibit 4-c). He said it would be a 60/40% split with Biloxi with Ocean Springs contributing 40% of future maintenance and repair cost. Alderman Papania said he is not in agreement with this, and will not support it. He said the cost is too high, there are too many unknowns and it is written in favor of MDOT. Alderman Gill said that Ocean Springs already maintains the median of Highway 90 throughout Ocean Springs and this is double taxation. He also said that other cities along the Coast have had Highway 90 repaved but Ocean Springs has not and he does not think the City could afford to take on the added financial responsibility of the bridge. Alderman Blackman asked what is involved or included and said at first it was just the side lights and not the lights in the median of the bridge but now it is all of the lighting. He added that there are about 77 light poles on the bridge, but 60 are currently not working. He asked what would be the ongoing cost for taking on this project. Alderman Impey said that the Aldermen are aware of possible issues with beach lighting and feels like MDOT is wanting to "pass the buck”. The Mayor tabled the MOA until the cost can be determined.

     

    The City Attorney said he received notice from MEMA that flood maps should be updated. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman and seconded by Alderman Gill to adopt an ordinance; an amendment to the Unified Development Code for the City of Ocean Springs, MS amending certain sections regarding flood damage protection (Exhibit 4-d). 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 Mayor said that there were some design flaws in the Hwy. 57 Sportsplex parking design and that since Compton Engineering is already working on the project they would like to continue. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve a professional services agreement for the Hwy. 57 Sportsplex additional parking with Compton Engineering (Exhibit 4-e).

     

    CONSENT AGENDA

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except item 5-x which was tabled by the Mayor.

     

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to adopt a resolution to provide an in kind donation to the Historic Ocean Springs Association (HOSA) for an event honoring J.K. and Eleanor Lemon (Exhibit 6-a).

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims; the Board finds that all expenditures are appropriate and authorized by law (Exhibit 6-b).

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the monthly budget report (Exhibit 6-c).

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adopt the Municipal Compliance Questionnaire; changing the address of Alderman Bobby Cox to 2303 Hudson Road and spread upon the minutes (Exhibit 6-d)

     

    The City Clerk discussed the FEMA Hurricane Nate #4350 Sewer Lift Project (Exhibit 6-e). She said she wanted to ensure that the Board wants to proceed with the project. The City will receive $527,000 from FEMA to proceed, with a $65,000 match which is budgeted and the City will receive 5% back from the match for administrative fees. She said the next step needs to be taken as soon as possible. Alderman Blackman said that with the project being FEMA, an RFQ and engineer selection process will need to take place. The City Clerk said that she would verify this with FEMA and have the needed information to move forward on the next agenda.

     

    The City Clerk said that she would like to see the Board set a time limit for presentations at board meetings. Alderman Papania said that 10 minutes for a presentation is plenty; Alderman Gill agreed. The Aldermen instructed their Executive Assistant to advise those that want to present before the Board to make them aware of a 10 minute time limit moving forward.

     

    The Mayor said a fence needs to be installed at the back north side of the Fort Maurepas parking lot to block people from going through the neighboring yard. The Parks and Recreation Director said that she has met with a fencing company to get a quote for fencing that matches the other fencing in the park.  Alderman Blackman requested to get a quote for five foot black chain link fencing instead. The Planning & Grants Administrator said the HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) would need to approve the fencing before it is installed.

     

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

     

    James Lewis said that he still thinks the City should not have paid an additional $1,500 to the Dog Park engineer when he had already charged the City $900 over his bid price. He also said there is only one Crossing Guard at Magnolia Park Elementary and traffic backs up; he suggested placing the Crossing Guard on an elevated stand. He said he appreciates the ten minute rule for board meeting presentations which was approved earlier in the meeting.

     

    Charles Nannery asked about the extension of the school zone north of the Middle School. He would like to see the area to the west extended also. Alderman Blackman said that people tend to speed on the north side as it is a long nonstop straight section of road.

     

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

     

    Alderman Gill said he would like to split the cost of the Fort Bayou Subdivision landscaping charges for the entrance and use $620 from his Ward fund. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to use $620 of Ward 1 funds for landscaping the entrance to Fort Bayou Subdivision.

     

    Alderman Gill said that he would like to request a special parent/infant swing for Fort Bayou Children’s Park similar to the one at Little Children’s Park. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to use up to $1,800 of Ward 1 funds to purchase a power skate solo swing for Fort Bayou Children’s Park. The Parks & Recreation Director said that they may be able to reduce the price by extending the current swing stand.

     

    Alderman Cox asked the Public Works Director about the street sweeper. He responded that it would be received this week in time for Cruisin’ the Coast.

     

    Alderman Papania asked that the Executive Assistant to the Mayor and the Board to review the Walk/Run and Special Event permit process including paperwork and needed meetings to see if the City is breaking even or if there should be a cost increase. She responded that she would have something prepared for the next Board meeting. He then said that that he was contacted by a citizen whose daughter is on the tennis team and he requested that backboards be added to the City’s tennis courts for practice. The Parks & Recreation Director said that when the tennis courts were built they wanted to install backboards at that time. She would like to add backboard to courts 1 and 2 to see how it goes. She said the backboards are 8’x20’ fiberglass and cost $2,443.00 each. Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to purchase and install fiberglass tennis backboards at the City’s tennis courts spending up to $4,900.

     

    Alderman Blackman thanked the Police Chief and Public Works for assistance with a situation on Pabst Road.

     

    Alderman Impey reminded everyone of upcoming events; the HOSA dedication of Marshall Park this Saturday, October 5th, the Annual Willow’s Birthday Bash fundraiser for MSD at Lynn Meadows Discover Center this weekend, Cruisin’ the Coast 2019 in Ocean Springs on October 10th, 11th and 12th and also the upcoming Veterans Day Parade on October 26th.

     

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman 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 that a motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss the Sands litigation, potential litigation of 415 East Beach, potential land acquisition, and personnel in the Fire and Public Works Departments.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to hire Derek McCoy as Fire Chief at the first step rate.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to approve the appraisal of property being considered for purchase.

     

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

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on October 15, 2019.

     

    Meeting ended at 8:46 p.m.

     

     

    _/s/Patty Gaston_____________              __/s/Shea Dobson__________

    City Clerk                                            Mayor

     

    _11/06/2019________________               _11/06/2019_______________

    Date                                                   Date