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    City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - October 2, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 2, 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 October 2, 2018.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Blackman and Impey were present. Alderman Papania later arrived at 6:04 p.m. Also present was Interim City Clerk Patty Gaston and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    Rev. James gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

    PROCLAMATIONS

    The Mayor read a proclamation declaring the week of October 7-13, 2018 as Fire Prevention Week in the City of Ocean Springs.  The proclamation was presented to Fire Chief Jeff Ponson (Exhibit 3-a).

    The Mayor read a proclamation declaring the month of October, 2018 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the City of Ocean Springs.  The proclamation was presented to Jenn Johnson from Adrienne’s House (Exhibit 3-b).

     

    ADDENDUM

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to add the Addendum to the Agenda


    PUBLIC HEARING

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to go into Public Hearing.

    The Building Inspector spoke about the property located at 301 Hunter Drive.  He asked permission for a property cleaning and removal of debris at 301 Hunter Drive and that the cost of clean-up and removal be placed on the property owner’s taxes.  Mr. Henry Kobar, who is the current occupant, said that he plans to move out of the home. Alderman Papania asked the Building Inspector how long this issue had been ongoing and he responded that it has been an ongoing issue for years.  Alderman Papania asked Mr. Henry when he planned on moving and he responded that he plans on moving by October 31, 2018. Alderman Blackman asked the Building Inspector for his recommendation.  The Building Inspector asked that Mr. Henry begin to move his personal belongings to his property located in Vancleave, MS. Alderman Papania further stated that Mr. Kobar was in violation of the City’s code of ordinances. Alderman Authement asked that the board consider making a standard process for these types of scenarios regardless of a citizen’s inability to clean up their property.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to declare 301 Hunter Drive as a menace to public health and safety. 

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to proceed into public hearing for the property located at 418 Martin Avenue.

    The Building Inspector spoke to the board concerning this property and stated that it was heavily damaged in Hurricane Katrina and has become dilapidated. The Planning/Grants Administrator stated that she had attempted to work with the State of Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina due to the historic nature of the house, yet they did not offer any assistance. Owners Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Zielinski spoke in defense of the property and said that it was known as the Austin house, was built in 1845 and listed as one of the ten most endangered houses. They said that they want to restore the home and make sure it meets current regulations which will include lifting the home.  Alderman Blackman expressed concern that the structure is not sound enough to lift.  Alderman Authement expressed that the neighbors are upset that the home is still there and in disrepair. Alderman Blackman asked for a realistic timeframe for construction and Mrs. Zielinski responded that it will be about one to one and a half years due to needing to sell her own home first. The Planning/Grants Administrator said that the State of Mississippi will have to approve the demolition of the home if the board elected to proceed with this solution.  Mr. & Mrs. Zielinski stated that they had tried to reach out to the State of Mississippi however no assistance was given. Alderman Authement asked the property owners if the first regular board meeting in November would provide enough time for them to bring a plan for the structure and the property owners agreed. Alderman Blackman asked the property owners about the possibility of getting a demo permit for the backside of the home and property owners said that it depends on the cost and how much of the building would be left after demolition.  Dr. Bill More spoke in favor of the owners keeping the house and not moving forward with a demolition.

    Motion was made by Blackman, seconded by Papania and carried unanimously to come out of public hearing.

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to require property owners Mr. & Mrs. Zielinski to come back for an update on this property at the first regular meeting in November.  The motion further states that the Zielinski’s will have to replace missing windows, columns and any other miscellaneous items in order to make the house more presentable to the board and public.

     

    OLD BUSINESS

    Discussion was brought up concerning bids for Highway 57 Sports Complex Project. The City Attorney listed the options on how to continue the bid process.  The Mayor and Board of Aldermen decided to continue the discussion in executive session.

     

    CONSENT AGENDA and ADDENDUM

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to accept the Consent Agenda and Addendum except items (a), (e), (f), (g), (h), (f), (t), and (w).

    Alderman Cox pulled item (a) to ask about additions for street sweeper and debris pickups as alternatives for the garbage contract bid.  Alderman Cox further asked the Deputy City Clerk about adding the three options for recycle bins to the proposal.  Alderman Cox stated that he will follow up with the Interim City Clerk about this and table item (a) for a later date.

    Alderman Cox pulled items (k) and (w) to discuss the items listed as surplus.  He stated that the City’s GEM vehicle is no longer in use and needs to be declared as surplus.  He questioned the Parks Director in regards to the boat and she responded that the boat is no longer in use but operates perfectly.  Alderman Cox stated that if the City goes to auction, it may lose money so he suggested selling the boat ourselves.  The City Attorney read the rules on disposing of property. Alderman Cox suggested tabling the issue and the Mayor agreed to table it for another date.

    Mayor Dobson pulled item (t) from the consent agenda to question if Parcel ID# 07221049.000 located in Toscana Subdivision in Jackson County posed a financial burden to the City, and the Planning/Grants Administrator responded that the property did not pose a financial burden to the City.  Motion was made by Cox, seconded by Gill and unanimously carried to accept this property as it is not against public policy and will not result in financial hardship to the city.

    Alderman Gill pulled items (e), (f), (g), and (h), to ask the Interim City Clerk if she was coordinating with Mr. Chic Cody on all of the special events.   The Interim City Clerk stated that the Mayor’s Executive Assistant and the Deputy City Clerk are working with Mr. Cody.  Alderman Gill asked Mayor Dobson to make sure that his assistant is working with Mr. Cody on these events due to the sheer volume of them. The Interim City Clerk and the Deputy City Clerk both stated that Mr. Cody is aware of all of the events.  The Mayor said that he will have a meeting with his assistant and Mr. Cody the following day.

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to add items (e), (f), (g), and (h) back to the consent agenda to be approved.

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to accept the consent agenda and addendum minus the tabled items (a), (k), and (w).

     

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve the docket of claims.

    Discussion was made to adopt an ordinance extending a tax exemption program for the central business district of the City of Ocean Springs by the Planning/Grants Administrator.  She stated that this program does not expire for a few years, however upon review, the boundaries were not currently clearly defined.  There was also a need to clear up any vague language from the previous ordinance.

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill and seconded by Alderman Authement to adopt Ordinance No. 2018-26 An Ordinance Extending a Tax Exemption Program for the Central Business District of the City of OceanSprings as presented (Exhibit 8-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 Building Inspector provided an update on the property located at 176 Linda Circle, and said that the owner of this property asked the board on April 3, 2018, for an extension of time to work on this property.  From April 3, 2018 to October 2, 2018 the home owner had only repaired eight (8) windows. The Building Inspector stated that the home owner is currently not working on repairing the home.  Alderman Papania asked the Building Inspector what his recommendation is concerning this property and he said that he recommends that a public hearing for lot clearing/demolition be held in the near future. The home owner, Mr. Geoffrey Goff, was present in defense of the property and said that he had applied for a loan to fix the home, but that he did not receive the loan until 1 ½ months later.  He had also bought all of the windows and materials to start working on the home so that he can move into the home in 3 months.  Alderman Cox asked if he can improve the outside of the building within a month since Mr. Goff’s son was in town and he said that he could.  The permit for Mr. Goff was extended for another 30 days and the Building Inspector will provide an update on November 6, 2018 during the Regular Meeting (Exhibit 8-c).

    The Human Resources Director spoke about the proposed Wellness Program, which includes a premium reduction program for the employee’s share of the monthly health insurance cost. The criteria for the employees to participate in the program includes having the BCBS annual wellness exam and signing an affidavit stating that the employee is tobacco/nicotine free. There was discussion on whether or not covered spouses would be included in the requirements and the consensus of the Board was to proceed with the requirements to be met by the employee only and not the spouse.

     

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Reverend James Lewis asked about Mr. Goff’s house and why he was treated differently than the Zielinski’s.  He further asked about Habitat for Humanity assistance for Mr. Goff. The Board said that this was the first time that the Zielinski’s have appeared before the board whereas Mr. Goff has had prior appearances.  Alderman Authement further iterated that the City cannot reach out to Habitat for Humanity on his behalf.  The Mayor said that he will provide the information for Habitat for Humanity to Mr. Goff.

    Mr. Scott Edwards spoke in regards to the potential new city and zoning ordinances concerning the Sands project and asked the board to consider the neighbors as they pursue their zoning decisions.

     

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

    Alderman Gill asked the Planning/Grants Administrator for an update on the grant management status and additional grants to help out drainage and other City projects. She responded that the Board needed to provide her with any information for a specific grant that they want to pursue as these grants are easier to locate.

    Alderman Gill asked about the status of the bid for the Dog Park construction project.  Mr. Jason Overstreet stated that the specifications were completely done and that the Board should elect to go out for bid with a base bid project amount with three alternatives attached. Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to bid for the construction of the Dog Park in agreement with Mr. Overstreet’s suggestion.

    Alderman Gill thanked the Public Works Department and Mr. Chic Cody for their hard work during Cruisin’ the Coast.

    Alderman Gill asked about Nottingham Road and Churchill Drive in regards to the huge logs and AT&T boxes left on site after previous construction.  Alderman Gill further asked the Building Inspector about the possibility of a lot cleaning.

    Alderman Authement inquired about the sidewalk in front of one of the houses on Front Beach.  The water flow from rain had become worse due to the retaining wall being cut away.  The Mayor will meet with the Public Works Director to work on a solution for this problem.

    The City Attorney asked the board about the status of Mr. Chic Cody on the insurance and made a suggestion to the board to approve authorization for independent contractor insurance for his use of the rented golf carts.

    Alderman Papania requested that the streetlight located on 2600 Parkwood Place be redirected from a neighbor’s home to the street.  Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to redirect the street light and place it on the City of Ocean Springs street light program.

    Alderman Impey asked the Public Works Director on the status of the flush valve in Lakeview where the water was discolored and he responded that his department would take care of it.

    Alderman Impey asked about the status of Jackson County paving.  Alderman Papania stated that he spoke with Randy Bosarge with Jackson County and that they will have it done by the end of the year.

    The Interim City Clerk informed the board that the Senior Citizen’s Center had to have their air conditioning unit replaced at a cost of $7,000 and also reported that the air conditioning units at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center and the Voters’ Precinct adjacent to the Ryan Youth Center are both broken.

     

    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 remaining in closed session.

    The Interim City Clerk returned to the boardroom and announced that a motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to stay in executive session to discuss issues related to personnel in the City Clerk’s office, personnel in the Fire Department, Mississippi Rising Coalition litigation and the Highway 57 Sportsplex concession improvements bids.

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to reject all of the bids related to the Highway 57 Sportsplex Concession Improvements.

    Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to accept the recommendation of the Fire Chief that employee #2238 be suspended for one day without pay and placed on a one year probation.

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman and seconded by Alderman Impey to file a rule 38 motion for the MRC litigation.  The motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Bellman, Cox, Papania, Blackman, and Impey voting aye and Aldermen Authement voting nay.

    Motion by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to hire Interim City Clerk Patty Gaston as the City Clerk with an annual salary of $62,000.

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

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess until 6:00 p.m. on October 16, 2018.

    The meeting ended at 8:09 p.m.

     

     

    _/s/ Patty Gaston_______                       _/s/ Shea Dobson_______ 

    Interim City Clerk                                           Mayor

     

    11/07/2018                                                 11/07/2018   

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