City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes – March 3, 2020 Regular Meeting

    REGULAR MEETING OF March 3, 2020           

     

    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 3, 2020. The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox, Papania, Blackman and Impey were present.  Also present were City Attorney Nicole Sullivan, City Clerk Patty Gaston, Police Chief Mark Dunston, Fire Chief Derek McCoy, Planning & Grants Administrator Carolyn Martin, Building Official Darrell Stringfellow, Public Works Assistant Director Allan Ladnier, Parks & Recreation Director Geri Straight, Human Resources & Risk Management Director Mindy McDowell, and Deputy City Clerk Vicky Hupe.

     

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

     

    Alderman Papania gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

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

     

     

    PRESENTATIONS

     

    Evan Dyer with Rostan Solutions said that they could assist the City after a storm with debris monitoring, appeal, processes, grant applications and maximized reimbursement from FEMA.

     

     

    NEW BUSINESS

     

    The Building Official said that the owner of 1014 Robinson Street has gotten a permit for repairs and now has assistance in completing the work (Exhibit 4-a). The owner spoke and said that he has a two month projected completion date. Board discussed revisiting the issue of demolition at a later date.

     

    The discussion of revised proposal for the installation of EV chargers downtown (Exhibit 4-b) was tabled. The Finance Committee met before the Board meeting today and determined that more information is needed.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve contributing up to $3,125.00 to the 2020 Household Hazardous Waste Day Event (HHWD) and provide at least four representatives to work the event on April 25, 2020 in the south-east corner of the old Singing River Mall parking lot (Exhibit 4-c).

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adopt a Resolution determining the necessity for and invoking the authority granted to municipalities and counties by the legislature with respect to tax increment finance as set forth in chapter 45 of title 21, Mississippi code of 1972, as amended, and the regional economic development act as set forth in section 57-64-1, ET SEQ., determining that a public hearing be conducted in connection with the tax increment financing redevelopment plan (Exhibit 4-d).

     

     

    CONSENT AGENDA

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda except items 5- e, and m.

    a)       Approve Run/Walk permit application for Gray Over the Bay; Saturday, May 23, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Ocean Springs Bridge; no cost to the City, applicant pays associated event cost (Exhibit 5-a)

    b)       Approve Run/Walk permit application for 5k Mental Health Awareness; Saturday, May 2, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Ocean Springs Bridge; no cost to the City, applicant pays associated event cost (Exhibit 5-b)

    c)       Approve Run/Walk permit application for Gautier Key Club; Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Ocean Springs Bridge; no cost to the City, applicant pays associated event cost (Exhibit 5-c)

    d)       Approve Special Event permit application for Downtown Ocean Springs Golf Cart Crawl; Tuesday, March 17, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a rolling road block from OS Yacht club to Pine Drive (Crawfish House); there may be overtime costs for Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks (Exhibit 5-d)

    e)       Approve road closure on Government Street from Washington Avenue to Russell Avenue for St. Paddy’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 14, 2020 (Exhibit 5-e)

    f)       Authorize to extend the resolution proclaiming the existence of a local emergency enacted March 11, 2019 for Front Beach Drive due to the incapacitation of street lights along Front Beach Drive; extend for 30 days (Exhibit 5-f)

    g)       Ratify checks to MS Department of Revenue for $16.00 and $14.75 for vehicle tags (Exhibit 5-g)

    h)       Approve Minutes: Recess Meeting February 18, 2020 (Exhibit 5-h)

    i)        Authorize travel for Water Field Supervisor to attend ACLARA Connect Conference in Nashville, TN April 27-30, 2020 (Exhibit 5-i)

    j)       Human Resources Action Items (Exhibit 5-j):

    a)       Authorize employment of Peter Rigby, General Services Officer, Grade 4, Step 1, $12.50 hourly rate; effective on or about March 4, 2020; one year probationary status, pending successful completion of all pre-employment requirements

    b)       Authorize employment of William Heath Morris, Part-Time Police Officer, $13.00 hourly rate, effective on or about February 19, 2020, pending successful completion of all pre-employment requirements

    c)       Accept resignation of Lieutenant Paul Baker, effective March 6, 2020; authorize to begin the process of filling the vacant position

    d)       Authorize employment of Joshua Brown, full-time Firefighter, $33,000 salary, effective on or about March 21, 2020, pending successful completion of all pre-employment requirements                    

    k)       Authorize Mayor to execute contract with Graham Construction, Inc. for Bills Avenue Water and Sewer Improvement Project (Exhibit 5-k)

    l)        Adopt Resolution to make findings relevant to pay for preparations of City’s tax increment financing redevelopment plan (Exhibit 5-l)

    m)      Accept Tree Protection Committee meeting minutes from March 2, 2020 (meeting scheduled for February 26, 2020 rescheduled for March 2, 2020 as no quorum was available) (Exhibit to be provided prior to meeting)

    n)       Accept Code Enforcement Report through February 28, 2020 (Exhibit 5-n)

    o)       Approve Facility Use Agreement for Ocean Springs Adult Softball League for use of Gay Lemon Softball fields from March 4, 2020 to May 7, 2020 (Exhibit 5-o)

     

    The Mayor pulled item 5-e, approve road closure on Government Street from Washington Avenue to Russell Avenue for St. Paddy’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 14, 2020 (Exhibit 5-e). He said during the special events meeting it was decided that road closures were not needed. Alderman Authement disagreed and made a request that the roads be closed. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to approve road closure on Government Street from Washington Avenue to Russell Avenue for St. Paddy’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to rescind approval of item 5-d, approve Special Event permit application for Downtown Ocean Springs Golf Cart Crawl; Tuesday, March 17, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a rolling road block from OS Yacht club to Pine Drive (Crawfish House); there may be overtime costs for Police, Fire, Public Works, and Parks (Exhibit 5-d). Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to approve item 5-d, with the route being changed to begin at Front Beach Drive and Washington Avenue, continuing up Washington Avenue to Government Street, ending at The Crawfish House.

     

    Alderman Blackman pulled item 5-m, accept Tree Protection Committee (TPC) meeting minutes from March 2, 2020 (meeting scheduled for February 26, 2020 rescheduled for March 2, 2020 as no quorum was available); because the minutes were not provided before the meeting. The City Attorney said that although the minutes are not complete, there is an application that needs approval to proceed. The Building Official said that Fred Moran’s application was approved by the TPC and he is ready to begin construction. Motion was made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve tree removal at 310 Shearwater Drive and include the documents in the minutes.

     

     

    DEPARTMENT REPORTS

     

    City Clerk:

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

                  

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

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to adjust the water/sewer accounts: 250 Holcomb Blvd.; 210 Hunter Dr.; and 3512 Farrington Ct.; 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-c).

     

     

    PUBLIC COMMENTS

     

    Mollie Pontius, 1318 Hellmers Lane, said she is a member of the TPC and wanted to clarify the TPC member approved one application and denied two applications. The City Attorney said it would be correctly recorded in the TPC minutes.

     

     

    ALDERMAN’S FORUM

     

    Alderman Gill asked the Mayor to write a formal letter to Tom King at MDOT regarding upgrading the lighting on Highway 90. The Mayor responded that he will and that he is going to Washington to meet with senators to discuss.

     

    Alderman Gill then asked the Mayor about the Crepe Myrtles on Highway 90. The Mayor said that the prior consensus is to remove a portion of them and that he would have Public Works review to see what they could remove.

     

    Alderman Authement asked the Building Official if the drawing and permit for the shade structure at MLK Park had been turned in. The Building Official replied that it has been.

     

    Alderman Bellman requested the City Attorney draft an ordinance to adjust the school zone for Oak Park Elementary on Government Street and extend it to Clark Avenue. He also said that the there is a light out at the Ryan Youth Center parking lot and additional lighting is needed. The Public Works Assistant Director will follow up with Mississippi Power.

     

    Alderman Bellman asked for an update on the Ferson Optics lot. The Planning & Grants Administrator responded that there has been work to clean the site and has been trying to get in contact with the owners.

     

    Alderman Cox discussed changing the Downtown can lights to LED, similar to those at the Swingster property on Government Street. MS Power gave a quote for removing 13 fixtures and brackets and replacing with 10 ninety watt LED installed for $2,657.00. Motion was made by Alderman Cox, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to approve the change of lights on Government Street and add the MS Power documents to the minutes (Exhibit 8-a).

     

     Alderman Papania said the MOU for the monster ditch should be completed by the end of March. He asked for an update on the East Beach side walk. The Planning & Grants Administrator responded that the contract has been approved with Compton Engineering and that they are working on the design elements. She added there will a public meeting scheduled once preliminary design is ready.

     

    Alderman Blackman said that he has been notified that the TPC denied the removal of a tree without review and stopped a random homeowner from cutting a protected tree that turned out not to be protected. Alderman Cox said that he requested that the entire TPC Ordinance be revamped. Motion was made by Alderman Blackman and seconded by Alderman Cox to remove Sylvia Bosco and Barbara Smith from the Tree Protection Committee. Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Cox and Blackman voting aye and Aldermen Papania and Impey voting nay.

     

    The Mayor said he would get with the Building Official and the City Attorney to discuss options for the TPC since the structure could not be changed tonight due to the ordinance.

     

     

    EXECUTIVE SESSION

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox 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 Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in Public Works and Police Department.

     

    Alderman Gill left the meeting at approximately 8:00 p.m.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Papania and unanimously carried to appoint Public Works Assistant Director Allan Ladnier as the Public Works Director on an interim basis to begin March 9, 2020 for a period of one year at an annual salary of $60,070.40.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to pay out Public Works Assistant Director Allan Ladnier’s comp time on current hours and current rate of pay based on the City Clerk’s recommendation.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to create a Police Research Analyst position, pay grade 8, and to begin the hiring process.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to change the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police from pay grade 8 to pay grade 10, step 3 effective first April 2020 pay period and continue pay position on grade 10 step scale October 2020.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to change Patrolman Patrick Pearce to Patrolman step 3 effective first April 2020 pay period and continue regular step increase October 2020.

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to change Patrolman Sutton Everett to Patrolman step 3 effective first April 2020 pay period and continue regular step increase October 2020.

     

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

     

    Motion was made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on March 18, 2020.

     

    Meeting ended at 8:45 p.m.

     

     

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

    City Clerk                                            Mayor

    _03/18/2020______________              _03/18/2020_________________ 

    Date                                                   Date