MAYOR AND BOARD OF ALDERMEN
CITY OF OCEAN SPRINGS
RECESS MEETING OF AUGUST 16, 2011
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 5:00 p.m. on August 16, 2011. Mayor Moran presiding, Aldermen Ross, Gill, McDonnell, Cody, Denyer and Hagan were present. Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney John Edwards. Alderman Dalgo was absent.
Alderman Cody gave the invocation and the Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Mayor announced the Board would be reviewing the FY11-12 budget for an hour. The Mayor invited the YMCA regarding their budget request for this year for the Board to consider and also representatives from the Villa Maria to ask the board to consider adding Sunday services from Coast Transit Authority and doubling the intervals.
Mr. Mickey Williams, Board of Directors of the YMCA, introduced the new president and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA – Mr. Philip Doiron. Mr. Williams stated they are reviewing all of their programs to determine the costs and benefits. He asked for a fair and equitable payment from the City for services rendered. He gave a range of options from $15,000.00 to $18,000.00. Mr. Doiron stated 98 people are on the rolls at the YMCA and on average 40 employees use it. Alderman Gill questioned the number of people using the YMCA and asked for a list of names and dates they signed up. Mr. Williams also suggested tracking the usage of the employees and it could possibly be a wellness program for the City and help to reduce the City’s health insurance premiums.
Two (2) residents of the Villa Maria Retirement Home presented a petition to consider having 45 minute intervals with the Coast Transit Authority transportation rather than the current 90 minute interval. They also asked that the bus run seven (7) days a week or on a holiday schedule. The Mayor stated if Sunday service was added, it would cost an additional $7,800.00. By adding additional intervals, the operating costs would be $110,000.00. The cost to add Sundays and additional intervals would be a total operating cost of $126,792.00. To remain with the same services, CTA is requesting an increase of $9,500.00.
The City Clerk presented the General Fund budget which is our operating budget. She provided the current budget and a proposed budget. The proposed budget is compiled by each department submitting their requests. She included all requests made by the department heads. She pointed out our property; sales and franchise taxes are right on target. The County road tax millage substantially increased for the City. The facility rentals; police fines are down; bank interest is down – transfer from water and sewer in the same amount as last year. She stated $44,000.00 was added to the fuel budget this year due to the increase in gas prices. The City Clerk reported she budgeted a 10% increase for utilities but the new facilities would be opening also. The City Clerk stated we currently have Delta Sanitation for our garbage contract. They submitted a 1% increase but it would not be passed on to the customer due to the garbage can rental revenue that offsets the increase.
The City Clerk reported there was a decrease in assessed value county wide. She explained our mill was worth approximately $160,000.00 and is now worth $156,000.00 but there is new growth to offset this decrease reflecting a loss of $10,873.00.
The City Attorney explained the USDA grant of $850,000. He stated it could possibly have to be litigated to collect the 100% reimbursable grant.
She reported the department heads submitted very conservative budgets. The City Clerk reported the City received a rate reduction from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of 8% which equates to $91,000.00 reduction in insurance premiums. This savings is not reflected in the proposed budget. Lay-offs and furloughs are not being considered at this time.
The City Clerk presented a proposal to consider requiring a $50.00 per month payroll deduction for any take-home vehicle for a savings of $30,000.00 in fuel only.
The City Clerk stated there is $150,000.00 budgeted in miscellaneous drainage budget not assigned to any particular project.
There is a mandatory PERS increase of employer contribution. The payroll administrator budgeted an average of 13.03% for the year. The HR Director met with the unemployment compensation company. They requested a rate increase. The HR Director recommends a savings of $18,000.00 if City maintained their own.
The overtime budget was discussed. It was increased due to more special events each year.
New hires were replacements for those leaving throughout the year and she asked to look at attrition on a case by case basis.
Motion was made by Alderman Hagan, seconded by Alderman Cody and unanimously carried to recess for a 10 minute break.
The Mayor called the meeting to order.
Mr. Robert Hirsch, Ocean Springs Schools Superintendent, and Ms. Donna Nester, Ocean Springs Schools Business Manager, presented the Ocean Springs School District 2011-2012 Budget.
Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to accept the Ocean Springs School District budget for FY11-12 (Exhibit 3-a).
Mr. Kevin Coggin, Executive Director of Coast Transit Authority, presented a summary of services provided to the City of Ocean Springs. He explained the different types of services, funding and the emergency services. They also provide park and rides during Cruisin’ the Coast event. He asked for an increase of $9,500.00 in funding for the upcoming budget (Exhibit 4-a).
Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Ross and unanimously carried to authorize the Mayor to ask the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to help offset the increase in handicap ridership and emergency evacuations and Sunday pick-ups.
Mr. Beau Cox, Code Enforcement Officer, gave an update on the demolition of 900 State Street. On April 5, 2011, the Board declared the property at 900 State Street on condemned and to be demolished. A demolition permit was issued on April 13, 2011. A letter was posted on August 9, 2011, to Ms. Kareema Jones, the representative of the heirs of the property, stating if the building was not demolished and removed within 14 days, the City will put the demolition work out for bid by a contractor and any and all costs associated with the removal of the structure will be assessed against the property through a lien. Ms. Kareema Jones asked for an extension. Ms. Jones stated “We understand the home is a hazard”. Motion was made by Alderman Cody and seconded by Alderman Gill to authorize a 30 day extension for the demolition of 900 State Street.
Motion carried with Aldermen Gill, McDonnell, Cody, Ross, and Denyer voting aye and Alderman Hagan voting nay (Exhibit 5-a).
Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Gill and unanimously carried to add the Addendum to the Agenda.
Mr. Scott Hawkins, resident of Ocean Springs and teacher at Ocean Springs High School, stated he realizes that Ocean Springs is becoming a vacation destination but there is not a lot of lodging. He suggested renting residential homes as vacation rentals with limitations. He asked the Board to consider adding an accessory use to R-1 for short term vacation type rentals. Mr. Hawkins said he would like to see this type of lodging available instead of building hotels.
Motion was made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman McDonnell and unanimously carried to approve the Consent Agenda and Addendum.
Alderman McDonnell asked for confirmation of the beach sales revenues. He would like a report at the end of the summer regarding beach sales revenues.
Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell and seconded by Alderman Hagan to adopt Ordinance No. 2011-17 ORDINANCE REGULATING AND RESTRICTING PARKING IN THE CITY OF OCEAN SPRINGS ON PORTIONS OF BOWEN AVENUE BETWEEN WASHINGTON AVENUE AND KOTZUM AVENUE (Exhibit 8-a). The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:
Alderman Ross Voted Aye
Alderman Gill Voted Aye
Alderman McDonnell Voted Aye
Alderman Cody Voted Aye
Alderman Denyer Voted Aye
Alderman Dalgo Absent
Alderman Hagan Voted Aye
Motion was made by Alderman Hagan, seconded by Alderman Denyer and unanimously carried to ratify the Special Events Permit for Shady’s to approve the extension of one hour on August 12th (Exhibit 8-b).
Alderman McDonnell asked for the language for the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and various groups involved in Shearwater Park for the next meeting.
Alderman McDonnell asked for an update from Bolton, Lack, Furr on the renovations of the Dewey Avenue Substation for the next meeting.
Motion was made by Alderman McDonnell, seconded by Alderman Hagan and unanimously carried to authorize up to $500.00 from Ward 2 Capital Improvement Account for landscaping at Magnolia Avenue and Government Street.
Motion was made by Alderman Cody, seconded by Alderman Hagan and unanimously carried to authorize the street closure of a section of Government Street East of Denny up to General Pershing on November 5th from 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. for a free concert.
Motion was made by Alderman Hagan, seconded by Alderman Ross and unanimously carried to recess until 5:30 p.m. on August 24, 2011.
City Clerk Mayor