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City to hold public hearing on annexation request

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus mayor and city council will hold a public hearing during their monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The hearing is on a request for annexation of 1219 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., by a representative of Dialysis Clinics Inc., which wants to build a dialysis clinic on the site. The council will also vote whether to approve the request during Thursday’s session.
The mayor and council’s March work session, held March 14, was the first with new city manager, Charles L. Coney, in attendance. In addition to the introduction of Council member Lou Chase’s honorary council member of the month, Richard Ehrler, the council also heard a brief presentation from Evangelist Buford Snipes, representing Americus-Sumter Transitional Ministry which is a nonprofit organization which provides homeless women and with children with homes.
Items discussed and placed on the consent agenda for Thursday include the following:
• Approve a resolution replacing Steve Kennedy with Charles L. Coney as the alternate voting delegate for the Municipal Gas Authority.
• Approve the bid of $408,000 from Pickle Construction for the replacement of windows and exterior upgrades at the Rees Park Economic Development Center. Coney explained that $250,000 will come from 2014 SPLOST revenues and $158,000 from the public works facilities fund.
• Approve a bid from Sumter Asphalt & Development Inc. for Jackson Street repairs. The repairs are necessary due to the discovery of some serious problems underneath the street while working in the area.
• Approve the contract for street repairs to Bell, Woodcrest, and 17th Green. The city received approximately $186,000 in LMIG grants and must match it with roughly $18,600. The bid, at approximately $315,000, according to Cone,y will be paid with around $19,000 from TSPLOST and $111,000 from SPLOST.
• Approve pedestrian lighting assistance for pedestrian improvements at two gateways. Coney said the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will pay for the lights installation and the city will pay the monthly power bills.
• Approve an RFP or RFQ for an engineer for the repairs to the Municipal Building roof, with a limit of $10,000, which will come from the 2016 SPLOST, according to Coney.
• Approve the real property agreement with the GDOT. This is in connection with the TEA grant for rights of way acquisition to start sidewalk work, with a cap of $2,500.
• Approve the bid of $54,866 from Cook Industrial Electric to replace the obsolete motor control center at Water Plant No. 2 on Railroad Street. This a budgeted item.
• Renewal of the Erth Products LLC contract for the disposal of bio-solids. Mary Rouse, of Jakobs, which the city contracts with for waste water and water treatment services, said that May 1, the cost per ton is increasing from $49 to $72. The cost will be good for two years if council approves.
Mayor Barry Blount asked Rouse for an update on Well No. 11 on Littlefield Road. She reported that the well was to be used as an emergency water source but the Georgia EPD will now allow that. The city has to either abandon the well or activate it. She said the well has iron bacteria and manganese in it and the city would need to build a waste pond in order to use the well. If it’s abandoned, the well will have to be filled with concrete.
The EPD gave the city 30 days to respond and then a 180-day extension. Rouse said the cost of the plant, land, and filtration would run between $2 and $5 million, but she didn’t know a cost estimate to cap the well.
Council member Juanita Wilson asked something about having the county pay. David Wooden, natural gas director, said it’s the same situation as the use of the city’s well no. 8 by South Georgia Technical College.
• Approve a resolution designating Coney and Diadra Powell, city financial director, as authorized check signers on bank accounts.
Items on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting include the following:
• The mayor will present the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award to the finance director. Blount said this is the 29th year the city has been recognized with this award.
• The mayor will present a proclamation for Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day.
• The mayor will present a proclamation for Women’s History Month.
• Consider first reading of a 2018 budget ordinance amendment. The finance director requests that the rules be suspended and a vote be taken Thursday.
• The mayor and council will also vote on several appointments to boards and authorities.
• Elise Miller has requested to address the mayor and council concerning the bond issue which the city council voted against last month with a 4-2 vote.