City honors women, hears from ministry, local citizen on bond issue vote

Published 2:44 pm Saturday, March 23, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus mayor and city council held its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday. During the meeting, Mayor Barry Blount read proclamation recognizing March as Women’s History Month and asking all female employees, past or present, to come up for a photo. Each was presented with a single, long-stemmed red rose.
Kirk Lyman-Barner briefly addressed mayor and council on the Americus-Sumter Transitional Ministry, a nonprofit organization which provides homeless women and with children with homes. He said he hopes the organization and the city can work together in the future to help homeless women with children return to life as working, tax-paying citizens.
A public hearing was held on a request for annexation of 1219 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., by Dialysis Clinics Inc., which wants to build a dialysis clinic on the site. The council heard the first reading and will vote next month.
Local citizen Elise Miller had requested and been granted permission to address the mayor and council concerning the bond issue which the city council voted against last month with a 4-2 vote. Miller said she has sent each council member a three-page letter earlier in the day and wanted to ask just one question: why did the vote again the new bond issue? She told them she would be happy to speak with each council member privately in person or by phone or email, she just wants her question answered. In closing, Miller reminded the body that they are “voted in by citizens who are entitled to know why you vote the way you do.”
The consent agenda included the following:
• Approved a resolution replacing Steve Kennedy with Charles L. Coney as the alternate voting delegate for the Municipal Gas Authority.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved 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.
• Approved renewal of the Erth Products LLC contract for the disposal of bio-solids, increasing from $49 to $72. The cost will be good for two years if council approves.
• Approved 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 included the following:
• The mayor presented the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award to finance director, Diadra Powell. Blount said this is the 29th year the city has been recognized with this award.
• The mayor also read a proclamation for Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day.
• The mayor read a proclamation for Women’s History Month.
• Voted to suspend the rules on a 2018 budget ordinance amendment, and it passed unanimously.
• The mayor and council will also vote on several appointments to boards and authorities such as Herschel Smith to the Land Bank, Tracy Law to the Theater Authority (reappointment), Patricia Harris to the Theater Authority, General Reid to the Board of Zoning Appeals (reappointment), and Wade Bartlett to the Board of Zoning