Monthly Council meeting is Thursday

Published 8:55 am Thursday, May 23, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus Mayor and City Council has a full agenda for Thursday’s monthly meeting, as discussed at its May 16 work session.

Mary Anne Rouse, of Jacobs, which the city contracts with to operate water, wastewater and sewage plants, updated the council on major maintenance projects approved last year. She reminded the city leadership that the grant for this work is for $479,666 but the list of needed improvements comes to $635,417.70, so an additional $276,584.60 will be needed.

A public hearing will be held during Thursday’s session. Sumter Electric Membership Corp. (SEMC) is acquiring six tracts of property near its plant on Felder Street, adjacent to Lexington Circle. The request says the additional space is needed for a staging area in the event of a disaster. Beverly Butcher, CIS manager for the city, said the properties are zoned as Residential and SEMC requests a change in zoning to Industrial. SEMC also requests annexation. She said the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends approval of both requests.

Several items will be on the consent agenda for Thursday’s session.

  • Approve acceptance of the 2019 CHIP Grant award in the amount of $300,000. Sherry Kurtz, grant writer for the city, said there are eight homeowners on the list to benefit from improvements to their residences. She said some of the homeowners’ names have been on a waiting list since 2014.
  • Approve a pilot test project to determine filtration needed on Well No. 11 located on the north side. Rich Giani of Jacobs explained to council that the well, which has been out of use for several years due to problems, has to be permanently abandoned or brought up to standards, according to the EPA, and used. The problem is an excess of iron and manganese. Following a lengthy and technical description, Giani said the cost of the pilot test project is $37,471.60. Jacob’s Rouse added that the city has until Sept. 1 to give the EPD a decision whether to abandon the well or perform the pilot test. She said it could cost the city “at least $100,000” to abandon and cap the well. Charles Coney, city manager, said the funds for the pilot test could come from savings from 2010 or 2013 revenue bonds.
  • Approve dredging the holding pond at Water Treatment Plant No. 1 on Oak Avenue. Rouse explained to council that this is necessary to stabilize the pH levels in order to remain EPD compliant. The cost is $73,810 and funding will come from the 2010 or 2013 revenue bonds, according to Coney.
  • Approve purchase, at a cost of $35,511, of a service truck for the city water and sewer utilities. This replaces a 2007 model.
  • Rejects bids on two new service trucks for Public Works.

Other items on the agenda are the following:

  • Consider first reading of the Felder Street Annexation Ordinance (as seen above to be discussed in the public hearing). A request to suspend the rules and take action this month has been received from SEMC.
  • Approve Delinquent Tax Service Inc. to contract with the city to collect delinquent property taxes and other actions related to collection efforts.
  • Council will consider approving several appointments to various boards and authorities.

Jacobs is on the agenda to provide awards to the City of Americus recognizing the quality of work at the Mill Creek Plant, and Americus Water Works.

Mayor Barry Blount will administer the oath of office to Herschel Smith, who has been appointed to the Land Bank Authority; Angela Allen, who has been appointed to the Lake Blackshear Regional Library board; and Donovan Smalley, who has been appointed to the Americus Theater and Cultural Center Authority. He will also read proclamations for Municipal Clerks Week and Mental Health Month.