Council amends city manager employment agreement

Published 10:36 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — The Americus Mayor and City Council approved an amendment to the city manager employment agreement at Thursday’s monthly meeting.

Mayor Barry Blount explained that the city manager, Charles Coney is requesting to use his private vehicle for city business with a $700 per month vehicle allowance. Coney’s original agreement required him to establish residency in Americus within 60 days (he came here in February). The amendment was to extend the requirement to June 25 being that he’s been unable to find suitable housing. Coney said he had just signed a lease earlier that day and was moving in on Saturday. The amendments were passed unanimously.

On the consent agenda, the council approved the following items.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dredging the holding pond at Water Treatment Plant No. 1 on Oak Avenue.
  • The purchase of a service truck for the city water and sewer utilities. This replaces a 2007 model.
  • Rejected bids on two new service trucks for Public Works.

A public hearing was held on a request by Sumter Electric Membership Corp. to rezone and annex several pieces of property near its plant on Felder Street, adjacent to Lexington Apartments. The business needs additional space to load trucks.

In other business Thursday, the council took the following actions.

  • Suspended the rules and approved the Felder Street Annexation Ordinance to annex the property mentioned above.
  • Suspended the rules and approved the Felder Street Rezoning Ordinance to annex the property mentioned above.
  • Approved Delinquent Tax Service Inc. to collect delinquent property taxes and other actions related to collection efforts.
  • Approved a traffic calming device for Frieda Lane,
  • Approved an alcoholic beverage license for sale of off premise beer, and wine for Rasmikant S. Patel at Maruti Food Mart, 1410 Crawford St.

Mary Anne Rouse, of Jacobs, presented the City of Americus recognizing the quality of work at the Mill Creek Plant, and Americus Water Works.

Mayor Barry Blount administered 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 also read a proclamation for Mental Health Month.

At the end of the meeting, Council member Nelson Brown requested a closed session to discuss “a personnel matter.” Following the 20-minute closed-door meeting, the mayor and council did not take any further action and the meeting was adjourned.