City council determines employee benefits
Published 10:40 am Friday, October 21, 2022
Tracy K. Hall
The Mayor and City Council of Americus met for their regular meeting on Thursday, October 20, 2022. Charles Christmas was absent, Daryl Dowdell was present virtually and the other members where in the chamber. After addressing some of items on the consent agenda, it was unanimously approved. Moving on to the voting agenda, four items were addressed. The first was approving insurance benefits for city employees. According to the agent who determines which policies are best for the city, she suggested staying with the policy last year’s council had approved as some insurance companies would decline to offer a bid, secondary to the fact they could not compete with what the city currently holds. Being self-insured, the city utilizes a “stop gap” policy which would cover any excessive claims stopping a financial burden. Due to financial increases, the same coverage the employees utilized last year, the premium for the policy would be an additional $15,000 to be split among the employees choosing to participate in the plan. The agent suggested the city absorb the $15, 000 so the employee’s premiums would remain the same. According to our finance director, the budget is healthy enough to cover the $15,000. The council passed the recommended policy coverage as detailed. The vote was unanimous.
Moving forward with the agenda, a Kawaski Mule was approved unanimously for the Americus Fire Department. The final payment for the Americus Police Department’s radios was approved by a vote of 4-1. Daryl Dowdell cast the dissenting vote. Chief Mark Scott reports the installation of all needed equipment is complete. He has done some testing to insure the coverage. The APD is getting needed coverage in what had previously been “drop spots” for their radios. APD is now able to use the new radios without threat of interference from Bluetooth speakers and even drive-thru traffic as it is utilizing a width band which has been determined best for public safety. Lastly the city will enter into an inner-governmental agreement with Sumter County to annex some of the roads back to the city. This has been an ongoing topic of discussion. When upkeep of roads changes jurisdictions there are many things to consider including who repairs them, who has law enforcement duties, and providing the needed easements required. Mike Sistrunk, the city’s public works director, and Jimbo Littlefield, who does the same service on behalf of the county work well together according to Sistrunk and he sees the transition as being as one in which a healthy collaborative effort has been made.
Lee Kinnamon chose the Honorary Citizen for this month’s meeting. Shirley Price received a proclamation for her service as the member for October. Other proclamations included one for retired educators and breast cancer awareness. Also, of Kinnamon’s choosing was the person who delivered prayer to open the meeting. Rev. Richard Nelson, Priest-in-Charge of Calvary Episcopal performed the duty. His prayer was very personalized from federal, to state and finally locally elected officials called by name. He also gave a blessing for our community, first responders and our residents.
Council meetings are open to the public and are held in the Public Safety Building on Lee Street. November’s meetings will be on 11.10 and 11.17 at 6pm. The meetings are also broadcasted on zoom. com. To receive the meeting ID number as well as the password, please visit the city’s website at americusga.gov. Also, on the website you will find contact information for city departments as well as contact information for elected officials. Your elected representative is the frontline in your ability to both keep your current favorite things about Americus as well as making suggestions for improvements and making your desires known. Each district of the city has a representative and the mayor serves at large. If you are not certain which district you reside in, visit mvp.sos.ga.gov as your voter registration will designate such. In addition to elected, a resident may call the city manager to identify both the city’s strengths, weaknesses and resources. The phone contact for the city is 229.924.4411.