Americus City Council holds monthly agenda-setting meeting

Published 5:31 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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AMERICUS – On Thursday, May 16, the Americus City Council (ACC) held its monthly agenda-setting meeting. Early in the meeting, Council Member Kelvin Pless introduced Miss Ivy Nunn as the Honorary Council Member for the month of May.

Mayor Lee Kinnamon will present Miss Nunn with a proclamation at the ACC’s meeting on Thursday, May 23.

Next on the agenda was a request from the city’s Human Resources Director, Ola Terrell-Jordan, for a first reading to approve an amendment to the city’s Defined Benefit, Retirement, Master Plan Document Agreement and General Addendum to include the most recent up to date IRS codes. “The plan is to ensure that we continue tax qualified status for all members of the Retirement Plan and all participating employers must readopt the plan with the most recent IRS-approved document templates,” Terrell-Jordan told the ACC. “I am also asking to wave the second reading. This is just a formality to make sure our documents are compliant with the IRS. This was completed previously in 2020.”

Mayor Lee Kinnamon asked Terrell-Jordan whether or not she needed the ACC to make a decision that evening and she replied that she did because the information came out in October, but it was sent to the previous HR Director and it was missed.

Kinnamon stated that he wanted to entertain a motion to wave the second reading.

Council Member Kelvin Pless made a motion to wave the second reading and Council Member Nicole Smith seconded the motion. The ACC voted and the motion passed unanimously. Kinnamon then entertained a motion to approve Terrell-Jordan’s request to approve the amendment. Council Member Smith made a motion for approval and Council Member Charles Christmas seconded the motion. The ACC voted and the motion passed unanimously.

Next on the agenda was a request from Twany Edwards regarding a resolution to open a bank account for opioid funds “Greetings, Mayor members of council. This is a resolution to open the bank account for opioid funds and validate opening of this account by the finance director at First State Bank,” Edwards said. “This is a requirement by our auditors in order to keep those funds separate so that to account for the expenditures. We currently have $40,696.00. Therefore, we need to put those in a bank account. However, I need your approval.”

Kinnamon responded by saying that he has been involved in this issue and that the funds have been extended for very specific reasons. Kinnamon added that the funds cannot comingle and that it’s a simple issue. No motion was entertained regarding the issue, but it will be discussed further at next week’s meeting.

The ACC also discussed a request to seek bids for two departments to purchase new service trucks. Interim Public Works Director David Wooden told the ACC that the trucks would be for the Water and Sewer Department as well as for the facilities manager. Mayor Kinnamon asked if there were any questions from the council members regarding this issue and there were none. Therefore, the issue went to consent, meaning that it will be voted on at the ACC’s meeting on Thursday, May 23.

The ACC also had a discussion about streets that would be resurfaced using the 2024 LRA Grant. David Wooden stated that the ACC voted unanimously at last month’s meeting to approve the submission of the LRA Grant application, which included six streets that were recommended by staff to be resurfaced in an effort to meet the submittal deadline so that they could make sure that they got the money.

“We’ve done that and we got the money,” Wooden told the ACC. “And the question was asked by counsel before approving if the roads that were submitted in the application could be changed. We explained that the roads that were listed were staff recommendations. However, if you all decided to or you elected to make those changes, then that would be your call. And so basically what we’re wanting to do is assure that the streets that were recommended by staff to be put out for bid are acceptable to you all so that we can either move forward or not, so that’s a discussion for you all to have,” Wooden continued. Since there were no questions or objections, it was decided by the ACC to move the item to consent.

There was also discussion about a request to put a speed bump on Roney Street between Harvey Lane and Allen Drive. Wooden told the ACC that after reviewing the application, it was recommended by the staff not to approve the speed bump. “According to the tax assessor’s website, four of the seven names listed on the petition are listed as property owners and there were only seven names on the petition to start with. That didn’t meet the requirement of the application,” Wooden told the ACC. Wooden went on to say that the data collected by a traffic calming device that was placed in that area of Roney St. didn’t support the need for a speed bump there and that with all speed bumps, it would increase the response time of emergency vehicles. There was no motion to approve the placement of a speed bump in the requested area of Roney Street.

Near the end of the meeting, Council Member Nelson Brown stated that he would like to see a proclamation made at the ACC’s next meeting in June to honor the many soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country being that Memorial Day is on May 27. Mayor Kinnamon agreed with Council Member Brown and stated that a proclamation would be made at that meeting and stated that he would ask City Clerk Sierra Harvey to add the item to the agenda for the ACC’s first meeting in June.