Americus Mayor and City Council Hold Regular Monthly Meeting on June 18, 2020
By: Tracy K. Hall
Americus Mayor and City Council held their regular meeting on Thursday, 6.18.20 at 6pm. All members were present. Two guests made remarks to the council. Mark Hellerstedt, Jacobs Project Manager, reported an update on well #11, located in the Bumphead road area. The design on the well is to be completed and submitted for approval by the end of July. Construction is set to begin around the middle of October and if all goes well, the city can expect to cut the ribbon in April/May of 2021. Secondly, Clifford Morgan made remarks regarding the speaking ordinance currently in place. He reports wanting to know “if common ground will be reached” on the policy and if a new vote can be taken in allowing citizens to speak during council meetings. Mayor Blount reports there has been discussion on revisiting this policy and it will be addressed during the July Agenda Setting Meeting.
A public hearing was held for the purposes of informing citizens of the current Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) applications received and the progress of the RLF applications. This hearing is required by the Department of Community Affairs before a vote can be held. At present 3 businesses presented applications for the funding, they include, Client First Insurance, the Fish House and Seafood Market and Madea’s Diner and Bakery. The city has received word from the Department of Community Affairs that the application can be moved forward on the Fish House and Seafood Market.
The consent agenda included:
- Minutes from May meetings
- Allowance for the mayor to execute the GDOT Group Transit Management Plan
- Approval of payment to Hofstadter in the amount of $80,202.30
- Approval of the Hofstadter invoice in the amount of $19, 912.50 for a 20-inch force main emergency repair.
- Approving the resurfacing of North Jackson Street contingent upon receipt of 2019 General Obligation Funds
- Adoption of the Amended Portfolio V Supplemental Contract between City of Americus and the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia.
Agenda items voted upon all passed unanimously and included:
- A committee to be formed to recruit an engineering firm for the Bike Path from GSW to Boone Park.
- A Water Tower Lease and Access Agreement passed allowing high-speed internet for the Southland Ridge area.
- A first reading and discussion of an ordinance amendment to Chapter 46 pertaining to mobile food trucks within the city limits.
- Approving the RLF for the Fish House and Seafood Market.
- Discussion was held concerning the Cemetery and Parks Improvement Program. Mayor Blount led the council to consider putting Brookdale park on Highway 30 into the funding pool for improvements.
- Presentation from Chief Mark Scott on the use of lethal force as used by the Americus Police Department. Chief Scott reports the policy reflects Georgia Code and his staff is trained annually on both lethal and non-lethal use of force. In addition to this training the officers have various required trainings on de-escalation as well as community policing. Additional training such as effective policing with those suffering mental health as well as autism have been utilized. During COVID-19, the officer’s training has been conducted primarily online, however, Chief Scott expects the force will be attending face to face trainings soon. Chief Scott also remarks the department is well equipped for any changing policing requirements as our APD is already nationally certified and reforms are being based on the national accreditation models. Accreditation protocols go above and beyond what Georgia Code requires and Chief Scott feels confident in the departments’ knowledge and training to be effective for our community.
Mayor Barry Blount closed out the meeting with appreciation for the service of council as well as city employees and wished those attending a happy Father’s Day and a reminder to enjoy time with family.
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