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City meeting moves along at a strong pace

By
MARY ANN ANDERSON
During last Monday’s workshop and Thursday’s regular monthly meeting of the Hazlehurst City Council, both agendas moved along quickly and at a strong pace at the helm of Mayor John Ramay.
With Ward 4 Councilman Landon Chavis attending the workshop by telephone, and after an invocation by Bryan Herrington of Southside Baptist Church, Monday’s session lasted just 25 minutes. Among the actions taken, the council ….
…. after hearing from Hazlehurst Municipal Airport Manager Cody White, agreed to enter into a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for the upcoming airport layout plan that, said White, will show “what our future wants to look like.” The plan provides a layout of existing and proposed airport facilities.
…. with Ward 3 Councilman Christopher Jones taking the lead, discussed but then tabled the matter of taking corrective action for uniformity of callout time for after hours emergencies among the employees of the Water and Sewer and Public Works departments and Hazlehurst Animal Shelter.
…. in Citizens’ Comments, heard from Police Chief James Mock, who said his department and the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Department, with the help of local merchants and businesses, are holding a networking and training meeting in Hazlehurst to include other police departments in the area. Also in this section, heard from City Clerk Vernice Thompson, who was recently elected vice-president of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, and her plans to attend the Region III conference from Feb. 27-Mar. 1 in Columbus.
…. in Mayor and Council Comments, listened as Jones stated he would be attending the February meeting of the Jeff Davis County Board of Commissioners to “help bridge the gap between city and county” and to discuss upcoming joint projects.
In last Thursday’s regular session, after the invocation by Eddie Harmon of Bennett Tabernacle Church, the council ….
…. after hearing a lengthy presentation from Chad Hofstadter of the Macon-based engineering firm of Hofstadter and Associates discuss Transportation Investment Act Band 1 projects that include city street improvements, agreed to let his firm handle the TSPLOST and other grants with the Georgia Department of Transportation. Ramay assured the council that Turnipseed Engineering and Croy Engineering would also remain as the city’s engineering firms to handle other projects.
…. authorized Ramay to sign agreements for a grant with Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for lead service line replacement program, and also agreed for an inventory of those lines, at a cost of $64,240, which will provide the Environmental Protection Division the list of lines that need to be replaced.
…. after hearing Thompson state that SPLOST funds cannot be co-mingled, agreed to open several new accounts under corporate resolution for 2024 SPLOST funds for the airport, public safety, public works, streets and sidewalks, storm drainage and water and sewer, as well as another for the GEFA grant for the lead service line replacement.
…. approved January’s water and sewer adjustments, departmental reports and check register.
…. during Citizens’ Comments, said yes to Fire and Rescue Chief Charles Wasdin’s request for travel expenses to attend the Southeast Association of Fire Chiefs/Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs conference in July in Cobb County. Also in this section, heard an update on the sale or lease of the city-owned golf course and community center by Cason Smith of the city attorney’s office, who stated that the bid process should begin by the end of February or first of March. The council in this section also said no to local resident Jimmy Stevens’s request for a refund of fees he had paid for limb pickup service that had not occurred when the limb truck was under repair.
…. in Mayor and Council Comments, agreed to hold a city-wide day of prayer on April 22 in conjunction with the Georgia Municipal Association’s Georgia Cities Week April 21-27 and patterned after the annual National Day of Prayer. Also in this section, agreed for Chavis to investigate the potential sale or lease of city-owned property, including among others the Chamber of Commerce building and the property known as Goldman’s Hospital (the former office of the late Dr. Sidney Johnson).

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