At the regular city council meeting April 18, council received updates on the Veterans Parkway Lighting project, officially established the Youth Advisory Council Board, and approved the Emergency Action Compensation Plan Revisions Policy.
The Veterans Parkway Lighting Project, presented by Matthew Barrow of P.C. Simonton and Associates, will install 60 new poles and 115 roadway lighting structures along State Route 196 and Elma G. Miles Parkway to State Route 38 and Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville.
According to Barrow, with council’s authorization, Georgia Power will complete the final steps needed with the state, and are set to begin work shortly. The beginning date is to be decided, Barrow said.
District 1 council member Diana Reid made the final appointment to the Youth Council Advisory Board. The board will focus on evaluating and qualifying candidates. Members will serve a term of two years and must be available to review applications and complete interviews, according to Community Development Department Director Donita Gaulden. The board passed unanimously.
City Manager Ken Howard informed council of recent revisions made to the Emergency Action Compensation Plan, originally adopted in June 2018. The policy, Howard said, was recently revised to ensure that the procedures during a weather event are clearly outlined. One issue is lost wages for city employees during inclement weather events. In the policy, Howard is authorized to close one or more city facilities to protect the safety and welfare of city employees.
“The Emergency/Inclement weather pay is to be used strictly as a make-whole remedy for wages lost during the hours that city facilities are closed. Emergency/Inclement weather pay shall not be used to grant additional hours or compensation for any employee, for any reason,” the policy reads.
Council passed the revisions unanimously.
In other business, council awarded a contract to Boaen Mechanical Service in Savannah, Ga, to replace the cooling tower in the Hinesville Police Department. According to Assistant City Manager Ryan Arnold, the previous cooling tower was installed in 1999, and has deteriorated substantially. The work will take an estimated 80 days to complete, and the cost won’t exceed $94,750. The project will be funded with the budgeted $72,000 from the general fund for HPD, and the remaining $22,750 will be available from cost savings from the Fire Sprinkler pump project, Arnold said.
City of Hinesville Director of Finance Kimberly Ryon presented the city’s Georgia Municipal Association Master Lease Supplement for a total of $356,737 for a Kaiser Walking Excavator, more commonly known as a Spyder. The lease will span five years with quarterly payments, she said. During the fiscal year 2019, the city budgeted to purchase the Spyder through a lease and purchase financing agreement with GMA. The purchase of the equipment was approved by council at the February 21, 2019 council meeting. The annual lease payment, Ryon continued, was budgeted in the Storm Water Utility fund during the FY19 budget.