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HDDA wants to update downtown Hinesvlle
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The Hinesville Downton Development Authority is looking to refurbish the city’s downtown area. 

New HDDA Director Karen Durham presented the Downtown Redevelopment Plan and Project List to the Hinesville City Council during their Dec. 19 meeting. Durham stated a survey was sent out to the community to gather a variety of information such as the quality of life in the downtown area, local business opinions, etc. 

The HDDA will take the information gathered to develop a list of top issues. Streetscaping, tending to vacant buildings and lots, and the need to promote African American Heritage are among the matters. 

Other downtown projects include the following: realignment of South Main/Ryan Avenue will be led by City Manager Kenny Howard and is in the design phase; HDDA is calling for design ideas for the redesign of crosswalks through downtown; murals are being designed for the sides of buildings; redesigns for Bradwell Park are being considered, with architect students from University of Georgia submitting ideas. 

In related business, a grant application submission request to the Georgia Power Foundation, Inc. was made for consideration under the Water Grants Program. 

This is to install and maintain infrastructures like rain gardens and permeable pavers into Bradwell Park as part of its redesign. These infrastructures will increase stormwater management efficiency within the park. Funding is $137,510. The city council approved the submission request.   

A 2020 Peddler’s License was requested on behalf of Interkoi, Incorporated. The company wishes to go door to door to sell water purification systems. Two names were submitted alongside the application which was approved by the Hinesville Police Department, Inspections Department, and the Hinesville Fire Department. The business previously had a Peddler’s License but recently changed ownership and name. The new owners understand they will only be allowed to operate between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and with photo identification and city issued identification. The request was approved.

The City Council adopted the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Procurement Policy submit to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). Hinesville receives Section 5307 grant funds through GDOT to use for the Liberty Transit System projects. To adopt the policy is to accept the established guidelines and standards that the City will use to manage its FTA and GDOT funds. The policy covered how the city was to identify the scope of their funds and projects as well as their responsibilities and covered how transit complaints were to be handled.    

Every three years the city is required to approve their Liberty Transit Title VI Plan. Should the city receive any complaints of discrimination, the plan states how they should be dealt with. According to Hinesville Assistant City Manager Ryan Arnold, Hinesville hasn’t received any Title VI complaints in three years as of April. The City Council is expected to accept the plan by thee next council meeting.

The project list of streets to receive improvements under the 2020 GDOT Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) was approved during the meeting. The street list was distributed at the Dec. 5 City Council meeting for consideration. The listed streets were in order of their expected changes. After some discussion is was determined that Fraser Circle and Smiley Street were to be placed on the list for spot repairs. These repairs would allow the streets to “make it through another year or so” according to City Engineer Paul Simonton.  2020 grant funds available are $357,049.12 with a 30 percent match from the City for $107,114.74. A full project list can be found on the Hinesville  website under the Dec. 19 meeting items. 

City Manager Kenneth Howard informed the city council of their plan to adopt the restated plan documents to assure continued tax-favored treatment for the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) Defined Benefit Retirement Plan. 

The documents are comprised of the Master Plan document and the Adoption Agreement and General Addendum. The GMEBS restated the Plan and received a favorable determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service. The approving of this plan will not affect current retired employees. 

Councilmember Keith Jenkins was reappointed to the Liberty County Board of Health for another four year term. Meanwhile, the reappointment of Brian Smith to the Liberty County Development Authority Board has been postponed. 

Councilmembers previously attempted to contact Smith about his reappointment, but failed to reach him. Smith, whose term expires Dec. 31, has not contacted them back. 

Councilmember Vicky Nelson felt this act was rude on Smith’s part, saying it appeared appeared Smith didn’t respect the Council. 

The Council approved the adoption of the current Local Government Record Retention Schedule. The Record Retention Schedule supplies the retention periods for record created by the City’s local governments. Records are broken up into two categories, Common, which includes records like budget and accounting records, and Specific, which includes records like parking tickets. 

And finally, the Council decided to cancel the next scheduled meeting on Jan. 2, 2020. The next meeting will be on Jan. 16.  

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