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Hinesville addresses rezoning, insurance recovery
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The Hinesville City Council addressed planning and zoning issues, and discussed taking on a recovery firm during a regular May 2 meeting.

A request was made to rezone 1.18 acres of land from MH-2 to R-4 so a residence could be built on Shaw Road at the intersection of Fort Stewart Railroad. The request was approved, as was the Site Plan for 536 Elma G. Parkway.

The council also approved a grant application to Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation on the behalf of the Hinesville Fire Department in regards to a Hazard House for Large Groups. Seven Ministries of Liberty County was granted their request to use four polycarts during their annual fundraiser.

Hinesville Assistant Manager Ryan Arnold presented council members a proposed participant agreement for Peachtree Recovery Services, a recovery firm that recovers owed property damage claims. Hinesville City Manager Ken Howard informed council members that the city does not have a designated staff person that is able to follow up on all insurance claims involving damage to city property. The city does file all those instances involving damage to city property – as well as instances involving city employees, Howard explained. Additionally, reports are compiled on incidents involving all city employees, not just city hall employees he clarified.

Peachtree Recovery Services has a participant agreement with the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) to provide GMA members, like the city of Hinesville, a discounted rate on subrogated property loss claims from vehicle accidents, Arnold explained. By entering into a participant agreement contract with PRS the city will have all traffic reports and claim information from the Georgia Department of Transportation audited by PRS to ensure damage claims have been remitted to the city.

Arnold said there would not be any cost to the city, and that PRS retains 16.5 percent of all claim amounts recovered after deduction. State law allows for retroactively filing claims for up to four years, according to Arnold.  PRS currently serves clients in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Indiana. Georgia clients include the local governments of Kingsland, Washington, Marietta, Valdosta, Newnan, Calhoun, Columbus, Atlanta, and Chatham and Coweta counties.

Arnold added that the participant agreement contract was reviewed by city attorney Linnie Darden and found to be legally sufficient. The city has similar agreements with GMA to audit its Hotel Motel Tax and Fiber Communications tax remittance, he said.

The council approved a 3-year contract with Peachtree Recovery Services, with the option of terminating the contract within 30 days if desired.

The city’s fire department requested a 2019 SUV to replace their Incident Command Vehicle. A $35,465 bid amount from J.C. Lewis Ford was made which was accepted by the council.

A moment of silence was observed for former ESG employee, Eddie Martin, who passed away on April 27. Afterwards, the city council entered into executive session to discuss real estate matters. After reconvening into open session, council decided not to take action at this time.

City leaders attended the off-site 2019 City Planning Workshop this past weekend at the Westin on Jekyll Island. The next regular city council meeting is set for 3 p.m. May 16 at city hall.

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