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Hinesville moves forward with new districts drawn
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At the Dec. 2 Hinesville City Council meeting the Mayor and Council heard the proposed amendment to the City Charter to establish the new Council Districts based on the 2020 Census reports. Attorney Jimmy McDonald said the redrawn district map met federal and state requirements.

He said the newly drawn map was certified by the state. Councilmembers Keith Jenkins and Vicky Nelson said they had some questions they wanted clarified. Nelson also wanted to know what the City’s deadline was to have this process completed. McDonald explained that if the Council voted down the existing map, they would need to start all over again. If a new map is drawn it would have to be sent to the state again to be certified. If the Council goes forward with the certified map they currently have, the City may hold public hearings regarding the new districts and may place the matter as an action item for approval and adoption at the Dec. 16 meeting.

City engineer Paul Simonton gave updates on several City projects. He said the Bradwell Park stage is almost complete as is the restroom. He said the fountain will be shipped and installed after the First of the year. After the fountain is installed, they can finish installing the pavers. He thinks the park will be open around March 1, 2022.

Simonton said the new park being developed along Airport Road, Southside Park, will be done in two phases. The tennis courts, basketball courts, walking trail, parking lot, dog park, exercise stations, playground and lighting will be completed in phase one. The skate park, bathrooms and pavilion will be slated for phase two. They think the park will be ready to open in the summer of 2022.

Simonton said the South Main Street widening project will begin at Second Avenue and extend to Ralph Quarterman Drive for the first two phases. Phase three extends widening to Kacey Drive.

Council voted to award ThinkGard Total Data Security for a three-year contract to provide disaster recovery for their city data and IT and provide all disaster recovery orchestration to regain access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster. A disaster could be loss of power, natural disasters, or cyber-attacks. The contract costs $77,417.00 for 3 years total.

The City approved the purchase of several vehicles needed by ESG operations for the water and sewer department and the solid waste department. Most of the bids were awarded to J.C. Lewis for a total of $273,319.80. One award was for $261,963.27 for the purchase of one new sanitation waste truck. The bid went to Solid Waste Applied Technologies.

The Mayor and Council approved a rezoning petition on Olmstead Drive rezoning 1.25 acres of land, from R-3 (Single- Family Dwelling District) to R-4 (Single-, and Two-Family Dwelling District) for two proposed duplexes.

During his report Howard outlined the City’s holiday schedule as follows:

• Christmas Eve (observed) — Thursday, Dec. 23, employees will work until noon.

• Christmas Day (observed) — Friday Dec. 24, City employees are off, offices closed.

• New Year’s Eve (observed) — Thursday, Dec. 30, employees will work until noon.

• New Year’s Eve (observed) — Friday, Dec. 31, City employees are off, offices closed.

The council voted to extend the City’s Emergency Order until Jan. 6.

The emergency order requires all persons, regardless of their vaccination status, within the city limits to wear a face covering or mask in City owned buildings and facilities, when attending a City-permitted event (indoor and outdoor) and while riding federally regulated transportation options, including Liberty Transit. Additionally, all restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores and pharmacies in the city are strongly encouraged to require employees wear a face covering or mask, while having face-to-face interactions with the public. The emergency order further outlines that anyone entering a commercial establishment in the city is strongly advised to wear a face covering. The emergency order states that any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering or mask due to age or an underlying health condition is exempt from the order. Those who are unable to remove a face covering or mask without assistance of others are also exempt from the order. Face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:

• When a person is alone in an enclosed space or only with other household members;

• During physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of 6 feet from other people with whom they do not cohabitate;

• While drinking, eating or smoking;

• When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition;

• When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services; and,

• When a person is 2 years of age or younger.

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