The Hinesville City Council approved a contract with a new public works provider at its Sept. 15 meeting.
ESG Operations, a public works provider based out of Macon, announced this week in a news release that it has been picked by the city. The contract is to be signed in October.
The city’s water, sewage and public work systems have been operated by CH2M Hill (formerly OMI) since the 1990s.
The city of Hinesville will help Trinity Missionary Baptist Church fix a drainage pipe, if the church supplies the materials.
The Live Oak Drive church is having a problem with a drainage pipe that is so corroded it needs to be replaced.
The church is accessed through a private driveway that crosses two ditches—one is the road side ditch, and the second is 200 feet into the property. The worn pipe is in the second ditch. Church officials asked the city for help because the second ditch is part of a city’s drainage system.
The pipe was installed by a private contractor working for the church, City Manager Billy Edwards said. He recommended that Trinity Missionary replace the pipe and driveway.
Councilman Keith Jenkins suggested that the church provide the materials to replace the pipe and the city’s public works department provide the labor. Councilwoman Diana Reid agreed.
"My only concern is does this set a precedent that any other landowner who had an issue with their driveway can call us over?" Councilman Jason Floyd asked.
Jenkins said there is a program where the city will do the labor if the property owner supplies the materials.
"We do have a program that allows to place piping. It’s a case-by-case basis and we have to look at the seriousness of it," Jenkins said. "I don’t have a problem with improving our drainage system through both the citizens and city working together."
Edwards said the council has in the past provided the labor for roadside ditches, but not involving a driveway.
Jenkins said if the problem is not solved, it could impact drainage of other properties.
Councilman Kenneth Shaw said he was concerned the church will not pay for the materials.
The estimated cost to repair the pipe is $2,800.
Jenkins moved that the city provide the labor if the church pays for and provides the materials. It was unanimously approved.
In other business:
Hinesville’s municipal court will be able to collect past due fines through an agreement with the Georgia Administrative Office of Courts and Georgia as part of the Tax Refund Intercept Program.
The program is free to the court and applies to only those whose fines are less than seven years old, more than $25 and at least 90 days old. A recovery cost up to $20 will also be added to the fine. The debt is deducted from individuals’ state tax refunds.
Mary Dowd, clerk of court, said the city has lost $242,392 over six years to unpaid fines.
The funds will be returned to the municipal court and people can appeal.
Ameris Bank sent a letter asking the council to reconsider its financial services and to request proposals from local banks on services.
Reid suggested that the council explore options.
The council agreed at an off-site meeting earlier this year that they were satisfied with their current banking services, according Floyd, who works at Heritage Bank.
The council approved to request proposals for financial services, with Floyd abstaining.