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City council gets update on projects
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Representatives from P.C. Simonton and Associates gave an informational overview of construction in the city during Thursday’s regular council meeting.
A force main construction project was completed Jan. 22, for a total of $4,804,740, about $830,000 below the initial estimated costs. It was funded through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan.

The city’s water meter upgrade is set to be completed by the end of this month. The work is being done by the public works department and is expected to cost $454,877.
As a result of the upgrades, which will allow for electronic collection of readings, the city is almost set to launch an online customer portal. The portal allows customers to view their accounts and water usage online. The portal will also let customers set alerts for usage limits and allow the city to have another method in notifying customers of possible water service interruptions.

Hinesville’s supervisory control and data acquisition upgrades are also expected to be complete by the end of the month and cost $446,780.
The Mills Street sewer line improvement project is scheduled to be complete by mid-March at a cost of $691,452.
The last three projects were also funded through a GIFA loan.

The second phase of modifications to the Hinesville/Fort Stewart waste water treatment plant is set to be done by April 2, however a delay in getting parts may push the completion back to the end of April.
The paving of Gibson and Mattie streets, funded by SPLOST, will be complete mid-April. The project cost $398,830.

In other council matters:
Yokesha Greene provided the quarterly alcoholic beverage and food sales report, noting only one company failed to report and is current non-compliant.
Greene said the owners of Republica Rio Grande, which is in its first quarter of business failed to submit the report. Greene and City Manager Kenneth Howard said the restaurant was reminded in two emails that reports were due. The restaurant is now subject to a $100 fine for failure to report. If it fails to pay within a specified time frame they will be assessed a 10 percent penalty fee.

Councilwoman Vicky Nelson said she didn’t like the fact that they failed to report and asked about repercussions. Howard explained for each subsequent failure to report there is an increased fee. After four failed reports the owners would be brought before the board for a due cause hearing.
Nelson said she thinks the fines should be higher and felt uneasy that the restaurant failed to report during its first quarter, saying they were off to a bad start. Greene said she would reach out to the owners, who may not understand the process due to a language barrier, and try and resolve the issue.

The council approved a peddler’s license for United Distributors to sell water treatment equipment door to door. It allows four salespeople to solicit between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. They had background checks completed by the Hinesville Police Department.

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