Several manhole covers have been stolen in Hinesville during recent weeks, prompting City Manager Billy Edwards and Mayor Jim Thomas to appeal for public support and assistance.
“These manhole covers weigh 75-100 pounds,” Edwards said at Thursday’s city council meeting, explaining that he could only presume the covers were being sold as scrap metal. “We’ve had about five covers stolen in the last two weeks.”
Edwards said the covers, which cost the city $110 to replace, might sell for $10 or $15 as scrap. Thomas said the thefts are not only an unnecessary cost to the city, the missing covers pose a safety risks as well.
“I would ask the public to report these kinds of thefts to the police department,” Thomas said, suggesting that people should be suspicious of any vehicle stopped near a manhole. “What really concerns me is some child falling into one of these uncovered manholes, or it causing a wreck.”
In other business Thursday, the council approved a zoning variance request by Dr. Joseph Pittman to allow for a walk-in cooler on the back of his property on 556 West Oglethorpe Highway. The council also approved a preliminary plat from Dryden Enterprises for Griffin Park’s Phase VI. This new phase consists of 61 lots.
The council approved changes to ordinances, including one that ties renewal of city business licenses to payment of county personal property taxes. Edwards said it would help the county collect taxes.
Michelle Lane, grant writer with the Community Development Department, requested approval for an emergency good and shelter Grant application for $15,000 to the United Way of the Coastal Empire. She also requested permission to submit an application for the Mayor’s Challenge Grant to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Both requests were approved.
Thomas said the Mayor’s Challenge Grant was intended to spread ideas among the country’s larger cities. Hinesville is touting the success of the Fort Stewart-Hinesville water treatment plant.
The council also bought a boom crane from Coastal Trailer Co. for public works contractor CH2MHILL/OMI to be used to lift pumps and motors. The single bid for $16,883 was below the $28,500 budgeted.
At a budget hearing after the meeting, no one was present to comment, so the council agreed to hold its annual budget workshop at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.