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Citys water loss said to be within acceptable range
Hinesville city council meeting

Nearly 10 percent of the water that Hinesville pumps into its distribution system goes unaccounted for but, officials say, that is an accepted loss.

The city’s chief financial officer, Kimberly Ryon, and Robert Norby, who runs the water plant for the city’s contract public works department, presented the 2011 water audit to the city council at its meeting last week.

According to their report, 9.2 percent of the water produced by the city is unaccounted for due to leaks or unauthorized usage. Both Ryon and Norby said this level of lost revenues is considered acceptable.

One of the first items on Thursday’s council agenda was a presentation on Georgia Cities Week by public relations manager Krystal Britton. Running through Sunday, the theme for this year’s Georgia Cities Week is “The Magic of Cities.”

Britton said the first event of the week-long celebration was  an Earth Day celebration that was Monday at the YMCA. There was another round of cupcake wars, sponsored by the Hinesville Area Arts Council on Tuesday. And the state of the city address by Mayor Jim Thomas is to be delivered Thursday at a Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Progress Through People luncheon.
Events culminate with the Small World Festival in Bradwell Park Saturday.

During the meeting, City Manager Billy Edwards brought council members up-to-date on construction projects in the last quarter.
In action items, Quinnco Marne LLC requested final plat approval for Liberty Park’s block 5. The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission recommended approval pending standard and special conditions, including letters of credit for performance and maintenance bonds.

“We have to have a letter of credit for the work to be done,” Councilman Charles Frasier said.

Councilman Keith Jenkins added, “I just don’t feel comfortable approving the work without that letter of credit.”

Because the company has yet to receive a letter of credit for the bonds, the council took no action.

The council accepted a $34,221 bid from Thompson Pump of Pooler for a 6-inch portable trash pump, even though the amount exceeded the $32,500 budgeted. P.C. Simonton & Associates project engineer Marcus Sack presented a bid by Palm Coast Utilities LLC for drainage construction for the Baytree Canal improvement. The council approved the $247,119 bid.

Michelle Lane requested authorization to submit an application for the 2012 Emergency Solutions Grant for $47,000. The grant requires 100-percent matching funds, which would be used for emergency shelters, rental assistance, utilities assistance, transitional housing and Project Homeless-Connect. After confirming the matching funds would be part of the 2013 budget, the council approved the application.

Several individuals were appointed or re-appointed to serve on special committees or boards. Councilman David Anderson recommended Pearl Dawson to replace Cassandra Rice on the Sign Review Committee. Melissa Ray and Donald Lovette were re-appointed to four-year seats on the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, and Denise Deigh was re-appointed to the Hinesville Housing Authority.

During his report, Jenkins asked director of public works Gregg Higgins to explain the mosquito problem. Higgins reiterated what he and parks and grounds supervisor Kenna Graham told the Courier for an article two weeks ago and said in a press release by Britton last week.

Due to the warm winter and early spring rains, the mosquito population is high, Higgins said. The city is spraying three times a week, but the public is advised to do what they can to reduce mosquito-producing pools around their homes. They also should wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when playing or working outdoors.

Before adjourning, Frasier reminded council members and guests about the May 1 ceremony to change the name of Frank Cochran Drive to Veterans Parkway. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. near the corner of Frank Cochran and South Main Street.

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