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Council revises road maintenance improvement list
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Hinesville’s city council meeting ran smoothly and quickly Thursday until the board reached an action item to approve submission of the city’s local maintenance-improvement grant project list to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

In proposing the action, City Manager Billy Edwards told the council the 2015 LMIG allocation from the state was $235,388.62, with the city required to match $70,616.59. He said the required matching funds were included in the fiscal-year 2015 general-fund budget.

He noted that part of the 2013 allocation was for repairs on South Main Street and part of the Central Avenue project, while all the 2014 allocation went to the Central Avenue project.

“It is my understanding that your preference for the use of the 2015 allocation is for street resurfacing,” Edwards wrote to council members in a Dec. 12 letter, which he read aloud at Thursday’s meeting. “To that end, we have revised the resurfacing-project list by adding the street segments you requested as well as some additional street segments as requested by citizens and one that I added.”

The list noted two street segments added by citizens, one by Councilman Jason Floyd, two by Councilman David Anderson, one by Councilman Keith Jenkins and one by Edwards.

The street department inspected each street segment and assigned a rating based on its condition, Edwards said, with the higher the rating, the poorer the condition. Of the 24 streets listed, Whippoorwill Way had the highest score and was placed at the top of the list.

Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, who was serving as mayor in Jim Thomas’ absence, asked about adding to the list. Edwards said it was up to the council but reminded them the LMIG project list had to go to Georgia DOT by the end of the month.

With no more scheduled council meetings this year, they would be pushed for time to inspect the segment on Bacon Road that Frasier was proposing as an addition.

Jenkins suggested they concentrate on the list they had before adding any new streets that they wouldn’t have time to assess.

“I can agree with that, but I have one I want to add on the list,” Frasier insisted. “Do we need to do an assessment to add it?”

A lot of discussion took place between council members and Edwards, with input from city engineer Paul Simonton, about the cost per mile for resurfacing roads. Edwards then said he needed authorization to revise the LMIG projects list.

Council approved a motion to revise the list to be submitted to Georgia DOT.

In other business, an impromptu show-cause hearing took place in approving alcoholic-beverage license renewals.

Tax and License Coordinator Yokesha McIver reported that Wingstop had submitted its quarterly alcoholic-beverage sales report late three times this year. To receive approval for a license renewal, Wingstop owner Richard Connolly appeared before the council to explain the late reports.

“Our (accounting) system is supposed to track (alcohol) daily,” Connolly said. “For some reason, it just shut down… (Alcohol sales) are not a primary part of our business, but obviously, it’s an important part. Some people like to have a beer with their wings.”

“So why didn’t you notify the city of Hinesville you were having a problem with your system?” Jenkins asked. “One report was six weeks late.”

Connolly responded that his restaurant was trying to get the problem fixed, and that he was not going to make excuses. Anderson asked him if the council accepts his explanation, would he be prepared to have future alcoholic-beverage sales reports in on time. Connolly said he is, and the council approved his renewal.

Edwards noted that a number of Hinesville businesses had failed to apply to renew their alcoholic-beverage license for next year, and there would not be an opportunity for renewal approval until the next council meeting Jan. 15.

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