During the Hinesville City Council’s first meeting of the year, held Thursday, members voted for District 5 Councilman Kenneth Shaw to be the new mayor pro tem.
District 4 Councilman Keith Jenkins nominated him.
There was some discussion about the ordinance regarding mayor pro tem and its term length. Jenkins said he wanted to continue with the council’s rotating schedule for mayor pro tem if needed.
City Manager Billy Edwards said the council has followed a rotating schuled in the past. City Attorney Linnie Darden said when someone did not want to serve out the full term, the position would be rotated to a different council member.
Coastal Incentive Grant
The council authorized submitting a grant application to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for funding under the Coastal Incentive Grant Program to help the city prepare for an upcoming program review by the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.
According to Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard, guidelines and rules have changed in the program, and city officials want to make sure the city stays in compliance.
Matthew Barrow, an engineer with P.C. Simonton, said that by participating in the program, Hinesville homeowners and business owners currently save 15 percent on their flood-insurance policies. If the city makes the changes with the grant money and expands the program, the city’s homeowners and business owners could see that savings increase to 25 percent.
The grant request was for $47,500 with a required matching contribution, for a total project cost of $95,000.
Hinesville Ford was the only bid submitted for a 2016 Ford Explorer, which will replace a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup. The city budgeted $27,500 and the dealership put in a bid for $25,992.
A rezoning petition was approved for Grace Baptist Church on Airport Road allowing the church to have a larger sign. Church leaders were worried that with the widening of Airport Road, the current, smaller sign would be harder to see.
The council also reappointed City Clerk Sarah Lumpkin as city clerk-treasurer.
McKesson Stafford was appointed to newly elected District 3 Councilwoman Vicky Nelson’s seat on the Hinesville Development Authority board. Nelson resigned from her HDDA seat during the council meeting and recommended Stafford as her replacement.
The council approved a new ordinance for the city credit-card policy. Georgia law prohibits elected officials from being issued city credit cards unless there is a policy in place regarding their use by the governing authority. Currently, councilmembers can check out a general city credit card when needed, but only the mayor is authorized to be issued one, according to Kimberly Ryon, the city’s chief financial officer.