ST. SIMONS ISLAND—Hinesville city council members and city administration finished their second and final day of their annual planning workshop around noon Saturday.
The workshop was held at the Sea Palms Resort and Conference Center.
Next they discussed the requirements for removing fluoride from the drinking water. City Manager Billy Edwards presented the agenda item, discussing that the health benefits of ingesting fluoride had been brought into question and the local water already has natural fluoride in it.
The city would save $16,592 annually if it was stopped, however it would take a referendum. For that to happen, at least 10 percent of voters who participated in a general election had to sign a petition calling for a referendum to end the practice, according to Edwards. The council felt there was not enough voter concern at the time and they agreed to keep an eye on the issue.
Council members discussed improving the wording on a tree cutting and removal ordinance. It currently states that the city will not collect yard waste such as trees, shrubbery, branches, or trimmings if it is cut by a contractor. The person who did the work must remove it.
One concern with the wording was how the city would know if the yard waste was cut by the homeowner, which the city will collect, or by someone they had hired, for example a friend, to do the work. Mayor Allen Brown said “our wording is what’s our problem.”
Brown discussed the possibility of the city council members creating a youth council, an organization of community representatives from different groups in Hinesville, and a summer program for local youth.
Several councilmembers discussed their individual work with community organizations and the city’s youth and also their support for the initiatives. Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard was asked to conduct research into models for developing a youth council and a possible steering committee was also discussed to help start the youth council.
Check back in an upcoming Coastal Courier for a recap on the planning workshop.