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Hinesville City Council addresses contracts, grants, comments
Hinesville sign

The Hinesville City Council addressed several informational items on contract proposals, proclamations and board appointments at its meeting Thursday.

Bus-stop benches

City Manager Billy Edwards presented an informational item on a proposed contract with Fuel Media Holdings LLC. The advertising company would put benches at bus stops with advertising around the city for no cost, and the city would receive 10 percent of the gross advertising fee.

A draft contract was given to the mayor and council to look over, and it will be presented at the March 17 City Council meeting.

Mobile phone forensic software

The Community Development Department was retroactively approved to submit a grant application for the Hinesville Police Department to receive forensics software for mobile phones.

The HPD submitted an application immediately after being notified of the Susteen Community Outreach Mobile Forensic Grant to receive discounted software, which is given on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Erica Usher, a grant writer with the Community Development Department.

The HPD was notified that it was approved for the discounted price and will pay for the software from its own budget.

The software will cost $2,495, compared to the original price of $6,395. The HPD was also able to purchase passcode-breaking software for $699 to open locked phones. The total cost for both programs is $3,194.

Board appointments

The mayor and council where notified of board members whose terms were expiring and needed either to be reappointed or replaced.

Mayor Pro Tem Kenneth Shaw and Councilman Keith Jenkins need to make appointments to Citizens Sign Appeals Board by April 7.

Mayor Allen Brown, Councilwoman Diana Reid and Councilman Jason Floyd need to make appointments to the Hinesville Historic Preservation Commission by April 7.

The mayor and council were informed about Irene McCall’s appointment on the Hinesville Housing Authority board. Her appointment expires in May, and she would like to continue as a board member. The appointment will be on the April 21 agenda.

The mayor and council were also informed that Melissa Ray and Donald Lovette’s appointments on the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority expire in May. Ray would like to continue to serve on HDDA, and those appointments will be on the agenda April 21.

Public comment

Resident Joseph B. Stuart, who ran for the District 3 council seat last year, spoke about Fort Stewart soldiers not following city ordinances when it comes to parking cars in their yards.

He spoke of an interaction he had on the campaign trail with a resident who was upset about a trailer he had in his front yard that needed to be removed. He described the resident’s point of view, who was questioning why the city’s zoning board needed to move his trailer, using a mocking voice.

Stuart then said he explained to the man that he had also served on the board and that “they were trying to make Hinesville a cleaner, nicer place to live in.”

He added that Maj. Gen. James Rainey, commanding general of the 3rdInfantry Division, said he wants to be a good neighbor. But the soldiers, Stuart said, “are not good neighbors.”

Stuart wanted a solution on how to inform soldiers of city ordinances.

He added that he had asked a soldier a few years ago why he did not live in Hinesville, and the soldier told him that the city was “a dump,” and another woman who worked on the installation had called Hinesville “a ghetto.”

Jenkins asked the mayor if the city could look into working with Fort Stewart to inform soldiers about parking their cars. Jenkins added that Hinesville “is far from being the ghetto.”

Councilwoman Vicky Nelson then spoke to Stuart, stating that when she talked to him earlier, she had discussed with him that after he presented his comment, city officials would talk with the Inspections Department to see what can be done.

Brown said he appreciated Stuart’s concern and that city would do something about it if possible.

Other business

- Maj. Thomas Cribbs was recognized by the mayor and council for his 40 years of service with the Hinesville Police Department.

- The council announced a public meeting that will be held at 5:30 p.m. March 17 in the council chambers to discuss a wastewater improvement project funded by Georgia’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

- The council announced a work session to discuss the Hinesville Future Land Use Maps at 3 p.m. March 14 in the council chambers with the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission.

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