Hinesville is growing as evidenced by new housing areas and commercial projects, Mayor Jim Thomas said during Thursday’s city council meeting.
“Let me encourage you to take a drive around the community after church this Sunday,” Thomas said, following a business license report by Councilman David Anderson and an inspections activity report by Councilman Jason Floyd. “Drive through some of these new housing areas and take notice of some the new commercial construction in our city. People are anxious to move here. We’re a growing community.”
Although there were more action items on Thursday’s agenda than information items, the latter took longer due to the discussions each presentation generated. In fact, the first item on the agenda was a quick approval to a request by The Heritage Bank to rezone .184 acres of land at the intersection of Willowbrook Drive and E.G. Miles Parkway.
Floyd abstained from the vote because he works for the bank.
Other action items approved included a 2012 peddler’s license request for Juan Davila, Castle Roofing Construction, and a similar request by Erin Shield, Alcon Roofing.
Proposals for two grant applications submitted by Hinesville grants writer Michelle Lane were approved, including one to the Amerigroup Foundation for $5,625 on behalf of the Homeless Prevention Program, and $64,118 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy vehicle extrication equipment and airlift bags for the Hinesville Fire Department.
The council also approved an ordinance change to comply with a state law that establishes the office of prosecuting attorney for the municipal court.
Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier requested more time to appoint someone to replace Robert Robbins who resigned from his seat on the Hinesville Historic Preservation Commission. A request to have Marjorie Wright appointed to the Hinesville Housing Authority Board will be considered next month.
Information items began with a detailed presentation by Leah Poole, chief executive officer for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, on activities by the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau. As its chairwoman, Poole also updated the council on activities by the Hinesville Area Arts Council.
City Manager Billy Edward’s report on the status of construction projects prompted questions by Councilman Keith Jenkins about completion dates for Bryant Commons. Edwards said construction of the amphitheater is expected to be completed in September.
He said the proposed veterans memorial, which is a Hinesville Military Affairs Committee project, has no specific completion date. Construction will begin when money becomes available through grants and donations, he said.
Edwards encouraged council members to read and comment on a proposed ordinance for digital signs by the Aug. 2 meeting. He reminded them the moratorium set by the council will expire in mid-August.
During public comments, Louise Stewart requested assistance in getting some downed trees removed from her yard. She also spoke on behalf of the Morning Glory Garden Club, asking to replace a dogwood tree planted by the club in Bradwell Park after the tree inadvertently removed by parks and grounds employees.
Anderson noted during his report that the mayor was celebrating a birthday in July, which led to the council and public attending the meeting to wish him a happy birthday by singing to him.
“You’re going to need a burn permit before you can light all the candles on his cake,” joked Hinesville Fire Department Chief Lamar Cook as everyone finished singing.
City leaders will participate in an annual planning workshop July 18-21 at Jekyll Island Club Hotel.