While approving or choosing to delay decisions on some agenda action items, Hinesville City Council’s Thursday meeting heated up during Councilman David Anderson’s report. His apparent ire over trash on a particular property in his district drew comments from other council members.
Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier added to Anderson’s concerns with examples of residents putting their yard waste and trash cans by the roadside days before the scheduled trash pick-up. Councilman Keith Jenkins said he has seen examples of yard waste and trash cans by the curb for days and noted trash and blight in some yards. He then asked whether the city’s trash ordinance stipulates when trash can be placed by the roadside for pick-up.
“Our ordinance regulates what they can put out there but not when they can put it out there,” City Manager Billy Edwards said. “Now if you have an old sofa or something like that you want picked up, we do ask that you call for a pick-up.”
He asked Anderson if they could discuss the trash issue during the city’s annual workshop, scheduled for July 11-13. Anderson, however, wanted something done about the problem in his district right away.
Although no one seemed to disagree with the others, the discussion became so heated that Mayor Jim Thomas had to use his gavel to calm the council enough for one speaker to talk at a time.
After about 20 minutes, Thomas and Edwards were able to reach a compromise with council members by bringing city attorney Linnie Darden into the discussion. The council agreed to review the city’s trash ordinance at the July 18 council meeting and work with Darden during the upcoming workshop to draft a new ordinance that was more explicit regarding yard waste and household trash.
In other business, the council approved a preliminary plat by TR Long Engineering for Valor Point, a new residential subdivision off Olmstead Drive. They also approved a resolution to amend the Liberty County Service Delivery Strategies to update the water service area map, and they approved a new ordinance regulating precious metals dealers within city limits.
The council approved a request to submit an application to the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the $14,457 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to buy two digital video mirrors for the Hinesville Police Department and assist the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office in purchasing one digital video mirror.
They approved a request to maintain audit services for Hinesville and the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and they approved a loan through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for funds to relocate sewer mains, install non-potable reuse lines and install water mains for the Veterans Parkway widening project.
The council heard information items from the Community Development Department about receiving U.S. Housing and Urban Development funding, and a presentation by Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Vicki Davis, who talked about what the HDDA has been doing to revitalize the downtown area, including renovating the old jail and holding special events at Bryant Commons.
Homeless Prevention Program coordinator Daisy Jones asked the council and mayor to join her in a special presentation to recognize volunteers for the recent Project Homeless Connect, including the Unique Social Club and members of the Jeffrey Porter family.
One agenda item the council again chose to delay a decision on was a request by Kenneth Setzer for a 2013 peddler’s license that would allow him to sell fresh fruits and vegetables door to door. Council members expressed concerns that he was not the one who produced the vegetables and knows of no particular inspection process.
Edwards responded to questions from Jenkins that roadside vegetable vendors have state licenses to sell produce they grew on their own property. Thomas suggested Setzer first meet with Davis and find out about the qualifications of Hinesville Farmers Market vendors. He even suggested that Setzer consider becoming a vendor for the weekly market.