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Water and sewer service approved, grants addressed by Hinesville City Council
Hinesville sign

Hinesville City Council approved a budget addendum, two grant resolutions, and a request for water and sewer services at the regular Aug. 16 meeting.

Developer RTS Homes Inc., submitted a request for City of Hinesville water and sewer services for phase one of the Tranquil South subdivision. According to City Manager Ken Howard, the new development is comprised of 243 lots, located on Old Hines Road and O.C. Martin Jr. Drive in Flemington. The development is a mixture of single-family homes, and garden style homes.

Phase one includes the addition of 43 lots added on to the city’s current water and sewer service. Howard recommended approval, on the terms that the developer will return and request services for phases two through eight.

According to Paul Simonton, with P.C. Simonton and Associates, the city has the capacity to add another 43 units onto its current services, he said, citing minimal impacts to the system.

There will be more impact studies required to potentially incorporate the additional phases, but Simonton did recommend moving forward with phase one.

“We’ve made it clear that we have to study the rest of this to ensure we can provide to all of the 243 units,” he said. “But right now, there is no risk with the requested 43.”

The request received unanimous approval from council.

On behalf of the Hinesville Police Department and Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Erica Usher requested permission to submit an application to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to receive funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program. Usher said funding through the JAG program is given to state and local jurisdictions.

HPD and LCSO are applying to purchase patrol car equipment, specifically eight patrol counting units or radars, Usher said. HPD would purchase five radars, for a total of $7,800. LCSO would purchase three for a total of $9,037. 

New this year, the Bureau of Justice Assistance requires that JAG recipients set aside three percent of the allocation to work towards compliance with the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System, Usher said. Both HPD and LCSO would be required to set aside $220, and would use the money to train staff NIBRS system.

“This is a new budget line item that we’re going to enter this year that we haven’t included in previous years,” she said.

The total allocation of the grant is $14,227, and total equipment cost is $17, 278, according to the request. The difference in costs, she said, is that although the equipment is similar, the departments are purchasing different models of the radar devices. The LCSO will match the remaining $3,051, Usher continued. The request received unanimous approval.

Council also approved the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program grant application.

According to the application, GDOT receives funding from Federal Highway Administration for TAP, which gives local governments the opportunity to pursue non-traditional transportation activities.

Engineer Matthew Barrow, with P.C. Simonton and Associates, said the proposed project includes intersection improvements at Ryon Ave, S.R. 38 and the Bryant Commons entrance, to maximize safety and improve pedestrian access. This portion of the project is already scheduled into special-purpose local-option sales tax six funding, he said.

The second half would include street improvements along the remainder of Ryon Ave and South Main Street, from Ryon to Central Ave. It will include streetscape work to mimic Memorial Drive in order to develop a unified corridor through downtown, he said. 

They will install lighting and sidewalks, upgrade pedestrian paths, make intersection improvements at South Main Street and Hendry Street, replace signage and other minor corrections, the request states.

“We need sidewalks and streetlights that continue the downtown corridor to Hwy 84,” Barrow said. 

The total estimated project cost is 3.2 million, and the local match through SPLOST is $767,000, Barrow continued. There is preference given to projects that require no utility relocations, and no right-of-way required, he said.

“We’re working with the DOT to get more feedback about how heavily they’re going to weigh this,” Barrow said. “If they’re putting a lot of priority on projects that don’t require utility relocation or right-of-way, we may reduce that scope some.”

If the project is modified, the cost would drop by almost a million dollars, he said.

Barrow received approval to submit the application on behalf of the city.

The FY 2018 budget addendum received council approval. It included minor changes for upgraded IT security measures, upgraded city accounting software, and the professional services consulting for the internal/external equity analysis the city is conducting, as well as interdepartmental budget adjustments, Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Ryon said.

Council members also unanimously agreed to extend both the city and the Liberty County Planning Commission’s contract for audit service for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. 

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