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Vienna Council meets

By BECKY CRISSMAN
becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

VIENNA — Mayor and council members here held their regular bi-monthly meeting Monday night to discuss business of the city.
Mayor Hobby Stripling, Sr. called the meeting to order and welcomed guests after which he called upon Pastor of the Month, Reverend Lloyd Haskett of Athens Hill Baptist Church, to offer an invocation.
Following the pledge council members approved the night’s agenda and minutes from the previous meeting held on April 25 before getting to the business of the night. The first item for approval on the agenda was the FY 2015 Audit Report. Mr. Gene Allen, auditor for the city gave his official report to the council at the April 12 meeting. Debbie Spring, financial clerk for the city said she met with Mr. Allen and that she had a bound copy of the report available for review. The board voted unanimously to approve the audit as presented by Mr. Allen.
The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) will be holding their Annual Business meeting at their convention in June. Each member city must appoint a voting delegate to act on their behalf during the business meeting. Mayor Stripling nominated Mayor Pro Tem Beth English as the voting delegate. English said that in the past the city has always appointed the mayor to act as delegate for the meeting. English made a motion to name Mayor Stripling as the voting delegate and that motion was approved by a unanimous vote of the council.
Next on the agenda was the approval of the State-wide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement. The synopsis for the agenda stated that the agreement is the framework to support mutual assistance in management and emergency or disaster. It identifies those persons who are authorized to act on behalf of the city concerning the provision of mutual aid resources and requests for mutual aid resources from another participating party or from the State of Georgia. The Dooly County Emergency Management Director formulates plans and procedures necessary to implement the agreement. A benefit to the city is that reimbursements from the State or Federal organizations come directly to the city. English said that the agreement was a Godsend when a tornado came through the city and does not cost the city any money. Mayor Stripling agreed that it is very helpful to the city. English motioned to approve the agreement. Councilman Randall Almond seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved by the council.
A written report from Vienna Mainstreet was presented to the council and Community Development Director Janet Joiner was available for any questions in the absence of Vienna Mainstreet Director Larista Thompson. Joiner previously submitted a written report for the Vienna Community Development to the board. She informed council members the city’s first cleanup campaign was very successful. Plans are in the works to hold a second cleanup event June 13-18. Mayor Stripling also commented on the success of the cleanup, and how nice the city looked and Joiner said they would like to keep the momentum going.
Joiner also updated council on the success of the recent homebuyers workshop. There were over 30 participants that attended and of that number 15 submitted pre-qualification applications. She informed council that another workshop would be forthcoming. The Downtown Development Authority donated property at 310 West Pine Street to the People Helping People United. Joiner said hopefully a house would be going there soon. She also advised the council that the Habitat for Humanity had selected a family for the house to be located in Vienna.
Joiner’s only item, which needed council approval, was a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission met on April 26 to review a request submitted by John Penney for a Special Use Permit to allow a used car sales business at 921 East Union Street, which is zoned C-1 (Community Commercial). Councilman Randall Almond made a motion to approve the recommendation, which was seconded by Councilman Walter Brown. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote of the board.
Also on the agenda:
Council members reviewed written reports from the City of Vienna Police Department, city clerk, and city administrator. During his report to the council, Administrator Michael Bowens informed there had been a bid opening for the 2015 Community Development Block Grant and the engineer was looking over those bids. Bowens informed the board that the 2016 Arbor Day Observance, held on April 29 was a success. This year’s event was in memory of Mrs. Sarah Ambrose and an Evergreen Tree was planted in Busbee Park. Seedlings were also given away to those who attended the event. According to Bowens, the DDA is interested in getting quotes on the spec building, located on 3rd Street. They have been interested in renting or leasing. Joiner agreed that there was a need for rental space downtown and that she had several people looking for space.