City Commission honors retiring police officer, approves millage rate
By BECKY CRISSMAN
CORDELE — Before getting to the business of the city, commissioners took a moment Tuesday night to honor one of Cordele’s long-serving police officers.
Commission Chairman Zack Wade presented a plaque to Lt. Lloyd Anderson, in honor of his retirement. Anderson came to work with the Cordele Police Department in 1981, serving the people over 35 years.
Commissioner Wade also read and presented a proclamation to Shakeveyia Daniels. The proclamation designated the month of September as Chiari Malformation Month in the City of Cordele. On September 17 awareness walks for the disorder will be held around the country. The local walk will be held at Crisp County Middle School. All proceeds from the walk will go towards Chiari Malformation research.
Moving on to new business, Commissioner Royce Reeves brought up a cemetery on MLK Way that has gone without being properly maintained and wanted to see about the city taking on keeping the property mowed and cleaned. City Manager Edward Beach advised the board upon request that he would look into the matter.
Beach then moved in to his report to commissioners.
The main item on Beach’s action agenda was the adoption of the city’s millage rate. It was requested that the commission approve the advertised 10.995 mills. This will be the 10th consecutive year the city’s millage rate has gone unchanged. The tax revenues are estimated at $2,358,704 which is an increase over last year of $119,839 or 5.35%. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the millage rate as suggested.
Beach also submitted a request to commissioners to approve the reappointment of two members of the Housing Authority; Dr. Erskine Weaver to a five-year term beginning on September 18, 2016 and expiring September 18, 2021 and Margaret A. Mumphery – Resident Commission for a one-year term beginning on September 18, 2016 and expiring on September 18, 2017. The board unanimously approved to reappoint the two members and Beach said he will be contacting them for notification.
Commissioners also approved a change in the current policy regarding police vehicles. According to Beach, he and Chief Rodriguez had discussions regarding the policy that states officers can only take their vehicles home if they live within the county. Beach said it was their recommendation to amend the current policy to state that officers may take their vehicles home if they live within a 35 mile radius of the city. Board members approved the recommendation by a unanimous vote.
Commissioners also approved a counteroffer for the right-of-way acquisition in the 8th, 10th, and 13th Streets TE Project. The counteroffer is for Parcel 21. The counteroffer was for $1,000 and the original offer was $500.
Beach submitted a request for a parade permit to the board from the Crisp County High School Student Council for the Crisp County Homecoming parade. The event is scheduled for September 29 and will travel down 24th Avenue from Crisp County Pre-K to Stewart Avenue. They asked that the intersection of 24th Avenue and Pecan Street be closed from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. for the event.
Also on the agenda, commissioners approved a request for a street closure by the Cordele Main Street and Crisp Area Arts Alliance. They requested the closure for the 100 East Block of 12th Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets for the co-sponsored Calypso Breezes event in downtown Cordele from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The commission approved the request.
Commissioners heard reports from various department heads. Chief Rob Rodriguez with the Cordele Police Department informed the board during his first official report that he would be having an officer present at every meeting if a situation were to arise. He also informed the board there were some vacancies in the department to be filled.
Debbie Wright with Public Works informed the board that the well levels were down another five feet. She advised that in September the wells will usually level off and the city got around 2 inches of rain during the recent storm.
Grant Buckley, IDA director, was present at the meeting and board members asked if he had anything to report. Buckley commented on the current state of the economy. Buckley informed the board that the unemployment rate is down 20% which accounts for about 130 more people are currently employed than there were last year. Buckley said he has not heard any negative comments from businesses in the area.