City commission meeting goes well

Published 8:18 am Thursday, August 18, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Brandon Simpson from the Southwest Ga Empowerment Zone

by Kerri Klatt, Managing Editor

The City Commission meeting was held Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at the Cordele City Hall Courtroom at 5:30 p.m. with Commissioners Vesta Beal-Shephard, Isaac Owens, Wesley Rainey, and Chairman Joshua Deriso in attendance. The meeting agenda included several speakers to give reports, updates, and presentations.

The Downtown Cordele Director, Monica Rentfrow gave a quarterly report that included the Railway Park Economic Impact to Date that was $235, 907.00 as well as reporting that Day Out with Thomas (the Tank Engine Train) brought in 6100 visitors. “The Day out with Thomas has come and gone and there were 6100 visitors in June for that,” said Rentfrow. One visitor came from Scotland to visit the railway. “He was really, really wonderful to get to meet,” said Rentfrow, “he was pretty exceptional.” The Downtown Mainstreet Conference will be held next week. “I will be presenting a session on Cordele Railway Park,” said Rentfrow, “as of today we have 234 Mainstreet managers signed up for the conference.” Rentfrow reports that 1 business closed with 4 jobs lost and 1 new business opened 2 jobs created with $5,000.00 in rehab spent.

Brandon Simpson, Small Business Specialist for Southwest Georgia United, gave a small business development presentation. “I started working for Southwest Georgia because I am an entrepreneur myself,” said Simpson. Simpson assists individuals to legalize their business. “One of the biggest problem we have in our community is that we have the craft,” said Simpson, “but we are not properly legalized.” Starting a business has many components to it. “Also what I noticed in the community,” said Simpson, “there is a lack of education when it comes to business.” Having the understanding that the components such as accounting, financial, and business are part of starting a business. “You have a business is to create income for yourself,” said Simpson, “but the business to actually sustain so that one day you can walk away and it can still operate.” Simpson works as a small business specialist in Cordele and would like to assist individuals with small business interests in the city.

The Community Clubhouse Committee had its first meeting in July. The committee did not select officers however the committee did change Clubhouse hours. The new rental hours are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. “According to the guidelines set in place we are to inspect the clubhouse after each use,” said City Manager, Angela Redding, “charges are deducted from their deposits if there is damage done to the community clubhouse.” There is to be no bouncy houses or water slides permitted at the community clubhouse. “Now the stipulation is that there is no waterslides or bouncy houses,” said Redding, “unless it is a city sponsored event.”

Another agenda item for this meeting was to discuss and consider travel and expense reimbursement policy for employees. The item was motioned and seconded therefore was approved to go into effect September 1, 2022. Lastly, the discussion to hire a grant writer for the city was discussed. “The key for the city is to increase revenue,” said Chairman Joshua Deriso, “by different means, we have to diversify our revenue.” The next city commissioners meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.