City Commission Meeting – June 20, 2023
Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2023
The Cordele City Commission met on Tuesday June 20, 2023 at 9am at the Cordele City Hall Courtroom with Chairman Joshua Deriso, Commissioner Vest Beal Shepard, Commissioner Isaac H. Owens, Commissioner Royce Reeves, Sr., Commissioner Wesley Rainey and City attorney, Tommy Coleman in attendance. The meeting started with a Public Hearing: Article VI. Use Provisions by District; Section 620.3 Conditional Uses. Thomas G. Phelps Jr. 702 South 15th Street, also known as 903 West 17th Avenue, Cordele, Georgia. Thomas G. Phelps, Jr. is requesting a variance to locate a New or Used Double-Wide Manufactured Home at Block 158, Lot 8 and the North one-half of Lot 9, 702 South 15th Street, also known as west 903 West 17th Avenue, City of Cordele, Crisp County, Georgia. The zoning classification of this property is (R-7.5), One-& Two-family Residential District. Thomas G. Phelps, Jr. is the property owner and the potential manufactured home owner. Mr. Phelps was not present for the public hearing. There was discussion amongst the City Manager and Commissioners in regards to what address the house would be at based on the placement of the front door. Public Hearing closed
We then heard from the department heads starting with the Finance Director, Rusty Bridgers with updates on the reconnect fee being increased to $25, with discussion to look into a software similar to Crisp County Power that send reminders of their bill. We then heard from Fire Chief Todd Alligood, with the Fire Department’s goals and accomplishments. The Red Cross fire alarm blitz needed to be rescheduled due to weather. Their budget is in the process of being completed. They have implemented a new Career Ladder. They are continuing to encourage fire fighters to pursue training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. They want o be proactive with public relations. In regards to accomplishments they have been busy this month, they have released their Emergency Response guidelines. They implemented a Career ladder which is a minimum set of requirements that are needed to move forward, time in grade, time in service, classes that are required to be eligible for promotion. It is a minimum guideline but lets everyone know exactly what is needed. Onsite of inspection has been done of the much needed ladder truck; this is currently on hold as there are others that are interested in it. They have attended multiple classes at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. All of their equipment has passed annual inspection. They are also still in the process of eliminating surplus. We then heard from the Housing and Urban Development Director with updates on goals and accomplishments with many goals getting completed in subdivisions, rehabilitation projects and more. Chief of codes, Jack Wood gave a quick update in regards to the dilapidated houses, nine of which were residential and demolished under owners expense and one commercials that was demolished under owners expense. Cordele Police Chief, Jalon Heard gave his update on goals and accomplishments. There are 2 cadets that will be graduating this Friday, they have hired two, and there is still one patrol officer position vacant.
We then heard from the Public works director with little no update besides being 75% complete on sending out public awareness mail outs, which is now being done in house and is saving them money. UC&T director gave an update on the samples; they have taken a 10th sample that was non-detected. If they get two more samples that are non-detected that will save $200+. With the storms last week, the city got 6 inches of rain, which caused things to start tearing up due to the influx of water being processed. It was reported that they has processed 9 million gallons in a very short timeframe.
We then moved on to the agenda items; Agenda item number one was the event permit – Round Robin 2 Wheel Sunday: Organization is the Black Duster Motorcycle Club, 606 S. 10th Street. Organizer’s name is Dedra Davis; Date of the Event, July 16, 2023, 1:00-6:00 PM. Special Request is to close off 10th street between 16th and 17th avenue. The permit was approved by Police Chief Jalon on June 13, 2023. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number two was to consider and approve the request from Thomas G. Phelps, Jr. for a variance to locate a New or Used Double-Wide Manufactured Home at Block 158, Lot 8 and the North one-half of Lot 9, 702 South 15th street, also known as 903 West 17th Avenue, City of Cordele, Crisp County, Georgia. The zoning classification of this Property is (R-7.5), one- & two-family residential district. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number three was to consider and approve an ordinance designating certain public streets in the City of Cordele for the combined use of motorized carts and regular vehicular traffic; and for other purposes. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number four was to consider and approve a ordinance amending Article XII of chapter 2 of the City Code of the City of Cordele; Removing all references to ethics tribunal and replacing them with hearing officer; repealing all ordinance in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number five was to consider and approve and ordinance establishing procedures for the development of an agenda; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. This item was reviewed, Chairman Deriso asked for further background at which he did not receive and decided to move forward with the agenda without this items being properly addressed.
Agenda item number six was to consider and approve bank signatories for a checking account with Regions Bank for ARPA fund background and summary. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Background and summary: The second tranche of ARPA funds received for entitlement communities was deposited in the Pool Account. As previously mentioned, the second tranche of ARPA funds were designated as the city’s match for the $10,000,000 state ARPA grant for sewer improvements. For auditing and tracking purposes, the funds should be deposited into a separate account. This agenda item is requesting city officials who are currently authorized as bank signatories be approved as bank signatories for the checking account with Regions Bank.
Agenda item number seven was to consider and approve a resolution requesting the general assembly to approve an amendment to the City Charter of the City of Cordele to correct an error in section 6.27; repealing all resolutions in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. This item was skipped over by Chairman Deriso with not explanation as to why. The commissioners addressed this item being skipped later on in the meeting.
Agenda item number eight was to consider and approve the K9 lease agreement memorandum of understanding for the Police Department. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number nine was to consider and approve increasing per-diem for commissioners. This would go up from $100 to $125. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number ten was to consider and approve the additional services for R & D Lawncare Service, LLC for Bethel Cemetery. Sunnyside Cemetery, and Bethel Annex. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Background and Summary: R&D Lawncare Services, LLC contract was approved for $11,500 monthly services at Bethel Cemetery and Sunnyside Cemetery. Due to an increase in the cost of materials, the monthly payment increased by $110 per month. The additional cost of services beyond the monthly fee of $11,610 a month are for the maintenance of Bethal Annex, maintenance inside the coping and additional mowing of the cemeteries as required.
The City Manager was unable to give her report due to an issue brought up regarding agenda items that had been omitted by Chairman Deriso. Commissioner Reeves tried to get the attention of Chairman Deriso, which Reeves was ignored. Chairman continued to ask City Manager to give her report. Commissioner Rainey spoke making a motion to Vice Chair that the Chairman is out of line omitting the approved agenda at which Reeves motioned. At this point Chairman spoke up saying he is chairman and that he is to approve every motion that is made in the meeting. Deriso continued to asked City Manager to give her report at the same time Rainey asked if Deriso would carry the motion, which he denied to do. Deriso began to raise his voice when Reeves tried to carry the motion. City Manager was asked again to give her report, Angela got up to the podium, and then Reeves said that he would not listen to the report until the issue had been settled. Arguments between Deriso and Reeves continued until Reeves made a motion that the meeting be adjourned, at which time this was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously. Meeting was adjourned at 9:35AM.