City Commission Meeting August 15, 2023

Published 1:39 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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By: Sarah Brown – Managing Editor

The Cordele City Commission met on Tuesday August 15th 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 speaker appearance by Milton Holly who would like the commission to consider returning meetings to evenings so that voters (citizens) have access to input in the City affairs. Milton suggested that either the meeting be moved to the evening or an additional meeting be held for the community to voice their opinions and be heard, as the current meeting is more focused on municipal matters.

We then heard from the department heads starting with the Finance Director, who gave a brief update. Following we heard from the Deputy Fire Chief, Frank Bullington on behalf of Fire Chief Todd Alligood, they are completing certification along side Crisp County Fire, several are in basic training and they are still awaiting the arrival of the new ladder truck. The pushing ceremony for the new ladder truck will take place at Station 1 on Monday August 21st. We then heard from Housing and Urban Development, they have many projects going on, they are currently working on their third home. They are also working on applications for the economic relief from the University of Georgia which helps people with paperwork and getting those who need t help with their financial situations. We then heard from Chief Code Official, Jack Woods who spoke about the goals they have accomplished. All their certifications and licenses are all up to date. There was some discussion between Jack, the City Manager and the Commissioners in regards to having a person in each ward to look after keeping everything up to code. With questions such as what is the purpose? And what would it solve? The main purpose being to ensure that all home around the city are up to code, prevent homes from becoming condemned and being able to establish which should be considered condemned. It also helps to streamline the process of which the Code Officials work. We then heard from Police Chief, Jalon heard who said they are fully manned in terms of patrol positions. He also spoke about the Summerfest coming up on August 26th. Heard was questioned as to the purpose of Summerfest at which he clarified that it was about community involvement. Funding has come majority from donations; this event will be bigger than last year. He asks that people go to their Facebook page and share posts in regards to the event. There has been an increase in training both on site and off site. They are in the process of becoming state certified. They still have 2 cadets in the police academy. Following we heard from Public Works Director who spoke about surveys they have completed and are expected to do further testing. There are also some issues with pipes that will be addressed when the report comes in. Another leak survey will get started in September, walking leak survey 123 miles to evaluate any leaks. Finally we heard from UC&T Director Debbie, she has completed the 12th sample that reported undetected and they have been all sent off. They should no have to test moving forward which will save approx. $250 a month. They have yet to start the lead and copper testing in households, they will be sending out flyers to people in the community and conducting tests in the coming weeks.

Agenda item number one was to consider and approve an event permit: Cordele Summerfest – Community Event. Sponsored by the Cordele Police Department, August 26, 2023 at the Cordele Community Clubhouse, 108 E 15th Avenue, 10:00am until 2:00pm. Special request: to block off 15th avenue between 6th and 7th street. This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

Agenda item number two was to consider and approve an event permit: Family Music Festival, Cordele Main Street, 105 East 9th Avenue, Cordele, GA, September 9, 2023, 10:00am – 4:00pm. Alcohol truck on premises. Close off 9th Avenue between 6th and 7th streets. This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

Agenda item number three was to consider and approve board reappointments: Cordele Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

Lin Barnes: Reappointed as a Commissioner to succeed himself for a five-year term beginning September 18, 2023 and expiring September 18, 2028.

Mattie Gwyn: Reappointed as a resident Commissioner to succeed herself for a one-year term beginning September 18, 2023 and expiring on September 18, 2024.

This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

Agenda item number four was to consider and approve the request for items listed from the Finance Department to be declared surplus and to all the City of Cordele to dispose of the surplus items via This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

Agenda item number five was to consider the first reading of an ordinance amending the City Code of the City of Cordele to move Code Enforcement Implementation and Enforcement from he Community Development Department to the Police Department: Repealing all ordinance in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. Background: As presented during the Budget Workshop, Code Implementation and Enforcement is being transferred to the Police Department to streamline the process for reporting and handling violations. This agenda item will amend the Code of Ordinance to reflect the transfer. This item was not moved to second during the meeting. They went into executive session and approved it for a second reading on September 5th.

Agenda item number six was to consider and approve the second reading of 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. This item was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.

Agenda item number seven was to discuss that term limits be changed to three for elected officials. This item was not moved and was dismissed.

Agenda item number eight was to discuss creating neighborhood planning units. This item was discussed and decided further research be made.

Agenda item number nine was to discuss decreasing per diem to $90 for travel. There was discussion on this matter in regards to decreasing the travel cost helping to keep more money into the City to be used for other purposes. The original per diem for travel was $125. Commissioner Owens made a motion in which it was not second and was dismissed.

They then went into executive session.