City Commission Meeting September 5, 2023

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, September 5, 2023

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The Cordele City Commission met on Tuesday September 5, 2023 at 9am at the Cordele City Hall Courtroom with Chairman Joshua Deriso appearing to be absent, Commissioner Vest Beal Shephard, 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 firstly to amend “The 1999 Zoning Ordinance” by amending the following: Section 1. Paragraph 44 of Section 210 of the City of Cordele Zoning Code is amended by adding the following sentence: “The main door or entryway of a principal building must face a public street.” Section 2. Paragraph 65 of Section 210 is amended by adding the following sentence: “Other than manufactured home parks, the chassis of any manufactured home located within the City of Cordele shall run parallel to a City Street. The main door or entryway shall face the street.” Section 3. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are repealed. Milton Holly spoke on this, who goes against that mobile homes should all face parallel to a City Street. Another women spoke up for this ordinance, in regards to this issue as well, she claims the west side of Cordele looks like a can of sardines, there is no space where the trailers are to put things around it. Harold Perry, against the ordinance it makes it hard to utilize the property, or to build on it in the future.

Second public hearing is to amend “The 1999 Zoning Ordinance”, by amending the following: Section 1. Section 1010.3 (a) is repealed in its entirety and a new Section 1010.3 (a) is adopted as follows: “(a) Published notice. At least thirty (30) days prior to the date set by the Board of Appeals for the public hearing, a written advertisement shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the municipal boundaries of the City of Cordele stating the date and time, the location, and purpose of the haring, the location of the property being considered for the zoning action, the present zoning classification of the subject property, and a brief description of the nature of the zoning action proposed the subject property.” Section 2. The first paragraph of Section 1010.3 (b) is repealed in its entirety and a

new first paragraph of Section 1010.3 (b) is adopted as follows: “(b) Posting of property. For all Board of Zoning Appeals hearings, the Chief Codes Official shall cause to have posted in a conspicuous place on the subject property a sign not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the Board of Zoning Appeals hearing. Such sign shall not be less than twenty-four inches (24) by thirty-two inches (32) in size, and shall contain information regarding the date and time, location, and purpose of the hearing before the Board of Appeals. No such public hearing shall take place until said signs have been posted for at least thirty (30) days. Signs shall be posted in accordance with the following rules:” Section 3. All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are repealed. No body spoke further on this.

Following the public hearing there was a guest speaker; Mr. Harold Perry spoke in regards to unclean water at 404 West 3rd Ave. He came in with water filters, that were a very rusted look after a short period of time. He says that he has been told that there is nothing wrong with the water. It has been an issue for 4-5 years, and he is asking that the commissioners do something in regards to this. Perry says that he changes the filters regularly typically every two weeks. The filter is before the water goes into his house, UC&T says that the travel time for water to come from the well there is a chance that rust could be picked up. UC&T said that have checked all the neighbors and done everything they know to do, and he is the only one with this issue. Mr. Perry says he has change all his pipes to the meter into PVC pipes and an inspector has said that the issue is not in the house.

We then heard from the department heads starting with the Finance Director, who didn’t have an update. We then heard from the Cordele Fire Chief, Todd Alligood gives the call for service for the period running from July 17 to August 29th with a total of 57 calls for service. No structure fires, 10 fire alarms, 32 medical assists and 7 motor vehicle accidents. They did completed training on ladder 1 and it is in service. They had a successful Summerfest and look forward to working with the Cordele Police on this annual event in the future. Smoked detector blitz will be October the 7th, which ties into fire safety month. We then heard from Chief Codes Official, ongoing commercial projects, inspections for Foam works has been complete and should open this week. Papa Johns Pizza has been added and they believe that construction has started. Big Tex Trailers are also building a warehouse with the commercial jobs evaluations being just over $34 million. Some have not started yet, as they are in the works. Residential projects there are about $12 million worth of projects on the go. We then heard from Municipal Court, Jackie Walker, Month of august 276 cases 240 traffic and 36 criminal 16 bench warrants ordered, 29 license suspensions. For bond probation, pretrial , restitution they collected over $30,000. There was 0 Jail sentence and 0 incarcerations. We then heard from Police Chief, Jalon Heard with the break down of calls to service for July 26 to august 30th for call of service part 1 crimes; 54 murder homicide 2 (3) total for the year, self defense and accidental including in the 3. Robberies they had 1, motor vehicle theft 1 that was recovered, aggravated assaults 1 with 2 people arrested, larceny 30, 12 entering autos. Chief Heard wants to stress to lock cars and get valuables out as all of these entering autos they were unlocked. There were 7 shoplifting with 6 arrests and 11 other thefts. Burglaries there were 8 with 7 residential and 1 business. Part 2 crimes there was a total of 80, incidents 181, Community Contacts 82, Citations issued 86, Warnings issued 72 with a total calls for service 1462 There were 3 promotions to corporals which created more jobs which Corey Watson has been hired. Summerfest was a big success; they hope to continue it next year. Funding of Summerfest was questions at the last meeting that he wanted to clear, they have a community line item that goes before the commission to budget money for community events and it was approved. Chief Heard did not create this, but he has chosen to continue it, as the community is important to him. Summerfest ended up costing them nothing due to the overwhelming donations from the community. They have received a lot of thanks for putting on Summerfest. He thanks everyone who was involved in this as without them it could not have been such a success. They have more community events going on, September 20th coffee with a cop at Cracker Barrel. National faith in blue is coming up October 6-9th, they are doing a coat drive that is currently going on, donations are accepted at Northern Heights Baptist Church and police department. Lastly we heard from, UC&T Director, says that in August 1.76 million gallons of water was treated, and 3.1 million gallons of wastewater treated. We have received 6.8 inches of rain in August. He speaks on the water issue brought up by Mr. Perry and says that they have checked everything, and that the water is good. Chairman Rainey suggests to put in a line filter to do their due diligence as Mr. Perry is complainant and is paying for his water. Chief Heard goes over code enforcement, Safe built started today. They look to be more proactive with code enforcement.

Agenda item number one was the proclamation of Ricky Smarr. Commissioners Vesta Beal Shephard and Issac Owens presented the proclamation. Ricky Smarr, spoke saying thanks, and that he isn’t going anywhere, if they need him they can contact him.

Agenda item number two was to consider and approve the Second Reading of An Ordinance Amending the City Code of the City of Cordele to Move Code Enforcement Implementation and Enforcement from the Community Development Department to the Police Department: Repealing All Ordinances in Conflict Herewith; And For Other Purposes. Background Information; 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 of violations. This agenda item will amend the Code of Ordinances to reflect the transfer. This was properly moved and second, approved unanimously.

Agenda item number three was to consider and approve the Second Reading of an Ordinance Amending the Zoning Code of the City of Cordele to provide for the principal building main door entryway to face a public street; to provide that the chassis of a Manufactured Home be parallel to a City Street; Repealing all Ordinances in Conflict Herewith; and For Other Purposes. This was properly moved and second, approved unanimously.

Agenda item number four was to consider and approve the First Reading of an Ordinance Amending the Zoning Code of the City of Cordele to provide for notice of hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals; Repealing all Ordinances in Conflict Herewith; and for Other Purposes. This was properly moved and second, approved unanimously.

Agenda item number five was to consider appointment of Milton Holly to the Board of Zoning Appeals. City Manager had posted an ad in the newspaper and they only received one letter of interest from Milton Holly. This motion failed, due to lack of votes. The next meeting they will need to nominate again when they have a full government body.

Agenda item number six was a discussion in regards to the YES Building on 212 N 2nd Street. This was mentioned in City Managers last report, it has been placed for discussion. Motion to discuss was properly moved and second, approved unanimously. Chairman Wesley Rainey, says that this should be open to those who are interested in it to come forward by a certain time. Mr. Waters and the commission have an agreement on him using the building but they will open it up to others as well. September 13th 5pm will be the deadline for the city to receive the letters of interest. A citizen asked how people will be informed of this and what is the criteria that they need to be eligible for this. An ad will be placed in this Wednesdays paper to inform people that they can send letters of interest


Agenda item number seven was a discussion in regards to mobile food trucks time of operation and the sharing of the designated areas that the Commission assigned. Chairman Royce Reeves was contacted by a food truck that wanted to park next to one that was already at the community clubhouse. City Manager clarifies that they need to receive a call in advance for food trucks to be in certain places. She also mentions, that all food truck vendors receive a packet with all the policy and ordinance information. Chairman Issac Owens suggests that they give a notification 24 hours in advance. They go into further discussion into the time in which the foot trucks can be in operation for. The current law is 9pm, but Chairman Reeves says he has seen people around food trucks around 10-11pm. They have agreed that private property owners can allow food trucks until 11pm and 1am but the property owners has to approve not the renter, and a letter of approval has to be signed, dated and given to the city 24 hours prior. Chairman Rainey has put forward a motion and this was properly moved and second, approved unanimously.

We then heard from the City Manager Angela Redding, who said that they need to ad a time frame in regards to replacing manufactured home and the replaced must occur within 6 months. Chairman Shephard made a motion, this was properly moved and second, approved unanimously. Interviews for residential and commercial solid waste were done, and Express Disposal has been chosen. This was properly moved and second, approved unanimously. Sanitation will increase coming this new billing cycle in September. Municipal Election qualifications were held august 21st to 25th. The following individuals qualified, Ward 1 Milton Holly, Vesta Beal shepherd, and George Whitehead Jr and Ward 4 was Wesley Rainey. Two vehicles have been received for the Police Department, they are not ready for the streets just yet as equipment needs to be put into them.

We also heard from the City Attorney with his report in regards to an outside attorney, Mr. Jones, to handle the ethics complaints. A motion was made for Mr. Jones to be used for this position, it was moved, second and approved.