January 7, 2020 Council Recap
Happy New Year! Welcome to the first recap of the decade! I hope everyone had a good holiday season and spent time with loved ones.
Last night was the Oath of Office Ceremony for Gina Cox Stroud, Clint Monroe and myself. Welcome to the team to our new council members!
Afterwards the regular of meeting of the City Council was held.
Hearthstone Subdivision - no update on this item. City Manager requested the item be removed from the agenda until there is something to report.
Approval was given for the Sexton Drive Improvements Proposal for Project Survey, Construction Documents, Bid & Construction Administration with Clark Patterson & Lee for $70,500. This will be to produce the plans to fix an ongoing flooding issue along Sexton Drive. It is estimated the construction cost will be close to $700k and is anticipated to be funded through SPLOST.
Approval was given for the Letter of Engagement for Audit Services from James L Whitaker, PC for FY2019.
Approval was given for the Statewide Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement between the City of Stone Mountain and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. This allows the City access to reimbursement funding in case of a natural disaster. An example would be funds were reimbursed for clean up efforts after Hurricane Irma.
Discussion continued on the request to sponsor 2 interns for Project Transformation North Georgia which provides a Summer Reading Camp for low income children in Stone Mountain through the Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church. A formal proposal from the organization is expected to be presented at the January Work Session meeting.
Approval was given for the appointment of Bernie Waller to the Downtown Development Authority with a term to expire July 31, 2021. The DDA voted to recommend his appoint to Council at their December meeting. Long time member and former Mayor, Gary Peet, resigned from the Board effective December 31, 2019. We thank Mr. Peet for all of his hard work and dedication through his many years of service. There is still one vacancy left on the DDA board.
Approval was given for the Surplus of Asset for Disposal - 2014 Dodge Charger. This police vehicle was involved in an accident and the insurance has deemed it to be a total loss.
Discussion was held on the consideration for City contribution to Dependent Care Medical Coverage for Eligible Employees. Currently, the City pays 100% coverage for our employees, and up to a $400 reimbursement towards the deductible. This additional coverage would propose to pay up to 50% of dependent coverage, the additional cost for the City would be about $82,000. Administration is working to show where this funding would come from and anticipate to have a special call meeting on the item before the Work Session. The additional coverage will help us retain our employees who are finding the cost of dependent coverage (up to $1200 a month for family coverage) too expensive. Due to having such a small group of employees it can be difficult to find an affordable insurance plan for our employees.
A last minute request was made to add the appointment of Mayor Pro Tem to the agenda. Council Member Little nominated me to serve and Council Member Monroe nominated Council Member Bryant. The consensus was tied and the Mayor made the deciding call and asked that I continue in the position as Mayor Pro Tem. Motion carried 4-2.
New Ordinances and Resolutions
Resolution 2020-01 was adopted for the Intergovernmental Agreement for the Distribution of Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax Proceeds. This resolution is an agreement between the City and DeKalb County for the distribution of the remaining EHOST proceeds. You will remember that EHOST was effectively replaced by the SPLOST. The resolution details the methods of distribution of funds from the County down to the City's. Effectively, if any funds remaining the City will be on the last tier to receive funds. There is no estimate at this time of how much those funds might be.
Council adjourned to executive session to discuss real estate and personnel. There was no action to be taken from the discussion.
Disclaimer: This City Council Recap is taken from my personal notes and memories of the meeting. For the official minutes of the meetings please visit the City web page.