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October 6th Council Recap

Good Wednesday afternoon! Last night was a long and much anticipated Council Meeting. So lets get into it!

(Spoiler alert - the Downtown Master Plan was approved!)

New Business

A. Nomination by the Mayor - Historic Preservation Commission Members. The Mayor presented Council with the compiled list of candidates for HPC. Council will shorten the list to no more than 7 members and make a final decision at a Special Call Meeting prior to the Work Session. The candidates are Theresa Hamby, Anita Bass, Daniel Cook, Elaine Vaughn, Janette Miles, Ryan Smith, Ralph Stowell, and Andrea Redmond.

B. Nomination by the Mayor - Planning Commission Members. Similar to the HPC, Council will take the list of candidates down to no more than 7 and make final appointment before the work session. The candidates are Jelani Linder, Eileen Smith, Alex Brennan, Mary Maiden, Orea Parker, Chancy Parker, Felicia Evans, and Joan Monroe.

C. Approved the bid award for picnic tables and trash receptacles for the parks to RJ Thomas Manufacturing in the amount of $18,257.96. Additionally, administration will be posting new signage at the parks to allow them to reopen within a week or so. It is still recommended to wear a mask and social distance while utilizing the parks.

D. Approved the franchise agreement between the City and Comcast. This agreement lays out the permission and fees paid by Comcast to utilize the City's right-of-way. The agreement is standard but needs to be renewed periodically.

E. APPROVED the Reconsideration of the Downtown Development Village Forward Master Plan Document. The final vote was 4 in favor and 2 against (Monroe and Bryant). Much discussion on the plan was held, including comments from the public. Council also received numerous communication prior to the meeting in favor of adopting the plan. Two of the yes votes came after much deliberation and they would like guarantees, though I am not clear yet what was meant by the statement. The now adopted work plan provided tentative projects and programs that the City and the DDA could pursue. The heavy lift and more expensive projects revolve around road / infrastructure improvements and by their nature would be led by City Administration and not the DDA. The action plan is below and can be found on page 158 of the Master Plan. I would like to thank everyone who gave their input into the planning process and voiced their opinions to Council.

F. Mayor postponed the executive session discussion to a date to be determined.

G. Approved the King Annexation Petition - 1060 Ferndale Street. The property is split by the City Limits with the majority of the property within the City. The property owner is requesting that all of his property be brought into the City. This approve begins the process of annexation but will also require County approval.

New Ordinances and Resolutions

A. Postponed Resolution 2020-21 - A Request to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to Establish a Museum on the Atrocities of Slavery. Discussion was postponed to the work session so that the language of the resolution could be improved. Personally I was not okay with some of the language and want to see changes before I will agree to the resolution. The overall concept does not seem to be the issue, just the resolution language.

B. Approved Resolution 2020-22 - FY2020 Budget Amendment. The amendment allocated funds to purchase 2 replacement police vehicles. It also allocated the CARES Act Funding received from the County in the amount of $712,391. The funding will initially be used to offset the cost of police salaries during the pandemic. This is an allowable expense for the funds which must be used entirely by December 31, 2020 or the remaining money would be sent back to the County. The general fund money saved by this offset will then be placed into a COVID Relief fund and the Council will develop programs to help residents and businesses from the money.

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.

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