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Recap! January 21, 2020

Happy Wednesday!! I hope everyone had a great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I know it helped reinvigorate me and my commitment to service!! Here is the recap of the Special Call and Work Session meeting from last night.

Special Call Meeting

There was only one item on the agenda. Resolution 2020-03 to cover 50% of qualified employee family/dependent benefit cost was adopted 5-1. The city is working to improve benefits to our employees and stay competitive with other cities. We already pay 100% of the employee costs and this added benefit will save some of our employees about $700 per month. We will pay for the majority of the added expense by postponing the code ordinances review project.

Work Session

Citizen Comments

Multiple comments were made on the successful MLK Day event which include the unveiling of the new Eva Mamie Lane Street Signs. Check out this youtube video posted by Ms. Vanessia Cummings as she addressed the crowd.

Also, comments were made by business owners expressing frustration and a desire to work with the City and community to improve down town. Two businesses on Main Street have recently closed. As a reminder the DDA has a facade grant program were businesses can apply to help improve their facade, a new awning, painting, etc. The DDA also has a BOOST program were private investors pull their money together and provide small awards ($1,000) to businesses. For more information on these programs please visit the DDA webpage. Also, Councilmember Little announced the next Business Think Tank will be held April 8th at 7:30pm at 5380 Studios on East Mountain Street.

Additionally, a request was made for a traffic study on JBR to determine traffic calming measures.

Committee reports were given by the DDA and Parks and Rec. The DDA will be meeting with the consultant to kick off the Master/Marketing Plan this week. Look for more information to come on public involvement meetings. Plan is slated to end in August 2020. Parks and Rec will meet February 3rd and are working to finalize a public survey on needs / wants of our parks.

Staff reports were given by Code Compliance, Public Works, Police, City Clerk, City Manager and Tourism. Important to note that paving is complete on Lucille, and Mountain Village Court is slated to be repaved this year. Storm drainage projects will be underway in Rockborough Subdivision. The Color Vibe will be returning to the City and is scheduled for May 2, 2020.

New Business

Proposed Contract between the City and Project Transformation North Georgia, Inc. was reviewed. The City would contribute $7,000 to the non-profit which conducts 8-week summer reading and learning camp in Stone Mountain. Camp holds 70 students the majority of which come from Stone Mountain Elementary School and are eligible for free or reduced lunches. The organization would also participate in some City events and provide free books for children.

Board of Ethics appointments will be on the agenda in February. The Mayor will appoint 2 members and each council member will appoint 1 member. Appointments are for 2 years and will expire on December 31, 2021.

The continuation of Administration of Rome Class Hotel Incremental Tax Fund was discussed. In 2011 the City joined a class action lawsuit that originated in Rome, GA to ensure that proper hotel tax were being remitted to the City when booked through booking agencies. The lawsuit has been administered by Brinson, Askew, Berry, Seigler, Richardson & Davis, the proposed resolution would be to allow the law firm to continue in their current role. The funds the City have received have been very minimal.

New Ordinances and Resolutions

Discussion was had on Resolution 2020-02 to allow for open containers for the Mardi Gras Parade Event to be held on February 22, 2020. This will be similar to the way open containers are handled for the Tunes by The Tracks music series.

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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