By Harley Gatlin
The Eastman City Council held a meeting Monday, November 28 at the Eastman City Hall with chairman Raymond Mullis presiding.
The first order of business addressed was the 2017 proposed general operations budget. The budget is proposed to be $6,746,105.00, that being operating and SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds. The general budget was said to be about $3.6 million, which is a nine percent decrease from last year’s due to removing and separating SPLOST and general funds. Cobb stated, “Other than this there are no big changes or major adjustments being made.”
Raymond Mullis excused himself for the discussion of item six seeing he was related to the subject and turned it over to vice chairman Buddy Pittman. Item six is the first reading for annexation of GLH Development Properties, LLC. The annexation is for the 9.64 acres located on Griffin Avenue and across from Wal-Mart. This space has been an ongoing topic for proposed commercial use, but the company specifically wants it to have access to city services including: sewer, water and trash services. All voted in favor of the first reading, pending the county’s approval.
The second addition to the agenda item seven is that of a proposed 5-K run put on by the Dodge County High School student council. The 5-K would begin at First Baptist Church and would not include state routes. The race will take place on December 17, 2016 with all the council voting in favor of the motion.
The minutes of the November 14, 2016 regular meeting were all approved.
Charles Williams, director of Eastman-Dodge Chamber of Commerce, had nothing new to bring to the council but stated,” Lots of good projects are in the works, but I have nothing to share with you this evening and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.”
The bid for the workers compensation insurance for 2017 was analyzed. The council has only received one bid from the Georgia Municipal Association for a bid premium in the amount of $98,949.00. “This is a substantial increase from the amount before,” explained Jason Cobb, city manager, “however, we have had two substantial claims with those two being worker comp claims from police officers in the past few months.” The motion was approved for the workers compensation bid.
A decision had to be made on an engineer for the renovations on the vacant lot next to the Magnolia Theater on Main Street. The city sent out requests for qualifications for architecture firms and had received three back, including Goodwyn Mills Cawood, Carter Watkins and Associates and David Woodburn. Cobb recommended Goodwyn Mills Cawood stating, “We have already selected them to complete the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in 2017.” The council approved Goodwyn Mills Cawood as the engineer to renovate the vacant lot.