The Cobbtown City Council met Monday night for their regularly-scheduled council meeting at City Hall on Highway 121.
After the invocation, Mayor Buddy Collins called the meeting to order. City Attorney Van Cheney presented the official oaths of office to new council members and re-sworn members Angela Monroe, Danny Ray Collins, and John F. Kennedy.
Appointments for council liaison positions were nominated and approved as follows:
- Mayor Buddy Collins will oversee the fire department
- Danny Ray Collins will oversee water and streets
- Gerald Powell will oversee recreation
- The city clerk was also reappointed.
Danny Ray Collins presented plans to pave sidewalks through a bid with Swindell Construction Company (of Glennville) totaling $17,136.00. One other bid was provided by Coursey, but the $14,500 bid did not include a wall to prevent flooding, so the higher of the two was selected for quality of work. It will include traffic control, the sidewalk to match the existing sidewalk, and a header curb with grading.
Councilman John Kennedy expressed his desire to see the city purchase a zero-turn lawnmower. He explained his belief that it would help with the beautification of the city, and though his son-in-law is responsible for city upkeep and would provide him with more work, he believes it would be in the best interest of Cobbtown.
No other council members had official business to discuss before Mayor Buddy Collins asked to adjourn for executive session. AllOnGeorgia contributor Jessica Szilagyi questioned the purpose of the executive session, which Mayor Collins explained was to discuss city finances. Szilagyi suggested that “finance” was not an appropriate purpose of executive session and city attorney Van Cheney confirmed that notion, so the regular meeting continued on.
Mayor Collins requested the city purchase a laptop for his use so he can work on the budget and other city documents without using the same computer as the clerk. He explained that he would like to be able to use a USB drive to transfer documents between his city-purchased laptop and the City Hall computer for a better quality of documents. The council approved the purchase without a bid or proposed laptop choices. Additionally, no price cap was set.
The council also voted to move forward with the purchase of a property to build a new fire station. At this time, no property has been chosen. Cobbtown is seeking to purchase a new fire truck which totals $250,000 but the current firehouse cannot house the tanker. The previous council and administration voted to approve the new firehouse but never acted on it. Construction of the firehouse will be approximately $150,000 (plus whatever land is purchased) and will provide three double-decker bays to hold up to six trucks. With only 4 trucks, the city 448 square acre town will have room to grow, if necessary. Councilman Kennedy and Councilwoman Monroe expressed concern over the location of the future property -and wanted to confirm it will be in Cobbtown City limits- but were otherwise in favor of the construction and all voted to move forward seeking property. The City has $400,000 in a C.D. which they intend to use to build the firehouse.
Of concern was the idea to build an additional structure to house a garbage truck in the city. Mayor Collins suggested that the SPLOST account (totaling $92,000) would be used to fund the building (purchase or new construction) but what he failed to mention was whether or not that project was approved in the SPLOST package before the SPLOST was passed on the last ballot. If not, those funds may not be used for an unapproved project.
The council also discussed how late water bills should be penalized going forward. Mayor Collins suggested a 10% late fee after the 20th of the month, followed by disconnection on the first of the month following the bill assessment. Ultimately, attorney Van Cheney said the local ordinance may need to be amended and therefore, no action as taken pending further review.
Cobbtown will soon undergo an audit conducted by Dalton & Bennett.
Additionally, the minutes from the December meeting were approved and the council broke for executive session.