This is a summary of the May 7th, 2019 Mayor and City Council Meeting for the city of Richmond Hill. This summary is based on my personal understanding after observing the meeting. If there are any inaccuracies, please bring them to my attention. I will of course review the minutes when approved and will make any changes necessary.
Mayor Carpenter started off the meeting with a proclamation recognizing May as mental health awareness month. According to rtor.org, “Georgia has a population of approximately 10.1 million people, making it the 8th most populated state in the nation. Close 3.6% of adults in Georgia (according to SAMHSA) live with serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression.“
Mayor Carpenter also recognized Fire Chief Brendon Greene and Randy Bocook for their efforts spearheading the annual Spring Fling event which has raised over $40,000 since inception. These funds are used for struggling local families during the Christmas season as well as those in crisis situations. The Spring Fling held it’s 3rd consecutive event last month and doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon. Way to go Randy and Brendon!
Girl Scout Troops 30411 and 30786 gave a very impressive speech requesting modifications to the playground at JF Gregory Park. The 4 modifications requested are: A wheelchair ramp, closer handicapped parking, a wheelchair swing, and replacing the mulch with a mat for easier maneuvering of wheelchairs around the playground. Mayor Carpenter informed us that a plan for the wheelchair swing was already in progress and the rest will be discussed at a later date. The Girl Scouts volunteered to help lead fundraising efforts and even donate a portion of their cookie sales to make his happen!
The city of Richmond Hill is hiring a Marketing Specialist to assist the City Clerk in graphic and video design duties in support of a variety of city operations/events.
The city council unanimously approved the appointment of Councilman Bill Donahue to the Downtown Development Authority. His term on this board will expire at the end of 2019, so long as he serves on the Richmond Hill City Council, whichever period ends first. Mr. Donahue’s post on City Council expires in 2019, along with Councilman Les Fussell. An election is set to take place in November. More on that in a later article.
City council also unanimously approved the appointment of Jack Giddens to serve as a member of the Richmond Hill Historic Preservation Commission. Mr. Giddens will be replacing Kiley Folgert as her husband has an approaching Permanent Change of Station (PCS). We thank Kiley for her service to our community as well as her husband for his service to our country.
City Council enthusiastically approved to name the Planning and Zoning Department building in memory of the late Councilman Johnny Murphy. Had it not been for Mr. Murphy’s untimely death, he would still be serving on the City Council today. His vacated seat was filled by Kristi Cox, whose term expires in 2021. Scott Allison from Planning & Zoning also talked about a plan in the future to create a “walking tour” of markers around the city buildings to help display more information than provided by just doing a simple drive-by.
The city approved the hiring of a Fire Captain to replace Brendon Greene, who was recently promoted to Fire Chief. They are carrying out the selection for this new captain a bit differently under Greene’s leadership. Instead of a simple interview/selection process – they will also incorporate a knowledge and skills test to help evaluate the top candidates.
The city approved Preferred Materials, Inc. to construct a right-turn lane for a future road at Town Centre for a cost of $81,805. This is an area off Hwy 144, between Timber Trail and Brisbon Rd. There is already a road called Town Center Dr. that connects Hwy 144 to Brisbon Rd. Expect a full article detailing this new proposed Town Centre in an upcoming article.
City Council approved the use of SPLOST (Special-purpose local-option sales tax) allocation of $124,800 to P.C. Simonton and Associates, Inc. for engineering services for a new bridge on Timber Trail which passes over Sterling Creek (RFQ/RFP #18-200). This bridge is located on Timber Trail between Live Oak Dr. and Boyd Dr. It was explained that when selecting a company for projects of this nature, cost is not the driving force. Each company who submits a proposal is scored on a variety of factors to determine which company will provide the most value overall to the community.
The city also approved the use of SPLOST funds for the purchase of 10 new, fully equipped police vehicles. These vehicles will be used to replace current vehicles set for replacement. The total approved was $510,391.94 which is a “Not to Exceed” price. Once a total actual cost has been acquired, a final approval will be needed.
The city would like to remind everyone about the fast-approaching Spring Carnival by Magic Midways being held at J.F. Gregory Park May 16-19. They will be selling unlimited wristbands for $25. There will be no alcohol served at this event.
That wraps up the summary of the May 7th, 2019 Mayor and City Council meeting for Richmond Hill, GA. Questions? Comments? Join the discussion over at the Richmond Hill Community Facebook group.