City Council Minutes April 15, 2019 Work Session

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry; Councilmembers: Jim Windham, Jeff Wearing, Sarah Davis George Holt, David Eady, and Mike Ready.


OTHERS PRESENT: Matt Pepper, City Manager; Dave Harvey, Police Chief; Connie Middlebrooks, City Clerk; Jody Reid, Utility Superintendent; Hoyt Oliver, Michael McQuaide, Art and Laurie Vinson, Laura Gafnea, from Oxford College; Angela Pilgrim, Cheryl Ready, Juanita Carson, Hoyt Oliver, Judy Greer, Peggy Madden, Gwen Green, and Christine Carling from ECG.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry.


Agenda (Attachment A)


1. Mayor’s Announcements
Mayor Roseberry began the meeting by informing those in attendance of the Oxford Lions Club annual yard sale on May 4th from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. The yard sale will be held on the City Greenspace at the corner of Emory Street and West Clark Street. Profits from the yard sale will be used for community and sight service projects. Mayor Roseberry also announced GMA’s District Five Spring meeting will be held April 25th from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the City of Jefferson Civic Center in Jefferson Georgia. The Mayor shared details from the Service Delivery Strategy meeting which was held April 2nd at the old Historical Courthouse. Mayor Roseberry provided a police report for the Month of March which consisted of 90 citations, 74 warnings, and 15 arrest.

2. State-wide Pole Attachment Agreements
Christine Carling from ECG addressed Council on the contract negotiations on behalf of the City of Oxford with Verizon Wireless and Cingular Wireless. Ms. Carling touched on the terms of the contracts regarding fees, some demands of both Verizon and Cingular to be able to place more antennas and wireless equipment on poles in order to improve customer internet/wireless access and use of City Rights-Of-Way. Mayor Roseberry requested that Ms. Carling also review the contracts with AT&T to see how the city can go about eliminating some of the double poles along city rights-of way. Ms. Carling will work with Matt to draft a Right -Of -Way permitting ordinance. (Attachment B)

3. Asbury Street Park 
Ms.Cheryl Ready, representing the Asbury Street Park Citizens Advisory Committee, addressed Council regarding suggestions for naming the park upon completion. The committee would like to ensure that all the families with ties to that area receive some type of recognition. Councilmember Windham suggested placing a
plaque at the park detailing the families and their affiliation to the property. Mayor Roseberry suggested that
the committee consider accepting citizen recommendations as well.

4. 107 W. Clark Street renovation Project
Councilmember Wearing informed the Council that the Yarbrough House Renovation Committee met last week with Jordan Shoemaker from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, however they are still waiting for those recommendations. Mayor Roseberry requested that the committee ensure that they recognized the Yarbrough House as a historical building on a historical site and it not be considered commercial property.

5. Emory Street Sidewalk Project
Georgia Department of Transportation has granted permission to move forward with advertising for bids for the project. The sidewalk will span from Moore Street to Geiger Street. Councilmember Eady suggested that we have Oxford College reaffirm their commitment to complete the sidewalk from Moore Street to Pierce Street after concerns raised by Councilmember Windham of having sidewalks that lead to nowhere all through the city. The City of Oxford will be responsible for 26% of the cost for the project with $130,000 considered for the sidewalk and $41,000 considered for the engineering of the project. This item moved to the May 6th Regular Session for a vote.


6. FY2020 Operating Budget (Attachment C)
Councilmember Ready recommended that the city would maintain current millage rate of (6.22 mills) and will not be accepting the rollback. In addition, he reported that the FY2020 budget would see an increase in LOST revenue to account for steady county-wide sales tax growth as well as an increase to Interest Revenue due to interest accruing in Georgia Fund One. Councilmember Ready stated that the budget committee would be
recommending a decrease in the funds allocated to the Yarbrough House Welcome Center. The committee would suggest new line items to accommodate for upgrades to the existing telephone equipment ($8,000), upgrades to the security system to include the maintenance facility and Asbury Park and replacements to the current firewall and server at City Hall ($16,650). The committee also requested that Council consider creating another groundskeeper position in order to help maintain the park. Councilmember Ready informed Council that the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority would not increase the wholesale water rates and in turn the city would not impose a rate increase to our water and sewer customers. (Attachment C)


7. FY2020 Capital Budget
Councilmember Holt addressed the FY2020 Capital improvement plan. He highlighted changes in the budget for the E. Clark Street Development, Electric Systems Improvements, and the Yarbrough House Renovation/Welcome Center. New items to be considered in the budget were a new backhoe tractor for the Water & Sewer Department, new lawn mower for the Streets Department, and an RTV for Streets/Parks & Recreation Department. Councilmember Ready requested to know from which budget would the proposed welcome sign for the greenspace at Emory and Geiger Street be allocated. Councilmember Holt suggested that a line item be
created under the capital budget to accommodate that proposed project. (Attachment D)


8. Electric System Improvements
Utility Superintendent Jody Reid addressed Council on projected plans to replace equipment, wires switches, and poles along West Clark Street, Longstreet Circle, Oxford North Road, and Williams Street. Mr. Reid recommended Council accept the bid from Over and Under Contractors, Inc. at $91,601.40 to complete the work and the bid from Gresco at $32,322.15 for all material associated with the project. (Attachment E)


9. City Pollinator Garden
Councilmember Windham informed the Council that he had met with Satsuki Garden Club President, Connie Waller and her Husband David, to get their recommendations for the Pollinator Gardens. Councilmember Windham invited anyone interested to join them on Thursday April 25th to travel to the suggested locations for the gardens.


10. Other Business
Councilmember Windham requested suggestions on how to eliminate the fishing and swimming taking place at the pond owned by the city and Councilmember Wearing. Mayor Roseberry suggested making sure the property was properly posted. Council requested Chief Harvey to research options and to start to patrol that area more frequently. Council was also asked to go ahead and approve the immediate replacement of the firewall for City
Hall computer systems. The consensus was unanimous to move forward with the firewall replacement.


Meeting Adjourned at 7:27 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,


Connie D. Middlebrooks
City Clerk