City Council Minutes November 18, 2019 Work Session



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2019 – 6:00 PM


MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry; Councilmembers: Jim Windham, George Holt, Mike Ready, Jeff Wearing, Avis Williams, and Sarah Davis.  Honorary Councilmember Rachel Ding was also in attendance.


OTHERS PRESENT: Matt Pepper, City Manager; Dave Harvey, Police Chief; David Strickland, City Attorney; Marcia Brooks, City Clerk; Stacey Mullen, Deputy City Clerk; Scottie Croy, Assistant Public Works Supervisor; Art & Laurie Vinson; Theresa Eady; Mike McQuaide; Cheryl Ready; Danielle Miller of Oxford College; Lynn Bohanan; Laura McCanless; and David Eady.

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

Agenda (Attachment A)

1.       Mayor’s Announcements

=         Mayor Roseberry advised that he and Matt Pepper attended MEAG’s Mayor’s Summit earlier this month and will provide a full report to the Council soon.  Many cities are unhappy about the amount they owe under their power contracts, and he will provide more details in his report.

=         City Attorney David Strickland swore in Avis Williams, who was appointed to fill the vacant POST 4 Council member seat on November 4, 2019.

2.       Honorary Councilmember of the Month
Mayor Roseberry introduced Rachel Ding, a sophomore at Oxford College, who has been appointed as Honorary Council Member for the month of December.  Ms. Ding spoke to the Council about her role as the President of the Student Government Association at Oxford College.


3.       Discussion on the Match for Community Development Block Grant Funding

Matt Pepper discussed the criteria for awarding Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).  There is a requirement for the applicant to state a match percentage when applying for a CDBG, and the applicant can choose the percentage with a minimum of 5%.  However, the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission (NEGRC) has advised that the more the applicant is willing to match, the more competitive the applicant will be in the grant reward decision.  Therefore, to give the City of Oxford some leverage in the grant decision process for the Water Main Replacement Project, he recommends that we pledge to match 20% of the funds for this project.  We are applying for the maximum amount allowed of $750,000, so 20% of this amount would be $150,000 that the City would pledge to pay if the grant is awarded.  Mr. Pepper advised it would be the first quarter of the next fiscal year before we know if we will receive the grant.  The application is due by April 1, 2020, followed by a review process to determine which grants are rewarded.

4.       Engineer Recommendation for Water Main Replacement Project (Attachment B)

Matt Pepper advised that as part of the CBDG application process, each applicant must issue an RFP for engineering services for the project.  The services in the RFP include engineering design, permitting, project monitoring, and confirmation of work completion according to specifications in project plans for invoices received.  We issued the RFP in September and received five (5) responses. Mr. Pepper and the Public Works staff reviewed the proposals based on several criteria, including number of CDBG projects completed, ability to staff the project, quality of work, our relationship with them, and their proximity. 

The recommendation for the project is Carter & Sloope.  We have dealt with this company on two other projects, the most recent one being the water main replacement on Emory Street and Asbury Street, and had a positive experience with them.  No cost estimates are included at this time because four of the five bids were based on a percentage of the construction cost, which we do not know yet since we have not started a bidding process for the project itself.  For an idea of cost, in the Capital Projects budget right now we have this project planned at $1.1 million dollars based on an estimate from a contractor.  This estimate is a bit old and Mr. Pepper is working to update that estimate. 

Carter & Sloope proposed a fee of 9% of total project cost for engineering services, and 3% of total cost for construction administration.  They charge $6,000 to do a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER), which is required for the CBDG application.  This report consists of a review of current existing pipes we have, a project schedule, a cost analysis, and recommendations for any changes they recommend for the project.  Two other vendors have the same cost structure except that they do not charge for the PER.

Mr. Holt asked for clarification on what we would be voting on at the next Council meeting, to ensure we are not voting to award the construction work to Carter & Sloope, just the PER.  Mr. Pepper confirmed that Mr. Holt was correct.

5.       Proposed Resolution - FY2020 Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) (Attachment C)

Matt Pepper stated that the city has selected Stone Street for paving in FY2020.  We just completed our FY2019 work about a month ago due to scheduling issues with Newton County.  The grant for FY2020 is about $27,000.  The grant is based on population and center line mileage as a percentage of the state’s totals.   Mayor Roseberry asked Mr. Croy how we determine which street(s) to work on each year.  Mr. Croy advised it is based on condition and how much patching has been done in the past.

6.       Environmental Study Committee Report (Attachment D)

George Holt reported that the committee had divided the list of proposed actions out into several phases, which he has provided to Council.  They would like to get buy-in from the Council that they are on the right track.  They plan to add some of the items to a short-term work plan once the Council approves their phased list.  Mr. Holt requested input from Council.

7.       Proposed Ordinance (FIRST DRAFT) - Shared Active Transportation Devices Discussion (Attachment E)

Mayor Roseberry stated the City is trying to come up with an ordinance to regulate e-scooters and other similar transportation devices.  Matt Pepper advised that the sample ordinance provided is based on the City of Decatur’s recently adopted ordinance.  Mr. Pepper discussed the elements of the draft ordinance.  Mayor Roseberry suggested that the maximum speed limit these vehicles can be operated in should be 25 mph, which would discourage use in Oxford, since they cannot be used on sidewalks.  Jeff Wearing commented that the operation of these devices is like that of golf carts, in that they cannot be operated on any major highway.  Jeff Wearing recommended that we check with the City of Covington to find out if they are considering a similar ordinance.  Ms. Ding stated that the speed, where it is parked, etc. is controlled by the app on a mobile phone, which is required to rent a device.  Emory does not allow students to go off

campus with the devices.  Jeff Wearing asked for confirmation that these devices would not be allowed on the trails, which Mr. Pepper confirmed would be true implicitly since motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails.

8.       107 W. Clark Street Renovation Project

Jeff Wearing stated that this project is progressing.  They are finalizing the drawings for a Welcome Center/Community Center.  They are about to enter another phase.  Carter & Watkins will continue to make final drawings for the house itself.  They will be putting out a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) to find someone who can restore the house.  When the drawings are complete, they will be able to share a lot more information and hope they will be able to start soon on the work.

9.       Whatcoat Street Project

Mike Ready stated that in 2014 plans were put together for improving Whatcoat Street.  Since then some changes were made to the plans.  Then a couple of years ago Oxford College decided to make some changes to the intersection of Pierce and Haygood streets, so the City backed off on its plans for Whatcoat Street.  Now that the park is complete and Yarbrough House is moving forward, the City would like to proceed with plans to beautify Whatcoat Street, which historically is a main thoroughfare.  The engineer is updating the records to reflect the work Oxford College completed.  The intent is to build out Whatcoat Street, adding a sidewalk to the south side and adding pedestrian lighting as appropriate.

Mr. Holt asked if we are going to continue what the college started in terms of lighting and parking on the same side of the street.  Mr. Ready stated they have not discussed doing that, but the plan can be changed.  Mr. Holt and Mayor Roseberry stated they thought the work would continue what the college had started, down to George Street.  Mr. Ready stated the plan can easily be changed.


The work session was adjourned at 6:31 p.m.


Special Called Meeting was called to order at 6:31 p.m. by the Honorable Jerry D. Roseberry.  The purpose of the Special Called Meeting was to vote on the appointment of Marcia Brooks as the City Clerk of Oxford.


Motion was made by Wearing – Second – Davis to appoint Marcia Brooks as the City Clerk of Oxford, approved unanimous 6/0. 


Motion to enter Executive Session at 6:33 p.m. Ready – Second – Holt, approved unanimous 6/0.


Motion to adjourn Executive Session at 6:37 p.m. Ready – Second – Holt, approved unanimous 6/0.


Motion to adjourn the Special Called Meeting at 6:40 p.m. Wearing – Second – Davis, approved unanimous 6/0. 



Respectfully Submitted,



Marcia Brooks

City Clerk