City Council Minutes February 18, 2019 Work Session

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry; Councilmembers: Jim Windham; George Holt; David Eady; Mike Ready, and Sarah Davis. Councilmember Jeff Wearing was not in attendance.

OTHERS PRESENT: Matt Pepper, City Manager; Dave Harvey, Chief; Lauran Willis, City Clerk; Connie Middlebrooks, City Clerk; Jody Reid, Utility Superintendent; Hoyt Oliver, Mike McQuaide, Peggy Madden, David Huber MD, James and Adrienne Waddey from Oxford College, Nick Cole, Melissa Hage, Art and Laurie Vinson, Laura Gafnea from Oxford College, Angela Pilgrim, Laura McCanless, and Cheryl Freeman from Freeman Law.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry. Agenda (Attachment A)

1. Mayor’s Announcements

Mayor Roseberry announced that the Tree Board hosted their annual Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday February 9, 2019 and the turnout was standing room only. He also announced that Congressman Hank Johnson will be at Phi Gamma Hall at Oxford College on February 19th. Mayor Roseberry announced there would be a breakfast at the Center with guest speakers Samantha Fuhrey, Newton County School Superintendent, Ralph Staffins, President/CEO of the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and Shamica Tucker, Covington Housing Director. Program starts at 8:30 A.M. Mayor Roseberry asked that everyone remember that Jim Dove the Executive Director of the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission would be retiring on June 30th and his replacement will be announced on Thursday February 21st.

2. City Solicitor

Position Cheryl Freeman from Freeman Law introduced herself to the Mayor and Council and presented her qualifications for the Solicitor Position.

3. Amendment to Code Sec. 10-52

Burial Depth After review of the request from the Oxford Historical Cemetery Foundation, the consensus was to leave the ordinance as is.

4. Financial Sustainability Discussion

Councilmember Mike Ready reviewed the findings from the Financial Sustainability Committee’s report that detailed the five-year estimates for revenue and expenditures for the city’s operating and capital budgets.

February 18, 2019 City of Oxford/ Work Session 2

5. Moore Street Sidewalk Project

The Tree Board and the Planning Commission recommend that the Moore Street sidewalk on the south side stop at Haygood to save the trees that would have to be removed. The sidewalk would continue on the north side of Moore Street to Emory Street. The consensus of the council was to agree with the recommendations.

6. Distributed Generation Rider Discussion

Councilman Eady recommended that the city remove the proposed distributed generation charge for electricity customers installing solar panels. Mayor Roseberry reminded the council that the city owes MEAG more than 5 million dollars and the contract requires the city to raise ad valorem taxes, if necessary, to pay the debt. And Emory University is committed to reducing its energy usage by 25% (Oxford College purchases 44% of the electricity sold by the city).

Old Business

Councilmember Windham inquired regarding the pedestrian bridge/sidewalk. Mayor Roseberry stated that the City of Covington was not going to proceed with the construction of the pedestrian bridge/sidewalk. He stated he would contact ARC to discuss the requirements for Oxford to pursue construction of the pedestrian bridge/sidewalk.

Meeting Adjourned at 7:20 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Lauran Willis, MMC/FOA City Clerk