Waynesboro City Commission Hears Quarterly Department Reports

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   The Waynesboro City Commission met in regular session on Monday, October 14th, 2019 at City Hall in Waynesboro. Commissioners in attendance included Mayor Jeff Howell, Commissioner Chris Bevis, Commissioner Jeff Davis, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. City Manager John Hickman and City Recorder Paige Jackson were in attendance as well. Vice Mayor Charlie Mosley was absent.

   Mayor Howell called the meeting to order, and Commissioner Davis offered the invocation. Mayor Howell opened the meeting by welcoming the new City Attorney, Mr. Josh Polk. Mr. Polk said that he appreciated the opportunity to work with the commission, and he along with the commission expressed thanks to Attorney George Gray for his years of service. Mr. Gray retired from the position on September 30th after serving as City Attorney for fifty years.

   Commissioner Bevis then made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved. Commissioner Creasy made a motion to approve the minutes from the meeting of the Beer Board, and Commissioner Bevis seconded the motion. Those minutes were approved as well.

   Under department reports, City Manager Hickman informed the commission that the city had officially been awarded a CDBG grant in the amount of $525,000, which will be used to extend city water lines on Highway 64 East to the 48 Creek Bridge. The city’s match amount will be approximately $200,000, which will come from the water and sewer fund. Preliminary work on the project will start soon, beginning with environmental reviews and engineering designs.

   City Manager Hickman went on to inform the commission of a few more items:

-the city received the contract for the LPRF grant for the soccer field lights the previous week;

-39 new Christmas light decorations have been ordered;

-the city’s Christmas party will be on Thursday, December 19th at 6 p.m. at the Waynesboro Middle School cafeteria;

-another “Movie in the Park” night will be held on Saturday, October 26th, with the showing of the movie “Hotel Transylvania.”

   Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager Patrick Blackburn next gave a statistical report on his department. Over the months of July, August, and September, the plant averaged treating 430,000 gallons per day, and treated a total of 39.2 million gallons over the three-month period. Blackburn also said that several small issues, in combination with the heat of the summer months, had contributed to the odor complaints from the plant, but he now knows how to monitor the problem more efficiently to keep the odor down in the future.

   Maintenance Department Supervisor Jeff Staggs then gave an updated statistical report on the maintenance department. He said that the street department had received 72 work orders over the last three months, while there were eight in the sewer department, 28 in the gas department, and 69 in the water department. Six of the water department work orders were for water line breaks, which were repaired. No gas leaks were found as a result of the work orders in the gas department.

   Police Chief Walter Smith gave a report on the Police Department for July, August, and September, including call response statistics. Officers made 385 traffic stops, and issued 199 citations; the rest were warning citations only. Chief Smith said that there is currently one officer in the training academy, and one officer was recently hired who is already POST-certified.

   The only item of new business on the agenda was the approval of the Public Entity Partners Property Conservation Grant. The grant, which has been approved every year for the past several years, will be used this year to add more cameras to the city buildings’ surveillance systems. Commissioner Creasy made a motion to approve the grant. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion, and the grant was unanimously approved.

   Waynesboro citizen Myra Staggs then addressed the commission regarding a few issues of concern. She first said that she had been made aware of a resident of the Waynesboro Village Apartments who had to move out of his apartment due to the remodeling project going on, and when he was allowed to move into a different apartment at the complex, he had to pay another service fee to have his water turned on. City Manager Hickman explained that it is the city’s policy to charge a service fee for every new water hook-up, and that the tenant should speak with the apartment managers and see if they would be willing to offer a resolution in light of the circumstances.

   Mrs. Staggs next brought up the issue of school traffic issues, specifically at Waynesboro Elementary and the Head Start building. She said that traffic is so backed up in the afternoons that it would be impossible for emergency vehicles to get through the streets near the schools. Police Chief Smith said that his officers tried directing traffic at the school last year and it did not seem to help the problem at all, but actually made the traffic back-up worse on Main Street/Highway 13. The commission agreed that there is no easy solution to the problem of the county’s three most populous schools being located so near to one another.

   Mrs. Staggs then asked the commission to consider the possibility of the city providing trash cans for residents, stating that several of her personal trash cans had been damaged by the garbage collection trucks.

   Under open items on the agenda, Commissioner Creasy said that there was a ditch that was stopped up on Hurricane Creek Road near the James Griggs residence. Commissioner Bevis then said that there was also a ditch that was stopped up from a mudslide on South High Street across from WCHS.

   Mayor Howell suggested that the directional diamond-shaped stripes be painted back into the crosswalks on the square to make them more visible. He also said that he had received some feedback from citizens regarding the lack of handicapped parking on the outer ring of the square.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Creasy made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Bevis seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.