Waynesboro City Commission Votes to Offer Free Golf Passes to Healthcare Workers

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   The Waynesboro City Commission met in regular session on Monday, August 24th, 2020 at City Hall in Waynesboro. All commissioners were present, including Mayor Chris Bevis, Vice Mayor Jeff Davis, Commissioner Jeff Howell, Commissioner Lynn Warren, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. Also in attendance were City Manager John Hickman, City Recorder Paige Jackson, and City Attorney Josh Polk.

   Mayor Bevis called the meeting to order, and Vice Mayor Davis offered the invocation.

   Commissioner Howell made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Creasy, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

   City Manager Hickman next gave updates on various departmental topics, including:

-The USDA Community Facilities Vehicle Grant recently awarded to the city will provide funds for the purchase of a 2020 Ford F250, 4-door, four wheel drive, with an expanded toolbox. The city’s match amount for the purchase of the vehicle will only be $1,446.

-The Waynesboro Municipal Golf Course is taking applications for a full-time Cashier/Manager and a Greens Superintendent.

-The mowing crews have been working almost every day. Inmate labor from the Wayne County Jail is allowed again, but inmates from the Boot Camp are still restricted from work crews.

-At the next City Commission meeting, bids will be awarded for street paving and pavement restoration. City Manager Hickman advised the commission that they should be thinking now about city streets that need re-paving and not just patching.

   The only item of new business on the agenda was a continuation of the discussion from the last meeting regarding what the city can do to recognize essential workers and local heroes. Commissioner Warren presented a suggestion that all healthcare workers receive a pass for one free round of golf at the Waynesboro Municipal Golf Course during the month of September, and one free Waynesboro City Pool pass to be valid until the swimming pool closes after Labor Day. The commissioners briefly discussed recognizing other essential workers in different ways in the coming months. Vice Mayor Davis made a motion to approve Commission Warren’s proposal. Commissioner Warren seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.

   Under open items on the agenda, Commissioner Howell inquired about the repairs and improvements at the city-owned building that now houses a car wash and Wayne Provision. City Manager Hickman said that someone has been hired to pressure wash, paint, fill cracks, and patch bricks on the building. The repairs are expected to be completed within the next couple of weeks.

   Commissioner Howell went on to mention a few items that citizens have brought to his attention, including:

-Fairlane Drive needs weedeating and mowing on the sides, banks, and edges.

-On West Hollis Street, rain washes a lot of rocks and gravel into the road in one area, and a tile may need to be installed to solve the problem.

-Streets that need re-paving include Helton Street, Castleman Drive, North Main Street, Mink Branch Acres Drive, and South High Street.

   Commissioner Warren next inquired about cleaning at the City Park. He said that he had received a complaint about the pavilion and playground equipment being very dirty, and a lot of trash is scattered around. City Manager Hickman said that the playground equipment is pressure washed and thoroughly cleaned at least once or twice a year, and he would let the workers know that it is almost time to do that again. He also said that he would make sure the pavilion and trash are cleaned up. Commissioner Warren went on to say that he had spoken with a citizen who requested that the city put a sidewalk in the Barlow area in front of Dad’s Pizzeria. Commissioner Howell commented that there are many areas in the city that would benefit from new sidewalks, including the Barlow area.

   Vice Mayor Davis said that many people have complained about the odor coming from the sewer plant. City Manager Hickman said that they had run out of deodorizer, but some had been ordered and should be in soon.

   Vice Mayor Davis then brought up an issue of people parking for long periods of time on city property, especially in front of the Wayne County Library, to be able to connect to the free Wi-Fi. All of the commissioners agreed that there is no law or ordinance preventing anyone from accessing the free Wi-Fi and parking where they can use it, but many citizens have complained about the same vehicles being parked in front of the library for long periods of time. City Attorney Polk confirmed that even though it can be a nuisance for vehicles to be parked in the library parking lot for several hours a day, there is no legal way to prevent them from doing so.

   Vice Mayor Davis also inquired about the speed limit signs on Helton Drive. City Manager Hickman confirmed that new signs have been put up, and Vice Mayor Davis said that the City Police may still want to keep an eye on drivers on that street. It is in front of the Waynesboro Elementary School, and people have complained about speeding drivers on that street in particular.

   Commissioner Creasy then brought up a few items to be addressed or discussed, including:

-The sidewalk on Hassell Street near Harold’s Cleaners has some bumps and damage on it, which could possibly cause someone to fall.

-Sevier Drive is in need of patching in several places.

-A citizen inquired about the possibility of putting up a “Children at Play” sign on Butler Street.

   Commissioner Creasy also brought up the issue of the odor from the sewer plant, and asked if the engineers who designed the plant could come here and meet with the commission about a solution to the problem. City Manager Hickman said that engineers will be in town in the near future to do a presentation on the 48 Creek water line extension, and the commission can discuss the sewer plant issue with them at that time.

   Vice Mayor Davis asked when the accounting firm who completed the 2019 City Audit would be coming to explain and answer questions about the audit. City Manager Hickman said that the accountant told him that he should be able to wrap things up and come to a meeting in the near future, but no date has been set.

   Mayor Bevis said that he had recently spoken with Martha Kelly of the Waynesboro Downtowns Committee, and the committee strongly encourages residents in the city to keep their property mowed, hedges trimmed, etc. The appearance of the city does make a difference when applying for state grants for improvements.

   Mayor Bevis also said that he had received a text message with photos of a broken swingset at the City Park. City Manager Hickman said that he would send someone to look at it.

   The mayor went on to say that he also received photos of trash inside and scattered around the pavilion at the park. A family who hosted a birthday party at the pavilion the previous weekend was shocked by the contents and amount of the disposed trash they were confronted with. The commission discussed the possibility of installing video surveillance at the park, and City Manager Hickman said that he would start looking into options for video surveillance.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Vice Mayor Davis made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Warren seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.