The Waynesboro City Commission met in the first regular session of the new year on Monday, January 9, 2023 at City Hall in Waynesboro. All commissioners were in attendance, including Mayor Jeff Davis, Vice Mayor Lynn Warren, Commissioner Chris Bevis, Commissioner Jeff Howell, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. Also in attendance were City Manager John Hickman, City Attorney Josh Polk, and City Recorder Paige Jackson.
Mayor Davis called the meeting to order, and Commissioner Howell offered the invocation.
First on the agenda was approval of the minutes from the previous commission meeting. Commissioner Creasy made a motion to approve, and Commissioner Howell seconded. The minutes were unanimously approved.
City Manager Hickman distributed cash collateral statements and monthly investment reports to the commissioners for their review. He went on tell the commission that there had been nine main water line breaks in a seven-day period during the recent record-low temperatures. However, no city water residents were without water during this time due to the around-the-clock work of city maintenance crews. There was a water line break at the maintenance shop as well, but that line break was not repaired until all the main breaks were fixed. City Manager Hickman said that the city maintenance employees are to be commended for all their hard work.
City Manager Hickman said that city auditor Mark Godwin will be at the next meeting to go over the results of the 2021-2022 city audit. Hickman stated that the city had another really good year, with only three findings on the audit. These findings will be discussed at the next meeting.
Hickman then told the commission that department heads will be at the next meeting to go over quarterly reports.
The first item of new business on the agenda was the RaeKar sanitation contract extension/renewal. City Manager Hickman explained that the contract is good for five years at a time, and the current one expires this year. He said that the new contract includes a change: city garbage will only be picked up once per week instead of twice per week as it was before. RaeKar is currently figuring out the new garbage pickup schedule and will let customers know as soon as possible what day theirs will be picked up. RaeKar will also be supplying all city garbage customers with a 96-gallon trash can at no extra cost to the customer or the city. The new contract rate will remain the same as the previous rate, and those who have dumpsters will remain on the same pickup schedule as before. Commissioner Howell made a motion to approve the RaeKar contract renewal for five years, and Commissioner Bevis seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Next on the agenda was the street paving bid. City Manager Hickman said that only one bid had been received, and that bid was from Rogers Group. Their bid was for $146 per ton of hot mix, and the job would include edging, sweeping, paving, and traffic control. Commissioner Bevis made a motion to accept the bid from Rogers Group, and Vice Mayor Warren seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
The final item of new business on the agenda was a purchase order approval resolution. City Manager Hickman explained that the recent audit finding on the segregation of duties and purchase orders was a recurring finding on city audits, and the approval to put this resolution in place will hopefully solve the problem. The resolution plan includes two of the front office employees, the City Clerk and the City Finance Officer, being designated to issue and approve purchase orders, with Hickman only having to sign a select few. Commissioner Creasy made a motion to approve the resolution that will resolve the audit findings. Commissioner Howell seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Open items were next on the agenda. Commissioner Howell said that he had received a complaint of lots of fast cars and lots of people in and out of the old Board of Education building that has been turned into apartments. Vice Mayor Warren said that he had asked previously for police patrols to be increased in that area, and City Manager Hickman said that the police presence had been increased due to prior complaints.
Commissioner Howell went on to say that the walking bridge at City Park needs to be repainted. He also inquired about the music for this year’s Independence Day Celebration, and City Manager Hickman said that the headliner for the musical entertainment has not yet been booked.
Commissioner Howell lastly asked if the motor at the sewer plant had been repaired. Apparently, this particular motor being down caused an increase in the odor coming from the plant for several weeks. City Manager Hickman said that the motor had been rebuilt and put back in, and is working well now. The commission discussed the feasibility of purchasing a new motor to keep on hand in case this happens again. This would eliminate the downtime due to the motor having to be pulled out by a crane, rebuilt, and put back in again by a crane. The cost of rebuilding the current motor was $4,000, but the crane cost was $1,700 per day. A new motor would cost approximately $17,000. No decision was made on the purchase.
Vice Mayor Warren next brought up a discussion about leasing the former Lincoln Brass building to TCAT for classrooms. Commissioner Howell said that he would rather lease the building instead of selling it, and the other commissioners agreed. Commissioner Bevis asked how much of the building TCAT would need, and Vice Mayor Warren said he wasn’t sure.
Vice Mayor Warren also brought up the current situation with Wayne Medical Center. City Manager Hickman said that if a new hospital were to be built somewhere outside of Waynesboro, the city would obviously lose tax money. He went on to say that there would also be a good possibility that property taxes, sewer rates, and gas rates would increase for city residents if the hospital changes locations.
Commissioner Creasy asked about the leaks at the Lincoln Brass building, and City Manager Hickman said that one sprinkler head in the building froze and burst during the sub-freezing temperatures at Christmas, causing water to flood parts of the building. He said that everything had been repaired and the water was cleaned up.
Mayor Davis said that he had received complaints about damage to the ballfields at the Sportsplex. City Manager Hickman said that this would be looked into, and the commissioners would be advised as to what is going on.
With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Creasy made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Bevis seconded, and the meeting was adjourned.