The Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen adopted a long-awaited comprehensive plan and updated zoning ordinance during Tuesday’s regular September meeting.
The board also appointed five citizens to a new Zoning Commission: Jim Brewer, Charlie Kemp, Ron Sims, Andy Patel, and Annette Hill.
No public comment was heard during the hearing on the 2008-2009 budget. The board adopted the amended budget, adopted the new budget, and adopted the tax levy for 2008-2009. Mayor Henry Banks pointed out that the city does not set the amount of millage. A mill is expected to bring in about $18,000 this year. City taxes will decrease about 4.87 mills from last year.
Alderman Rick Akin questioned the fire chief about equipment loaned to the city by the county emergency management agency. Chief Harvey confirmed that there is equipment missing. It is mostly communications equipment but also some lighting gear and other items.
Jeanette Bell received the board’s permission to use her gardening skills to beautify downtown Hazlehurst. Bell intends to donate plants and her services to make downtown more attractive. “The only thing more contagious than planting flowers is the common cold,” said Bell. She told the board that beautification should attract development and improve the image of Hazlehurst.
The resignation of an employee in the sewer department was accepted.
Alderman Frank Jones told the board he would like to get someone from the home construction and rehabilitation grant program to speak to the board members at a future meeting. Jones expressed concern for the citizens living in mobile homes that are condemned. The replacement grant program will only replace a condemned mobile home with a new mobile home similar to the original. Under the city’s new zoning ordinance these replacements will require a variance.
The board recessed until Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 10 a.m.
Mayor Banks and the aldermen thanked all of the department heads for their actions during the storm and citizens for providing shelter for evacuees.