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Hazlehurst budget hearing August 18

The Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen will conduct the annual public hearing on the city budget on Tuesday, August 18, at 6 p.m. Anyone who wishes to comment on the budget should attend. The meeting will be open to the public.

During last Tuesday’s regular board meeting, aldermen passed a resolution authorizing application for a $100,000 small municipalities grant with a $10,000 match requirement. The grant, if awarded, will be used to correct the drainage problems in the area around Massengill Street.

No one was present to comment on the Green property on Larkin Street during the public hearing, so the board authorized the cleanup, with the costs to be added to the property taxes.

The city tax sale will be held on  Monday, August 31, at 8:30 a.m.

An engineering services agreement was approved with Charles King on the test well project.

Alderman Ron Sims questioned the board’s authority to place gravel on a private driveway where problems have been created by water running off the city streets. The board agreed to ask for an Attorney General’s opinion on the matter, as well as clarification on situations where weather creates problems. The AG’s staff told Sims that under state law the city can place gravel (but not spread it) on private driveways where washes have resulted from runoff on city streets. But Mayor Banks pointed out that the city is prevented by state law from working on private property. The city is only responsible for the streets between the curbs.

A cleanup hearing was set for September for a blue house on Georgetown Street.

Alderman Sims questioned the requirements for posting notice of called meetings. Mayor Banks explained that notice must be posted in two public places three hours before the meeting. Three or more aldermen compose a quorum. Banks added that last week when federal officials visited Hazlehurst he met with them along with two aldermen in an administrative meeting which did not necessitate a meeting call.

FIRE DEPT. MATTERS

Fire Chief Gabriel Harvey called to the board’s attention the need to replace the filters in the exhaust extraction systems at both fire stations.

Chief Harvey is also getting information on repairs needed for the weather siren. The siren will sound but does not rotate as it should. The weather siren is tested once each month.

In 2011 the city will need to order a new fire truck to comply with rating requirements. The city’s last grant application for a ladder truck was denied. The fire chief recommended taking steps soon to begin the grant process.

OTHER BUSINESS

Greenbriar’s low bid of $266,240 was accepted on the CDBG sewer project. Bids were received ranging from $266,240 to $550,587.42, reported Water Superintendent Lloyd Hilliard.

Latrice Killingsworth will be employed part time in the Water Department.

Alderman Frank Jones urged enforcement of the city’s ordinance about parking on lawns. The person who parks the car is the one who gets the citation, it was explained, not the homeowner.

In the Police Department, resignations were accepted from Michael Stogner and Anita Dudley. Andre Spiller was hired as an uncertified police officer.

Police Chief Byron Swilley informed the board that Tillman’s Furniture was the victim of an armed robbery earlier that evening. The investigation is ongoing but a suspect was taken into custody shortly after the incident.

Claims were approved before the board recessed until Tuesday, August 18, at 6 p.m. for the city budget hearing.

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