City council meets for third time in August
by Halei Lamb | September 5, 2018 1:13 pm
Swainsboro City Council met Tuesday, August 28, for a special called meeting to discuss the 2019 budget.
Councilperson Sue Bragg requested that the contract with Jacob Engineering, formerly known as CH2M Hill and OMI, also be placed on the agenda.
Following a lengthy discussion, Councilperson Rita Faulkner made a motion to revise the 2019 general budget to include a net increase of $43,000 and a continuance of the $5 environmental fee. The motion was seconded by Councilperson John Parker, and the vote was 6-0.
Following this, a motion was made to balance the General Fund Budget by extending a loan of $350,000 if needed during the coming year. The motion was made by Councilperson Julian Sconyers and seconded by Councilperson Johnny Ray Stafford, and again, the vote was 6-0.
Following this, Administrator Al Lawson presented the proposed water and wastewater budget for 2019. Following revisions, a motion was made to increase water rates for consumption in excess the standard minimum rate in order to provide needed revenue for operation of the department. A motion to that effect was made by Councilperson Sconyers and seconded by Councilperson Stafford. The motion was defeated 4-2 with Bragg, Faulkner, Parker, and Councilperson Bobbi Collins opposing and Sconyers and Stafford supporting. No other solutions were offered by council.
Councilperson Bragg then brought up a discussion concerning an early renewal of contract for Jacob Engineering, who is in charge of the city’s public works and water and wastewater management. This discussion included questions from the mayor and Councilpersons Sconyers and Stafford as to why this contract should be renewed early. Councilperson Bragg stated that employees were satisfied with Jacobs and there would be other benefits from Jacobs, including a bonus for signing early. Councilperson Sconyers then questioned why council would rush to adopt a contract involving this much money without checking to see if the city could get a lower bid from a better company. Councilperson Bragg then made a motion to go ahead and adopt an early renewal for the Jacob contract for an additional five years. Councilperson Faulkner seconded. Councilpersons Bragg, Collins, Faulkner, and Parker voted in favor while Councilpersons Sconyers and Stafford opposed.