City council swears in new Public Safety officers, hears CHIP presentation

Published 4:57 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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The Bainbridge City Council met for their monthly meeting Tuesday evening. Following the invocation, pledge and approval of minutes, one member of the audience came forward to address the council regarding an aggressive dog being allowed to run with no leash on her street. Following this, Mayor Reynolds read a proclamation, recognizing this month as Mental Health Month. Afterwards, the mayor proceeded to swear in several new BPS officers: Shannon Fisher, Phillip Tarnow, Kendall Glover, Dillon Casteel, Elijah Bennett, Charles King, Tim Fowler.

Following this, the commissioners heard a special presentation regarding the Community Home Investment Program (CHIP). This home program is federally funded and abides by federal guidelines. According to the program’s representative, the program is limited capacity, and distributes between $5,000,000 and $7,000,000 worth of grants each year. “The goal of the CHIP program is to provide affordable housing across the state,” the representative said. “This is a homeowner’s support program, it’s not a rental program… it is designed for homeowners, home buyers with household income.” She also stated that the program can provide up to $400,000 for owner-occupied home rehab, or up to $600,000 for new construction or reconstruction. Homes must also be sold within nine months of project completion.

Following the presentation, the council heard considerations for street closure requests, both submitted in regards to upcoming Juneteenth festivities downtown. Both were approved, but as one street request involved a state route (Broad Street), it is ultimately dependent on DOT approval.

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The council also voted to approve some old BPS vehicles as surplus, and then proceeded to accept an offer to purchase the surplus by the city of Eatonton.

The city also entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the city, which dealt with the city building a sidewalk through a county parking lot in order to connect downtown to the new River Walk project. The city would also resurface the parking lot. Both the county and city approved of the agreement.

Next the council heard text amendments regarding the city’s fence and wall ordinance, as well as the height maximum. These were merely introduced, with the council having a few months to look over the amendments.

Lisa Taylor next presented the city’s second quarter financials; as of the end of March, the city’s available money totaled $3,786,859, an increase of over $1,000,000 from this time last year.

After the financials, the city heard two bids, one for S&L Integrated Sound Systems to repair the AV systems for the city council chambers for $58,486.93; and the second for Southern Cross to perform an atmospheric corrosion and natural gas leak survey, at $52,099.55. The city had previously bid out the gas leak survey, which was completed, but the Georgia Public Service Commission rejected this, requiring the city to rebid the job. Both bids were approved.

After this, the council meeting was adjourned.