Keenan Adams sworn in at latest city council meeting; metering infrastructure discussed

Published 4:30 pm Monday, November 27, 2023

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The Bainbridge City Council gathered for their monthly meeting last Tuesday evening. Following the invocation, pledge, and approval of minutes, the council recognized visitors and delegations that wished to speak, of which there was only one, who commended the council for the Chason Park expansion and inquired about a homeless shelter.

After this, newly elected councilman Keenan Adams was officially sworn into office. He proceeded to join his fellow council members immediately after for the remainder of the meeting.

The next item on the agenda was the consideration of an alcoholic beverage license application for West Side Bait and Tackle. The council approved the application.

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Next, the council heard planning commission recommendations, presented by Steve O’Neil, namely a conditional-use application to make a property a rental. This was accepted by the council.

Following this, the council heard a formal introduction of amendments to building codes, aimed at bringing the codes to reflect recent changes.

The next item on the agenda was consideration of a lease agreement for the Bainbridge Marina restaurant. The lease was proposed by Christine Van Camp. The agreement differed from previous restaurants at the Marina in that, the city was paid a percentage of the gross previously, but will now be paid a flat monthly amount, starting with $1,000 for the first year, $1,100 for the second, and $1,200 in year three. This was approved by the council.

The council then heard a proposed amendment to the city’s fee schedule, about the fee for back-door garbage pick-up for the disabled. Traditionally, the city required a doctor’s notice to receive such service, and charged $5 a month for it; this amendment would do away with the fee. According to city manager Chris Hobby, “There are not enough customers that this is significant to the city’s revenue.” Those looking to receive this service still need a doctor’s note. The council approved.

Next, the council heard a service proposal regarding Georgia Power advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The current meters still require a technician to go out into the field to collect readings, whereas the up-to-date system can transmit the meter data remotely, without requiring a tech visit. This service, which would provide new meters, software, and billing integration to name a few, for a 15-year period, would cost $7,756,660. Hobby did specify that there are variations on the service agreement, with differing costs. “The meters cost about $2.2 million, which we think is probably about what the market supports,” he said, “but in the lease agreement they charge 14% interest… So what we would suggest is that we proceed with the partnership with Georgia Power, but go ahead and go to market and price the meters independently over the next 30 days.” Hobby stated he expected the meters would be at a similar price on the market, without the 14% interest charged. The council will make a decision next month after further research into the meters is conducted.

Next, the council heard consideration of a lidar topographic survey of the city, at a cost of $330,000. This was approved by the council.

After this, a resolution was presented to the council, this being a resolution with the Army Corps of Engineers to transfer roughly 554 acres of the Earle May Recreational Area to the city. This was approved.

The city administrative services division gave a presentation after this, providing an update on some of the city service statistics.

Lastly, the city heard three bids, one for a mini skid steer at $70,929.83; one for breathing apparatuses for the fire department, which cost $274,999.50; and a bid for a hillside retaining wall, at a cost of $44,010. All of these were approved by the council.

After this, the meeting was adjourned.