By Faye Gaston

The Union Springs City Council met by zoom telephone conference on July 6, 2020, facilitated by City Attorney Elizabeth Smithart. Mayor Saint T. Thomas, Jr. presided over a long meeting that conducted much business.

These motions were approved by a unanimous vote. (1) The amended Resolution #2020-10 for the Appointment of Election Officers for the 2020 Municipal Election, (2) the amended Resolution 2020-11 COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave and Benefits for City Employees, (3) Resolution #2020-13 for COVID-19 Pandemic (Hazard Pay for Full-time and Part-Time City employees for a monthly supplemental pay for essential workers), (4) the employment status of Attorney John William Waters, Jr. from the Municipal Court's Prosecutor to the Judge at a stipend of $500.00 per month. Councilman Roderick Clark abstained. (5) Appoint Attorney Carmella Penn as the Municipal Court's Prosecutor at a stipend of $250.00, (6) install 4-way stop-signs at the intersection of Cooper Street and Hardaway Avenue East, (7) Proclamation for the Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings Due to Risk of Infection by COVID-19, amended June 30, 2020.

(8) Walter Jackson's recommendation to reduce the rent from $400.00 per month to $300.00 per month on the lessee arrears for 6 months for the property located at 502 Blackmon Avenue to operate a Barber Shop. The contract will be effective July 1, 2020, through January 1, 2020, and revisited January 1, 2021.

Failing to pass for a lack of a motion was the employee/hourly status change for Lt. Ronnie Felder and Sgt. John Spencer. Failing to pass for a lack of a second was the Public Assembly Request from Shirley Reynolds to hold a peaceful parade and protest against Dr. Christopher Blair on July 9, 2020.

Reports were presented. Mayor Saint T. Thomas, Jr. said a certification of appreciation was presented to Darlene McGaw for her public service as a Commissioner for the Union Springs Housing Authority on Monday, June 29, 2020, at City Hall. He thanked the City Council for passing an ordinance for wearing masks. It was published in the June 17, 2020, Union Springs Herald newspaper.

Brian Agnew reported that the sales tax revenue was good in May, the budget looks good, and there is a possibility of revisiting the requests for status change for Lt. Felder and Sgt. Spencer. Presetta Walker, Acting Court Clerk/Magistrate, announced the Union Springs Municipal Court has not reconvened due to COVID-19.

Faye Gaston reported on rationing and other conditions imposed due to World War II in her Historical Preservation report. Carla Elson provided several announcements regarding the Bullock County Extension Service Committee. Mayor Thomas made an announcement for the Tourism Committee.

The following were on the agenda for a monthly report but did not provide these: Police Committee, Fire Committee, Ambulance, Crime Stoppers, Street/Cemeteries/Sanitation, Tree Committee, Bullock County Humane Society, Commercial & Industrial Development, Chamber of Commerce, Recreation/Parks/Special Events Committee, Library Board, and the Utilities Board.

Approval was voted for payment of bills over $1,000.00 to Jones ($1,509.20), May's Distributing Co., Inc, ($3,901.17), Municipal Workers Comp. Fund ($15,344.00), Jinks/Crow, Dickson, PC ($11,150.34, and Dykes ($2,445.00). Other bills were approved after proper audit.

Announcements were made. Mayor Thomas announced that the Planning Commission would hold two separate meetings in August to hold public hearings.

Councilwoman Milan thanked the Planning Commission for allowing her to attend the CAPZO training on June 25, 2020. Real Estate Agent Johnny Adams inquired about zoning for mobile homes. Faye Gaston requested that the City Department pick up trash at the former Coastal Service Service located at a busy intersection with much traffic.

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