The city of Tifton was presented with a $394,193.18 rebate check for 2012-13 from ESG Operations (Tifton/Tift County water and wastewater contracted operators) at Monday’s regular City Council meeting.
During the presentation of the check at the front of the courtroom, City Manager Larry Riner introduced Dan Groselle and Scott Murphy with ESG.
“I can’t brag on these two guys enough,” he said.
Groselle commented, “This was a team effort, a lot of people working together.” He mentioned some workers with the local wastewater plant who were present at the meeting and added, “We couldn’t have done this without the support of the rest of the city. This just isn’t an ESG success, this is a city success.”
The city of Tifton posted the following comment on their Facebook page: “This rebate check was made possible from the hard work of all the employees with the water and wastewater department. Thanks to all of our hard workers for keeping our water/wastewater system operating efficiently.”
The Tifton Gazette reported in a previous article that the city entered into an agreement with ESG in November 2012 to take over operation of the local water and wastewater treatment systems.
In addition, Dr. Greg Fonsah, University of Georgia Tifton researcher who specializes in fruits and vegetables, spoke to the council about people from his country coming to Tifton. He said he’s the crown chief of a village in Cameroon, Africa.
“Every year, my people in the whole United States have a national convention,” he said, noting they usually have it in New York, Boston or Texas. He said this year, they said they want to come visit “the chief” in Tifton.
Fonsah told the council that his people will be coming from all over of the United States July 18-20. He asked for their support and noted he, along with a local committee, will put together an agenda for the visit, which will include a traditional soccer tournament, traditional dances and tours. Fonsah asked Mayor Jamie Cater to give the welcome July 19 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, which Cater said he will certainly be there.
“We’re inviting everybody to please come and get a taste of Africa,” Fonsah said.
Riner also went over a text amendment to allow the city to address pedestrian traffic. He said it will allow the city to be in compliance with the state law and any other requirements. This will allow the Tifton Police Department to manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Riner also went over a resolution providing for closing of Dorminey Street during certain hours. The city received a request from the Tift County Board of Education to close Dorminey Street, which is directly to the west of Matt Wilson Elementary School. Riner showed the council a map of the campus and said the school’s gymnasium is across Dorminey Street. He said the BOE wants to close the street during normal school hours. He noted approximately 1,000 students cross that street to attend gym class on a daily basis.
For the safety of students, Riner said a chain-link gate across Dorminey Street can close off vehicular and pedestrian traffic during normal school hours.
“This will greatly improve the safety of the traffic in that area,” he said.
Councilwoman Julie Smith asked Riner who will be installing the gate. Riner said they’re working with Superintendent Patrick Atwater on the logistics. Vice Mayor Johnny Terrell said this will help cut the foot traffic during school hours. This matter will be discussed further in an upcoming workshop.
Riner gave a city update. He said out of 2,308 occupational licenses, permits, etc., they have not collected only 11 for 2013. He noted only three were local. He gave City Clerk Rona Martin and city employee Jessica Jones all of the credit. Riner also added that the city has completed, signed, sealed, delivered and received the 2013 audit and financial report to study. It was submitted on time. He thanked Finance Director Lois Love and her staff.
Three citizens were sworn in by Cater to local boards. Donna Carter was sworn in to the Keep Tift Beautiful Board and William Byrd was sworn in to the DDA Board. Erika Johnson was not present at the meeting to be sworn in.
Cater said during the meeting that it’s such a pleasure for new Councilman Wes Ehlers being on the council. After Ehlers was sworn in, everyone stood and clapped. Also, Councilman Chris Parrott, who was not present at the meeting but listened in from a telephone call, made a motion to nominate Terrell as vice mayor, which Cater seconded it. Cater said Terrell has worked hard for his district and the entire city. He said he’s done a good job and should stay on as vice mayor. All members agreed with the re-appointment.
To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.