City hall

TIFTON — Decisions to potentially expand city limits have been put on hold after discussion at the regular Tifton City Council meeting July 19.

Voting on the Carrington and Boyd annexes discussed at July’s council workshop was postponed. City attorney Rob Wilmot said since there was a difference in acreages between what was initially proposed for annexation by the City of Tifton versus what it would actually like to annex, Wilmot said he had to give notice to the county.

“My notice to the county (of the annexations), which I sent out middle of last month, does not encompass all of this property,” Wilmot said. “So, I’m concerned that we’re not complying with our notice to the county as required.”

Wilmot said a suggested idea of conditional zoning for the properties needed to be further discussed by the planning and zoning commission. The acreage difference also concerned Wilmot in what was advertised for public hearings.

“I think we need to dot our ‘i’s and cross our ’t’s,” Wilmot said.

Even with the delays, Wilmot said he believes they could move quickly on annexing the Carrington and Boyd properties, which are located just north of the current city limits. Councilman Jack Folk suggested a special called meeting as soon as the City of Tifton is clear to vote on annexation.

Following the approval of the revised agenda, Hayward Fowler spoke before the council.

“Mosquitoes are eating up,” said Fowler, who said he thinks the abundance of mosquitoes is linked to tree growth in the alleys. “Water and mosquitoes multiply like you would not believe.”

Fowler said he had been spraying for the insects but had not seen the mosquito truck in his neighborhood. He also said a “red-headed blow fly” had been a menace. Mayor Julie Smith agreed with the insect flurry.

City Manager Pete Pyrzenski said the mosquito truck had not sprayed this year. They had not planned to spray, but with Smith confirming that blow flies were a problem, Pyrzenski said he would look into it.

All seven of the items on the consent agenda were approved at once, unanimously. The items were:

— Resolution amending the employee handbook for the educational incentive program.

— Resolution approving the school resource officer agreement.

— Resolution approving Amendment No. 7 to the agreement with ESG Operations.

— Resolution updating the Georgia Fund 1 investment account.

— Resolution updating authorized signers for Ameris Bank.

— Resolution calling for a special referendum election (in November) for authorizing the sale of distilled spirits.

— Ordinance amending the city code for hotel occupancy tax to include “marketplace facilitators, innkeepers and short-term rentals.”

The last ordinance included services such as Airbnb.

The council voted unanimously to contract with Farmer’s Bulk Supply, which handles grinding of yard debris.

“This fits with our business model because of costs,” said Pyrzenski, who further referred to an agreement as a “win-win.”

Tifton would continue to use an inert landfill.

Next on the agenda was discussion to approve Juneteenth as a city holiday. Pyrzenski suggested postponing discussion until next year. A motion to postpone discussion was passed unanimously.

A resolution to amend the Fiscal Year 2021 budget passed unanimously. Pyrzenski and Folk said the retirement fund was very stable.

Smith gave a board report, with an update about personnel applications with the Historic Preservation Commission and Housing Authority. All applications were approved unanimously. A personnel decision about the Airport Authority was postponed.

Smith encouraged residents to serve on local boards.

“We greatly appreciate the time and the energy that our citizens devote to serving on these boards,” she said. "It makes our community a better place.”

A blight survey is underway in Tifton. Patrick Tucker, an ABAC student working as a city intern, gave an update. Tucker said he is preparing a report about the most severe cases of blight. Pyrzenski said it would be a catalog, organized by district.

Bids have opened on the youth center, Pyrzenski said. He said groundbreaking should be only a few weeks away.

Folk again used his closing comments to encourage vaccination.

Councilman M. Jay Hall gave a parking committee update. “I think we can come to a good solution,” Hall said about downtown parking.

Smith closed by mentioning that “The Tiger Rising,” which was partially filmed in Tifton, will be in theaters in October. “The movie looks like it’s going to be absolutely beautiful,” she said. “it’s very, very well done.”

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