The Folkston City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, May 18.

During the meeting, Folkston Police Chief Wesley Green stated the department answered 1,312 called calls, investigated 28 incidents and eight accidents. He shared unlawful activity been down recently. The department collected $4,933.06 with $3,306.92 going to the city.

City Manager Pender Lloyd stated land around Homeland Park Bridge has been cleared in preparation for repairs. He said the restoration should begin in about two weeks. The $66,000.00 reimbursement forms for the project have been filed. He also shared the water conservation approved the construction and re-paving of Tower Street and expects the project will be sent to bid within a couple of weeks. Lloyd alerted the council that sales tax revenues have been holding steady, though he believes the drop, due to effects from the COVID-19 shelter-in-place, will not be shown until another couple of months. He also told the council the summer crew began working with four members. However, one crewmember will be leaving for the military in June.

Al Reed, of Folkston was at the meeting to request permission to hold a peaceful march in memory of Ahmaud Arbery. The march will begin at Champ Bailey Stadium at 10:00 a.m. and end at the courthouse with speakers to follow. The march will follow the same standard parade guidelines.

Lynn Crews with the Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce was in attendance to give the city council members the chamber report. She shared the chamber is in the beginning stages of planning the 49th annual Okefenokee Festival and is requested the event be held the same time of year should current guidelines allow. She also stated the only issues reported at last year’s festival were smell complaints at the Kids’ Zone due to the portalettes. She asked if the placements could be changed. The council agreed they could be placed elsewhere. Crews alerted the council members on the business-owner committee, which is working on new ideas for the festival. The council agreed the festival may go on as usual pending any COVID-19 issues and suggested the Friday night setup time be changed from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

The council voted to renew the Okefenoke Rural Electric Franchise Ordinance – effective in March. There were no changes from the year before. Council members also voted to approve the 2017-2018 Delinquent Utilities accounts, which should get the city caught up.

The vote was made to approve the LMIG project bid for the re-paving of Third Street (from Bay Street to Eunice Street) from East Coast Asphalt for the amount of $40,580.00. The bid came in under the expected budget of approximately $62,000.00. Mayor Lee Gowen suggested finding other projects to spend the rest of the grant money on in the same general area.

The city will meet again Monday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m.