By Marla Ogletree

Homeland City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday, June 11. Councilwoman Lisa Nettles was absent.

During the meeting, the council voted to hire Doug Kidd as city attorney. Kidd resides over five hours from Homeland, but stated he will be happy to travel the distance whenever he is needed in person. He shared he prefers working with cities and election offices and enjoys that part of the law. Kidd is looking to gain more clients in this area and looks forward to working with the city. He stated he will not charge for the travel time but will offer a flat rate and only charge hourly during any litigation. 

After officially being hired, Kidd was put to work immediately, signing the CDBG grant contract for the instillation of the new well and the contract for the T-SPLOST project for the resurfacing of Broadway and Paxton and the widening and resurfacing of Bowery Lane.

Also during the meeting, the council heard from Homeland Police Chief Brad Todd, who asked the council to consider hiring a Code Enforcement Officer. He stated the enforcement officer would answer to the mayor, not the police department. He shared his officers do not wish to handle code enforcement, as they were trained in criminal law. He also alerted the council there has been a complaint filed for a dog bite (the same dog for which a complaint has already been filed). Chief Todd said the newly elected sheriff says he plans to work on animal control. Councilman Richard Gwaltney stated the council will look into hiring a Code Enforcement Officer and will hold a workshop Tuesday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss it.

Public Works Superintendent Blair Nixon stated the sinkhole on Bowery Lane was repaired; however when the old asphalt was taken off, it was discovered there was no base underneath, only sand. Nixon suggested looking into the discretionary spending of the T-SPLOST funds to possibly bid out the project. He also alerted the council on the addition of two new public works employees and said they are both doing well so far.

Nixon also shared he has spoken with the engineer for the CDBG well installation, and gave notice the project will begin soon. Nixon and his crew will begin dismantling the kiddie area of Waughtel Park and relocate the equipment to a shaded area, and quarter it off from the rest of the park like before. He also shared the crew will be cleaning up Homeland Cemetery prior to Father’s Day Sunday.

Councilman Jon Finsness shared the Clean Community Board is still running the dumpster outside of city hall, but there are concerns with the amount of money being spent to rent it. He said he is still looking for a used dumpster to buy; however he cannot reach the company who would haul off the garbage once full. He plans to continue to work on this issue.

The tippers on the trash truck have been fixed, so all that is left are repairs to the cans. Nixon shared there are about 25 cans that can be repaired and added back into rotation. There have been between 45-50 cans already added to the fleet and any which are flung from the tippers or are damaged will be tagged, replaced, repaired and put back into rotation. The cost to fix the lift bars on the cans will be about $20 each. The council agreed to the repairs, and Councilman L.C. Guinn offered to help the crew repair the lift bars.

The council heard from citizen Billy Geiger who expressed concerns with the ditches around his home. He stated there is so much debris the water is close to overflowing onto the road. He also stated the pipe drain is too small and cannot keep up with the amount of drainage. He shared his yard has been flooded due to these issues. He offered suggestions of how to correct the drainage issues and said while his yard may still be flooded, the water will be disperse quicker. Councilman Guinn and Nixon agreed to look into the issue with Geiger.  

The council entered into executive session at 7:41 p.m. to discuss the hiring of Attorney Doug Kidd. The council exited at 8:08 p.m. and made the motion to approve his appointment.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m.