MOULTRIE, Ga. — The Moultrie City Council unanimously approved all items on the consent agenda Tuesday night, which primarily includes a millage rate rollback.
At its regularly scheduled 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, the city approved an ordinance setting the property tax millage rate at 9.750, down from the current 9.850.
According to Finance Director Gary McDaniel’s budget summary, it’ll save city taxpayers approximately $31,757.
This decrease was highly anticipated and teased by multiple council members and continues a two-year trend of tax decreases. City Manager Pete Dillard said it’s the lowest it’s been since 2005.
The remaining approvals include the appointment of Tina Coleman as election superintendent, the amending of the Disorderly Conduct Ordinance, a $35,502 sole proprietor bid to upgrade 14 lift stations at the waste water facility and a $66,500 bid from 2019 SPLOST for two mid-sized, four-door police interceptor SUVs.
McDaniel said the SUVs can be ordered right away and may take six weeks to arrive. They are part of an annual restocking of police equipment.
The council then opened the floor for citizens to be heard. Doris Wilson was first up. Her complaint was the dilapidated houses in southwest, southeast and northwest Moultrie.
“They’ve been either boarded up, grassed up, bound up and they are eyesores,” she said.
Her street, Fourth Avenue Southwest, has also been blocked for the past two weeks. She confronted the council on opening it up.
While there was no quick fix for her first complaint, the council beckoned Public Works Director Danny Ward to the stand. He said the street needed pumping and renovation.
“We’re trying to schedule a person to come in here and do the pumping,” he said. “We’re waiting on him right now.”
He also said they stopped construction prep for the street prepare for the hurricane. If they started on it before the hurricane came, the street could’ve been worse.
Helene Gomulka was also a complainant. She’s worried about Turning Point clients being housed in apartments near schools.
“Based on what I’ve seen there, the number of men that are living in these apartment buildings have increased exponentially,” she said. “At first there would be maybe 20 to 30 men walking for treatment every morning. The past two mornings I tried to take a walk in front of my house (on Fifth Avenue Southeast) and ran into 50 to 75 men with addiction problems that now live in that neighborhood.”
Gomulka said she considers it a public safety hazard. In a plea to the council, she asked for something to be done before something happens.
“I’ll hold each and every single one of you liable for something happening to me,” she said. “And I also think you should be liable if something happens to the children in these schools.”
The council gave no immediate answer or formal action, consistent with their rules for the “Citizens to be Heard” section.
The council discussed its proposed 2019-2020 budget in its work session and plans to approve the $49 million budget at its next meeting on Sept. 17.