2008-06-18 / Front Page

City to address 'block parties'

Issues arise
By Deborah Bennett Millen News Editor

Problems associated with residential "block parties" were brought to the attention of Millen City Council during the group's Wednesday, June 11, meeting.

Director of Public Safety Dwayne Herrington began by asking council to set a policy to deal with requests from residents asking that city streets be barricaded in order to hold a "block party." Herrington noted that he did not have the authority to block a street and that he had informed citizens making the requests that they needed to bring the matter before city council.

During discussion of the matter, he related how the Millen Police Department, Jenkins County Sheriff's Department and Georgia State Patrol were recently called to "police" a large crowd gathered in a residential area of the city for a community party.

After further discussion, council instructed city attorney Hubert Reeves III and Herrington to develop and present a proposed plan of action to the council for consideration.

In other matters, the rising cost of providing health care insurance for city employees was addressed. In order to reduce an anticipated 19 percent increase in premiums, council approved changes that would result in an approximate 5 percent increase. The changes increased the deductible and co-pay for office visits.

City department head R.M. (Bubba) Small pointed out that the decision was not going to be "popular" with city employees and inquired if other companies had been consulted. He was informed that several companies had been contacted and that the offer presented was the best in terms of pricing.

Mayor King Rocker informed the group that the city's contract for prison labor would increase $2,000 for the next fiscal year. He further stated that there was a possibility that the county may want to utilize the services which would reduce the cost.

OTHER ACTION TAKEN BY COUNCIL

• Approval was given to amendments to the city's Sign Ordinance; • Approved a $1,000 donation to Millen Better Hometown for the annual fireworks celebration; • Approved the sale of two police vehicles as surplus property; • Tabled the appointment of a member to the Downtown Development Authority board of directors; • Approved as a matter of policy, conversion of health care insurance coverage to a Medicare supplemental policy for city employees when they are 65 years of age; • Approved $125 advertisement in Jenkins County Athletic Booster Club sports program; and • Approved beer licenses for business establishments owned by Gailyn Thompson and Vena Shah.

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