by Hunter Dawkins

Despite the city of Long Beach approving the acceptance of the final agreement with the Overstreet & Associates Engineering Consultants for the Harbormaster Building, the mayor and board of alderman were left without a city attorney.

Long Beach Mayor George Bass reported that City Attorney Steve Simpson would not be available due to having contacted COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and former city attorney; brother Jim, also had similar circumstances.

Going through the first item came amendments to Ordinance 639, which dealt with tax abatement renovations that was brought to the floor by Long Beach Alderman-at-Large Donald Frazer.  Frazer promptly suggested the amendment discussion be tabled until legal counsel was available.

The next exchange involved the expiration of warranty period for The Grove on Klondyke Road.  Mayor Bass acknowledged that residents spoke of missing sidewalks in front of the pond in the back of this neighborhood.  The board decided to table this issue based on the lack of legal counsel.

Finally, the board called an executive session for the transaction of public business and discussion of lease negotiations, but could not take any legal actions due to the absence of counsel.

In other actions, the board of aldermen chose not to schedule interviews for the upcoming School Board applicants due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.  Under consensus, the applicants would be sought out individually for any additional information.

Sandi Sawyer Dulaney is the current school board member whose seat will expire in February.

A significant deliberation came about with the failure of completion of the Long Beach NRCS Project.  After further discussion, Ward 5 Alderman Mark Lishen offered a substitute motion, which unanimously carried the board to withhold approval of certificate until all items from the list were completed to satisfaction.

Conclusively, the aldermen accepted the letter acknowledging the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade and awarded the bid for chain link perimeter fencing at the police department to Southern Exteriors Fence Co.  The bid totaled $65,724.57 to place a chain link perimeter towards the back of the Long Beach Police Department.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19 at 5pm in the Long Beach City Hall or on the Long Beach Mayor’s Office page.