Kingston council discusses future of city’s DDA
by Jason Lowrey
Apr 08, 2014 | 864 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Kingston Downtown Development Authority may soon cease to exist.

During its Monday night work session, the Kingston City Council mulled over the future of its DDA, as Mayor Wanda Penson told council members that the city’s accountant has advised her to either close the authority’s account or deactivate the authority.

After the meeting, Penson said the reason for possibly shutting down the authority is because the authority has not been used. Council member Harold Posey estimated the DDA had not been used in approximately seven years.

“We were going to get sewage at one time for downtown and the grant fell through. That was the reason for starting the DDA, and after we couldn’t do sewage, we couldn’t develop downtown,” he said.

Penson also informed the council they could no longer receive meeting minutes via email, which she was informed of after attending a training session in Tifton in the middle of March. Another update from Penson came in the form of a $5,000 windfall for the city.

Penson told the council Kingston has three certificates of deposit with Regions bank that all date back to the 1980s. The value of the three CDs total approximately $5,000.

“There’s like three and we get like 50 cents interest on them a year, or every six months, and the woman at the bank said they’re doing no good and we was wondering about just cashing them in,” she said.

The $5,000, Penson said after the meeting, may go into the general fund.

As for the city’s budget, Penson said the original 2014 budget draft was “shot.”

“The 2013 budget is not right. It’s got to be amended. So I don’t know who’s going to go about doing that. I really don’t,” Penson said. “I will do my best to do a 2014 [budget] on this February, since we’ve got everything caught up. [Acting City Clerk Dawn Clark]’s got everything caught up, and I can go by February 2014 and get totals. I’m going to make my 2014 budget with that. I presented one to y’all, but [the city accountant] said the 2013 has got to be amended.

“... I’m leaving it up to y’all to figure out what you’re going to do with it. I mean, I don’t know what, how to go about doing it. Like I said, I am going to work on the 2014, but y’all got to figure out what y’all are going to do with 2013.”

Posey asked if there was some form of penalty for not having a 2013 budget. The rest of the council said they did not know.

During the council comment period, Posey brought up the topic of the Kingston Women’s History Club museum, asking if it had been repaired. Penson said the work had not yet begun and she was still waiting to receive a key to the building, though she believed City Attorney Brandon Bowen may have received one.

Discussion then focused on Posey’s suggestion of drawing up some form of management agreement for the property with the club, while council member Chuck Wise suggested having representatives from the city, the club and the insurance company discuss how to handle situation. No final decision was reached.

At the end of the meeting, Penson announced there would be a dumpster coming to Kingston to help with spring cleaning.

“We’re going to try to get the word out. We’re going to have a dumpster brought in here and set up for people to do like spring cleaning. ... We’d like to get this done before Easter and then have it gone before the Confederate thing at the museum. That way we can clean up the city before they do have their function,” she said.

In other business, the council:

• discussed the need to bid out repairs for city hall’s roof.

• discussed the necessity of transferring approximately $57,000 from the water department fund to the general fund in order to reimburse the general fund for water fund expenses.

• discussed who would attend a Georgia Municipal Association luncheon being held in April in Rome.

The Kingston City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at city hall.