City of McIntyre
December 1, 2011
Clerk Roberts called meeting to order, explaining to members that the Mayor would be running late and had been asked by the Mayor to proceed with the meeting.
The Meeting was called for a tele-conference call with Kathy Ross of the USDA and Rindt-McDuff Engineers.
Present at the meeting was Council members, Vickie Mixon, Natalie Underwood and Raymond Cole, absent was Rico Myrick and Jerry Shinholster, Mayor joined meeting at 3:15.
Ms. Ross explained that these meetings were usually short, but that she was available as long as she was needed.
Ross explained that it has taken them a little time to get to this point in reviewing the preliminary engineering report and the environmental report and said that both have been reviewed and approved and that right now gives them the freedom to move forward with the application processing and the underwriting of the loan and grant. Ross said that the city was sent an environmental notice that needed to be published in the paper. Ross asked Roberts what the name of the city’s legal origin was. Roberts stated that is was the Wilkinson County Post. Ross asked if it was a daily or weekly paper, Roberts said that it was weekly. Ross asked Roberts if she had posted it this week. Roberts said that she had and again for next week. Ross said that it will run for those two weeks and then there will be a comment period associated with the environmental notice and what the environmental notices does is it allows the public an opportunity to know that the city has a planned project and it effectively describes the project as planned and it allows the public to know that they can have access to the environmental report and if they would like to see the report that they can contact the clerk or they can contact Ross or engineers to be able to look at the report.
Ross said that the report shows two areas of impact and that those areas were flood plans and wetlands. Both of these areas would be impacted minimally. The notice says that the project construction would go through a flood plain and a wetland, however it would be during the construction period and would not have a negative impact except temporary during construction. Ross asked about the map was it included in the running. Hawkins said that yes it had been. Ross said that after the notice was published, that they would need tear sheets from both publishing’s of the notice. Ross said that the public would have 30 days from the first date of notification to issue any concerns or complaints in writing and typically USDA doesn’t get any feedback.
Ross said that once the comment period was over, then there would be a final notice to be published stating that USDA has reviewed everything and have found no significant findings, and that this would complete the environmental notice, or step one.
Ross said that the next things was, then stated that the city should have received a letter indicating that the city was eligible and reminding the city that the city has an requirement also to have a public meeting and asked the city had they had a public meeting yet. Roberts said that no they had not. Ross said that would be the next thing that the city wanted to do. Ross encouraged the city to have that while the environmental was running and said that we would have to run that in the local paper stating that the city would be having a public meeting to review the project, and
City of McIntyre
December 1, 2011
advised that someone from Rindt-Mcduff may want to be represented at the meeting, for questions pertaining to the project. Hawkins said that one possibility of having it was to have it before or after one the council meetings, so that the council can be there if they choose to.
A public meeting was scheduled for December 19, 2011 beginning at 4pm and the council meeting at 5pm. Meg with Rindt-McDuff said the she would send over the information for the public meeting. Ross said that sounded good. Ross explained that the public hearing would be a time for the public to learn about the project and get any information on the project.
Ross said that they would need tear sheets from paper, a copy of the sign in and a record of the minutes. Ross said that if only the council, engineers attended, with no public show, that would be fine, that we had met the condition, but still would need a copy of the sign in.
Ross said that the other questions from the city prospective was what would happen next after the public meeting, Ross said the they would schedule a meeting to meet at city hall, with the city and the engineers to actually do work for the underwriting of the loan and grant, which is called a docket conference, and basically it is a meeting to try to come to terms with total financing needs for the project and try to prepare the underwriting for the loan and grant, than after that, Ross would submit their request for funding to the state director and then the state director will make a decision at that point about funding, depending on if we have funding and how much funding is. Currently USDA does not have its funding allocation for this fiscal year, so they are trying to get projects ready and prepared for when they do have the funding.
Mayor Horne asked Ross where did the City of McIntyre fall on the list, as far getting funded. Stating that the city has been waiting for a long time and said that with the railroad project that it would be ideal for us to get funded now, because we could run our lines. Horne explained that the railroad now had several areas cleared and that it would be ideal if we could work with them.
Ross said that she really could not answer that for her today, that she could probably answer that when she came to the docket conference, but that she was pretty sure that the city was not at the top of the list, that she knew of other projects that were left over from the previous fiscal year that are waiting for funding. Ross said that she didn’t know exactly where the city was in line, and didn’t know if USDA would be able to fund it for this fiscal year, but that she would gain more information and be able to discuss more in detail at the docket conference. Ross said that it was really difficult for her or anyone at the state office to address that at this point because they don’t have their fund allocations. Ross explained that they were waiting for our congress and our administrative office to get that done for us.
Hawkins said that our goal for this year is to be ready in advance so that the city could be in line for the funding being allocated to USDA and explained that they were very close. Hawkins said that by December 31st that they would have virtually done everything. Hawkins asked if there could be a no letter of condition until funding was available, and asked Ross if that was correct. Ross stated that yes that was correct and could not make any kind of funding promises without knowing what the funding would be.
City of McIntyre
December 1, 2011
Hawkins said that when we receive the letter of condition, is when the city will find out what the funding would be and what the sewer rates would be, and what applies for the city.
Ross said what the city could do today is schedule a docket conference while we are working on the environmental notices to be completed. Ross explained that it would be January the 1st before USDA could issue the FNSI, but the docket conference could be for later in December and be going further in that direction if the city wanted to go ahead and schedule that.
Hawkins said that they were ready to do that, if Ms. Ross schedule would allow that.
Docket schedule was scheduled for the December 19th, along with the public hearing and council meeting and said that she would forward a letter indicating what would be needed at the docket conference.
With no other discussion tele-conference was closed, motion to adjourn was made by Mixon, Underwood seconding, motion carried.