The Jenkinsburg City Council during its regular meeting on March 10 voted to hire two employees and approved the spending of more than $33,000 in special purpose local option sales tax funds for various purchases, including a tractor and lawn mower.

The approved SPLOST purchases included:

• A Kubota tractor, $23,200 (lowest bid from Hays Tractor & Equipment).

• A Land Pride mower, $2,450 (lowest bid from Hays Tractor & Equipment).

• Water system improvements (pipe line puller, metal pipe cutter, meter box lid lifters, rolls of copper, valve box key, etc.), $3,070.

• Hardware for water distribution system pipeline improvements, $1,953.

• Public works building improvements, vehicles and equipment (generator, pallet jack, flood light on stand and 5-foot mount tool box), $2,549.

The Jenkinsburg City Council, at the recommendation of Mayor David Nestor, voted unanimously to hire Brian Caron as a part-time assistant for the city’s building and grounds and water departments. The salary for Caron, who works for the Clayton County Water Authority, will be $13 per hour without benefits.

The council also approved the hiring of William Mullis to work as an administrative assistant on an as-needed basis for $13 per hour. Mullis, who is retired from the Georgia Department of Transportation, will fill in when City Clerk Clair Jones is out of the office for training and other reasons, Nestor said.

During the Oct. 14 regular meeting, the City Council voted to have Mullis represent Jenkinsburg on the Butts County Transportation Board.

“That will not be a conflict of interest,” Nestor told council members before they voted to hire Mullis.

In other business on March 10, the City Council voted to change the 10-year contract with Tank Pro to have the interior and exterior of the water tank painted during the second year instead of the 10th year of the contract. The approved change will be in line with previous scheduled painting of the tank, which in the past has been done every 10 or 11 years, Nestor said.

The change will also mean the Jenkinsburg Water Department will have to pay $31,730 to Tank Pro in each of the first two years, according to documents provided by the city.

“It’s going to hit our budget for the first year or two,” Mayor Pro Tem Eddie Ford said. “We’ll be operating on a deficit.”

Nestor said the water department had “the propensity to operate at a loss” the first two years of the contract with Tank Pro. The first two years will be paid out of the water department's reserves and the remainder of the contract will be paid from the water department's general funds, he said.

The annual premium for the last eight years of the Tank Pro 10-year maintenance contract is currently listed as $1,500 annually, but Nestor told council members that amount could increase due to changes in government regulations.

Also during the meeting, Aronda Smith, a planner with the Three Rivers Regional Commission, spoke with Nestor and council members to make sure Jenkinsburg was up to date on its most recent comprehensive plan, which includes its short-term work program for 2013-18.

On the city’s short-term work program list, Nestor told Smith Jenkinsburg had completed the dismantling and removal of the former Westbury facility, which was slated to be done this year.

Several of the items, such as enhancements to the city water system and public works equipment, and requesting ideas for ways to use the former Westbury site as a green space, were on the March 10 agenda, Nestor noted.

In addition, this year, when SPLOST funds allow, the city will continue to refurbish the former garden club building on Iris Street to turn it into a community center, Nestor said. The building has a new roof, new windows and has been painted, he said.

The city has allocated $10,000 to add a pavilion to the city park located behind City Hall and make other enhancements to the park, which is not a SPLOST project, Nestor said. Additional city street signs will be ordered using SPLOST funds and additional city limit signs have been ordered, he said.

Later in the meeting, Nestor asked council members to come up with five “ideas or suggestions” by the next meeting for ways to use the property where the former Westbury site was located. The structure was removed and the site has been planted with grass since late September last year.

Following a public hearing in which no one spoke, the City Council voted unanimously to rezone property at 2255 Ga. Highway 42 N. from highway business district to office-institutional district. The rezoning was requested by the property owner, William Toney Jr., and was recommended by the Jenkinsburg Planning and Zoning Committee.

Correction and clarification: An earlier version of this article implied that Brian Caron's employment with the Clayton County Water Authority had ended but it has not. The earlier version also misstated the funding mechanism for the Tank Pro contract, and it has been corrected above. It is the policy of the newspaper to correct errors of fact that appear in print.