The Richmond Hill City Council met in regular session Tuesday, Sept. 17 after canceling the Sept. 3 meeting due to the potential for severe weather associated with Hurricane Dorian.
At the meeting, the Council elected Council member Kristi Cox to fill the role of mayor pro-tem left open by former Council member Tara Baraniak who gave up her seat last month.
Also during the meeting, local Army National Guard infantryman and founder of Buddy Watch Walk John Ring told the council he would be endeavoring to raise awareness for veterans issues including suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder, homelessness and affordable housing by walking old Highway 80 in 80 days.
Ring said he plans to start his walk on Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. at Tybee Island Pier and end his walk in Santa Monica, California. He said he’s not the first to do this, and he won’t be the last. Still, the project is important to him as a veteran and for the veterans and first responders in and around Richmond Hill.
He asked the council and community to follow his progress on social media as he stops to talk about these issues at Veterans Affairs hospitals, community organizations, and high schools. You can do so at facebook.com/buddywatchwalk. For more see our story on his walk.
City Manager Chris Lovell commended the residents of Richmond Heights for their patience as the city goes through the process of beginning the drainage project.
According to Lovell, the city is ready to go out for bids on the project that would require culvert replacement.
This could only begin with the council’s approval of SPLOST funds not to exceed $475,000 for the project.
Residents affected include those on Greenwich Drive, Dearborn Street and Hermitage Drive.
Lovell said the city plans to speak with each individual resident affected to discuss the scope of the culvert replacement that he believes will reach no further than the right-of-way in most cases.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the council applauded the Richmond Hill community for their donation of over 8,000 pounds of supplies to The Bahamas.
Although the community was not affected adversely by Hurricane Dorian, Lovell presented a request to the council to make sure the city is prepared in the event that another hurricane does cause damage.
He described a three-step process for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement.
That includes an evaluation of damage by city emergency operations staff and first responders, followed by debris monitoring through a contracted service provider and final clean-up of the debris.
Tuesday, the council approved Thompson Consulting of Lake Mary, Florida, for the debris monitoring contract, the only piece of the three-step process formerly missing.