City of Kingsland, Georgia

City Council

Minutes ● September 25, 2017

              Public Hearing              City Council Chamber              10:00 AM

                            107 South Lee Street - City Hall, Kingsland, GA 31548



Call to Order and Welcome Guests

Mayor Smith called the Public Hearing to order at 10:00 AM.


Mayor Smith gave a brief overview concerning the proposed tax increase and then opened the floor for questions.



Roll Call



              Kenneth E Smith Sr              Mayor              

              Charles Grayson Day Jr.              Mayor Pro Tem              (Absent)

              James Ham              City Councilman             

              Jim McClain              City Councilman             

              Richard A. Winters              City Councilman             




Public Hearing

1.              Public Hearing: Proposed Property Tax Increase -

The Kingsland City Mayor and Council have tentatively proposed a 2017 millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 13.94% or 1.04 mills.  The proposed increase includes an additional 1.00 mill to dedicate funds for public safety operations and an additional .04 mills for general fund operations.  This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.50 mills, an increase of 1.04 mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 7.46 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $100,000 is approximately $41.60 and for a home with a fair market value of $300,000 is approximately $124.80.

Mr. Nerio Ruiz, 214 Lake Wisteria Drive came forth and expressed that he was not in favor of the tax increase at this time due to the hurricane. 

Mr. Ruiz stated he would like a third party investigation as to what happened during Hurricane Irma and why the community at Lake Vine got flooded.


Mayor Smith asked Mr. Ken Kessler, Director of Planning & Zoning to explain the process of the flood plains and who is in charge of that process.


Mr. Kessler stated that FEMA sets the flood zone levels.  Mr. Lee Spell, City Manager asked Mr. Kessler about the flood plain maps, Mr. Kessler stated they will be effective December 31st.


Mayor Smith stated that asking for a millage rate increase now is not a good time, however, the city needs to maintain the upkeep of our city and we are caught between a rock and a hard place right now.


Councilman Ham expressed many concerns regarding the flooding issues.


Mr. Ed Gushen, 104 Zinnia Court delivered some very angry comments directed at City Manager, City Council and Mayor.  Mr. Gushen stated there are problems with the drainage system.  Mr. Gushen is against salary raises and felt if you have to cut back on people.


Councilman Winters stated that there is a drainage problem and that we can't just drain water onto someone else's property to cause them problems.  Councilman Winters also stated it is not the City Manager or Public Works Department's fault, sewer and drainage issues are two different issues. 


Ms. Pat Harris, 610 W. Mason Avenue expressed concerns.  Ms. Harris asked if the city had a set plan in place for the people who cannot leave or don't have anywhere to go.  Ms. Harris also expressed concerns that people should have been better informed.


Mayor Smith explained to Ms. Harris why Camden County cannot have shelters during weather events because of the high water issue throughout the county.


Ms. Ada Joseph, 300 Stump Mitchell Avenue expressed her concern regarding no shelters for residents.  Ms. Joseph expressed her concern that some citizens live in sub- standard housing or their homes will not withstand a storm and there is no place for them to go.


Ms. Candace Beattie expressed concerns regarding the flooding in her community; and stated she is not in favor of a tax increase at this time.




The Public Hearing was adjourned at 11:05 AM.





Kenneth E. Smith, Sr., Mayor








Selina Bell, Deputy City Clerk