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Five architectural firms express interest in CPD headquarters project

There are five architecture firms that have expressed interest in working with the City of Cairo to design a new headquarters for the Cairo Police Department. The five firms responded to the city’s issue of a Request for Proposal, and now the city council will have to determine which one they want to work with on the project.
At the council’s regular meeting on Monday, Cairo City Manager Chris Addleton asked whether the council wanted to appoint a committee to consider the issue.
Cairo Mayor Bobby Burns suggested the council meet as one body on the matter.
“From what I hear, everyone has an interest,” Mayor Burns said, “I think we need to have a workshop with all council members. One may have a comment or thought that others might not think of.”
The councilmen agreed to hold a workshop on Monday, Nov. 20, to create a metric for selecting the architect.
“We get to set parameters, decide what criteria they have to meet or how many years experience they’ve had,” said Councilman Jerry Cox.
Addleton said, “I can get a selection of criteria, and we can go through all of them and discuss them.”
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas stated, “I’m assuming they gave reference of a police department they’ve built. I would suggest looking into that. There’s no use in us spinning our wheels.”
Addleton confirmed three had worked on area departments.
The group decided to meet Monday at 5 p.m. for the workshop.
The Cairo City Council also:
– Reappointed Charles M. (Chuck) Stafford to a three-year term on the Cairo Development Authority. The authority pre-dates the Joint Development Authority and remains in existence as the issuing body of bonds for previous development projects such as the U.S. Post Office in Cairo.
– Heard from City Council attorney Tom Lehman that he is continuing his research into Councilman Jerry Cox’s question regarding a possible solution to “yelping” dogs. “I have received a couple of calls both in my district and out of my district saying please don’t let that drop,” Cox said.
“All I see now is a noise ordinance. You can’t outlaw dogs, particularly yappers, which tend to be small dogs,” said Lehman, “I think it will have to be something to do with consistency or a time allowance.”
Mayor Burns asked, “So, every time someone calls the police have to go sit and time it?”
Lehman said about a possible solution, “It’s going to be a tough one, I tell you.”
– Unanimously agreed to pay for cancer benefits for the City’s paid and volunteer firefighters as required by House Bill 146 passed by the Georgia Legislature. The City of Cairo will purchase the policies through the Georgia Municipal Association which developed the program for those cities in need of the required coverage.
– Heard a proposal from Tax Specialists of Georgia – Southeast representatives Clifford W. Harpe Jr., and Jack Brinson about their company’s sales tax recovery service. Because city governments have tax exempt status, they are eligible for sales tax refunds on certain purchases. Brinson told the council that in some construction projects, such as the city’s recent water treatment plant, some materials purchased by the contractor would be exempt from sales tax. He explained that his firm would comb through the city’s receipts on the project and file a Claim for Refund with the state.
“A lot of engineers don’t understand the scope of exemptions,” said Brinson.
Brinson told the council he had worked with the Department of Revenue 30 years and understands the nuances of the Georgia Sales Tax Code.
“It’s hard to say how much you bought that was tax exempt, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a $100,000 refund,” Brinson said.
The company’s fee for the work would be 25 percent of the refund, he explained.
The city council took the information under advisement for consideration. No further discussion was had on the topic.
– Approved a special event permit request from Travis Harrison and the First Assembly of God to close 12th Avenue N.E. from Driveway to Pineland Drive on Saturday, Nov. 18 for Thanksgiving in the City food giveaway between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
– Held a public hearing on a conditional use request from Matthew Heaberlin for tech services, 1319 10th Ave. N.E., located within a Single-Family Residential District. Heaberlin told the council he resides in the house and although most of his business is located elsewhere wants the to be able to work from home when needed on his graphic design, websites and network support business.
At the conclusion of the public hearing, the city council voted unanimously to approve the conditional use permit, which was also supported by the Cairo Planning Commission and Southwest Georgia Regional Commission.
– Approved an Alcoholic Beverage License for beer retail package due to change of ownership of Easy Stop, 995 U.S. 84 E. Ankitkumar R. Patel was the applicant.

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