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homeless day shelters and homeless shelters, as it explains that day shelters are temporary shelters that do not allow anyone to stay overnight, unlike homeless shelters.

The proposed law also outlines homelessness services as rapid rehousing services, prevention programs, educational services, hygiene services, job and job training programs, family crisis programs, mental health services, homeless management informational data collection, substance abuse programs, homeless or unhoused veterans services, domestic violence programs, youth counseling, food preparation and distribution, supplying of clothes and other necessities, counseling providers, and more.

The ordinance also designates any business or nonprofit organization engaged in providing homelessness services that are not contemporaneously operating as a homeless day shelter or as a homelessness service provider.

To obtain this permit, applicants must have an operational tax license. When reviewing applications, authorities will review the character of the applicant, appropriate security plans (for shelters only), impact on the area surrounding the service site, whether the applicant contacted the appropriate Neighborhood Housing Association, and more.

These licenses are only valid for 10 consecutive days and must be re-obtained; an 83-day grace period will be allowed. Also, the City Manager reserves the right to revoke the permit if there is an event that threatens the safety, health, or welfare of the community. If this occurs, the City Manager may shut the facility down for three days, during which time it will be decided when and if the facility may reopen.

Specifications regarding the amenities and details of the facilities and shelters are also listed in the ordinance, which is available for public review throughout the month. Contact Vidalia City Hall to obtain a copy of the ordinance to review.

The Council also completed the first reading of an ordinance regarding short-term rentals in the City. The proposed ordinance lists guidelines for safety within these units and requirements for licensing of property agents, as each short-term rental must complete an application, submit the $250 application fee, and renew a license annually for $75.

Other proposed ordinances included an ordinance outlawing solar farms within the City, an ordinance requiring construction work within the City to comply with state minimum standards and international codes, and an ordinance regulating recreational vehicles and campers. All potential ordinances are available for review upon request.

Purchases, Appointments During the meeting, the Council also approved the purchase of a fire truck to replace one of the Vidalia Fire Department’s trucks which has been used for over 20 years. The existing truck may be sold for parts, and the new truck will be purchased for $474,927, which will be funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) fund.

Council members also authorized City officials to upgrade the municipality’s current Tyler Technologies server, which will cost $59,760 with a recurring annual fee of $45,819 – a $19,357 increase from the current recurring cost. Yet, according to City Manager Josh Beck, this upgrade is needed and recommended by the IT specialists, as the current server is extremely slow.

The City will increase its TextMyGov widespread messaging service allotment from 50,000 texts to 300,000 texts, which will increase the annual price from $5,500 to $7,000. The City first began using this service in 2021, and currently averages 150,000 texts per year.

The Vidalia Municipal Airport was authorized to have its AV tank cleaned and serviced by L & T, Inc., for $24,285, which will be funded by the Airport Fund.

City officials will purchase one riding lawnmower to replace one of the mowers currently in operation for $5,800 from Vidalia Small Engine Repair. This purchase will be funded through SPLOST.

Several appointments were made to boards by the Vidalia City Council. These appointments included: Mario Zamorano – Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau Board – expires December 31, 2027 John Ladson – Pine Crest Perpetual Trust II Advisory Board At-Large – expires June 1, 2027 Harry Moses – Pine Crest Perpetual Trust II Advisory Board At-Large – expires June 1, 2026 Lorraine Anderson – Pine Crest Perpetual Trust II Advisory Board At-Large – expires June 1, 2025 Missy Owens – Vidalia- Toombs Public Library Board of Trustees – expires 2027 The annual City July 4th celebration was approved by the Council, and will be held at the Ronnie A. Dixon City Park on the evening of July 4. For this event, Durden Street will be closed from 8 a.m. until midnight on July 4.

A special children’s event was approved to be held by Patricia Jackson from 5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on July 4 and 5. The area in front of 710 Winona Street will be closed during the event.

During the reports section of the meeting, ESG Director Tony Hall informed the Council that City workers are still endeavoring to clean up debris from the tornado last month. To explain the intensity of the situation, Hall told the Council that the normal amount of cleanup after a storm is around 50-60 truckloads; currently, the staff has removed over 200 truckloads of debris. He said that the workers hope to have cleanup completed within the next two weeks.

At the conclusion of the meeting, City Manager Beck informed the Council of several roads which will be repaved through the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG). These roads include Georgia Street, Epstein Street, Dykes Street, Durden Street, 6th Street, Crooms Street, West Jenkins Street, Wilshire Boulevard, and Harris Industrial Boulevard. These projects will not cost the City anything.

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