CLARKESVILLE — The Clarkesville City Council will continue discussing whether hiring an outside management firm to oversee several city departments is in the best interest of the city’s residents.
During Thursday night’s called meeting and work session, council members heard from City Manager Barbara Kesler that ESG Operations Inc. was the only firm that submitted its statement of qualifications on time.
The firm’s statement of qualifications proposal to provide certain government services under a public works and utilities operations, maintenance and management contract for the City of Clarkesville was discussed at length.
Those services include project management, parks, streets, water plant, wastewater plant and sanitation.
Now, Kesler will work with ESG officials to hammer out a contract and arrive at a price that suits Clarkesville’s needs and finances, then the council will vote on whether to proceed.
Mayor Barrie Aycock told AccessWDUN at the conclusion of the meeting she is excited about the possibilities.
“We received a proposal which we were very impressed with,” Aycock said. “It seemed to be very detailed and comprehensive. We had conversations with their top management, and also with some of their clients, and what’s left now is the nitty gritty. We’ve got to come to an agreement and that’s her [Kesler’s] department. I feel extremely thankful that we have somebody of Barbara’s financial background and capability. I feel certain that if she thinks it’s going to be a good thing, then we will support her decision.”
Aycock said she is pleased Clarkesville has the expertise of Councilmen Franklin Brown, Terry Gladden, John Mitchell and Steven Ward.
“I have great faith in this council to make sure that we’ve covered all the bases,” Aycock said, saying technical review is not her specialty. “This is not what I do as mayor. I look to my council.”
Council members initially anticipated scoring two proposals on Thursday.
Another firm whose officials made a site visit to the city contacted Kesler to request a 60-day extension, then notified her by email this week it would not be submitting.
“We had a timeframe, they didn’t meet it,” Ward said during Thursday night’s called meeting. “This is it. We don’t have to wait any longer.”
ESG Operations Inc. now is the No. 1 candidate, the council agreed, and Kesler will continue negotiations with that firm.
The council scheduled another meeting for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19.
ESG currently is involved in partnerships in Augusta, Forsyth County, Rockdale County, Winder and elsewhere in Georgia and Alabama.