The Webster Progress-Times
A public hearing is scheduled for next month on redistricting for the city of Eupora based on the 2010 Census.
The hearing will be at 5:30 p.m. April 2 at City Hall. Federal law requires governmental bodies to redistrict every 10 years following the Census.
A redistricting work session was held with Toby Sanford of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District on Feb. 28 from 9-11 a.m. at City Hall. Mayor Tommy Lott said he and aldermen Dan Burchfield, Hank Flowers and Vickey Patterson attended.
Sanford, GIS manager/senior analyst, presented all the Census data and explained the percentages that must be used as benchmarks for the necessary redistricting, according to the minutes. The mayor and aldermen suggested various ward line shifts to meet these goals, records show.
Sanford and assistant Dave Alexander brought a proposed plan showing new ward demographics and a draft map to the regular board meeting on March 5. The redistricting plan is similar to current ward lines, according to Sanford.
The data shows a population of 2,280 for the city, with the ideal population for each of the four wards being 570. Under the new plan, wards 1 and 4 will remain majority-black wards.
Aldermen approved three motions concerning redistricting, one being to proceed with the new districts as proposed and presented, including a correction to be made in Ward’s 4 boundaries.
Another was to accept a contract with the PDD to handle all redistricting issues (professional services) for $3,500. The third was to accept a resolution stating guidelines and scheduling the public hearing.
Also last week, aldermen approved the conditional rezoning of 95 W. Fox Ave. from Residential 2 to Commercial 1. The zone reclassification was approved after a public hearing, which no one from the public attended.
The property is owned by Lamar Dumas, who was present during the hearing and first met with the board about the rezoning request last month. He has formed DELTTAC LLC (Dumas Electrical Lineman Technical Training and Consulting), and plans to operate a classroom-type training institute at the location.
The rezoning of the property is for the length of time that Dumas is actively in business at that location.
In a matter tabled twice before, the board voted to table indefinitely a Mississippi Main Street Association invoice for $1,000, which is for renewal of annual downtown network membership dues.
Aldermen accepted the lone bid received for rental of the east office suite in the Depot on Dunn Street, which was formerly used by the executive director of the now-defunct Webster County Development Council.
Jimmy Cook of Cook Surveying and Mapping submitted the bid, which was for $350 a month, with the starting date to be negotiated by the mayor. The minimum bid was $300 a month. The six-month lease has an option to renew and requires a minimum of two months refundable deposit up front. Utility bills will be shared on a 50/50 basis.
The board voted to advertise for bids for parking lot construction, and mill and overlay of a city alley. Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. April 6.
The parking area will be developed on what is now city property on the west side of Highway 9 across from Family Dollar; the city was reimbursed by a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from USDA Rural Development after purchasing the property. The bordering alley to be paved runs between West Fox and West Roane avenues.
Aldermen approved the purchase of a second surplus brush truck for $100 from Mississippi Fire Services for the Fire Department, and accepted a donation to equip it from Plymouth Tube.
The board voted to advertise for bids for the sale of surplus equipment: a New Holland tractor, a John Deere zero-turn mower and two 1986 GMC trucks.
After discussion of a problem with non-residential parking on North Joliff Street, aldermen voted not to allow any school parking on the street and to tow any vehicles in violation, with a sign to be erected reflecting that.
The board voted to donate $400 from Payne Flying Service of Paragould, Ark., to the county (District 3) for road damages. The money represents rent the company was to pay the city for use of the city airport. Mayor Lott said trucks hauling fertilizer for Payne had heavily damaged Airport Road (a county road) between Highway 182 and the airport access road.
Aldermen accepted a quote of $17,398.96 from Pearson Enterprises of Kosciusko to overlay the walking path at Whites Creek Lake Park. This was the lower of two quotes received.
The city will pay for the work out of capital reserves. Aldermen voted last month to decline a grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for the project, in part because the city had originally hoped the grant amount would pave and light areas that they said since appeared it would not.
The board decided not to overlay the track on the north side of Hall Road at this time because of the possibility of obtaining another grant for that purpose.