By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times
Construction of a parking lot on new city property is one step closer with the awarding of a bid by the Eupora Board of Aldermen. The board has accepted the low bid of $101,589.20 from Ausbern Construction Co. of Okolona upon the recommendation of Calvert- Spradling Engineers. The item was handled during a 20-minute special called meeting Friday morning. The project will involve paving the vacant lot the city bought from Linda Cooksey on the west side of Veterans Memorial Boulevard between Nu-Way and the old Shellgo store. It also includes overlaying the city alley that runs along the west side between Fox and Roane avenues. USDA Rural Development reimbursed the city through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant after it bought the property, which will have 20 regular parking slots and one designated for handicapped parking. Bids were opened April 6. Ausbern, the lowest of three bidders, is also the contractor for the Ansell Hawkeye industrial access road. Sidehog Mower The board voted to buy a Tiger sidehog mower at the state contract price of $40,268 from Covington Sales & Service of Denham Springs, La., for a Street Department tractor. This includes retrofitting of the hydraulic controls from low to high pressure, and the motion authorized ditcher attachment repairs if under $5,000 or state contract price. Aldermen also directed the city clerk to pursue five-year financing at local banks for the sidehog. On April 2, the board declared the hydraulics on the tractor obsolete and an emergency situation. The cost of the mower will be paid from the general city fund. According Lott, the city applied for a grant from USDA Rural Development to buy a new mower at least a year ago but has never heard back about its application. “I don’t know what the holdup is,” he said before the vote. Redistricting The board voted to accept a letter from the mayor and aldermen to be submitted to the Justice Department’s Voting Section chief, Civil Rights Division, with the city’s redistricting plan. The letter certifies that they unanimously accept, support and affirm the small changes requested to the ward lines in the city’s redistricting application. The letter states that the mayor and board considered and used as their guide the belief that all wards should reflect contiguous boundaries within as compact an area as possible representing similar and historical communities. It adds that they entered into the process believing that minority representation should be protected through the redrawing of the lines. Additionally, it says the city officials consider the plan to be the best, most logical and most representative they could create when taking into account population shifts and increases/decreases within the previous ward boundaries. Also accepted was a list of eight minority representatives that will be included in the application packet. The board approved the redistricting plan April 2 following a public hearing. Hank Flowers (Ward 4) was unable to attend Friday’s meeting.