Aldermen work on budget

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

City aldermen have been working on Eupora’s new budget and have set a hearing for public comments.

They had a budget work session Aug. 9 and also worked on the budget during a special called meeting Monday afternoon. A budget hearing is set for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27 and the final budget must be adopted by Sept. 30.

During Monday’s meeting, the board was to also act on quotes for water meters to be bought from the remaining funds for Industrial Park water tank painting and SCADA radio equipment.

HOME Project Patsy Patterson, housing specialist with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District, met with the Board of Aldermen on Aug. 6 to discuss the city’s application to the Mississippi Development Authority for 2012 HOME Investment Partnership Program grant funds for housing improvements in the city.

The board adopted a resolution authorizing the GTPDD to apply for HOME funds on behalf of the city contingent upon finding enough eligible homeowners.

A public hearing on the city’s HOME project application was set for 4 p.m. Aug. 27, when more specific details will be provided. Eligible low-income homeowners interested in applying for these funds must attend the hearing or send a representative.

Lighting, Mural Also on Aug. 6, aldermen voted to proceed with a recommendation by the mayor to light Veterans Memorial Boulevard (Highway 9 South) from Walnut Avenue to the U.S. 82 bypass and the new parking lot under construction across from Family Dollar.

Lott said Natchez Trace Electric Power Association has agreed to erect a total of nine light poles and hardware on that section of the highway and in the parking lot at no cost to the city. The additional monthly electricity cost for the city will be about $15 per light, he said.

The board accepted a donation of $3,420.08 from Delta Shows from proceeds of its fair in the Garan parking lot July 26-28. The motion included approval of the mayor’s request to designate part of the money to be used to paint a mural on the south side of the Webster County Office Building, which faces the new Family Dollar store. Lott said the Board of Supervisors has agreed to plans for the mural.

CodeRED After some discussion, the board voted to contribute $2,000 a year for the next two years to Webster County to participate in the CodeRED telephone notification service, with $1,000 coming from the general fund and $1,000 from Water Department funds. This is contingent upon the service including the LaGrange water system in Choctaw County, which is part of the city water system.

The system will notify citizens about emergencies such as severe weather by sending out prerecorded messages. It can also be used to send out other alerts such as boil-water notices and non-emergency messages.

Other Business In other business, the board voted to: • transfer $102,412 in Federal Aviation Funds to another general airport in Mississippi. The FAA had apportioned the funds for Eupora since the 2009 fiscal year but the city has not used the money. Lott said $500,000 from the FAA will be available for the city to use next year and recommended that the money be used to build hangers at the airport. • authorize the demolition and removal of the old dugouts, fencing, press box and scoreboards at Spud Stennett Park, and to remove them from the city inventory. • accept the resignation of Street Department employee Shedrick Shaw, who has been hired as a bus driver for the Webster County School District. • hire Randy Dees to work 32 hours a week for the Street Department. The vote followed a 20-minute executive session, during which Street Superintendent Will Gary was called in to meet with the board. • accept the low bidder in all categories of annual supplies and services with the exception of janitorial services, which were clarified.

Littering, Park Pavilion During department head reports, Gary, as he had previously, again brought up the problem of people littering in the city, especially on Waterworks Road.

“It’s a big job picking it up,” he said.

Gary also said someone had vandalized the women’s restroom at the Whites Creek Lake pavilion, including knocking the toilet roll holder off the wall.

Additionally, City Clerk Lesa Hardin issued a reminder that the pavilion is not available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but that people need to call City Hall ahead of time to reserve the pavilion for groups.