City accepts bid for water meters

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

Previous action by the Eupora Board of Aldermen included accepting a bid for the purchase of automated water meters.

The city received two bids for 400 wireless radio-read water readers, which aldermen took under advisement Dec. 3. The bids were on the agenda of a special called meeting Dec. 12, when Water/Wastewater Director Benny Neal recommended the board accept the low bid of $76,950 from Empire Pipe & Supply. It did vote to do so, according to the minutes. The bid also includes software, a laptop and three days of training.

Another motion was approved to authorize Cliff Russell with USDA Rural Development to make a change order to apply leftover funds to meter purchases with all remaining expenses to come out of water/ sewer reserve. The meters will be installed in two outside systems.

In a related matter, records show Mayor Tommy Lott recommended reconnection fees be set at $25 for both inside and outside systems. Board approval is contingent upon Public Service Commission approval; Lott was to contact the PSC for more information. The board voted to go from $25 to $30 for all systems if no approval is needed from the PSC.

Additionally, the mayor and board discussed eliminating late notices and sending bills out on the 15th only. The board expressed some concern about the legality of not sending late notices, according to the minutes. The board approved a motion to send water bills on the 15th or the next business day and to find out about the regulations of late notices and table the matter.

In other business Dec. 12, the board voted to accept a 2003 ambulance donated by North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora to the Fire Department, and authorized the transfer of the old fire/rescue truck to another fire department within the county.

Aldermen voted to hire someone to conduct a CDBG survey at minimum wage. They also voted to have the remaining balance of the Christmas Market funds made payable to Murphy Medical Supply for advertising and organizing the Christmas Market on behalf of the city. Murphy Medical served as the agent for disbursement for the purpose of buying coats and shoes for deserving children attending Eupora and East Webster elementary schools.

HOME Grant During a special called meeting Friday, the board authorized the mayor to sign contracts with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District and adopted a related resolution for administration of the HOME Grant, which the city was awarded.

In a matter tabled from the regular December meeting, the board approved the rezoning of Lot 18 on Westwood Drive from residential to commercial. It did so at the request of Governor Mays, who presented the signatures of neighborhood residents verifying they are not opposed to the change. Mays said he plans to locate a beauty salon and/or barbershop there. Final approval must be given after a public hearing.

The board voted to advertise for bids to lease undeveloped property at Industrial Park and property at the city airport. The properties will be advertised separately for standing rent per acre.

Street Changes In a matter tabled from Dec.. 12, the board went on record to close Collier Street to through traffic, which specifically applies to the “alleyway” section by the old Collier Tire shop. Earl Lowe of adjoining East Figgatt Avenue requested the closure and Lott said no other area residents objected.

The mayor confirmed that Lee Nabors, owner of Nabors’ Do it Best Home Center in Houston, is opening another branch in the lot on the west side of Veterans Memorial Boulevard/Highway 9 South at Collier Street.

Nabors bought all three properties there, which most recently included Dollar City, a beauty salon and a building owned by Central Mississippi Inc. that’s remained vacant for three years, according to the mayor. He said Nabors’ Home Center is slated to open here in May.

The board also voted Friday to change the name of East Figgatt to “Mitchell Avenue” at the request of George Mitchell. Lott said Mitchell recommended the change in part because of improvements he has made in the area, and said he would make a donation to the city to cover the cost of new street signs.