By David A. Farrell, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The board of aldermen on Tuesday voted to engage an engineer to determine how much it would cost to run city water lines to Mississippi Highway 26’s intersection with Interstate 59.
The action was taken at the suggestion of Mayor Billy Spiers, who told the board that he thinks the city was losing businesses who wanted to locate on Miss. Hwy. 26 and at the intersection because a stable and reliable source of water was not available.
City water lines run out Miss. Hwy. 26 as far as Wheat’s Home and Building Center.
Spiers said water lines already had been extended out Mississippi Highway 53 to I-59.
He said a preliminary cost estimate made by him and City Clerk Jodi Stuart shows estimated costs of between $100,000 and $140,000, but that more accurate and professional cost estimates were needed before the project could be approved by the board.
Spiers told the board that if his cost estimates hold true, the board already has on-hand enough money to do the project without a tax increase.
On another matter, the board said it will look at tightening restrictions on impromptu public signs, such as those announcing yard sales, when put up along streets and highways.
Guy Ray Holston, head of code enforcement, told the board he picks up a pile of the signs each week.
He suggested placing a brochure cautioning residents in their water bills.
The board asked Stuart to contact other cities similar to Poplarville and find out what they are doing to combat the problem.
Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire said Poplarville seems to have a disproportionate share, and signs are more prevalent here. “You just don’t see a lot of signs in Long Beach and other Gulf Coast cities, as you do here,” said Wiltshire.
Spiers said he believes there is nothing the city can do about it. “They will always put them up to advertise their sales,” said Spiers.
On another matter, the board took no action after a discussion on whether or not to continue spraying for mosquitoes.
Alderman Dr. John Grant, Jr., said he did not think it does any good to spray for the pesky critters, but he added he was not adverse to continue spraying “if that’s what the board wants.”
Alderman Johnnie Sherman said he believed the spraying helped the situation and has an impact on the mosquito population.
Sam Hale, who oversees the spraying process, said that one drum of the spray costs the city about $2,600 and that the city uses about one drum a year on the project. He said that contrary to what many believe, the spray is nontoxic to humans but toxic to mosquitoes.