By Butch Weir, Editor, The Poplarville Democrat
The Picayune Item
The Poplarville Board of Aldermen went through a long list of items, from water meter deposit fees to property cleanup to a traffic issue, but took no action on many of the more detailed items discussed.
The board revisited water meter deposits, a topic that had been under advisement, to bring rates in line with system costs but aldermen could come to no consensus on any of the suggestions.
In the board’s discussions on meter deposit fees, increases to the water deposit fee for renters, as well as revisions to the water cutoff policy were also mentioned as possible options.
Several aldermen questioned the advisability of raising fees in light of current economic conditions that have placed greater stress on citizens’ budgets — even though city government is dealing with the same budget stresses.
No action was taken on any of those items.
City code enforcement officer Guy Ray Holston updated the board on the status of several run-down and blighted properties in the city. Holston recommended allowing more time for the property owner of 106 Orr St., to make improvements at that site. Also, property on Poplar Drive needed to be condemned, Holston said, and another rundown property on South Julia Street near the lower elementary school needed some type of action.
Mayor Billy Spiers said regarding the intersection of U.S. Highway 11 and Mississippi Highway 26 at the old National Guard Armory, rumble strips had been reinstalled by the Mississippi Highway Department in an effort to slow traffic approaching the intersection. The board had noted at an earlier meeting that some drivers not familiar with the area failed to heed the 4-way stop signs. Spiers also said he was told the agency would be doing a traffic flow study to determine if some type of additional signal would be appropriate at the intersection.
In other matters, the board:
—Received an update of ongoing projects of the Pearl River County Utility Authority from its executive director Jeff McClain, including progress of water line extensions in Lake Hillsdale; upgrades at two sewer lift stations in the city; and a report on annual Mississippi Health Department inspections in which the Poplarville water well system received a Five, the best rating. Alderman Bill Winborn asked if there were any plans for further city sewer line extensions but was told there were none currently on record.
—Took under advisement approval of the policy and procedures manual until the next board meeting.
—Discussed application for a grant proposal to the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation for improvements to the city park for canopies over the playground equipment. The board also learned that more landscaping options at the park are being studied that would include adding blueberry bushes. It was noted that Poplarville is often called the blueberry capital of the state and the city would benefit from a more visible presence of that perception.
The board adjourned until its next scheduled meeting at 5 p.m., April 2.