Aldermen begin process to issue bonds for street work

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Last week, the Poplarville board of aldermen began the process to issue bonds to pay for new streets city-wide.

The board voted to put into motion procedures to issue bonds and to hire Don Walker Associates of Hattiesburg as the engineering firm to begin compiling cost estimates and drawing up proposals and specifications for the street repairs.

Mayor Billy Spiers is estimating the project will cost approximately $2 million.

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Once the official cost estimates and planning are complete, the board will adopt a resolution and publish its intent to issue bonds for three consecutive weeks in the newspaper.

City attorney Martin Smith said that if 10 percent of qualified voters in the city, or 1,500 people, whichever number is lesser, file a written protest against the bond issue on or before the date specified in the resolution, a special election would be required to determine the future of the bond issue.

An election would require three-fifths of those voting in the electdion to vote in favor of the bond for it to go forward.

Because paved streets last only about 15 years, the board has chosen to repay the bonds over 15 years. The city would levy a special tax on property within Poplarville to raise the funds to repay the bonds.

Before the repaving can begin, certain areas of streets throughout the city are still in need of repair. The city has been waiting for more than a year for W.A. Warren Paving to repair some 24 locations listed in the settlement of a lawsuit resulting from improper compaction in a 1990s sewer pipeline project. The defendants in the suit hired W.A. Warren to carry out the $95,000 repair project.

The board authorized Don Walker to proceed with the street repair project and to work with W.A. Warren to ensure the work is carried out in preparation for the repaving project.