Aldermen eye bond issue

Published 7:02 pm Friday, July 13, 2007

Mayor Billy Spiers and the Poplarville board of aldermen discussed the condition of city streets during the first meeting of the mayor and Board of Aldermen in July and agreed it is time to move forward with a bond issue to begin repairs and resurfacing.

John Grant was the first to agree when Spiers brought up the issue, saying, “We have to do something.”

The city has been waiting for more than a year to have its damaged streets repaired following a lengthy process of litigation that ended in a settlement in March 2006. Magnolia Construction hired W.A. Warren Construction to repair all places in the city where sink holes developed following a faulty sewer construction project in the mid 1990s.

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Under the settlement Magnolia Construction agreed to pay W.A. Warren to do the $95,000 worth of repairs. Warren, however, has never started on the project.

The mayor told the board he would like to “get the ball rolling” at the July 17 meeting to move forward with a nearly $2 million bond issue to repair and repave all of Poplarville’s streets.

“We can’t keep waiting,” said Spiers.

The city has already received $23,000 as reimbursement for repairs it had already made to those damaged sites mentioned in the lawsuit.

In other business matters, the city of Poplarville received a clean opinion from a Gulfport-based accounting firm following its recent annual audit. Steve Dockens of Alexander and Van Loon told the board he was very pleased about Poplarville’s financial statements, especially regarding the handling of federal assistance received in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In addition, the board authorized Fire Chief Kris Foster to purchase a new, automated external defibrillator to replace the department’s decade-old one. The fire department responds to medical emergencies and is often the first on the scene before the ambulance arrives. Foster told the board in the 10 years the old defibrillator was in use, 12 lives were saved. The cost for the new lifesaving device is approximately $1,800.

The mayor and Board of Aldermen meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at City Hall.