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Poplarville launches cleanup program

With the paving of streets, rebuilding of sidewalks, and a new fire station in the near future, the city of Poplarville has been engaging in a campaign to update and improve existing infrastructure.

Now aldermen are launching a campaign to enlist citizen participation in cleaning up the city.

Tthe board is asking landowners of run-down property to particularly take notice and do their part in the cleanup. The city has identified a number of properties that are either posing health risks or are eyesores to their neighbors.

During the first aldermen’s meeting of the month, aldermen asked building inspector Marcie Johnson to draft letters from the city to be sent to owners of properties in question. Landowners will be given 30 days to do any cleanup necessary to comply with the city’s requests.

If the landowner does not clean the property, the city will hire a contractor to do the work. The cost for those services will then be charged to the homeowner in the form of a lien on his or her taxes.

“We don’t want to be hard on anybody,” said Spiers, “but we have had so much criticism from citizens concerning dilapidated properties in our city that we have to do something about it.”

In other business, aldermen passed a resolution releasing the Chamber of Commerce from the responsibility of paying rent on its building located on the corner of Main and East Lamar Streets. The building was the former City Hall.

Alderman Byron Wells asked the board if the city could do something to recognize Pearl River Community College’s upcoming 100-year anniversary. As home to the oldest junior college — now community college — in the nation, Wells said he hopes Poplarville will consider posting a billboard commemorating the impact the college has had on the area.

In keeping with PRCC’s 100 years, Wells also asked members to consider doing something at the Interstate 59 interchanges coming into Poplarville to make the entrance to the city more appealing.

Pearl River will launch its 100-year celebration in the fall, said Wells. “I’d just like for us to do something nice on their behalf.”

Although the board agreed with Wells that the city of Poplarville will like to commemorate that milestone event, no action was taken.

The board went on to discuss whether or not it should renew its contract with Waste Management for garbage pickup. The company is raising rates from $11.61 to $12.07, which was no surprise to the board given the price for fuel. Aldermen took the matter under advisement to give them time to contact neighboring cities to see what they are paying for garbage pickup.

In other activities, the board:

— Hired Buddy McDonald as the city’s prosecuting attorney.

— Adopted a resolution acknowledging April 14-18 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

— Hired Blake Smith as a part-time fire fighter.

— Voted to advertise forl personnel in the water department.