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Board discusses playground

 Mayor Billy Spiers told the board of aldermen this week it is time for Poplarville to move forward with its plans to install a new playground at the City Park.

“I was at the park last week,” said Spiers, “and overheard some parents talking about how pretty the park is, but that there’s nothing for the kids. And they’re right. I agree with them.”

Spiers also said he is tired of waiting for a response from KaBoom, a national playground equipment company, to help the city move forward with its long-awaited plans for building the new play area.

Mississippi Power had donated $25,000 to the city to go toward building a playground area. The mayor asked the board to approve putting out the project for bid in this week’s newspaper. He estimates the playground equipment will cost about $28,000. He said he would like to use six to eight inches of rubber chips in the playground area. Rubber chips, however, are approximately four times the price of wood chips, he said.

Fire Chief Kris Foster suggested using the pine chips from Stark Truss. The local company chips its scrap pine lumber and either gives it away or burns it, said Foster.

The board felt the pine chips could be a cheap and viable alternative even though the chips would have to be periodically refreshed.

The Poplarville Rotary Club has already presented a plan to construct restroom facilities at the park. Both the city and Rotary expressed views that they welcome any community involvement in helping reduce the costs for both projects.

Spiers also gave an update on the Downtown Park project under construction adjacent to the railroad tracks and Martin Luther King Drive.

He said Supervisors Anthony Hales and Charles Culpepper both agreed the county would help the city in constructing the parking lot for that endeavor. That project is being spearheaded by the Poplarville Chamber of Commerce as a community-wide effort. It is part of an effort to revitalize the downtown area and provide additional parking. The park will have an open-air stage area along with picnic benches and a gazebo.

In other business, at this week’s meeting the board adopted a new fee scale for picking up limbs for residents due to escalating fuel costs. The city will raise the rates for small truckloads from $5 to $10. Rates for large dumptruck loads will change from $25 to $40. Pickup is on Fridays.

Residents must prepay at City Hall to request that service. The city also wants to inform residents no pickup of limbs will be made the week of June 9-13 before the Blueberry Jubilee on June 14. The new fee scale will go into effect June 1.

The board also reviewed and discussed letters from each city department head outlining plans to lower fuel costs.

Aldermen gave the go-ahead to begin spraying for mosquitoes in the newly-annexed Heatherlands Subdivision later this week. The city sprays for mosquitoes only in residential areas.

Annexation will go into effect at midnight May 22 if no further appeals are filed in court.