Holliday proposes expansion of Poplarville City Park

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Supervisor Hudson Holliday suggested on Monday that the Poplarville City Park on the Mississippi Highway 26 Bypass here be expanded and upgraded into a high-profile city park. The board agreed with him and members said they will look into it.

Holliday said he planned to talk with Poplarville city officials here about expanding and upgrading the park, after, he said, he had visited a number of great city parks in towns the same size as Poplarville during his campaign trips throughout Mississippi.

Holliday is a GOP candidate for governor.

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He said he wanted to sound out fellow supervisors about how they felt about it before talking to Poplarville city officials.

Holliday’s proposal would double the area of the park and expand it into a wooded area that would see the addition of picnic tables. The forested area is contiguous to the main park right now and would have underbrush cleared out but the big trees retained.

Holliday pointed out that he was not suggesting that the county pay for it, that it would be Poplarville’s responsibility to come up with funding, both through grants and from private sources.

However, he said that the county owns a four-acre piece of property abutting the park on the western side and that the county could either donate or lease that property to the City of Poplarville for use in the expansion. He said the county’s property is landlocked because of the city park and the railroad, and is of no use to the county.

He said the Boy Scouts also own an acre on the western end of the park and the state highway department owns a small piece of land there, too.

Supervisor Anthony Hales said the property abuts the railroad tracks and could be dangerous to kids, but Holliday said that could be fenced.

The board did not vote on anything, but said it would explore Holliday’s proposal. Holliday said he plans to talk to Poplarville aldermen about his proposal.

“There is no reason why we can’t have a Class A park here, too,” said Holliday, who said the current park’s only main attraction is a walking trail.

On another matter, Supervisor J. Patrick Lee said the county is considering converting the sheriff’s department vehicles to run on propane. “We are looking into it, and there seems there would be a good bit of savings,” Lee told fellow supervisors.

He said Lamar and Forrest counties are looking into it and that the Cobb County, Ga., sheriff’s department had already switched to propane.

Sheriff David Allison told supervisors that the average price of a gallon of gasoline right now is about $3.60 while a gallon of propane is about $1.60. Hales said he was concerned about safety and Allison said that the safety factor in the use of propane has been increased considerably with the addition of safety devices to the systems attached to vehicles.

Lee said the propane would be added by use of a tank in the trunk and that the vehicles would be hybrid, able to work off propane and gasoline.

He said conversion would be paid for through a federal energy department grant, and that Blossman gas would handle all the paperwork in applying for the grant.

Supervisors agreed to look into the matter.

Lee also said that if the sheriff’s department gets into the program, for every gallon of propane used, the department gets a 50 cent per gallon rebate.

Lee made the motion for the board to research the matter and Holliday seconded the motion. It passed 5-0.

Supervisors also passed a resolution supporting McNeill Volunteer Fire Dept.’s plan to purchase a 2,000-gallon tanker fire truck and to guarantee a $100,000 loan the department plans to take to help purchase the $200,000 vehicle.

McNeill Chief Melvin Glidewell said the department’s current truck is 20 years old and needs to be replaced.

Glidewell said the department already has on-hand $100,000 to apply toward purchase of the truck. County Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said there may a $70,000 grant the Nicholson VFD has lined up that might be transferred to the McNeill department and applied to the purchase.

Manley said the Nicholson department does not need the grant right now.

The McNeill department met on May 16 and voted to purchase the new truck and to go before supervisors on Monday and request the loan guarantee.

Supervisors approved the guarantee.

The board adjourned to June 6.