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Board finds unanimity

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen voted in unanimity at their meeting Tuesday evening on all items that came before them in open session.

Included in those matters that were approved was a decision to follow through with enforcement of code issues at the Handy Pantry at 105 U.S. Highway 11 South, the Resolution in Support of Market Place Fairness Act and the decision to decline a proposed property donation by Dr. Joseph Gardner of property on U.S. Hwy. 11.

Alderwoman Maggie Smith spoke on complaints involving photographs of Handy Pantry personnel saying,  “I got a call yesterday on Handy Pantry. Not only is the garbage everywhere from Hwy 11 on, and the party (who called) also complained about the much higher increase in youth hanging out there, but the party also witnessed on the south side of the Handy Pantry a drug deal at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon. He does have pictures of them using their blower (the owners) and blowing trash into the middle of the street.”

On hearing the business had previous encounters with code enforcement, Mayor Necaise said, “I’m all about Guy Ray going back by there, but I think we do whatever is our next best chess play against this particular business and their actions. My initial thought of trying to manage the drug problem is you institute some sort of plan of action at the police department. Clearly that’s you,” he told the Chief of Police.

Necaise then addressed city attorney Martin Smith and asked, “… What is the next level above code enforcement?”

Smith advised giving the business a hearing and if the owners were adjudicated as being derelict in their duties of maintaining their property, then with giving proper notice, the city can clean the property for them and charge the owners. The fees could be added to their property taxes and collected in that way.

The Aldermen agreed to have code enforcement hand deliver and post on property a notice to the effect that the property will be maintained by the city as required. They also will ask the owners to appear before the next meeting so the aldermen may present photos of them blowing trash into the street.

The Resolution in Support of Market Place Fairness Act was passed. It the act passes the House of Representatives and is signed by the president, it would allow businesses in Poplarville to tax Internet purchases. This act would give local businesses a chance to compete fairly with those who sell merchandise from out of state over the Internet free of state and local taxes, Necaise said.

The board also agreed to not accept a donation of land owned by Dr. Gardner because the city had no use to which it could be put.

In other matters the board:

* Approved all departmental reports.

* Tabled a code enforcement issue at 106 E. Orr St.

* Approved registration fee of $25 for a Payroll Tax Seminar in Gulfport with meals and mileage to be reimbursed to the employee attending.

* Approved records to be destroyed.

* Approved Al Tynes to attend an SRO Basic Course in Gulfport with all expenses paid by school district.

* Approved a letter to be sent by city attorney to Perkins and Williamson Architecture, PLLC stating city’s position that the city is disputing $10,000 fee based on a similar fee being included in previous usage and the city had no reason to expect a charge for it this time.

* Tabled an animal control ordinance.

* Tabled regulation of garage sales ordinances for more research.

* Went into Executive Session to discuss the hiring of two employees. The results of that session were the additions of part-time officer Danny Collier as full-time officer at the police department and Blake Dunston as a tentative hire as a meter reader.