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Aldermen discuss city matters

Park security, property maintenance, training for fire personnel and the acquisition of a new thermal imaging camera were all discussed at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
Vandalism at the city park is becoming such a problem the board is considering the installation of a security system. A recent quote put the price of such a system at about $3,400, but Mayor Brad Necaise said he received a new quote from the local Radio Shack that came in at $1,700.
“It’s not rocket science but that much I can figure out,” Necaise said.
The parks and recreation department has an annual budget of about $4,000, City Clerk Jodi Stewart said.
The system quoted by Radio Shack includes four cameras, a monitor and a 500 gigabyte storage device for capturing video. Installation is included in the price.
Necaise said during his time as mayor so far there have been five instances of vandalism at the park.
No action was taken on the matter.
A homeowner on Starkey Street is interested in turning a detached building into an apartment for rent, but needs approval from the city and road access first. Necaise said the building has its own E-911 address, but no road access or water meter. The property owners paid for a water meter a couple of years ago, but it was never installed because the board denied the request for an unknown reason. Necaise said the money was never refunded.
Board member Shirley Wiltshire suggested the matter be turned over to the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing to gather input on the matter, but code enforcement officer Guy Ray Holston suggested he ensure the building meets the city’s codes before a hearing is held.
The board agreed with Holston’s recommendation.
In other property matters the remnants of a home on Orr Street demolished in a controlled burn still remain two weeks after the fire department did their part. The board approved sending the property owner a letter outlining the city’s expectations that the debris be removed.
Poplarville Fire Chief Bobby Strahan informed the board that the grant application for a thermal imaging camera was approved, and the department has the camera on hand.
Strahan said the camera will help firefighters detect and extinguish hot spots before leaving the scene of a fire, preventing fires from rekindling.
Strahan also requested the board approve travel for four of his volunteer firefighters to receive training at the fire academy. He said the training is the same that full time firefighters undergo.
Police Chief Charlie Fazende informed the board that his department has worked out an agreement to have some of their patrol cars worked on at the Pearl River Community College automotive program. He said one patrol vehicle is slated for repair at the program for a cost of $150, which is a savings to the department. He said that as long as the program accepts the vehicles, he will send them.
Fazende also updated the board about a recent seatbelt safety course upper and lower elementary students participated in. It was conducted by the Mississippi Highway Patrol and involved a roll over simulator. The presentation involved showing the children what happens to a dummy when it was and was not wearing a seatbelt during a roll over.
“This shows them why they should wear a seat belt and what happens when they don’t,” Fazende said. “It really makes and impression on them.”
The simulator involves the cab of a pickup truck attached to a special device that rolls the passenger compartment over and over, simulating a vehicle accident.
The next board meeting will be Oct. 21 at 5 p.m.