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Blighted property cleanup

ZONE REVIEW: Members of Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen look over a map of the city’s zoning during Tuesday’s meeting. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

ZONE REVIEW: Members of Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen look over a map of the city’s zoning during Tuesday’s meeting.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen discussed the possibility of receiving help from Pearl River Community College’s heavy equipment training program to cleanup some blighted properties.
During Tuesday’s regular session meeting, the board discussed several properties that are in need of attention. One of which was the property on Orr Street that the city’s fire department used for training after it was determined the house would not be repaired. Mayor Brad Necaise asked Capt. Jonathan Head with the Poplarville Fire Department to look into a piece of property located at 111 Poplar Street. Head said he will present his findings at the next board meeting.
Necaise said there is the possibility PRCC’s heavy equipment program will help remove the debris from demolished or intentionally burned homes, but the program instructor will have to look at the properties in question before making a final decision.
After a rash of vandalism at the city’s park, a surveillance system has since been installed. Poplarville Police Chief Charlie Fazende said the system is operational, but said some tweaks may still be in order. Currently, the system is able to record activities at the park for up to a week, which is plenty of time to catch any vandals in the act since those crimes are typically noted the next day.
While the system currently employs three cameras, the system does have the ability to expand, Fazende said.
Fazende advised the board that signs declaring the presence of a surveillance system might deter crime at the park.
Necaise said the board will revisit adding additional cameras and the installation of signs at the next meeting to give the board time to collect additional information.
A new digital radio system will be installed in the city for the police department to use, which will provide some level of communication security, Fazende said. The department is looking into purchasing five digital radios, which will be enough for all of the full time officers. Fazende pointed out that this system will not be part of the Mississippi Wireless Information Network because the expense to purchase those types of radios is cost prohibitive.
City resident Mary Irwin addressed the board about a new business in her neighborhood. She said she lives on East North Street, and ever since a gym relocated to her area the noises from the business wake her constantly. The most recent incident occurred Tuesday morning when she was awoken at about 5 a.m. to the noises of dumbbells and music. She said the business is also creating a traffic hazard, with runners exercising in the dark, cars lining the streets and children playing in or near the streets.
“I do not want to hit anybody,” Irwin said. “I think it’s an unsafe practice to be doing these activities at night time.”
Necaise said she is the seventh person to complain about the business since it relocated to East North Street. However board member Maggie Smith pointed out that the business, while located near a residential area, is within a light industrial and commercial zone. Necaise advised Irwin that the board would have to do a bit of research before taking action on the matter at the next meeting.
Later in the meeting Head gave an update on the number of calls the fire department responded to, including 25 medical response calls, five vehicular accidents and eight grass fires.
He also told the board that one of the county’ volunteer fire department brush trucks has been stationed at the department for use in mutual aid calls, which saves the city money in fuel expenses.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday Jan. 20, at 5 p.m. in City Hall.