City to assume ownership of emergency sirens

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

TIME TO CLEAN: Saturday, Keep Poplarville Beautiful will begin at City Park at 8 a.m. Event will last until noon. During this event, volunteers will pick up trash throughout the city.  Photos by Cassandra Favre

TIME TO CLEAN: Saturday, Keep Poplarville Beautiful will begin at City Park at 8 a.m. Event will last until noon. During this event, volunteers will pick up trash throughout the city.
Photos by Cassandra Favre

During Tuesday’s Poplarville Board of Aldermen meeting, board members discussed spring yard cleaning, termite treatment at 101 N. Main St., the outdoor emergency warning system, the possibility of Poplarville police officers serving truancy warrants on behalf of the Poplarville School District and the Keep Poplarville Beautiful cleanup effort.
Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said, over the weekend, he drove around many streets throughout the city including Julia, Rouse, Shivers and McClendon.
He suggested putting a spring cleaning announcement on Facebook, giving residents 30 days to spruce up their properties, which includes the removal of debris such as limbs.
After the 30 days has passed, the city will issue notices.
Poplarville Public Works Director Sam Hale was not in attendance, so Necaise delivered his report.
Termite treatment began Tuesday on the building at 101 N. Main St., however the $17,600 purchase order has not been issued to Keith Lott to begin repairs to the building’s exterior, which the board approved at the March 16 meeting.
“I haven’t signed the purchase order,” the mayor said. “I was in a meeting today and there may be some unexpected expenses which will be discussed in executive session tonight for economic development.”
Any action taken during that executive session was not known prior to press time Tuesday.
The board also discussed the transfer of the outdoor emergency warning system from the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors to the city of Poplarville.
Poplarville City Clerk Jane O’Neal said the agreement received from the county was not signed by the chancery clerk, nor was it dated.
There are two emergency sirens in the city, one is located behind Poplarville High School and the other behind First Baptist Church of Poplarville.
Necaise asked if there attempts were made to confirm if the sirens are operational.
Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head said he looked at the batteries at both sites. The batteries in the siren behind the church were dead. Batteries installed in the siren behind the high school were working, he said.
Each siren requires two marine batteries, Head said. Such a battery costs about $150 each.
Head said Pearl River County EOC Director Danny Manley advised him that the sirens will be transferred “as is.”
Picayune, the Pearl River County School District and Pearl River Community College have already assumed responsibility for sirens in their areas.
“A lot of the citizens wanted to know why the sirens didn’t go off,” Alderman Jason Pearson said. “It’s definitely an asset here.”
Head also told the board he has local people that can maintain the alarms.
The board approved a motion to send the contract back to the county so they could make the changes.
Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby said he had been approached by Bill Johnson, school attendance officer for the State of Mississippi, who told him the Poplarville School District was having problems with outstanding truancy hearings.
At their April meeting, the Poplarville School approved an addendum to their policy for serving warrants to parents for excessive absences, which would authorize the district to pay Poplarville Police officers $50 for every warrant served.
“The parents are served the warrants,” Raby said. “They aren’t arrested physically, just given a court date. If they don’t show up, they’ll be jailed.”
Raby told the board that the officers would be paid by the school district and fuel costs would be reimbursed as per the special events contract the police department already has in place with the school district.
The board approved the measure.
Keep Poplarville Beautiful Chairman Laurie Jaufre addressed the board about this Saturday’s cleanup event. The event begins at 8 a.m. at City Park and volunteers can register between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., she said. Trash bags will also be distributed at that time, she said.
The cleanup ends at noon and everyone is asked to bring their trash bags back to city park, she said.
There are 16 door prizes up for grabs, which have been donated by local business owners, Jaufre said. Each volunteer at the event will be entered into the drawing.
Many local groups have already signed up including 4-H, the Poplarville High School student council, a Boy Scout troop and a running group, she said.
The event is being held in conjunction with the national campaign, Keep America Beautiful. This is the second year the event has been held in Poplarville, she said.
“Last year was such a success and I think the business participation was a big help,” Jaufre said. “I had a phone call from a woman who told me she appreciated my efforts. She also told me her children were learning to notice litter and pick it up.”
The next board meeting will be May 3 at 5 p.m.

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