Aldermen consider new park
Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Tuesday, engineer Jason Lamb, of Hattiesburg’s Walker and Associates, presented the first proposed design for the use of the Railroad Park and green space in downtown Poplarville to the Poplarville Board of Aldermen.
Back in March, the board asked Lamb to design a more defined presentation of plans for that area for Norfolk Southern Railroad Company. The board plans to lease Railroad Park on S. Main St. from Norfolk to utilize for community events.
The application requires schematic drawings above and beyond hand sketches, Lamb said during Tuesday’s meeting. He gave board members a copy of the design and asked for their input.
Lamb’s design includes about 66 parking spots, including those designated for handicapped citizens. The design would also make E. Erlanger St. a one-way roadway.
On the Martin Luther King Drive and Railroad Street sides, the parking spaces were drawn at 90 degree spaces. This allows for more parking spaces, Lamb said.
However, Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said he prefers angled parking spaces, for safety considering how busy that section of the road is. Lamb said they would lose about ten spaces with that design.
Necaise also suggested the construction of “pocket parks” in the corners of the design.
An incubation space is also planned for the area. According to previous coverage, this type of space will be funded by the Mississippi Business Authority and will allow entrepreneurs, who can’t afford a lease, the opportunity to start a business, reach profitability and then move.
Necaise also suggested the construction of a fence at Martin Luther King Drive and South Railroad Street to protect pedestrians.
Lamb also said that a lease agreement with Norfolk would lock them and the city into the plans they submit. However, any new additions would require further communication. Lamb said he would prefer to present alternatives to Norfolk.
Lamb said he would incorporate the board’s suggestions and present an updated design at a later meeting.
In other action the board:
• Awarded the contract for grounds maintenance at Forest Lawn Cemetery to Lawn Rescue. During the summer months, March through October, the company bid $300 per cut. During the winter months, November through January, Lawn Rescue bid $200 per cut.
• Awarded the contract for grounds maintenance at the City Cemetery to U.S. Lawns. Their bid for the summer months was for $500 per cut and $300 per cut during the winter months.
• Public Works Director Sam Hale told the board that the termite treatment on the building at 101 N. Main St. is now complete. At the last meeting in April, Necaise told the board he had yet to sign the purchase order in the amount of $17,600 to Keith Lott, who was awarded the bid for exterior repairs to the building. A meeting has been scheduled for June 21 at 5 p.m. with William Gatlin, a representative for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s preservation division. Tuesday, Alderwoman Maggie Smith said that the exterior would continue to deteriorate if they didn’t take action soon. The board didn’t need to vote on the matter, since they have already approved the repairs. Necaise said he would sign the check.
• Approved travel for Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head to attend New Fire Chief I class at the Mississippi Fire Academy in Jackson. Head told the board this is a four-part National Fire Academy course. The cost of the trip will be $41.
• Approved the fees associated with firefighter Donald D’Antonio to attend the 1001 – 1 & 2 Basic Firefighter Course at the Mississippi Fire Academy from Sept. 26 through Nov. 10. The total course cost is $1,240.
• Approved Matthew Richmond’s application for the position of volunteer firefighter.
The next board meeting will be held on June 7 at 5 p.m. in the boardroom at City Hall.