Aldermen consider new public works building

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tuesday, the Poplarville Board of Aldermen discussed the possible demolition of the city’s public works building and the need, if any, for an interlocal agreement between the city and the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors regarding the reinstatement of the city’s dispatch services.
Poplarville Public Works Director Sam Hale told the board that the public works building, located at 206 N. Jackson St., needs to be torn down. The building is about 60 years old, he told the Board.
Hale proposed engaging the services of City Engineer Jason Lamb of Walker and Associates to compose a preliminary set of drawings. Hale said he has the money in his budget to pay for the work and hopes to incorporate the costs for a new structure into next year’s budget.
“Right now, to do this project, we’re looking at $200,000 to $250,000 and that would be about a $1,600 (monthly) note for 15 years,” Hale said.
Hale said they need a sanitary place to store their water supplies. He also plans to incorporate a break room, another bathroom and a more functional office space.
The Board approved engaging Lamb’s services.
In another matter, Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby told the Board that, as of Friday, dispatch for the city of Poplarville was back in service.
During their May 18 meeting, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors voted to reinstate dispatch services for the Poplarville Police Department. In 2012, the Board discontinued the city’s dispatch services due to budget constraints, previous coverage states.
“I’m ecstatic to have it back,” Raby said. “My officers feel good and safe now. They can run tags and driver’s licenses now.”
Raby also told the Board he discontinued services with the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, which costs the city about $12,000 per year. The department no longer needs it, Raby said.
An item on Tuesday’s agenda referenced an interlocal agreement with Pearl River County regarding dispatch services. The city is currently not funding any of the services.
Raby said he doesn’t think one is necessary.
Poplarville Attorney Nick Thompson expressed concerns about how much the county will pay, what will be paid by the city down the road and how much notice will the Board of Supervisors give if they decide cancel again.
Thompson also asked Raby if he believed that asking the board for such an agreement would “turn them off?”
“I do appreciate what you’ve done, the sheriff and the Supervisors for working with the city of Poplarville and I really appreciate that,” Aldermen Byron Wells said to Raby.
Thompson added that he doesn’t believe the city needs to push an interlocal agreement at this point.
Raby said he would speak to the appropriate parties regarding such an agreement.
In other action:
• The Board moved the following agenda items to the June 21 Aldermen meeting: The city’s 2015 fiscal year audit report, the proposed security agreement between the Poplarville School District and the Poplarville Police Department, setting a date for a fiscal year 2017 budget workshop and the discussion regarding USM’s feasibility study.
• City Code Enforcer Guy Ray Holston told the Board he sent out about 13 letters regarding property clean up. However, Alderman Byron Wells and Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire both told Holston they received calls about a couple of letters that were sent out in error. Some of the unkempt property is located on the city’s right of way. Holston said he would apologize to the affected residents.
In a separate matter, Raby asked Holston what could be done about the overgrown bushes at the Colonial and Regency apartments. Raby said he’s had a number of problems with suspected drug activity in that area due to the fact suspects are hidden by the overgrown bushes. Hale said that the Mississippi Department of Transportation is responsible for the upkeep of that area.
• The Board acknowledged the appraisal of the police department building and property. Appraiser Cecil Johnson appraised the building and property at $195,000, O’Neal told the Board.
• The Board approved travel for DARE officer Al Tynes to attend the 2016 State DARE Training Conference from June 27 to June 30 in Biloxi at the Palace Casino. The cost for the entire conference is $890, which will be funded by the DARE budget. The city will incur no costs, Raby said.
The next Board meeting will be held on June 21 at 5 p.m.

• Alderwoman Maggie Smith recommended Archie Rawls as a replacement for Marcus Jordan on the Poplarville Planning Commission. The board took no action, but will contact Rawls about the position.
• Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head said his department is preparing for hurricane season. The Pearl River County Emergency Operations Center will host their first meeting of the season on June 16 at 2 p.m. at the EOC building in Poplarville, Head told the board.

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