Police Department begins cleanup for merger

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

In their last meeting of the year, the Poplarville Board of Aldermen continued preparations to merge the Poplarville Police and Fire departments under one roof.

The Board approved a motion to begin cleaning the police department building and surrounding property “in an effort to move forward with the transition,” Poplarville City Clerk Jane O’Neal said.

City Attorney Nick Thompson presented the Board with several options for selling the police department building, including soliciting bids from the public or taking the average of two appraisals and listing it at that price, O’Neal said.

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The Board took no action on the matter.

After tabling the extension of a fence at the Poplarville-Pearl River County Airport at the Dec. 6 meeting, the Board voted Tuesday to spend an additional $1,300 to fence in the remaining area as required by the FAA, O’Neal said.

When setting the annual budget, the Board appropriated $23,400 for the project, resulting in the need for an amendment to cover for the additional cost, she said.

O’Neal said the Board decided to take action on the matter after she presented them with additional information on Tuesday that “resolved any questions or hesitation.”

In a separate, but ongoing matter, the Board voted to set a public hearing for January 17 to discuss a dispute between homeowners on North Jackson Street. Complaints stemmed after Kimra Torrence opened a school and tutoring service out of her home, and her neighbor Jim Brown pushed the Board to clarify whether she was in violation of city zoning ordinances, according to previous coverage.

O’Neal said notices of the public hearing will be mailed to the two parties and an advertisement was placed in the newspaper.

During executive session, the Board discussed personnel issues within the Poplarville Police Department, but no action was taken upon returning to open session, O’Neal said.

During closed session, the Board also discussed potential litigation concerning damage to a city water line by In-Line on Oct. 24, O’Neal said.

The damage occurred while the company was installing fiber optic cables for the use of Coast Electric. At that time, workers drilled into the water line, causing a large leak, O’Neal said.

The city is hoping to recover damages from the company, she said, hopefully through In-Line’s insurance claims and not by legal means.

The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Jan. 3, at 5 p.m.

About Julia Arenstam

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