Aldermen approve wildflower garden at City Park

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2017

Members of the Pearl River County Master Gardeners are preparing for another beautification project within the city limits of Poplarville, this time creating a wildflower garden in City Park.
The Poplarville Board of Aldermen granted a request from the group Tuesday night to plant a variety of wildflowers in the park.
Pearl River County Master Gardener President Bertha Page, who presented a vase filled with sample flowers to the Board, said the garden would create a space for people to enjoy and help the environment.
Dr. Eddie Smith, an extension agent with the Mississippi State University Extension center and coordinator of the Master Gardeners, said the county is fortunate to have such an active group.
With 82 counties in the state, only half have Master Gardener groups, he said.
The gardeners will begin working with the public works department to find a sunny, dry place for the garden at the park, which should be in full bloom by next year.
In a separate matter, members of the Pearl River County Utility Authority spoke to the Board about the organizations efforts in the city.
Utility Authority Executive Director Ray Scott spoke about the organization’s history in the county, including how Poplarville was unable to expand and add any more water and sewer lines until the UA came on board in 2006.
With the new treatment plant running at half capacity now, Scott said Poplarville has plenty of room for expansion.
The Utility Authority is currently working to find intrusion leaks using smoke tests that reveal where water is seeping into the waste water system, usually though a disturbed cap in someone’s yard, Scott said.
Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire asked Scott about sewer lines that were installed in the 90s that have led to sinkholes in the roads.
Scott said the problems are probably due to poor workmanship done before the UA came on board, and likely nothing can be done unless the lines are broken.
“That’s something that’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of money. This Board, historically, has tried to grasp at anything we can to help alleviate any of that,” Mayor Rossie Creel said. “But, from what I’ve been told, it’s not really the UA’s responsibility.”
In relation to necessary work to fix a washout on the Haynes Street, Creel said the city, county and Utility Authority have unofficially agreed to split the cost of repairs, estimated to be about $15,000 each.
“We have sewer lines under that street that we want to make sure are protected,” Scott said.
A portion of that road is currently closed to traffic due to the washout.
In other matters, Poplarville Police Chief Butch Raby said the department is gearing up for school to start later this week.
Raby said officers will increase patrols in school zones to slow traffic.
After receiving complaints from the community about traffic in and out of the city, Raby said the department is doing what they can, but the Mississippi Department of Transportation is also conducting a traffic study to determine if changes are neededto the traffic light on Highway 53 and Highway 26.
Creel said the traffic issue can be due to a growing number of students not using the school bus.
“There’s a certain stigma that goes with that,” Creel said.
Raby also expressed concern about city residents improperly registering vehicles, often in other states, or using paper “Tag applied for” plates.
“In my view, if there’s no tag, it can’t be on the road,” Raby said.
In other matters, the Board:
-Set budget workshops for Monday, Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 4 p.m.
-Approved a special events contract between the Poplarville Municipal Separate School District and the city to hire city police officers at a rate of $25/hour. Creel had to excuse himself during that discussion due to his employment with the school district.
The Board will meet again Aug. 15 at 5 p.m.

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About Julia Arenstam

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