Board of Aldermen discuss lighting, utility contract

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mississippi Power Company lighting upgrade proposals were revisited at Tuesday’s Board of Alderman meeting. Five separate lighting proposals were laid out and voted on individually. As the city’s 2018 lighting budget has already been surpassed and will need to be amended, some of the proposals were tabled to be included in the budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Power Company proposed replacing 5 acorn lighting fixtures at the City Park with new, LED fixtures at an additional cost of $49 per month. It was also proposed that 6 lights along Larkin Smith Drive be replaced with new LED fixtures for an additional $116 per month. Thirdly, it was suggested that 11 new fixtures replace existing ones on W. North Street for an additional $36 per month. All three of these proposals were tabled until the next fiscal year.

Two proposals were accepted, however, including the decision to replace 28 fixtures that run from Hwy. 26 to Larkin Smith Drive with new LED fixtures for an additional $76 per month. Board members agreed this change would benefit the town by increasing uniformity and correcting dark spots along the road. It was also decided that work should be done to install 13 concrete poles along with acorn fixtures and necessary wiring to the City Square Park before contractors lay the asphalt for sidewalks and parking. The total installation cost will be $6,717. The fixtures will cost an additional $577 per month.

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The Board also discussed a potential renegotiation of their contract with the Pearl River County Utility Authority to require the Authority to pay the city $1 per month for each water meter. The hope is that the additional $15,000 per year would help offset the cost of installing new water meters. As the current contract’s terms will need to be amended, no immediate action was taken.

Mayor Rossie Creel said during the meeting that he received an email from Blue Cross & Blue Shield representatives asking that he submit a letter of inquiry to get the city of Poplarville involved in the Mississippi Healthy Heroes Program.  This program would involve training members of the local fire and police departments to present a monthly program to elementary school children. If accepted into the program, Blue Cross & Blue Shield would pay for any expenses involved in staff training. If the program is initiated, the city of Poplarville will then be eligible to apply for a grant which could be used to expand the local farmers market, build a community garden, or install exercise equipment for public use.

The Board authorized Creel to write a letter of inquiry in regard to the program.

Chief Jonathan Head gave an update on repairs to the Poplarville Fire Department’s ladder truck. Head said that while repairs were being done, an additional unexpected problem involving the starter was found and addressed. This repair will cost an extra $850. Once this issue has been repaired and the starter replaced, the work on the truck will be complete. Head said he hopes that these repairs, while costly, will ensure the truck runs smoothly for many years to come.