Aldermen discuss concerns about building permit fees

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 17, 2018

This story has been updated to reflect that Mayor Rossie Creel did not vote against training for a police officer. 

Board of Aldermen members addressed building permit fees that were paid for the Poplarville High School cafeteria and approved several travel authorizations.

Todd Yarber, project manager with DNP Inc. spoke to the Board about a $25,300 building permit fee required for the recent addition and remodeling project of the Poplarville High School cafeteria. He said that he was unaware permit fees would be required, and that he never had to pay permit fees for prior school projects. He said after being in business for more than 30 years, he had never been required to pay more than $3,500 for building permits in general.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We’d like to ask why we had to pay such astronomical building fees,” Yarber said.

He said he asked the previous Board on June 6, 2017 about waiving the fees. The request was denied and Yarber said the fees were paid in full.

Yarber told the Board that he was looking for some kind of forgiveness on the amount. He said even if the full amount was not refunded, any amount would be helpful.

The Board expressed concern that such a high fee had been required – especially since the construction had been to benefit the high school.

“We’ll try to correct that and make [permit fees] more feasible and friendly to building for the expansion of our city,” Alderman Tony Smith said.

A motion was made for the matter to be taken under advisement until city attorney Manya Bryan could review the request.

Fire Chief Jonathan Head requested that six firefighters be allowed to attend a fire fighting training event at the Biloxi Fire Department. Of the firefighters he would like to send, one is full-time, two are part-time and three are volunteers. He said steps would be taken to ensure their positions would be filled during their absence. The only expenses would be related to the use of the training truck. A motion was passed to allow the firefighters to attend the event.

Police Chief Butch Raby requested travel authorization for school resource officer Al Tynes to attend the 2018 National School Safety Conference in Orlando, Fla. The overall expenses would be approximately $1,900.

During discussion of the matter, it was mentioned that Tynes has been to that conference before. The Board asked whether Tynes had expressed interest in attending this years’ D.A.R.E. conference. Raby said Tynes had not mentioned attending D.A.R.E. After some consideration,  a motion was made that Tynes be denied permission to attend the conference in Orlando, and instead be encouraged to attend the 2018 D.A.R.E. Conference. The motion passed.

A motion was passed allowing Deputy Clerk R. Joann Canaan to be named as a Deputy Municipal Court Clerk. An additional motion was passed allowing Deputy Clerk Mona Seals to be named as a Deputy Municipal Court Clerk.

Finally, a resolution was passed for Creel to be named as a 2018 Voting Delegate and for Mayor Pro Tempore Shirley Wiltshire to be named as a 2018 First Alternate Voting Delegate for the Mississippi Municipal League Election.