Aldermen introduce new city attorney, Manya Bryan

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Board of Aldermen introduced its new city attorney during Tuesday’s meeting and discussed upcoming event requests and funding for necessary drainage projects.

On April 19 the Poplarville Board of Aldermen began interviewing to fill the position of city attorney, after former city attorney Colette Oldmixon’s resignation.

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On April 26, the Board held a special call meeting to hire Manya Creel Bryan of Patch & Bryan law firm. The motion was made by Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire and seconded by Alderman Tony Smith. Alderman Kevin L. Tillman voted nay, and Alderwoman Anne Gendusa Smith abstained.

The firm will charge a minimum of $850 per month for attendance of the Board meetings, $175 per hour for services performed outside of a court, and $200 for any work pertaining to attorney services during court proceedings, the Patch & Bryan, PLLC proposal states. The Board agreed to accept the rates as stated in the proposal.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Walker and Associates Engineer Jason Lamb came before the Board to discuss drainage work on three Poplarville streets; Beers Street, Church Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. He said the Board previously hoped funding would be provided by a CAP loan, but he was later informed that this type of work was not eligible for the loan.

After looking into overall costs, Lamb said MLK Drive and Church Street would both cost approximately $30,000 to fix, while Beers Street, since it covers such a large distance, would cost approximately $90,000.

Lamb said all three streets are experiencing pipe failures, so it is important that the problem is resolved as quickly as possible.

Wiltshire pointed out that MLK Drive and Church Street both run alongside the local schools – making them high traffic areas during the school year. She said it would be best to do the construction during the upcoming summer break.

City Clerk Jane O’Neal said while these repairs were included in the original 2018 budget, that funding was reliant on the CAP loan. Since the loan did not go through, she said other funding options would be needed. Lamb said there are options he could research, but funds may not be available until after the summer’s end.

“A little inconvenience during school is a lot less important than public safety altogether, so if it’s got to be done during the school year, unfortunately then it’s just got to be done,” Mayor Rossie Creel said.

The discussion ended with Lamb saying he would get in touch with someone to find out if there are any county or state-level funding options that could be used for the projects.

During the meeting the Board also discussed lighting for the new park. Mississippi Power Company installed two different lights for consideration – an LED acorn light and an LED colonial light. Both are LED, but the colonial lights are half the price.

“The acorn light that is over there is very attractive. It puts off a lot of light. The colonial light is not as attractive, but it does put out an ample amount of light and is considerably less expensive,” Creel said.

O’Neal said the power company’s official contract proposal would be ready on Wednesday. She said she would email the proposal to the Board and put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

This would give everyone the opportunity to think it over and go out to the green to look at the lights in person. No immediate action was taken.

Two events were approved, including the “Lupus Awareness – Walk a Mile in my Shoes Event” on May 19 at City Park. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will be hosted by the Green Grove Baptist Church.

The second event will be opening day for the 2018 Poplarville farmer’s market.

The market will be open on May 3 on the Town Green. Creel said this will likely be the last event to take place on the site before it is closed for construction of the new City Square Park.