Aldermen pick lighting for park, approve purchase of truck

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting was delayed due to a lack of a quorum until Mayor Rossie Creel and Alderwomen Anne Smith arrived late.

Once it got underway, the Board revisited Mississippi Power Company’s proposal for lighting at the new City Square Park. The Board had a choice between 11 poles with acorn LED lights at a monthly rate of $471.24 per month or 11 poles with colonial LED lights at a rate of $269.39 per month.

“I like the looks of the acorns, but I like the price of the colonials,” Wiltshire said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Engineer Jason Lamb said mathematically, it would take 13 of the colonial lights to match the light output of the acorn lights. However, he said that this difference was minor.

Creel pointed out that the difference between the two would be approximately $1,412 per year.

Due to the price difference, Alderman Kevin Tillman made a motion to go with the colonial lights. Wiltshire initially seconded the motion, but quickly withdrew it after Alderman Tony Smith said he preferred the acorn lights and was planning to make a motion to go with them instead. With Wiltshire’s second withdrawn, the motion failed. After some discussion, Tony Smith made a motion to move forward with the installation with Tillman seconding the matter.

After the motion was passed, Lamb approached the Board and said there was an opportunity for Stewart Development LLC, which is in charge of construction of the park, to take over installation of the lights as well. The Board originally considered bids averaging $6,000 for the installation, but Stewart Development submitted a bid of $4,494. A motion was passed to hire Stewart Development to conduct the work on the lighting as well as construction of the park.

Another motion was passed to allow the Public Works Department to install two crosswalks across Main Street at a price of about $800, not including shipping of the materials and the pay for city employees to conduct the work. Public Works Superintendent Sam Hale said one crosswalk would cross Main Street from the bookstore to the City Square Park on the south end of the road, and the second would cross on the north end from the Dixon Theatre to the park. Hale said the installation of the crosswalks would not affect the current construction’s parking layout.

Hale also requested permission to buy a ¾-ton Dodge Ram for the Water Department to use, at a cost of $26,615. He said that the price quoted will only be offered until Sept. 30, at the dealership, which makes the ¾-ton truck cheaper than the ½-ton truck.

“It has more pulling capacity and a bigger rig in it,” Tillman said. “If he hadn’t shown me [the price] on paper, I would have said he was lying.”

While purchase of a truck was included in the year’s budget, Tony Smith and Anne Smith expressed concern that the funds could be put toward something else, such as unforeseen expenses.  Hale said it would be better to purchase a new truck now, while funds are available and before the current vehicles need major repairs. He reminded the Board that there was a time when Water Department vehicles were in desperate need of repair, often broke down and occasionally caught on fire.

With this information in mind, Anne Smith made a motion to solicit the bank loan required to purchase the new vehicle. The motion passed unanimously.