Miller sworn in, Aldermen tackle matters

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Tuesday’s Poplarville Board of Aldermen meeting began with newly elected John Russell Miller Jr. being sworn into office as an Aldermen Board member.

Since he had previously served as a part-time police officer, Miller provided his official resignation from that department. After his resignation was approved, the Board members acknowledged the recapitulation of the special election results. The special election was held on May 22 to elect a new Board member after the resignation of Alderwoman Maggie Smith.

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After the results and resignation were both acknowledged, Mayor Rossie Creel swore Miller into office.

Afterwards, both Creel and Miller recused themselves from the next three items on the agenda, since they were all in regard to the Poplarville School District.

At the previous meeting, representatives of DNP, Inc., a general contracting company that oversaw remodeling and additions to the Poplarville High School cafeteria in 2017, came before the Board to request the building permit fee of $25,300 be refunded.

After some discussion, it was decided that the request would be denied, based upon the legal opinion provided to the Board. Mayor Pro Tempore, Shirley Wiltshire was given authorization to sign the city’s official letter of response to the company.

A new contract was formed for the 2018-2019 Poplarville Special Municipal Separate School District’s security contract between the District and the city to be amended to reduce the number of officers that would attend special school events. As a result, the funds would be reduced from $21,100 to $15,200.

City Clerk Jane O’Neal said several people reviewed the changes, and she said she thought it was safe for the Board to move forward to accept the changes. City Attorney Manya Creel Bryan said she looked over the changes and her only question was whether the city’s liability insurance would protect them in the event something happened.

O’Neal said if something happened on school property during an event, the school’s liability insurance would kick in first, and the city’s insurance would likely only be affected in the case a city employee had improperly performed their duty. Police Chief Butch Raby said that other than the decrease in officers, this year’s contract is essentially the same as last year’s. This contract does not affect the number of regular security officers at the schools, only those who attend special events.

After some discussion, the Board approved the changes.

Previously, the Board applied to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi’s Healthy Heroes Program. It was announced that the city of Poplarville’s application was approved and would be awarded a total of $54,316 for the use of implementing the program. This grant will go toward implementing the Healthy Heroes Program at the city’s lower elementary school and installing outdoor exercise equipment at City Park.

Wiltshire and O’Neal were given authorization to execute the grant agreement.

Creel and Miller then returned to the boardroom to continue the meeting.

Travel authorization was given to Public Works Superintendent Sam Hale so he could attend the Mississippi Rural Water Association’s 2018 Water Certification CEU training in Biloxi. City reimbursement would include a hotel for three nights, a $175 registration fee, meals and mileage expenses for the use of his personal vehicle.

Authorization to hire Jonathan Ashe for the position of Public Works Department Operator was requested, but the matter was moved to executive session.