Public works projects discussed at Board meeting

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 6, 2018

Public works projects and the hiring of new part-time police officers were discussed during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

A change order was presented to the Board by engineer Jason Lamb in regard to the new public works facility. He said part of the wall in the bay/shop area had been constructed with plywood, which had no cosmetic appeal and was not set up for any kind of coding system. He said Public Works Superintendent Sam Hale expressed concerns that if the garage doors were left open for an extended period of time, moisture might start rotting the plywood. With this in mind, they spoke with the contractors working on the Public Works building and decided to install primed and painted plywood instead, which would last longer.

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While there are contingency funds for changes to the project, Lamb said they would only go into effect if the contractors bought the supplies and primed and painted the wood themselves. After some discussion, it was determined that if Hale and his workers painted the wood, they could potentially save up to $2,000. They would still have to purchase the supplies, but wouldn’t have to pay for labor.

A motion was approved to take the matter under advisement.

In regard to the overall project, Lamb said mid-September is the target date for the facility to be in operation. He said over 60 to 70 percent of the operation has already been finished, so hopefully there won’t be many more change orders in the future.

The second Mississippi Development Authority’s Small Municipalities Grant request for cash was submitted to the Board to pay Stewart Development a total of $19,575 for work on the City Square Park. A motion was approved to accept the request.

In another matter, the fifth MDA CAP loan request was made to pay Stewart Development $73,554 and The Walker and Associates $2,651 for work on the public works facility. A motion was approved to accept the CAP loan request.

Alderwoman Anne Smith brought up the fact that the new City Square Park has not been designed for easy access to electrical outlets. She said the purpose of the city park is to make events, such as concerts, movie nights and the farmer’s market, user-friendly. She said she wants the park to be designed in a way that long power chords don’t have to be run across the street or sidewalk for events.

“We might as well make it the best it can be,” Smith said.

Lamb said that while he agrees easy access to outlets would be a positive thing, it would be better to do that work before the park receives sod.  Lamb also reminded the Board that the topic was discussed before, but the Board decided not to install outlets due to financial reasons.

He said a 2X4 sleeve will be installed so electrical wiring could be installed at a later date without having to pull up any cement.

A motion was approved to allow Poplarville Fire Chief Jonathan Head to submit an application to the 2018 Mississippi Homeland Security Grant to request $46,157 to buy 24 SM-WIN radios for the department. He said while there are not that many firefighters on staff, he wants to purchase 24 to prepare for the future in case the department grows or they need more radios in an emergency.

A motion was approved to authorize Police Chief Butch Raby to remove Levi Ledlow and Brian Anthony from the police department. An additional motion was made to allow the Department to advertise two job openings to fill the part-time positions at a rate of $13 an hour.