Board of Aldermen tackles city concerns

Published 7:00 am Thursday, November 22, 2018

During Tuesday’s Poplarville Board of Aldermen meeting, concerns were brought up concerning an exorbitant fee to connect to the city’s sewage system, and a resident of a local subdivision brought a petition requesting the cessation of a rehab program being offered out of what was described to be a halfway house.

According to the agenda, the Board discussed a matter concerning tap fees for a business to operate in the city. The man in question, Tom Odom, was interested in opening a new barbecue business in town. Mayor Rossie Creel said Odom’s concern was over a $20,000 fee being requested by the Pearl River County Utility Authority in order for Odom’s small barbecue business to set up on Industrial Drive near the O’Reilly’s auto parts store. Creel said the expense was allegedly due to the need to bore under the parking lot of the auto parts store, or tear up a portion of the lot in order to connect to the city’s sewer system.

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Since the sewer system in Poplarville is owned by the Pearl River County Utility Authority, Odom was referred to that agency. However, Creel said he will try to work with the two parties to see if a resolution can be found in order to promote economic development in the city.

The Board also heard complaints from a resident of Southern Acres subdivision concerning an alleged halfway house located at 119 Spruce Street. City Clerk Jane O’Neal said that a resident of the subdivision, Barbara Kelly, addressed the Board.

The home is described as a “halfway house” on the petition brought before the Board.

The petition she brought states that a “rehab program” is being sponsored by Jacob’s Well. The petition alleges that two more homes are being considered by Jacob’s Well for the creation of two more “halfway houses.”

A call to Jacob’s Well for comment on the matter was not returned by press time Wednesday.

In other business, it appears as though discussions of legalizing the use of golf carts inside the city limits have hit a standstill. Creel said that due to the Board’s previous 3 to 2 vote on the matter, with Board members Tony Smith, Anne Smith and Russell Miller voting for it, and Shirley Wiltshire and Kevin Tillman voting against, will prevent the issue from being taken up by a committee in Jackson. Creel said that the Board did not unanimously vote to allow the use of golf carts, the committee in Jackson would not even consider taking action on it.

However, Creel said there have been rumors that changes in Jackson could allow the matter to move forward.

In a separate matter, the Board also approved a motion to set a deadline of Dec. 4 for law firms to submit proposals for a general bond worth $1.2 million that the city will use to pave city streets. O’Neal said the bond will not result in an increase in taxes.

The next Board meeting will be Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. in City Hall.