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Board of Aldermen face rising costs in Road and Bridge Bond Program

Drainage maintenance related to Poplarville’s 2019 Road and Bridge Bond Program may be more expensive than anticipated.
Bids for drainage maintenance on West Beers Street were higher than expected, so the Poplarville Board of Aldermen tabled the issue until the next meeting. The lowest bid was for $47,850. The work is challenging, said Jason Lamb with The Walker Associates, and includes boring under a 24-inch concrete storm drainpipe and under a gravity sewer main.
Lamb said he was hopeful the cost could be covered by money in the water fund, but the funds available are less than the lowest bid. However, the Board could also use funds from the state that came from Internet sales tax, said Lamb.
Concrete work also needs to be done as part of the drainage maintenance and the Board is still awaiting bids for that work. Lamb said he is hopeful that the city can avoid using bond money to pay for the drainage maintenance, and instead pay for it with money in the Public Works budget. The list of streets that will be paved with the bond money has already been reduced because paying for needed drainage work is the Board’s priority, according to previous coverage.
In a separate matter, the Board heard from the county’s new Economic Developer Blaine LaFontaine. He has been on the job for six weeks and a big part of his role will be establishing partnerships, including with Pearl River Community College and Norfolk Southern, said LaFontaine. He is currently partnering with SMPDD and informed the Board members that they would be invited to community stakeholder meetings in the next couple of months to discuss 10 year development
In other business the Board:
—Approved the creation of a deputy fire chief position within the Poplarville Fire Department and approved promoting Captain Donald D’Antonio to the position, with no pay increase.
—Approved a revised body camera policy for the Poplarville Police Department.
—Approved an event request for a Good Friday community service in City Park on April 10 from Dr. Eric Pridmore.