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Aldermen discuss vehicle repair and littering

The Poplarville Fire Department’s training truck will finally be getting needed repairs after it was hit by a driver in November.

The truck was hit while parked in front of the fire station, according to previous coverage.

The driver who hit the fire department vehicle had no insurance and the city’s insurance only paid $354. A warrant was issued for malicious mischief against the driver, who lives in Hattiesburg, said Police Chief Danny Collier. Officers with the local police department are getting help from law enforcement there to try and serve the warrant. If convicted the driver will be responsible for reimbursing the city for the damage.

The Board approved repairing the damage to the door and fender and getting the entire truck painted for $3,215. There is enough money in the fire department’s budget to cover the cost of the repair, said City Clerk Jane O’Neal.

Alderwoman Shirley Wiltshire wanted to discuss the city’s noise ordinance due to citizen complaints about noise, while Alderwoman Anne Smith wanted to discuss littering in Poplarville.

Smith said the Sheriff’s Department is open to helping Poplarville clean up litter by using the labor of county inmates who are already on a litter crew.

Smith asked if municipal judges could give people community service to clean up litter but city attorney Manya Bryan said the city’s Board cannot tell judges what to do with sentencing.

Alderman Daniel Brown asked if the city’s littering fine could be increased.

Bryan said the city’s existing penalty for littering is a misdemeanor and includes a fine not less than $100 and not more than $300. The fine cannot be increased to more than the state statute, Bryan said. Police Chief Danny Collier said the state statute’s fines for littering are no less than $50 and no more than $250, so Poplarville’s fine is already higher than the state’s.

Wiltshire suggested Smith organize a litter pick up day using resources from Keep Mississippi Beautiful and community volunteers.

The Board entered executive session to discuss a water account adjustment request, but decided while in executive session that it was not an appropriate topic for executive session. After executive session, the Board took the request under advisement. A Poplarville resident requested that his bill be reduced after he left water running due to freezing weather. The account balance could be over $1,000, whereas his typical bill is closer to $70.

The Board also entered executive session to discuss pending litigation, but made no motions regarding it after executive session.

In other business the Board:

—Approved adding four volunteer firefighters, Gabriel Robinson, Dalton Barnes, Robert Maxwell and Michael Richardson.

—Approved waiving the event fee and insurance requirement for an event in City Park on March 20 where mayoral candidates will answer questions about their platforms.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday March 16, at 5 p.m. in Poplarville’s City Hall.