Aldermen approve letter of support seeking funding for construction of new hospital

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen approved submitting a letter of support for the construction of a new hospital in the city.

According to a letter submitted to the Board of Aldermen requesting the letter of support of the project, the new facility is expected to cost about $18 million and would replace the current Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home in Poplarville with a more modern facility.

The current facility is operated by Forrest Health System and was built in the 1950s.

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The letter of support, which was also requested of the Board of Supervisors during their meeting on Wednesday, will assist in Forrest Health System’s application for Gulf Coast Restoration Funds.

While Forrest Health has committed to helping provide the required matching funding, it was requested that the Board of Aldermen provide the necessary in kind contribution of providing the necessary water connections.

In other business, the approval of the use of golf carts on city on streets was yet again tabled. During Tuesday’s meeting, the Board asked the city attorney, recently appointed Gregory Holcomb, to conduct further research on that matter.

Establishment of a senior center in the Poplarville area was also discussed. While the Board asked Holcomb to review ideas presented to the Board by Linda Eades Hawkins in regard to that matter, the Board did approve a motion to submit a grant application to Mississippi Power for $28,310 to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment for such a facility.

The Board also set a date to conduct a workshop so the Board can discuss ideas that would help them establish goals and priorities to move the city forward. That meeting was set for Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.

A couple of appointments that were table during the last meeting were taken care of Tuesday, though with split votes. Current Fire Chief Jason Bannister will continue in that role, as will Deputy Fire Chief Mark Palmer.

The Board also approved a motion to appoint Bannister as the city’s emergency manager. City Clerk Jane O’Neal said all three of those matters were approved by a vote of 3-2, with Board members Kevin Tillman and Byron Wells being the two who voted against all three of those measures.

In other business, the Board approved a motion to remove Joshua Stockstill from the list of part time police officers, and hired Harry “Matt” Barnett III as a part time police officer.

In relation to a contract between the city of Poplarville and the Poplarville School District for security services for athletic events, O’Neal said the matter was tabled because Police Chief Danny Collier informed the Board that he had concerns that the police department would be unable to fulfill the requirements in that contract.

The Board will hold a  budget workshop on July 29, at 6 p.m. in City Hall.