Thursday, February 16, 2006

City gets loan for sewer project

Staff Writer

A portion of the city’s aging sewer system is due for replacement with the signing of loan and grant papers with USDA/Rural Development last week.

The Chatham Heights sewer project will replace sewer lines beginning in the East Van Dorn area near Owens Grocery all the way to Craft Street. Some improvements will be made on the Craft Street lagoon, according to Don Hollingsworth with Holly Springs public works.

USDA/Rural Development will provide a $594,830 loan with terms at 35 years at 4.5 percent interest. The agency is also providing $450,000 in community development block grant money for the work, bringing the total investment in the project to $1,440,830.

Elliott and Britt Engineering and Engineering Solutions Inc. of Tupelo have submitted bids for the project.

The Holly Springs Board of Aldermen approved the reappointment of Edwin Callicutt to the Planning Commission. Callicutt recently completed the unexpired term of Suzanne Farese.

Aldermen suggested new appointments to the airport commission, postponing decisions until potential members could be contacted.

Aldermen discussed the possibility of the city acquiring the National Guard Armory if the military decides to phase out the Holly Springs facility on East Salem.

Fire chief Ken Holbrook said his department has some equipment stored at the facility now and the site would be a good one for the fire department if it becomes available.

Alderman Garrie Colhoun asked who owned the property. Hollingsworth said he believed the property would revert back to the county first. The land was once owned by the city, he said.

“It is a wonderful place for storage,” Colhoun said.

“That would be an excellent solution for our situation for a while,” Holbrook said.

The proximity to the downtown residential and business area makes the Armory an ideal location, he said.

The board approved disaster response training for the fire chief in Jackson, after Holbrook and his firefighters were commended by Colhoun and Mayor Andre’ DeBerry for their role in assisting recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina last year.

DeBerry suggested the city’s fire department serve as a host for training for other fire departments “because of the excellence and expertise here.”

Colhoun said he has heard from people over the state about the good reputation for professionalism Holly Springs crews enjoyed as a result of their help on the coast.

Other department reports followed.

  • Holly Springs Utility Department asked to purchase a meter reader pickup, and a used bucket truck on tracks from state surplus property. DeBerry reported that a 1990 ruling from the office of Attorney General would support the city paying for training of employees for commercial driver’s license tests, but would not support the city paying the driver’s license fee or medical exams of employee applicants.
  • Landy Hurdle, with buildings and grounds, obtained approval for the replacement of a damaged door at the shop at the cemetery.
  • Police chief Patricia Selman said she has offered to host mandatory in-service law enforcement training classes in the city following the destruction of the academy’s facilities in Pearl.
  • The Planning Commission approved several items at the February 3 meeting. A request for a permit to open a music hall/academy in Annie Moffitt’s beauty salon was approved pending parking layout and certificate of occupancy.

Commissioners approved a request to open First American Mortgage, LLC, on Memphis Street.

Permission to reopen Hot Wings Heaven restaurant was granted pending the issuance of a new certificate of occupancy.

Commissioners recommended the board of aldermen rezone the business block including Hot Wings Heaven from B1 to B2.

Commissioners approved the final plat of Phase I of Venture’s West Side Subdivision, eight lots, with understanding that the developer will install gutter, curb and sidewalks.

The next meeting of the board is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at City Hall. Regular meetings are scheduled the first and third Tuesday each month.

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