seeks Main Street
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Board of Aldermen
approved a resolution to apply for Main Street designation with the
Mississippi Main Street Association at the July 17 meeting.
The motion followed presentations from
Susan Jordan, executive director of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce,
at the July 10 meeting, and from Clencie Cotton with Rust College Community
Development Corp. last week.
Cotton said Rust College will commit
$25,000 in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money, providing the
city partner in the project to revitalize the commercial corridor in
Rust College would pay the membership
fee required for Mississippi Main Street, which comes into the community
and helps merchants and residents do a self-study and set up the Main
“We agree Main Street should
include the square and North Memphis Street to Rust College and include
the Rust and MI College campuses,” Cotton said. “The board
of aldermen is responsible for setting the Main Street boundaries.”
Typically, other Main Street Association
members send representatives to instruct, inform, inspire and direct
attention toward the benefits their home communities have derived from
Main Street membership.
Cotton presented a proposed budget that
must be included in the application. Rust would put $10,000 in the program
the first year and the remaining $15,000 would be distributed over the
next four years of the program, he said.
For now Rust College is committed to
a “one-shot donation,” Cotton said.
“We would be asking the city
to designate a position (staff position) to do Main Street exclusively.”
Cotton then went over the list of requirements
for membership, which he called “a pretty daunting set of things
In other business, the board of aldermen:
- authorized a write-off of $132,989 in delinquent debt at the utility
Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD) general
manager John Collins said in a separate interview with The South
Reporter that HSUD will work with customers with delinquent payments.
“HSUD is working to reduce the number of
customers with delinquent accounts,” he said. “Several
months ago we began enforcing our 30-day cut-off policy. This was
done to reduce the number of customers with accounts past due over
“The policy prevents customers from building
large past due accounts which they cannot pay. It also prevents
customers from building a large bill, then leaving the service area
“HSUD does work with customers for short-term
extensions, but if agreements are not kept, the customer’s
utility service will be disconnected. For large past-due accounts
we have worked out payment plans, but again, if the customer does
not keep the payment plan agreement, their electricity will be disconnected.”
Collins said HSUD is working to get customers
to pay their utility bill by the due date so there is no need for
agreements, extensions or a possible disconnection of service to
The utility is also working to get automated meter
reading throughout the entire utility for gas, water and electricity,
Collins said. But that will be in the distant future when meters
will be read from a central location and service can be cut on or
terminated at the office. New water meters going into the Highway
4/Benton County water extension project will have water meters that
are compatible with the automated system, Collins said.
renewed property insurance with Greer and White
approved five resolutions required for advancement
of bonds for water projects.
- discussed funding sources for widening of Craft Street and installation
of a traffic signal at the entrance to Holly Springs Commons. Prior
funding plans would have created a 500-foot bottleneck of traffic
stretching from Sonic to the south entrance to Merchants and Farmers
Bank, according to Don Hollingsworth, public works director.
The project will require conversion of the current
three lanes of traffic on Craft to five lanes to avoid creation
of any bottlenecks on the business strip, he said.
“We need a price to make it all flow,”
Hollingsworth said. “We need to ask MDOT to do a traffic count.
Y'all are spending money on their (the state’s) highway.”
Consulting engineer Larry Britt said the original
project had funding limits. He recommended applying for a program
change. The Mississippi Department of Transportation said they do
not have funding to pay for the cost of the proposed interchange
at the Holly Springs Commons entrance, Hollingsworth said.
Ending this discussion, the board of aldermen
voted to request the traffic count and funding from MDOT on the
stretch of highway between J.M. Ash Drive and the Holly Springs
Then alderman Nancy Hutchens motioned to apply
for the balance of funds needed to complete the project from Community
Development Block Grant and Economic Development agencies. The motion
“We need to spread on the minutes to ask
the Industrial Development Authority to assist us in this project
as well,” Mayor Andre’ DeBerry added.
Hutchens made the motion and it passed unanimously.
- heard a recommendation from Hollingsworth that some zoning ordinances
be changed in some districts before a new set of zoning maps and a
zoning book is published.
“It’s time to clean it up, but I don’t
know if this is the time to do it,” he said.
DeBerry suggested the amendments be made and the
Alderman-at-large Tim Liddy said while ordinances
and zoning issues are being looked at again, the Historic Preservation
District should be reviewed for things that have been left out.
approved bids for equipment and construction of
the Coldwater Substation in Mt. Pleasant. Aldermen approved bid
awards that included: Areva bid of $85,150 for five 15 KB breakers;
Mitsubishi’s bid of $33,105 for a 46 KB, three phase base
breaker; Seimens’ bid of $35,910 for a 161 KB, circuit switch;
Howard Industry’s bid of $153,491 for 13 voltage regulators;
and Service Electric’s bid of $879,400 to construct the substation;
and a bid of $16,000 from Cable Connex to paint gas regulator stations.
hired a clerk for the police department.
- took no action on several school board appointments that had been
left off the agenda.
The city will begin budget hearings
for the Fiscal Year 2007-2008 on July 30, according to Belinda McDonald,