Thursday, August 16, 2007
City leaders start budgeting process
By SUE WATSON
With budget planning underway for the City of Holly Springs, the mayor and board of aldermen are making decisions after hearing budget requests from departments and with regard to projects.
At the Tuesday, August 6, board meeting Bill Renick and Bill York put in a request for $10,000 to be used as matching grant money and for upkeep at the airport, jointly owned by the city and Marshall County.
Renick said the Industrial Development Authority and the Airport Commission prefers setting the budget this way and would pay the utilities and maintain the grounds under this arrangement. The county would also pay $10,000 under this proposal.
IDA also plans to take out a $60,000 loan, itself, to rehabilitate the hangar and add tie-downs for aircraft. Renick said the airport could get better hangar fees with those improvements - that hangar space is filling up in and around Memphis and pilots would want to keep their aircraft here.
Long-range plans are for the airport commission to operate without local government assistance, he said. But he expects IDA and the airport commission to come back with a similar request next year.
Should the airport secure a very large grant this year, IDA would be back to request matching funds for that, but Renick said he did not expect it.
York said the Airport Commission has a master plan for airport improvement and expansions. Included is a plan to extend the runway for larger aircraft.
Renick advised he will be looking into the possibility of getting high-speed Internet service expanded to Holly Springs. Mississippi Economic Growth Alliance is working to get Point of Presence for broadband access in North Mississippi, he said.
Utility department general manager John Collins presented several candidates for the position of wastewater equipment and lift station operator. Afterward the board approved advertising for bid for a relay control house at the Coldwater substation.
Public works director Don Hollingsworth recommended and the board approved a natural gas storage agreement with the Municipal Gas Authority of Mississippi. The agreement provides a tremendous savings on natural gas costs over time, he said.
He presented a contractors’ schedule for the Holly Springs Commons, then discussed getting the zoning maps updated.
Hollingsworth recommended the comprehensive zoning plan be revised, along with the updating of zoning maps, saying it has been over 10 years since the comprehensive plan was revised.
But Mayor Andre’ DeBerry suggested the comprehensive plan be put off. The zoning maps and an architectural review are more pressing.
The board passed a motion to retain Bob Barker & Associates to do the zoning map work.
Collins advised the wastewater treatment permit for the lagoon will expire next year - that the permit renewal process should begin now. He asked to advertise for an environmental engineer to help with the permit application.
The board received the resignation of Chris Liddy from the Tourism Board which created a second vacancy on the board. Two vacancies also exist on the Holly Springs School District Board of Trustees and on the Historic Preservation board.
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