Thursday, July 16, 2009
New board moves on projects
By SUE WATSON
Three newly-elected aldermen took their seats Tuesday night, July 7, amidst repeated light humor coming from returning Holly Springs aldermen Russell Johnson and Garrie Colhoun and Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, starting a third term.
DeBerry welcomed new board members – Johnnie Bagley, Harvey Payne and Calvin James – saying he hopes a sense of teamwork will be developed as the new leadership takes on city business concerns.
Quoting a saying that all Roman generals were not allowed to enter the historic city with their army but were often part of parades when loot was brought into the city from wars and raids - DeBerry said centurians were paid to whisper in the generals’ ears “All glory is fleeting,” to remind them to remember place and humility.
“Tonight is the best night you will have on this board,” the mayor said, laughing heartily. “It (glory) will flee. Welcome aboard.”
Action was taken on several construction projects about to come on line and on the homeowner’s assistance program.
A public hearing was held for comment on a project funded with the American Recovery Act monies - sometimes referred to as economic stimulus monies - that will be used to resurface College Avenue from West Boundary to Memphis Street. All mail boxes adjoining the curb on the section of College must be relocated at owners” expense, said Don Hollingsworth. The project - estimated to cost $285,000 - will be paid for mostly by federal stimulus dollars.
The board approved two other public hearings set for July 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the second floor of City Hall.
One hearing concerns the construction of a new 300,000-gallon, elevated, water storage tank and 1,000-gallon-per-minute water well and water treatment plant and related apparati to be located on the north side of Mississippi Highway 4 on the west side of town.
The other hearing concerns intent to file an application for federal dollars to extend 18.2 miles of water service to the community of Marianna along Marianna Road to South Red Banks Road, Chulahoma Road and other connecting side roads located southwest of the city.
The board also conducted a public hearing concerning intent to apply for $250,000 in homeowner assistance program monies. Last year, 15 families got into new homes under the program, DeBerry said.
Ken Robinson, director of the Information Technology Center, apprised the board of interest from a company in Louisiana in applying for American Recovery Reinvestment Act dollars to provide broadband (Internet) access to areas three miles out of towns and cities if the service is not available. The board of aldermen voted to table the matter instead of writing a letter of support for the company”s project.
The board approved a request from Robinson to enter a lease agreement with Manage Services for security, appliances and services on computers at the technology center. The board approved the lease costing just over $9,000 per annum for the next three years.
In the next action, the board voted to reappoint all existing city employees. With the move, employees will see no interruptions in receipt of their payroll checks.
Holly Springs Utility Department manager John Collins presented four candidates for warehouse supervisor to the board. He also obtained approval for travel on one employee to a water resource conference and for the three new aldermen to attend mandatory water system certification classes. Tenured aldermen and the mayor vented much laughter while apprising new aldermen of this job certification requirement.
The board elected alderman-at-large Johnny Bagley to position of vice-mayor. Duties include chairing meetings when the mayor cannot be present and signing checks on all accounts if the mayor is unable to do so.
The board approved a resolution that paves the way for application for money to do work at Maury Street Park located next to the Holly Springs Primary School. The $100,000 that will be requested will go to building a fence around the park, according to Don Hollingsworth, public works director. The park belongs to the city but is used as a playground for school children as well.
Two lot cleanup issues were discussed and actions taken according to recommendations of zoning administrator Felica Autry.
The board authorized a motion to accept a quote for cleanup of dilapidated property on a lot on Rising Star Road after the owner failed to provide a report of progress on the lot cleanup.
The board also approved issuance of a notice to bidders for the cleanup of a portion of the old compress property after Autry reported no progress was being made by the owner to clean up the mess.
At the end of the meeting, DeBerry read a letter of resignation from Johnny Bagley from the Holly Springs Housing Authority board of directors.
Three tourism board member positions are vacant or up for renewal, according to alderman Colhoun.
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