Thursday, August 12, 2010
Board takes quotes on cemetery gate
By SUE WATSON
Ladies attending board meetings to push city elected officials for repairs of the damaged front gate columns at Hill Crest Cemetery were disappointed August 3.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry said no new quotes for the masonry work came in and only one mason worker who offered a quote earlier this year has seen the work specifications issued by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History recently. Copies of the specifications can be obtained from the city clerk’s office.
The board of aldermen voted to send letters to three masons who offered quotes to fix the gate and give them seven days to offer a revised quote after they have seen the specifications. Aldermen also voted to accept quotes from any other mason before making a decision on who will be offered the contract.
The matter will be discussed again at the August 17 meeting.
DeBerry said the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is requiring that all four columns be taken down and rebuilt to original dimensions, among other requirements.
The board of aldermen considered the city’s proposal to sign a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for $5.94 million to renovate and repair the Mississippi Industrial College Homes Apartments. The city will pass the grant through to Wishcamper, a group that specializes in upgrading low-income apartments for HUD. The mayor said the city will get an origination fee. It is expected to cost $4.9 million to repair/renovate.
A loan agreement between the city and Wishcamper includes some of the following considerations:
• tenants must be offered work on the reconstruction.
• local contractors and workers will be offered reconstruction jobs.
• a tenant association will be formed to allow tenants to communicate their concerns with the developer and management team.
• the community will be gated and key operated.
• special lighting will be installed to improve safety.
• playground areas for children will be built.
• community centers will be added.
• open air space will be provided to leave no hiding places for would-be criminals.
A design plan is expected to be available by August 10, DeBerry said.
The board voted to give a property owner a 30-day extension on his 60-day plan to demolish a dilapidated property on West Valley. The property owner said work to take down the structure by hand to save the good lumber has been slowed by the recent heat wave. The board also specified the city would come in and finish taking down the structure and charge the cost to the owner if the job is not finished on time.
The board accepted the low bid of Hol-Mac for a Freightliner trash truck at $106,378 to be used at the utility department for picking up trimmed tree material on the utility’s right-of-ways.
In an earlier, July 20 meeting, the city board:
• approved a TVA-requested fuel cost adjustment of 0.00508 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity for the month of August. The figure is up from 0.004 cents per kilowatt hour for July.
• discussed progress on completion of West Boundary Extended at the request of Colhoun, who asked about progress of soil stabilization and street light installation on the new stretch of road. City consulting engineer Larry Britt said contractors have been laying in rip rap for two weeks and removing excess sand on the banks and ditches. Street light poles have been received at the utility department and work will proceed in installing those lights which should be completed before October, said Don Hollingsworth, director of public works.
• learned that contractors are installing soil cement of the north Holly Springs bypass road. The completion of the long-awaited project, which was initially obtained from federal funding sources during the administration of the late Eddie Lee Smith, has taken a decade or more to finish. Recent delays were due to increased cost of construction brought on by the high prices of materials and petroleum products.
• discussed a request for rezoning of a property at the old Colston’s Garage on West Street. A public hearing is August 24 at 5:30 p.m.
• discussed a request from a developer to build a private road to Tara Oaks Subdivision. Mayor Andre' DeBerry recommended the matter be taken under advisement since amendments to the subdivision ordinances in 2004 require developers to install curbs and gutters and sidewalks on all new subdivision roads.
Homeowners Grace Bonds and Walter Bain have requested a road be built to the subdivision to stop individuals who have built homes in the subdivision from entering and leaving through their private driveways.
They cited children’s safety as a concern.
• opened bids on a knuckle-boom trash truck. Bids in increasing order of dollar value were PAC-MAC Corporation $106,378 for a Freightliner, $110,892 for a Kenworth, $114,572.55 for an International, and $116,206 for a Peterbilt; Samson Equipment Company, $114,857; and Southeastern Truck Body & Equipment, $121,015.
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