Thursday, May 16, 2013
Firearms ordinance revisited
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors discussed a problem with the discharge of firearms in Bennett Circle after a resident complained of bullets hitting her house.
The sheriff’s office sent a deputy to the subdivision and a deputy dug out a bullet from the residence, according to District 4 supervisor George Zinn III. He asked the county board attorney what the penalties are for discharging a firearm in a subdivision.
Attorney Kent Smith said the complaint would be handled in justice court and upon conviction a person can be fined $500, sentenced to 30 days in jail or both.
“If they shot into a house, that’s a felony,” he said.
“That’s criminal,” said supervisor Keith Taylor.
“It would be negligence if a person was shooting in the trees and it hit a home,” said supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett.
Supervisor Keith Taylor asked for clarification about ordinances, such as cases where absentee landowners want to put in a place for riding four-wheelers and go-carts on weekends, or where a person wants to rent out a place for others to hold such events.
“Do we need to change the regulations in zoning?” he asked.
Smith said the board needs to look at the ordinance if a landowner is thinking of renting his place out for such activities.
Taylor said in cases where a person is just riding on their land for their own use, there would be no need to go to zoning for permission.
Smith recalled a concern in Wall Hill where a landowner wanted to hold three events a year and the sheriff was being called out there often to settle complaints.
Supervisor Charles Terry, who works with the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber, discussed a meeting of that group with the Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce to talk about how the two can work together.
Terry said the Chambers had decided to share their calendars so both organizations would not be scheduled for meetings on the same day. He said the Chambers also discussed how they could serve a larger portion of the county, especially the smaller communities.
It was suggested that a contact person in the Potts Camp area could be set up to work with the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber to encourage participation from Potts Camp.
Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, said the stated goal is to unify the county and to make sure the entire county is served.
“Holly Springs would expand as Byhalia has expanded in DeSoto County and Memphis, Tenn.,” Mobley said.
Sarah Sawyer met with the board this week to explain how the two Chambers are trying to be more unified in their efforts.
The Chambers will meet the opportunities and challenges. A challenge is to serve the non-incorporated population of the county – some 26,000 people and 10,000 in the communities, she said. The chambers will also try to meet together on a quarterly basis, she said.
And they will help promote each other’s events by promoting websites and Facebook pages.
Sawyer said while IDA promotes jobs and expanding the tax base of the county, the Chambers work in community development and economic development.
“It encompasses tourism, Main Street, special events and projects for all of Marshall County,” she said.
Some suggestions that came out of the recent joint meeting of the chambers included:
• set time to visit Potts Camp, Barton, Waterford, and Mt. Pleasant and get a contact person to help with Potts Camp.
• let Holly Springs cover the southern and eastern parts of the county and Byhalia cover the northern and western areas in the county.
• recruit volunteers from the rural areas.
• implement communications. Byhalia communicates with its members by email, newsletter, newspaper and Facebook and is working on a website.
Other ideas shared included:
• fund a destination trail under the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance through Holly Springs Tourism office.
• take another look at Leadership Marshall, a successful leadership development program that ran five years before becoming too costly to continue because of the downturn in the economy.
• organize an industry forum through the IDA office.
• organize a roundtable to see how businesses can work together in helping build the county through unity.
• attract and involve the youth in the county.
• support each other’s events and meetings.
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