City seeks funds for Waterhouse
The City of Holly Springs ended year 2018 with support for a resolution to the State Legislature in Jackson to provide $500,000 in bond money to complete the restoration of the historic Waterhouse building on Falconer Avenue.
The structure has served as an electricity-generating building, a water supply, a police station, a fire station, a jail and much more. Some restoration of the structure has already begun.
Mayor Kelvin Buck, in asking the board of aldermen for a resolution, said once restored it could be used for the offices of the Holly Springs Main Street Chamber, the Holly Springs Recreation and Tourism Bureau, and as a museum dedicated to the Hill Country Blues and the Cotton-patch (Delta) Blues.
The board approved the resolution by unanimous vote.
The board also approved a special planning meeting for January 17 at 6 p.m. at city hall to discuss some special projects.
Bill Stone, general manager of the Holly Springs Utility Department, reported the successful launch of a $15 million project undertaken by HSUD and TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). It included about $3 million for a new substation at Ashland and the remainder spent by TVA to run a new high capacity line from Ashland to Holly Springs. The project will provide better capacity and reliability, Stone said.
About 10 HSUD employees turned out for the cutover from the old Ashland Substation to the new substation. Also helping supervise the cutover were George Humphreys and Donald Warren, he said.
Public works director Will Denton reported on a $1 million grant received to develop Springs Industrial Park. The $1.42 million project will require a $448,000 match by the city and county, with the share for each local government to come to about $220,000, Denton said.
Some of the local match can be in-kind work. The first $1 million will be spent to provide infrastructure and access to a portion of the park. As it stands, it is not easy to get to one highly prized area because of lack of a good access road. The grant will help provide that access as well as bring gas and water/sewer to the site.
The sewer is essential and a 12-inch water line and entrance road to the site will go in first.
Denton said some construction the city cannot do, such as sewer lift stations, which will have to be done by outside contractors. About 2,700 feet of 12-inch water line will bring water from the elevated tank on Eddie Lee Smith Drive to the site. A sewer line will be extended from the current pumping station on Highway 178 and about 400 feet of new road will be paved, Denton said.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said alderman Christy Owens.
“They want to make enough road so they can show the property,” alderman Mark Miller explained.
Buck added, “It is very clear that once a major industry comes, you won’t have to fund it all because the state will come in (and assist),”
The industrial park contains 3,000-plus acres.
Miller and Owens are city representatives on the industrial park development.
In other business, the board of aldermen:
• approved a promotion of Aaron Wilkins, a 12-year veteran of the utility department, to water/sewer foreman. The position was recently vacated when Terry Sims was promoted to superintendent.
• opened bids for city services.
• heard a concern from alderman Tim Liddy about the roughness of Chulahoma Avenue where there is a concrete surface with potholes. He wants a solution to the problem, he said.
In business discussed at the January 2 meeting, the board of aldermen:
• authorized payment of $11,846 to W & T Contractors for work on a Community Development Block Grant.
• approved payment requests for gas invoices of $132,392 and pipeline charges of $25,155 for November 2018.
• authorized payment of $10,208 to Lawnworks/Treeworks for right-of-way services in December 2018.
• approved travel for Bill Stone, Sherhonda Barksdale and Tamaiko Odum to an Orbit Meter Data Management conference in Huntsville, Ala., in January.
• heard public works director Will Denton make recommendations for contractor bids on city services.
• approved the resignation of officer Tawandra Butler from the Holly Springs Police Department.
• authorized travel for Travion Jeffries and Tarondal Phillips to attend Firefighter Certification class at the Mississippi Fire Academy. The board also approved travel for firefighter Shane Wommack to attend Fire Officer Certification training at the state fire academy.
• declared Rescue 71/Medical Unit, a 1996 Ford SuperDuty truck, as surplus property.
• authorized purchase of a 2012 Ford SuperDuty from Fant’s Phone Service of Holly Springs in the amount of $14,500 to be the replacement of the old truck that was retired.
• authorized travel for Louis Tomlinson to attend Rope Rescue Training at the Mississippi Fire Academy.
• approved a statewide mutual aid compact for the fire department.