Board hears proposalBy MARLAN JONES,
The Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Aldermen met on December 3 for their regularly scheduled meeting to discuss a proposal made by Steve Womack on behalf of Maintenance System Incorporated (MSI). Womack made contact with the board in November and submitted information for their review. The board requested Womack to come and present the information during the latest meeting. Womack explained that the company would be on hand to handle day to day maintenance for the city in the water, sewer, and street departments. Womack said by entering a contract with MSI the city would have access to a wide variety of equipment needed for maintenance, and experienced personnel with expertise in specific departments.
The company also provides engineers to oversee all major projects done in the city, and provides a foreman to run the projects. Womack named other benefits such as continuing training for the city crew and the ability to mobilize additional manpower in the case of emergencies. He said that similar sized cities such as Florence and Kosciusko has already begun using MSI services. The only thing MSI is not capable of handling was solid waste according to Womack. Womack said he truly believes MSI is capable of saving the city money on maintenance cost. He suggested that by allowing MSI to handle maintenance, it will lead to long term solutions for some of the cities nagging issues within the water and sewer department. The board asked several questions during the presentation, and unanimously voted to allow Womack to make a proposal. Womack required access to the last three years of financial information. He said the board could expect a proposal within 20 days.
The next step in establishing the debt set off program was taken. The debt set off program gives the board other means of collecting old fines and unpaid bills. Payments for past due debt owed to the city can now be collected from income tax returns. Court Clerk Lore King explained that the debtors would be given a letter and an opportunity to pay the debt, before it was turned over for collection. If payment has to be collected through income taxes the debtor would owe an additional 25 percent of the total debt to pay for the collection process. This process will not cost the city any money.
Debtors will be given an opportunity to dispute debt claims. They must provide evidence of payment, or be able to prove that the debt is not theirs. For this purpose the city must hold a hearing and appoint a hearing officer. The board unanimously voted to appoint Galin Knupp as the hearing officer and set the date for all debt hearings to be held on the third Friday of the month at 9:00 a.m. City Clerk Tiffany Wallace was appointed as the Debt Set Off Coordinator.
The rural fire protection agreement between the Mendenhall Volunteer Fire Department and City of Mendenhall and the fire agreement with D’Lo were unanimously approved with no changes. Phelps Dunbar was approved to update the employee handbook. The board also approved CDBG request number 2.
The topic of striping East Street was revisited again. The issue was first discussed in December of 2018 after Alderman Donnie Thomas explained that it was difficult to see the dividing lines on the road at night due to the lines being faded. Booth explained that he has searched, but has been unsuccessful in finding someone to do the job at a reasonable price. The issue was tabled once again.
The Board accepted the resignation of Leslie Vansinderen as part time dispatcher, and employed Shelby Ainsworth and Jessica L. King as part time dispatchers based on Police Chief Candy McCullum’s recommendation.
Before adjourning the meeting, the board approved payment for the new fire truck and for full coverage insurance on the new truck. The truck was in route to the fire academy and is expected to join the city’s fleet soon.