City to focus on Senior Community Center

At the October 1 Board of Aldermen meeting Mayor Dale Berry reported while attending a recent Board of Directors meeting in Starkville Mississippi, Mayor Lynn Spruell of Starkville announced they copied the Magee golf cart ordinance as their own.

He also added that the recent state softball tournament was a success. Forty teams were in Magee representing Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Lastly, he reported one possibly two new businesses coming to Main Street.

Candidate for Circuit Clerk Terrence Norwood introduced himself, naming his qualifications for the position.

The city will focus its attention on the former YMCA building now that the tournaments are complete. Priority One made a donation to the renovation of $10,000; $5,000 remains. Minor repairs can be completed in house; however, the floor requires an outside firm. Reparations and new flooring has been out for bid, receiving two similar in cost, $11,500-$12,500 including labor and materials. These funds are not in the budget. A motion carried to seek revised bids along with new bids to remove old flooring, remove asbestos, and stain/seal concrete floor. The Mayor will report at next meeting with results.

Motions were carried to approve board minutes and claims docket.

Chris Lane was given the floor to discuss the 2020 Census (April) and how crucial an accurate count for Magee is regarding grant funding. Breakdown for cities is under 5000, 5000-10,000 and over 10,000. The belief is Magee’s population is well over 5,000. There was low response during the 2010 census. According to Lane, “We’re not being served here by not being counted.” A Committee has been formed to “spread the word” in each ward the importance of completing the spring census.

The dog pound now has only one dog. Currently the dog catcher is working on an on-call basis for personal reasons. The police department is acting as back up when warranted.

The City of Magee has been selected as a test site for debt set aside collection, legislation passed by Mississippi Legislature. Beginning in December residents will be notified by mail to make restitution on the delinquent charges. If arrangements are not made debt will be sent to the Mississippi State Department of Revenue for collection including a 20% collection fee. Currently the City of Magee is due over $1,000,000 in fees. A motion carried to approve and return resolution to Mississippi Municipal League.

The Mayor reported that Magee is losing money on apartment complex water bills. Discussion ensued that a typical water bill for a Magee stand alone residence is $31.85 while some apartment complexes pay only $7-$12 per unit. According to Board Attorney, Bruce Smith, the city is within legal confines to increase water rates to $30 a month per unit. Aldermen are to look at their wards and be prepared to report findings at the next board meeting.

Alderman Patrick Brown and David Dunn still working with school board attorney to develop an agreement between Magee and the Magee High School baseball team, possibly adding the girls’ soccer team.

Alderman Whitney Baker announced a Chamber After Hours is set for October 22, 2019, 6:00 p.m. at the Airport. Asphalt has been poured at there.

Alderman Steele brought to the attention of the board that the apartment complex which recently caught fire needs to be brought up to new standards and codes. “It’s just a miracle it didn’t burn to the ground because of the way it’s constructed.” Additionally the areas off Co-op Extension need serious attention.

Other news included Simpson County is under a burn ban; Magee received a check from the City of Laurel for a surplus fire truck they purchased.

Joey Womack resigned from the Magee Police Department September 30, 2019. Charles Alexander has been moved from part time to a full time police officer. A dispatcher’s training will be held in Magee October 12, 2019.

A motion carried to accept the water loss report.

Alderman Baker requested the board throw out the previous grass cutting bids; re-advertise with the same specifications but adding the bid is for a three year contract. Any future board would have a 24 month period to terminate the contract. The motion carried.

The Mayor announced the city is looking for a new phone carrier to service the three water wells that currently communicate through phone land lines. Cell phone usage is believed to cost less than current expenditure.

The board adjourned into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters with Police Chief Randy Crawford.