City pound improved

By PAT BROWN,

Mayor Dale Berry reported to the Magee Board of Aldermen that he has only sent one shipment of dogs from the city pound to Jackson to be euthanized.  He said that currently only two dogs are under city care and that they get good treatment.

The report came on the heels of a Facebook campaign about poor conditions endured by the animals in the pound. 

The mayor explained that 12 pens are located outside but are shielded from the wind and that thanks to Magee Co-op these pens now have heat lamps in them.  He also said the city provides worm and flea treatment for the animals.

The pens have concrete floors to prevent the spread of parvo but no straw because, according to Berry, straw clogs the plumbing.  He said someone had brought blankets to the dogs on the nights when temperatures dropped to the near teens. 

In other business, the mayor reported that gates had been installed at McNair Springs near the pavillion after the city received complaints of vagrants sleeping there.  The board agreed that the gates should be locked daily at dark unless provisions were made with the city. 

Mayor Berry also brought to the board’s attention that November 30 is designated as Shop Locally Day. 

At the last meeting Robert Lowe of the Bigland Heights neighborhood reported three issues to the board, and the mayor stated that two of the three issues have been addressed. 

Lowe complained that the emergency siren in the neighborhood did not work. Berry reported that it worked during the test last Friday.  He also said that a tree that Lowe reported had been examined by an arborist who stated that it does not pose a safety issue.  Lowe requested a load of hot mix, but Berry said it had been too cold to put down. 

Berry said the city plans to auction government surplus on the second Saturday in February but is not using local auctioneers because he was doing it on the internet with an out of area company. 

The Board of Aldermen agreed to purchase a holiday greeting advertisement in color from the local newspaper for $150. 

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Doris Adcox told the board that a new route has been determined for the Magee Christmas Parade on December 5 at 6 p.m.

The board heard from Keafur Grimes with Barge Design Company, which is doing the Magee Airport renovation project.  Grimes reported that they are waiting for the correct weather to do substriate and mat surfacing before the actual paving can be done.  Grimes said they are on schedule with a completion date set in January. 

The board had to rebid garbage trucks they had planned to purchase because the bid that was accepted was what Mayor Berry referred to as a “bait and switch.”  He said the company offered the bid to get the business then changed the specs, which caused the city to have to rebid.  Board attorney Bruce Smith said the board needs to find a reverse auction company that will allow them to see all bids submitted so if they are not pleased with the low bid they can opt to select a different bidder by determining it is the lowest and best bid. 

The board talked extensively about the city’s position regarding the serving of alcohol now that the county has voted to permit the sale of liquor in municipalities.  It was stated that anyone who served any alcohol in their business had to get a permit from the Alcohol Beverage Commission.  The board  plans to follow their zoning ordinances in regard to the serving of alcohol with the ABC having control of issuing permits. 

Thus far four individuals have expressed interest in building a package store in Magee.  The board concluded that it would be up to restaurants to apply through the ABC for permitting. 

Mayor Berry reported that he had spoken with Magee General Hospital’s administrator about purchasing some of their excess property, specifically the Pearson Shed Property.  He had told the  administrator to get a price and an appraisal, which came in at $327,000.  The mayor told the board he did not think the city would be interested. 

The board also discussed reports of school buses blowing through stop signs and generally not adhering to traffic laws.  This happens daily in Magee, he said, where the bus drivers were under the misimpression that they could caravan and not have to obey the law. 

Magee police were instructed by the board to ticket the buses for running stop signs and speeding. 

Police Chief Randy Crawford contacted Jeffery Walker, the school district’s transportation director, and he said he would put a stop to it.  The buses were in compliance on Wednesday following the city board meeting.