Games boost economy

By PAT BROWN,

Magee had a huge crowd last weekend at the softball tournaments hosted at the city’s Sportsplex.

Estimates have the number at 9,000 people visiting the community for the tournament.  It was a big weekend for restaurants, lodging and fast food establishments.  In addition, the sportsplex got its share of the spoils.

The Magee Board of Aldermen had hoped for just such positive news at their  most recent meeting.

At that meeting, they  approved an increase in tipping fees for garbage disposal in the amount of 69 cents a ton.  The city had been paying $22.60 per ton.  According to Mayor Dale Berry, the city can absorb the increase because of their recent increases in garbage collection fees. 

The annual audit of the city was approved and accepted by the board.  The only noted shortcoming was some properties and equipment owned but not properly coded or depreciated on property rolls according to commonly accepted accounting procedures. 

It was reported that the city’s youth football program did not have enough participation to make, but the soccer program did make with seven teams. 

A subcommittee of Aldermen Patrick Brown, Lane Steel and Angel Brister has been assigned to come up with a recommendation for the issue between the city and the Simpson County School  Board about use of the Magee High School baseball field.  This is a continuation of the issue with the 14.5 acres adjacent to the old elementary facility which the school district owns and the city would like to have donated for a park. 

The board agreed to the purchase of a new fire truck that will serve a dual purpose as a pumper truck and a rescue truck.  Cost of the new equipment is $452,828. 

The department has access to funding of $130,000 from the county and $70,000 from the state.  They budgeted $100,000 for the purchase of new equipment.  Fire Marshal Charlie Valadie told the board the department would sell two pieces of existing equipment.  These funds would further reduce the cost of the fire truck.  The board agreed to move ahead on the purchase. 

A $250,000 down payment will be required within 60 days of signing the custom order contract.  It will take one year to build the custom truck to specifications. 

Valadie said this would help improve the city rating for fire protection and thus make better insurance rates for residents. 

The board agreed to the termination of new employees Tommy Scoggins and Desmond Sims. 

Alderman Patrick Brown expressed his displeasure at the city’s hiring process because of so much employee turnover.  He indicated that rather than just accepting applications, the city needed to have a more intense interview process to find employees who are interested in working and can bring skills to the table.