M’hall pays first money for frontage dirt workBy MARLAN JONES,
When the Mendenhall Mayor and Board of Aldermen held their regularly scheduled meeting on June 4 they was able to fill three much needed positions for the grass crew when they hired three part time workers to help the city maintain the grass through the summer.
The board also approved the first payment request from Southern Rock, LLC, which is handling the dirt work for the frontage road. The payment will be for $69,485. Mayor Todd Booth said that the funds from the use tax will be available to the city in October to assist with the cost of the frontage road project. The board also accepted property on Highway 13 from the Broadhead family as part of the frontage road.
The city received a request from Rica Gray to purchase the lot at 736 Dixie Avenue. The board tabled the request to allow City Attorney Wesley Broadhead time to look into the matter.
The city will purchase a new lawn mower to be used at the Mendenhall Sportsplex using leftover funds from the playground project completed in the past.
The Mendenhall Fire Department updated the board on the new fire engine, which is expected to be finished in October according to Matt Abbott. The new fire truck cost the city $496,985. The City will receive money from the County and Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program to offset some of the cost. The city applied for a CAP loan in the amount of $277,000 for the remaining balance on the fire truck, which will be a Rosenbauer custom truck that will also include a foam system which allows the firefighters to switch between water and foam with the pull of a lever. The truck also comes equipped with a 1500 gpm pump which will be the best the Mendenhall Fire Department has had. Abbott also said the department has had 12 firemen certified this year.
The board entered executive session briefly to discuss personnel within the Mendenhall Police Department. It concluded with the termination of an employee. Part time patrolman Emanuel Thurman also resigned from the police department.
Before recessing the meeting Booth gave an update on the water tank located on highway 43. The property still needs to be surveyed before the city can move forward with acquiring the asset. Booth expects the process to resume in the near future. Once acquired the water tank is expected to assist over 250 customers in Mendenhall with water pressure and gives the city another well. It will also help the Mendenhall Fire Department in maintaining the current fire rating.
The board voted to close City Hall on Friday July 5 with a majority vote. Alderman Donnie Thomas was opposed. The meeting was recessed until June 17 at 6:00 p.m. where the board will open the bids for the upcoming asphalt project and prioritize the list of roads to be paved.