Mayor chides Co-Lin

By PAT BROWN,

The Magee Mayor and Board of Aldermen met for the final time of 2018 last Tuesday. Mayor Dale Berry stated that the next meeting would take place Thursday, January 3, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.

After the meeting was called to order Berry thanked Doris Adcox and everyone involved with making the Christmas parade a success. He also informed the board that he had spoken with Co-Lin and voiced his complaints that the Co-Lin Band did not perform in the Christmas parade. Berry said that Magee is the third largest city that supports the college and that the band should have supported the Magee parade. Berry said, “Those children and older folks look forward to seeing Co-Lin perform and they should have been here.”

Last meeting the board celebrated the city’s growth with eight new businesses coming to town. Berry also recognized two business that have had a lasting impact on the community, highlighting Gibson Western Wear for being open for over 65 years, and Rusty Slover, who had the vision to put two story buildings on Main Street.

Berry brought attention to the airport, and how it can continue to grow and become a bigger asset to the city. The airport committee is actively working on a plan to get more use from the hangars.

The city’s public defender, Witt Fortenberry, recently resigned. Berry asked the board how they wanted to proceed with filling the vacancy. He presented the options of accepting new applicants or hiring the runner up to Fortenberry during the last hiring process. Alderman Lane Steele suggested that the city get input from attorneys Bruce Smith and Chris Purdum and open the hiring process to all interested applicants. The board unanimously agreed.

The board entered into an agreement with CSpire to lease an easement. CSpire will lease the 12x25 easement from the city for $500  a year over five years.

Earlier this month the board heard that terms had been negotiated on property adjacent to Spring Lake Subdivision that belongs to Dr. Tommy Blackledge.  A deal was struck between Blackledge and the homeowner association for development.  There were stipulations by the landowners of Spring Lake that include that covenants be extended to the property.  It includes that no access road from the north of the property be approved thus preventing through traffic and that the property be designated as R-1 residential rating which is single family dwellings. The board informed the association all they could do is adopt the annexation order it was up to the residents to file the restrictions.  Donn Paul, spokesman for the group, told the board it was his intention to file the needed paperwork and start the process.

During the December 18 meeting Bruce Smith informed the board that the covenants and necessary paperwork had been filed with the Chancery Clerk. After some discussion the board unanimously approved the annexation of the Spring Lake subdivision.

Berry explained that the Sportsplex will be purchasing a $1,300 net for the baseball fields. He also revealed that parks and recreation manager David Dunn is considering moving on from the Dixie Youth baseball league. Berry said the decision to look for a new league is coming after Dixie Youth officials expressed negative remarks towards Magee facilities in terms of hosting state tournaments. Berry said that Dixie Youth considers Magee’s facilities to be sub-par in comparison to others. Alderman Patrick Brown said that he had previously suggested moving on from Dixie Youth, and that several cities the size of Magee has already done so. Berry said the move is not official, but Dunn will consult with other cities about alternative leagues.

Police Chief Randy Crawford petitioned the board to accept Officer Mike Davis resignation as a full time officer and allow him to be reassigned to a part time position. Crawford also requested that Brian Greene be reassigned from part time to full time officer. The board unanimously agreed to both request.

The Board previously heard a proposal from Central Mississippi Planning and Development District.  The district proposed for a $2,000 one-time fee to map all the city’s utilities, water lines, street lights and various infrastructure assets.  This will assist in city work plans as well as helping to complete a city asset list which is a delinquency on the city audit findings. Attorney Bruce Smith reviewed the proposal and found it to be satisfactory. The Board agreed to accept the proposal. With no further business in order, Mayor Dale Berry received a motion to adjourn the meeting until Thursday January 3.