Parking lot owners ask help with loitering

By PAT BROWN,

Folks who enjoy hanging out in the parking lot at the Jitney Jungle shopping center may not be as welcome as they once were.

Magee Mayor Dale Berry said at this week’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen that the city has received complaints from the location, and the owners have contacted the city and asked officials to enforce no loitering laws.  Simply stated, they do not want people hanging out in the parking lot because it is private property.

 Property owners are concerned because a Burger King franchise and possibly another restaurant have expressed interest in locating on the site. 

 Mayor Berry said he has spoken with city police officers who said they will not allow people to congregate in the parking lot  in the future. 

Big news came in an announcement from the mayor that the city would qualify for state funding  for an infrastructure project. State Senator Chris Caughman of Mendenhall had encouraged city leaders to apply for the funds.  The city had applied for $500,000 but was approved for $250,000, which will be used to upgrade equipment in the city lagoon.  Berry attributed part of the success of the application to the help and encouragement of Sen. Caughman.

Mayor Berry reported that the city had met with Motorola on Tuesday and planned to meet with C Spire on Thursday.  They also met with members of the Board of Supervisors  including Brian Kennedy, Danny Craft and Curtis Skiffer to discuss 911 issues and the city’s ability to monitor calls, have access to the calls and location, and identify who was placing the calls.  According to fire department personnel, this would improve the current fire rating for the city. 

AT&T had originally told the county that it would be cost prohibitive for the city to have the redundancy they were asking for. 

City Building Inspector Joe Worrell has a background in communication and has been exploring other more cost effective options for the city to implement. It appears now that what was deemed unrealistic may be within reach through other affordable options. 

The city is considering reconfiguring some of the lighting at the Jimmy Clyde Sportsplex which would offer up to a $5,400 savings at that facility.  Existing lights would be retrofitted to use LED lighting at the cost of $42 per light. 

City aldermen have made their 2019 Paving Recommendations.  Each alderman has a part of the annual budget for paving in his or her section of the city for the new fiscal year. They include the following streets:

Industrial Park SE from railroad to Sportsplex (514’ X 25’)

Adams Street NE (245’ X 25’)

Choctaw Street W (352’ X 30’) & (344’ X 26’)

1st Street SE from 5 way to 1st Avenue NE

1st Street SE behind hospital (310’ X 30’)

3rd Street SE (342’ X 20’)

5th Street SE (1039’ X 25’)

North Hill Drive

9th Ave. from Cherry Street to Elm Street

Francis Avenue from midway to the bottom

Ernest Crosby Lane

Atkinson Drive (approximately 40’ strip)

Washington Street (approximately 60 yard strip)

2 spots on McLaurin

1 spot on Johnson Lockhart

2nd Street SE from 10th Avenue down. 

 Final approval has not been determined on these recommendations from aldermen. 

The board heard from Bob Lowe, who lives on Pinewood Drive.  He came to the board to make the city aware of a health hazard of mosquitoes breeding on water that was backing up and standing on Highway 49. 

The board also discussed the siren at McNair Springs being functional as an early warning system about bad weather. 

Matt Pudas from the Magee Public Library made a presentation to the board acknowledging  the library’s appreciation for the city choosing to fund them each year so they can continue to operate.  Pudas told the board that the library really appreciated what the city does because they are always having issues with funding for their operations. 

Last month the Magee Library was recognized as third best in the Large Libraries category of the Central Mississippi Regional Library System for the service they offer to the community.  The library also hosted an  appreciation dinner for elected officials on Monday of this week.