Starting with the first meeting in December Magee’s Board of Aldermen will have their meetings at 6 p.m. rather than 6:30, which had been their meeting time.
Mayor Dale Berry acknowledged some problems with city water bills recently and said that the city has addressed that issue. He said that any resident who has a problem with a water bill should contact Libby Shivers at city hall.
Berry also informed the board of the need to reevaluate some of the billing for solid waste, specially for those commercial businesses whose trash requires an inordinate amount of time for collections. The board is currently discussing a 20 percent increase for the businesses that require additional attention.
Berry reported that the Community House is no longer available for rent due to damage to the floors. He expects the city to make a decision soon.
Alderman-at-large Sue Honea addressed the question as to who would be responsible for upkeep at the Marvin Jackson Park. The city maintenance crew has been providing clean up as well as maintenance. Honea questioned whether the work should be done by Parks and Recreation. Alderman Patrick Brown told the board that the city was doing fine and there are plans to limit access to the park from one direction and install security cameras to prevent vandalism and littering.
Malinda Green addressed the board about creating a venue and museum at the old Magee Elementary gymnasium and original building on that campus. She had contacted the Mississippi Department of Archieves and History about having the buildings designated as historial sites and making a museum with part of the facility.
The campus, which belongs to the city, was being leased to Five County Head Start for use as a Head Start center. Original plans required demolition of buildings that were not being used, but that has not been done. The lease agreement was for ten years. It was also agreed that if the campus was no longer used for the original intention that ownership may revert back to the school district.
Board Attorney Bruce Smith asked Green to meet with him so specific issues could be identified.
Dot Nichols has been working in beautification and has requested the city purchase cameras for the Ural Everett Park because of vandalism. There are plans to put in security doors on the entrances to the alley because of damage also. Nichols reported that Christmas Decorations are going up and that Boswell had donated decorations they are no longer using.
Phillip Magee reported that $10,000 in building permits had been recently issued. He also reported that through the building inspector office they had been doing electrical and gas testing. Shane Steele reported that notifications had been sent to property owners that were not compliant with city ordinances.
The notifications were sent to the owners of;
512 First Ave. N. E.
122 Fourth Ave. S.W.
707 First Street S. E.
833 Smith Lane N.E.
Police Chief Chris Jones told the board that he wanted to get raises because his officers were under paid and overworked.
He stated that through last Tuesday night, Nov. 16 from October First had logged 1,226 calls with just two officers. He said the workload is unreal. He requested the board increase pay for part time from $12.50 per hour to $15.50 because surrounding area departments are making $15.00 per hour. He also notified the board that he wanted to promote Billy Seghini to Assistant Chief.
The board opted to go into executive session for discussion under the guise of personnel. The board voted against the request from the Chief based on facts which included that the department is paying 96 hours per day in salary figures. This means there are 12 full time positions being paid each day. This does not reflect the time for the chief, investigator or the dog handler. The board voted five to zero against the request. The largest part of the city’s annual buget just short of $700,000 per year. This does not reflect the chief’s salary or that of dispatchers. He also requested a raise for the dispatchers saying they were under paid. Votes taken in executive session are a matter of public record as well as the way individuals vote.
Charlie Valadie asked the board to excuse Shane Steele from attending all board meetings because he is not a department head since the duties of the building inspector were divided between Valadie, Phillip Magee and Shane Steele. The board agreed he did not have to attend but one meeting a month but must submit a written report for each meeting. It was agreed that the reports would be submitted on Friday for the board’s review.
Under Public Works notice for bids had been posted for asphalt and three companies had requested information about the projects. Temperatures for laying asphalt must be rising at 40 degrees or above. preferably 50 based on thickness.
There is also a lift station near the YMCA that will need to be replaced. The equipment will cost in the neighborhood of $24,000 and expected total of between $40,000 and $42,000.