BY PAT BROWN
From a recent meeting, Mayor Dale Berry reports that many school districts are top heavy in administration.
Berry who was recently named chairman of education for the Mississippi Municipal Association cited a shortage of funding for public education. He did not draw that correlation in Simpson County. Berry had also served on the Simpson County School Board prior to being elected to the Magee City Board.
Berry said there is legislation to allow for a one percent increase in taxes for road and bridge funding.
He advocated to the board that the city needs to create a new position in the upcoming budget so the city can start doing pod-cast. He said there is a need for that as well as Facebook and a home page. He said that the position could also apply for grants for the city.
He said that he had met with Juan Barnett to request the opening of a satellite facility for the Department of Corrections. Berry said Barnett is the new Commissioner for the Department of Corrections.
The board approved the purchase of a new garbage truck through the reverse auction bid process. The bid will go to Mississippi Sales with a low bid of $167,450 and a buy back price of $87,000.
The city opened bids for financing the new equipment. The low bid went to Trustmark at 2.77 percent for six years on the truck.
The board approved a grass cutting contract with Wenger Lawn Service for one year for $39,600 for cutting right of way on Highway 49 for 18 cuttings over the course of this year. The action had been previously approved this was the actual contract. A contract with Affordable in the amount of $2,800 a year for cutting McNair Springs was also approved by the board.
The board approved a contract with D&M Clark for upgrades to the sewer facility in the amount of $121,385 they had spent $40,000 already in pumps, engineering fees of $15,000 plus improvements in Eastside at a cost of $19,300. Funds for these projects are coming from the grant from the state of Mississippi in the amount of $250,000 the county was able to receive.
There was discussion about the numerous potholes plaguing the city. According to Public Works Director, Nelvis Rankin there is three things that must happen in order to make the needed repairs. First the temperature must be at least 60 degrees, there can be no rain and the minimum order amount is 50 tons of asphalt. That means there have to be contractors in operation to ensure that much material is available.
Berry implored the board to make sure everyone in the city is counted for the census. He said each person represents an additional $2,000 to the city. Berry also said that jobs are available through the census that range in rate of $18 to $20 per hour. He said applications are on file at city hall.
The board accepted an agreement for the transfer of deeded property referred to as the Washington Street Park from the Simpson County School Board.
At the request of residents the board adopted a policy allowing no trucks using Second Avenue as a thoroughfare. Signs are to be posted as Highways 49 and 149 noting no truck traffic. The reason is that 18-wheelers have been using the road and residents are concerned about the damage they are creating to the road.
There was also concern expressed about school buses using Goodwater Road as a cut-through rather than Education Lane. Concerns were expressed about safety of the buses as well as the road not being built for that kind of regular traffic.
The board approved placing of three new street lights at the cost each of $13 per month. One at 371 Lockhart Road one behind Calvary Church and one on Fifth Avenue and the intersection of Second.
There was discussion about the dogs at the pound. On Tuesday the pound was at capacity and thanks to hard work all the animals were placed through Facebook and other means. The problem is people had started surrendering animals and the pound was not set up for that. It is for dogs that are delinquent.