Headlines – 7/11/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2003

Panolian Headlines: July 11, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 7/11/03  issue of The Panolian

State Wants City Aid in Disposing of Waste
Firm Left Behind Holding Pond, Tanks With Ammonia, Phosphates
City wastewater plant superintendent David Karr discusses Southern States situation with members of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

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Batesville city officials want nothing to do with cleaning up the ammonia and phosphate waste problem left behind when Southern States went out of business.

City Board members have felt so strongly about it that they’ve voted three times "to leave it alone," Mayor Bobby Baker said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

But in the end, it may not come down to what the city wants.

That’s because Mississippi’s Department of Environmental Quality has stepped into the picture asking the city to reconsider its longstanding stance.

"Why is it our problem to clean up [Southern State’s] mess?" Alderman Hudson Still asked. "It’s asinine if you ask me."

The property, which has waste tanks as well as a waste retention pond there, is off Hwy. 6 just west of Hallmark Ford.

Prior to Southern States having the fertilizer plant and farm supply company, it was known as Gold Kist Agricultural Supplies, according to records at City Hall.

"Environmental quality wants us to assist," Baker said. "It just puts a different twist on things when you have them asking us to help."

Green Hill Annexation
Mayor Darby Casts Deciding Vote

Casting the deciding vote, Sardis Mayor Richard Darby voted in favor of an annexation ordinance to incorporate the Green Hill subdivision into the city limits.

During a meeting Tuesday night, Darby presented the board with an annexation ordinance prepared for the city by Bridge and Slaughter. The firm conducted the studies of the city and the Green Hill subdivision.

"This ordinance is based on what the board voted on during our last meeting in June," Darby said. "But the area affected could decrease depending on a number of factors."

According to City Attorney Tommy Shuler, if someone objects to the annexation ordinance, he or she can hire an attorney and file a formal protest in court.

"The ordinance is all the city has to act on," he said. "But a public notice has to be filed in case there are people objecting to the annexation."

"Once the matter is turned over to court, the decision of approval belongs solely to the judge," Darby said.

Aldermen Rusty Dye, Jo Jo Still and Mike Wilson all said a public hearing should be scheduled before the city adopts an ordinance for the annexation.

Shuler said, though it is not required, the city could choose to seek public input before adopting the ordinance.



Benefit Saturday
SFC John Ard goes over the checklist of items to be auctioned off during the Answered Prayer benefit on Saturday while being informed via telephone that more is on the way.

Ard said more than $6,000 in cash has been collected as well. See related story on page 8A.


Developer Wants to Build 80 Rent Homes

A new subdivision of rental units on the east side of Keating Road is planned to start construction before the end of the year if all necessary requirements are met.

That’s according to Carl Blomberg of Clarksdale who said Keating Roads Estates will cover 19.1 acres where 80 homes will be built. Blomberg is vice president of Keating Roads Estates, L.P.

The project is designed to increase overall "home ownership" by removing "obstacles" such as no down payment funds and credit requirements, said Derrick Neal, president of Keating Roads Estates, L.P.

Voting ‘Slow’ for Absentees
Absentee voting is slow in Panola County as the countdown to the August 5 primary election continues.

Through Thursday at noon, three people had cast ballots at the courthouse in Batesville and 36 ballots have been mailed from there, according to the circuit court clerk’s office. In Sardis, none have voted there and 157 ballots have been mailed.

Unlike some neighboring states, Mississippi does not have early voting where anyone can vote, it has absentee balloting which strictly limits those who can take part, said Circuit Clerk Joe Reid.

Qualifying absentee voters cover a range of categories including:

– Members of the Armed Forces or spouses or dependents of such members

– Members of the Merchant Marines or the American Red Cross or spouses or dependents of such members

– Disabled war veterans who are patients in any hospital or spouses or dependents of such civilians