Headlines – 8/6/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 2004

Panolian Headlines: August 6, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 8/6/04  issue of The Panolian
Downtown Park Progressing Nicely
Dry Month in July Keeps Construction on Schedule
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

editor@panolian.com

While the downtown park served as a starting point for the project’s architect at the recent meeting of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the entire future of downtown was discussed.

Brad Stringer told city leaders that after one full month on the job, Century Construction was right on schedule with the project thanks to the dry weather the city has experienced.

"It looked like they would get behind a little bit because of the rain in June, but it was dry in July and they really took advantage of that," he said. "They are moving along quite well."

Stringer said there has been one request made for a change to the plans, but he does not expect to ask the city for any funds.

"We are looking to see if we can shift the cost from another part of the park," he said. "We think we will be able to swap out some things in the project and make it work."

Alderman James Yelton said he figured the city would be paying the balance for the park and would like to see them keep the costs down as much as possible.

Alderwoman Bobbie Jean Pounders told the board that the Batesville Main Street Program had come up with ideas to offset some of the costs on the project.

"We are going to civic clubs about things like the gazebo and the fountain," she said. "And it looks like the Rotary Club may sponsor the fountain for us."

Pounders said Main Street has also started a brick sale to raise funds for the project.

According to Pounders, people would be able to purchase a brick to be placed in the downtown park for $100.
    

Sardis Library Seeks $12,000
     in City Funds
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

editor@panolian.com

It could cost the City of Sardis extra, extra to read all about it at the Sardis Public Library.

During the meeting of the Board of Aldermen, representatives of the First Regional Library System presented their request for the upcoming budget year.

Branch Manager Charlene Bradford said in the past year, the library has added several new programs including a Spanish learning station.

"We are very proud of the work we have been able to do in the library," she said. "We have seen a lot of additional traffic since we opened the addition."

Bradford reminded city leaders that several libraries have been hit so hard financially they had to close their doors.

"Imagine what life would be like without a library in Sardis," she said. "I think it would be a truly sad thing for the community."

Bradford said the library was asking for $12,000 from the city during the upcoming budget year.

"We asked for that amount last year and, unfortunately, you were not able to give it to us," she said. "So we are asking for the same amount again this year."

One representative of the First Regional Library System said she feels like the Sardis Public Library is one of the best in Panola County.

"This is a very vibrant and growing library," she said.

Bradford said the growth and increase in patrons is one reason they are asking for the $12,000 from the city.
    

     
Tie a Yellow Ribbon
The Batesville Kiwanis Club will be giving away yellow ribbons for people in Panola County who want to show their support of our troops heading to Iraq. The ribbons were made by Elise’s Flowers on the square. In addition to a ribbon, show your support by attending the send-off at Tiger Stadium tonight at 7 p.m.
    
Bang a drum
The South Panola High School Band recently began practice for the upcoming season. The percussion section works on marching and music during a rehearsal earlier this week at the school.
    
City Begins Search
     for Center Director
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

editor@panolian.com

With the Batesville Civic Center edging closer to completion every day, city leaders have decided the time is fast approaching to find a director to handle the operations of the facility.

Mayor Bobby Baker told the Board of Aldermen he believed the project was about 70 percent completed.

"Thanks to the good weather we have had, they have been able to get a good bit of work completed on the civic center," he said. "They will be installing the 3,000 or, however many, seats soon."

Baker said with that much of the project finished, it was time the city tried to find someone to assist him with operation and booking of the building until a center director can be brought on board.

"We are going to need an administrative assistant that can help us with getting some things into the civic center once it opens," he said.

Baker insisted he has no interest in running the facility, so finding an appropriate director needs to be done rather quickly.

Alderman James Yelton said he understood the importance of getting a director in place, but said he still had problems with the facility itself that need to be addressed.

"The water is not draining properly," he said. "If something isn’t done about that, we won’t even have a parking lot in two years."

Yelton said he planned to meet with project architect Girault Jones about his concerns.

Alderwoman Bobbie Jean Pounders suggested the city get in contact with people running other civic centers in the state to see if they can develop a lead on the potential director of the Batesville Civic Center.

Naming rights of the facility were also discussed during the meeting, with Baker saying he has had discussions with several companies who have interest in the naming rights of the building.

"I have talked to no less than four that have interest in purchasing the naming rights to the center," he said.

Pounders said if the project was drawing that kind of interest, the city should take bids on the naming rights.

"If they want to get the rights to the building, let them bid on it," she said.

No vote was taken on the matter.