Headlines Cont. – 4/11/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – April 11, 2006


Humane Society gets car tag funds
The Panola County Humane Society (PCHS) in Batesville has been awarded $2,000 from the "I Care for Animals" car tag program. The money is to be used to fund spay/neuter programs of the society.

PCHS is a local non-profit volunteer organization which provides services to lost, abandoned, abused and neglected animals in Panola County. Their mission is to improve the lives of all animals through humane education.

The society promotes spaying/neutering of all companion animals and increased awareness of pet overpopulation.

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Those interested in supporting this program financially, by volunteering or by adopting homeless animals should contact PCHS at P.O. Box 1756, Batesville, MS 38606 and or call 662-654-0926.

The "I Care For Animals" car tag program allows Mississippians to purchase a special license plate for an additional $31. The proceeds help homeless, injured and abused animals in humane shelters and rescue programs across the state.

Batesville officials consider rezoning requests
City officials at their Tuesday, April 4 meeting set a public hearing for a rezoning request by Cecil Henderson to allow him to place a mobile home at 103 Patton Lane.

At a public hearing during the same meeting, aldermen postponed a request from Kalvin Viney for a conditional use permit that would allow him to operate an automobile detail shop at 322 C Highway 51 South. Aldermen said they wanted to visit the site before approving the use.

Aldermen also approved the preliminary plat and construction plans for section E of the Keating Grove Subdivision and approved the final plat for section D.

Panola Partnership CEO asks for budgeted allotment
By Jason C. Mattox

Panola Partnership CEO Sonny Simmons updated Batesville city leaders on the Partnership’s work at their meeting last Tuesday. He also asked for the city’s allocation of funds they budget annually to support the county’s industrial development organization.

"This is the first time I have had to come to you and ask for the money you budget for us each year," said Simmons, who was hired as CEO in August.

The city budgeted $30,000 for the Panola Partnership this year.

"We have a lot of things that are beginning to take shape," he said of the work going on in the city and county. "A lot of those things we cannot talk about at this time."

One thing Simmons could inform the city board about was a new Web site.

"We are working on a professionally-designed Web site that will be online sometime this summer," he said. "It will have labor surveys and demographics that are important to industries who might be looking to expand or relocate to an area."

Simmons said he is in the midst of conducting a labor survey within a 60-mile radius of the county.

"That survey is going to cost approximately $40,000," he said. "But half of that will be paid for out of a grant I have already received."

Simmons said the city need not be worried about how the money would be spent.

"We are going to be good stewards of your money, and put it to the best use possible," he said.

Sardis businesses must enclose dumpsters to contain trash
By Jason C. Mattox

After months of debate concerning the city of Sardis’ problems with commercial trash spilling into the streets and onto private property, aldermen last week approved an ordinance that will require businesses to enclose their trash dumpsters in wooden or brick structures.

The ordinance takes affect May 4, but businesses will have until August 4 to comply.

Enterprises that use nothing larger than one 90-gallon container are exempt from the ordinance. But the new rules require that all cardboard, bailed or loose, must be kept inside an enclosure.

Businesses which fail to comply could face a misdemeanor charge and an unspecified fine, according to Tommy Shuler, Sardis city attorney.

"There is no question we have had problems with trash accumulating over the tops of dumpsters and blowing off the business property," he said.

"It really doesn’t do us any good to have the stores enclose their dumpsters if they are going to pile cardboard all around it," Shuler said. "So they will be required to keep all cardboard in the dumpster and enclosed."

Shuler said plans for the enclosures must be approved by the city’s building inspector prior to construction.

Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said he had succeeded in contacting a corporate manager for Dollar General, whose East Lee Street store has been the target of complaints regarding trash accumulation. Dye said the executive was able to get the trash cleaned up.

"That man told me to keep an eye on it and if we have any problems, he will make sure they are taken care of," Dye said. "It is just ridiculous when the trash is out in the streets and the trees."

The mayor said he has been approached by several businesses who would be willing to pay the city for trash pick-up.

"There are some businesses who don’t even make as much trash as a large household," Ward 1 Alderman Joseph "JoJo" Still said. "I don’t think those would be a problem."

Shuler told city leaders they would have to limit the volume of trash they would pick up from businesses.

"We certainly need to do that," Dye said. "We don’t want to be out there picking up 20 or more bags at a time."

No action was taken on collection of commercial trash.

Traps ordered placed to catch dogs after Sardis citizen complains of strays
By Jason C. Mattox

One concerned citizen of Sardis approached the mayor and board of aldermen about the city’s need for animal control at their meeting Tuesday night.

Elmer O’Bannon told city leaders there was a large number of strays running loose on the streets of the city including Butler Street where he resides.

"We need a dog-catcher in Sardis bad," he said. "There needs to be something done about these dogs that are running loose through the town and nobody is claiming."

Ward 1 Alderman Joseph "JoJo" Still said he agreed with O’Bannon that something needs to be done about stray animals in the city.

"I will agree with you on that," Still said. "I live right up the street from you and we do have a really bad problem with stray dogs."

Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said the city had dog traps that could be put out to catch the dogs.

"The ordinance says you have to feed the animals for so long," city attorney Tommy Shuler said. "After that time frame, if nobody has come to claim the dog, the city can destroy it."

Dye instructed the Public Works Department to put out the dog traps to catch the strays.



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