Headlines Cont. – 7/7/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 7, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – July 7, 2006


Owner No. 2 gets approval to open
Pounders recuses self during vote
By Jason C. Mattox

Four weeks after revoking a conditional use permit of an auto repair shop, the city has granted a new permit at the same location.

Frank Webster appeared before the board to ask for a conditional use permit that would allow him to open his own repair shop at 350 Highway 51, where a business once operated by Jimmy Bishop had been located.

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When Webster addressed city leaders during a meeting on Tuesday, he asked that he be allowed to have 10 cars parked at the business at any one time.

Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley asked Webster if that 10 cars would include employees.

"That would be employees and customers," Webster responded.

Ward 1 Alderman Bill Dugger said he would like to add a parking condition to the permit.

"I really would like to see a condition put on that would mean the parking of the cars had to be uniform," he said. "If they are all parked facing different directions, it can look like a lot like a junk yard."

Webster told Dugger he had no problem with that condition or any other condition set forth in the permit.

"I think he has intentions of doing the right thing," Dugger said.

Aldermen voted 4-0 to allow the conditional use permit.

In other board business:
Aldermen approved a zoning variance request by Sheila Pounders for 108 Court Street following a public hearing.
     "Basically the only thing I’m doing is making my kitchen prepared for what the health department requires," Pounders said, describing changes that would allow her catering business to continue from her home.
     "No food will be served at this address?" Dugger asked.
     "Absolutely not," Pounders replied.
     The 3-0 approval from aldermen reflected the absence of Ward 4 aldermen Bobbie Jean Pounders, Sheila Pounders’ mother, who recused herself and left the room during the hearing and vote that followed.
     Ward 3 alderman James Yelton is in the Oxford Veterans Home following a stroke in December.
Aldermen accepted a bid from H.A. Balton Signs of Columbus for the electronic messaging center at the Batesville Civic Center.
The rezoning request of Loretta Kuykendoll to allow a mobile home in a residential zone was denied.
The resignation of Anthony Carter from the Street Department was accepted.
Street Department Superintendent Teddy Austin was given permission to hire two part-time employees.
Waste Water Treatment Plant Superintendent David Carr was given permission to send two employees to the Mississippi Water and Pollution Control Operators Association annual meeting in Tunica July 19-21.
Police Chief Gerald Legge was given permission to attend the National DARE conference in Orlando, Fla.
Jud Moore was re-hired to the position of patrolman.
Barbara Lambert was hired as a police secretary.
Michael Summerlin and Gary Morris were hired as patrolmen in the Batesville Police Department.

(John Howell Sr. contributed to this story.)

     On Bruce Street in Batesville there’s a village called "Yorkville" which claims a population of two with Bobby York as Mayor. The home and yard there without fail are festively decorated for every holiday. Neighbors and passersby alike enjoy those decorations and look forward to each holiday in anticipation of the scene that will be created anew.
     Occasionally those neighbors have called the newspaper and requested that the photographer come make a photo. And the photographer has on occasion attempted to capture the whole-yard panorama in a photo, but it has never done justice to what the eye can see there.
     Until now. This time the photographer caught the scene but more importantly its creator – Sarah York, First Lady of Yorkville. 
Farmer’s Market open on Saturdays
The farmers’ market at The Garden District offers melons, peaches, corn and beans grown by Mt. Olivet area farmers from 8 a.m. until noon Saturdays.

The market is sponsored by The Garden District in conjunction with local farmers.

"We’ve had a great response," a spokesman said. Cantaloupe and tomatoes are coming in with abundance. Also offered are herbs, fresh flowers and other fruits and vegetables.

The Garden District is located at Highway 6 and 315 just off the Water Valley exit east of Batesville. For more information or directions, contact Joanna Patton.

City leans toward new rates to plug water-sewer deficit
By John Howell

City engineer Blake Mendrop and Warner McBride of Mendrop-Wages and McBride Engineering, meeting with the Batesville Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday, presented results of a water user rate study that could lead to a decision to increase the cost of water to city water customers.

Mendrop made the study at the request of city officials who are trying to eliminate a deficit created by the cost of operating the water and sewer department.

The engineer’s study projected rate adjustments that would eliminate a shortfall of approximately $250,000 annually.

The mayor and aldermen discussed the study but took no action Tuesday on an increase.

Under the proposal, the combined water and sewer rate for a residence inside city limits would rise from $10.03 to $12.03 for the first 2,000 gallons of monthly usage. For a residential customer outside city limits, the rate would increase from $10.96 to $16.03 for the same usage. Commercial customers would increase from $10.03 to $14.03.

Usage rates for 5,000 gallons would increase from $30.25 to $33.75 for residential city customers and from $31.60 to $39.85 for residential customers outside the city. Commercial users at the same volume would increase from $30.25 to $36.20.

For 10,000 gallons, rates would change as follows: $63.95 to $69.95 for inside city residential, $63.95 to $75.95 for outside city residential, $63.95 to $73.15 for commercial.

"We’re just trying to break even," Mayor Jerry Autrey said, following discussion that the only other option to make up a $250,000 annual deficit in water and sewer department operations was a tax increase.

"I’d rather raise water; at least you have the option of using less," Alderman Bill Dugger said.


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