Headlines Cont. – 11/17/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 17, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – November 17, 2006


BPD Promotions
     The Batesville Police Department promoted five of its patrol officers during a ceremony held Monday, November 14, at Batesville City Hall. Fellow officers, friends and family were on hand to celebrate promotions for: (front row, left to right), Jud Moore, promoted from officer to sergeant;
Billy Sossaman, promoted from sergeant to lieutenant; Brad Shackleford, promoted from sergeant to lieutenant; (back row, left to right), Michael Hardin, promoted from officer to sergeant; and Gray Nickels, promoted from officer to sergeant.
Crenshaw citizens quiz board on traffic, abandoned property
By John Howell

Honoring a promise made during the October meeting of the Crenshaw Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Mayor Sylvester Reed opened the November meeting to questions.

The mayor announced during the October meeting that he would hear up to a six questions from the floor and provide answers at the following month’s meeting.

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Jimmy Frazier used the opportunity to present his qualifications to town officials. Frazier had resigned in July from his job as the certified water operator for the town’s water system and all-around maintenance worker. He is also among three people seeking to fill the position he left.

Thomas Malone addressed city officials to express his concern over traffic conditions on Highway 3, which is Crenshaw’s main street.

"We’re going to have a serious accident," Malone said, citing improper U-turns made by southbound motorists who turn into parking places on the west side of the street.

Bob Bryant asked for a report back on trailers improperly brought into municipal limits and about the cleanup of abandoned houses and overgrown lots.

Mayor Reed told Malone and Bryant that he would have a response at the December meeting.

In other town business during the November 9 meeting, Mayor Reed defended the town’s use of state trusty labor, citing their savings to the town with such examples as repair of the police car and small engines on town-owned equipment.

Alderman Alberta Bradley had criticized the $25 to $30 daily expense of feeding inmates while they work for Crenshaw.

?Repairs to a leaking town hall roof will begin soon with state trusty inmates working under the supervision of Sammy Harrell, Mayor Reed said. The comment prompted questions about the town’s contract with Harrell, in which it originally agreed to rent the town employee’s tools.

"It’s illegal for him to rent us his tools," the mayor said. "Everything can be rented from a rental store," he added.

Further discussion clarified that Harrell was paid $9 per hour as a town employee to supervise the inmates’ work.

?Crenshaw will not be able to apply for another Community Development Block Grant until sewer rehabilitation work financed through a current grant has been completed, the mayor said.

Smoke testing of sewer lines is currently underway, Mayor Reed added. Smoke is forced into water lines and escapes from leaks which need to be repaired, he added.

?A housing project financed through another grant "basically completed. Everybody will be in their homes before the holidays," Mayor Reed told the other city officials.

"We’re behind on that, aren’t we?" asked Whitsell.

"No, he did submit for an extension but he didn’t need it," the mayor replied, referring to Larry Haynes, the consultant who has administered the grant money for the home-building project. Haynes will submit an application next year to build five more homes, Reed added.

Sardis Boys and Girls Club gets more space
By Jason C. Mattox

The Boys and Girls Club of Sardis and Como will have more room thanks to the Board of Aldermen.

Dottie Merritt, director of the club, appeared before city leaders last Tuesday night to discuss the club’s space issues.

"We are growing," she said. "That is a good problem to have, but to accommodate all the children we are going to need more room."

Merritt requested a vacant room on the third floor of the Old Sardis High School Building on McLaurin Street.

The club presently occupies several rooms in the building.

"We have been using some space on the third floor for storage, but we need some room for activities and homework," she said. "And the available room on that floor will work."

Aldermen unanimously voted to allow the Boys and Girls Club to lease the room.

Under the terms of the lease, civic organizations can rent a room in the building for $1 per year in exchange for holding a fundraiser each year with money going to the upkeep of the building.

Once Merritt’s proposal was accepted, she asked when the city might fix the leaking roof on the building.

"Every time it rains, I am up on the third floor putting out plastic and buckets to catch the water," she said. "We need to do something about that."

Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said the city is having difficulty finding a roofer to work on the building.

"I have tried to find someone to work on the roof, but nobody wants to get on top of the building," he said.

Aldermen said they would keep looking for a roofer.

In other board business:
Aldermen adopted an ordinance that requires all restaurants to have grease traps within 90 days.
City Attorney Tommy Shuler was instructed to write a letter to Mike Fudge regarding mud entering East Lee Street from his property.
City Clerk Odessa Johnson was asked to get two quotes for the city’s medical insurance for the coming year.
Police Chief Mike Davis was given permission to attend a Basic Crime Scene Investigation course at the Police Academy in Pearl this week.
Como officials hire operator for natural gas distribution system
By John Howell Sr.

Como city officials in a special meeting Tuesday, November 14, hired Steve Burdett as the licensed operator for the municipal natural gas distribution system.

Burdett is a Como resident who works full time for the City of Senatobia. He also began work as a part-time and on-call employee for Como, effective November 15.

Como Mayor Azria Lewers called the meeting to hire Burdett to bring the city system into compliance with state regulations. The prospective employee fielded questions from the mayor, aldermen Everett Hill, Clark Gregory, John Walton and Richard Taylor as well as from city attorney Leigh Ann Darby as details of his employment were hammered out. Alderman Ruby Higginbotham was absent due to illness.

Near the end of the meeting, Burdett accepted the city’s offer of $900 per month with a $12 hourly rate for emergency work after hours. Burdett will continue to attend training required for operators of natural gas systems. Two additional Como employees will undergo a three-hour training course which will allow them to turn gas on or off in Como.

In other business, city officials authorized city clerk Katrice Dandridge to place the city’s liability insurance with the carrier which offered the best coverage for the lowest price. Attorney Darby told city officials that since the current liability insurance policy expired on November 15, the matter was appropriate to discuss during the special meeting as an emergency.


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