Headlines Cont. – 2/9/2007

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 9, 2007

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – February 9, 2007


City will share cost of road bore
By John Howell Sr.

City officials agreed Tuesday to a cost sharing arrangement for an under-road bore that will allow utility access to the Bethlehem Heights just outside Batesville city limits.

Developer John Persons agreed to pay $3,500 of the estimated cost of $5,000 for a 12-inch bore to create a tunnel under Bethlehem Road to allow gas and water lines to reach six homes Persons is building there.

Person and his engineer, Byron Houston of Batesville’s Houston Engineering, had previously met with city officials and secured a pledge that the city would bear the expense for three small bores for water to the site. Tuesday’s decision will allow the full complement of city services for the six homes currently planned and for 11 more that Persons plans to develop when the initial six have been completed.

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The decision was reached after Person, Houston, water and sewer superintendent Ricky Shirey and city engineer Blake Mendrop left the meeting room to discuss the change in plans.`

"We are going to do it right and do it now instead of piece mealing it," Shirey said when the men returned to the meeting. City officials agreed to shoulder the same expense that the city would have incurred for the smaller bores – about $500 each, according to Shirey – if Persons agreed to pay the difference for the larger bore.

City officials also stipulated that Person adopt a restrictive covenant language that would prohibit Bethlehem Heights residents from opposing annexation by the city should the annexation be proposed.

In another city development related to housing, aldermen voted to turn down a housing grant available through the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) when it became apparent that the developer could not locate a sufficient amount of land in the city.

Charlie Sanders of Sanders Lumber and Construction of Senatobia had successfully applied for a home program grant for the city which required the city to handle the grant money. When he was unable to locate sufficient land in the city to build the homes he approached city officials about an interlocal agreement that would allow him to use the grant for home construction on lots both in the city limits and in the county.

"The city has got a grant at this moment, but we’re going to lose it if we don’t use it," Sanders said.

However, assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell said that he had contacted MDA, and was told that the issue of the city administering funds used for home construction outside city limits created legal problems that would consume much of the time left before the time expired for the grant’s utilization.

Alderman Rufus Manley made the motion to turn down the grant. It passed unanimously

City secures privilege license inspector after five-year lapse
By John Howell Sr.

Fire inspector Joe Warren will also inspect for city privilege licenses during the course of the inspections of commercial buildings for code violations.

Warren and Fire Chief Tim Taylor asked the mayor and aldermen for a resolution that would give Warren written basis for his additional duties at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 meeting of the Batesville mayor and board of aldermen.

Privilege licenses became an issue during a routine audit when auditors discovered that city businesses had not been required to buy annual privilege licenses during the last five years.

Collections began immediately, levying the cost of each year’s license plus penalties in order to bring collections up to date.

In other fire department business, the fire chief received permission to purchase a covered trailer in which to house and transport the extensive array of fire safety education props that Batesville firemen use in their ongoing fire and life safety education efforts.

Aldermen unanimously approved Taylor’s purchase of the trailer from the department’s Risk Reduction Fund.

Aldermen also approved attendance by city personnel from the water, sewage treatment, fire and police departments to attend various continuing education seminars and training.

Following executive sessions to consider personnel matters, aldermen voted unanimously to rescind an action last month which allowed William Wilson to take part-time employment at a non-city job.

Aldermen also voted unanimously in a disciplinary action to reduce police officer Dean Jones in rank and pay.

Pollworkers announced for February 13 special election
The Panola County Election Commission has announced the following poll workers for the special election on February 13:

West Sardis
Earlene Freeman, receiving manager
Charlest Blakely, returning manager
Mattie Sandridge
Ida Porter
Edna Miles
Brenda Black, receiving manager
Earnestine Carter
Dorothy Kearney, returning manager
Charlene Bowden
Anne Walton
Pleasant Mount
Franklin Bowden, receiving manager
Martha Garrison, returning manager
Bernice Lyons
Georgia Callicut
Gary Towns
South Sardis
Verna Lasha Hunter, receiving manager
Sylvia Lantern, returning manager
Naomi Pearson
Jackie Miller
Chrisine Jones
Pleasant Grove
Candace Armstrong, receiving manager
Dorothy Polk, returning manager
Damon Andrews
Miriam Watson
Macedonia Concord
Cheryl James, receiving manager
Adrianna Griffin, returning manager
Letha Bean
Christine Franklin
Earnestine McCain
William Parker, returning manager
Maxine Thaggard, receiving manager
Blenda Dean Burgess
Adell Cole
Tammie Lamar
Batesville 3
Pat Whitehorn, recieving manager
Mary Sanford, returning manager
Joe Pearson
Margie Pearson
Linda Bean, receiving manager
Marion Kincade, returning manager
Lee Andrew Blackburn
Christine Blackburn
Sandra Darby, receiving
Betty Hudson, returning manager
Doris Morris
Janie Snider
East Batesville 5
Ricky Brown, receiving manager
Mary Keating, returning manager
Ann Womble
Cheryl Jackson
North Batesville A
Barbara Bruce, receiving manager
Neil Baker, returning manager
Barbara Stevens
Gloria Menzie
North Batesville B
Percy Bruce, receiving manager
Jamie Womble, returning manager
Deborah Garner
Annie Lou Curtis
Bennie Abson, receiving manager
Doris Abson, returning manager
Rex Houston
 Barbara Smith

There will be no election in District 4.


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