Headlines Cont. – 2/13/2007

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – February 13, 2007


Batesville Civic Center reports record attendance last Saturday
By John Howell Sr.

Batesville Civic Center Director Roy Hyde said Monday that the center had recorded its largest attendance to date for a one-night event. Hyde said that 2,700 of the center’s 3,000 seats were sold for the Saturday, Feb. 10 Arenacross, giving the center its "biggest single night."

The civic center director also reported that civic center concessionaire Lynn Dover "performed wonderfully for this first big event," since she successfully bid for the food vending contract at the center.

Hyde had appeared at the Feb. 6 meeting of the Batesville mayor and board of aldermen to report completion of the large message sign at the corner of Highway 6 and House-Carlson Drive. The civic center director said that when the sign was first activated late last month he heard "lots of horns; people wanted to sit and watch when the light changed."

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The BCC Director also said that two more livestock events had been added to the civic center’s calendar and that its web site, would soon be completed.

Crenshaw officials allow three months for removal of trailer
By John Howell Sr.

Crenshaw city officials gave a camper trailer owner three months to remove the trailer that they determined had been placed in municipal limits in violation of city ordinances.

Travel trailer owner Robert Evans told Crenshaw town officials and their attorney that he talked to Mayor Sylvester Reed, who told him to call town hall. Evans attempted to show aldermen a copy of a check he mailed to the town hall.

"Who received the check?" Mayor Sylvester Reed asked.

"I received the check for $100 water deposit; at no point did I issue a permit," town clerk Renee Ward said.

During their consideration of whether Evans’ camper trailer should stay or go, town attorney Mary Brown and Ward walked across the street to the town hall to determine the date that a trailer ordinance had been enacted prohibiting the placement of trailers in municipal limits except in designated trailer parks.

Evans said that his use of the camper trailer was temporary and that he planned to "do something on the lot."

"As far as I’m concerned, it’s the law" said Alderman David Whitsell, referring to the ordinance that made the trailer’s placement illegal.

After further discussion, Alderman Alberta Bradley made a motion to give Evans three months to move the camper trailer. Aldermen Milton Phipps and Whitsell voted with her. Alderman Keith Pride voted against the motion. Alderman Shirley Morgan was absent, and the measure passed 3-1.

Placement of mobile homes in Crenshaw city limits was a contentious issue through 2006 and becomes a subject of discussion at every meeting of the mayor and aldermen.

Three police officers hired in Crenshaw
By John Howell Sr.

Crenshaw aldermen voted Tuesday, Feb. 6, to hire three full-time police officers, bringing the police force there to eight officers in addition to Police Chief Daryl Linzy.

"It will be a 360 degree change from the crime rate that we have had in the past," Linzy said. The police chief said that the additional officers will allow around-the-clock law enforcement coverage in Crenshaw municipal limits.

Danny Bridges of Lake Cormorant, Matthew Coty of Batesville and Russell Hoskins of Tunica were hired following an executive session that came at the end of the monthly meeting of Crenshaw’s mayor and aldermen.

Downtown daycare granted variance
By John Howell Sr.

Batesville aldermen last week gave Batesville Martial Arts owner Kevin Porter a four-month variance that will allow him to operate a day-care in the building on the Downtown Square which formerly housed Williams Department Store.

The decision came after a pubic hearing to determine whether Porter would be able to use the building for day care in addition to martial arts instruction. Porter told the officials that his use of the building as a day care would allow him to care for children between the time that their martial arts instruction class ends and their parents arrive after work to pick them up.

Aldermen made the variance temporary to determine if the building’s use for child care will create traffic problems at the site.

In related city permit business, aldermen set a hearing to determine the height of a sign to be placed by Starbucks at its location on House-Carlson Drive. The Batesville Planning Commission initially rejected the coffee shop franchise’s request for a 90-foot sign.

Sardis aldermen consider new police automobiles
By Jason C. Mattox

Sardis aldermen began discussing the purchase of as many as three new police cars during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Aaron Williams of Country Ford in Southaven attended the meeting to discuss a lease program the dealership has in place for police vehicles.

"What we offer to municipalities is a 36-month lease," he said. "At the end of that lease, the city can purchase the vehicle for $1."

Payments would be due once each quarter at a cost of $6,539 for three vehicles.

"The price we are offering you is only good through April," Williams said. "After that, the interest rates will either go up or down."

Williams explained that the Town of Como purchased vehicles with this program last year.

"They paid more for the 2006 model Crown Victoria than you will for the 2007 models," he said.

Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said he didn’t expect the board to make a decision at the meeting, but wanted them to be aware of this option.

"We all know we are going to have to do something about our police cars in the near future, and this is one of the options out there for us," he said.

Alderman-at-Large Roy Scallorn asked if the price presented to the city was state contract price.

"We didn’t get the state contract this year," Williams replied. "It went to Gray Daniels Chevrolet."

Scallorn explained that the city would have to solicit bids for the cars if they were not at state contract price.

"The only way we would be able to buy from you is if the price is the same as the state contract price," he said. "Other than that, we have to follow the state’s bid laws."

Williams said Country Ford could not offer the cars at state contract price because the selected dealer for the state contract receives refunds back on the vehicles.

"I will work with you as much as I can to get you the best deal possible, but even on state contract, you will not have the $1 buy out," he said.

Williams said he did not recall the Town of Como having to bid for the vehicles.

"They may not have, but that would put them in violation of the purchasing laws," Scallorn replied.
No action was taken.

In other board business:
Nena Seilor was given an additional 30 days to sign an agreement with the city regarding repair work to her property.
Aldermen authorized Dye to submit a grant application to Homeland Security to pay 75 percent of the cost for a new generator at the Sardis Police Department.

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