Headlines Cont. – 3/20/2007

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – March 20, 2007


Cycles go to DeSoto Sheriff
By Jason C. Mattox

The City of Batesville was within its legal rights to accept a bid to sell a pair of Harley Davidson motorcycles to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, according to Chief Tony Jones and assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell.

The sale to DeSoto County came January 2, 2007. The mayor and board of aldermen had rejected an original group of six bids on November 21, 2006.

Rebel Cycles of Oxford was the apparent high bidder in the November bids at $10,026 per motorcycle.

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"There were some officers of the Batesville Police Department that submitted bids, and they were not allowed to, but did not know it at the time," Jones said.

Ward 1 Alderman Bill Dugger made the motion to reject the original bids and re-advertise.

"The motorcycles had all of the BPD equipment on them," Jones said. "But we did not receive a bid from a law enforcement agency and we would have had to store the additional equipment."

Jones said when a bid proposal came in from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, the decision was made to sell both for $20,000 or $52 less than the original high bid.

According to minutes of the January 2 meeting, Mississippi law authorizes the City of Batesville to sell the motorcycles to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department at a price agreed on by both parties.

"When we got the bid proposal from DeSoto County, we checked the legality of it and sold them out right," Jones said.

Aldermen seek cable service for hospital
By Jason C. Mattox

The topic of cable service to Tri-Lakes Medical Center was discussed again briefly during Thursday morning’s meeting of the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders, who also works at the hospital as a physician recruiter, said she had spoken with Cable One representative Pete Peden about the matter again in recent weeks.

Cable One is the city’s contracted service to provide cable television to customers inside the city limits.

"We’ve been wanting it at the hospital, but he says he can’t get an easement to bring the lines to our side of the road," Pounders said. "This issue is a real sore thumb for me."

Ward 1 Alderman Bill Dugger said the company should be providing service to the hospital.

"It’s bad enough to have to be in the hospital, but when you’re in a room and really have nothing to watch, that makes it worse," he said.

Dugger suggested having Peden appear before the board to discuss the issue further.

"This is not an exclusive contract, we can always go out and find someone else who would be interested in providing service to all of the people in the city limits," he said.

Pounders said at one time the city had a commitment with Cable One for them to come across I-55, and now that has been put on the back burner.

"We had a commitment from him when all the houses started popping up in Hunter’s Trace Subdivision and all the other development started happening, but he has pushed us down the ladder so they can focus on the cable phone service they want to install.

"I don’t think I can listen to him talk about something that is going to put more money in his pocket when he isn’t providing our entire area with services he already offers," Pounders added.
The board asked for Peden to be contacted and put on the agenda for an upcoming meeting.

In other board business:
Aldermen approved the delivery of a letter to the Panola County Circuit Clerk asking for a judgement against Jimmy Boyles to be removed as all funds due have been paid and the property cleaned.
Two sponsorship bids for the Batesville Civic Center were accepted. Heafner Motors and Hallmark Ford paid $3,500 for signs inside the facility and time on the center’s electronic message center.

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