Batesville city board

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2012

City hears proposal to make skeeters scatter

By John Howell Sr.

To open Tuesday’s meeting of Batesville’s mayor and aldermen, Michael Freidman of the Baddour Center recited Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

In its entirety.

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Freidman’s recitation came on the 149th anniversary of the great Pennsylvania battle regarded as the turning point of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln, invited the following November to consecrate a portion of the battlefield that had been set aside for reburial of Union soldiers who died in the struggle, prepared the his remarks and delivered in about two minutes what would come to be regarded as the best-known speech in U. S. history.

 Following Friedman’s presentation before the city officials in a room filled with Batesville citizens, the business of local government settled into its familiar routine: bids were opened, hearings held and budget requests were presented.

Most of the people in the audience during the early part of the meeting were their in support of the Batesville Public Library’s budget request. First Regional Library Director Catherine Nathan asked the mayor and aldermen to consider allotting $204,000 for the library from the city’s 2012-’13 budget. The amount is an increase of $2,000 over last year, Nathan said.

The First Regional director said that computer usage in the Batesville library has increased 53 percent over the last seven years. Library surveys indicate that 37 percent of people using the computers are searching for jobs or applying for a job online, Nathan continued. For 78 percent of the people using library computers it is their only Internet access, she added.

Copies of a printed handout distributed by the library supporters included a “value calculator” that listed an itemized cost estimate for the programs and services provided by the library placed their value to Batesville citizens at $2.5 million.

Aldermen acknowledged the request for city funding as they will a number of others that come before them as they plan for next year’s budget.

Tubbs Road bids

Eight contractors submitted bids for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funded drainage improvements on Tubbs Road. The bids ranged from $487,206.76 to $893,890 for the base bid. Bidders also submitted bids on five alternates. Quinn Contracting submitted apparent low bid. Aldermen voted to take all bids under advisement to allow city engineer Blake Mendrop to review and make a recommendation.

Mosquito control

Brett Killingsworth of Vector Disease Control made a pitch to the mayor and aldermen that his company be allowed to handle the city’s mosquito control program. Killingsworth said that the Little Rock, Arkansas-based company owns 125 spray trucks and sprayers and 11 airplanes that it uses to spray for mosquitos.

Killingsworth said that his company’s program would include spraying three times a month, larval control and treatments and traps to determine the kind of mosquitos that live in the area. He said that Mississippi is home to 60 kinds of mosquitos, of which the most common, the Culex, is a carrier of the West Nile virus.

Killingsworth told city officials that his company would provide the service for $39,650 annually. He also said that Vector Disease Control would purchase the city-owned vehicle, equipment and supplies presently used by city employees for mosquito control.