City and county tackle mowing

Published 9:34 am Friday, February 24, 2017

City and county tackle mowing

Two hotels nearing completion on opposite sides of I-55, the Fairfield Inn by Marriott (right) and the Home 2 (left), will bring the number of rooms at the eight hotels and motels around the I-55 and Hwy. 6/278 intersection to 525. Concern by hotel/motel owners and other businesses near the intersection has prompted city and county officials to discuss an agreement to improve its appearance, including more grass cutting and removal of a chain link fence.
The Panolian photo by John Howell


By John Howell
Growing concern over the appearance of the I-55/Highway 6/278 interchange during warm weather when grass Is growing prompted Panola County Board of Supervisors President Cole Flint on Tuesday to propose a joint county/city maintenance agreement.
Flint met with Batesville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen and said that all eight hotels as well as other businesses surrounding the intersection, the Young Professionals of Panola and the Panola Partnership have urged better upkeep during the growing season. Equipment and workers from the city and county could augment the Mississippi Department of Transportation contracted twice-yearly mowing schedule, which would continue, according to Flint.
The proposal triggered discussion with city officials about the other features at the intersection that detract from its appearance, including unhealthy trees that need removal and the chain link fence that surrounds it.
Mayor Jerry Autrey said that the joint maintenance agreement should also take in the I-55 north intersection at Highway 35.
Flint and city officials agreed to try to arrange a meeting with MDOT Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert to further discuss the feasibility.
The county government official during his visit also mentioned the county’s contract with MedStat ambulance service, which is coming up for renewal. MedStat officials have met with supervisors to discuss complaints about long wait times for ambulance service.
Flint said that of 500 calls to which MedStat’s ambulances had responded in the county, 300 had been within the city limits of Batesville.
“We’ve been carrying the whole load,” Flint said.
Flint invited the mayor and aldermen to a meeting that had been set up between supervisors and MedStat, but he said later that the meeting was postponed after a MedStat driver was killed Tuesday in an accident in Chickasaw County.

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