Batesville board hears about rising cost of water
By Myra Bean
The City of Batesville Board of Alderman had an extended meeting on Tuesday afternoon. In a special called meeting, City Engineer Blake Mendrop gave the city a reality check on the cost of running the sewer, city water and the wastewater treatment plant.
In essence, after all monies are collected and bills paid, only about $75,000 is left in reserves. Mendrop said a new pump replacement will wipe out the account. He gave the board graph scenarios of what the outlook would be with a five or 10 percent raise per year.
The board also spoke about raising the base rates but no action was taken.
In the regular board meeting, the board heard from various departments and organizations in the city.
Jay Johnson received permission to spread the ashes of Janet Ford at the Batesville Indian Mounds. The board agreed because Ford, an Ole Miss professor, helped see the park come to fruition and had a close relationship. Her ashes will be spread on the oxbow.
Margaret Eubanks with the Panola County Humane Society received permission to have the annual Racing for Paws 5K during the morning of Springfrest, May 19.
Colleen Clark with the Panola Partnership got the boards approval for their annual budget for Main Street and Springfest to be held May 18 and 19.
Roy Hyde with Batesville Civic Center got approval to extend the Boys and Girls Club the reduced fee for the annual Stake and Steak dinner.
Also, the board approved the contract for the elevator service to repair broken elevators at the BCC, even though the contract holds language that board attorney Colmon Mitchell objects to. The contract was approved as there are only a limited number of elevator service companies within a reasonable distance.
For the water department, Mike Ross received permission to extend water service to three homes outside of the city limits on Elbert Smith Road and Harmon Road.
Otis Shelton reported the chipper truck had to be hauled to Memphis for emergency repair. It needs a motor that costs $23,628.75. The board approved the cost for the seven-year-old truck.
The board also accepted the resignation of Edward Butler from the street department.
Pam Comer set public hearings for Mike Moore on a conditional use permit and the South Panola School District variance.
Clean-up hearings were set for two addresses on Panola Avenue and one on Field Street for March 6.
Chief Jimmy McCloud updated the board on a rash of burglaries in town from Saturday to Tuesday. The burglaries are happening from Holly Cove to Broad Street.
“Lock your cars,” McCloud advises the public. “Call if you see someone suspicious in the neighborhood.”
Fire Chief Tim Taylor reported they had received a Firewise Grant Approval for $2,000 which will help buy blowers and weed eaters.
After an executive session, the board announced new hires: four in fire department, two police, one in the street, and two in the litter department. One person was released from the street department.
Mayor Jerry Autrey cleared up some confusion about questions which arose from the Panola County Board of Supervisors regarding a school bus turnaround and hauling dirt to and from the Batesville Civic Center.
He said he thought he was helping the county by paying part of the dirt work. Also, the city cannot do work on private property.
The board meets again Tuesday, February 20 at City Hall.