Como Board hears from combative business owner

Published 4:23 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

By Myra Bean

The Town of Como Board of Aldermen is serious about the aesthetic look of Como.

Jerry Cummins appeared before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen in answer to letter he received about trucks parked on his property.

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In September he received permission from the board to open an appliance store at 104 Highway 51 South, Como, but not store mobile homes on the five-acre property. At the time, Cummins assured the board that all of his merchandise would fit in the building.

At Tuesday’s meeting, he told the board that his surplus merchandise is stored in trucks outside the store.

Alderwoman Ruby Higgenbottom pushed for him to build a fence to hide the trucks but the rest of the board was adamant he follow the dictates of the letter to clean up the property.

Attorney Ravonda Griffin told Cummins his license said to sell appliances not store.

Cummins was arguing that his trucks were tagged and insured, but the board would not be moved. Those in attendance could feel the combative atmosphere that exists between the board and Cummins over this issue. Neither one was willing to budge even after Cummins said someone had tried to break into one of his trucks. He did not report the incident and Como police chief Earl Burdette took exception and said he was insulted Cummins did not report a possible burglary.

In other business, the Como Board gave Marilyn Wilbourn permission to open Caring Automotives, a quality used car dealership. She and co-owner Rosalyn Hicks plan to open the first of the year at 196 Highway 51 North, Como, next to the car wash.

They want to sell reliable transportation.  “Although the industry is highly competitive, we believe there is a place for affordable and quality used cars here in Como,” Wilbourn said.

• R&M Snack Shop, 202 Hwy 51 North, Como, changed owners. Rachel Powell took over ownership from Sherry Boyce.

Powell approached the board for permission to seek a privilege license. She also said the building does not have a water supply. She has been trying to get someone there to turn on the water.

Powell was told Supervisor James Birge will get there as soon as possible.

City Clerk Alice Houston explained that they thought no one was going to move up there and Birge tapped off the water lines. Houston said Birge told her when they built the Dollar General they killed some of those lines, so now he has to go find the lines.

Birge said he was going to get to the job this week. Powell is impatient since she approached City Hall about the change Dec. 7.

Houston was asked to call Birge again Tuesday but she said he will get there this week. It had rained last week and delayed him.

• Aaron Coleman was told he could put a 16×10 metal shed on his property and it would not violate any codes.

•Fire Department news, Coleman said they sold 85 Boston butts during their fund raiser. This month the fire department responded to four motor vehicle accidents, four fires and four emergency medical calls. They are hosting an ongoing food drive to support a few families in the community.

•Burdette asked for an executive session to discuss personnel but no action was taken during the session.

•Annie Perry-Smith presented a poster to be held in City Hall for the Como Mayoral Health Council. The health council is a partner in the Congressional Health Network, which provides organization that will give free blood pressure checks at special projects.

•Engineer David Long gave an update on the ongoing wastewater sewer project that has been in the works for two years. They are waiting on grant approval from the USDA for the $4.8 million project. The board hopes for the 75 percent grant. The Delta Regional Authority has already approved the $450,000 matching grant to pay part of what the USDA will not pay.

Mayor Everett Hill is also looking at apply for a CDBG grant to take care of the rest of the project.

•The board approved the claim docket of $60,285.48 in which $30,000 was the once-a-year liability insurance payment.