Sardis cracks down on neglected property

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2019

By Myra Bean

The Town of Sardis Mayor and Board of Aldermen discussed about 10 properties in various stages of disrepair in public hearings before the board meeting last Tuesday evening.

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Earl Jones, 310 Center Street, Sardis, said he works two jobs and is out of town a lot. Neighbors are throwing beer bottles and other debris in his yard. He said he is cutting the grass and is preparing to build on the property. The neighbors were burning trash on the property, too, he said.

The property at 414 Melrose, Sardis, does not have a house and the property is clean now, according to Public Works Director Quinn West. There was a question of whether this was the correct address.

The property at 416 Pearl Street, Sardis, has no water or city services. The house is in a state of disrepair, according to West. He said the roof is not keeping water out.

At Mike Fudge’s 208 W. Lee Street property  no city services are being paid for. There has not been water at the house for years. Tenants are there but fixing up the house in lieu of paying rent. The house is in a state of disrepair.

The tenant came to the board meeting late and said she is slowly fixing it up. All the pipes have to changed out. The board said they have two weeks to bring the house up to code by the next board meeting July 16. Code Enforcement officer John McCollum will also inspect the property.

The two Panola Habitat properties at Lincoln Street, will be cleaned by the city and the costs charged to the tax roll.

The Pearl Street property belonging to Eyad Y. Adieh will be cleaned by the city and charged to taxes.

Gloria Lee, 302 Carruthers Street, came to the meeting late but the board had already decided to turn it over to the Fire Department to practice and train. Lee said she was going to clean up the house and get it ready for someone to move into it. The board rescinded its earlier motion and will not allow the house to be burned at this time.

West said the 610 Wilson Street property owned by Ed Nelson should be condemned. The vacant house is dilapidated and the yard overgrown. He has not been able to contact the owners. The board will send the building inspector to see what needs to be done to the property. It cannot be burned because there are other structures close to it.

The board gave Fannie Lewis, 612 Wilson Street two weeks to make headway on her property. The owners told West they are talking about fixing up the property and said the family will be in town soon to work and repair the house so someone can live there.

Claims Docket

The board approved the claims docket for $281,090.50.

Lake Inn

Building inspector John McCollum brought the Lake Inn demolition contractor to the meeting. He confirmed they are tearing down the extension of the Lake Inn the board demanded.

He asked for an additional 90 days in order to finish tearing it down. The board voted 4-1 to allow the extension with Alderman-at-Large Michael Price voting no.

The board voted 4-0-1 with Alderman JoJo Still abstaining to change insurance agents. The boar selected Andrew Nowlin of Affordable Employee Benefits to represent the city’s interests in health, dental, vision and life insurance.

He said with the plan they have now the employees will go from a $2,000 out-of-pocket cost to $1,000 deductible.

Nowlin said he can save the city up to $38,000.


The board voted to accept the Double S bid of $94,000 for the DRA Edwin Circle Project. The grant is a $100,000 grant with a 10 percent match of the city. To pay that match, the board voted to move $10,000 from the water department.

Old Sardis Building

The Old Sardis High School Building on McLaurin came under discussion. The board decided to make a committee of board members to meet with the North Panola School District Board to discuss and decide what to do with the building whose roof has fallen in.

Housing Authority Board Appointment

The board agreed to reappoint Rosaline Wallace to the Board of Commissioners with her term to expire 2024. Shamekia Lowe was appointed to fill out the term of Barbara Miller who died in March 2019. Lowe’s term will end June 3, 2022.

Mayor Lula Palmer

In the Mayor’s report, Palmer reminded the board of House bill (HB 991) which passed for local debt collection. They will be able to collect income taxes on court fines, utility bills and other city fines from the tax returns. The Mississippi Municipal League will help train the city clerk.

In Senate Bill (SB 2835) all full-time firefighters with 10 or more years will have to be covered under the city’s insurance whether paid or volunteer. It will take effect July 1, 2021.

Senate bill (SB 203) said any candidate is required to be a resident in the district, city, town or area in which he/she will run for the two years prior. It is set to take effect January 2020.

The city received a quote to repair the ball field on Highway 51 of $18,000 to $20,000 if all repairs are done. Other quotes are leaving the post and just running fence is $6,750, not including dugouts and backstop. The backstop is $2,500, 20-foot gate is $1,200, fence to protect people in the stands is $1,9000 for a total of $12,350.

Flea Market

The Mayor reported a good turn out for the Farmers Market. They have had 11 vendors the last time. They are looking to get a concrete step up into the pavilion. Many disabled and older people cannot step up on the pavilion and may get hurt.

Privilege Licenses

The Mayor announced they issued six privilege licenses last month to:

  • ● Cooper Express (chicken), 411 East Lee Street, in the former Fred’s shopping center;
  • ● Grace for Today Adult Center, 203 South Main;
  • ● Trucking Company, 329 E. Lee St.;
  • ● Event Center, 329 East Lee in the old Liberty Building; and
  • ● Southern Dazzle Boutique (clothing) 11 S. Main Street.