The Eupora Board of Aldermen considered various requests from the Police Department during its regular monthly meeting on Jan. 3.
The board tabled a request to purchase a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Special Service Vehicle with patrol upfit package at the state contract price of $54,925. Aldermen directed Police Chief Lawrence Caradine to see if he can find a vehicle for the budgeted amount of $36,495.
Also tabled was a request to authorize formal titles for Police Department staff. After discussing pay rates in association with titles, the board directed Caradine to get with City Clerk Gail Newton to determine the total impact on the department’s budget.
Aldermen did approve other requests from the department, one being to declare a 2011 Dodge Charger surplus property and auction to the highest bidder on govdeals.com, and put that money toward the purchase of a new vehicle.
Also authorized was the purchase of eight body cameras at an estimated cost of $4,800. This was requested because the existing cameras have been failing, according to the discussion.
Mobile home request
Arneshia Coffey of Maben again approached the board concerning a mobile home she and her fiancé purchased and want to place on a parcel of land located at 1247 Adams Ave., which is in an R-1 residential zone. Mobile homes are not allowed inside the city limits except in designated areas.
Coffey first appeared before the board on Dec. 19, when she was told she could fill out a special exemption application and follow that procedure.
On Jan. 3, she presented a petition signed by people in the Adams Avenue neighborhood who she said were OK with her moving a mobile home in, and she asked the city to approve her application. Mayor Blake McMullan told her he would give her application to the code enforcement officer (Public Works Director Odie Avery) and asked her to call City Hall the next morning for its status. He also said her request may require a public hearing.
Two items were approved under board business. One was to accept a $4,500 check from Eupora Economic Development that was funded through the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund to be used for the Parks and Recreation Department.
The other was approval for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration to use Whites Creek Lake and the Volunteer Fire Department to set off a fireworks display the evening of Jan. 16. James Townsend, chairman of the MLK Webster County Planning Committee, thanked aldermen for their support of the local MLK Day endeavor.
The board authorized the addition of Tanisha Hankins to the Eupora Volunteer Fire Department roster. This was tabled from Dec. 19 to allow the city attorney to research the nepotism law.
Also on Jan. 3, the board authorized the city clerk to add privilege license software and tracking capabilities to the city’s financial reporting software (AccuFund) at a cost not to exceed $4,820.
During Board of Aldermen comments, Billy Tabb of Ward 2 talked about the need for shading at Gary Park for people watching games. This was noted by the Public Works Department as it oversees the Parks and Recreation Department.
Robert Gibbs (Ward 4) was absent; the board recessed until Jan. 17.
Economic development discussed Dec. 19
In addition to previously reported business from a recessed meeting on Dec. 19, those minutes show the board authorized Keith Green of the Eupora Volunteer Fire Department to attend an EMR certification class on Jan. 9 at a cost of $195 to receive his recertification.
The board also voted to add Bryan Sisk to the EVFD roster. Jerry Gary (at-large), whose son is fire chief, abstained on all Fire Department motions.
Aldermen met in executive session for the purpose of economic development. No board action was taken. The minutes do not indicate who remained in the boardroom with the mayor and aldermen. However, they do reflect that those present for the meeting included Chad Winter, Roger Hanshaw and Conrad Lucas.
Winter is executive director of the Webster County Economic Development District. He previously said that Lucas, who has met at least twice in executive session with the Webster County Board of Supervisors to discuss economic development, is a representative of an industrial prospect.
Lucas and Hanshaw are identified on bizapedia.com as contacts for Craft House Foods LLC of Wallback, West Virginia — Lucas as a member and Hanshaw as a member/organizer. Last fall, the city and county boards entered into a nondisclosure agreement with the company, along with the Mississippi Development Authority and North Mississippi Industrial Development Association.
As previously reported, the agreement states the company and local parties have agreed to enter into an NDA for the exploration, development and potential operation of one or more facilities on a site identified as the “Eupora Property.” It is effective for one year.
The Board of Supervisors also met in executive session on Dec. 19 discuss economic development with no action taken.