Two orders regarding proposed water system improvements in Eupora’s West Industrial Park have been approved by city leaders.
The Eupora Board of Aldermen adopted the resolutions Dec. 3 at the request of George Crawford with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District.
One authorized the GTPDD to prepare and submit an Appalachian Regional Commission grant application on behalf of the city for water system improvements in West Industrial Park. Funds are available under the 2018 ARC Southern Automotive Aviation Workforce program.
The other resolution authorizes the city to commit local funding of at least 30 percent of the total cost of that project, contingent upon approval of the grant application by ARC.
The West Industrial Park project is connected to the city’s proposed water system improvement project. That $3.733 million project will include a new well, 200,000-gallon elevated tank, new-source waterline from Tomnolen, LaGrange pump station improvements and waterline improvements.
Aldermen voted in September to file an application with the Mississippi Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvement Board for funding to complete the project. The board also adopted a USDA loan resolution for the citywide project in November.
Also upon Crawford’s request, the board authorized Mayor Lamar Dumas to sign a letter to the Mississippi Home Program/Mississippi Home Corp. regarding Eupora’s HOME project.
The letter states, in part, that the city proposes to replace (reconstruct) four existing houses within the city limits by using the same footprints that each structure was originally built on. The letter adds that the proposed project will have no adverse environmental impact and will benefit four low- to moderate-income families in Eupora.
Following a 10-minute executive session to discuss Water Department personnel, the board voted to hire Donald Newton as a water maintenance worker and Scott Cooper as a water operator based on his water certification.
The motion stipulated that they must pass pre-employment drug screening and physicals. Their pay will be increased 50 cents an hour after the standard 90-day probationary period. The city had advertised for the position of water operator following the resignation of Jeffrey Givens from the Water Department effective Nov. 15.
Howard Rumore (Ward 2) said the boat-launching ramp at Whites Creek Lake is cracked all the way across about halfway down.
The board agreed to inform the public via newspaper notice that the Water Department will be lowering the lake over the winter to fully expose the ramp to make needed repairs (see related article in this issue). Repair estimates will be obtained and brought before the board later.
Other action taken by the board Dec. 3:
• Voted to appraise a 0.16-acre parcel of city property on Westwood Drive and table until the next meeting a request from Calvin Robinson to buy it. Robinson owns adjoining land.
• Voted to support the ACT Work Ready Communities effort by recognizing the National Career Readiness Certificate (also known as WorkKeys). This was done at the request of Lara Bowman of The Enterprise in conjunction with a workforce training grant awarded Webster and three other counties by ARC.
• Approved a resolution urging the state Legislature to pass legislation in the 2019 session that will allow electric power associations to provide high-speed internet service to their members. Mississippi law currently restricts EPAs to providing electric service alone.
• Voted to purchase two city flags to be flown at Eupora Elementary School and Eupora High School, with funds to come out of economic development.
• Authorized the Street Department to clean curbs, gutters and sidewalks of grass along Highway 9/Veterans Memorial Boulevard from the Whites Creek bridge to the U.S. 82 bypass.
• Authorized Public Works Director Mike McCain to buy two “No Trucks” signs for the parking lot behind the city-owned Tilsatec building. The parking lot is on the south side of East Fox Avenue.
• Voted to allow Vickey Patterson to work extra hours up to four weeks at the same rate of pay at City Hall. The board did so because of a temporary staffing shortage resulting from the city clerk and deputy city clerk being on leave.
Patterson was hired in June to work part time (up to 20 hours a week) at City Hall through an agreement with the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which has been paying her wages. The city will pick up the extra hours for her because of the situation, with the extra wages to come out of the Water Department.
Street Superintendent Will Gary told the board that citizens are doing a great job in bagging leaves from their yards.
He asked that they continue bagging their leaves until further notice and “we will pick them up.”