Eupora Mayor Lamar Dumas says it’s important for the city to have an accurate population count during the 2020 U.S. Census.
Addressing the Board of Aldermen on Aug. 5, he pointed out that Eupora barely meets the requirements of a city with a population of 2,175 as recorded in the last census.
“It’s vitally important that everyone be counted in our city,” he said.
Hugh Gibson (Ward 3) said, “We have to do whatever we can (before the census) to get everyone counted.” The city had an undercount of between 300-400 people in the 2010 census, according to the alderman.
Gov. Phil Bryant announced and signed an executive order on Aug. 7 for the creation of the Complete Count Committee aimed at increasing the number of Mississippians counted in the upcoming census. Giles Ward of Louisville will chair the committee, which will comprise local and state officials in addition to subcommittees with representatives based in communities all over the state.
Dumas said he would try to have the census representative for this area at the board’s next regular meeting. The date for responses to the 2020 census is April 1.
Kathryn Allman, Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition project director for Choctaw, Montgomery and Webster Counties, again appeared before the board on Aug. 5. She first addressed aldermen three months ago about adopting a comprehensive smoke-free/vape-free ordinance prohibiting tobacco smoking in the workplace and in public places. No action was taken either time.
Allman cited studies showing the dangers of second-hand smoke and left a model ordinance that nearly 160 towns in Mississippi have already passed. If it adopts the ordinance, Eupora will become eligible to apply for a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation "Healthy Hometown” grant for up to $50,000.
In an item tabled from July, Eddie H. Allen appeared back before the board concerning his request to place at least one speed bump on Hill Street because of the danger to children from speeding motorists. After hearing Allen’s request last month, the board directed Hunter to do an assessment and report back at the August meeting.
During a special-called meeting on July 29, minutes show the board voted to place “No Parking” signs on Hill Street. Last week, Hunter recommended one speed bump be installed midway on the dead-end street. The board authorized the Street Department to do so.
In other business Aug. 5, the board voted to give Tilsatec a flat rate each month on its sewer charges to offset the cost of high water usage stemming from an air-conditioning system issue.
Dumas recommended that the board adopt a saggy pants ordinance with first-time offenders being given a warning, second-time offenders fined $50 and third-time offenders fined $100. His proposal will be put in ordinance form and a public hearing will be required before adoption.
The board voted to amend a Nov. 5 motion to adopt a USDA Loan Resolution for the city’s proposed water system improvement project. The board, as recommended by City Engineer Stanley Spradling, voted to substitute the original resolution with an amended one that authorized the city to proceed with its state revolving fund application (Drinking Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund).
The board voted in September to apply to the Local Governments and Rural Water Systems Improvement Board for funding to complete the project because Spradling said he did not think the city would qualify for the USDA loan.
Upon a recommendation and motion by Gibson, the board voted for the city to send letters extending sympathy to the mayors of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, where mass shootings occurred Aug. 3 and 4. At a Walmart in El Paso, 22 people were killed and at least 24 wounded. At the shooting in Dayton, nine people were killed and 27 injured.
The board approved Fire Chief Mitch Jackson’s recommendation to add Wyatt Logan to the volunteer fire department roster.
Public Works Director Mike McCain said rental house inspections were a protracted process because some owners were slow to comply with all requirements of the city’s new Rental Inspection Ordinance. The city will not provide water service for rental housing until necessary corrections are made following inspection.
During a special-called meeting Friday afternoon, aldermen set September’s board meeting date for 6 p.m. Sept. 3, the Tuesday after Labor Day. They also set a public hearing on the 2019-20 budget and tax millage for 5:15 p.m. Sept. 4.
Another public hearing will be this Friday at 10 a.m. at City Hall, when proposals for legal services in connection with the 2016 HOME Grant will be opened. The grant will be used to reconstruct/rehabilitate four deteriorated houses in Eupora.