The 2008 budget for the City of Water Valley was the topic of a short – very short – public hearing held before the regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen Tuesday night (September 4).
It took less than a minute for Mayor Bill Norris to open the hearing, ask if any members of the public wanted to ask questions, and then close the hearing since no members of the public were in attendance.
The budget will be discussed in detail by the Board at a called meeting scheduled for next Tuesday (September 11) at 8 a.m.
Other business at the regularly scheduled meeting included:
• The Board approved sending Police Chief Mike King to a fall conference for certification training.
• The Board approved sending Water Department Manager Morris Surrette to four days of certified flood plain manager training in Pearl.
• The date for the annual Water Valley Christmas Parade was approved for December 1 at 1:00 p.m. with a rain date of December 7.
• After hearing from City Attorney David Burns, the board approved hiring Deas Engineering of Starkville to consult with the Electric Department on an “as needed” basis.
“We’re not equipped to do engineering here so we are going to have to hire someone, “ said Electric Department Manager Joe Newman. The first project will be the north substation located on the south side of the former Water Valley Manufacturing Plant building on Central St.
“We’re going to have to repair that station,” Newman added. It currently serves all the businesses on the west side of Main Street from Young Street to Wise Street.
• The Board agreed to study a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the use of parks and recreation areas from dusk to dawn.
“The current ordinance speaks to it being unlawful to use the parks from 12 a.m. ’til 5, said Attorney Burns, “The only concern I would have about using that terminology is from an enforcement perspective. As to when is exactly dawn and when is exactly dusk. Literally you get into some gray areas.”
Although the proposed ordinance is aimed at reducing crime, the aldermen voiced concern for law abiding citizens who used the parks for tennis, walking and other forms of legitimate recreational activities.
• The Board heard from Water Department Manager Morris Surrette -again – about the tractor and side bush hog the board had already agreed to purchase.
Surrette explained that the tractor on state contract is unable to stand up to the pressure of having a side mounted bush hog. The vendor is now refusing to mount mowers on Kubota tractors. The next step up on state contract price is approximately $6200 more (about $82,000).
“What’s the next step down,” asked Alderman Sherry Martin.
“Swing blade,” commented Surrette.
The board voted to put the tractor and bush hog out for bids.
• The board paid City Attorney David Burns $2,131 for work done during the month of August.
• Alderman Lance Clements presented an item not on the agenda regarding the tennis courts under construction at the sports complex.
He read a letter from Cal-Mar Construction Company of Jackson stating that since the plans and specs on the placement of the fence is not clearly shown we are planning on placing it outside the slab, butted up to the slab.
Clements made a motion to accept their recommendation since it reduces future maintenance. The board agreed.
• The board voted to go into executive session to discuss “personnel matters, prospective real estate transactions, and prospective litigation.” Alderman Fred White, who had been absent, joined the board in time for the executive session.