12Net narcotics task force reformed after changes

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The 12th Circuit Court District’s narcotics task force has been re-formed and the Hattiesburg Police Department’s role in the five-entity group was approved by the City Council during its meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

The narcotics task force, called “12NET,” comprises the 12th Circuit Court District Attorney’s Office, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office and the Hattiesburg Police Department. The Forrest County Board of Supervisors and the Hattiesburg City Council also are a part of the task force operations.

The Hattiesburg Police Department had been part of an earlier narcotics task force that included Forrest County, Petal and Perry River County. However, it was disbanded.

When Ward 4 Alderwoman Mary Dryden said she was glad to see the team reinstated, Mayor Toby Barker said the situation is different.

“This formalizes an already existing partnership between us and the county on controlled substances,” he said.

Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker said the combined effort is beneficial for the city.

“You might be familiar with it as the Metro Unit,” he said. “It provides a coordinated effort between Forrest County and the City of Hattiesburg to combat the problems with controlled substances in this area. It’s cost-saving for us to combine our resources to try to get a handle on drugs within our city. I think it’s a win-win for both of our agencies and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

In other action during Tuesday meeting, the City Council:

•          Unanimously approved Minutes for the Sept. 5, 7, and 14 City Council meetings.

•          Voted 3-2 to table for two weeks the petition filed by Don Brewster, Owner, for the removal of a grouping of trees at 503 S. 22nd Ave. Hattiesburg Historic Conservation Commission voted to approve on Aug. 9, provided that only two of the requested trees are removed. Voting for tabling the petition were Dryden, President Carter Carroll of Ward 3 and Ward 1 Councilman Jeffrey George. Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado – who made a motion to support the petition – and Ward 5 Councilman Nicholas Brown voted against the motion.

•          Unanimously adopted Resolution approving and authorizing payment of $50,000 to the Industrial Park Commission, as the City's portion of cost to assist the Commission's acquisition of a 10-acre parcel of privately owned real property within the Industrial Park, along the west side of Runnels Industrial Drive, adjacent to Sofidel America Corporation.

•          Voted 3-0 with one abstention to adopt a Resolution authorizing Requisition No. 10 from the Project Fund Construction Account in connection with a certain loan agreement, dated Aug. 18, 2016, by and between the Mississippi Development Bank and the City of Hattiesburg. George, Carroll and Brown voted for the motion, Delgado abstained and Dryden recused herself.

•          Unanimously authorized Mayor to execute agreement between the City of Hattiesburg and Southern Pines Animal Shelter for the housing and shelter of stray and unwanted animals picked up by the City of Hattiesburg, beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2018.

•          Unanimously authorized Mayor to execute an agreement for application hosting and technology systems and services between Conduent Government Systems, LLC and Hattiesburg Fire Department.

•          Unanimously approved a Supplemental Agreement No. 1 with C.B. Developers, Inc. for the Lake Forgetful Road Project, increasing the total contract amount $12,344.83; Authorized Mayor to execute.

•          Voted 3-0 with one abstention to acknowledge receipt of Permanent Utility Easement from Elvin Ray Jackson and Lynda Jackson for part of Lots 3 and 4 of Block 'A' of Richburg Heights Subdivision in Forrest County for the COMSWIP Sewer Phase V project. George, Carroll and Brown voted for the motion, Delgado abstained and Dryden recused herself.

•          Voted 3-0 with one abstention to acknowledge receipt of Permanent Utility Easement from Victoria J. Buckalew and Christopher A. Buckalew for part of Lot 6 of Block 'A' of Richburg Heights Subdivision in Forrest County for the COMSWIP Sewer Phase V project. George, Carroll and Brown voted for the motion, Delgado abstained and Dryden recused herself.

•          Unanimously acknowledged the submission of grant application to Federal Transit Administration and execution of contract for the Preventive Maintenance, Operations and Capital Assistance for Hub City Transit for

$1,958,358 ($1,147,342 FTA Section 5307 federal funds and $811,016 local match). This application's funding is for 10/1/2016-9/30/2019.

•          Unanimously acknowledged the submission of grant application to Federal Transit Administration for the Operating Assistance, Capital Assistance (Preventive Maintenance) and Construction of Hub City Administrative/Maintenance Facility for Hub City Transit for $794,769 ($487,971 FTA Section 5307 federal funds and $306,798 local match). This application's funding is for 10/1/2017-9/30/2019. This grant application applies for the remainder of the FTA Section 5307 FY16 and FY17 funds.

•          Unanimously approved to reclassify one vacant Driver position in Mass Transit to a Mechanic position.

•          Unanimously designated the Southern Pines Animal Shelter's 65th Anniversary Party, to be held Sunday, Oct. 8, in Town Square Park, as a City-approved event for the purposes described in Ordinance No. 3148.

•          Unanimously authorized Mayor to execute yearly maintenance agreements with Forerunner Technologies, Inc., for City Hall, Police and Fire Training Academy and Train Depot at a total of $3,996.00.

•          Unanimously approved and authorized issuance of manual checks for CDBG Program Claims to Hollimon Construction for 708 Mamie St. and 610 Cypress Ave.

•          Unanimously approved the city's purchase of grave spaces in Highland Cemetery and recorded in Minute Book 1998-2/327; authorized manual check for the same for $350 to Luther G. Jones.

•          Unanimously acknowledged receipt of the audit for Pine Belt Regional Solid Waste Management Authority for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2016 and June 30, 2017 from Topp Mcworther Harvey, PLLC (on file in the City Clerk's Office).

•          Unanimously acknowledged receipt of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for Pine Belt Regional Solid Waste Management Authority.

•          Unanimously approved claims docket for the period ending Sept. 30.

•          Unanimously authorized Mayor to execute Professionals Services Agreement with Neel-Schaffer, Inc for all requested services related to the Timberton Softball Complex.

•          Unanimously approved agreement between the City of Hattiesburg and 14th Colony Lamar MS, LLC (Business) for the City to accept and treat Domestic Wastewater flow; Authorized Mayor to execute said agreement.

•          Unanimously acknowledged the submission of grant application to Federal Transit Administration and execution of contract for the Construction of Hub City Transit Administrative/Maintenance Facility in the amount of $469,951 ($375,961 FTA Section 5307 federal funds and $93,990 local match). This application's funding is for 07/10/2017-09/30/2019.

•          Unanimously acknowledged the submission of grant application to Federal Transit Administration and execution of contract for the amendment to grant application FY2015 Hattiesburg Transit Facility Renovation and Upgrade in the amount of $915,158 ($732,126 in FTA Section 5339 Federal Funds and $183,032 local match). The amendment is for the reconstruction of the Hub City Transit Administrative/Maintenance Facility, as the original grant was for renovation of the Facility. The original grant was for a total of $615,566.25 ($492,435.00 in FTA Section 5339 Federal Funds and $123,113.25 local match). The new grant is for $299,592 ($239,673 in FTA Section 5339 Federal Funds and $59,919 local match), bringing the new total up to $915,158 ($732,126 in FTA Section 5339 Federal Funds and $183,032 local match).

•          Unanimously designated the first Field Family Fest, a live music festival to be held from noon-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27 at Chain Park as a city-approved event for the purposes described in Ordinance No. 3148. The event will feature four to six bands and four to six individual performers and is presented by Open Mind Entertainment, LLC, a Hattiesburg music and arts collective.

•          Unanimously authorized suspension of all City of Hattiesburg permitting fees through Dec. 31, 2017 for anyone affected by the 1/21/2017 tornado.

•          Unanimously approved agreement between the City of Hattiesburg and 14th Colony Lamar MS, LLC (Business) for the City to accept and treat Domestic

 Wastewater flow; Authorized Mayor to execute said agreement.

The next meeting of the Hattiesburg City Council will be at 5 p.m. Oct. 17. The agenda-setting meeting will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 16.