Aldermen consider aid for disaster relief group

By NIKKI SMITH,

Tornado recovery is ongoing in both Petal and Hattiesburg. A group with Mennonite Disaster Relief is looking to spend a little less than a year helping out in the area.

The group put in a request for the City of Petal Board of Aldermen to vote on at a regular meeting of the board on Tuesday.

The request was for the city to allow the placement of RVs and Campers on the Holy Baptist Temple of Faith Church property from October 2017 through May 2018 during tornado repairs in Petal and Hattiesburg.

The board was concerned about the number of campers, as space in the area is limited. However, they voted to approve a motion to check out the property and see how much space is available and approve that number of campers and RVs in the lot.

Concerns mostly centered around having enough sewer and water hookups to accommodate the group’s needs.

The group plans to build approximately 20 to 30 homes in the Pine Belt as a part of disaster relief following the January tornado.

Director of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce Valerie Wilson said the city is fortunate to have the group help out.

“These are master craftsmen coming to help rebuild both of our cities,” she said.

Brian Harris stood before the board during public comment to discuss handicap accessibility in the city.

“It is not a safe situation,” Harris said.

He said it is difficult for those in chairs to maneuver through the city, because to get around in some places requires going into the street.

“Something needs to be done,” he said. “Should have been done 27 years ago.

Mayor Hal Marx said that all of the sidewalks were in place before ADA, so that will require the city to look at changes and address the issues.

“We definitely want to do the right thing,” Marx said. “We will bring the city engineer in to look at that and address those problems.”

Wilson introduced the new Director of Veteran Activities at the Center for Seniors and Veterans Patricia Thompson.

Thompson took the time to introduce herself and discuss her plans for helping veterans in the area. See PN1 for more information about Thompson and her new position.

 

In other action, the board:

• Approved the minutes for the public hearing and the regular meeting of Aug. 1;

• Adopted resolutions regarding property cleanup hearings;

• Adopted a resolution naming representatives authorized to purchase from Mississippi Office of Surplus Property;

• Tabled a request to donate to Petal High School soccer;

• Accepted the Revenue and Expenditure report for June 2017;

• Accepted the resignation of Nick Hopkins in the Fire Department effective Aug. 5;

• Approved a request to pay Estimate No. 7 to Warren Paving in the amount of $8,804.97 for 2016 Street Rehab;

• Approved a request to add Appendix R to the Fire Department SOP/SOG;

• Approved a request to destroy two Motorola XTS 1400 Radios in the Police Department;

• Accepted the Privilege License report for July 2017;

• Approved a request to set a zoning hearing date of Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. for property located at 503 S. Main St.;

• Approved a request to renew lease agreement with the 3D School for property located on S. George St.;

• Approved a request for Wayne Bounds to attend First Line Supervisor Training in Gulport on Nov. 27 at a total cost of $325;

• Approved a request for Orrin Thomas to attend PPCT Instructor Training in Yazoo City on Sept. 11-14 at a total cost of $1,070;

• Approved a request for Jonathon Walley to attend Basic Firefighter School on Sept. 25 through Nov. 9 at a total cost of $836;

• Approved a request for the following to attend Drug Interdiction Technique Class in Gulfport on Aug. 25 at no cost: Wayne Bounds, Josh Crawford, Jeremy Brown and Phillip Humphrey;

• Approved a request to adopt order hiring Jacob Hiatt full time in the Water Dept at a rate of $10.00 per hour effective 8/16/17. (K Bullock)

• Approved a request to adopt an order hiring Jared Holmes full time in the Water Department at a rate of $10 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approved a request to adopt order increasing the rate of pay for Employee #11988 to $12.00 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approved a request to adopt order increasing the rate of pay for Employee #12000 to $12.00 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approved a request to adopt order increasing the rate of pay for Employee #12029 to $10.50 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approved a request to adopt order increasing the rate of pay for Employee #7830 to $11.00 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approved a request to adopt order increasing the rate of pay for Employee #11559 to $12.00 per hour effective Aug. 16;

• Approve a request to accept the Certificate of Attendance for Michelle Strebeck.