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New police chief appointed

Hazlehurst Police Chief Byron Swilley

The Hazlehurst aldermen accepted the resignation of Police Chief Kendrick Mitchell during Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting. Mitchell was placed on administrative leave last week and Jeremy Thornton served as acting chief in the interim.

Investigator Byron Swilley was moved up to the chief’s slot on a 3-2 vote. Aldermen Shirley Sandifer and Frank Jones objected to the appointment on the grounds that another officer has seniority, having served on the force for 25 years.

Aldermen also accepted the resignations of officers Greg Davis and Derek Cubit.

A patrol car was involved in an accident on Highway 28 which sent an officer to the hospital on September 1. The aldermen asked the police department to keep them informed of such things, because they were not aware of the incident until they saw the repair bills on the claims docket.

Other city business handled Tuesday night included the hiring of Willie Reeves in the sewer department. The board also accepted the low quote of Donald Smith for $10,700 in water well improvements.

Quotes on a new generator for a water well were taken under advisement as water superintendent Lloyd Hilliard explained that the bids seemed too high compared to the city’s last generator purchase. The city bought a larger generator for less money last time, Hilliard explained.

The city currently has six wells and three generators. Hilliard advised that an additional generator should be considered in the future. In the event of a catastrophe, the city should have enough emergency power to generate water for the city, Hilliard explained, but not the city and Sanderson Farms. Sanderson Farms, the largest industrial water consumer in Hazlehurst is currently working on its own wells which are expected to come online in January.

Invoices for engineering services were authorized to be paid on a 4-1 vote with Frank Pickering voting no.

The Chamber of Commerce will hold the annual Christmas parade on Tuesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. The parade will follow the same route as last year, according to the permit approved by the aldermen. The board of aldermen will also meet that night.

Advertisement for city depository was authorized. The city advertises every two years for the keeping of city funds.

A transfer of $5,000 from the reserve to the parks department was approved.

The board authorized Timothy Lewis to offer a legal services membership to city employees, on the condition that the proposal be presented outside working hours.

The Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen regularly meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in City Hall. The December board meeting will be followed by the Christmas parade at 6:30.

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