Hazlehurst seeks new fire chief

The City of Hazlehurst is currently advertising for a new fire chief and two full time fire fighters.

The board of aldermen voted to terminate the current fire chief Chris Pendleton and appoint an interim during the regular April meeting. Alderman Shirley Sandifer voted against the terminatio and Alderman Frank Jones abstained from the vote. The original version of the motion was to allow Pendleton the opportunity to resign by Friday of last week, which he did, according to the city clerk.

In other matters the city heard a presentation from Betty Jo Henagan of Living Independence For Everyone of Mississippi, a nonprofit agency in McComb serving 13 counties, including Copiah. The agency offers training on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Henagan told the board. LIFE also provides help for people with disabilities so they can live independently.

A variance was approved for the corner of Georgetown and Conway to allow a building to be placed closer to the property line.

City employees will receive raises of $100, with department heads receiving $200.

Albert Murray requested a center for the senior citizens of Hazlehurst. Evelyn Peavey, program coordinator of the Smart Aging Healthy Futures program at Co-Lin reported that over 70 seniors and 50 service providers from Copiah and Lincoln counties attended the program which gave seniors in rural areas an opportunity to voice their needs. Their top priority was for a senior center. Almost 25% of Copiah County’s population are seniors. Aldermen agreed that a senior center is needed, as well as a youth center.

Mayor Henry Banks informed the board that the city is about $70,000 short on funds for the Home grant project. The options are to change the floor plans and rebid, to ask the homeowners to come up with the difference, or to allow the administrator and mayor to negotiate a decrease with the winning bidders. The aldermen authorized the mayor and administrator to negotiate with the contractors to bring the project within the budget.

The Monticello Street railroad crossing will be named “Alicia’s Crossing,” in memory of Alicia Vincent who was killed there. Aldermen Sandifer suggested that the county be requested to make a sign with ten stars representing the others killed at the crossing.

 The board agreed to sell a small piece of property, less than a tenth of an acre, to a citizen with adjacent property who has maintained the property for years.

A public hearing will be held at the May meeting on property cleanup of the two burned houses on East Gallatin Street.

Justin Boyd was hired in the water department.

Sewer line repairs were authorized with Greenbriar low bidder at $9,800.

A test hole for a new well will be made at one of the six spots laid out by the engineers in a previous study.

The Hazlehurst aldermen regularly meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

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