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New Street to remain closed in Wesson

By Joe Buck Coates

During last Tuesday’s regular monthly board meeting, Wesson aldermen took action to keep a street closed that currently isn’t a street but is part of the original town plat, and therefore the town’s property.

New Street, which would be located off of West Street, was voted to be opened by the aldermen in March, so that a local developer could begin building houses on his property on one side of it. The property owner was told Tuesday, however, that the street could not be opened because it the town deemed that it would be used only as a private drive. Because it is municipal property, it must be of benefit to the entire public, Mayor Alton Shaw told the property owner and several area residents, and should remain closed.

After about 30 minutes of discussion between the property owner and the board about the town’s reason to repeal their earlier motion, the board voted 5-0 to keep New Street closed.

In other matters, the board retired into an executive session to discuss personnel matters in the police department. Mayor Shaw announced no action had been taken on the matter, but that the board–in a separate discussion–had accepted the resignation of part-time officer Jason Gaskin.

The board also heard from Bob McCreary of Keep Copiah County Beautiful who asked the town to provide a dumpster beside the fire department for the annual Spring Clean Up on Saturday, April 12. His request was granted, as the board voted as such. The board voiced support for McCreary and KCCB and their importance to the high quality of life in Wesson.

Shaw also reported that the town had received a grant from Homeland Security for $17,888 to purchase a multi-use vehicle to transport people and equipment during times of emergency. With it, the board authorized the purchase of a new Chevrolet Trailblazer at cost of $18,267–a difference of $379 which was covered by the town. Shaw said that he will see to it that a policy manual outlining who gets to use the vehicle for town business on a day-to-day basis is developed, since each department will be able to utilize it.

The board also voted to accept the Downtown Overlay District as recommended by the Zoning Committee. The plan gives the town the ability to allow or disallow certain types of businesses in the district relative to the district’s business outline. On a related matter, Shaw told the board that an order to allow the town to purchase the area between the railroad tracks and the Dollar General parking lot had been signed. The town plans to clean up the area and turn it into a public street.

Wesson’s public works director Mark Brown reported that Wesson’s water had been selected as best in the state at the Mississippi Rural Water Association’s annual convention in Jackson in March. The board told Brown that they appreciated his efforts and those of his staff in helping bring such notoriety to the town. A more-detailed story about Wesson’s award appears elsewhere in this issue.

The board tabled discussion on building a new road to the town’s lagoon until April 17, when a public meeting will be held to discuss the town’s cable television contract with Bailey Cable. One other matter that was tabled until the May 6 meeting concerns the town’s contract with the Delkin Group.

Other routine matters were handled, the bills were authorized to be paid and the board recessed until April 17 at 7 o’clock in the evening for the public meeting with Bailey Cable.

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