City approves cable permit

By Bonnie L. Jackson
News Editor
The Board of Aldermen  conducted the city business meeting on Tuesday, March 6th which included fiber optic cable permit, home health initiative and beautification of the city
Fiber Optic Cable
Gary Hutson, a representative of the company SDT, received approval from the board to lay fiber optic cable throughout the city of Hazlehurst.
SDT will use directional boring to lay the cable.  The cable system will be placed in and around Vardaman Street on Highway 51 North to the BFW tower on Highway 51. It will pick up at City Hall and run on to Conway and Hall Streets at the AT&T building to the bus barn. For South Hazlehurst, the area will include Hazlehurst High School to Monticello Street at the middle school.  
According to Hutson, the program is funded by an initiative in President Obama’s stimulus package.  “This is the backbone of the program. At some point there will be  funding for the connecting with the high speed internet,” explained Hutson.
Home Health
Rosalind Yaber, Healthy Homes Mississippi, informed the board of a new program being launched in Copiah County.  According to Yaber, the program is a comprehensive home visiting support program for pregnant mothers and families with at least one child younger than three months old.
The program will provide the mother anch child with the necessary resources to raise a healthe child.
Beautification Projects
The board has several properties throughout the city that they are working  with owners to promote clean up.  Each property is in a different stage of progress.
The owner of the property on 255 State Street has been contacted by certified letter, but failed to respond. The street department was given the authority to clean up the property.
There will be a hearing held on the property located at 331 Georgetown to determine the status of the property.  
A request was made to develop a list of all abandoned and or boarded-up homes in the city according to ward. The list would be given to the aldermen.
Clarifier Project
Mayor Banks was given the authority to sign the payment request for the project.
Municipal Court
Judge Jim Shannon requested that the board pay Attorney Jeff Varas for his service in the Municipal Court.  According to Judge Shannon, Varas helps dispose of the cases when the case load is heavy; and when Judge Shannon  is unable to conduct court.
In the past, Judge Shannon has compensated Varas out of his salary.  He asked the city to take that responsibility given the increase in funds coming into the budget directly related to the work of that court.  The board approved the request.
Water Department
The board approved the company Dragline to rehabilitate the Well #6 at Shady Grove and the Jackson Street water tank.
Sports Complex
The board approved a resolution in support of the complex. They also agreed to provide in-kind services in the amount of $50,000 in the form of $36,000 in labor and equipment and $16,000 in water and sewer.
Claims
The claims were approved with one request from Alderman Rick Akin. He was concerned about the cost the city was being charged for texting.  Alderman Akin requested that Chief of Police Byron Swilley check with AT&T to see if they offer a better plan.
The board adjourned until their next meeting on the first Tuesday in next month, April 3 at 6 p.m.

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