Baldwyn board of aldermen held its first monthly meeting after the recent death of Vice-Mayor, Alderman Richard Kohlheim. Kohlheim’s wife Barbara was in attendance and Mayor Michael James and the board recognized her and presented her with a plaque of appreciation for Richard’s years of service to the city along with his board room name plate.
“Richard will truly be missed. It is an honor to have you (Barbara) with us tonight. Richard was one of the leaders of the foundation of the Baldwyn community, and for that our board will always be grateful,” Mayor James said.
Currently, the Ward III alderman position remains open and a special election is slated for July 28.
In other business, the board approved the hiring of Lora Stubbs pending the retirement of Shelia McGee. McGee currently holds the secretary position at the Baldwyn Police Department. Assistant Chief Paul Simpson informed the board that McGee would be retiring near the end of July. Stubbs, of Baldwyn, will come to the position with 28 years of secretarial experience.
June minutes and bills were approved.
Greta Austin of the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 130 was present to inform the board that Post 130 recently purchased two 6-foot benches for the Veterans Memorial Park. Austin also requested on behalf of Post 130 that the city partner with them to purchase and build a side walk entrance to the park.
“The side walk will be a great asset for the elderly and handicap that frequent the park,” Austin noted.
Austin presented an estimate of $4600 for the construction of a side walk that is four inches thick and six feet wide that connects the roadway to the monument. The estimate also included the installment of the two benches using concrete to make them stationary at the park.
Mayor Michael James suggested Austin partnering with the Baldwyn Chamber of Commerce for a grant search.
Sonny Cole and Rossie Sullivan, residents of the new Carrolville subdivision, were present to inform the board of a sewage nuance due to a city lift station malfunctioning.
“The lift station has caused problems and broken down multiple times for several years now. We would like it fixed adequately with an alert system on it to notify the city when it begins malfunctioning so the sewage issue can be deterred,” Cole and Sullivan both proclaimed to the board.
Major James assured Cole and Sullivan that the city had had the engineer looking at the station already and another review of the lift station was scheduled the next day of the board meeting. Mayor James also reminded the concerned citizens that sewer project plans for the city of Baldwyn are in the making.
Franks, Franks, Jarrell and Wilemon representatives presented an year-end audit report to the board. The report review noted the following for the 2014-2015 fiscal year:
Received $500,000 plus in federal grants
64.29 percent of the city’s revenue came from utility fees and services, 7 percent of revenue was from grants, and over 11 percent of revue was from property taxes
Expenses were down in every category including general government (funds) and public works
47 percent of the city’s expenses were in public safety such as fire and police protections
City spent $315,000 less in expenses than previous year
General government (fund) was up $36, 359
Water and Gas Department was up $703,271 with $486,000 in grants
A report booklet was provided to each board member along with financial suggestions from the firm for the city to make adjustments.
City Court Clerk Mariea Burress was presented to the board to be dually assigned as Deputy City Clerk under City Clerk Nan Nanney. The motion failed due to lack of majority voting for approval.
Mayor James requested to attend the MGAM Conference in Orange Beach, AL July 13-17. Mayor James noted that he had been nominated to be on the gas commissioner board and this is the annual meeting. The board approved the request.
Fiscal year bids were opened for hot mix usage for the Street Department. APAC of Guntown submitted a bid of $109 per ton for hot mix in place. The quote is good from July 7 until December 30. Murphy Paving Co. of Tupelo submitted a bid of $126 per ton for hot mix in place. The quote is good for 90 days. The board approved the lower bid from APAC.
Mayor James then requested that the board approve street paving in the amount of $80,000 for Ripley Road and other damaged street areas with high traffic flow. The board approved the request.
Mayor James also read a letter of resignation from Baldwyn Fire Department Assistant Chief Wesley Blalock. Blalock expressed his appreciation for his experience and support at Baldwyn and explained his resignation was due to a recent move.
The Baldwyn City Board of Aldermen meets the first Tuesday of each month at City Hall at 6 p.m. For more information call City Hall at 365-2383.