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Motion to reopen Redbud removed from city agenda

October 2, 2012

A resolution presented in the Starkville Board of Aldermen’s e-packet Friday to reopen public access to the western Redbud Drive entrance was removed from the agenda and will not be addressed at today’s 5:30 p.m.
meeting in the City Hall courtroom, Chief Administrator Lynn Spruill confirmed Monday.

Listed in the e-packet was a release and waivers of claim from Albert Glenn and Frances Walker, who own property abutting the closed-off entrance of Redbud Drive. Albert Glenn Walker said a property owner across the street from his property, who had signed a similar letter of consent to grant the city right-of-way, rescinded the consent.

The agenda posted on the city’s website the Friday before the board’s Sept. 18 meeting contained a resolution to open Redbud Drive, Maple Drive and Douglas McArthur Drive for all motorists. A revised agenda presented at that meeting modified the resolution to remove the emergency personnel gate located at Douglas McArthur Drive and keep signage at the entrance designating its status as a first-responder-only entrance. A vote to enact the resolution passed 3-2 with two abstentions, but Mayor Parker Wiseman has said he would veto the act when approval of the meeting’s minutes is presented to the board for approval on Oct. 16.

The board will consider approval of the finding that the city meets all the requirements for a Capital Improvements Revolving Loan Program, or CAP loan, to fix sewer and storm water deficiencies and finance construction.

Nearly 70 percent — $1.03 million of the $1.5 million loan will be used to fund construction in the areas annexed by Starkville in 1998. The remaining $469,533 will be spent on improvements to the Carver Drive and Woodland Heights area sewers.

The board previously approved proceeding with the loan’s application at its Sept. 4 meeting in a 3-2 vote. Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker, Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins voted in favor of applying, with Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn voting opposed. Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk and Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey were not present for the meeting.

Sistrunk said she will support the measure because it helps the board deliver on its word to provide the services to these areas.

“It allows us to go forward with addressing some long-standing sewage issues and providing services to annexed properties, which was a commitment of this board,” she said. “It also allows the provision of services to a developing part of town, which is positive from an economic development standpoint.”

Wiseman said he is pleased to see the city take a step toward addressing Carver Drive’s sewage issue. Also awaiting approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is a request for the city to address drainage deficiencies by starting the process of channel restoration to the Carver Drive Ditch.

Wiseman said FEMA is asking City Engineer Edward Kemp for more information on the ditch, which is necessary before a decision on whether or not to approve can be made. No timetable is set for when the city will hear a response.

“FEMA routinely asks for supplemental information once a request of this nature is made,” Wiseman said.

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