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City denies grievances behind closed doors

September 7, 2011

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Board of Aldermen denied the grievances of two city firefighters after an executive session of over an hour and a half after its regular meeting Tuesday at City Hall.
Starkville Fire Department lieutenants Lee Kellum and Grant McCarter met with the board behind closed doors to discuss grievances, accompanied by Personnel Officer Randy Boyd and SFD Fire Chief Rodger Mann. At the end of the executive session, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the board passed measures to deny both grievances and mail official notices of denial to Kellum and McCarter.
Wiseman said he could not disclose the nature of the grievances, as did Kellum, McCarter, Boyd and Mann.
“I can tell you the motion that passed,” Wiseman said. “The rest is personnel matter. That’s why it’s subject to executive session.”
Wiseman said the board also voted in executive session to authorize an appraisal and survey of property the city is considering acquiring for a pumping station.
The board also heard a report from City Clerk Markeeta Outlaw on projections for final revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2011. Currently, Outlaw said, the city has spent about 90 percent of its planned budget of $16,023,000 with less than four weeks before the fiscal year’s end.
“Our expenses for the fiscal year 2011 are trending to about $200,000 below budget,” Outlaw said.
She also said city revenues are $100,000 above budget, giving the city a total budget surplus of $300,000 for fiscal year 2011.
“This is largely due to the city and county tax collectors addressing delinquent and private property and personal property taxes,” Outlaw said.
At the beginning of the meeting, Wiseman announced two public appearances requesting in-kind services from the city had been put on hold because the presenters had further work to do with their insurance contractors. The presenters were Starkville Main Street Manager Jennifer Gregory, who would have requested in-kind services for the Downtown Block Party and Pumpkinpalooza, and Mississippi State University Student Association President Rhett Hobart, who would have requested in-kind services for Bulldog Bash.
The board did hear a presentation by John Hargraves, senior project manager and regional manager with P.M. Environmental, Inc. on the Environmental Protection Agency’s brownfields revitalization grants. The board also approved an application for a brownfields grant to revitalize projects within the city.
The EPA defines “brownfields” as properties having or potentially having pollutants which interfere with expansion, redevelopment or reuse. Through Brownfields grants, the EPA funds assessment, cleanup, loans and job training to restore environmental sustainabilty on these properties.

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