By STEVEN NALLEY
At its meeting Tuesday in the City Hall courtroom, the Starkville Board of Aldermen will consider authorizing in-kind services for three events on the Starkville Convention and Visitors’ Bureau’s “New South Weekends” series.
Starkville Main Street Manager Jennifer Gregory will make a public appearance at the meeting to request in-kind services valued at a total of $2,323 for both the Sept. 23 Downtown Block Party and the Oct. 14 Pumpkinpalooza. Rhett Hobart, president of the Mississippi State University Student Association, will also appear at the meeting, requesting in-kind services valued at a total of $8,794.94 for Bulldog Bash, an outdoor concert in the Cotton District featuring the Avett Brothers on Nov. 11.
Another public appearance on the agenda is a presentation on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields revitalization grants, presented by John Hargraves, a senior project manager and regional manager with P.M. Environmental, Inc. Pending board approval at the meeting, Starkville will apply 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 Brownfield grants, the EPA funds assessment, cleanup, loans and job training to restore environmental sustainability on these properties.
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said exactly which properties in the city might be brownfields is uncertain. The Department of Environmental Quality will recommend some sites for assessment, he said, but part of the EPA process funded by Brownfield grants is identifying sites for assessment.
“It may be unknown that a current property is a brownfield and has contamination beneath its surface,” Wiseman said. “Someone will seek to develop that piece of property, and if that site is contaminated, it can make it difficult or impossible to develop it before the site’s been cleaned. This program exists to identify those potential locations.”
At the board meeting, Mayor Wiseman will announce a town meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 5-7 p.m. concerning plans for a new police department building and expansions to the City Hall. The meeting will feature tours of the current police department housed in City Hall. A bond issue vote for the new police building is set for Sept. 27.
“This is intended to be an open house event to provide everybody all the information they would need prior to the bond vote,” Wiseman said. “We’ll have the police facility open to tours, and we’ll also have the courtroom open fair-style, where people can go from booth to booth and ask whatever questions they would like to.”
Wiseman said the Sept. 13 meeting will also have computers set up for people to use the city’s municipal complex website to calculate the property tax increases they can expect if the bond passes. The citizens’ municipal complex committee, elected officials, representatives from the city clerk’s office and, possibly, elections commission officials will also be available to answer questions, Wiseman said.
The board will also:
- Recognize Sergeant Shawn Word as one of five national honorees at the National Conference for the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Program in Orlando, Fla. Word was the only law enforcement officer among the five; the rest were alcohol and beverage control officers.
- Recognize Sergeant Chadd Garnett for his selection as top Mississippi Liason Officer in the state out of 300 participants,
- Welcome new employees Cassandra Young, William Bell and Benjamin Burkett.
- Consider approving millage rates of 20 mills for the city of Starkville and 62.24 mills for the Starkville School District for the fiscal year 2012.
- Consider an agreement with Clearwater Consultants for multiple projects for George M. Bryan Field.
- Consider new hires, including three police officers, two sanitation and environmental services laborers and two apprentice linemen.
- Consider an agreement with the Office of Highway Safety for two fully reimbursable grants for the Starkville Police Department. One is a $15,000 grant for occupant protection, and the other is a $138,000 grant for DUI enforcement and network coordination.
-Consider buying pipe and fittings for hydraulic fire protection on Geechie Road from Central Pipe for $27,288.30.