Mayor Lynn Spruill brought the need to clean sediment and debris from utility pipes around Starkville to the Board of Aldermen's attention at the Friday afternoon work session.

Spruill introduced a short video supplied by the city's engineering department of an underground pipe junction. Several of the connecting pipes were blocked by sediment.

One pipe was so congested by mud that approximately two-thirds of the pipe's capacity to drain runoff was blocked.

City Engineer Edward Kemp explained that the city had finished surveying pipes in need of cleaning and had begun the process in the location shown in the video.

Joyner Williams of the city's building department explained that the tremendous amount of sediment was likely a result of construction sites failing to maintain appropriate site conditions.

Williams investigated over 10 sites around Starkville and found evidence to support this claim.

Citations were issued to the sites found to be in noncompliance with the city ordinance for erosion protection. Williams noted that the city did not pursue the full extent of the citations, opting instead to fine offenders for only one day.

The full citation carries up to a $1,000 fine for every day the site conditions are not maintained.

"We're not trying to mess them up," Williams said. "This is just a slap on the wrist to get them to fix the sites."

Roughly half of those cited responded and fixed the problems with their site. According to Williams, some of them did so immediately in rainy weather.

Court hearings for the citations will be held Thursday, June 6.

IN OTHER BUSINESS

• Plans to add a sidewalk to the north side of Westside Drive were discussed. The sidewalk would connect Frontier Drive and North Long Street. The aim of the project is to increase pedestrian accessibility to Westside Park.

• The city of Starkville will agree to a mutual termination of a contract with the Starkville-Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District for the use of the JL King Center. This decision comes after a loss of funding, though the city discussed exploring other sources of funding. Nothing concrete was determined as of Friday.

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