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|Wal-Mart money designated for town water plant|
The Ferriday Town Council voted to use money from its Wal-Mart fund to go toward repairs for the water plant and also voted to pay aldermen $100 each for special meetings.
That action came during the council's regular meeting Tuesday night.
Originally, alderman Johnnie Brown made the motion to prioritize what is left of the Wal-Mart money to projects recommended by alderman at the next meeting.
There is $350,000 left of the $570,000 after money was used for water repairs and to purchase town equipment.
Last year, Wal-Mart sent the town a check for $300,000, which was thought to be the first of 10 annual payments in that amount. The annual funding was announced last year as a plan by Wal-Mart to help offset sales tax losses to the town when Wal-Mart shut down its operations in Ferriday and later opened a new store in Vidalia.
Mayor Glen McGlothin said the town received a check from Wal-Mart for $270,000 in May. The payments will decrease by 10 percent over the next few years.
Alderman Gloria Lloyd offered the motion that the money continue to be used for repairs to the water plant.
"I think we need to spend the money on the water plant until it is completely done," Lloyd said.
McGlothin said it will cost about $90,000 to repair a filter.
"I think Ms. Lloyd has an excellent idea," McGlothin said. "It is going to take three years to build a new water plant and we need to fix everything. That was going to be my suggestion at the next meeting, but I wasn't sure how the board would feel about it."
The board voted unanimously to prioritize the money to the plant.
"We are still working to get grants," McGlothin said.
The board also approved receiving $100 for each special meeting.
Elijah "Stepper" Banks made the motion and it was seconded by Brown. Jerome Harris voted yes, while Somer Lance and Gloria Lloyd voted against the extra pay for special meetings.
"The only problem I have with it is that the aldermen just got a raise and we're trying to figure out howwe can raise some of our employees," McGlothin said.
The board received bids for the water treatment plant improvements with Camo Construction of Vidalia giving the low bid at $476,464. Cecil Gassiott of Woodworth had a bid of $479,800, while Womack Trenching of Harrisonburg bid $495,550. There were eight total bids.
"Those bids came in lower than we expected," McGlothin said. "According to the USDA we have to take the lowest bid if all their paperwork is in order and everything checks out properly. But the low bids will allow us to allocate funding that would have gone to the tank to other aspects of the project."
McGlothin told the board that Ferriday is one of 1,719 cities to be named as a Preserve America city, which designates help for the Ferriday's downtown area and awards grants to those designated towns.
"We received a letter from Mrs. (Michelle) Obama and will frame it in our office," McGlothin said. "There are not many towns our size receiving this honor. We also wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey telling her about our water problems and poverty. If you don't write or ask, you won't have a chance to get anything."
The Ferriday mayor told the council that VIP Sports Bar has not received approval from the state Fire Marshall, Alcohol and Beverage Control and other state agencies, so their occupational license has been pulled.
The bar was going into the old Super 10 building on Louisiana Avenue.
"It's a moot issue now," McGlothin said. "You can only hold an occupational license so long."
The board also passed a resolution for the leasing of the knuckle boom truck which cost $108,000 and authorized an application for USDA funding for the water plant which is an ongoing request for the $6 million needed to build the new water plant, and a $35,000 LGAP funding for improvement at the current water plant.
The Ferriday Town Council adopted the same tax millage from last year. The ad valorem is 4.65 mils, property bonds in 12.00 mils and public safety is 9.34 mils.
Another resolution supported was Ready Communities Pilot Program, which assists with economic development.
The council proclaimed Sept 4 as Susie Jackson Day in honor of her 108th birthday.
The council also proclaimed October 25, 2009 as Ferriday First Baptist Church Centennial Day in honor of its 100th anniversary.
McGlothin said the town will be putting up new stop signs and cleaning drainage ditches over the next few months.The town is considering hiring two people to mow lots.
"We'll pay those people and then bill the land owners," McGlothin said. "If they don't pay, we will add it to their taxes or take the lot away from them."
The town cleaned up the lot near the depot which belongs to the Missouri-Pacific Railroad, which wants $122,000 for the property.
"We're going to send them a bill for $122,000 for mowing it because we've been doing that for about 24 years," McGlothin said. "Then if they have a problem with that they can fly here and talk to us about it because there are no longer any tracks there."
McGlothin also said he will write a letter to Recreation District No. 3 asking why the Ferriday team was "ex-communicated" from the league.
Rev Simeon Green thanked the board and the community for its support on the Back to School Extravaganza held August 29 near the Florida Street Gym.
"It's going to be bigger and better in 2010," he said.
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