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City Board December 5: City planner and public restrooms discussed

New Albany, MS Tanglefoot Trail Arch

The qualifications of a strategic planner and locating public restrooms downtown were among the matters discussed at the City Board December 5 meeting.

First Ward Alderwoman Amy Livingston moved to create a “request for qualifications” for a “strategic planner” (city planner) for the city. Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee seconded the motion.

Second Ward Alderman Johnny Anderson said, “I am not in favor of hiring a city planner. They are going to tell us what we already know…we already know we need a new roundabout near the intersection of I-22 and Highway 30…we already know we need new buildings for the police department and for Lights, Gas, and Water.”

Anderson pointed out that several years ago the city had paid more than a hundred thousand dollars to a consultant to develop a strategic plan for the city. He said that some of those recommendations have been pursued and others not.

Anderson said he had no problem with establishing qualifications for a planner as proposed in Livingston’s motion, but that he would not be willing to “pay from one hundred thousand to two hundred thousand dollars for someone to tell us what the plan should be.”

When Livingston’s motion to define the qualifications of a city planner was put to a vote, Anderson voted with Livingston and Conlee to approve the motion. Fourth Ward Alderman Will Tucker voted against the motion. Third Ward Alderman Kevin Dale White was absent, thus did not vote.

The idea of providing public restroom facilities in downtown New Albany was discussed. Mayor Tim Kent said possible locations included the Tanglefoot Trailhead, Cooper Park and the Union County Public Library. It is believed grant money might be available to cover part of the cost of building public restrooms.

The aldermen routinely approved the claims docket for November and the minutes of their Nov. 7 meeting.

In other business the New Albany city board:

  • Approved an engineering agreement with Engineering Solutions, Inc. for work on the Coulter Drive project.
  • Approved a resolution asking for state help in the collection of delinquent municipal court fines.
  • Defined and clarified the terms of members of the city zoning board.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the city Board of Aldermen will be on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

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