HOUSTON – Houston aldermen took care of the following items of business – including applying for a $1 million loan to finance downtown sidewalk improvements – during their meeting Tuesday, Nov. 19, according to minutes of the meeting.

Mayor Parker called the meeting to order.

Shenia K. Jones gave the invocation.

Mayor Parker asked that the board extend the Tourism Tax until 2024. Barry Springer made a motion to approve a resolution to extend the Tourism Tax until 2024. Frank Thomas seconded, there were all ayes, and the motion carried.

Mayor Parker extended the meeting to Jason Brooks to discuss the downtown sidewalk project. The mayor said that Three Rivers confirmed that the $1 million loan is possible at 3 percent for 10 years. Jason Brooks elaborated on the sidewalk bids. He said the tourism board voted unanimously to pay for the $605,000 over 10 years at 3 percent interest. Kellie Atkinson made a motion to accept the Ausbern bid of $556,315.24 plus the additional $16,643 for Washington and the $75,200 for poles, bases and globes, and engineering fees totaling $648,158.24.

There is $43,493.75 already in the tourism budget that would bring the financed balance to $604,664.49. This would leave $395,335.51 to be added to the $700,000 already set aside for streets, bringing the street total to $1,095,335.51, according to city figures. Willie McKinney seconded, there were all ayes, and the motion carried.

Shenia K. Jones made a motion to apply for the loan up to $1 million from Three Rivers. Barry Springer seconded. Kellie Atkinson voted nay. Willie McKinney and Frank Thomas voted yea, and the motion carried.

Shenia K. Jones made a motion to let Chestnut be the next street repaired after Pontotoc. The motion died from lack of a second. After much discussion about Chestnut, possibly being done in phases due to the extent of the work needed, beginning with a new base which could be done using the removed asphalt from Pontotoc and would be much better than the way it currently is, Willie McKinney made a motion to let Jefferson be the next street, repairing it from the bridge near Talitha to Washington near BancorpSouth. Frank Thomas seconded, there were all ayes, and the motion carried.

Frank Thomas made a motion to adjourn. Willie McKinney seconded, there were all ayes, and the motion carried.

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