ABERDEEN – The Monroe County Board of Supervisors and Aberdeen Board of Aldermen came to an agreement last week regarding a property stake swap of the former Holley Performance building and Prairie Industrial Site.
Both governmental entities own 50 percent shares of the two industrial properties. Because of Aberdeen’s individual interest in the former Holley building and the county’s interest of the Prairie Industrial Site, action was taken to satisfy the interests.
During its July 21 meeting, the board of aldermen unanimously approved for the city’s interest in the Prairie Industrial Site to be traded for the county’s interest of the former Holley Performance building.
Following executive session July 24, the board of supervisors approved to go along with the city in the exchange of property.
“When we get to the one ownership of the property, particularly in Prairie, that makes us eligible to apply for Brownfields grant to clean up that property,” said board of supervisors attorney David Houston after last week’s supervisors meeting.
During a pre-aldermen meeting work session, city leaders met with Monroe County Board of Supervisors President Fulton Ware, District 3 Supervisor Rubel West and Houston to discuss the matter.
“We made a mistake in the previous administration, in which I’ll take part of the blame because I was the mayor at the time. Unfortunately, I don’t legislate. I’m an executive. You vote. What I’m asking you to do now is to fix that error,” said Mayor Maurice Howard during last week’s aldermen meeting of the opportunity for the city to claim ownership of the former Holley building.
He said someone wants to bring a steel plant to Aberdeen and said the building deal would be contingent on if a certain number of jobs are guaranteed.
“If we don’t have jobs, we’re not even interested in us doing this deal. That’s the whole objective of this deal,” Howard said.
The city and county were previously in talks about Bradbury Logistics owner Howard Harper’s intention of acquiring the former Holley building for an eco-friendly building materials manufacturer. The deal did not work out as Harper did not pay the balance he owed on the building before the contractual deadline.
Houston will prepare deeds for the property exchange and write the county’s resolution to go along with a resolution being written on behalf of Aberdeen before the deal is completely finalized.
In other business after executive session of last week’s county meeting, supervisors approved an emergency purchase of three vehicles for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office’s D.A.R.E. officers at county schools.
After the meeting, Houston said because of the COVID pandemic, GM quit making the ones originally in the specifications.
Jared Hooper asked supervisors to consider adopting a resolution proclaiming support of Marsy’s Law, which passed the in the Mississippi House of Representatives and was to be addressed by the state senate.
The law is named after a girl killed by her ex-boyfriend, and it’s intended to inform victims and their families of accused offenders’ court proceedings in felony and misdemeanor cases and allow for potential restitution.
Board members wished to review the statute before potentially acting on it on its next meeting.
Supervisors approved a fully executed settlement agreement and acknowledgment of Monroe Gas, LLC and the county.
Supervisors also approved a resolution retaining Mitchell, McNutt & Sams to represent the county and certain county officials in producing reports pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act regarding a fatal July 1 traffic accident near the intersection of Highways 25 and 45 Alternative that claimed the lives of two Tennessee men.
The information was requested by a San Antonio law firm.
“Before they left the accident scene, this law firm was involved; someone called them. They sent a request to the sheriff’s department, coroner, Donna [Sanderson] with E911 and the fire coordinator. All of them had people responding to this accident scene,” Houston said.