SMITHVILLE – During Oct. 5’s board of aldermen meeting, Mayor Phil Goodwin gave updates on improvement projects, including completion of the lift station for the town’s water system and planned improvements at Rod Brasfield Park.

“We want to put a generator there and on Jackson Road in case the power goes off. We’ll have some more later on,” he said.

Goodwin said there’s a problem in being able to obtain the generators. Town clerk Kim Johnson said the wait time to get a generator delivered varies from 18 weeks to nearly a year. Aldermen approved for the town to be placed on the wait list.

“This will be paid for out of the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money that we received,” Johnson said.

Goodwin also said delivery of a mini-excavator was expected by the end of the week.

As far as improvements for Brasfield Park, a ditch has been cut off, and tree debris has been hauled off from the area.

Goodwin also met with a representative of Monroe County Electric Power about the lighting at the park.

“We have four lights there that hadn’t burned in six months or more. Those lights are coming down. All but one pole and meter base will be undone, as well as light over the playground,” he said.

All old and non-functioning lights will be replaced with LED fixtures.

Furthermore, Johnson briefed the board on the latest price quote adjustment for new playground equipment, which increased by approximately $600. The equipment will be installed by park and recreation department employees.

Johnson reminded the board that the funding to purchase the equipment was made possible by a $5,000 rural recreation fund donation by District 1 Supervisor Joseph Richardson.

Goodwin and Johnson said the railroad crossing on Market Street that was closed after the tornado will be reopened once the town puts two flashing crossing signs in place. Goodwin will meet with representatives from Three Rivers Planning and Development District, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and others to coordinate the crossing’s reopening.

Goodwin emphasized the need for additional crossings for local traffic, especially bicyclists, so that they would not have to come to Highway 25 to cross.

“Our town is divided by the railroad. [The reopening] will be a benefit all the way around,” Johnson said.

Goodwin also said the former Cages and Cones property has been sold and will be reopened as El Jefe Mexican restaurant by the owner of its Aberdeen location. He did not give a timeline for the project.

He also said the town will get a patrol car that had been retired from service as a Missouri Highway Patrol cruiser.

“We’re on the [waiting] list. The repair bills on our cars are getting expensive,” Goodwin said.

The units typically have approximately 54,000 miles when they are retired, according to Goodwin. The purchase price and cost of bringing the car to Mississippi is less than $20,000, which will be paid for out of a reserve account.

Johnson told of a new federal holiday that will be observed beginning in 2022.

“The federal government has adopted Juneteenth, which will give us 13 holidays during the year,” she said.

The alderman approved to observe the holiday beginning next year. The day is traditionally observed on June 19.

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