The opening business for the July meeting of the Ecru Board of Aldermen was a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance for the town of Ecru presented by Chris Watson.

After his presentation no one had any questions or comments and the board, near the end of the meeting approved both the plan and the ordinance.

The town is seeking more monies from the Community Development Block Grant program and James Woodall with Cook Coggin Engineers presented to the board what they are seeking the monies for.

“We don’t know if the application has been granted yet, but the want to have things ready,” he said as he passed out sheets of paper to the board. “I’ve put in front of you a map. We are looking at adding on 10 residents that are not served by city sewer. They are located out from Industrial Road.”

Mayor Smith noted the importance of the approval. “If this gets funded every citizen has access to sewer in the town of Ecru.”

The board approved for the application to be sought as well as the maintenance plan for the monies if they are granted.

In other grant matters the board approved authorization for a grant from the Mississippi Development Authority for water and sewer improvements near Ashely Furniture Industries. Also for Ashley the board approved a memorandum of agreement for the manufacturer to apply for Mississippi Development Infrastructure Program (DIP) Grant for water and sewer relocation to their facility. 

The board took under advisement a bid from Robbie Payne for repairing the roof at the Clinic building. This was the only bid submitted with two different amounts by the same bidder.

“The first amount is $9,496.06 for 25 year shingles and $10,522.62 for 30 year shingles,” said Mayor Jeff Smith. The board will decide further action at a later date.

Water and sewer superintendent Mike Martin said that the power company is cleaning the electrical right of ways in town, “If y’all get any complaints from the citizens let me know. There has been one mail box damaged that I know of.”

Adrian Porter once more addressed the board about building a small house on his property, which would fall within the city specifications he said. However, he did not have any plans to show the board, and they tabled it once more until he could bring the plans to them.

Michael Duncan had an impassioned plea to allow them to locate a mobile home at 1300 Old Highway 15. “The other one burned and I just want to replace it with a nicer one,” he said. 

However, the board is under a moratorium not to accept any mobile homes within the city limits until after August 31. “Even if we approved it, it couldn’t be done because we are under the ban until the end of August,” said alderwoman Allison Richardson. 

“There is a process you will have to go through,” Mayor Smith said. “And I will be glad to help you with your paperwork.” The board tabled the matter until September 1.

Chief Financial Officer Mike Nesbit said the water bills report is in great shape. “And now the payroll is now on the BBI system and everything went smoothly. Now the taxes will be able to be computed on that system. John Max Lauderdale will do the financials through the end of September.”

The town will soon be working on the new fiscal budget which will begin October 1.

The board approved for the lease Alta Towers cell tower which is currently beginning to go up on Highland Drive.

Also approved was a $300 annual feet to BBI to provide daily computer back ups. This fee will be pro-rated for the remainder of this year and the full amount will begin next year. “They are ready to begin this since we have the system up and going,” said Mayor Smith. “It is important to have this in case of a storm or disaster coming through this area. We can still operate town business from any computer off site.”

Toward the end of the meeting the board discusses the matter of mandating masks to be worn in the town limits of Ecru and the motion was voted down 3-2.

Mayor Jeff Smith added that folks in town “can certainly wear them voluntarily, following state and CDC guidelines.”

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