At last week’s January meeting Pontotoc Aldermen unanimously awarded a contract for construction of an eight-tenths of a mile frontage road along Highway 278 four lane.

Aldermen awarded the $1,063,188.82 road construction contract to low bidder M & N Excavators, Inc., of Oxford. The frontage road will link Five Star Road to access on Highway 278.

One hotel has already verbally committed to build on frontage property and city officials are hoping the frontage road will lure construction of other hotels, restaurants and businesses.

“This is an exciting step and opportunity for the city of Pontotoc,” said Pontotoc Mayor Bob Peeples. “The bid came in $37,000 below estimated cost, we’re been approved for $450,000 in grant monies to help build the road and it’s going to attract businesses to come to Pontotoc.”

“Plus that frontage road will be a thoroughfare used by factory workers and Walmart customers.”

“The deeds have been signed, other than a few formalities M & N said they’re ready to begin construction and we’re hoping to have that road completed by June,” Peeples said.

The city will finance construction of the frontage road with city funds which will include a $300,000 grant from ARC, a $150,000 Small Municipalities grant and a $300,000 loan from Three Rivers Planning and Development District.

The city’s efforts to annex the frontage road and other property has been ongoing for months. In June 2019 Pontotoc Aldermen approved an ordinance extending and enlarging the corporate limits and boundaries of the city, pending petition and approval in Pontotoc County Chancery Court.

A public hearing on the city’s petition for annexation has been scheduled for Thursday, January 23, in chancery court.

At the January 23 chancery court hearing the public will be allowed to make limited comments, for and against the annexation proposal.

In other new business aldermen set a public hearing for 6 p.m. on February 4 to consider a sign variance for Samuel Chewe on Unity Drive in Pontotoc. Chewe is seeking to move his barbershop sign from its current location to other adjacent property he owns so that the sign will be more visible to customers.

In another matter aldermen approved $5, 550 in emergency repairs to the roof of the park and recreation building at Terry Chewe Sportsplex on Highway 15 Bypass.

Aldermen also approved $100 from tourism for advertising funding for this weekend’s Martin Luther King Banquet in Pontotoc.

The board also approved a resolution to renew the city’s current two percent tourism tax. The current resolution authorizing the tourism tax expires in July.

Aldermen approved a motion to allow the Pontotoc Park and Recreation Department to submit bids for hosting 2020 Dixie Youth Softball and Baseball state tournaments this summer.

The board approved a request from Pontotoc Chief Randy Tutor to purchase a used Dodge Charger police car from the Missouri Highway Patrol for $16,950. This car replaces another police vehicle which was struck and totaled by another driver as a Pontotoc Police officer responded to an accident on Old Airport Road recently.

Aldermen also approved a motion expanding the duties of natural gas department employee Rusty Collums to include certified operator of the system’s regulator stations.

Consent agenda items approved included:

-sending Jessica McLevain to Bay St. Louis for a Municipal Clerk’s business meeting as a requirement of her certification on March 26-27, 2020.

-December payroll in the amount of $110,389.64;

-for Valeri Watts and Jessica McLevain to attend the CMC certification class in Oxford February 26-28, 2020.

-water adjustments.

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