At the October 6 meeting Pontotoc Aldermen directed board attorney Brad Cornelison to contact Corona LLC, of California, informing the company they are in violation of their lease agreement with the former Ram Golf building.
Pontotoc Mayor Bob Peeples said the Corona company has a 99 year lease on the building and the land is owned by the city of Pontotoc.
"First of all they are four years behind with the lease payments," Mayor Peeples told the board. "The lease requires that production must be ongoing in the building and there's been nothing in there for a long time. The fire system is not operational and no insurance. Plus the building has been vandalized."
"We're notifying them by letter giving them 60 days to remedy all these problems or vacate the lease," Peeples said "We have other businesses interested in the property."
In other new business aldermen unanimously approved Wilder's Welding as the best and lowest bid at $46,675.00 to complete the remaining 320 feet of wrought iron fencing along the North Main Street perimeter of the Pontotoc City Cemetery. The fence project is being paid out of tourism funds.
Wilder Welding completed a section of the fencing last month, replacing the hedge that had bordered the eastern side of the cemetery for many years.
"We've had nothing but positive feedback on the section we'd already authorized," Peeples said. "People have been really pleased."
Alderman David Anderson added that he had received nothing but positive comments on the fencing.
"It sure looks good to me and I've had nothing but good comments from folks," Anderson said. "They're very pleased."
In another matter aldermen approved a request from resident Morris Lee Hamer to rezone property at 213 Claire Street from R8 to R15. No residents objected to the rezoning during a public hearing on the motion.
The R15 zoning will allow a manufactured home to be located on the property but that action will require another public hearing at a future date to seek approval of a conditional use allowing the manufactured home.
In another rezoning matter, a request from Donna and Ricky Bridgman to rezone 49A West Reynolds Street from C3 downtown district to C1 commercial failed for lack of a motion to rezone the property. During a public hearing on the request, adjacent homeowner Janet Wilder expressed opposition to the rezoning. "The rezoning would hurt property values," Wilder told the board.
An application for a conditional use from Mark Herring with Outdoor Sign Company also died for lack of a motion. Herring had requested a conditional use to put a billboard sign at a location off of Highway 278 at 2753 MS Highway 15 North.
Mayor Peeples said that current city ordinances don't allow any new billboards in the city limits.
In other business, no action was taken to override a veto made last month by Mayor Peeples who vetoed a motion increasing salaries for several municipal court employees, including the city judge, interim judge, public defenders and prosecuting attorney.
In another matter Alderwoman Jimma Smith expressed interest in the possibility of forming a beautification committee for the city of Pontotoc.
"I'd like to see us do something to get the community involved in beautification efforts, maybe have a city wide beautification day," Smith said.
In a related matter, Mayor Peeples directed Police Chief Randy Tutor to close the public parking lot on Liberty Street east of city hall because of excessive littering on the property.
"We've been allowing students to park there but we've already gotten a dump truck load of garbage off the property and it's really bad again, so they're going to have to park at the school," Peeples directed.
In three personnel matters, aldermen approved:
-the hiring of Jacob Westmoreland in the street department;
-the promotion of fireman Chris Golden to captain at a rate of $15.45, effective Oct. 10, 2021;
-advertising in-house for a vacancy in the city's gas department before hiring someone outside.
Four other new business motions approved included:
-the park and rec 2022 calendar and registration fees;
-the purchase of a bypass pump for the sewer department from Tencarva in the amount of $31,482.00 being the best and lowest bid.;
- allow city employees to voluntarily give Fire Captain Bradd Ball their sick time as needed for his recovery;
-setting the court assessment fees back to $20 instead of the $50 amount approved in the September 7 meeting.
Consent agenda items approved included:
-September 2021 payroll totaling $707,279.25;
-send Terry Williamson to the BOAM 2021 winter conference in Gulfport, MS, Nov. 3--December 3, 2021. reimburse travel and meals;
-purchase West's Mississippi Criminal Law and Procedure, 2020 ED for the court with the city credit card in the amount of $245;
-send Tim Gunter to the 2021 MAGPPA Conference and Vendor Expo Nov. 7-10, 2021, in Biloxi,MS. Travel by city vehicle. Meal per diem reimbursement;
-gas rates effective Oct. 1, 2021, at $8.68, based on an O&M of $4.00 and a PGA of $4.68;
-send Jessica McLevain and Valeri Watts to the MS Municipal Clerks and Collectors Association Winter Conference in Flowood, MS, Dec. 15-17,2021. Travel and meal reimbursement.