Thursday, August 21, 2014

Louisville Board of Aldermen/Mayor Address Rumors About Academy Park

The Louisville Board of Aldermen met on Tuesday, August 19 in a regularly scheduled meeting. The aldermen were met with a full audience who were in attendance relating to rumors about the future use of the Academy Park area.

Mayor Will Hill spoke to the board members and the public
concerning rumors about possible residential development on the park property. Hill indicated that there was no truth to rumors that the city plans to use the park land to develop subsidized apartments. The Mayor did indicate that there had been some discussion about using the property for future development of approximately 30 single-family residential homes but that this was simply in the discussion stage.

Hill indicated that the area was being considered for housing needs because of the size of the tract, cost to maintain the park given acts of vandalism, and the recognition that the most pressing issue in the community
right now is the lack of housing. The Mayor noted that there would be a public hearing on the matter if the issue was further pursued. Hill said that the city had limited means to maintain this Park given the dilapidated condition of concessions and restroom areas and the recent acts of vandalism that had closed the park prior to the April 28 tornado. Hill said, “we should consider putting our resources together to have one unified Park at Ivy. There is nothing that I would pose to this Board that is not in the best interest of this city and this community."

Alderwoman Gwenita Mays stated that while she had had numerous complaints about speeding in traffic in Academy Park and the surrounding area she requested that the Board suspend the agenda and give the public the opportunity to speak on the matter of development. After some discussion, it was decided to maintain the agenda given that if the project was pursued, the public would have the opportunity to speak at the public hearing.

Alderwoman Judy McLeod said, “there has got to be somewhere else to build houses. People want their Park.” McLeod suggested that a community group be developed to protect the park from vandalism. There was considerable murmuring of approval of McLeod’s statement by members of the audience.

The Board also dealt with the following issues in the meeting:

o   Airport project- authorized Mayor to sign agreement with Davidson Hauling                                                                                                                                                                         
o   Authorized payments to the following:
§  Taylor Tucker, Attorney, for 2 invoices $712.50
o   Accepted quote on Storm destroyed street signs and hardware from Custom Products Corp for $24,401.80, alternate quotes from G&C Supply Co Inc. for $26,104.44, and Econo Signs $32,550.22
o   Accepted quote on chain link fence and gates for landfill from Outdoor Solutions for $28,360.00, alternate quote from Columbus Fence for $36,882.00
o   Accepted quote on well construction at landfill from McCray Drilling LLC for $46,867.45, alternate quote from Walker-Hill Environmental for $58,910.62
o   Approved request for training: Sue Daniels to attend the Professional Judicial & Development and Court Clerk’s Statewide Seminar on Sept. 9-12, Jackson, registration $100, room $85, meals $62, Judicial College pays mileage
o   Approved request for training: Jody Fulton to attend MS Assoc. of Code Enforcement in Gulfport on October 16-17, registration $50, room $216, meals $72, mileage $255
o   Accepted Andrew Arnett as a Volunteer Fireman
o   Approved interview and test for three vacant Police Sergeant positions which will be promotions
o   Authorized Jody Fulton and Todd McCullough to attend class at Extension Office in Louisville on August 25
o   Discuss Urban Forestry Grant to help replenish tree need to cross the community
o   Notice of Appointments to WCEDDP:  Wilson Webb, joint appt. with County, and John Coleman, City appointee, three year terms end 9-30-14

The Board held a budget and tax levy hearing prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting. Winston web will have details on this hearing in an upcoming article.