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May 3, 2022 – Civic Corner: Board of Aldermen Recap

Ricki Garrett alderwoman at largeBy Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large

Present at the Tuesday night (April 19) Board Meeting were members of the Clinton Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. President Wanda Thomas provided information on the many service projects carried out by the group, and those present introduced themselves. Director of Therapeutic Recreation Chandra Broomfield then provided the Board with a report of recent activities at the Wood Center and among the Challenger Leagues.


An extension of former Congressman Gregg Harper’s lobbying contract was unanimously approved by the Board. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation was also granted a free port warehouse ad valorem tax exemption. This tax exemption has been provided to several other Clinton industries in the past. Also approved was an extension to the professional services agreement with SchoggenScapes Inc. to include Olde Towne Clinton and several major intersections in the city. City Attorney Will Purdie was also approved as the full-time Municipal Judge for the City and will assume both roles beginning in May. Our thanks to Judge Stephen Boone for his dedicated service to the City.


In other business, as the Legislative Chair for the Mississippi Municipal League, I presented a summary of legislative actions that will benefit our city, as well as other cities in our state. Those included passage of the American Rescue Matching Grant Program that provides for the use of 750 million of state ARPA funds as a one-to-one match for our municipal ARPA funds for projects approved by the Department of Environmental Quality. A Medical Marijuana Bill that provides municipal zoning regulation and is taxed at the point of sale and provides a diversion to cities and towns also passed. Full Funding of Homestead Exemption Reimbursement also passed, providing an additional ten million dollars total to the municipalities. Additional funding for the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair Fund was provided, as well as $500,000 per year to provide funding for the First Responders Health and Safety Act. This act provides cancer coverage for first responders and has finally been funded. Clinton will also receive eight million in funding to assist the city in costs associated in developing the area bound by Highway 80, Springridge Road, Interstate 20 and Clinton-Raymond Road. Legislative authorization for a 2% restaurant tax was passed for Clinton, and now the issue goes before the voters in our city for your approval. MML was also able to kill House Bill 917 that would have allowed unregulated businesses from operating in city neighborhoods. Our thanks to Speaker Philip Gunn and our other Representatives and Senators for their support during this Session.


The Board discussed a number of important issues during its three-hour Work Session on Monday evening. The Board met with our City engineer, Bill Owen, and Barry Moore with the Corps of Engineers to examine ways to work with the Corps in doing a study of our city’s drainage issues. Also before the Board is a decision on the best way to utilize the 2021 appropriation from the Legislature in the amount of one million dollars. The two options are to pave Northside Drive or to provide lighting for the walking trail along Arrow Drive. The Board also began discussions on the development of the eighty-four acres recently acquired by the City and on ways to enhance the economic development, tourism and business promotion in our city. Aldermen also began looking at potential redistricting maps for the city.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Space will be provided in each issue of The Clinton Courier to the Board of Aldermen for a recap of each meeting. Aldermen are asked to volunteer to provide this recap for the Courier.


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