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Civic Corner: August 18, 2023

Ricki Garrett alderwoman at largeRicki Garrett, Alderwoman at Large


The Board of Aldermen has been meeting regularly over the past couple of weeks to develop the budget for 2023-2024.  Our regularly scheduled meeting was also this week, but no work session was held.


Tara Lytal, our Main Street Director, provided the Department Head Report for this week. She shared with the Board the success of several Main Street programs, including Fresh at Five, Olde Towne After Dark Trivia and the upcoming Back to the Bricks to welcome back our Mississippi College Students. She also mentioned that our Main Street Program had scored all 4s on the national preservation standards.  Director Lytal also mentioned the first Customer Experience Training, held on August 9, which is being offered to Olde Towne restaurants and retail first.  Several Depot highlights were also presented.


The Board of Aldermen gave its approval for the Clinton Police Department to accept the FY 23-24 Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services Grant Award, totaling $40,000.00.  The Board also approved the acceptance and award to the lowest and best bidder R & W Electric Company in the amount of $317, 917.80 for the Arrow Drive Multi-Use Path Lighting Project.


The Board also dealt with several unkempt property issues in the City.  It first unanimously approved a resolution to maintain the unkempt property located at 0 Kitchings Drive.  In a second action, the Board voted unanimously to approve a resolution to maintain the unkempt property at 1004 Amherst Street with the Board giving the owner two weeks to clean it up prior to the City taking action.  The appearance of the City is very important to the Board, and Board Members have frequently expressed concern over unkempt property and the time it takes to address issues and correct them.  Over the past three budget cycles we have expressed the need for more code enforcement officers for Clinton, and, hopefully, this year we will see some improvement in that area.


In an employment action, the Board of Aldermen approved the moving of the current Parks and Recreation summer worker into the open full-time position of Parks Maintenance Technician.


The Board is continuing budget discussions, which include funding both from the general fund, as well as from the water and sewer fund and from the tourism taxes that the City currently collects.  Greg Geaarhart, Senior Principal for Clinton’s engineering consultant, WGK, Inc., presented an extensive list of water and sewer projects, including $8.5 million in projects that have to be done in this coming year. Courtney Nunn, our Parks and Recreation Director, also presented an overview of proposed improvements to the parks, utilizing the 2% restaurant sales tax proceeds.  These include proposed improvements to Kid’s Towne Park, Brighton Park, and Traceway Park.


A public hearing on the Clinton budget will be held on September 5, and the Board of Aldermen will vote on the budget at a meeting on September 12th.  The budget goes into effect on October 1 of this year.


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