By Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen were very pleased to welcome representatives of the Clinton Public School District to our September 5 meeting. Dr. Andy Schoggin, Superintendent, and financial officer Libby Callegan provided the annual report to the Board. They reported that there would be no mileage increase for the school district, and there has not been one since 2016. There is a total budget amount of $64,654,777. Enrollment figures are not complete but currently show about 5,200 students. Dr. Schoggin also reported that the Clinton Public School district has low administrative costs and high per student expenditures. The Board unanimously approved a resolution fixing the ad valorum tax levy on real and personal property for the Clinton Public School District for the 2023-2024 budget year.
Following a public hearing to discuss the 2023-2024 proposed budget and the 2023 tax levy for the City of Clinton, the Board unanimously approved a resolution fixing the ad valorem tax levy on real and personal property for the City. There is no increase in taxes. Mayor Fisher provided information on the budget, highlighting the $500,000 increase in taxes coming to the City, low crime, good educational opportunities, growth in the industrial park, effective public works, investment in infrastructure and a high level of volunteerism in the city. On September 12, the Board will officially approve the budget, and, on September 19, there will be a public hearing on the proposed expenditures from the 2% funding.
Following discussion in a public hearing to get feedback on the adoption of revised ward maps, based on the latest census data, Ward 6 Alderman, James Lott, made a motion to table the proposed vote, in order to give the Board more time to reach consensus on a map. Ward 5 Alderwoman Beverly Oliver seconded the motion, and it passed on a four to three vote.
The Board of Aldermen authorized the payment of a monthly administration fee of $0.75 per water meter to the Clinton Raymond Bolton Wastewater Authority from the Water & Sewer Operations Fund. There will be no increase to the citizens of Clinton for this payment.
The Board voted unanimously for a resolution to apply to the Mississippi Department of Transportation for funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The application would be for funding to continue the bollard lighting along the Arrow Drive multi-use path. The Board also gave approval for the Mayor to execute the memorandum of understanding related to the Emergency Road and Bridge Repair award for the replacement of the Pinehaven Road Bridge.
The Board also approved several equipment purchases for the Public Works Department, including a motor for the Armory Well, new scanning software for the billing department, and a metal storage garage.
Following discussion, the Board voted unanimously to approve a variance from the City of Clinton subdivision regulations for the Horseshoe Bend subdivision development, in order to move forward with the development, while Entergy puts currently existing electrical poles underground. The Board also approved the City’s third short-term rental in Olde Towne, the only area of the City where short-term rentals are allowed.
The Board ended the meeting by approving hires in the Clinton Police Department, the Clinton Fire Department and the Public Works Department.
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.