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Town of Prentiss hears issues

By Karen Sanford

Editor Prentiss Headlight

“I love this town, and I hate to see it go to the dogs,” said a concerned citizen to the Prentiss board of Aldermen at last Tuesday night’s meeting.

The town resident, who asked to remain anonymous, made an impassioned plea asking for more diligence in enforcing homeowner ordinances such as lawn maintenance and animal control.

Examples given were of a home with overgrown grass, an unsightly, old refrigerator in a yard that could pose a danger to children playing and another property with too many dogs contained by a fence.

“This has brought down the value of every house on the street,” said the resident.

Ronald Jones of the town’s Property Maintenance Department was not in attendance to hear the complaint.

Mayor Charley Dumas assured the resident that laws are in place which require town homeowners to keep grass mowed on a property. Dumas explained that the first step when a complaint is made is to speak to the homeowner about the complaint. If no action is taken by the home-owner, then a ticket is issued. If the problem is still not resolved, then a public hearing process is begun that eventually allows the town to force the home-owner into compliance.

Regarding the matter of the dogs, the Mayor said there is no ordinance suggesting a maximum number of dogs a resident may have on their property. “As long as they are fenced in, there is no ordinance preventing the number of dogs a person can have,” he said.

The concerned resident suggested that homeowners be presented with a copy of all town ordinances as a reminder of what is and is not permitted or that ordinances be printed in the newspaper. The Board agreed to take the matter under advisement.

•   Waste Management – garbage pickup bids were solicited with Waste Management coming in with the winning bid at $12.56 for household garbage and $18.39 for commercial garbage.

Before the vote was held to accept the bid, Alderman Todd Broome suggested a proposal be presented to the county Board of Supervisors for the town’s garbage pickup service.

“I see the county’s trucks from my house,” said Broome. “Why not reject all the bids from these other companies and keep the money in the county.”

The vote was tabled until discussion of the proposal could be had with District One Supervisor Corky Holliman as to the feasibility of the idea. A decision will be made within the month as Waste Management bid for an October 1 start date and a contract that would last four years.

•  Kathy Cloyd had previously been nominated as the representative for the town to serve on the board of the Jefferson Davis Economic Partnership, however, she declined the position. Alderman Randy Stamps suggested Mary Curtis as a replacement and the board voted unanimously in favor.

•  Police Chief Harold Rhodes was part of a discussion by the Board about holidayw pay for officers. Currently, holiday pay can only be earned by day-shift officers. If a night-shift officer works Christmas night, for example, he or she would not receive holiday pay. Some board members suggested the holiday should be defined as midnight to midnight rather than 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rhodes suggested that if a change was made that it would also be in effect for firemen as well. The board tabled the discussion until research could be done on how other cities handle holiday pay.