First Bassfield Town meeting held under new leadership

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The first Board of Aldermen meeting for the Town of Bassfield under the new leadership of Mayor Angie Speights Ladner lasted four hours last Tuesday as the Town had an abundance of business to take care of.

The Town accepted the resignation of Bassfield Town Attorney Reggie Blackledge and will be actively searching for his replacement.

CPA for Town of Bassfield Brett Duncan attended the meeting to introduce himself to the Mayor and new Board members, who are Lisa Blount, Erin Lee and James Speck.

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The Town tabled a request for the Equine Building to be leased, asking for a clear definition of the business plan and security measures.  Noah Booth is interested in leasing the Equine Building from the Town for the growth of hemp.

The Board approved the sending of a letter to the Bassfield Volunteer Fire Chief Jennifer Meredith regarding unpaid insurance. The Town of Bassfield cannot legally pay for the insurance, since it is two separate entities. The Town has a contract with the fire department and pays the department a certain millage. The department runs off the millage and a grant from the State.

Bassfield City Hall will be closed July 26-30 while employees attend the Mississippi Municipal League Conference. A drop box will be available for water payments and an emergency number will be on the Town answering machine.

The appointment of the Pearl and Leaf Rivers Rails to Trails Recreational District delegate was tabled until the August meeting after several expressed interest in the position.

All Interlocal agreements sheriff department, tax assessor and fire department will be revisited in August.

Alderman Will Hendry was selected as Mayor Pro Tempore for the 2021-2025 term.

In other business, Bassfield aldermen approved the following without opposition:

  • June claims
  • To open new bank account under the name ARPA Recovery Fund related to the CARES Act as suggested by the Town CPA.
  • Bassfield Water Operator Jason Wambolt to use town equipment for training purposes for Water Supervisor Dawson McLendon.
  • To start sending letters to blighted properties.
  • Grill and Chill in Faler Park in August to introduce the new Mayor and Aldermen and discuss the duties of town employees.
  • Trick or Treat to be Oct. 30.
  • Christmas in the Park to be Dec. 11 with alternate date to be Dec. 18.
  • Updated shirts and business cards to be purchased for the Town.
  • Change name on all bank accounts.
  • Not to bush hog on personal property.
  • For the town to start the research process of selling a piece of property that the town owns.
  • Lisa Blount, Will Hendry, Ken Roberts, Kim Mason and Angie Ladner to attend the MML convention at the end of July.
  • Mayor Ladner to be the MML delegate with Will Hendry as the alternate.
  • For the City Clerk to continue paying re-occurring bills.
  • To send Community Development Block Grant a letter changing the signature of the grant from former Mayor Pat Courtney to Mayor Angie Ladner.
  • To place speed bumps at Little Angel’s Daycare on Hawkins Drive and also to start the research on the process of putting speed bumps down on main street in Bassfield.
  • To request an inventory of the evidence room at the Town of Bassfield from the Sheriff’s Department.
  • To change the locks of the evidence room with Sheriff Ron Strickland being the only one with a key.
  • To change all locks at Bassfield City Hall.
  • To discontinue the Bassfield City Hall cleaning service.
  • To discontinue the use Unifirst for uniforms and supplies. Uniforms will be purchased directly and employees responsible for cleaning.
  • Adjustments to water bills and water refunds.

“People in Bassfield are starting to get on fire,” said Mayor Ladner at the conclusion of her first meeting. “I think when you bring a positive vibe and positive energy people get really motivated.”

Ladner is not one that gives excuses. “Never, ever will I do that. Never will I make a promise that I know I cannot keep. What I will tell you is that no one will try harder and fight harder for these people in Bassfield than I will. It is not possible.”