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By CARL SMITH
The city of Starkville is currently accepting absentee votes for the Sept. 27 municipal bond referendum through noon Saturday.
City Hall will open at 8 a.m. Saturday to accommodate absentee voters. Poll workers are still needed for the vote. Those interested must be a registered voter and reside inside the city limits. Those interested in becoming a poll worker should contact Jim McKell, election commission chairman, at (662) 312-6563 or City Clerk Markeeta Outlaw or Deputy City Clerk Emma Gandy at (662) 323-2525.
According to the Tuesday Board of Aldermen agenda, Mayor Parker Wiseman will make comments about the upcoming referendum.
â€śI feel optimistic (about the bond),â€ť Wiseman said Sunday. â€śI think there is widespread recognition that it is critical to the future of our public safety to provide an adequate police station. The facility the PD operates in right now is far from adequate and lacks many of the basics required for the officers to do their job.â€ť
Also during the board meeting, Aldermen will consider approving a budget amendment, consider renaming the Budget Committee to the Audit and Budget Committee and revising the duties and responsibilities of the group to match the potential name change.
Ward 2 Alderman Sandra Sistrunk said the budget amendment up for consideration is a house cleaning adjustment to even out departmental books.
â€śThis a routine budget amend to reflect where some overs and unders which have occurred throughout the year in various departments,â€ť Sistrunk said.
Wiseman said the committeeâ€™s structure will remain the same while it picks up timely audits and reviews before a contracted auditor does the lionâ€™s share of work.
â€śThe city had a conversation with our primary auditor. He thought it would be a good idea to have a committee that stays in touch with him and stays on top of the cityâ€™s audit status.â€ť
Sistrunk said the city will continue its relationship with an independent auditor to ensure a third party review.
Aldermen will also hear requests from Main Street Association representative Jennifer Gregory for in-kind services from the city for Pumpkinpalooza and the Downtown Block Party. Gregory will request a total of $2,323 for services from the Starkville Police Department, sanitation division and electric department for both events. Both events will request $750 each of in-kind services from the police department and $209 from the electric department, while $150 is slated for the Oct. 14 Pumpkinpalooza for sanitation and $255 will be requested for Fridayâ€™s block party.
â€śThese events are not only positive for our citizens, but they most definitely bring visitors into town and are centered around promoting Starkville restaurants and retail stores,â€ť Gregory said. â€śThey support the city of Starkville with sales tax. I feel like we have a great partnership with the city, and we very much appreciate the assistance we receive.â€ť
The board will also consider closing Main Street from Jackson Street East to Caldwell Street for the Oct. 4 Pops on the Plaza. A street/sidewalk closing permit application was submitted by Robert Phillips on behalf of the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association on Sept. 6 for the closure.
Starkville aldermen have approved similar requests for all three events in the past.
Lynn Spruill, Starkvilleâ€™s chief administrative officer, will present a report on the status of the Carver Drive hydrolics and hydrology study.
â€ś(The project) is basically in process and should be completed in about a month,â€ť Spruill said. â€śAt that time, a full engineerâ€™s report will be made available to the board.â€ť
In other board business, the board will consider appointments to the Transportation Commission for Ward 3 and to the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee for Wards 2, 4 and 6.