By CARL SMITH
Voter registration is open now until Aug. 27 for the city’s Sept. 27 bond referendum.
Residents may visit the city clerk’s office during regular business hours to register and need to have photo identification in hand. During the Tuesday board of aldermen meeting, Wiseman said the city clerk’s office will open on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 8 a.m. to noon to accommodate final weekend registration.
Aldermen approved the citywide bond vote during a special Aug. 9 meeting. If passed, the $8.45 million bond would go toward the construction of a new police station at the intersection of Highway 182 and Jackson Street. Only funding for the first phase of the two-phase municipal complex plan is currently up for vote.
Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas unveiled a new website — http://www.cityofstarkville.org/masterplan/  — for interested Starkville residents to visit, educate themselves on the municipal complex plan and tally potential impact from a potential 3.49-mill increase if the bond is passed. Currently, the city’s millage rate is 20 mills, and Dumas said Starkville has one of the lowest tax rates in the state after the board passed the city’s 2012 budget.
Starkville Board of Aldermen also approved two budgets funded through the 2 percent food and beverage tax Tuesday.
Mississippi State University’s Student Association budget was approved unanimously after a presentation by Bill Kibler, vice president for student affairs, and SA President Rhett Hobart. The budget funds events and services, such as Bulldog Bash and the Night Route, which Kibler said “benefit students and Starkville” alike. Kibler also said MSU should have over 20,000 students enrolled this semester, the first time for any university in the state.
The Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s budget was also unanimously approved by aldermen later in the meeting. Jennifer Gregory, Greater Starkville Development Partnership vice president for tourism, said the budget called for greater increases in advertising in order to draw more visitors to the community.
“We feel we are the agency responsible for promoting Starkville,” she said.
The advertising’s success can be seen in the fact Mississippi Magazine will feature Pumpkinpalooza, which Gregory said was the first time a Starkville event has been featured in the magazine.
The board also approved the purchase of equipment and advertising to fill vacant positions for the public works department.
Public Works Director Doug Devlin said the equipment and soon-to-be-added manpower will be used in the department’s efforts to flush Starkville pipes of brown water.
The water, which is potable, was discolored after a federally-mandated chlorine increase caused increased oxidation of the inside of the pipes.