By NATHAN GREGORY
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will hold a second public hearing on amending the city’s code to allow for transient vendors to set up on public property to sell their goods provided they meet city requirements. The ordinance currently allows for vendors to set up on private property only.
The first public hearing on the proposed change was at the Dec. 6, 2011 meeting. Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas said he has pushed for this change because he feels there is a need and a want for restaurants in Starkville to have food trucks.
“I know that’s a trend nationally to allow vendors to set up in parking places. The big change would allow a registered vendor through the city to park legally in a parking place and sell food,” Dumas said. “There were some discrepancies between peddler law and state statute, (so there are) housecleaning items on our end so the local ordinance will conform with state statute.”
The board will also hear a report from Tripp Muldrow regarding the creation of a redevelopment authority for the city. Muldrow, an urban planner with Arnett Muldrow and Associates in Greenville, S.C., will work with the board on policy decisions on establishing an authority if the board agrees to go forward with that plan, Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said.
“(In the last board) meeting, the board approved a steering committee to work with Muldrow on laying the foundation for the future establishment of a redeveloping authority,” Wiseman said.
Dumas said he believes there is a need for a redeveloping authority.
“State statute allows there to be creation of a redevelopment authority that really can look at and focus on redevelopment issues in certain parts of town. I think when you look at what we’ve done with form-based codes and other things we’ve had ... the city recognizes the need for authority to look at and help spur redevelopment in certain areas in town,” Dumas said. “The steering committee will be tasked with naming those individuals that will be on the authority.”
The board will also consider acceptance of the request for qualification from T.E. Lott & Company as the city’s internal control consultant.
This measure is a response to the city’s $18,000 penalty by the Internal Revenue Service after a deputy clerk neglected to make a payroll tax payment in the summer of 2011 and the matter went unreported until December, Wiseman said.
“Internal controls are the measures set up by an office to ensure where a human error is made, the error can be caught and remedied as quickly as possible. In complex office operations, it becomes necessary to establish internal controls which will hopefully automatically trigger notification when something has gone wrong,” Wiseman said. “We have sought expert advice on accounting controls that will give us a system of financial reporting for the city that is hopefully as error-proof as possible. T.E. Lott is an excellent local accounting firm, and they have responded in a timely manner to our request for assistance.”
The board will also hear a report from Sanitation and Environmental Services Director Sharon Boyd regarding the implementation of plans for a formal litter control program.
Dumas said this program was something the board talked about in its strategic planning retreat last month.
“Myself and (Ward 1 Alderman Ben) Carver had some questions about why we weren’t fully implementing the litter control program we discussed last year,” Dumas said. “Through this report hopefully we can find a way to better utilize existing manpower and be more efficient in picking up litter in town.”
Wiseman said this has been a goal of the board’s for some time.
“It is a part of the overhaul of what was formally our sanitation department into a complete sanitation and environmental services program,” Wiseman said. “Mrs. Boyd has been tasked with determining how the city can work proactively to ensure that we are as litter free as possible, and she will make a presentation as to the efforts she proposes on behalf of the Sanitation and Environmental Services Department.”