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Monticello board approves DUI fine

MONTICELLO — Town board members passed an ordinance Wednesdaythat will add a $10 assessment to Municipal Court fees onmisdemeanors and driving under the influence charges.

The $10 court cost assessment was approved as part of a stateprogram to fund governmental wireless communications, such aspolice radios and cellular phones.

Under the plan, the assessment is sent to the Department ofPublic Safety, which administers the program. When the town needsfunds to repair, purchase or upgrade its wireless communications,they request the funds from the department.

The town receives a $9 return on the $10 assessment. The statekeeps $1 for administering the program.

Mayor David Nichols also informed the board of a new grantopportunity through the Delta Regional Authority. The DRA has $4.1million in grant money to offer the 45 counties that fall under itsauthority.

“What I would like to do,” Nichols said, “is have the town applyon the Highway 27 project.”

The mayor said the town should have a good chance if they applyfor the highway project because, in total, they would be joiningforces with three counties and four municipalities and the projectaffects a large number of people.

However, Monticello would not see an immediate impact if awardedthe grant, he said, because the logical extension of the programwould be to use the funds to purchase right-of-ways from CrystalSprings to Georgetown.

“The money would be for buying right-of-ways in Copiah County,”Nichols said.

If awarded, this project would extend a four-laning projectalready planned and begun from Crystal Springs to Vicksburg.

“The more progress and commitment we show to this project, themore likely it is that we can get federal money to finish it,” themayor said.

The board discussed other options, but returned to the Highway27 project.

Aldermen George Magee, Steve Moreman and Jerry Goode voted infavor of the mayor’s proposal. Aldermen Dick Reeves and PeteMathews were not present.

Nichols informed the board that the county had withdrawn fromthe Pearl River Basin Development District, which left theoperation of Atwood Water Park in question.

The town has an agreement to operate the park, Nichols said, andhe doesn’t believe the county’s withdrawal will effect that.However, a district committee is meeting Thursday to discuss theiroptions.

“I’m going to this meeting tomorrow and I guess I’m asking fordirection,” he said.

Board members agreed they would like to continue operating thepark.

Tuesday’s town board meeting was moved to Wednesday when theyfailed to achieve the necessary quorum to conduct town business.Only the mayor, Magee and Moreman were present Tuesday.