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Airport, street paving work delayed

An advertising error is expected to push an airport runwaypaving project into the spring instead of later this year, cityofficials said Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen, theboard rescinded a decision to award a $441,000 contract toDickerson and Bowen, which was the only company to submit a bid onthe project. The original decision was made at a special meetinglast month.

Hugh Long, associate city engineer, said there was a problem inthat the advertisement for bids was run for 15 calender days andnot for 15 working days as required by law. The engineer acceptedresponsibility for the error.

Long recommended the board readvertise but warned that there maybe some time and weather difficulties in getting the work done.

“This is going to push it into December … and the weatherstarts getting bad,” Long said.

Mayor Bill Godbold said the work mostly likely would not be doneuntil the spring.

“We were trying to beat the weather, and we weren’t able to doit,” Long added.

A downtown street paving project, which was to be done aroundthe same time as the airport project, has also been delayed untilthe spring. City Engineer Carl Ray Furr told officials at the Oct.7 board meeting that additional time was needed to address somehandicapped assessability issues.

In other business during Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen voted toapply for a state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) toaddress some flooding problems in Ward Three.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t take the money where it’sneeded,” Godbold said.

The board also voted to commit a 10 percent match, either infunds or in-kind labor, for the estimated $300,000-$400,000project. Roy Geoghegan, with the Southwest Mississippi Planning andDevelopment District, said the matching amount was up to theboard.

“The more you put into it, the more points you get,” Geoghegansaid in explaining that the grant are awarded on a competitivepoints basis.

The area that would benefit from the project will be determinedduring the application process. Geoghegan said the applicationdeadline is Nov. 20 and a door-to-door survey of potentialbeneficiaries must be done.

“There’s not a lot of time to do this,” he said.

A public hearing on the CDBG application was scheduled for Nov.12 at 10 a.m.

Also Tuesday, aldermen are reviewing proposed hunting and burnordinances governing a proposed annexation area should it be takenin. The ordinances, which could be approved at the next boardmeeting, would set up guidelines for burning and hunting.

The city’s annexation trial began Wednesday.