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Wesson focusing on healthy children

Wesson will get a $40,000 grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi through the insurance company’s Healthy Heroes Inititiative.

The program is designed to encourage children to engage in healthy lifestyles through diet and exercise.

“All of the money we receive from the grant has to be used for some sort of recreational activity,” Mayor Alton Shaw said at the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday. “We really want to add activities for the town park.”

One of the requirements of the grant is for police officers to have interaction with students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Wesson Police Chief Chad O’Quinn thinks this is great for his department.

“I hope this will get relationships established with law enforcement early,” O’Quinn said. “We will be at the Wesson Attendance Center once a month speaking to kids about nutrition, how to exercise properly and we’re also going to organize a walk.”

Budget

Aldermen Tuesday passed the approximately $1.1 million budget while keeping the millage rate the same.

That’s good news for the residents of Wesson because no one’s property tax will increase.

“Unless the county reassess, which they do every once in a while, then nothing should happen. If they reassess your property and the value goes up or down, there will be an adjustment. As far as the town of Wesson goes, we’re not raising your taxes,” said Shaw.

He said the general fund budget runs around $480,000 and the water/sewer budget is approximately $530,000.

Police training

O’Quinn addressed the board to get approval of training for municipal police officers.

According to O’Quinn, each officer is required to have a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education each year.

“I try to be fiscally sound with our budget and training money. The RCTA or the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy in Meridian provides free training for officers. It’s federal money that pays the bill on this,” O’Quinn said. “This is some of the best training that you can get in the United States.”

The Wesson police force has 12 officers on staff now and O’Quinn plans on sending at least eight officers to this training course.

“We have training in local areas, but this is multi-day training. You have highly qualified instructors and it costs nothing,” said O’Quinn.

The board approved O’Quinn’s request.

In other business:

• Shaw recognized Joe Glasper for his 29 years of service in the public works department.

• Set the next aldermen meeting for Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Wesson Town Hall.