• 63°

Library, water, census covered by town board

Renovations are on the way for the Wesson Public Library.

The Wesson Board of Alderman discussed alterations to plans by architect Joseph Orr Tuesday. Money for the project comes from a $314,000 ADA grant from the Mississippi Development Authority to improve accessibility to the building.

“On the back side there will be new parking and new entries,” Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw said. “All the shelves will be lowered where someone in a wheelchair will be able to access it. Bathrooms will increased in size where people in wheelchairs will be able to get in them.”

While plans for the project are not complete, the town is planning to expand the size of the library on the south side by adding a room.

Shaw hopes to be able to ask for bids at the next regular meeting.

Head count

A representative for the Census Bureau who was scheduled to speak at the meeting failed to appear.

“I told her to just send me the forms and I’ll fill them out,” Shaw joked in the meeting. “We’ve got 4,500 people and everybody makes $200 a month. We joke about it, but we don’t fit into a lot of grants because the mean average income in this area is too high, and it’s the only place in Copiah County that meets that threshold. That’s why we have to do (the library) under ADA.”

Shaw stressed the importance of everyone filling out the census correctly. The census is of particular value to municipalities since the Mississippi Department of Revenue began collecting taxes on online sales in 2018.

“When we start getting use-tax rebates from the state, 50 percent of the money we get is based on sales tax returns, and 50 percent of the money we get is based off population. This is on you can specifically tie a dollar amount to every person in the town,” he said.

SCADA for water

The price of maintaining the current aging communication system between the town’s wastewater pump station and its wells is increasing. The system, currently provided by AT&T, requires constantly open phone lines.

Shaw said that the current system costs nearly $1,000 a month, but originally cost the town between $100 and $200. Instead of continuing to use the system, the town is looking at implementing a more modern Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system with a different company. Shaw said he will get a quote from Control Systems, and he has a quote from Hawk Remote for about $23,000.

Shaw is looking at financing options to borrow money for the switch.

In other business Tuesday, aldermen:

• Received $300,000 in state appropriations for the Wesson Police Department.

• Agreed to contact the owners of two properties that need to be cleaned up for health and safety reasons.