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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
September 10, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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September 10, 2015

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;]. 5 5 5 01 " 0 ;i " 16 4 4 P ;]. D ~ ]:;I,!C.. iLDEST NEWSPAPER - Established 1824 :!] ~'I {=. !. 'f {] I~ I,li i~l '7 PJ ~:.j PJ.- '~ " '~.~. "~,., i",, ;~] t alb lli,lhlllll,l,hlihl,,lllilMi,,lih,ilhiillihi,lilll,iGi, Volume 191 USPS 462-260 50 per copy Woodville, Mississippi 39669 Thursday, September 10, 2015 Number 19 Millag, LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY GRADUATES- Pictured above are the participants in a recent 10-week Wilkinson County Entre- preneur Academy. A graduation ceremony was held at Opposite Ends in downtown Woodville, with MSU Extension Professor Dr. Alan Barefield as the keynote speaker. MSU's Dr. James Barnes also spoke to the group on the importance of websites, facebook pages and e-commerce. Other community expert speakers in- cluded Brian Berry, Shep Craw- ford, Tom Rosenblatt and Peyton Cavin, who gave information on all aspects of starting a busi- ness -- legal, insurance, financ- ing, bookkeeping and taxes. Com- munity entrepreneurs who gave business advice included Ramona Pace, Carl Whiting, Scott Sanders and Scott Wesberry. The academy was sponsored by a partnership of MSU Extension Service, Nat- chez, Inc., and the Woodville! Wilkinson County Main Street Association. Another Entrepre- neur Academy will be hosted in Woodville in the Spring of 2016. If you wish to sign up, please leave a message on the Woodville! Wilkinson County Main Street As- sociation Facebook page or call 601.888.3998. m Photo Submitted Plans are underway for the 2015 Woodmlle Deer & Wildlife Festival, now in its eighth year! Applications for Arts & Crafts Vendors and Trade Booth Vendors are available at www.deer- or at the WoodmUe and Centrev- ille Public Libraries. Ven- dor Chairman Emily Ash- ley encourages applicants to get applications and all paperwork in early to save money! Wild Game Cook Off Chairmen Janay and Bran- don Perkins are creating in- centives for Cook Teams to participate -- they ask Cook Teams to note the new fees -- $75 to enter the contest and $10 for each additional entry category. Sponsorship Chairmen David and Carrie Carter thank all those spon- sors who are, once again, supporting this regional event, and encourage those who have never sponsored to endorse the Festival by be- coming a Sponsor. Sponsor- ship information is available on the festival website, or by contacting the Festival office at 601.888.3998. The Festival will take place on Saturday, October 10, from 9 to 5 around the courthouse square in the downtown. Admission is $5 per person; children 2 and under are free. Features include the Veal Brothers Gospel Group, Lil Poochie, Chainsaw Carver, Chil- dren's Village, Snake Guy Terry Vandeventer, artist demonstrators, and good cooks from all over the re- gion! Join the fun -- come help the Festival as a vol- unteer, advisor, or both! This great community event NEEDS YOU! f_,O ga [tSYl5 by Woodville Republican Publisher Andy J. Lewis Creativity wow!N This is one of the smartest scams I have heard about. You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. Typically when check- ing in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your room) and they don't retain the card. You go to your room and settle in. All is good. The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an extimple) room 620 -- which happens to be your room. The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following: "This is the front desk. When checking in, we came across a prob- lem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card numbers and verify the three-digit code number at the reverse side of your charge card." Not thinking anything wrong, since the call seems to come from the front desk you oblige. But actually, it is a scan by someone call- ing from outside the hotel. They have asked for a ran- dom room number, then ask you for your credit card and address information. They sound so professional, that you think you are talk- ing to the front desk. If you ever encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk or call di- rectly and ask if there was a problem. If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scum you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee. This was sent by someone who has been duped ........ and is still cleaning up the mess. Anyone traveling should be aware of this one! After hearing from a number or readers com- plaining about the lack of humming birds around feeders, things seemed to have picked up a little from the reports received a cou- ple of weeks back. Hwy. 24 East humming bird enthusiast Ann Morris sent us an email Saturday, September 5, in which she said, "As of yesterday, (Fri- day, September 4) I have a large group of birds at my feeder. I am able to count at least a dozen at my large one and I have filled two smaller feeders that attract three or four at the time. They are FIGHTING each other!! ! -- Ann Morris Editor Andy Lewis' wife spotted a visitor at our lone feeder over the weekend and immediately put in a fresh supply of sugar water. Low and behold, a couple of minutes later a male Ruby Throat hummer was sip- ping away at our feeder. They must be filling up for their pending trip south for the winter. Despite the fact that the Woodville .Board of Alder- men voted 3-0 to increase the millage rate for prop- erty owners in the town by three mills to purchase a back hoe, they then voted unanimously to allow them- selves to attend three mu- nicipal conventions per year instead of just one which has been recent practice. According to City Clerk Cathy McCurley, three mills is anticipated to in- crease the income to the town $15,000 or $5,900 per mill. McCurley recommended the increase in millage in order to increase tax income to help pay the estimated monthly note on the new backhoe the board is making plans to purchase. : McCurley said that the current tax rate in Wood- ville was 35 mills, and the new rate for Fiscal Year 2016 will be 38 mills. "We will have to increase the millage in order to af- ford the new backhoe and any other equipment pur- chase during our coming fiscal year," commented the city clerk. On motion by Alderman Earl Dean Anthony and a second by Alderman Rus- sell Fry, the board voted 3-0 to approve raising the millage rate by 3 mills and to hold a public hearing on the proposed FY 2016 bud- get on Tuesday, September 22, at 5 p.m. Alderman Will Carter was again absent from the regular monthly board meeting. Woodville: Utility Super- intendent Nolan Thompson said he had called several dealers about the cost of a backhoe to p~eet the town's needs and"~o replace their current machine which is about 15 years old. "They are all running in the neighborhood of $85,000," Thompson told the board. Clerk McCurley said she had checked on financ- ing a new backhoe.costing $85,000, and the monthly payments will be about $1,600. On motion by Alderman Anthony and a second by Alderman Fry, the board voted 3-0 to advertise for bids on a new backhoe. Clerk McCurley pointed out to the board that the millage rate increase will bring in about $15,000 per year, while the financing for the new backhoe would be $1,600 per month or $19,200. "The tax increase won't cover the anticipated annual payments on the new tractor," McCurley told the board. Later in the meeting Al- derman Gene Lofton made a motion which will allow the aldermen to attend all three Mississippi Mu- nicipal Association conven- tions each year instead of just one allowed by prior board order. "I want this change so we can continue to earn our continuing education hours," commented Alder- man Lofton. Mayor Gary D'Aquilla asked Clerk McCurley, "How much does it cost taxpayers for aldermen to attend these three confer- ences?" Clerk McCurley replied, "$1,500 per alderman to attend the annual confer- ence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and $1,000 each to go to the Small Town Conference and an- other $1,000 per person to attend the Mid-Winter Conference." "If all four aldermen at- tend all three municipal conventions, this will cost the taxpayers a total of at least $14,000," Mayor D'Aquilla stated. "I am worried about the town's finances. Last year we got in such a bind that we al- most couldn't make payroll for our employees. At this meeting you have voted to buy a backhoe at $85,000 and to spend $14,000 or more to go to conventions. Where is the money to cov- er this additional spend- ing going to come from. The three mills is going to bring in $15,000 and this certainly won't pay for the backhoe and for you to go to three conventions a year at the taxpayer's expense. ! think this is wrong." Then, Alderman Lofton brought up his desire to purchase a fourth lawn mower for the cemetery care department. The mat- ter was brought up at a prior meeting. Mayor D'Aquilla stated, "Alderman Lofton, why are you bringing this up again. I have talked to the cemetery care department head, and he tells me we have three mowers that are all in good working order. Why do you want a fourth mower when we al- ready have three. Even if I agreed with the purchase, now is not the time to do it. Mowers will go on sale during the winter months. And, why buy a new mower now when the grass cut- ting season is almost over. Why pay notes on a mower when it will sit idle for 5-6 months until grass starts growing again." Alderman Lofton re- plied, "I make a motion to buy the new mower." Mayor D'Aquilla said, "We have a motion on the floor, do we have a second." No second was offered so the motion died. Mayor D'Aquilla said, "I don't know where y'all think this additional $100,000 you have voted to spend is coming from. The clerk and I have worked hard this year managing our money. You are spending money that we don't have." to completely change the zoning for this property," said Chairman Derbes. "We need to bring in profession- al help such as a land use planner before the town or the zoning commission take any action. We need to do an in depth study be- fore responding to Attorney Lewis' offer." Reported to the board that the boundary lines of the Woodville Historic Dis- trict are somewhat vague. "They were not drawn up and legally described when it was first drawn up in the 198ffs. We are working to get boundary lines drawn and legally described. I am going to ask local attorney David Wilkerson to assist me on this matter." On motion by Alder- man Anthony and a sec- ond by Alderman Fry, the board voted unanimously to adopt the ad valorem tax rolls as presented to the town from Wilkinson County Tax Assessor Jer- emy Ephion. Th board voted 3-0 to set Tuesday, September 22, as the date for the mandatory budget hearing for fiscal year 2016. The meeting will start at 5 p.m. and be held at the Woodville Municipal Building. Mayor D'Aquilla was named as the designated agent of the town to apply for reimbursement for ex- penses the town incurred cleaning up from Hurricane Isaac back in August, 2012. The board unanimously approved homecoming pa- rade permits for the follow- ing: WCCA, Friday, Septem- ber 18, at 11 a.m. WCHS, Friday, October During the period for de- 2, at 1 p.m. partmental vep0rts, WPD~ Mayor D'Aqi~illa started; Chief Jessie Stewart re- ported that the new patrol car arrived this week. The funding for the purchase of this unit came in the form of a 100% grant from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. "I want the board to vote to designate this as an un- marked patrol car, and to allow my old car to become a marked patrol unit," said Chief Stewart. On motion by Anthony and second by Fry, the board approved the chief's request with a 3-0 vote. "I want to thank Chief Stewart for his hard work in getting the grant that paid for this new police car," said Mayor D'Aquilla. "I appreciate it. Keep up the good work Chief." Woodville Preserva- tion and Planning Chair- man Jim Derbes gave his monthly report to the board and included the following items: Reported that the com- missions are coming up on their first year of operation. Twelve applications have been submitted, mostly for signs, while one was for con- struction. The application from Bob and Raven Lewis re- questing a zoning variance on the old Woodville Atten- dance School property from residential to commercial was to allow McCants Mo- bile Homes to display motor homes and travel trailers on this property. The appli- cation was turned down and McCants Mobile Homes has located to an area on U.S. Hwy. 61 South. "This shows that zoning criteria worked in this instance in preserv- ing this residential area," said Derbes. Reported that Wilkin- son County Board Attor- ney Bruce Lewis has ap- proached the Woodville Board of Aldermen and the Zoning and Preservation Commission to make an offer to buy the old Wood- ville Attendance Center property from Bob and Ra- ven Lewis. "Attorney Lewis says the county wants the property for a proposed medical complex associ- ated with Field Memo- rial Hospital (Field Health System). "I disagree with Attorney Lewis. He is ask- ing the zoning commission "We need to make sure that the schools know that, for safety reasons and con- cerns, no horses or ATV's will be allowed to partici- pate in the parade." A complaint has been filed with the town relative to the unsafe condition of a dwelling and property lo- cated at 244 Moore Street. This house is owned by the McCoy Estate. The board requested that board At- torney Amy Ryan contact the attorney for the estate to see if the lot and house can be cleared of trees, weeds and debris. On motion by Fry and a second by Lofton, the board voted 3-0 to retain the services of an attorney to file suit against former Woodville Police Officer Demond Turner. The offi- cer failed to complete the Law Enforcement Train- ing Officer Course which the town had paid for. By contract Turner owes the town for the cost of the course. Clerk McCurley re- ported that Bailey Cable Company, which holds the franchise for the Town of Woodville cable service, is way behind on paying the franchise fees owed the town. McCurley said the town has received no pay- ment .since January 26, 2015, and by her books, they own for the 4th Quar- ter of 2013, and the 1st and 2nd Quarters of 2014. The mayor, board and at- torney discussed this prob- lem, but came up with no solution other than writ- ing Bailey Cable a letter requesting that they bring their payments up to cur- rent status. The monthly activity re- port for August, 2015, was received from the Wood- ville Police Department as follows: Citations]Char~es Filed Bad Check ................................... 1 Disregard Traffic Device ......... 2 Failure To Comply .................... 3 Loud Music .................................. 1 Malicious Mischief .................... 1 Shoplifting ................................... 1 Simple Assault ............................ 3 Wilfully Trespassing ................. 2 August Fines Total.... $4026.750 August Delinquent ...... $1995.25 The next regularly sched- uled board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 6, at 5 p.m. in the Woodville Municipal Building. t