June 27, 2001
To the Editor:
If all parties agreed that current building codes actually discourage construction of new homes in the city of Meridian, then it should be a simple matter to change them. It would seem to be in the city's best interests to encourage homeownership and its resultant benefits.
But modifying construction codes is never a simple matter. Veteran builders have told The Meridian Star both on and off the record that Meridian's administrative processes, a "dictatorial attitude" in the Community Development Department and a 35-year-old set of building codes actually work against growth.
For their part, city development officials agree some of the codes do not account for modern construction techniques, yet maintain they administer all of them fairly.
Not even absolutely fair implementation of outdated codes will reverse Meridian's population slide when the codes themselves need updating.
Perhaps the time has come to revisit the issue and develop a set of codes that protects the structural integrity of buildings, as well as public health and safety, while at the same time encouraging developers to build in the city.
Community Development director Don Farrar seemed to be saying as much with his comment that "We want workable regulations and codes that are unrestrictive, but at the same time promotes safety and a quality product for our city."
Okay, now that we know where the major interests stand, let's get on with the job.
Reader saddened by destruction of trees
To the Editor:
I moved out of state about nine months ago. I came back to Meridian for a visit two weeks ago and I could not believe the destruction of the beautiful trees on I-20 coming into town.
Where once there was such a cool entrance into our town now looks like any other place where people have no respect for what takes years to grow.
Thank goodness the farther I got from town (going west) the more I saw that other places had not decided to destroy the trees. They served us more than beauty, because they made it cooler in summer and helped with the bright oncoming lights at night.
I'm sure that I am not the only one that is saddened by their loss. I'm glad that The Meridian Star is on the Web. I keep up with my hometown news that way.
Enjoyed coverage of Easter egg hunt
To the Editor
On behalf of the Hudspeth Early Intervention Program, Mississippi State Department of Health's First Steps Program, and the Lauderdale County School District's Parents as Teachers Program, we want to express our sincere appreciation for the community support given to our combined annual Easter Egg Hunt
First, we want to recognize Letitia Banks and the students in her gifted class at West Lauderdale Elementary School. They provided face painting, toddler basketball, bubble blowing, and storybook activities for the children attending.
In addition, these students stood the perimeter of the field for our egg hunt, helping to ensure the safety of the 35 children eagerly hunting eggs. Last, but not least, Ms. Banks and her students provided refreshments and a "goody" bag for all children.
Second, many thanks to WTOK-TV for their coverage of this special event. Meridian is fortunate to house the many community agencies and programs that support and network with each other. Media coverage can often help families identify programs that can provide support and help their child receive the best possible start in life, ensuring success in life and school.
Finally, thanks to our staff who helped coordinate this activity. Their support, dedication and hard work to our programs do not go unrecognized.
Special Ed Teacher
Early Intervention Program
District Coordinator, First Steps
State Dept. of Health
Lauderdale County Schools