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franklin county times

City could fix sink hole' in mayor's yard

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Nov. 27, 2002
Meridian city councilmen could vote Tuesday to fix a sink hole in Mayor John Robert Smith's back yard.
The hole apparently was caused when an old underground culvert, built by Meridian before 1950 to carry storm drainage, collapsed recently behind Smith's 26th Avenue home.
City attorney Bill Hammack requested an attorney general's opinion earlier this month asking if the city had the authority to fix the hole.
In a response, Attorney General Mike Moore said the city has authority to do the work with the mayor's permission.
Smith said Tuesday he thought it was "inappropriate" for him to discuss the situation. "I want them to treat me like any other citizen," he said.
According to the attorney general's Nov. 15 letter, the hole is a "large depression" or "sink hole" in the mayor's back yard.
The letter also states that the "city engineer has advised that dirt from the private property is eroding into the drain where the culvert is compromised and, eventually, will result in blockage of the drain."
Monty Jackson, the city's engineer and public works director, did not return phone calls Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
Some of the councilmen said they have not seen the hole.
The council could take up the issue at their its regular meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
If the city council does decide to fix the problem, some councilmen say they will honor the mayor's request to be treated like any other city resident.
Councilman Bobby Smith, who represents Ward 5, agreed.

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