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franklin county times

Council decides not to fix mayor's sink hole

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Dec. 4, 2002
Mayor John Robert Smith will have to find another way to repair a sink hole in his backyard after city councilmen decided Tuesday they didn't want to fix it.
If they had repaired the sink hole, some councilmen said, then they may have to correct similar problems on other private property throughout the city.
Tuesday's action came about a month after the city's attorney, Bill Hammack, requested a state attorney general's opinion asking if the city had the authority to fix the hole.
In a letter to the city, state Attorney General Mike Moore said city officials have the authority to do the work with the mayor's permission.
The hole was created when an old underground culvert built by Meridian before 1950 collapsed behind Smith's 916 26th Ave. home.
Smith left Tuesday's meeting before the issue was brought before the council; he couldn't be reached for comment later in the day.
Smith said last week that he thought it was inappropriate for him to discuss the situation. The mayor said then he wanted the city council "to treat me like any other citizen."
Some councilmen said they believe the hole will never be fixed by city workers.
Ken Storms, the city's chief administrative officer, told the council he thought the city should repair the damage.
When Monty Jackson, the city's public works director, was asked if the city had the money to fix the problem, he said: "Yes, for this particular repair we do."
Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas shot back: "I'm not talking about this one, I'm talking about these other 200 to 300 that we're going to get."
Jackson said he didn't know how much those would cost.
COUNCIL TRIP
Three city councilmen were expected to leave today for Salt Lake City to participate in the National League of Cities meeting, according to Ward 5 Councilman Bobby Smith.
Smith, Ward 2 City Councilman Mary Perry, who serves as council president, and Ward 4 Councilman Jesse Palmer Sr. plan to attend the three-day convention.
Perry and Palmer left from the Meridian Regional Airport, while Smith said he planned to fly from Jackson because he found a less expensive flight.
The city will pay for the councilmen's hotel room, travel and food while at the convention.
OTHER BUSINESS
Meridian city councilmen took the following actions on Tuesday:
Approved spending about $78,000 for asphalt in a joint paving program with the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors to pave Tanner Circle and Pippins, Mitchum, Scruggs, and Tanner roads in the city. Lauderdale County will pay for about $10,000 of the asphalt and county crews will do the work.
Approved a contract with Engineering Associates for design work associated with the industrial park interchange on Interstate 20/59.

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