Eutaw City Council appoints board and committee members, reviews water system issues, E-911 and pays bills

Shown L to R: Eutaw Police Officer Tyler Johnson, Asst, Chief Kendrick Howell, Chief Tommy Johnson, Mayor Pro Tem LaJeffery Carpenter, Officers Robert Geter and William Smith displaying their new uniform. Chief Johnson stated he has an open door policy. Look professional and act professional. We are here to help our citizens.

At its regular meeting on January 26,2021, the Eutaw City Council
dealt with several outstanding issues including naming people to city committees and boards, reviewing continuing problems with the water system, support for E-911, reviewing an agreement for joint work with the County Commission and Industrial Board, setting lease rates for space at the Carver School Community Center and paying bills.
The Mayor and City Council appointed members of the following boards and committees:
• Eutaw Zoning Board: John Zippert, Broderick Fulghum, Cynthia Cooper, Corey Cockrell, and Shirley Eubanks
• Eutaw Housing Authority Board: James Powell, Jonathan Lewis, Jacqueline Allen, and Isaac N. Atkins
• Eutaw Medical Clinic Board: Judy Jarvis, John Zippert and Joyce Cotton
• Eutaw Historical Commission: Evelyn Davis, Gilda Jowers, Diane Liverman, Carol P. Zippert, Sharon Trammell, Johnnie Mae Knott, Sandra Walker, Judy Jarvis
• Eutaw Cemetery Board: Nicolas Wilson, Joseph Fritz, Suzette Powell, Sharon Trammell, and Connie Tyree
The Council took up the issue of setting a rental payment for use of rooms at the Carver School Community Center. The CRFD, a non-profit agency has had a space for a year and Liberty Tax, a business. is requesting a space. Councilwoman Tracey Hunter raised the concern that the monthly charge includes utilities. Mayor Johnson said it was a community center not a business, so the city was not likely to recover all costs for the facility, but needed to charge a fair rate for non-profits and others. Hunter then moved to table the issue until more research and information was available.
The Engineers of the South (EOS), the consulting firm that is currently contracted to monitor the operations and quality of the Eutaw Water System was present and stated their interest in supporting efforts to improve the system. The spokesperson for EOS said that they would provide a proposal to increase time on monitoring the system, help in auditing and correcting faulty meters and replacing meters that could not be repaired. EOS is also answering an ADEM complaint about the water system, which was sent to the past Mayor but never answered.
The City also has a proposal from Kathie Horne of Water Management Associates for improving and repairing problems with the water system. Her agreement is for three years and charges $6 per meter, per month. Mayor Johnson said the city has 1,400 water meters, which means that Horne’s contract is for $8,400 a month or more. Johnson said she wasn’t sure if the city could afford this contract and welcomed other proposals, like one from EOS. The Mayor said this would be discussed in more detail at a Council Work Session on Tuesday, February 2nd.
The next agenda item was a pledge by the City since 2004, to provide $30,000 a year for the operation of the E-911 emergency assistance and dispatching services, which has never been paid. Johnny Isaac, Chair of the E-911 Board was present and said, “In 2004, I was the Sheriff and Reginald Spencer was Eutaw Chief of Police, we agreed to transfer dispatching services to E-911. This is saving the city between $200,000 and $300,000 a year. We hope you can support us with $30,000 that was pledged but never paid. The monies we get from the phone bill tax of $1.86 per customer is not sufficient to operate E-911”
Mayor Johnson said the City should pay $30,000 a year to support E-911, from bingo funds. The Council agreed and supported this expense.
The Council reviewed an agreement between the City, County Commission and Industrial Development Authority for development of the Interstate 59/20 Exit 40, especially the location of a motel and other projects to improve the county. The Council tabled this issue for further discussion at the upcoming work session.
The Council received a listing of outstanding bills for the months of November, December and January, which they approved for payment.

Eutaw City Council certifies municipal elections; approves $70,000 + in CARES funds for EMS equipment

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 12 noon, the Eutaw City Council met to certify the municipal run-off election held Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Mrs. Mattie Atkins, Eutaw Municipal Election Official, presented the Resolutions and Certificates of Election attesting to the process that confirmed the final number of votes for each candidate, declaring the respective winners for mayor and council members. The current council members and mayor signed all Resolutions and Certificates.
Mrs. Atkins acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Johnnie Knott and Eutaw staff who provided invaluable assistance. Mayor Raymond Steele also offered special appreciation to Mrs. Atkins and Mrs. Knott for their service.
The Eutaw City Officials will be sworn in prior to their first official meeting in November.
The council approved a budget of $2,000 for the inauguration ceremonies.
The Eutaw City Council met in its regular 2nd Tuesday monthly meeting, following the certification. Mayor Raymond Steele did not remain for the City Council meeting. Mayor Pro Tem LaJeffery Carpenter presided.
The council approved approximately $ 68,000 in CARES funds to purchase two Life Pak 15 Defibrillators with consideration of purchasing a multiple year service contract for the equipment at $2,000 per year. The federal CARES money must be spent by December 31, 2020. Eutaw EMS Director Nick Wilson reported that the Eutaw Ambulance Service now has six Federally Registered Para Medics – three full time and three part time.
Councilman Joe Powell asked the council to consider the bid for constructing a storm shelter in Branch Heights. The only bid submitted was for $95, 495 for a shelter with a 96 capacity. The item was tabled. The council commented that the bid process for the shelter could re-open.
The council approved a request from Katie and James Powell for a daycare center in Branch Heights, with the necessary documentation from the Fire Marshall.
The council announced that Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman submitted his letter of retirement effective October 30, 2020. Two additional Eutaw police officers have resigned: Assistant Police Chief Rodriquez Jones effective October 15 and Officer Christopher Gregory effective October 6. Councilman Carpenter stated that Sheriff Jonathan Benison has agreed to assist until the Eutaw Police Force is rebuilt.
The council agreed that inventory lists of city equipment from all supervisors must to be submitted by 4:00 pm Tuesday, October 20.
The council agreed to secure quotes for improvements to the park behind city hall.
On the recommendation of the city attorney the council approved payment of the John Darden claim. The attorney reported that the John and Jane McGee claim has been turned over to the insurance company.