council

A local resident asked officials in the City of Laurel to address several issues concerning her during this week’s Laurel City Council meeting held at Laurel City Hall.

The Laurel City Council made another step toward getting some much-needed repairs to the city’s Plant #1 building that was damaged during the 2019 tornado that hit the city.

With a 5-0 vote (Councilmen Stacy Comegys and Grace Amos were absent), the council agreed to adopt an order approving the request for authorization to award the bid for a roof replacement for Plant #1 due to the tornado damage on December 16, 2019.

In July, the council adopted an order requesting approval to advertise for bids for a metal building for Plan #1 due to the tornado damage on December 16, 2019, and another order requesting approval to advertise for bids for a roof replacement for Plant #1 due to the tornado damage on December 16, 2019.

City officials said after re-bidding the roof project, the city only received one bid for the roof replacement on October 8, 2020.

That bid was received from Norman Enterprises, Inc. doing business as Norman Roofing for $89,000.

Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee told the council that the city had been notified by its insurance carrier that due to the large number of claims the city has had due to the storms and other damage that the municipality’s premiums are expected to increase in the coming year.

“We’ve had over $1 million in claims this year,” the mayor said.

Also during the meeting, a resident addressed the council concerning customer service and the need for a stricter following of city guidelines and regulations regarding the overgrown property, the picking up of debris, and requiring residents to follow the historic district guidelines.

In a separate matter, Ward Four Councilman George Carmichael commended Police Chief Tommy Cox and the Laurel Police Department for its continuation of an annual community project that collects canned food for the Good Samaritan Center.

The council also adopted an order requesting permission to purchase a new 2020 Dodge Ram 150 crew cab 4X4 to replace the wrecked 2019 Dodge Ram four-wheel drive.

The council also adopted an order approving the travel for the clerks to attend the 2020 Winter Education Workshop in Jackson on December 9 11.

The council also adopted an order approving expenses for the elected officials and municipal clerks to attend the Mississippi Municipal League’s Mid-Winter Conference in Jackson on January 10-13, 2021.

In other business, the council set Dec. 8 as the public hearing date for four pieces of properties in the city to determine whether or not the properties are in such a state of uncleanliness to be a menace to the public health and safety of the community.

Public hearings were set to determine “overgrown property status” at:

The council also conducted four public hearings to determine if properties were in such a state of uncleanliness to be a menace to the public health and safety of the community.

Public hearings were conducted this week for:

Property located at 16 Marion Drive, which belongs to Eric Johnson. The property is located in Ward Seven.

Property located at 1234 South 17th Avenue, which belongs to Vincent and Sylvester Witherspoon. The property is located in Ward One.

Property located at 811 West Drive, which belongs to Faye Crutchens Trustee. The property is located in Ward One.

Councilman Carmichael also said there continues to be “a litter problem” in his ward.

“We have a litter problem in the city, especially in my area,” he said. “I’ve asked the mayor to look into possibly getting cameras in some areas. It’s a shame that the city would have to get to this point.”

The council approved the Inspection Department’s recommendation to allow the city to clean the property and assessed the cost to the property’s tax ID number.

The council also approved some lot cleaning assessments and the city’s claims’ docket.