Booneville aldermen have approved a new ordinance setting design and appearance guidelines for future growth and development in the city.

Aldermen voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve the ordinance which will take effect 30 days after its first publication in the newspaper’s legal section. Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Williams cast the lone vote against the approval.

The ordinance will apply to any new business constructed in the city after it becomes law as well as to any business that changes ownership, but existing businesses will be grandfathered in under existing rules. It contains rules for signage, appearance and upkeep of new businesses.

Ward 1 Alderman Tara Green Lauderdale said the ordinance is intended to set standards for future growth and development to keep the community clean and attractive as well as show a commitment to planned and thoughtful development to encourage new business and industry. She said they also hope that, while existing businesses are grandfathered in, as more businesses follow the guidelines it will encourage improvements and beautification throughout the city.

Williams said he was opposed to the ordinance because he’s concerned about the potential costs to future businesses and didn’t feel comfortable placing an additional financial burden on business owners.

The board also discussed other beautification issues on Tuesday. They agreed to give property owner Bob Floyd 45 additional days to tear down a home on South Lake Street that had previously been condemned after city building inspector Charles Sanders said the house is unlivable and would be unable to be brought up to code.

Ward 3 Alderman Jimmy Clyde Hicks brought up the issue of litter pickup in the city and the board agreed to research possible options for hiring part-time help to pick up trash along streets after Mayor Chris Lindley told them they are currently unable to use inmate labor due to COVID concerns at the Tishomingo County Jail where most city prisoners are housed.

Lauderdale suggested starting a community-wide cleanup campaign to encourage all citizens to get involved as well as seeking to hire part-time workers to do cleanup on weekends. Board members agreed the problem must be addressed and said they will research options and discuss the issue again at a future meeting or work session.

The board tabled a discussion of the former Wal-Mart building on Church Street. In August the board voted to move forward with legal action to force the cleanup of the property. Mayor Chris Lindley told the board they are awaiting additional information on an appraisal before moving ahead with further action on the property and the board agreed to discuss the issue again at their next meeting.

Alderman Williams said he believes it’s essential the city stay on track with cleanup efforts and treat every property owner the same when it comes to addressing dilapidated property in the city.

In other business, the board:

Approved posting to fill a captain position in the fire department.

Approved seeking quotes for the installation of culverts on Robert Lee Drive and on North Road.

Accepted a quote from Calvery’s to replace flooring at the gas and water office at a cost of $5,777.32.

Accepted the low quote of $56,400 for paving of the drive into the gas and water department maintenance facility on Veterans Drive.

Approved hiring Haley Cristo as a part-time employee in the Main Street Association office.

Banner Independent Editor

Managing editor of the Daily Corinthian’s sister newspaper, Booneville’s Banner-Independent, Brant Sappington has been a member of the Daily Corinthian family since 2001.

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