By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
The Cleveland Board of Aldermen was provided updates on several items at its monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Police Chief Buster Bingham said he has had a challenging time deciding where to place security cameras.
In a previous meeting, Bingham said cameras would need to be stationed on poles in certain spots prone to crime.
However the challenge has been what poles to use.
Bingham suggested not using Entergy’s poles in the project.
“It would be a long, drawn-out process if we try to use the Entergy poles,” Bingham said. “My suggestion is we drop our own pole, just let Entergy give us a service line off of it.
“We will have to pay an electrician to come up and meter each pole but then we can get these cameras up and going, but if we go through this joint usage agreement with Entergy, it has to go through an approval committee which may take three to six months, and then it has to go through their engineering.
“It’ll be a long, drawn out process and then it’s a cost of $300 per pole just to go through with that and if they reject a pole then we have to do another one and it’s another $300.
“It’s a very complex, complicated, very slow process,” Alderman Kirk Povall added. “Takes between six months and nine months to go through their red tape.”
“Can we table this and just look at it to see where we’re getting ready to start sticking up more poles,” asked Alderman Paul Janoush. “We’re spending millions out here to clean up poles and now we’re talking about sticking up more poles.”
The board asked Bingham to develop a map of proposed sites where he would like a camera to be installed.
Alderman Maurice Smith asked for clarity on the purpose of the cameras.
“Major focus is on crime,” Bingham said. “These cameras can capture possibly a car going by that we can identify to see if it is something that had been involved in crime. It can capture people walking up and down the street. That’s the reason why we’re putting these up.”
On a separate issue, Alderman Robert Sanders asked Bingham to get an officer to assist with traffic during drop off and pickup times at D.M. Smith Elementary School.
“Probably the best thing to do is let me get with the principal over there and see if we can get something written up to give out to parents so they will actually know how to come in and whatever else,” Bingham said. “That’s normally what they’ve done whenever they’ve changed anything up on the school year is to send a letter out and then that way there won’t be as much confusion.”
Cleveland Municipal Airport Director Clint Johnson said, “We were affected by the tornado that came through on Jan. 11. We did get a fair amount of damage out there. We’ve filed a claim, worked with insurance, getting quotes and going through all that right now.”
Johnson said the city had received a FAA grant worth $700,000 that will go toward pavement rehabilitation of the runways.
“It’ll look brand new whenever it’s done,” said Johnson.
Engineer Josh McPherson received approval for the lowest bid to begin work on the South Bishop drainage system at a cost of $20,720.
“Pearl Street, which is our number one project on our drainage list, we have it designed and it’s going to be well under budget,” McPherson said. “We’re waiting on a gas line to be relocated before we can start, so we moved down the list to the next one we want to go ahead and start on which is South Bishop.”
City Clerk Dominique Green reported on streetlights not being repaired in a timely manner.
Green said Entergy is given a list monthly of street light repairs which they contract out to B&B Electric.
“If B&B gets to a streetlight that they cannot fix, they are then supposed to let Entergy know,” Green said. “That seems to be the disconnect. For a lot of these instances, Entergy does not know that they were not fixed. That’s why you see these recurring streetlights happening on list after list.”
Green added there have been several meetings between Entergy and B&B to address the issue.
She said Entergy within the next two weeks is going to begin a repair “blitz” that will include looking at every streetlight within the city to identify any damaged by January’s storm.
The city has received funding from the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act worth $54,000 to develop a fund for repair, maintenance and/or reconstruction of roads, streets, bridges, and water and sewer lines.
The city will receive the fund twice a year for the next several years.