Tag Archive for: zoning

NEMiss.News Johnny Payton at City Board March 7, 2023


As often happens, dissension over a zoning change was on the March 7 agenda of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.

Stout and Stout, a commercial real estate developer, had asked the city Planning and Zoning Board to approve a zoning change for a parcel of land near the 1500 block of South Central Avenue. The change would allow the developer to construct eight houses on the land rather than six. The single-family homes would each be about 1,400 square feet.

The city Planning and Zoning board had approved Stout’s request. In a public hearing at the March 7th board meeting the aldermen heard from property owners who object to the change. The primary objection seemed to be the fear that the proposed new houses would be rentals rather than occupied by owners. After a brief discussion, the aldermen affirmed the decision of the zoning board, approving the change.

In another planning and zoning matter, the board granted a variance for a fuel dispenser setback for Wild Bill’s at 400 Highway 15 North.

The aldermen approved requests from several city departments to sell at auction surplus property, mainly old motor vehicles.

The board approved several requests from New Albany Lights, Gas and Water Manager Bill Mattox including:

  • Payment of $182,837 to Atwell and Gent Engineering Services for design services for the electrical department.
  • Approval of the low bid of $70,465 for the purchase of a Bobcat Compact Excavator.

The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 p.m. on April 4.

NEMiss.News Jimmy Dean Whitten at City Board Meeting


Jimmy Dean Whitten thanked the Board of Aldermen Tuesday evening for the privilege of serving for many years as a New Albany police officer.

Whitten was seriously injured while serving with the New Albany Police Department (NAPD) on Friday, June 5, 2020. After 30 months of  treatment, Whitten’s doctors have determined that he will not be able to return to police work. Tuesday evening he thanked the board for the support he has received during his partial recovery and expressed his love for the community. Whitten had served as a Union County deputy sheriff before joining the NAPD. He was honored earlier this year with a citation for valor for the incident in which he was injured. See: https://newalbanyunionco.com/jimmy-dean-whitten-honored-for-valor/

As is customary when NAPD officers retire, the aldermen unanimously approved a request from Police Chief Chris Robertson that Whitten be allowed to keep his 40 caliber Glock 22 semi-automatic service weapon. Whitten has been told he faces additional surgery for his injuries.

During its Tuesday meeting the board approved requests from New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water (NALGW) Manager Bill Mattox for payments to contractors or new contracts on projects he is managing. The board approved a payment request to Roberts Construction of $280,751 for ongoing work on the municipal building renovation of the old Fred’s property.

The board approved a request from Mattox for a $2.05-million dollar contract with Night Hawk AMI for automated metering services. The board also approved a request for a contract not to exceed $2.55-million with a Starkville engineering company for work on NALGW’s developing high-speed internet service. All requests were approved on 5-0 votes by the aldermen.

Parks and Recreation Director received unanimous approval to buy a new commercial lawn mower. The mower will be purchased under the State of Mississippi contract for $12,012.

Code Enforcement Officer Eric Nichols told the board of actions by the Planning and Zoning Board. Cook Daycare, which operates an adult daycare service at 611 Moss Hill Drive, had asked the board to change the zoning of its property to a less restrictive commercial zoning classification. The daycare currently operates under a conditional use permit. Owners of homes in the single-family residential neighborhood opposed Cook’s application for commercial zoning. The Planning and Zoning Board denied Cook’s request. It is possible that Cook will appeal the Zoning Board’s decision to the Board of Aldermen.

The next meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, December 6th.


New Albany MS Piper Impact fire 2


Note: This was first written following the Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif. in 2016. A warehouse had been converted in an artist collective with living space. The fire occurred during a concert in the building, which was zoned industrial, meaning residential and entertainment use was illegal. Partly because of the illegal use and lack of protection, 36 of the 80 to 100 people there died.

Because it has been several years since this was posted and because of the recent spate of construction, Chief Whiteside wanted to remind the public there are reasons for building and zoning codes and they do not exist to make life difficult. What he writes is still valid today.


Such a common question, such a common concern, such a common topic of sometimes heated discussions.  Let me sum it all up with one statement: “Oakland California, what if!”

I am sure by now most of us have had the unfortunate opportunity to see and hear about the warehouse fire that took the lives of 36 citizens of their community.

Oh yes they have codes, oh yes they are there for the protection of their citizens, but if they are not enforced, they do absolutely nobody one ounce of good.

We tend to be more reactive than proactive, which means now that the horrific incident happened, all of a sudden everybody wants it fixed, everybody wants answers, everybody wants to point fingers at everybody else.

If we are proactive as we should be, incidents like this quite possibly could be prevented.

Oh, but that’s Big ole Oakland California, we are just a much smaller New Albany, Mississippi….Please don’t think this could never happen to us, it can!

With all this being said, and from my point of view, these are the points we want to drive home to each and every one of us.

New Albany does have a set of codes we follow for both new and existing structures and occupancies within our city.

We have a Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Division that oversees this area of high importance, and on a daily basis works one-on-one with us here at the fire department.

One would think and believe when it comes to life safety, that there would be no issues, no confusion, and no problems convincing others to make the right decision for life safety, go the extra mile, or spend a few extra pennies to protect those that live, shop, eat, or enter a structure you are responsible for.

One would think that when we inspect, or request for a fire alarm notification system, sprinklers, fire walls, approved ventilation/exhaust systems, proper wiring, exit lighting and signage, and maximum occupancy limits, there would be no issues or complaints about complying with the life safety guidelines code.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

We spend a lot of time dealing with these issues, and often with disgruntled individuals, because “they just don’t understand why they have to do these silly things,” or “they want to see the codes be more flexible, less stringent, more cost efficient for them.”

We understand, we really do, but do we really want to be the headlines on the national news?  Do we want to look a single person in the eye and explain why their loved one has been injured or died in one of our structures?

Are we prepared to lie awake at night and live with the fact we saved a few dollars, or ten thousand dollars for safety on a structure that cost twenty thousand to remodel, or three million to build?

Such a small price in the grand scheme of things.

When we view plans for remodeling or new construction and we request or require certain things, it is nothing personal, nor is it just a foolish request.

It is for life safety first, and property conservation second.

When we deny a request, or cite a code violation, we are doing so knowing that we are doing it with the thought of we may be saving the lives of each and every person in that structure.

We love our city, and we care about each and every person who is in it each day.  We want to work with you, and be a part of the growth of our great city.  We just want to ensure that we are not the next Oakland.

Please keep this in mind when we all are sitting down and planning how our structures can be a safer environment for all involved.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, we always welcome the opportunity to assist you in any way at 107 Cleveland, or 662-534-1000.

Mark Whiteside, Chief,

New Albany Fire/Rescue

NEMiss.News Mayor Kent on Zoom

New Albany officials are apparently considering hiring a lobbyist to represent the city and seek state, federal and other funds for various projects.

The topic was not on the agenda in Tuesday’s January meeting of the board of aldermen. It came up through a question by Ward One Alderwoman Amy Livingston.

Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud said the idea was referred to her by Rep. Sam Creekmore and Sen. Kathy Chism.

While the two representatives do lobby for the city and county, they have other duties and also do not have the expertise and experience of a more professional lobbyist.

Stroud said she is getting more information about lobbyists used by other cities and the success they have had in obtaining projects.

Stroud indicated later that she might ask for $20,000 to pay the lobbyist for a year. It was noted that the city has paid the Retail Strategies Group $30,000 a year for several years with no results and this might be a better use of the money.

No action was asked for or taken Tuesday.

Absentee voting

City officials also took a step toward simplifying the upcoming municipal election process.

Union County Election Commissioner Mike Beam explains how the new election software will help.

Union County Election Commissioner Mike Beam presented information about software that will help the city in holding the primaries and general election.

He referred to the unusually large number of absentee ballots needed for the presidential election in light of the coronavirus pandemic, along with the trouble and cost in getting them.

“In the presidential election four years ago there were 800 absentee ballots. This year 1,804 were requested and 1,750 came back,” he said. He added that the city may anticipate a similar increase this year.

“That’s a lot of paper to have to pay for,” he continued. “Phyllis (Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford) had to order twice, and then had unused ballots left over.”

The problem with the current system is that absentee ballots have to be specially printed on heavy paper and there can be delays in receiving additional ballots if needed. There also is the cost.

What Beam recommended is using software called VotingWorks. “It prints absentee ballots on demand,” he said.

The software means only the ballots needed are printed, that they can be printed on regular inexpensive 25-pound paper instead of the more costly thick paper, and still can be scanned with the equipment county election officials use.

A bonus, Beam said, is that the company will allow the city to use the software for the municipal election free. They only require a $500 security deposit that can be returned. “They are trying to sell it,” Beam said of the software.

He told aldermen that Tippah County has used the system successfully during the past election. “I view this as a win-win,” he said.

Aldermen unanimously approved using the software.

Departmental business

In department business, light, gas and water manager Bill Mattox recommended and received approval for hiring new employees Dalton Hall and Chase Erby.

Also approved was another payment on the new wastewater plant, made to KAJACS Construction in the amount of $271,357.05. The approximately $15 million construction project is being funded with a grant and a loan that will be repaid through utility user fees. It is expected to be operational this fall.

Mattox also will be allowed to make the final payment on the Marshall County gas expansion project that has been going on for several years. That amount was $5,749.31 to Buz Plaxico.

Community Development Director Stroud referred to the monthly report she submitted to aldermen and was asked by Livingston about progress for the Alabama Street Park. Stroud said that grant money is available to purchase equipment for the park but requirements are strict and they need to meet with those in the community around the park before proceeding.

Police Chief Chris Robertson had no business to bring up but reported his department is still fighting an outbreak of COVID-19 and the police department office remains closed to the public.

Fire Chief Mark Whiteside also had no current business but said he plans to present some grant proposals at the next board meeting. He added that his department currently has no COVID-19 cases and everyone is back at work.

Building inspector and zoning administrator Eric Thomas reported that the planning and zoning board had approved three requests at their meeting Monday evening.

Barnes Crossing Community Ford received a site variance to build a new building at 413 Carter Ave. across the street from the current building, and Sam Creekmore received a site variance for 302 Marshall for office construction.

TRY Properties LLC asked for a zoning change at 1104 Bratton Road from C-2 commercial to R-2 residential for home construction. Since this is a zoning change, a public hearing will be needed at the next board meeting.

General and upcoming items

In general business, aldermen approved an engineering agreement with Southern Furniture for compliance with a Community Development Block Grant. The grant in question will actually be to add a new roof and loading dock to the Fusion Furniture plant, which is under the Southern Motion umbrella and is in the former Emerald Mississippi facility.

Among action items, the board noted for the minutes that Tina Wood has been certified to continue serving as municipal court clerk for another year.

Alderwoman Livingston told other board members that she wants to revisit the city’s animal control ordinance.

She said it is mostly a matter of fine-tuning the present ordinance addressing items such as animals being chained to trees. She added that the changes are mostly following those of other municipalities and she may present them at the next board meeting.

Livingston also had one other matter to bring up, concerning salaries of aldermen and the mayor. She has expressed concern about salaries of city officials and employees at several previous meetings.

She said some people want to create a policy that sets salaries for the mayor and aldermen for four years at a time.

“It’s so we don’t have anything to do with it,” she said. “I’m not asking for a vote.”

Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee brought up the question of whether that would restrict the board. “What if another pandemic comes up?” he asked, concerned the board might need to reduce salaries during such as emergency but not be able to.

Board attorney Regan Russell pointed out that, “No board can tie the hands of another board,” so changes could be made in event of any catastrophe.

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson called the question a moot point. “I see this as a reflection on Tim and his leadership.” He said he considers the mayor essentially the CEO for the city, and CEOs he deals with make three times as much as the mayor. “I don’t think we need a committee to set salaries. That’s our job,” he said.

Attorney Russell clarified that any committee could not set salaries anyway, but only make recommendations to the board.

Before adjourning, the board went into executive session to discuss a land matter. No action has been reported.

The aldermen met remotely via Zoom again for health precaution reasons. Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White was absent.

New Albany MS City Board October 2019, zoning

City Board October 2019 meeting: A proposal to rezone land bounded by Interstate 22 and Highway 15 drew considerable attention at the City Board Oct. 1 meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.

The land, which lies north of I-22 and east of Highway 15, is owned by Ray Tune. The land is currently zoned residential (R-2) and Tune wants it rezoned for commercial (C-3) use.

Representing Tune before the alderman was New Albany attorney John W. Haynes, IV. Ronnie Parker, a friend and business associate of Tune, and realtor Tom Wiseman also appeared on Tune’s behalf.

Wiseman had appeared before the board about a year ago regarding re-zoning of the Tune property, but apparently no specific written proposal for rezoning was ever made.

Haynes and Parker told the board that Tune is terminally ill and urged the board to expedite the rezoning.

First Ward Alderwoman Amy Livingston said the city is already working on a comprehensive new building and zoning code. She said she is opposed to granting the request until the new code could be in place. Fourth Ward Alderman Will Tucker, in whose ward the Tune land lies, said he opposed the rezoning because people living in the area did not want it.

Mayor Tim Kent said Bob Barber, the consultant hired by the city, is expected to have a draft of the proposed new city code by November 1. Livingston said Barber had advised that the board should do no re-zoning until the new code is in place.

New Albany MS City Board October 2019 Zack Stewart

Zack Stewart appeared at the October 1 meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen to object to public money being spent to maintain a large piece of private property.

Sarah Mattox, who lives in the home she owns near the tract proposed for C-3 zoning, told the aldermen, she feared the impact that rezoning would have on her property.

Haynes and Parker said they believe the board should act speedily on the request, because Tune has stage four cancer and is expected to die soon. Haynes had implied that court action might be taken if the aldermen did not speedily change the zoning.
This brought a sharp rebuke from Ward Three Alderman Kevin Dale White who told Haynes and Parker that “only God knows” when Tune may die and that he resented the attempt to pressure the board into premature re-zoning based on that assertion.

On the advice of City Attorney Regan Russell, the board formulated a motion to deny the zoning request at this time, but to reconsider it in the future. The motion passed on a 4 – 0 vote, with Alderman-at-Large Keith Conlee not present.

Although it was not an agenda item, NAnewsweb.com readers may be interested to know that Livingston indicated during the zoning discussion that she would not seek re-election in 2021. “I am a one termer, by the way,” Livingston said. This affirms rumors that have circulated for some time that Alderwoman Livingston would not run again for the Ward One seat.

Zack Stewart made a personal appearance before the board to object to tax money being spent to maintain private property. Stewart referred to the cemetery on East Bankhead Street that lies immediately west of Highway 15. Private developers have sold burial plots on the land for nearly a century, perhaps longer, but have failed to fund a means to mow and otherwise maintain the large graveyard. Thus, the expense has fallen to the taxpayers of New Albany, and now amounts to about $50,000 per year. The board took no action regarding the problem Stewart described.

Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson observed that there are some rough spots in the pavement of the recently widened and re-paved Coulter Drive.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

New Albany planning project: http://newalbanyunionco.com/new-albany-next-planning-week-scheduled/

city board 5 march 2019

Zoning, including a heated objection about its enforcement in one instance, drew the most attention at the March 5 meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.

City Board 5 March 2019

Jenny King, owner of house at 702 Parrish St., during condemnation hearing. City Code Enforcement Officer Eric Thomas partially visible behind King.

The objections were lodged by Jenny King, owner of a house at 702 Parrish St. in southeast New Albany. During a scheduled hearing about condemning and destroying the structure, King accused city officials of treating her unfairly.

The house has not been occupied for many years. King acknowledged that the structure falls far short of meeting the minimal city requirements for dwellings to be suitable for human habitation. She said, however, that she had bought the house about two years ago intending to use it for storage, not to have it occupied by people.

The aldermen voted unanimously to condemn and demolish the house at 702 Parrish St.

Another zoning issue was more amicably resolved during Tuesday evening’s board meeting. As reported by NAnewsweb.com on January 8, 2019, the city had initiated condemnation action to demolish a large, 120-year-old warehouse building located at the rail yard just north of the city hall. The two-story building has a footprint of about 8000 square feet, and is constructed of several hundred thousand locally made red brick.

John Ellis, the building owner, told the city board Tuesday night that he agrees the old warehouse building is beyond repair, and said he will voluntarily demolish the structure. Ellis has already retained a contractor for the demolition.

Although no details are available, it appears Ellis’s plan anticipates that some of the historically hand-made brick could end up being used locally for appropriate work.

This 120 year old former warehouse building will be demolished.

In other business, New Albany Fire Department (NAFD) Chief Steve Coker received unanimous board approval to replenish the NAFD hiring pool. The board also authorized purchase of a $1,000 trailer to be used for hauling NAFD’s Ranger rescue vehicle when it is needed in rural Union County or distant locations within the city limits.

The board also did routine business including approving minutes of earlier meetings and payment of bills and claims.


city board 4 Dec 2018

The city’s zoning and sign codes were the prevailing theme of the Tuesday, Dec. 4 meeting of the New Albany Board of Aldermen.

The pastor of a church at 1512 South Central Avenue asked the board for a variance to put up a directional sign more than three times the size allowed under the new sign regulations.

Marc A. Bowers, the “Lead Pastor” of Grace Pointe Church of God, asked the board to allow a directional sign of 15 square feet surface and height of 8 feet at the busy intersection of Interstate 22 and South Central Ave.
The new sign ordinance allows directional signs of a maximum 4 square feet surface and height of no more than 5 feet. The city zoning board had turned down the request for variance at its November meeting.

First Ward Alderwoman Amy Livingston said she is reluctant to grant a variance to the ordinance that the board passed just four months ago on July 18. Livingston instigated and led the year-long work of re-writing New Albany’s badly flawed 2006 sign ordinance.

city board 4 Dec. 2018

Intersection of I-22 and So. Central Avenue, where requested sign will be located if a variance is granted.

The board asked Livingston and Third Ward Alderman Kevin Dale White to investigate the advisability of granting the variance sought by Bowers.

In another matter, the board unanimously approved changing the zoning of property owned by William Powell at 202 Highway 15 South. The zoning was changed from R2 to C2.

The board received a request from Imperial Wholesale to build a new freezer at its Carter Ave. location. That request was taken under advisement and was to be discussed during the boards regular “executive session.”

Community Development Director Billye Jean Stroud presented the board with a proposal she’d received from Bob Barber of the Orion Group of Hernando, MS. Barber spoke Aug. 30, 2018, to a group meeting at the Union County Heritage Museum. Most city elected officials were present at that meeting. Barber said at that meeting that New Albany does not need a new city plan, but that the city code regarding zoning and other matters is seriously obsolete.

Stroud said Barber’s proposal, which she presented Tuesday, was for work to revise the city code. She said Barber had stated that his work to revise the code would cost no more than $120-thousand spread over four years. The board voted unanimously to accept Barber’s proposal.

Stroud also asked the board to approve building a new access road to the stage at the Park-Along-the River. The board approved building the road, so long as the cost does not exceed $5,000.

The alderman also conducted routine business including approving the minutes of earlier meeting and paying the city’s bills.

City Board 6 Nov. 2018

A proposed new telephone system to serve all city operations was among the items considered by the New Albany city board during its Nov. 6 meeting.

Proposed new telephone system

Patrick Blansett of TEC Communications asked the Board of Aldermen to consider purchasing from his company a new internet-based telephone system to replace the AT&T system the city currently uses.

Blansett said the city would experience no up-front cost for the new system that would include 37 telephone sets. He said his company would be totally responsible for replacement or repair of the system during the lease term. Blansett said the TEC system proposal would save the city more than a thousand dollars per month compared to the cost of its present phone system.

The board took the TEC proposal under advisement.

Other items on the Nov. 6 agenda included: Zoning, Young family donation, LGW improvements

  • Shane Crotts was granted a zoning variance to build a new house on a vacant lot at the intersection of Tilden and Polk streets on the city’s Historic North Side. Crotts told the aldermen that the city’s outdated building code prevents new house construction on the many vacant lots in that part of the city. The board voted unanimously to grant the variance.
  • Terry Young told the aldermen he hoped the city would decide before the end of the year whether it would accept the donation of 26 acres of commercial land his family offered to the city during the board’s August 7 meeting. Young said his family’s company needed to move forward with surveys and other work that must be done for the development of the land and needs to know the city’s intentions regarding accepting the land donation. The board took no official action Tuesday evening, but some board members appeared to nod their heads in response to Young’s request.
  • Bill Mattox, manager of the city-owned New Albany Lights, Gas and Water (NALGW). told the board that a substantial amount of pipeline for the delivery of fresh water had been replaced recently and that NALGW expects to replace more old pipeline with new galvanized water line in future months. For many years, NALGW has received complaints about water often being discolored because of rust in waterlines, some of which may be as much as a hundred years old. Mattox said complaints about water containing brown iron oxide have been reduced because of work already done, but that much more work remains to be done.
  • Mattox also updated the board on work underway to extend NALGW natural gas service to areas of western Union County and portions of Marshall County. The work was approved earlier this year by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
  • Mattox said that the sale of $3-million of revenue bonds for partial financing of the extended natural gas service had been agreed at lower interest rates than had been anticipated. He said the city’s expense for bond service would thus be about $400-thousand less than previously believed. The board unanimously approved the bond sale.

The board also voted unanimously to award a $1.4-contract for initial work on the natural gas system expansion to the low bidder, Eubank Construction Company.

For more on the Young family land donation: http://nanewsweb.com/city-can-use-land-gift-for-any-city-improvement/

City Board February 6 2018

City Board of Aldermen February 6:  A real estate agent asked the New Albany city board to consider changing 40 acres, now zoned residential, to a new commercial zoning class.

Tom Smith sign on the property

Tom Wiseman, representing Tom Smith Land and Homes of Ridgeland, MS, asked the aldermen at their Feb. 6th meeting to create a new zoning classification to be called a “planned commercial district.” Wiseman wants the proposed new commercial zoning to be applied to a 39.51-acre tract of land that lies generally east of the intersection of Interstate-22 and Highway 15. It is bounded on the north by Poplar Avenue, on the east by Murrah Road, on the south by I-22, and on the west by the BancorpSouth bank property,

According to public sources the land belongs to Ray Tune of New Albany. The land is listed by the Tom Smith agency with a an asking price a little under two million dollars ($1,975,500).

Wiseman told the Board of Aldermen that the Tom Smith agency has had the listing on the property for several years but that they had been unable to sell it. Wiseman said the land was being used now “for cutting hay,” and that it would produce more tax revenue if developed as commercial real estate. The land is now listed on public records with a total market value of $8,840.

When asked, Wiseman said a “planned commercial district” would consist of ‘non-objectionable’ businesses. He said it would not include “businesses open all night” or “convenience stores” and might include retail shops, professional offices and service businesses. He said some planned commercial districts had been established in DeSoto County.

About 20 single family homes abut Poplar Drive as it runs from Highway 15 east to Murrah Road.

City Board February 6 land in question

View looking south from Poplar Avenue toward I-22.

Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker commented that Poplar Avenue, which provides the only public street access to the Tune property, is not designed to carry heavy commercial traffic. The paved roadway is about 20 feet wide as it passes the BancorpSouth property but narrows to 16-17 feet near Murrah Road. Poplar Avenue intersects Highway 15 about 180 feet north of the westbound I-22 exit ramp to Highway 15.

No motions were put forth in response to Wiseman’s request, but Code Enforcement Officer Eric Thomas was asked to study the idea of planned commercial districts and report back to the board.

In another zoning matter, Thomas told the aldermen that the city zoning board had denied the zoning change requested by Cook’s Family Daycare at 611 Moss Hill Drive. Cook’s had asked that it’s zoning be changed from residential (R-2) to commercial (C-1). A number of residents of the Moss Hill neighborhood had objected to the zoning change.

First Ward Alderwoman Amy Livingston said she had hoped the city’s new “sign ordinance” would be ready for presentation at the Tuesday evening meeting, but had been told by the city attorney that the draft ordinance would require further corrections and changes before it could be presented. City Attorney Regan Russell told the aldermen that a public hearing would also have to be advertised and conducted.  He said the new sign ordinance would have to be approved by the zoning board before it could be formally proposed to the Board of Aldermen.

Although issues related to zoning took up much of the board’s meeting time, other business included:

  • New Albany Lights, Gas, and Water General Manager told the board that three gas line regulators had failed during the recent extended cold weather and would have to be replaced at a total cost of $142,000.
  • Police Chief Chris Robertson received approval to purchase a new Chevrolet Tahoe for $34,936.19, the State of Mississippi’s contract price. Robertson said the Tahoe would replace one that had accumulated 175,000 miles.

Other business included paying the bills and approving the minutes of past board meetings.

Monday morning the Union County Supervisors approved an ordinance regarding the use of portable buildings for human housing and accepted bids for work on the courthouse windows.

However, the first item on the Supervisors’ November 20 meeting’s 16-item agenda, the one that lasted the longest (about 20 minutes), was a re-statement of a complaint the board heard at its Nov. 6 meeting. Sharon Nichols of 725 County Road 54 complained about the county having recently cleared brush from county-owned land across the road from her house.

supervisors' november 20

View from Nichols home southwest toward Hwy. 30, with Walmart Distribution Center on horizon.

The same complaint was made to the supervisors at their Nov. 6 by Don Nichols.

Sharon Nichols said Monday that she and Don Nichols are wife and husband.

Union County bought the 100-acre parcel of land on the south side of CR 54 in 2015 and intends to use it for future industrial development. The county bought the 100 acres from investors, who bought it in 2007, also intending it for industrial purposes.
Both Don and Sharon Nichols said in their appearances before the county board that the county has the right to do whatever it wants with the land it owns.

However, Nichols and Nichols protest that clearing the brush across the road from their house has altered their view in a manner they do not like. Now, instead of a view of small timber and brush, the vista from their manse extends all the way to Highway 30 and the Walmart Distribution Center.

supervisors' november 20

This mobile home is nearest neighbor to 725 CR 54.

Sharon Nichols said clearing the brush from the county-owned land, “exposed our property to a less-than-favorable view of the Walmart Distribution Center.”

Don Nichols implied in his Nov. 6 appearance that the county should have consulted with him before clearing the brush from its land. He said he wanted the county to plant maple trees and crape myrtles to improve his view.

Sharon Nichols asked Monday morning what specific plans the county has for its 100 acres and whether the county planned to impose a zoning code. Board President Dave Kitchens said future plans would depend upon the needs of industries that might wish to locate on the 100 acres. As to future zoning, Kitchens said, “No.”

[See link below to story about complaint at Nov. 6 board meeting.]

The supervisors approved a new ordinance regulating the use of portable, manufactured buildings. [See complete text below.]

On the recommendation of its consulting architect William Mills, the board accepted bids totaling $104,700 for installing energy-efficient windows in the 108-year-old Union County Courthouse.

The board approved advertising for bids for bridge work on County Roads 128 and 188.

Union County Portable Home Ordinance

For first brush clearing complaint: November 6th meeting