Columbus City Council Approves Public Transit Service, Discusses Landfill Concerns

November 21, 2012

City Council, Columbus, MS, Mayor, Politics

The Columbus City Council met on Tuesday and approved an agreement bringing bus service to the city.

City Attorney Jeff Turnage noted that possible bus transportation routes have not been established, but the company — Lawrence Transit — will bring two “small buses and two larger buses” to Columbus, which will be responsible for signage identifying the routes and will “help with applying for up to three grants per year” to assist with operating expenses.

Any grant match required by the city will be paid by Lawrence Transit, Turnage added of the 12-month agreement, which the council unanimously approved.

In another matter, the council voted to approve a contract to bring in an expert on Mississippi law and urban renewal planning to assist with the formation of a development authority or commission.

The consultant — who will “brainstorm” with city officials about creating the commission, who the members should be, and the process of identifying areas of redevelopment for assistance from state and federal funding — will be paid $110 an hour and for travel to and from Columbus.

City Planner Christina Berry noted the commission will be created as a “steering committee to identify blighted areas” in need of redevelopment.

Additionally, the council formed a committee consisting of the city’s chief operations officer, David Armstrong; Public Works Director Mike Pratt; Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor; Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens; and Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem to study options regarding the city’s landfill.

“You’re running out of room (at the landfill),” City Engineer Kevin Stafford informed the council.

Engineers at Neel-Schaffer, Inc. estimated the city can either expand its existing facility on the existing property, close the facility and develop a new facility on different property or close the facility and city crews could haul all waste to the Golden Triangle landfill.

Closing the facility and hauling waste elsewhere likely would cost the city about $600,000 annually.

The committee will make a recommendation to the council on a course of action, in the near future.

Karriem requested the city seek proposals from other engineering firms to “assess the landfill situation.”

Kristin Mamrack is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. and an alumna of the University of Mississippi who moved to Columbus from Atlanta, Ga. She covers politics, government, business, crime and education.

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One Comment on “Columbus City Council Approves Public Transit Service, Discusses Landfill Concerns”

  1. Street King Says:

    We have got to have the most pass the buck governing body on the planet. Not only do we form committees to make every decision because no one wants to step up with a solution, not we are hiring people and paying them enormous amounts of money to come in and choose committees to steer??? So, basically they don’t know what they’re doing and need someone to come in and do it for them, they’ve hired people who don’t know what they’re doing and need someone to come in and show them, and we’re losing police left and right. A steering committee to go around and find blighted areas in need of redevelopment? If you have to have a steering committe, what is she being paid to do? These are our leaders???

    Reply

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