McComb selectmen completed their takeover of the Alpha Center on Tuesday night, accepting conveyance of the property from the McComb school board.

The measure passed 3-2, with Selectman Ted Tullos again raising questions about how much the city can expect to spend to renovate the building.

“Are we going to accept this building before we find out the cost from (architect Steve) Cox?” Tullos asked. “Is that what we’re doing? ... I think Mr. Cox should look at it first.”

Selectman Devante Johnson asked if the city could have an architect look at the property before taking ownership, and Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said not without the permission of the school board.

“Have we asked the school board?” Johnson asked.

Lockley said no.

Selectman Ronnie Brock asked that the school district be approached about possibly contributing money toward maintenance of the building each month.

The board voted down a request for a donation to All About Helping Kids, a nonprofit run by Walthall County Supervisor Fred Magee Jr.

Board attorney Angela Cockerham said there could be avenues that would allow the board to contribute to organizations besides those approved by the state, but Johnson said he was concerned that giving to one group “will open the door to more organizations coming.”

The board considered tabling the matter, but ultimately voted unanimously to turn down the request.

The board also heard a plea from Dr. Nelda Gatlin for Dr. Nelda Gatlin to support and promote a Pray Mississippi event she is planning for Aug. 3. The event will  include a prayer walk from city hall to the Bo Diddley Pavilion downtown to support children going back to school and honor area first responders.

“Walk with the students, pray for them and tell them that you love them,” Gatlin said. “You may help someone else along the way.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved payments of $100,801.89 to Griner Drilling Service for the Water Well No. 5 replacement project; $118,488.55 to Land Company Development for storm debris cleanup; $17,673.60 to Debris Tech for debris cleanup monitoring; and $174,075 to Insurance and Risk Management for property and automobile damage insurance.

• Accepted a $2,000 grant from Walmart to the police department.

• Accepted a $40 donation from Renee Burris to the animal shelter.

• Reimbursed Pam Nellum for travel to youth activities at the Mississippi Municipal League conference.

• Approved $18,375 to be spent on startup costs for the McComb Ravens youth football team from the recreation department’s special revenue account.

• Accepted a $1,250 quote from Wes Gaskins of Summit to install outdoor lighting at the Martin Luther King Center.

• Granted a variance to the city’s sign ordinance, allowing a sign to be raised 5 feet to increase the distance from power lines.

• Ratified the advertisement of properties to be demolished and of the demolition hearing today.

• Approved the appointment of Erich L. Buckles as a police officer.

• Paid bills totaling $787,980.91.

• Accepted privilege and contractor license fees and penalties of $3,891.35 and capital improvement funds of $48,711.

• Discussed two personnel matters and four matters of litigation in executive session and took no action.

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