McComb selectmen expanded the area in which potential employees can live at Friday’s meeting.

The 4-1 vote, with Selectman Devante Johnson opposed and Selectman Donovan Hill absent, would allow city employees to live anywhere in Amite, Franklin, Lawrence, Lincoln and Franklin counties or Tangipahoa and Washington parishes.

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said the move enlarges the allowed residency area from the 18-mile radius that was enacted when now-Rep. Sam Mims was city administrator. Mims recommended the 18-mile rule to expand the residency area from McComb’s city limits.

Johnson said during Tuesday’s work session that he did not want to expand the limits, because he wanted it to be an incentive for people to move to McComb.

However, Fire Chief Gary McKenzie said he had spoken with a number of prospective firefighters who had expressed interest in jobs with the city but backed away after learning of the residency requirement.

He said they told him they couldn’t move to the city for the salary the city offers.

City Administrator Dirkland Smith said he had had a similar conversation with someone interested in applying for the open comptroller position. That person lived about 25 miles away in Franklin County and said moving was not possible.

“Our department heads say they need this, and I’m listening to them,” Selectman Ted Tullos said. He was joined by Shawn Williams in the board room and Michael Cameron and Ronnie Brock attending by phone in voting for the residency revision.

In other business,  the board:

• Paid Culpepper Construction $16,435 for work on a restroom facility in Baertown Park and approved a change order of $1,925 for running underground electrical lines.

• Approved quotes totaling $54,314 for renovations to the Alpha Center.

• Postponed acceptance of Gateway Industrial Park Road and Holden and Wardlaw roads, which were annexed into the city.

• Paid the Pike County Sheriff’s Department $21,660 for housing city inmates in August, September, October and November.

• Accepted $5,715 from St. Hubert’s Giralda, $1,250 from Brandywine Valley SPCA, $50 each from Alva Cook and J.W. Rawlings and $25 from Anne Van Zutphen for the city animal shelter.

• Authorized Hicks Law Firm of Gulfport to represent the city in antitrust lawsuit over generic drugs.

• Voted to advertise for applications to serve on the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center board.

• Approved a lease agreement with Amtrak.

• Took no action on a personnel matter in executive session.

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