A request for a waiver of rental fees prompted discussion on how or whether the McComb city board should grant such requests.

The McComb Garden Club made an early request for waiver of the rental fee on the pool in Edgewood Park for the 2020 Azalea Coronation in March, which Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said the board has granted for 10 years or more.

Selectman Shawn Williams, the only board member at the work session other than Lockley, along with audience member Vernell Simmons, asked what standards are in place for the board to follow in considering whether to grant waivers.

“What we have to follow is our policy,” City Administrator Dirkland Smith said.

That policy calls for those seeking a waiver to fill out a form, which is submitted to the board for consideration, he said.

There is no requirement for anyone filling out the form to meet with the board, though many do so.

Fire Chief Gary McKenzie said the subject had been discussed in the city’s department head meeting, and he suggested creating a registry online to allow the public, businesses or other organizations to sponsor the rental fees for some organizations.

That way, “the city won’t be in the business of waiving these fees, and you won’t have to decide whether you can legally waive fees,” Chief McKenzie said.

Williams agreed the board should probably find a different way to deal with waivers, noting  another recent request for the Bo Diddley Pavilion downtown was a waiver of $50, while the garden club’s request for the Edgewood pool would have the city forego $750.

“We’re just seeing this more and more,” Williams said.

Further discussion was delayed since few of the board members were present and the coronation is not until March.

In other business, board members:

• Considered the municipal compliance questionnaire, which must be submitted to the state auditor’s office annually.

• Considered plans to repair or replace the stair screen, an apparatus which helps clear contaminants from the water at the wastewater treatment plant. Public Works Director Alice Barnes recommended repairing the apparatus, at an estimated $70,000, rather than replacing it at a cost of more than $100,000.

• Considered purchasing new Tasers for the police department from Axon Enterprises.

• Discussed an $8,614.91 invoice from True North Emergency Management for consulting related to debris cleanup from the May 9 tornado and windstorm.

• Discussed change orders on public works projects, including a $47,195 decrease for the ground storage tank rehabilitation project and an $11,090 increase for the Water Well No. 5 replacement project.

• Noted invoices from board attorney Angela Cockerham’s law firm Wise Carter, including $543.50 for legal action joining the City of Magnolia’s lawsuit against the Fernwood and Sunny Hill water associations; $1,050 for legal action against the Code Red Dynasty Divas dance studio; and $1,107.50 for work on the city’s purchase of land in Burglund from the Delta Foundation.

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