The City of McComb paid off the $1.5 million loan against itself last month despite growing concerns of revenue shortfalls and the coronavirus pandemic that crippled sales taxes even further.

“I believe last month, either the last week of March or the first week of April, I did mention to the board that the $1.5 million that we borrowed from the water and sewer capital improvement fund, we paid that back, but I noticed that did not come out in the paper, so I wanted to make sure they got that information,” City Administrator Dirkland Smith said Tuesday.

Smith added the bill was supposed to be paid by September of this year, meaning the city paid it off six months early.

“So even with the coronavirus and other things going on, sales taxes are down, but we still managing financial to a standpoint that we are not in a deficit,” Smith said. “I’d like to thank the board for their guidance in moving the city forward.”

Despite the good news, when Selectman Ronnie Brock asked if Smith could ease the board’s mind about cuts, Smith said not yet, adding that he is missing some crucial information before he can say if the city will have to cut hours, lay employees off or furlough them.

Mayor Quordiniah Lockley said the city will have a better idea by June of what officials will have to do in response to revenue drying up due to the virus.

Smith also gave an update about the COVID-19 pandemic. He said Neel-Schaffer is assisting in applying for a $40,000 Department of Justice grant for first responder pay. The deadline to apply is May 27.

“The DOJ reached out to us to let us know that we qualified, and I think we have a pretty good chance of getting the grant,” he said. “Nothing is ever 100%, but I feel pretty good about it.”

Smith also pointed out that water bills will have to be paid in full by May 27, or residents risk getting disconnected.

The board also talked about the upcoming civil service commission appointment. Johnson asked when the board would have to advertise for the position, and Lockley said a vote should be taken in the next board meeting.

The board also discussed ratifying Public Works Director Alice Barnes and Lockley’s signature on a permit between Cable One and Fed-Ex.

Brock also asked board attorney Angela Cockerham multiple questions before the meeting ended about the possible moving of banks from First Bank, the board’s recording and Facebook policies, a hospital board appointment and the possibility of lifting ordinance banning fireworks on July 4th, Christmas and New Year’s.

Lockley also announced that Zach Patterson stepped down from the airport board after recently being appointed to a joint city-county seat on the panel. Lockley recommended South Pike ROTC instructor Lt. Col. Gwendolyn Tavira to replace him.

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