RIDGELAND — City officials took care of several matters concerning West Jackson Street last week, including approving a new business, reviewing the transfer of responsibility from MDOT and the ongoing multi-use trail project. 

Aldermen unanimously approved site plans and architectural review for the new Gamblin Orthodontics West Jackson Street location.

Community Development Director Alan Hart said that it was “a great looking building” and noted that it received unanimous approval from the Architectural Review Board.

Hart, however, suggested that the 325 W. Jackson Street address may be in “limbo” with the Department of Transportation.

Public Works Director Mike McCollum said that the district engineer with MDOT had told him that they are ready for the city to take over the street and that the city “can do what we need.”

He said that the first bit of maintenance the city would take on the road would be part of a re-striping project coming up this summer.

On the East side of Jackson Street, aldermen approved a payment to Simmons Erosion Control in the amount of $46,787.60 for work completed on the multi-use path from Highway 51 to Trace Ridge Drive in the month of March. A memo from city Engineer Chris Bryson notes that the contractor has completed 13 percent of the work in 14 percent of the contract time. 

The payment includes an 80 percent MDOT reimbursement in the amount of $37,430.08 leaving the city on the hook for $9,357.52. The last payment the city and MDOT made on the project was $37,430.08.

In other board action, aldermen:

• Ratified an agreement between the city and the Pearl River Water Valley Supply District for code enforcement.

• Received an insurance check from Pafford EMS. Fire Chief Matt Bailey said that an ambulance backed into a Fire Department vehicle. He said the repairs have already been taken care of.

• Approved the acceptance of a grant modification. The grant in the amount of $8,000 is issued through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. McCollum said that the Ridgeland High School Robotics Team is constructing five interactive recycling containers for city parks. The amendment asks that the city expand the project period. Instead of an ending date set for this summer, McCollum asked that it be changed to next June.

• Renewed a contract with Waste Management.

• City Clerk Paula Tierce asked for approval of a budget amendment to update the computer operating systems at City Hall. She said that many of the computers are running Microsoft 7 or older. Microsoft is pivoting to supporting only Microsoft 10 and newer. Mayor Gene McGee acknowledged that it had been causing “tremendous” problems at City Hall. Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Gautier asked why the city did not just switch to Mac Computers. Tierce said that the upgrades were already slated for inclusion in next year’s budget, but she could unload onto this year by using some salary money form unfilled positions. 

• Approved Mayor and Board of Aldermen to attend the Mississippi Municipal League Conference in Biloxi for the weekend of June 23 through June 27. The mayor will depart a day early to attend the board meeting.

• Approved mayor and any aldermen attending the League of Cities City Summit Conference and Advisory board Meetings in San Antonio, Texas, from Nov. 19 to Nov. 24.

• Approved the payment of claims.

• Held an executive session concerning a matter of economic development. The only motion made in executive session was to leave executive session.