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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Starkville rescinds government bond

    The Starkville Board of Alderman voted unanimously to rescind the much-debated bond that spawned three lawsuits and several petitions last spring, voting to refer the issue to a public vote.
    The city of Starkville received a $5 million government bond last year to build a new municipal court building and police department. The referendum on which the city population will vote will be a decision between building the municipal facilities on the Highway 25 bypass or downtown. A new electric administration building will be constructed along with the municipal facilities, Ward 3 Alderman P.C. “Mac” McLaurin said.
    “A lot of people wanted to see the police department and the municipal building downtown to avoid urban sprawling,” newly elected Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey said.
    The public voted into office four alderman and a mayor who ran on a platform that supported the building of these municipal facilities downtown, and the new administration is working hard to see that this goal is accomplished, Corey said.
    Jim Mills, Ward 2 alderman and a new member on the board, said the date of the referendum has not yet been determined. The city is still working on the exact downtown location.
    At the August 16 Board of Aldermen meeting, the board voted to allow Gary Schaeffer to draw up schematics for the new location. The current plan is to build the facilities at Highway 82 and Washington Street, Mills said.
    There is a new majority on the board of aldermen, McLaurin, one of three reelected aldermen from the previous administration, said. McLaurin worked in the previous administration to ensure that the city received the bond and also helped with the planning of the project, which the city intended to build on the Hwy. 25 bypass.
    “If it’s something supported by the majority of the citizenry, then it’s fine with me,” McLaurin said, concerning the new plan, “At some point, that decision has to be made and we have to move forward.”
    At this point, no majority adopted plan exists, Mills said, but the city is working on the new plans and on how they will pass the vote.
    Several options exist to allow Starkville citizens to vote on the bond and location, McLaurin said. The citizens could vote on the referendum using a 60%+1 to pass it, which means 40%+1 could defeat it, or the city could just use a majority +1 vote.
    The current estimated cost is over $8 million for the project at its downtown location, and this does not include the cost of the property that the city will need to purchase to build the facilities on, McLaurin said.
    The city is evaluating the downtown property, and Mills said he is confident costs and any other minor problems will not hinder the downtown plan.
    “If we come up with a plan suitable for the downtown area, we feel like it will be accepted by voters,” Mills said.
    Mills, along with Mayor Dan Camp and Ward 5 alderman Matt Cox, filed a lawsuit last spring before the election demanding a public vote, and until the referendum the lawsuit is pending, Mills said.

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    Starkville rescinds government bond