In Vaiden, there’s good news with the newly-allocated funding from the Mississippi Legislature, and some not so good news, with the town learning that it was not awarded the Community Development Block Grant from the Mississippi Development Authority for their sewer project.
The town of Vaiden is awaiting the release of their newly-allocated $100,000 to repair roads in the town. Recently, the legislature passed the Mississippi Infrastructure Modernization Act that is a three-part bill that encompasses the allocation of the internet sales tax, the BP oil spill settlement, and the newly established Mississippi Lottery.
Mayor Mel Hawthorne told aldermen that he spoke with Rep. Jason White (R-West) who informed him of the allocation.
“He (White) said the money would be divided up among the cities. Vaiden got $100,000, Carrollton got $200,000, and North Carrollton got $100,000 for road work,” he said.
Hawthorne said the money should be released in another month and a half, at least he hopes so.
“It has to be, the asphalt company closes in October and doesn’t open back up in the spring,” he said. “I’m not sure how long we’ll have to wait before it’s released.”
For more good news, voters in the town of Vaiden will go to the polls on Nov. 6 to decide whether or not they approve a new two percent tourism tax on prepared food and beverages sold in town.
Senate Bill 3067, authored by Senator Lydia Chassaniol (R-Winona), states the bill is: “For the purpose of providing funds to promote tourism and parks and recreation, the governing authorities, in their discretion, may levy, assess and collect a tax from persons, firms or corporations specified in this subsection, which shall be in addition to all other taxes or assessments imposed. The tax shall be imposed upon every person, firm or corporation operating a restaurant in the town where prepared food and drink is sold to the public, at a rate not to exceed two percent of the gross proceeds of the sales of such restaurant or business.”
The bill will add a two percent increase to any prepared food or beverage sold at any restaurant and store in Vaiden. The proceeds will help promote tourism in the town and provide funding for parks and recreation.
“Because of this bill, we need a tourism committee, and I spoke to the beautification committee and some of those ladies want to be on the tourism committee also,” Hawthorne said.
Hawthorne also informed the aldermen of the internet sales tax resolution passed by the Mississippi Municipal League and passed by the state legislature.
“I don’t really like some of the wording in it,” he said. “We have to spend the same amount we’ve spent in the past to get the funds each year, so keep that thought.”
Then, there’s the not so good news. Hawthorne said the town did not have enough points to be awarded the CDBG grant.
“I’m not sure what DEQ will do about that,” Hawthorne said. “We may not can reach some of their requirements.”
Also, he informed the board that it will cost $2,900 to replace the three windows broken in city hall back in July. Ladacric Fleming was arrested Monday, Aug. 27 and charged with commercial burglary for the incident that happened on July 12.
“We’ve given the number to the sheriff for restitution and we’ll see what happens,” Hawthorne said.