by Sean Macken

Early in the meeting, Long Mayor George Bass congratulated the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) as they closed out a busy week with the arrests in two cases. LBPD apprehended several suspects from Hattiesburg who burglarized cars in the city.  Then, the LBPD worked with other area Police Departments in apprehending an individual who had stolen an RV in an attempt to flee police, 2 other individuals were arrested in the incident for burglary. The suspect eventually rammed a LBPD police vehicle with an officer inside. LBPD Chief, Billy Seal, thanked the Mayor and noted the vehicle was a total loss after a head-on collision; however, the officer inside the vehicle was shaken up but had no serious injuries.

Mayor Bass and the Long Beach Board of Aldermen took time from a packed agenda and large audience to recognize area residents. First, Bass congratulated the five Long Beach students, Andrew McMillian, Jackson Dulaney, Anderson Dulaney, Katie Baker, and Alyssa Pepper, selected for the American Legion’s Boys & Girls State for 2019.

Boys & Girls State are the premiere leadership programs for rising high school seniors in Mississippi. Delegates are challenged to not just learn about Government, Leadership, and Service; but to put their knowledge into practice.

Next, Mayor Bass read a proclamation citing March as Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month for the City of Long Beach.  Lori Brown, Director of the South Mississippi Regional Center, accepted the proclamation along with several residents of the Center and thanked the Mayor and Board for their support.

After months of coordination, the Long Beach Library Board agreed to move their meetings to 4:30pm to accommodate a board replacement. Ward 2 Alderman Bernie Parker indicated he would affirm an interested citizen is still willing to serve and bring their name to the next meeting for official selection.

With spring on the horizon, the Board approved hiring consultants to look at construction projects along Pineville Road and the intersection at Klondyke and Commission Roads.  Mayor Bass tabled a discussion on a broad pavement effort for further discussions at an official work session next Tuesday March 26th.

In addition to the recognition ceremonies noted earlier, the meeting agenda included an update to the Annexation Study previously addressed in January 2019.  However, Mayor Bass tabled the study update and requested the Board and City Attorney go into executive session to discuss what litigation strategy would be required to initiate any future annexation by the City. The almost hour-long session ended as Bass announced no action was taken.

On a lighter note, the Board approved several applications to provide support to the Danger 22 Until Valhalla Ruck/March/Walk and First Baptist Church’s Children’s Easter Festival. Unanimous approval was granted to allow Clogging & Tap classes. All fees will go to Long Beach Schools.

The meeting adjourned after the Board discussed 2 derelict properties. An initial discussion on the condition of a commercial property with one of the property’s owners who stated she was doing her part to bring the property into ordinance compliance, but she indicated a 2nd owner had been reluctant to support the cleanup.  Further action was tabled for now.