2002 Annual Report

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The 20 pages of Meridian's 2002 Annual report was viewed by Mayor John Robert Smith as more than just a booklet of information.

"Our annual report is an important sales tool for the community and it really allows them to capture in a piece of work what has happened in this community and our plans and visions and hopes and aspirations in the years ahead," said Smith.

Each department head addressed council members with a review of key happenings in their portion of city government.

"Eleven thousand inspections were made. Over 2000 permits issued at a value of $28 million," said Don Farrar, Director of Community Development.

"An important move that the city council and city administration made this year was to cancel our mutual aid agreement with Lauderdale County," said Bunky Partridge, fire chief. "Now Meridian residents are no longer subsidizing insurance premiums of residents outside the city."

"If you don't know by now, we are still the safest city in the state of Mississippi with a population over 30,000," Police Chief Benny Dubose said.

"We're proposing city hall renovations, a railroad museum downtown, Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center at Bonita, Highway 45 interchange, which will allow access into that entertainment center,"
said chief administrative officer, Ken Storms.

"We have people coming to the Senior Citizens Center from the city, the county, outside the county and from Alabama," said Mark Naylor, Director of Parks and recreation.

Public Works Director Monty Jackson gave the council an update on Bonita Lakes Park.

"We did some traffic counts with the new traffic counters. We got estimates we got about 200,000 cars a year going into the park," said Jackson.

"Once again sales tax is our single largest revenue, followed by property tax," said City Clerk Ed Skipper.

Maureen Lofton created and edited the report.

"This community has many jewels from the Denzel Carousel to Bonita Lakes, from historic downtown buildings to strong medical and retail communities," said Lofton.