Smith: Cooper Still Tops

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

At his bi-weekly news conference on Wednesday, Mayor John Robert Smith said he believes the city and county will eventually get together.

"I think you've heard Mr. Hitt clarify his position and say that while he may be focused and he believes the majority of the board focused on the industrial park and that's their 'number one project', that they're still very much committed to the Cooper project and I think that will ultimately be spelled out in their commitment to the Cooper project but that's still under discussion and we'll see what winds up next month," said Smith.

The mayor said Cooper would like to sign the final agreement sometime in August and start showing lots next March. In another matter, council passed a resolution Wednesday limiting paid holidays and comp time for city employees, in accordance with an attorney general's opinion. The mayor said they did what they had to do.

"We have to comply with that opinion and the resolution, I think, expresses the clear will of the council that the administration is to enforce the ruling of the attorney general and that's what we'll do," said Smith.

Mayor Smith also responded to a question about making Frontage Roads one-way streets from one end to the other. They are currently split. He said it is not likely to happen.

"I think they're working reasonably well," said the mayor. "Businesses out there tell me they don't have real complaints of how those frontage roads work, that they're not attracted to the idea of one-waying them on either side."

But he did point out both Frontage Roads, north and south, are under the control of the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the final decision will be up to them.

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