Efforts are underway to improve conditions in East Meridian. Newly elected councilman, Kenneth Markham, says the increase of police presence in Ward Two is helping to curb crime.
"As far as saturating the communities, that's something that they are already doing and I think they're doing a good job, and they're becoming more efficient despite their slight shortage of officers."
As of recent Markham says more officers have been walking through communities in Ward Two and talking with residents. He's now planning to work with the chief of police to crack down on motorists who speed through the area.
"23rd. Street is almost a race track. Both ends of the street are a hill. So, cars come down the hill speeding and the go back up the hill speeding. We have signs out there, but I think that it would do us justice to have a 15 mile per hour light that you would see in school zones, as well as, having more officer presence there so that they can monitor that speed."
Due to the Meridian Police Department's shortage of manpower, Markham is recommending the use of speed monitors, such as those which the city often uses at Bonita Lakes.
Also, at the city council's last meeting members approved a measure which allows workers from Mississippi Power to repair or replace street lights within neighborhoods. As budget talks continue, Markham is calling for money to be allotted to explore what areas are in need of street lights.
"That's something that we need to make sure our community development budget encompasses, and something that our public works budget encompasses in providing that money so that we can do those things through our city government."
The Meridian City Council will continue budget talks Tuesday. At that time council members will receive detailed information about the proposed budgets for the Department for Community Development and the Fire Department. City officials must adopt a budget for the new fiscal year before it begins October 1st.