Police food bill goes unpaid; board’s approval not given

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2001

[06/19/01] A disagreement between the Vicksburg Police Department and City Hall means who will pay for food served at a workshop will have to be decided in the future.

Although Mayor Robert Walker said he had no doubt the $330 bill from L.D.’s Kitchen represented a justified public expense, no one made a motion at Monday’s board meeting to pay the bill.

According to the discussion, the Vicksburg Police Department sponsored a domestic violence workshop titled “Learn what to do and where you can go for help.” Catering was by L.D.’s Kitchen, a Mulberry Street restaurant.

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“There was no question that it was a legitimate expenditure,” Walker said, but the police department did not, as policy requires, receive advance permission to use city funds.

The department has received federal funds for domestic violence awareness and enforcement programs for the past five years. Apparently, plans were to use money from this year’s grant, although the grant budget shows no workshop was planned

His department is looking into several options for paying the bill, including using funds from its general budget, said Police Chief Mitchell Dent.

“We have had other situations like this where we have verified that you present it to the board prior to the seminar to get the blessing of the board,” said North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young. The board is accountable to taxpayers and expenses for any event that does not have the board’s advance approval will not be paid, she said.

South Ward Alderman Sam Habeeb differed about whether past events’ bills have been paid by the board on after-the-fact votes, but agreed to enforce the city policy.

Board members left the meeting without clarifying what will become of the invoice. Two of the members, Walker and Habeeb, have less than two weeks left in their terms.

In other business, the board:

Awarded contracts to Buckelew Tree Services Inc., of Starkville, Miss., for $2,300 and Delta Tree Services Inc., of Leland Miss., for $3,200. The two companies will remove dead trees on Oak Street, Monroe Street and Confederate Avenue. They will also remove trees on the corners of Wisconsin Avenue and John Allen Street; Confederate Avenue and Mulvihill Street; Grove Street and Mission 66 and Lovers Lane and Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Extended the completion date of the Jackson Street Creative Resource Center to Sept 8. The 30-day extension for Flagstar Construction Inc. of Brandon was approved due to rain delays since last December, board members said, but the company also took out part of the foundation and replaced it at company expense last month. The new building is to cost $1.6 million.

Approved the monthly budget and revenue report.

Approved placement of an advertisement in the Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Clubs 26th annual program book for $55.