By CHRIS WILSON
AMORY -- Amory Main Street interim director Jean Pinkley appeared before the board of aldermen on March 3 to report on the organization's activities.
Among recent accomplishments are a redecorated Main Street office beside the Amory Utilities Department, a restructured board of directors with four new members and restructed committees with several new members.
The Design Committee worked on Christmas decorations downtown, seasonal flags and is working with the Amory Historic Preservation Commission. It is also planning spring plantings downtown.
The Promotions Committee coordinated the Christmas Open House, is planning an egg decorating contest and silent auction, is looking ahead to a July 3rd celebration in the park and hopes to have a Halloween event.
The Economic Restructuring Committee has inventoried all downtown buildings, are visiting every downtown business, and is preparking packets of information to give to all downtown building owners.
Amory Main Street board president Len Pinkley thanked the city for its support of the Main Street program. He also asked if the city could provide a $20,000 contribution to it as it originally did. This year because of a shortage of funds, Amory Main Street's allocation was reduced to $10,000. Pinkley said the organization will continue to try to raise its own funds as well.
In other business at the March 3 meeting, City Planner Russell Butler presented a final draft of the city's revised zoning ordinance to board members. A public hearing will be held on the new ordinance on April 7 before it is adopted.
The Planning Commission was to meet March 10 to consider the demolition of two houses in Amory and to also take up the matter of some burned out houses that are hazards.
Board attorney John Creekmore also updated the board about the procedure for amending the garbage ordinance to allow for an additional charge for landlords who put excessive garbage at the curb for pickup. Ward 1 Alderman Dan Rogers had requested this change at the board's previous meeting in February due to problems at rental property in his ward that was resulting in extra labor for the sanitation department crews.
The board also approved an amendment to the Historic Preservation Commission's bylaws that will allow them to have a nine-member commission.
Creekmore also reported to the board on research he had done at their request about the use of ankle bracelets on people who had been arrested instead of jail time. Such ankle bracelets are currently being used by the Monroe County Youth Court to monitor offenders.
There are two basic types of monitoring bracelets -- one uses GPS tracking of the wearer and the other monitors alcohol use in people.
The GPS bracelet allows authorities to monitor the movement of a person. They often are able to continue their jobs. But if they go outside the area they are authorized to be, authorities will be alerted and they would be arrested. The GPS bracelet is similar to a house arrest program.
Creekmore said the bracelets cost about $12 per day with the cost usually passed on to the offender. Cities can also purchase bracelets if they want.
The board planned to get up with Police Chief Ronnie Bowen about the possible use of ankle bracelets as a cost-saving measure.