In an effort to combat crime in Leflore County, the Board of Supervisors has agreed to allocate up to $1,500 per month to defray the ongoing cost of adding streetlights in dimly lit areas.

Monday’s unanimous vote came at the prompting of District 3 Supervisor Anjuan Brown, who said he was particularly concerned for the many elderly residents in the Chapman Subdivision, located off Mississippi 7 east of Greenwood.

“They’ve been having a lot of criminal activity out there. ... And it’s dark. You can go out there yourself,” he told his fellow board members.

Brown said he has been in discussions with Delta Electric Power Association, the utility provider for that  area of the county, about the situation. He said that officials with the electricity cooperative told him they were willing to install the lighting at no cost and to charge a lower-than-normal rate for the power, but they could not swallow the recurring utility bill.

Under the measure, each supervisor will have up to $300 per month of taxpayer funding to pay for the electricity to operate streetlights at areas of each supervisor’s choosing.

Although Sam Abraham of District 1 voted for the proposal, he cautioned that the supervisors may be opening a Pandora’s box of requests from neighborhoods for more than $300 per month will cover.

“We’ll have to cross that bridge,” Brown responded.

The measure follows the successful efforts last month of District 2 Supervisor Reginald Moore to have streetlights installed at King Circle in the Browning Community. Moore worked out a deal with Delta Electric to install the lighting, with Moore pledging to personally pay for life the cost of the electricity, estimated at $120 per month.

Asked after Monday’s vote whether he would use his district’s $300 share to now pay for this cost, Moore said he had not decided.

“I may choose another area. That may be in addition to what we’ve already done,” he said.

In other business, the board:

• Agreed to put up $7,064 to cover its share of the local match required to receive a Federal Aviation Administration grant of $254,315 to repair and refurbish the concrete apron at Greenwood-Leflore Airport. The city of Greenwood will be contributing $7,064 as well and the Mississippi Department of Transportation, $14,128 to meet the 10% local match requirement, said Grady Perkins of the airport board.

• Voted unanimously to appoint Greenwood advertising executive Allan Hammons to the task force looking at the possible sale or affiliation of Greenwood Leflore Hospital with a larger hospital. By a separate 4-1 vote, with Abraham dissenting, the board appointed Sammy Foster, a former chairman of the hospital board, to serve as a delegate to be interviewed by the consulting firm that is assisting in the evaluation.

• Approved spending $1,500 to purchase advertising in the city and county map sponsored by the Greenwood-Leflore County Chamber of Commerce.

• Approved the recommendation of Tax Assessor Leroy Ware to lower the assessed value by almost $32,000 on Crystal Health and Rehab nursing home on the 2019 tax rolls. Ware said it was the only objection he received to the rolls, which were also approved by the board.

Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or tkalich@gwcommonwealth.com.

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