The Yazoo City Community Complex has been closed since COVID struck the community last March. Why is its gas bill higher than other government facilities that have been in use, such as the police department and fire department?
That is the question Alderwoman Elizabeth Thomas asked when it came time to approve the claims docket during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday afternoon.
Thomas said the docket showed that the community complex, housed in the former junior high school, had a gas bill for about $400.
“That is higher than the police department and the fire department,” Thomas said. “That building is not being used. Why would there be heat even though no one is there?”
Mayor Diane Delaware said the building has been used sporadically during various pickup functions during COVID. She also said Johnny Staples, the complex’s director, has been inside with painting projects.
Russ Carter, city building inspector, also said the heat has remained on to prevent pipes from freezing.
Thomas also questioned the city’s purchase of cough drops and other pharmacy items.
“Those are for full first aid kits,” Delaware replied. “Full first aid kits are in all our city buildings.”
Thomas also had concern with the $2,000 price tag associated with COVID tests. Forty tests were administered for $50 each at a MEA clinic.
“The city (employees) had contact with COVID, and we needed the one-day tests,” Delaware explained. “We forced the employees to take the test so we took over the co-pay.”
The city’s claim docket was approved with Thomas casting the sole opposing vote.
In other city purchasing news, financing was accepted for the Yazoo City Police Department to receive two 2021 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles and one 2021 Chevrolet 1500 crew cab. The financing was approved with Alderman Ron Johnson in opposition and Alderman Andre Lloyd abstaining.
The board also approved the purchase of a Unimac washer and PPE drying cabinet in the amount of $17,063.20 for the 2020 Homeland Security grant for the Yazoo City Fire Department. Johnson also abstained from voting.