Tupelo City Council Nov. 5, 2019: Homelessness

Northeast MS news Tupelo City Council Nov. 5, 2019
Mrs. Mieko Kikuchi, accompanied by her husband and son, receives a Certificate of Appreciation from Mayor Shelton.
February 9th, 2020     Government & Politics

Tupelo, MS – The Tupelo City Council met on Tuesday night, November 5, 2019, in a brief affair taking care of previous minutes, new reports, and some housekeeping. Also on the agenda were several recognitions by the city to both individuals and groups.

Mississippi United to End Homelessness seeks to end homelessness in Tupelo

A representative of the organization known as Mississippi United Against Homelessness (MUTEH) gave a report to the Tupelo City Council. The organization strives to end the problem of homelessness in the city by locating homeless people, and working to find housing for them. In the past year, the group has helped house 102 homeless from within the city, with 42 of these people being veterans of the United States military.

It was stated that a large number of these individuals were located by the Tupelo City Police Department. Officers that encounter the homeless in Tupelo will offer information to them if possible. If this is not possible at the time of the encounter, the people of MUTEH are notified of their location, so that they can make contact at a later time. Members of the organization also use their time to search the city for individuals that they might be able to help.

Sarah Ekiss, the coordinator for the Tupelo office, stated that the organization does a lot of searching in newspapers, and checking for “for rent” signs throughout the city and surrounding areas. Once a suitable location is found, the lease is typically put in the client’s name, so that they have ownership in the process of being housed.

Other business discussed at Tuesday’s council meeting

Recognitions

Mr. Merlin Kent
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton took the podium to recognize several individuals and their service to the city. He called Mr. Merlin Kent to the podium, granting him a certificate of appreciation for his more than thirty years of service in IT department for the city of Tupelo.

Mrs. Mieko Kikuchi
Shelton then called Mieko Kikuchi, the Relationship Advisor and Japanese Liaison to Renasant Bank of Tupelo. Mrs. Kikuchi was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Mayor Shelton for work in growing the relationship between Japan and North Mississippi. The council then recognized that Kikuchi had also recently received the Foreign Minister’s Certificate of Commendation in recognition of her work between the two countries.

Arrow Award
The Arrow Award is an award that recognizes the outstanding achievement of businesses and business owners that go above and beyond in an effort to better Tupelo. The award was presented to local Eat With US Group, a group of restaurants and their owners. This award was presented to the group for their work in taking a run-down location, and making into one of the city’s premiere dining establishments.

National Radiologic Technologist Week
Mayor Jason Shelton recognized that the city of Tupelo has set aside the week of November 3 through November 9 as a week to recognize the area’s Radiologic Technologists, and the work they do in the city of Tupelo.

Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month
Mayor Shelton took a moment to address that November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, giving some details on the illness, as well as, discussing prevention and treatments.

Reports

Mississippi United to End Homelessness : this report was reported earlier in this article.

Mayor’s Report
Mayor Shelton took a moment to give thanks and praise to the Tupelo emergency services for their rapid response in the storms that took place on October 26. He stated that if not for the quick response of these services, many people, including Shelton, himself, could have suffered far worse circumstances from the storms. Shelton Also praised the city of Tupelo for its level of professionalism for the visit of President Trump. He commended the local law enforcement for their involvement in the event, saying that without these men and women, the President’s visit would not have gone so smoothly.

Approval of Grants

In the final moments of the meeting, the council voted to accept several grants that had been awarded to the city.

  • A grant from the Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $50,000 was accepted to pay for bomb squad equipment for the Tupelo Police Department.
  • A second grant, also from the Department of Homeland Security, in the amount $10,000 was accepted. This grant was to be used for maintenance and upkeep of the equipment used by the city’s emergency services.
  • A final grant was approved in the amount of $1500 from Wal-Mart, to be used for fire safety and prevention.
  • An additional $150 donation from the local VFW post 4057.
  • The council voted to accept a grant in the amount of $750,000 to improve the West Jackson district. This grant is allocated for the improvement of the infrastructure of the West Jackson area for the new businesses in the located here.

Other Business

  • A vote was made to take on 3 additional clerks for the city. These clerks would be allowed to act on the city clerk’s behalf if she is not present.
  • The council also voted to approve Tupelo police officers the authority to use department uniforms and equipment when performing off-duty jobs. These jobs include working security at the Mall at Barnes Crossing and events at the Bancorp South Arena. When the question of responsibility in the event that a city-issued firearm was used at such an event, it was decided that the venue was responsible for all liabilities involving the officers and the use of city owned equipment.

Homeless in Tupelo: https://www.nemiss.news/tupelo-man-home-overrun-homeless/

November 5th 2019 Council meeting agenda and minutes: http://www.tupeloms.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/11-05-19.pdf

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