City tightens up on small cell wireless

By BUSTER WOLFE,

An ordinance that regulates work in, along or across Hattiesburg rights-of-way for small cell technology will give city officials the ability to more strictly oversee placement of the units.

At Tuesday’s Hattiesburg City Council meeting in City Hall, the ordinance was approved unanimously, setting a permit application and licensing system for small cell technology. Small cells can be used to provide in-building and outdoor wireless service. Mobile operators use them to extend their service coverage and/or increase network capacity.

Andrew Ellard, director of Urban Development, said the ordinance is important to get in front of advancing technology.

“It gives us the opportunity to review those applications to make sure those locations are appropriate,” he said, “whether it’s in a historic district or something like that.”

Applicants must pay a permit application fee of $1,000 for each support structure on the right-of-way for installation or $500 for collocated attachment or attachment to other existing structure. Applications and permits may include up to five new structure locations on a single application at a rate of $1,000 for the first structure and $500 for each additional structure.

An annual license fee to the city of $500 per small cell facility will be paid for the length of the permit. Anyone violating any of the provisions of the ordinance will be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each violation after they are convicted.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

• Approved of Minutes for the June 18 and 19 meetings of the City Council with a 4-0 vote with Ward 2 Alderwoman Deborah Delgado abstaining.
• Voted 5-0 to table an Ordinance for the petition filed by Paul H. Williams, Owner, Richard E. Braswell, Owner, to change the zoning classification for 301 Gordon St. Multi-Family Residential District to Community Business District. The Planning Commission recommended to APPROVE on July 5.
• Approved a petition filed by Dan Adams, Applicant, 5-0 to request a permit for a replacement “Digital Billboard” and all applicable regulations for 4649 Hardy St. The Planning Commission recommended to APPROVE on March 7.
• Adopted an Ordinance for the petition filed by The City of Hattiesburg 4-0 with Delgado abstaining to amend the Land Development Code Section 10, Signs, including only the previously tabled amendments presented at the June Hattiesburg Planning Commission Public Hearing. The Planning Commission recommended to APPROVE on July 5.
• Adopted an Ordinance 5-0 amending the Municipal Code of Ordinances of the City of Hattiesburg last amended by Ordinance No. 2714, adopted Feb. 8, 2000; in order to incorporate legislative changes (House Bill 1114) into the local ordinances for the City of Hattiesburg.
• Adopted a resolution 5-0to set a Public Hearing before City Council at 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, to determine if certain properties are in such a state of uncleanliness so as to be a menace to the health and safety of the community and providing for notice to owners and authorize a publication of the notice hearing.
• Adopted a resolution 5-0 authorizing certain employees to determine whether properties or parcels constitute a menace to the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
• Adopted a Resolution 5-0 re-appointing Randy Pope as City Attorney for the City of Hattiesburg for a term beginning Aug. 1 and continuing to July 31, 2019.
• Adopted a Resolution 5-0 naming the Administrative Office Suite at the Hattiesburg Train Depot in honor of Charles Patrick Harrington, honoring all the dedicated railroad men and women in Hattiesburg's history.
• Adopted a Resolution 5-0 authorizing Requisition No. 23 from the Project Fund Construction Account in connection with a certain loan agreement dated Aug. 18, 2016, by and between the Mississippi Development Bank and the City of Hattiesburg.
• Authorized Mayor 5-0 to execute Facility Use Agreement between the City of Hattiesburg and the American Red Cross, for use of the Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport as a disaster storage facility.
• Authorized the Mayor 5-0 to execute Change Order No. 1 in an additional amount of $24,028 associated with the Hub City Transit Facility Construction Project.
• Approved and authorized Mayor 5-0 to execute in triplicate a Contractor and Owner Agreement and a Housing Rehabilitation Grant Award to Earnestine White of 208 Willis Avenue in an amount not to exceed $50,000 according to the Housing Rehabilitation and Housing Programs Manual Section VII.
• Approved the purchase 5-0 of Stalker DSR Radar Units from Applied Concepts, Inc. for the Hattiesburg Police Department in an amount not to exceed $24,153.00 as a sole source purchase.
• Acknowledged the submission 5-0 of an amendment request for award MS-2017-006-01 to the Federal Transit Administration to incorporate the FY 2018 allocation of Section 5307 funds for Operating Assistance, Capital Assistance (Preventive Maintenance), and Capital (Rolling Stock). This amendment seeks to incorporate $1,043,000 in federal funds and $626,714 in local match.
• Authorized Mayor 5-0 to execute an agreement between the City of Hattiesburg and the University of Southern Mississippi, entering into a pilot program to offer full-time employees with an opportunity to complete their undergraduate education.
• Authorized Director of Engineering Lamar Rutland 5-0 to make application to MDOT-FAA for 100 percent Reimbursable Supplementary Discretionary Funding in the amount of $1 million for a Ramp Rehabilitation project.
• Acknowledged receipt of the Hazard Mitigation Grant award 5-0 for the acquisition and green space conversion of the property located at 2100 Eddy St., Project 4248-0015, and authorize Mayor to execute the same; total project cost $153,459.00 with $115,094.00 federal and $38,365 local match to be provided by property seller.
• Acknowledged receipt of the monthly budget report for the month ending June 30.
• Acknowledged receipt of June 2018 Privilege Tax License Report.
• Acknowledged Proof of Publication for June 2018.
• Acknowledged receipt of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget for the Pine Belt Regional Solid Waste Management Authority.
• Acknowledged FY18 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Subgrantee Cooperative Agreement between the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Mississippi Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Hattiesburg Police Department to fund one police officer in the amount of $ 25,931.00 for drug trafficking prevention activities.
• Acknowledged receipt of fully executed permanent easement from Fordham-Thompson Development for a portion of Lamar County Tax Parcel No. 051G-01-292-001 for the COMSWIP Sewer Phase V project.
• Acknowledge bids received June 7 for the 28th Avenue Bridge Replacement Project and reject all bids as exceeding cost estimates; Authorize re-advertisement for bids.
• Authorized the Mayor to execute a rental agreement between The City of Hattiesburg and RICOH for two copiers located in the City Court building for 48 months, at a cost of $287.51 per month.
• Approved and authorized issuance of manual check for CDBG Program Claim.
• Approved Plans and Specifications for the 2018 Water System Improvements Project; Authorized advertisement for bids for same.
• Approved Plans and Specifications for the Drainage Project along U.S. Highway 98; Authorized advertisement for bids for same.
• Approved the sale of grave spaces, per Receipts, Memo's and Deeds.
• Approved claims docket for the period ending July 13.