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West Point selectmen appoint King to school board


Nathan Gregory



West Point selectmen have appointed Shay King to the city school district's board of trustees. 


Selectman Gary Dedeaux's motion in support of King passed 2-1 with Jimmy Clark in favor and Linda Hannah opposed. The action took place Tuesday during the selectmen's meeting. Selectmen William Binder and Keith McBrayer recused themselves before discussion was held on the appointment, citing conflicts of interest. 


King is the director of laboratory services for North Mississippi Medical Center's West Point branch. She will replace Diane Jack on March 1. Jack had served more than four years on the board after filing an unexpired term of a departing board member and being appointed for her first term in 2010. Jack was also the vice-chairman of the board, according to the school district's website. 


Hannah initially made a motion to reappoint Jack. It failed for lack of a second. Dedeaux and Clark both stated for the record that their decision was "no reflection" on Jack's service. 


Three members of the five-member board reside within the city limits and are nominated by selectmen. Qualified voters elect the other two, who reside outside city limits but in the school district. 




Four brownfields under assessment 


Last year, the city of West Point was awarded $400,000 in brownfield assessment funding from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Now, four abandoned sites in West Point are being reviewed to determine the likelihood of environmental contamination being present. 


Melanie Busby, grant administer for the city, said North Side School, West Side School, the old Mary Holmes College campus and property where the Sara Lee plant was are each undergoing Phase One site assessment, which is the identification of risks.  


Brownfields are parcels where the presence of a hazardous substance can complicate redevelopment or reuse. Brownfield grants provide tax incentives to developers of up to 150 percent of what they spend to revitalize such a site in a tax credit. 


Phase Two of the process involves testing to see if the possible risks identified in Phase One are present at the sites. The grant will be split evenly on both phases. 


Mary Holmes College closed its doors in 2005, while Sara Lee closed down its West Point plant in 2007.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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