BCF offering plan to host clean-up day around Bude

by Doris Keane

A grassroots effort to address unsightly, cluttered and debris-covered properties throughout Bude is coming next month, according to plans that were announced during the town’s monthly Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, March 7.

Veronica Brown, who serves as program director for the Bude Community Foundation, said her organization’s first-ever “Earth Day Festival and Community Clean Up Day” celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 22.
“We’ve got to do better because there’s a lot of trash in yards throughout Bude and it’s time we finally did something about it,” Brown told town officials.

“The BCF’s plan is to have volunteers available to help any citizen within Bude’s corporate limits get rid of any unwanted items — trash, discarded appliances, tires, garbage and other waste — from his or her property.”

The Franklin County Solid Waste Department has pledged to assist with the effort by helping haul away unwanted debris for proper disposal.

Brown said the main mission of the event will be to improve Bude’s overall aesthics while building a sense of community pride in seeing unsightly sections of the municipality cleaned up.

“There has been a lot of discussion about something needing to be done regarding Bude’s appearance, and this will be an opportunity to actually do more than just talk,” Brown said.

“We also encourage people to get involved with things like cutting their grass, trimming their shrubs and trees, picking up litter where they live and to help their elderly neighbors, who might not be physically able to participate.”

To build excitement for the gathering, the BCF — at its community center building (at the former Bude United Methodist Church) on Main Street — will host attractions including food trucks, a moonbounce for children, the Kona Ice truck and music on the day of the celebration.
Brown said a generous donor is providing up to 100 dogwood trees for planting with those being given to the first 100 people who bring items to dispose of to the community center, which will serve as a central collection site.

“We want this to be a fun, community-building time that has the added benefit of helping citizens clear their yards and homes of items they want to see removed,” she continued.

Brown said additional details about the clean-up day will be coming in the near future, but wants people to mark the date on their calendars and make plans to participate.

“We also want to encourage individuals along with civic and church groups to use this as an opportunity to reach out and help those that might need some help around their houses,” she went on to say.

“The more people we have involved, the more successful this clean-up will be.”

Board attorney Mary Kathryn Williamson discussed repairs to a structurally deficient bridge providing access to a new lumber processing mill near Bude’s downtown business district.

Williamson noted town leaders had approached the Franklin County Board of Supervisors for assistance with the project, which will cost in the range of $130,000 and $150,000.

The town — with support from county officials — is reportedly seeking funds through the Mississippi Development Authority — the state’s economic development organization — to address the bridge concerns and possibly pave the dirt road that runs parallel to the railroad track and fronts the new mill site.

In addition, Williamson said the county has agreed to do some temporary measures to stabilize the old, wooden bridge deck for increased truck traffic until a permanent solution can be identified.
In other action to come before the panel, the Bude Board of Aldermen took the following actions during the meeting:

• Approved payment of the municipal claims docket for February in the amount of $16,057.24; February payroll totaling $21,354.40; and the town’s PERS — Public Employees Retirement System — contribution of $5,291.74 for February.

• Spread upon the minutes the town’s revenue and expenditure report for February.

• Authorized the payment of $2,500 to the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District related to oversight of Bude’s Community Development Block Grant award for sewer infrastructure improvements.

The Bude Board of Aldermen will hold its next monthly business meeting, which is open to the public, at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, April 4 at town hall located on Railroad Avenue.

• Heard from Allen Laird representing the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District regarding a pair of proposals — from Jordan, Kaiser and Sessions of Natchez along with Dungan Engineering of Brookhaven — for engineering services for the town’s 2023 CDBG grant application.

Town leaders, on a 3-2 decision, opted to go with Dungan for the work as the firm has been the municipality’s engineering firm of record on previous CDBG efforts.