Caresse Jackman

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Vote Passes to Reopen Starkville Roads

OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)– Residents of one Starkville neighborhood are outraged after a vote passes allowing gates to reopen for emergency vehicles to pass through their neigborhood.

Around 100 Starkville residents from the Green Oaks Subdivision packed city hall Tuesday night. They wanted to urge city officials to keep the roads to their neighborhoods closed from traffic.

But in a 3 to 2 vote, with two Aldermen abstaining, the proposal passed.

Green Oaks is in Ben Carver’s Ward. He voted againt the measure.

“It was alittle disappointing. You have over 100 people show up in a small city hall and they’re concerned about and leave almost heart broken.” Says Carver.

Green Oaks resdients say they can think of several good reasons to leave things unchanged, one being the safety of their children.

Several resdients spoke at the meeting stating they are afraid that if traffic is used as a bypass, the children living and playing in the neighborhood may be at risk. One Starkville resdient, Michelle Tehan, stood up to say she was actually hit by a vehicle speeding through the neighborhood when it was open for traffic in the early 1990s.

The roads were once open as a way for drivers to bypass from Stark Road to Highway 12. City leaders voted to close the roads in 1999.

Alerderman Roy Perkins and Sandra Sistrunk were 2 of the 3 city officials that voted in favor of the road opening, but stressed that it is only for emergency purposes. The gated areas that will provide access to emergency vehicles will only be Douglas McArthur Drive and Stark Road.

Regardless, residents in the neighborhood still wish to have the roads closed.

Carver feels the vote was a disgrace to the people living in the neighborhood.

“What does it take, you have budget discussions tonight and nobody even stands up to speak about that but then you have that many people show up and they’re brushed aside.” says Carver.

During the meeting, Mayor Parker Wiseman promised to veto the proposal if it passed.