Much like DeSoto County, the county seat of Hernando is embarking on a long-range plan to map city streets and note needed repairs.
Aldermen at their last board meeting entered into a contract with the Civil Link engineering firm for a road maintenance program that will be able to record roads in dire disrepair and streets which may just be encountering issues such as "alligatoring" or cracking.
Civil Link officials told aldermen their staff rides the roads with not only "trained eyes" but they videotape conditions of roads and streets as they go along.
Each segment of the road is given a rating or evaluation.
City officials are looking to develop a five-year plan.
"This is doing something to help the citizens," Ward 2 Alderman Andrew Miller said.
Miller has long been a critic of the way in which roads and streets are ranked in order of priority for fixing.
Civil Link currently provides a similar service for the City of Southaven and is set to serve the City of Biloxi as well.
Hernando Mayor Tom Ferguson has made the evaluation of city roads and streets a top priority since taking office.
In other matters, Hernando Fire Chief Hubert Jones said the city's new second ambulance has been pressed into service and is already providing dividends and benefits to the citizens of Hernando.
The city's new second ambulance has been operational since Jan. 21.
Jones said the ambulance has already made a total of 102 calls in the 16 days it has been in operation.
"It's working out real well," Jones said. "It's kind of slowed down the county a bit — they realize that we have another ambulance now and they are not having to make as many calls. They're not calling in their crews as much because they are not having the (volume) of calls."
Both city and county ambulance personnel work under mutual aid agreements.
So in essence, Jones said the second ambulance for the City of Hernando is having the unintended consequence of a drop-off in the number of dispatches for the county ambulance service.
Jones said the new city ambulance is helping to pull up the slack.
At last count, the second ambulance for Hernando made a total of 37 calls from Hernando Fire Station No. 2 and more than 65 calls from Fire Station No. 3.
Also, city officials approved the naming of March 2 as "Bradley Sowell Day" the City of Hernando in recognition of the Hernando High School star athlete and former Ole Miss offensive tackle.
Sowell, 28, has played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Indianapolis Colts, the Arizona Cardinals, the Seattle Seahawks and presently plays offensive tackle for the Chicago Bears.
The event for Sowell is planned at the Gale Center in Hernando on March 2 with a related appearance at Hernando High School.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.