Springfest 2019 (copy)

The carnival midway run by PBJ Happee Days Shows of Marion, Ark. was getting ready for another day of fun at last year's Southaven Springfest in Snowden Grove Park. This year's event was called off Tuesday due to coronavirus concerns as all park and recreation events were canceled through May 11.  

You can add Southaven’s annual birthday bash Springfest to the list of events squelched by the coronavirus bug.

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite announced Tuesday evening during the City Board of Aldermen meeting that he was directing that all city park and recreation events be canceled through Monday, May 11, and possibly longer.

That directive includes the annual celebration of Southaven’s incorporation of what is now Mississippi’s third-largest city, an event that was scheduled for April 21-25. It would have been the 40th festival celebrating the beginning of Southaven as a city.

Musselwhite stated that the city would offer the extension of water and sanitation cutoff grace periods, as well as any corresponding late fees, until May 11, as well.

“In person water payments will be limited to existing drop boxes located throughout the city and the drive-thru window at City Hall,” Musselwhite said. “All other payment options remain available and encouraged.”

Aldermen were required to approve the extension of late fees and grace periods, and also the rescinding of contracts connected with Springfest. Both actions were approved unanimously by the board.

The mayor noted the actions were being taken to minimize risks to citizens and employees. Musselwhite also said he was aware of locations where bars, restaurants, and other such places were being told to close by governmental order until the pandemic subsides.

A number of states, such as Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and Minnesota have ordered all bars and restaurants be closed, as has New York City.

However, Musselwhite said he was not at the point of forcing Southaven places to do that, an action that he said would need board approval to even consider.

“When we encourage private business and others to follow the same guidelines that we’re following, we’re sending a good leadership message that it’s important to minimize risk,” the mayor said. “I do not think it’s our job based on the information that’s out there today to go in and start closing down restaurants or other private businesses. It’s their decision to make their own decision.”

Musselwhite said the city delayed making any initial public statement until late last week and Tuesday he felt it was time to make a more direct statement about the virus and his city.

HERNANDO: Actions taken by the City of Hernando have the closing of City Hall until further notice. Limited staff will be on hand in the building.

The city will accept on-line payments, payments by mail and there are two drop boxes located at City Hall for water payments. If you have any other pertinent business call 662-429-9092 to schedule an appointment before coming to City Hall.

The Parks Department office in Hernando is closed and will work with limited staff until further notice. All city parks will be closed until further notice and updates about baseball, soccer and classes at the Gale Center will be emailed and posted to social media by the end of this week at the latest. If you need to contact the Parks Department you may do so at 662-429-2688 or email Dewayne Williams at dwilliams@cityofhernando.org.

Hernando Public Works Department office will be closed to the public and will be working with limited staff until further notice. Public works and utilities will continue as normal.

OLIVE BRANCH: In a message to his citizens on the Olive Branch city website, Mayor Scott Phillips urged local businesses, especially restaurants, continue to be supported.

“Although some may be closing their lobbies, many have a drive-through, offer curbside pick up, and delivery options,” Phillips said. “OB Pride is our motto, and together we will come through this stronger than ever.”

Olive Branch has suspended all Parks and Recreation activities until April 1, including tournaments, recreational events, practices, and other organized gatherings. The city’s Senior Center is also closed until April 1.

HORN LAKE: Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer has announced that all Latimer Lakes Park events have been canceled through April 1.

“At that time, a decision will be made as to resuming regular park functions,” Latimer said. “Individuals may continue to use the park but not in a group gathering.”