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Floodplain plan revamped

Copiah County’s Board of Supervisors were advised that enforcement of floodplain regulations must be improved in the county or citizens stand to lose flood insurance coverage and future grants for projects in the floodplain.

Allison Brand of the Mississippi Office of Emergency Management observed that Copiah County has a good floodplain ordinance but lacks enforcement. She suggested that the E911 coordinator be made administrator of the program in the county and supervisors authorized Ricky Stevens, E911 Director, to assume management of it with Randle Drane as his assistant.

When citizens secure addresses for new construction and utility permits, they will determine whether they are in a floodplain at that time. If their property is in the floodplain, it will be necessary to have a surveyor or other professional determine whether elevation meets requirements for financial institutions and insurance.

Penalties of $50 per day and even jail time can be assessed under the law for failure to comply with the floodplain ordinance under state law. Only 23 Copiahians have floodplain insurance in place and they stand to lose it at the anniversary date of their policies if Copiah County does not bring its floodplain enforcement in line with MEMA requirements. The county must conduct an audit of structures added to the floodplain since 1988 in order to comply with present regulations. Cities generally are responsible for their own floodplain accommodations.

New floodplain maps have been prepared for Copiah County and an open house is planned before the end of the year for officials and the public to view the maps at the multipurpose building in Gallman on a date to be announced.

Other Matters

Tom Windham conducted an audit exit conference with the supervisors in which he declared there were no adverse findings for the 2006 audit which was conducted by a private firm. The 2007 audit is already underway being conducted by the Mississippi Department of Audit which ordinarily is responsible for one audit in three with others conducted by private firms.

Monday, November 12, was set as the date to observe Armistice/Veterans Day with the courthouse closed.

The final amended budget for the fiscal year 2006-7 for all county funds was adopted

Questions about a request by Sigma LLC to lease certain county land for oil exploration were referred to the county attorney.

The value of surplus equipment to be auctioned for the county by Durham firm was set for bonding requirements and a contract signed.

Hopewell Volunteer Fire Department has received a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for a new tanker and turned over the funds to the county to advertise for and purchase the tanker for them at a total of $220,000. Bids will be accepted December 3 at 10 a.m.

Leftover MEMA funds are being sought for installation of new surveillance cameras and a second fence at the Copiah Detention Center.

Plans were made to train all county agencies and officials for the National Incident Management program that are not already certified.

Bids received for a rotary cutter for use at the Copiah County Airport were rejected and will be readvertised for receipt on December 3 at 10:15 a.m. because of a mixup on specifications.

The Copiah Sheriff’s Department received authorization to purchase some fiber optic services for telephones, internet and television from TelePak in the amount of $354.98 per month after purchasing equipment totaling $600 to give them redundancy in the event of an emergency. Some other services will be cancelled and funds saved applied to the new system.

The sheriff’s department was authorized to accept a grant of $1750 for purchase of three bullet-proof vests. A list of unmarked sheriff department vehicles was approved. Expenses were authorized for Joe Brown to attend the gun recovery program at the police academy. Purchases of new Dell computers and HP printers for use in the sheriff’s department under a grant and state contract were authorized.

Janet Schriver, director of cultural affairs for Copiah County, requested that arrangements be completed for proper acceptance of contributions made to her department and the board agreed to do this.

Engineer Joe Johnson recommended and received supervisor final acceptance of the Swilley Road Bridge project and the Taylor Grove Road project. A letter reporting the status of all “posted” bridges in the county was adopted by the county. A permit was granted to Franklin Telephone Company to install fiber optic cable five and one-half miles along the Barlow Road. The attorney was asked to make a recommendation about disposition of surplus land from the Highway 472 project. The county’s $6 million road overlay project was reported to be 85 percent complete with 71 percent of the time used. Striping is to begin next week.

Expenses were allowed for Ellis Stuart and Judy Evans to attend the coroners’ training program.

Routine tax roll corrections were made.

The request of the Town of Wesson for county assistance in opening a new street was granted.

The county attorney reported to supervisors on attempts to recover tax money due from the Winn Dixie Stores bankruptcy.

Supervisors adjourned for October. The county board regularly meets on the first Monday of each month at 9 a.m.

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