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Airport to get t-hangar

The Copiah County Airport will soon have more amenities to offer local aircraft owners. Copiah County’s Board of Supervisors voted Monday to accept the bid of Hemphill Construction to build a six unit t-hangar at the Gallman airport for $280,530.

After looking at options for an eight unit t-hangar, the county board decided to go with the smaller unit in order to stay within the project budget of $320,000. The eight unit bid came in slightly over the budgeted amount at $325,961. With engineering and design fees added, this would have brought the project total up another $33,461, plus the county’s one percent match in accordance with the grant requirements.

Steve See of the county Airport Commission advised the board that he believes the t-hangar will be full in a year. Several pilots are ready to move their planes in as soon as the facility is complete, he reported. The Airport Commission receives regular inquiries on the availability of such space, See told the board.

Thirteen planes are currently housed at the existing hangar. Many of those planes’ owners would prefer private t-hangar space if it were available, according to See.

Space in the t-hangar will be rented at $125 per month for the regular-sized units or $150 per month for each of the two slightly larger corner units.

Next year the county plans to request more funding to build another t-hangar.

In other aiport business, the board accepted the recommendation of the Airport Commission to amend the contract with Mississippi Aero, the firm that currently manages the airport, to provide the county five cents per gallon for the fuel sold out of the airport. Mississippi Aero will also collect the rent on the t-hangar for the county for a $10 fee.


Turkey Creek Lane, a private lane off New Zion Road, was added to the road registry for 911 purposes.

Emergency management agency director Randle Drane reminded the board of a meeting on January 8 in Gallman on the National Incident Management System.

The board agreed to provide $6500 towards a $12,000 Jaws of Life for the Dentville Volunteer Fire Department. The VFD’s current Jaws weighs about 80 pounds and requires two hefty men to operate. The new unit will weigh about 19 pounds, Drane explained. The board agreed to help with the cost, to be paid out of the fire fund. Dentville is distant from its neighboring departments, board members pointed out, and the more easily operable Jaws would speed response. The old unit will be passed on to another department.

Sheriff Harold Jones reported that 5,397 meals were served at the jail in November. Jail population Monday was 67 with 27 being state inmates.

Janet Schriver updated the board on a grant application which will be used toward the purchase of the old Faler opera house in Hazlehurst. The board also discussed personnel and litigation matters related to the 21st Century grant in executive session with Schriver, but no action was taken.

Low bid from Stanley’s Farm Equipment was accepted on a bush hog for the airport.

The low bid of Ferrara Fire Apparatus was accepted on a tanker truck for the Hopewell Fire Department. The tanker will cost $219,815, which will be paid by a grant.

Bids on a courthouse generator were taken under advisement for the emergency management director to review.

The board discussed water service issues at the county industrial park with David Boone. Boone advised the board to set a policy on the placement of water meters for fire suppression to avoid confusion such as recently happened with MMI, a new occupant of the industrial park. The board instructed the economic development director to meet with MMI officials and their contractor to resolve the issue.

The new aerated lagoon, built to process waste from the chicken processing plant, is working too efficiently, the board was advised. The effluent from the lagoon is so clean it is starving the bugs that keep the wastewater treatment plant clean. The board agreed to put timers on the aerators so that they are not all running at once.

Boone advised the board to consider raising the water fees at the industrial park, as there are  expensive maintenance needs looming on the horizon. Boone agreed to provide a breakdown of what the county is spending on a daily basis to provide water and sewer services to the industries.

The board passed a resolution of intent to apply for CDBG funds to provide a third lane in the industrial park road.

Annual road bids were received and reviewed, with some taken under advisement. The board accepted the low bid of Dickerson and Bowen for mat and seal supplies, with Blain and Green Brothers as alternates. S&S Dragline was low bidder for bridge repair. For oversized dirty rock Green Brothers was lowest bidder with Blain accepted as alternate. Hunt Southland Refining Company was sole bidder on liquid asphalt.

The board agreed to sign a lease agreement with Signal LLC, which intends to build an oil well in Copiah County. The oil and gas lease will run for three years.

Repairs to a bridge on Mercy Seat Road were authorized, according to recommendations from the recent bridge inspection. S&S Dragline, the county’s contractor for bridge repair, will fix the bridge for $53,000.

The overlay project is expected to finish up this week, reported county engineer Joe Johnson.

The board okayed the emergency management director’s plan to apply for Homeland Security funds for metal detectors and surveillance equipment for county courts and police.

The board of supervisors will meet again on Monday, December 10, at 9 a.m.

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