Road plans updated for new board term

Copiah County’s Board of Supervisors updated their road construction plans for the start of the new board term during last Tuesday’s recessed meeting.

New funds are made available at the beginning of each board term, so the supervisors revised the list of programmed projects to meet the available funds.

Using the Copiah County road map which was displayed at the public hearing on the $6 million overlay program, the board made necessary adjustments. There will not be enough funds available to accomplish everything in this term.

The Mount Zion road project was deleted from the program to free up funds for higher priority projects. Work should begin very soon on a 12 mile overlay project costing about $710,000, and a list of roads was approved for this project. The second part of the program is to get a State Aid overlay project going. If any funds are left after these two projects, a reseal project will be done. The county engineer was instructed to begin planning work.

In other road matters, the board closed out the 2007 overlay project with a final payment of $259,508 to Blain and $13,798 to the engineers.  

Final payment was authorized to the contractor on the Swilley Road bridge project and the Taylor Grove Road project.

OTHER BUSINESS

Easements were approved for Copiah Water Association to make improvements to the water system near the detention center and Centerpoint Lane.

Drainage problems and improvements needed on Terry-Gatesville Road were discussed with a citizen. The board explained that the State Aid portion of that road will be resurfaced using a different source of funds than the portion overlaid as part of the bond issue project.

Tommy Roberts will serve as a full time deputy. Curtis Byther, Johnny Butler, and Barry Johnson have achieved jailer certification, so their pay was adjusted accordingly.

Six vehicles will be sent to auction after abandonment paperwork is complete. The board authorized payment for the District Attorney’s portion of the sale of seized vehicles recently sold at auction.

Fence and computer improvements at the jail will be funded by Homeland Security grants. A new fingerprint machine is on the way.

EMA Director Randle Drane reported that fire department runs were down overall in the county in 2007. Between 1100 and 1200 emergency responses were made by all the fire departments combined last year.

The board agreed to replace a computer for the Barlow fire department. Bethel has received a FEMA grant of $206,000 to purchase a vacuum pumper. The board agreed to accept the grant and advertise for bids. Barlow VFD requested help with installation of a dry hydrant.

Drane plans to set up a MEMA course for the county which will allow additional funds to be requested for debris cleanup in the event of future emergencies like Katrina. Drane expects other counties to send their personnel to the class as well if it is offered here.

Cultural affairs director Dr. Janet Schriver invited the board to attend the Blues Trail dedication service on Thursday, January 31, at 4 p.m. next to the Depot. A reception will follow the dedication service.

The board adopted a resolution, which will be faxed to the congressional delegation, asking for the National Forest funds to be reauthorized. In the past the county has received funding to make up for the loss of tax revenue on national forest land in the county.

No action was taken in a closed session to discuss personnel and litigation.

The board appointed Robert Hamilton as county surveyor. No one qualified to run for this office in November elections. The board attorney will look into the statutes governing the position to see if a special election will be required.

 Truck Crops Experiment Station requested help with maintaining their property line, and the county agreed to provide assistance as the station is school property.

The board agreed to remove trees adjacent to the DG Foods parking lot because the trees are dropping limbs on cars.

Officials adjourned for the month of January. The board of supervisors regularly meets on the first Monday of each month at 9 a.m.

Visitors to the courthouse are reminded to use the front doors while the courthouse renovation continues, as the back door is being used as the construction entrance.

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