New fire apparatus coming for Georgetown

Supervisors opened bids at Monday’s regular monthly meeting for a new fire tanker apparatus for the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department.

Southern Fire Equipment was the only bidder, at $236,235. Georgetown was awarded about $236,000 in grant funds from FEMA, with an additional five percent match from the state.

The tanker will be built in the same plant and will be similar to the tanker on order for Smyrna VFD. Smyrna’s truck should arrive at the end of March. Georgetown’s tanker will be finished in 240 days, according to the contract.

The Bethel VFD also applied for and received a similar grant for a 3500 gallon vacuum tanker very similar to the others. The board authorized advertisement for bids for the Bethel tanker. Bids will be received February 25 at 10:30 a.m.

In other fire department matters, Emergency Management Director Randle Drane advised the board that although the county cannot request any additional Round 8 funds from the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Program, the board can request funds for another jurisdiction under a Round 8 provision. The Town of Wesson has requested the county’s assistance in applying for $70,000 for a pumper under this provision.

The board agreed to spend  some of the Health Department grant funds to buy two rifles, which will be used for security at the medicine distribution sites in the event of a pandemic. The county is working with the Health Department and other agencies to put procedures in place and provide training for emergency personnel to deal with a catastrophic spread of disease.

Drane suggested appointing a county employee to be responsible for the mosquito trap, moving it around the county to determine the worst mosquito problem areas. The county receives grant funds to help with mosquito control.

Ruby Hughes Lane, a private lane off Bishop Drive, was named officially and added to the road register.

PIPELINE PROBLEMS

The county has received numerous complaints from residents of the Dentville community about the pipeline construction ongoing in that area. Citizens report that crews are throwing out trash and blocking roads.

Supervisors have been asked to call their contacts within the pipeline company to ask construction crews to be more courteous to residents.

The pipeline project cuts across Copiah County for an 80 mile stretch, the largest portion of any county in the state.

LIBRARY UPDATE

Interim Library Director Katrina Castilaw updated the board on the library system’s progress and ongoing projects.

The library system is ahead of schedule in meeting the state’s goals for accreditation. Castilaw and her staff are also developing an internal accreditation system for the branches including annual goals for programs and outreach.

The libraries all have wireless access now, and two grants have been accepted for portable training labs. The labs include laptops, a screen and projection system, and are available to businesses and social groups. The training lab can either be used in the library or checked out for use elsewhere.

Castilaw explained that the library system is participating in a pilot program with the state, one of only three library systems in the state to do so, to promote the use of these training labs for webinars. The projection system provides tremendous cost savings for webinars, she explained.

The libraries are also working with Co-Lin’s training program.

The library board of trustees will meet later this month to discuss the possibility of extending the Hazlehurst branch’s hours to include Saturday mornings. For the past two months Hazlehurst’s traffic has increased by 2,000, the highest rate of all branches.

The Copiah-Jefferson Regional Library System employees 15 people at branches in Crystal Springs, Georgetown, Fayette, Wesson, and Hazlehurst.  

OTHER MATTERS

Several homestead chargebacks were approved for people who have signed on other pieces of property.

Chancery Clerk Steve Amos reported that the digital copies of the deed books were finished last weekend. During the work it was discovered that several binders have deteriorated to the point of needing replacement. Amos was authorized to order eight new binders for land records out of a special fund that has been accumulating for this purpose for several years.

Permission was granted for a farmer to cut hay at the industrial park in the same locations as last year.

The jail report for January shows a total of 5,445 meals served. Jail population Monday was 47 with 3 state inmates. Bids for jail meals will be accepted on February 25.

Two employees were terminated at the sheriff’s department.

Latonya Dixon and Nathan Berry were hired as full time jailers.

The board passed a resolution that Copiah County would like to be considered as a location for a regional jail.

A court order was placed on the minutes designating alternate Circuit Court locations during the renovation project. The Circuit Court will meet at the Chancery Courtroom and Hazlehurst Police Department.

The board was informed that the federal lawsuit involving the Democratic Party has been dismissed. The board will meet again on Friday, February 8, at 9 a.m.

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