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Bids under advisement for jail meals, fire truck

Supervisors received bids during Monday’s meeting, but took them under advisement for further study, promising a decision at next Monday’s regular monthly session.

First up on the agenda were the jail meals. One bid was received from One Johnson Place, the current meal provider. The bid prices per meal were $3.79 for breakfast, $3.10 for lunch, and $3.99 for the evening meal.

This totals $10.88 per person per day, a rate which the county’s budget for feeding prisoners can not afford, according to one supervisor.  

The current contract will end on March 1. The representative of One Johnson Place agreed to work with the county to see that inmates are fed until a new arrangement can be decided.

Bids were also received for a fire tanker apparatus for the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department. Two bids were received, from Southern Fire Equipment for $206,009 and from Engine and Accessory Inc. out of Miami, Fla., for $192,485.

The tanker bids were taken under advisement for review by the attorney. The low bidder did not submit information about having a Mississippi dealers license or a service center in Mississippi. The low bid included a six month warranty. The higher bid included a two year warranty and a service center in Hattiesburg.

In other matters the board approved the sheriff’s association dues, including conference expenses, for $1000 per year.

A school bus turnaround on Lookout Road will be worked as per request of the Copiah County School District.

The board authorized an interfund loan from the road fund to cover the first payment on the 2007 bond issue. The bond payment totals $441,570, but only $271,659 in ad valorem taxes have been collected so far on that bond, explained county administrator Ronnie Barlow. The State Auditor’s office advised an interfund loan of $169,911, to be repaid with interest when the taxes are collected.

The road manager and engineer were authorized to make an offer on used bridge slabs from a construction company. The savings are substantial on bridge replacement projects by using these slabs rather than new ones, the board pointed out.

Cultural affairs director Janet Schriver updated the board on various projects and grants sought by her department. She presented the board with statistics showing the need for juvenile justice programs in the county. Juvenile delinquency  cases are up substantially this year in Copiah County.

Payments were authorized to two contractors on the airport improvement project. Hangar construction will begin when parts are fabricated, reported Theron Broadfoot, airport engineer.

Asphalt is down on the Beauregard Road project, reported engineer Joe Johnson. Plans have been submitted to State Aid on two bridge projects.

The board adjourned for the month of February. The next meeting will be Monday, March 3, at 9 a.m. The board will also meet on Monday, March 10, at 9 a.m.

Visitors to the courthouse are reminded to use the front entrances. The back entrance is closed to the public during the renovation project.

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