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New fire trucks arrive for Smyrna and Hopewell

NEW FIRE TRUCKS ARRIVED – County officials and members of the Hopewell and Smyrna Volunteer Fire Departments were on hand Monday to officially accept the new fire trucks. The trucks were purchased with grant funds.

New fire trucks for Hopewell and Smyrna Volunteer Fire Departments arrived and were inspected by supervisors at their meeting April 7. Funding of the units came from AFG grants with the county providing a ten percent match which is reimbursed by the state.

Hopewell’s tanker/pumper from Ferrara Equipment cost $219,815 and Smyrna’s vacuum tanker from Southern Fire cost $198,528.

Application was authorized for another grant under AFG for a ladder truck with a 107 foot ladder at a cost of $704,250 with the state making a $20,00 reimbursement and the county paying $50,425 of the cost. Location of the truck if received is still to be determined and the arrangements include provision for 15 county firefighters to be trained in its use.

Certificates have been received for 19 county volunteer firemen and these will attend the State Fire Academy.

Application was approved for Copiah to be come a storm-ready community which would ultimately mean the ability to set off storm sirens from the central Emergency Operations Center and placing of a weather siren in each school in the county.

A grant for a stationary and a portable emergency generator will be sought and advertisement for a 3500 gallon vacuum pumper for the Bethel Volunteer Fire Department was authorized.

Other Matters

Kimberly Jackson was employed as a full-time dispatcher in the Emergency Operations Center.

Numbering of residences in the East Ridge Estates section on the Hazlehurst city limits was discussed and clarification of the line must be determined before numbers can be issued.

Erroneous assessments were corrected on recommendation of Chancery Clerk Amos.

Appeal of the clad windows decision on the courthouse restoration project was denied and the county has requested $18,000 additional funding to comply with mandates of the Department of Archives & History.

Progress payment to Huntington Lumber Company on the courthouse restoration was authorized

Copiah experienced an emergency outage of a water pump at the Gallman Industrial Park and $20,467 was authorized for repairs under emergency provisions.

As a result of the study of water and wastewater rates at the Gallman Industrial Park, the water rate for 1000 gallons was increased to $1.75 and the rate for disposal of wastewater was increased to $1.75 per 1000 gallons. This rate was said to be lower than all services except one in the area and new rates are effective May 1.

The rate charged by the Copiah Water Association for management of water and wastewater services at the Gallman Industrial Park was increased from $3200 per month to $4700 per month under a proposal set for a vote April 10. No increase had been made since sizeable increases in responsibility had become necessary particularly in increased wastewater services.

Supervisors continued their study of providing health insurance for county employees and their agent presented other alternatives for consideration and a vote April 10. The county faces an increase of between $44,000 to $84,000 per year in premiums depending upon which alternative they choose.

The cultural affairs report included information on conference telephone calls to blues affectionados in Europe about their interests and continued discussion of the relocation of the Robert Johnson birthplace home. Application for juvenile justice grants totaling $50,000 per year over a three year period was authorized. The Heritage House has received 1200 books under the Nestle and Wal-Mart programs and some of these will be used as rewards for juvenile participation.

Detention Center inmates are reported pleased with their new food service from Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital. The following personnel changes were approved for the sheriff’s department: Angela Cooper to full time dispatcher; Greg Cramer to part time dispatcher; Tamra Beacham to part time radio dispatcher; David Drumm to part time deputy; and Chris Jones to part time deputy. Katrina Robinson, Clara Glass and Nellie Twiner were authorized to complete dispatcher training refresher course.

Final inspection of the Beauregard Road improvements was approved. Purchase of used bridge slabs was authorized totaling $13,000. Green Brothers proposed the rerouting of part of Bailey Road (off Harmony Road) for mining purposes. The company proposes to build the quarter mile replacement to state aid specifications provided it proves financially feasible to do so.

Closeout payments to Oddee Smith and Sample & Associates on the Community Development Block Grant aerated lagoon project at the Gallman Industrial Park were authorized.

Administrator Barlow reported that Claiborne County had shared its new solid waste plan with Copiah as required by law. The audit of the area library system was placed on file. Hazlehurst requested improvement of Jim Hutchison Drive near the ball fields south of Hazlehurst.

Third quarter budget allocations were made as follows: Reappraisal Maintenance $61,709; Tax Collector $63,256; Sheriff Administration $336,785; and Sheriff Custody of Prisoners $232,716.

The county agreed to move some large rocks from the County Line area to the oriental garden in Chautauqua Park in Crystal Springs.

A multimodal transportation grant application for eight additional T-hangars at the Copiah County Airport was approved.

Confederate Memorial Day April 28 was approved as a holiday.

Attorney Munn reported on a bankruptcy involving a county contractor. A resolution of appreciation for Dr. Howard Garner’s service was authorized upon his retirement as President of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The maintenance of the Copiah County Law Library recommended by Attorney Robert Lawrence who manages this project for the county was approved under a three year contract on the internet at $10,627 per year.

Justice Court clerks’ expense to their annual meeting was approved.

The Archives & History Landmark Permit application was authorized.

Murray Christmas was employed as a substitute solid waste pit manager at the south county pit.

Advertisement was authorized for one or more rotary grass clippers for use at the county’s north barn.

Officials recessed until April 10 at 9 a.m.

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