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County prepares for future airport expansion

A number of routine housekeeping matters were handled in the recessed meeting last Tuesday of the Copiah County Board of Supervisors.

Drawdown of Mississippi Department of Transportation grant funds for construction work at the Copiah County Airport was approved.

Letters notifying property owners adjacent to the Copiah County Airport that the airport could be expanding had been prepared and Board President Earl Dixon was authorized to sign and transmit them to the affected citizens.

Payment for the environmental study in preparation for the airport expansion was authorized totaling $1875.

The county received a $77,277 solid waste assistance grant from the Department of Environmental Quality.

The 911 receiving center will relocate the dispatchers to another part of the facility to give them more space. The board approved the expense required to move radios, computers, and phone lines. The dispatchers will be moved into the area previously used as a conference room.

A private lane in District 5 was added to the road registry as Pope Taylor Lane.  

Emergency Management Director Randle Drane introduced his new administrative assistant to the board. Drane announced receipt of a $26,198 grant to be used for communications and a mobile command center. The grant will upgrade the cell phones of investigators and other officials to allow them to receive email in the field. Drane was authorized to proceed with purchases using the grant funds.

The low quote of $6,910 was accepted for mandatory conversion of emergency radio frequencies.

Application has been made for a $1 million Mississippi Emergency Management Agency grant under Homeland Security provisions. If the grant is approved, the county can upgrade its emergency operations center.

Cultural Affairs Director Janet Schriver received approval to apply for a grant change that would provide surveillance at Heritage House and a public address and lighting system for use in the multipurpose building at the county fairgrounds where participants at Heritage House often perform.

Plans are to secure the relocation of the Robert Johnson birth home by mid-September to the lot behind Heritage House. Quotes for the project are still being received.

The Boys Choir at Heritage House recently performed at the Brookhaven Little Theater summer camp, Schriver reported.

Literature promoting G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) at the middle school level in Copiah County was distributed to supervisors for consideration of its use in Copiah County schools.

Officials received a presentation on a Tuffwall product that may be useful on county property and agreed to purchase some of the product for trial.

Neil Honan, Executive Director of the Copiah County Economic Development District, reported that Southeast Supply Header may be interested in extending their lease on the entire former Universal building in the Gallman Industrial Park. The firm initially leased only 50,000 square feet. Under terms of the proposal, the firm will maintain the facility and any sublease must be approved by the supervisors. The proposed lease amount is based upon a professional appraisal and contains an escalator clause if extended.

Routine tax roll and solid waste accounts were corrected.

Robert Martin was hired as a jailer at the Copiah County Detention Center.

A statement for a wiring upcharge in the courthouse restoration was held for study by the supervisors.

The Senior Service Employment Program with Copiah-Lincoln Community College was renewed.

A Circuit Court order to increase the salary of the Circuit Court Administrator was acknowledged as directed by state law.

County Administrator Ronnie Barlow reported on the status of several employment actions against Copiah County.

The papers for Copiah’s participation in the Beaver Control Program were signed.

Notice to proceed on the air conditioner repair project at the Henley Office Building was signed.

Engineer Joe Johnson reported that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers have ruled that they have no concerns on the Gallman Industrial Park road and entrance project so long as the streams are not disturbed.

Bids will be received August 14 on the county’s overlay of 14 roads.

Supervisors were advised that the U. S. House of Representatives is considering House Resolution 6532 to restore solvency to the Highway Trust Fund. If this legislation is not enacted, Copiah could experience a 34 percent cut in expected 2009 road funding.

Upon recommendation of the State Aid Road Division, the Beauregard overlay project was officially accepted.

In an executive session for personnel, Road Employee Nathan Catchings was temporarily transferred to the county’s south barn.

Officials adjourned for July.

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