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Supervisors consider adopting building codes

The Copiah County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation by Mark Roberts of the International Code Council during Monday’s regular monthly session.

Copiah County does not currently have a system in place for building inspections. Supervisor Terry Channell said, “Right now there’s no way to protect people who are getting their houses built [in Copiah County], to ensure that they get a quality job.”

Roberts explained to the board that building codes are made to ensure the safety and health of the public as well as the safety of fire fighters. Codes require minimum standards for things such as stair geometry, plumbing to avoid waterborne illnesses, and to ensure homeowners are getting a sound investment.

The Code Council offers training for inspectors as well as twelve codes and six standards. The codes can be amended by state or local government. Roberts pointed out that the codes are largely created by local governments who are voting members in the council. New codes come out every three years.

The board took no action on the matter but took code materials for further study. Channell advised the board that the state will eventually require counties to adopt building codes, and he would rather the county adopt their own codes before it is required.


The board met briefly with Buford Clark of Waste Management to discuss the addition of the Town of Wesson to the county’s solid waste collection contract, as well as to resolve an issue with a retroactive rate increase due to increases in the Consumer Price Index. The board agreed to split the difference by paying for two of the four months retroactively billed by Waste Management, which comes to a total of about $3,300 per month.


The final paperwork is in process for the courthouse renovation process.

Circuit Judge Lamar Pickard expressed his appreciation to the board for all they have done for the court and courthouse and people of Copiah County. “It’s money well spent,” Judge Pickard said of the renovations. “You don’t know what it will do for the administration of justice in Copiah County.” He commended the board for their teamwork with other agencies.


A citizen asked the board to look at the procedures for septic treatment plant inspections by the Health Department. The citizen went without power for 22 days while attempting to get a sanitation number for a working, established treatment system that had passed previous health inspection only a couple of years ago.

Supervisor Channell reported that he gets calls and complaints day after day about how people are treated during this inspection process. Citizens can not get electricity for their homes without a sanitation number from the Health Department.

As of July 2009, it will be a criminal offense under state law not to have a proper septic system. The board attorney was instructed to review the county’s ordinance to see what can be done until the new state law takes effect.


Potential litigation and personnel were discussed in an hour-long executive session. While in the closed session the board voted to transfer Steve Drummond from the north road barn to the courthouse custodial crew. Four employees in the sheriff’s department were granted step increases.

The resignation of Keely Davenport from the sheriff’s department was accepted.

Problems with the treatment plant at the industrial park in January and February require the water manager and the engineer to attend a meeting at DEQ this week.

Paperwork for the upcoming Smithsonian exhibition was approved.

Cultural affairs director Dr. Janet Schriver received permission to use advertising grant funds to establish a website to raise funds for restoring the Robert Johnson birthplace. The cultural affairs office also plans to sell Cross pens made of wood from the house, that could not be used in the restoration, as a fundraiser.

If the house is to be opened to coincide with the Smithsonian exhibition, then the county needs to raise about $250,000 before March, Schriver told the board.

The performance at the Heritage House has been rescheduled to December 10.

The county will soon purchase rights of way on the St. Paul Road and Alford Road bridge projects.

The airport operators Mississippi Aero gave notice that their contract will be terminated in 90 days.

Bettie Fields resigned from the Human Resources Agency Board as District 3 representative.

The Justice Court aged accounts receivable report showed $88,712.70 in outstanding fines owed to the court.

The board recessed until Monday, November 10, at 9 a.m.

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