Paving project postponed again

The Copiah County Board of Supervisors received bids for the paving of the Carter Hill-Browns Wells Road project for the second time Jan. 9 at a recessed session of the Board of Supervisors. And for the second time even though the bids were within the estimate, a state level funding source backed out on a commitment and the bids had to be taken under advisement because the total funding available would not pay for the project.

The bids are good for 60 days and the miscommunication can possibly be worked out. Dickerson & Bowen was the apparent low bidder at $1,441,161. Only $831,000 is currently available for the project.

Circuit Clerk Edna Stevens announced the investiture ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. in the Circuit Courtroom in the Copiah County Courthouse in Hazlehurst. A reception is to follow at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Administrator Ronnie Barlow announced the Day of Unity musical, fashion show, etc. to be held Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Hazlehurst High School Auditorium.

Upon recommendation by the Secretary of State, supervisors set Jan. 29 as a holiday marking the Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee birthday.

A bid received at the last meeting for metal culverts was rejected since the prior culvert proposal was good through June.

Copiah’s updated comprehensive Road and Bridge Plan for 2009 was approved and among other things includes construction of six new bridges.

The updated Copiah Road Register was adopted incorporating any changes made during 2008.

The expiration of the scrap metal contact covering disposal of materials at the north and south county pits was announced.

Chief Deputy Tony Hemphill was authorized to attend training on “Law Enforcement and Media Relations.”

A resolution requesting that funding for a new Regional Prison in Copiah County by the legislature was authorized.

Officials went into an executive session for personnel and litigation and emerged to announce that they had removed the prohibition on employment of relatives. Kevin Thompson was employed as mechanic at the county’s south barn and the salary of the mechanic at the north barn was equalized with Thompson’s. Thompson’s employment as Fairgrounds Manager will continue at a reduced salary. Thompson is the brother of Road Manager Booky Thompson.

Copiah has received a mitigation grant from the Department of Homeland Security utilizing funds other counties were allotted but were unable to use. The funding of a backup emergency power generator for the Copiah County Courthouse and a portable generator with a value of $130,790 was received. Copiah will leverage this project with a five percent participation. Letters of appreciation to Congressman Bennie Thompson for his help on this project were authorized.

Emergency Management Director Drane received approval of several purchases and personnel salary supplement from a $14,714 grant that was primarily used for replacement of a communications repeater authorized at the previous meeting.

Request for extension of McDonald Lane was approved and corrected right of way conveyance and extension was accepted.

The lease of the Copiah County Airport operation to Gerry Mosley was approved and the signature of the supervisor president on the document was authorized.

Right of way conveyance from Sanderson Farms for construction of a water line in the industrial park was received.

Preparation of a resolution seeking economic stimulus funding for a new water well at the industrial park, the Dentville-Jack Road first phase, and a 34 mile road resurfacing project set aside because of cost overruns was authorized to be prepared for Mississippi’s Congressional Delegation.

The county prosecutor sought abatement of costs for medical records subpoenaed from Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital but was advised that the county would have to pay the cost because the service was provided under contract to the hospital.

Copiah agreed to transfer a judge’s bench, podium and sound system utilized by the county at the Hazlehurst Police Department during the renovation of the courthouse to the City of Hazlehurst since the items were now surplus to the county.

Approval to begin obtaining of right of way on the Dentville-Jack Road project was given in order to have the project ready within time limits of any possible economic stimulus funding.

Routine tax roll and the 2008 homestead roll corrections were approved.

Engineer Joe Johnson reported that Southeast Header Supply had requested permission to install a six unit office complex in the parking lot south of the former Universal Building in the Gallman Industrial Park. Drawing up of specifications for water and sewerage for the project by the county engineer was authorized and David Boone who supervises utilities for the county at the park was authorized to work with the company in securing proposals for contracting out the work.

Copiah Water Association’s Boone submitted permit requests for a $1.8 million upgrade of the association’s water lines along a large number of Copiah County roads, primarily utilizing boring of paved roads and installation along road rights of way where necessary. The request was approved.

Engineer Johnson reported that plans for work on the St. Paul Road could be ready in 30 days after securing of right of way.

Claims totaling $1,436,879 were allowed and officials recessed until Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 9 a.m.

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