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County raises fees for housing inmates

The Copiah County Board of Supervisors voted to approve contracts with the municipalities and Co-Lin that will up the fees for housing inmates to $28 per day.

The cities were notified well in advance of the increase in fees, explained Sheriff Harold Jones. The fee for prisoner maintenance has not been raised since 1998 when it was set at $20 per day.

The new contracts will go into effect February 1 and will automatically renew after one year.

The sheriff reported that 50 prisoners were in jail that day, Tuesday, January 20.

The board also authorized payment of the sheriff’s association dues.

In other business, the board met briefly with Kenny Funchess who is seeking assistance in purchase of a tax property in Crystal Springs. The property has been vacant for years and has accrued unpaid taxes well in excess of the parcel’s value, Funchess explained. The board instructed their attorney and the chancery clerk to look into the matter and see if the county is legally able to give any relief on the accrued unpaid taxes.

A right of way agreement was approved to allow utility work at the property leased by Southeast Supply Header in Gallman.

The board authorized a letter to be sent to Billy Traxler seeking more information on his request for amendments to the county’s solid waste management plan to allow him to install a Class 1 rubbish pit near Crystal Springs.

Old South Lane off Stegall Road was accepted as a public road and added to the road register.

Payment for right of way on the St. Paul Road project was authorized to cover the price of the land and timber for a landowner who lives out of state.

Corrections to the tax rolls and homestead rolls were approved on the recommendation of the tax assessor.

Supervisors discussed the proposed state increase in the homestead exemption. The board asked Tax Assessor Todd Mooney to prepare figures to determine the adverse tax impact on Copiah County if the state passes the increase without reimbursement to the counties.

A road department employee was moved from a truck driver position to equipment operator.

Cultural Affairs director Janet Schriver updated the board on the Parents As Teachers grant. The local program has earned certification under the grant, Schriver reported, and several young pregnant mothers have been identified to benefit from the program. Schriver is working with the Department of Human Services on an abstinence program. There are about 100 teen pregnancies in Copiah County each year, Schriver reported.

The State Advisory Group for Juvenile Justice program was discussed briefly. The Copiah program is being recommended as a model for the state.

The Crossroads project is still seeking grant funds for a guitar instructor in order to offer lessons again.

The annual State Aid maintenance inspection indicated that Copiah County’s State Aid roads are in satisfactory condition. There are some striping issues to be addressed.

Concern over the rumble strip requirement in the overlay project was discussed. The county will seek the state’s help in reevaluating the design requirements to leave out the rumble strips, which are expensive and a problem for the very narrow shoulders in the project.

The board adjourned until Monday, February 2, at 9 a.m.

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