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Fire departments respond to 1445 calls in 2008

Copiah County’s 12 fire departments made 1445 responses during 2008, down slightly from 2007, supervisors were told by Randle Drane, Fire Coordinator, at the board meeting Feb. 10.

Drane presented a chart to the board of supervisors comparing annual call totals from 2006 to 2008.

Half of the 12 departments reported an increase in call volume in 2008 over 2007 figures. Departments making more calls in 2008 included Barlow, Crystal Springs, Georgetown, Hazlehurst city, Hazlehurst volunteers, and Smyrna. (Note that the Crystal Springs city and volunteer departments reported a combined total of calls while Hazlehurst’s city and volunteer departments reported separately.)

Departments making fewer calls in 2008 were Allen, Bethel, Dentville, Hopewell, Strong Hope, and Wesson.

The Crystal Springs fire departments made the highest number of calls, with the city and volunteer departments making a combined total of over 425 calls.

The Hazlehurst city department responded to nearly 200 calls, and the volunteers reporting just over 150 responses. Both of these figures are up from 2007 reports.

Most of Copiah’s rural volunteer fire departments reported between 25 and 50 calls made in 2008. Strong Hope responded to just over 50 calls, a significant decrease from 2007.

The Wesson VFD responded to nearly 200 calls in 2008.

Copiah’s investment in fire apparatus and creation of the volunteer units during the past 8-10 years has paid off in insurance savings for the county.


A bridge on Rhymes Road, just north of Crystal Springs, is temporarily closed for repair.


Steve Marshall of Airport Development Group reported to supervisors on an environmental assessment hearing on the proposed airport expansion. Several area residents expressed concern about aspects of the improvement plan which ultimately includes getting the hump out of the runway, land acquisition, 23 environmental impact issues, obtaining of permits, replacement of one and a half acres of wetlands, and an area land use ordinance recommended by the Federal Aviation Agency.

The land use considerations include height restrictions on approaches, land acquisition at the ends of the runway, and noise attenuation.

Present structures, etc. are ‘grandfathered’ in.

The land use plan was recommended to give the county tools necessary to prevent problems in the future. Even though the

adoption of a land use plan is not required, FAA looks favorably upon entities with such plans in the distribution of grant funds.


Chancery Clerk Steve Amos recommended a homestead reinstatement which was approved for an individual who has resolved tax issues with the state.

He also received approval of a contract with Pike County Juvenile Detention Center to house Copiah juvenile inmates for $90 per day. Copiah uses Hinds, Simpson and Pike facilities on an availability basis.

Frank Jackson of Bid Bridge made a presentation to the board on the services his firm offers counties in their bid process, indicating a combination of the current sealed bid process enhanced by an electronic process to increase competition.

Adequate mosquito control materials were reported on hand for the upcoming season. Emergency Coordinator Drane pointed out that the county’s efforts may have been rewarded because no West Nile cases were reported in 2008 in the county.

The county approved an interlocal agreement with eight agencies in the county (in addition to county agencies) for cost sharing on the proposed interactive radio system that will allow communication between all state agencies that is not now available.

Cuevas Auction of Picayune made a presentation for providing auction services on surplus county equipment.

Routine tax roll corrections were made on recommendation of Tax Assessor Todd Mooney.

An executive session for personnel requested by E911 Director Rick Stevens was held but it was reported that no action had been taken when open session resumed.

Engineer Joe Johnson reported that the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Quality approval has been given to the Advance Lane widening project at the Gallman Industrial Park, advertisement authorized for construction bids and bid opening date was set March 23.

The county has requested the deletion of the rumble strip on the Browns Wells Road project in a design exception on the project to bring it within available funding.

The county continued its action to obtaining a stimulus package contribution to county infrastructure needs.

The county discussed $700 monthly charges for bottled water at various county agencies and asked the county attorney to see if purchase of bottled water for such use is legal since coffee and soft drinks may not be purchased.

A Circuit Court order to replace treads on the rear stairway to the courtroom was approved.

Lydia C. Green’s election commission training certificate was incorporated into the minutes.

Special $550 claim for shop doors at the south road barn was allowed.

A $150 expense for training for the Chancery Court reporter was approved on order from the Chancery Judge.

Closing of the county offices for President’s Day on Monday, Feb. 16 recommended by the state was approved.

Routine paperwork on the receipt of a grant for paving of the entrance road and parking at the airport was completed. This is a 95 percent grant with the state and county each contributing 2.5 percent to the project.

Roberts & Son Dozer Service was awarded the low bid totaling $7,500 for cleanup of illegal dumps on Leggett, Dixie Garden, Martinsville and Sandy Yarn Roads.

A 1998 Ford Crown Victoria was declared surplus and posted for 10 days for receipt of sealed bids.

Cultural Affairs Director Dr. Janet Schriver reported that the Boys Choir has been invited to perform in Dallas, Texas.

Benefit performances are being considered to raise funds for the Heritage House and Johnson birth home projects.

A video presentation with the Heritage House Kids (A Christian Rap product with possibility of broadcast on VH-1) was announced and floor polish for the facility in preparation with the recording session was authorized.

Contracts have been received from the municipalities for housing of their prisoners at the Copiah County Detention Center. Expenses were allowed for a seminar for Justice Court Judges.

Claims totaling $1,605,426 for the month were allowed as supervisors recessed until Monday, February 23, at 9 a.m.

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