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County seeks HOME grant

The Copiah County Board of Supervisors authorized publication of the necessary notices required by the HOME grant program during Monday’s recessed session.

The HOME program is designed to create affordable housing for low income families who currently own homes that are in need of rehabilitation. The grant program will build new homes for up to five families. Certain conditions must be met, such as income and ownership requirements and the families must agree to remain in the new home for at least ten years.

The application process is very competitive, explained Bill Coker, a grant administrator who has worked with the county and city on previous HOME grant projects. The state receives about 92 to 96 applications but only about 16 are funded, Coker explained.

The program is essentially the same as last time, Coker advised. He recommended the county look at census blocks to determine locations of the greatest needs to improve the county’s chances of getting the grant. The county is unlikely to be selected for funding if the houses to be rebuilt are spread across the county.

The board authorized publication of notice of hearing and agreed to look at the census blocks to determine the areas of greatest needs. If the county’s application is successful this year, the board can apply again next year for an additional round of funding.

PUBLIC HEARING

DATE CHANGE

A public hearing on proposed amendments to the county’s solid waste ordinance has been rescheduled to July 7 due to the Independence Day holiday.

The hearing is requested by Jones Lumber Company which seeks to place a Class 2 rubbish pit on property owned by Klondike Farms, Inc. off Highway 28.

The hearing was advertised to take place on July 6, but the state has since declared that a holiday. The board will hold its regular July meeting on Tuesday, July 7, instead with the public hearing set for 10.

OTHER BUSINESS

The veterans service officer is still seeking names to be added to the county’s war memorial on the courthouse grounds. The board has obtained quotes from monument companies to proceed with the work.

Sally Garland presented the Keep Copiah County Beautiful budget request and reported the need for office space for the KCCB coordinator Nora Berch.

The Department of Health requested $23,350 in county funds in the next budget year, the same amount as last year.

The board authorized a letter to be sent to the president of Hinds Community College notifying them that a tax levy will come off this year as agreed five years ago. The board has been providing $100,000 each year for five years to help pay for a building on the Utica campus.

Application paperwork was approved for the $31,495 solid waste assistance grant.

An agreement with Co-Lin was approved for the county to participate in the Senior Aide program, which puts senior citizens to work in county offices.

Additional certification will be provided to the federal government for the EDA grant on the water well project.

The board agreed to give right of way to Copiah Water to lay water line across county property on Highway 28.

Architect Carl Nobles met with the Department of Archives and History to discuss a possible future courthouse project. The project would renovate the stairwells, provide new windows on the old portion of the courthouse, a new roof and seal the building’s exterior. The county will apply for grants in the next round of funding.

Low bid was accepted from Austin Electric for a generator for the courthouse. The low bid was $64,750.

The board attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the Advance Lane project Monday afternoon with various state officials.

Economic development director Neil Honan updated the board on grants he is seeking for the industrial park, including a solar lighting project and construction of pad-ready sites for industrial prospects.

Permit requests were approved for AT&T on Alford Road, East Whitworth Street, and Old Highway 27 No. 1.

Supervisor Kenneth Powell asked the road manager and bridge contractor to take a look at the bridge on Camp Street in Crystal Springs and get an estimate on replacement.

Supervisor Earl Dixon asked the county administrator to write a letter to all department heads reminding them of the deadline for turning in payroll reports. Payroll can not be completed until all reports have been turned in, and the delay from some departments is causing the payroll office to work overtime to catch up.

Supervisor Jimmy Phillips reported that the property at the Hopewell boat ramp is under new ownership. The state did not renew the lease of the boat ramp when it ran out in 2008. The board attorney will check on the county’s obligations. Phillips recommended the county abandon the road leading to it if the county has no further duties regarding the boat ramp.

Cleanup of an illegal dump on James Road was authorized at the low quote price of $1800.

Purchase of four new trucks for the road department was authorized. The trucks will not arrive until September.

The board discussed the number of miles that can be sealed during the summer paving season, agreeing to bring up the matter again at the July meeting after the available funds can be looked at.

The board adjourned for the month of June. The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 7, at 9 a.m.

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