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County seeks grant to build emergency management building

Dealing with grant documents took up the time of the Copiah County Board of Supervisors during Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

The board passed a resolution to seek a $650,000 grant from Central Mississippi Planning and Development District to construct a new headquarters building for the Copiah County Emergency Management Agency and 911 receiving center.

County officials hope the new building can be tied into the proposed emergency shelter which is planned for Gallman using another grant source.

The EMA and 911 center are currently located in the basement of the Chancery Court building.

A revision request on the communications grant will be submitted. The county has received a $164,000 grant with a $41,000 match for the purchase of handheld radios for emergency personnel. The participating agencies have provided their shares of the match funds, reported EMA director Randle Drane.

Drane discussed the need for a county ordinance to address problems with illegal burning. It is illegal to burn items such as tires and other polluting trash under the Clean Air Act, enforced by the Department of Environmental Quality. The county attorney was advised to work with Drane to see what can be done locally to address these pollution and safety concerns.

The volunteer fire departments joined together to provide food at the Railroad Festival in Hazlehurst last Saturday. They were busy all day, Drane said. They intend to split the proceeds based on the amount of hours worked by the volunteers at the booth, he explained to the board.

A public hearing was held on property on Price-Gilmore Lane which is in need of cleanup. The board determined the state of the property is a menace to public health and safety and gave the landowner 30 days to clean it up. If the county cleans up the property, the expense will be added to the property taxes. The overgrown lot contains an abandoned house.

The board met briefly with a taxpayer who is trying to resolve issues with the State Tax Commission to reinstate homestead exemption.

Reimbursement of two erroneous assessments was authorized.

Bonnie Gustavis of the Copiah Human Resource Agency advised the board that they will be transporting senior citizens to the State Fair on October 14 for Senior Day.

The board authorized the allocation of six months of funding to the HRA.

Robert Martin resigned as part time jailer. The county agreed to swap surplus tasers for a 2001 Crown Victoria with the Town of Wesson. The items are of similar value.

Position changes and salary adjustments were approved for the sheriff’s department. Joey Errington will serve as jail administrator; Millicent Black is assistant jail administrator; Derick Cubit is captain of the patrol; and Angela Cooper is tactical dispatcher. Salaries were adjusted to reflect added responsibilities.

Coroner Ellis Stuart received permission to obtain a data card for wireless service on a laptop provided by the State Crime Lab.

The reports of delinquent and erroneous assessments were accepted and placed on the minutes.

Janet Schriver updated the board on security matters in the Cultural Affairs Department.

There will soon be a website for ordering pens made from the wood of the Robert Johnson House. The pens are made from wood salvaged from the relocation of the house but which can not be used in the renovation. Proceeds from the pen sales will be used for the restoration of the Robert Johnson House.

The board agreed to spend $500 to remove the sheetrock in the house, which is mildewing. Schriver pointed out that the wood under the sheetrock is very nice and the sheetrock will need to be removed anyway.

Payment of invoices on the courthouse generator project was authorized, as were payments on the airport project.

A preconstruction conference with Blain was scheduled for Friday on the overlay project.

Advertisement for bids was authorized on the St. Paul Road bridge project. Bids will be taken on Tuesday, November 10, at 10 a.m.

Supervisors Perry Hood, Jimmy Phillips and Kenneth Powell will serve on a committee with State Aid personnel to select the attorney for the Dentville-Jack Road project.

The county engineer will be given authority to fill out paperwork online with MEMA to seek mitigation grant funds to resolve drainage problems in the county.

The list of inventory deletions for the fiscal year 2008-2009 was approved. The high dollar amount of the deletions this year included several pieces of road equipment which were turned in under the buyback plan.

The Justice Court report for the end of the fiscal year showed $92,385.70 in aging accounts and  a cash balance of $8,930.

Payments on the Advance Lane project were approved.

Michael Funchess will work temporary full time at the services building. An employee who did not show up for work was terminated.

Triple G will be paid for repairs at the airport hangar.

Publication of notice of a public hearing on the Advance Lane project was authorized.

First quarter budget allocations were approved as follows: sheriff’s administration $383,579; jail $230,952.75; tax collector $64,775.75; and reappraisal/maintenance $67,611.25.

The board recessed until Friday, October 10, at 9 a.m.

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