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Grants sought to build new hospital in Copiah County

Copiah County supervisors were advised that grants are being sought to build a new hospital in the county at their recessed meeting January 8.

Larry Walker, who has been administrator at Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital for three months, pointed out that renovation costs to bring the present hospital built in the 1950’s up to today’s standards would probably cost more than new construction. Needs include single story construction, 60,000-63,000 square feet and  easier accessibility on flat land. The need for acute care and swing bed facilities are among changes that have occurred in hospital needs since the ‘50’s. The hospital has an option on a suitable piece of property although this may not be the final choice.

The supervisors agreed to send a letter to support the hospital’s request for a certificate of need to the Mississippi Department of Health which is the first step in the process of finding financing and making plans. Community leaders will be asked to lend their support.

Administrator Barlow announced that the selection process for professional services on the Dentville Road improvement project will continue in the Office of State Aid on January 12 at 2:15 p.m.

Supervisors plan to attend their winter convention January 11.

Supervisors opted for an informal exit conference on the county’s audit for the fiscal year which ended September 30, 2008.

The special election for Copiah’s State Senator required when Governor Barbour appointed the incumbent to be a circuit judge was announced for the primary on February 16; runoff March 9 with deadline for qualification for the office on January 15.

Supervisors adopted a resolution requested by Mitzi Stubbs of the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District committing to a local match of $49,000 in cash and in-kind for the road into the Hazlehurst Industrial Park on the south interchange to access the CCI pipeline inspection firm. The City of Hazlehurst has granted a right of way conveyance on the project.

 A request for a local match of $43,500 for the DG Foods rural impact project to construct a sewer line on grade to eliminate a pump station and provide parking will be considered  after clarification of the $450,000 project for the supervisors. It has been suggested that the project be divided into three phases. Financing is from Rural Impact Grant and “DIP” money.

The Copiah County Courthouse will be closed January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee’s birthdays.

The county’s road and bridge plan is being updated and corrections are being made to the road register.

Copiah County has eminent domained right of way required for the Bobbit Road project and payment was made into the court for the property obtained from a timber company. An additional suit will be filed to secure heir property for the project.

Copiah’s cafeteria plan administrator made a report to the supervisors.

Tax exemption was approved for Mt. Sinai Church on property secured for a parking lot on the 2009 taxes forward.

An 8.5 acre plot across Gallman Road from Stuckey’s owned by Copiah County was designated as the site for a congregate storm shelter being sought by the county under emergency management provisions. The project could be completed by 2011 if  approval comes soon. The county is also seeking financing for an emergency management headquarters adjacent to the shelter site. Additional property may be required for the headquarters complex.

Supplementary financing of $93.47 was authorized for electrical work on activating the new emergency siren near Gallman.

Strong Hope Volunteer Fire Department was provided a new computer for its emergency run reports to replace one previously given to Bethel VFD by Strong Hope.

Static problems have been experienced on the new communications repeater purchased for the fire service last year. Jackson Communications was authorized $320 to reprogram the equipment to eliminate the static.

Routine tax roll corrections were made and supervisors discussed the policing of ongoing use of tax exempt property by churches as a condition for continuation of the exemptions.

Sale of mobile homes upon which taxes have not been paid was discussed.

Engineer Johnson reported that the contractor had completed 70.4 percent of the County Farm Road-Alford Road project by the end of December.

The federal financing of the new water well at the Copiah Industrial Park has been amended to permit construction of an additional test well since difficulties with quality have been encountered and the well location apparently will be changed.

The board requested that the Board of Health notify the Department of Environmental Quality about needed cleanup of an old chemical spill from a railroad derailment that apparently caused water quality problems at the first site selected for the new water well at the industrial park.

The board was notified of a mining permit extension in the Highway 28 area requested by Green Brothers Gravel Co. but the matter required no response for the county.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has again declined to reimburse Copiah $14,435 for Katrina debris cleanup on federal aid routes. Copiah has again appealed the decision to beat the February 14 deadline.

Two road department employees were moved to full-time employment from their present part-time status in an executive session.

Application for continuation of the JAIBG Grant for the Heritage House was approved.

A complaint about solid waste charges was discussed and the solid waste officer concurred with the citizen and the account was closed and charges deleted.

Claims totaling $1,650,808 were allowed and officials recessed until January 19 at 9 a.m.

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