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County moves ahead on emergency shelter

Copiah’s supervisors in recessed session January 19 authorized a letter to Bob Boteler, Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency seeking to spend about $195,000 in local funds for later reimbursement if the grant is finalized for project design on a 361 storm shelter for which Copiah has received pre-application approval under a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program estimated to cost $3,210,000.

The large building is proposed to be built on county land across the Gallman Road north of Stuckey’s. The shelter would accommodate up to 1,000 people in certain emergencies. Copiah acknowledges that these pre-application expenditures will only be reimbursed when a grant agreement with MEMA/FEMA is entered into.

Other Business

Correction was made in a tax matter.

Sheriff Jones received approval to employ Gerald Whittington and Kenya Norwood and send them to jail certification school. Derrick Cubit was authorized expenses to attend first line supervisor training. Johnny Campbell has been employed as court bailiff replacing Kenny Davis who has returned to civilian employment with the National Guard.

Mitzi Stubbs of the Central Mississippi Planning & Development District reviewed three grants being managed on behalf of Copiah County. The CCI access road total grant of $441,000 is to build access to the pipeline maintenance firm in the Hazlehurst Industrial Park on the south interchange. The firm committed to a $300,000 plant expansion and 25 additional jobs with the county leveraging the project at $49,000 in kind.

Two grants are underway for D G Foods in the Copiah Industrial Park at Gallman for infrastructure expansion and improvement and expanded parking supplied by Copiah County. $150,000 will come from Rural Development funding and $323,500 in DIP funds from the Mississippi Development Authority. Copiah will expand parking at a cost of $43,500 in kind in phase 3 of the project. The nearly $500,000 investment is expected to produce 140 jobs. The project is awaiting environmental procedures as ground cannot be broken until environmental approval comes.

Further discussion was reported on lease of the former Universal building in the Gallman Industrial Park and the building is “on hold” until the prospect makes their decision. Financing of up to $1.5 million in plant repair  will be required. Some frozen water lines that occurred in the building have been repaired causing only minor damage.

The new sign in the Gallman Industrial Park is in place awaiting connection of electricity. Supervisors authorized installation of a guard rail to protect and enhance the appearance of the sign under the grant program.

An executive session for personnel and litigation update resulted in announcement of the resignation of Patrick Morgan as 4.H Extension Agent.

Engineer Johnson recommended closeout of the emergency generator project at the courthouse and the county will seek reimbursement for cost of the project.

Lakeside Consultants completed its report of work necessary to place the “old” wastewater treatment at the Copiah County Industrial Park in service to meet the needs of the D G Foods expansion. Cost of parts, painting and screen installation was set at $200,000 plus labor.

The annual bridge inspection report covered 200 bridges which resulted in three closures. A number of bridges were limited to 50,000 pounds, several bridges were posted, several posted signs were reported missing and several were posted wrong. A list of bridges eligible for LSBP funding was available. The county has the County Farm and the Alford Road bridges underway. Right of way is nearly complete for the Bobbit Road and Blocker Road bridges. Three other priority bridges are being considered if financing is available. Details of these needs were presented to the road manager.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation requested that Copiah participate in the Great American Cleanup which was presented to the Keep Copiah County Beautiful organization. Supervisors were reminded of the quarterly Copiah County Economic Development District meeting January 20. Several urgent items that required polling of supervisors were formalized including payment of sales tax on industrial park utility collections, website rental for the Johnson House and repairs by Triple G Electric. Rescheduling was completed for coroner employees to attend their conference after bad weather caused cancellation of original plans.

Right of way checks for the Bobbit Road project were authorized.

Membershp expense for the board attorney’s professional organization was authorized.

Supervisors announced that the rating conference for professional services with State Aid on the Dentville Road project has been completed.

The board authorized a letter recommending the work the Ministerial Alliance does with proceeds from its fund-raising drive.

Supervisors adjourned for January to meet again February 1 at 9 a.m.

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