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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
March 26, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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March 26, 2015

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OLDEST NEWSPAPER- Established 1824 '4 Volume 190 i USPS 462-26O 50 per copy Woodville, Mississip 39669 Thursday, March 26, 2015 Number 47 THE FAR CORNER -- Ft. Adams & Lake Mary I by Rhonda M. Quirk The culverts that have been stored at Lake Mary Planting Company since 2011 have been relocated because of the rising Mis- sissippi River. I understand moving them to high ground, but when and if they will be installed on Lake Mary Road remains to be seen. This culverts are essential to maintaining Lake Mary Road. State aid has been denied for Lake Mary Road because these culverts were never installed. These is just another example of why Wilkinson County is being crippled by poor manage- ment by our elected officials. At least when the culverts were stacked at Lake Mary Planting Company, there was hope that one day some private individuals might in- stall them. Now who knows what ~]l happen to them? The cost of flood insur- ance is also rising because of the mighty river and her fickle nature. Residential flood insurance is expected to increase 18%, nonresidential and commercial by 25%. The rising rate combined with high property taxes (thai are never used to benefit the taxpayers) will make it even harder to attract.', more businesses and new prop- erty owners to Lake Mary and Fort Adams. That is one more reason why Wilkinson County needs to do as much as possible to improve The Far Corner. We need to keep revenues flowing in, not out. Many folks have relocated because of the poor condition of our roads, and the rising cost of flood insurance also be a deterrent. We can't keep expecting folks to pay for a steak and feeding them bologna. Last Monday a young couple on a Harley Davidson motorcycle pulled up to Bub- ba's One Stop in Fort Adams to get directions to Clark's Creek. They were from Popu- lamd]le and were staying at the state park in Natchez. I was a bit hesitant to direct them to Mile Hill Road (Pond Pinckneyville). However, the Second District road crew had been patching it earlier in the day so I felt a little EAGLE AT THE FAR CORNER more comfortable directing a motorcycle to Mile Hill Road. Mile Hill is just one of the many roads in our commu- nity that is in dire need of repair. It's election year, and we will probably see some more patching on our roads, but folks need to remember patching is only a temporary fix. Many of our roads are reaching the point of no re- turn. Surplus spillway grant monies saved Jackson Point from total devastation. Re- member, this could happen to yore~ road Spring is finally here and so is the high water. Jack- son Point Road went un- der water last Sunday and Lake Mary Road the follow- ing Thursday. The spring rise is always a bit scary because you never know what can happen up river that can wreak havoc on us down river. We will be boat- ing for about a month but that's just part of li~ng in the swamp. Lake Mary will probably have lots of fisher- men coming in to take ad- vantage of back water fish- ing. I was very happy to see Mr. Marvin Tolliver and his crew working on Lake Mary Road earlier this week. If you read my column last week, you already know folks in Hinckley, Ohio, cel- ebrate "Buzzards Day" to at- tract tourists to their area, and the main event is "the spotting of the buzzard." Many times folks spot eagles around The Far Corner I have watched eagles fly back and forth from Loch Leven to the island owned by Mr. Jimmy Brasseal. Last week while preparing for the high water, Mr. Brasseal was able to photograph one of the eagles that frequent his island. Maybe The Far Cor- ner should celebrate "Eagle Day." Eagles are just one of the many natural wonders one can experience here, so come on out and explore The Far Corner. Political nouncement Co i ' 7: r:! :1 Bill Bankston Seeks Re-Election As Supervisor 3rd District Current Third District Supervisor and Board President William "Bill" Bankston has qualified to seek re-election to this of- fice for another four years. He will be a candidate in the Wilkinson County Democratic First Primary Election which will be held Tuesday, August 4, 2015. "I am asking you for your vote and support on Tues- day, August 4. "I will publish my state- ment to the voters at a later date. "Go to the polls on August 4 and cast your vote for me." Respectfully, Bill Bankston Ernie Smith Seeks Re-Election To East Justice Court Judge Incumbent Wilkinson County East District Justice Court Judge Er- nest "Ernie" Smith has announced that he has qualified to seek re-elec- tion as a candidate in the Wilkinson County D~emo- cratic First Primary Elec- tion which will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2015. "I am asking you to go to the polls again on Au- gust 4 to re-elect me to serve as your East Dis- trict Justice Court Judge for another four-year term. "I will publish my statement to the voters prior to the election. "I want to thank you in advance for your vote and support." Respectfully, Judge Ernie Smith The Woodville Re- publican has received numerous calls in the past two weeks report- ing burglaries in many areas of the county. The vast majority of the callers stated that a door at their home or camp was kicked in and the most common items stolen were fiat screen televisions and guns. One particular caller, whose camp is located on the Wayside Road near the Pond Store, stated that he and his hunting buddies have been in this county since the early 1980's, and their camp was hit on Wednesday, March 19, for the third time. "We spend a lot of time and money here in Wilkinson County, but the total lack of law enforcement in this county is making us consider packing up and leaving/' the caller stated. This victim stated, "Don't think that be- cause you have a good, strong gate at your en- trance that you are safe from these burglars. They will take a vehicle and ram the gate to get through." Another caller re- ported that he was told by a spokesman at the Wilkinson County Sher- iff's Office that there have been a total of 31 recent burglaries. Areas included in the recent rash of break-ins included the Wayside Road, Woodstock Road, Pond Store, Lower Woodville Road, Lake Mary Road and Percy Creek area. "If you live out in the country you better be alert, because these brazen burglars might hit you next," said one caller. gns One of the first actions taken at the Monday, March 23, meeting of the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors was to declare the recent heavy damage to the Lake Mary Road:as an emergency situation. On March 5, 2015, during a heavy ~ storm, Percy Creek jmiiped its banks and flowed across and down the Lake Mary Road cutting the county gravel road in hal. The washout prevented ve- hicle traffic from getting in or out of the popular recre- ation area. Several residents of Lake ~ary were trapped for a nm~er of hours until temporary repairs could be made. Chancery Clerk Thomas C. Tolliver, Jr., read a reso- lution to the board which declared the situation as an emergency which will allow the county to make repairs without having to follow some purchasing laws and to allow the county to seek pos- sible stats and federal fund- ing to repair and improve the county roadway. On motion by Supervisor Richard Hollins and a sec- ond by Supervisor Jennings Nettles, the board Voted 5-0 to approve the resolution and to authorize Board Pres- ident Bill Bankston to sign the document. Chancery Clerk Tolliver informed the board that he has submitted all Board of Supervisor financial in- formation to Auditor Scott Ne'unan which has been re- quested for the Fiscal Year 2012 audit. ~"We have given the audi- tdr all of the.information he has requested for 2012 on behalf of the Board of Super- vi~rsj:~tid Tolliver. "Also, the 2013: audit is underway and closeto completion." Tolliver continued, "All BOS bank statements have been reconciled for 2012 and 2013 But, I can't speak for the other county depart- ments on whether they have complied or not to the audi- tor's requests for informa- tion. This includes the Cir- cuit Clerk, Tax Assessor and the Wilkinson County Sher- iff's Department." County Administrator Bruce Lewis announced during the meeting that he had received a text message from the county auditor that the Tax Assessor's Office had not complied with the audi- tor's request for 2012 bank statements and other finan- cial information required to complete the county's audit." Administrator Lewis said he needed to be given the oath of office for his position and to obtain a bond as re- quired by law. Chancery Clerk Tolliver administered Lewis the oath of office during the beard meeting. He is to obtain a bend to complete legal re- quirements for his position with the county. Administrator Lewis an- nounced that the supervi- sors are looking into buying several pieces of equipment which Hill allow them to make repairs to county paved roads. "We will have to seek bids for financing the $100,000 needed to purchase this road repair equipment," said Lewis. "The board needs to sign the resolution allow- ing for the borrowing of this money" Lewis stated that the re- payment of the borrowed funds will be divided equally between the five supervisor districts. When the equip- ment is being used by a par- ticular supervisor district, it will be the responsibility of the district to pay for all fuel and materials used to make road repairs. The equipment to be pur- chased Hill be a rock spread- ing machine, a tack trailer and a large tank to store the tack liquid. On motion by Supervi- sor Wil Seal and a second by Hollins, the board voted unanimously to authorize the matter. Administrator Lewis said he has had a number of inquiries from individu- als wanting to serve as the Wilkinson County Veterans Affairs representative to provide service to military veterans living in this coun- ty. "I will now look into the possibility of sharing a vet- eran's affairs officer with another adjacent county" said Lewis. "I will report my findings at a later board meeting." Returning to the matter of the problem of Percy Creek jumping its banks and caus- ing damage to the Lake Mary Road, Administrator Lewis rePorted that it has now been determined that the scope of the dredging project on Percy Creek has to be lengthened to run from the Percy Creek bridge on the Lake Mary Road down- stream to the intersection of Percy Creek with the Buffalo River. "By lengthening the proj- ect the county Hill now have to conduct a Wetlands Deter- ruination as directed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. We will have to hire someone to come here to make a deter- mination of the impact the proposed dredging of Percy Creek will have on wetlands in the area. We won't be able to proceed with this project until this study has been completed. We cannot do anything until we have the results in hand." He continued, "The length- ening of the dredging project will also mean that we Hill have to obtain more right of way from landowners along the creek. It will also mean a change in the type of right of way. We will need permanent right of way instead of tem- porary or short term access. There is a state law that al- lows the county to condemn the needed property for the nson 2015 HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION DEADLINE The 2015 Homestead Ex- emption enrollment period Hill end April 1, 2015. If you have never filed home- stead or if something has changed (moved, newly mar- ried, widowed, disabled, or became 65 last year), you need to come to the tax of- rice on or before Wednesday, April 1, 2015. If you filed on the same residence last year and NO CHANGES have been made, it is NOT necessary to file this year. The Homestead Exemption Law allows you to file on one residence only. If you are married, your name and your spouse's name must both be on the homestead application. You must be liv- ing in the residence January 1 of the year in which you are filing. Below are the require- merits for enrollment: ALL OF THE FOLLOW- ING MUST BE PRESENT- ED All deeds to property- warranty deeds or quit claims (It has to be a re- corded instrument signed by December 31st of the preced- ing year and filed by January 7th of the enrollment year- NOT a Deed of Trust.) Car tag numbers for all vehicles owned by you or in your possession. (If you have tags other than Wilkin- son County, Please bring in tag(s) numbers. Social Security numbers for you, your spouse and any other joint owners. Birthdates for you, your spouse, or any joint owners. Purchase price of home. Purchase price of land, ff purchased separately from the home. If you built your own home, we need to know what it cost you to build. If you live in a mo- dredging project and take it from the landowners. This is a lengthy court-involved pro- cess, but it can be done." Lewis also reported that the county was in contact with Natural Resources Conservation Service for as- sistance with planning and funding for some of the as- pects of the proposed dredg- ing project." Administrator Lewis said that county employee Mar- lin Reid was going over the county's equipment and ve- hicle inventory list to try and determine what the county does or does not have. "It makes no sense to pay insurance on vehicles or equipment that we don't have any more. Martin is taking the list and trying to find the vehicles and equip- ment on the county inven- tory," said Lewis. A motion by Nettles and a second by Hollins, and a 5-0 board vote approved paying the $750,000 tax anticipa- tion loan the county took out to meet financial obligations. The note is due by April 1. Chancery Clerk Tolliver said. funds were available to re- pay the note. Administrator Lewis re- ported that the county had been sending out letters notifying landowners about illegal dumps on their prop- erty. '%Ve are making a lot of progress on the illegal dump problem in our county. We are sending out letters to landowners telling them to clean up the dumps or they will have to pay for the coun- ty to clean them up. We are having good response. Some landowners have already cleaned up their illegal dumps. The ones that don't do this will have to bear the financial burden of havlng it cleaned up" said Lewis. The board voted 5-0 to apply for a grant of up to $17,000 to help defray the costs of cleaning up illegal dumps in the county. The motion was made by Nettles and seconded by Seal. The board voted unani- mously to approve the sale of a 10-foot right of way to Verizon Communications for a right of way across county property on U.S. Hwy. 61 South. Lewis announced that he had ordered new U.S. and Mississippi flags for the court- house flag pole and for the new small courtroom which has been installed in the former Circuit Clerk's office on the second floor of the Wflldnsen County Courthouse. Administrator Lewis said that he had authorized the payment of $495 to repair a leaking water pump on the courthouse heating sys- tem in the basement of the building. "This was a lot cheaper than purchasing a new pump. The repairs have been done, and it is no longer leaking," said Lewis. (Continued on Page 4A) bile home on your property, you must bring your mobile home certificate. If you are 65 years of age or older, you need proof of age, such as a driver's license or birth ceri~ificate. You must have become 65 before January 1st of the ill- ing year. If you are 100% dis- abled, the award letter from Social Security must be pre- sented and that letter must be dated prior to January 1st of the year in which the enrollment will occur. If you have any ques- tion's concerning homestead exemption or applications, please call the Wilkinson County Tax Assessor/Collec- tor Office at 601-888-4562. Our office is open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Thank you, Jeremy J. Ephion Wilkinson County Tax Assessor/Collector