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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
March 27, 2014     The Woodville Republican
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March 27, 2014

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The Woodville Republican, Thursday, January 2, 2014 Page 7A Group Attends BOS Meeting On Lake Mary, Jackson Point Roads... (Continued from Page l) County needs to pur- chase 14 culverts for the Jackson Point Road which are to be installed by pri- vate individuals. Divide the county into six supervisor districts with the sixth one being just for the Lake Mary and Jackson Point areas. Moving from a beat system to a unit system for maintenance of the county's roads. With the unit sys- tem a county administra- tor is over road repairs and maintenance which is done on priority basis. Instead of having duplicated equip- ment in all five supervisor districts, the unit system would require less equip- ment and fewer employees to operate. Mr. Piazza said that this matter could be brought to a vote with the presentation of a petition with the signatures of 1,500 registered county voters. Mr. Piazza stated, "I have a working farm here in Wilkinson County, and a good road is a must if I am to make a good crop and be able to get it out during har- vest. As it is now, I can't get the seed I need and won't be able to truck out my products due to impassable roads. Jeanette Thimmesch, who owns property on the Millbrook Road said that work needs to be done on this road or it will fall in and become impassable. "This is an important road that connects Hwy. 24 and the Pinckneyville Road. It cannot be closed," said Mrs. Thimmesch. "This road is in poor condition due to no maintenance by the county." Hollins' sister, Connie Hollins, spoke out to say that all other supervisors need to help the Second District. She stated, "This is the largest rural district in the county. When Richard asked permission to buy equip- ment to work the roads, you supervisors voted him down. This board needs to support him. Let him bor- row your motor grader to work the roads in this dis- trict. He doesn't have a working motor grader." Russ Ford, owner of the Sportsman Stop, a business locate.d on Hwy. 24 at the Lake Mary Road turnoff, stated, "The second district employees just ride around every day doing nothing. People are tired of nothing being done on the roads all across the second district." Second District resi- dent Tommy Smith said, "My property is eroding on Percy's Creek because of the buildup of sand. I need some help. I am willing to do what I can to help the county. I work hard. I have a tractor, and all you need to do is ask for my help. The people of this county need to pull together and work for a better county. We need rec- reation and things for the kids of this county to do." A resident of the Pinck- neyville Road complained, "The road is so bad between the Woodstock Road and the state line that you need to pick up your car and car- ry it over all the holes." County Assistant Engi- neer Doug Wimberly stated that the Pinckneyville Road is on the State Aid road system and was slated for "patch and seal" work later this summer which will be paid for by state funds. All roads mentioned by landowners are located in Second District Supervisor Richard Hollins' district. County Administrator Bruce Lewis took the floor and gave an overview of the focus of immediate needs: Purchase 14 culverts for Jackson Point Road. Have an engineer com- plete a study of the pro- posed dredging of Percy's Creek and Buffalo River down to "The Canal" which links Buffalo River to Lake Mary. Rent a large backhoe to dredge Percy's Creek from the bridge to the Buffalo River and down to "The Ca- nal" connecting the Buffalo River to Lake Mary. This is needed to open up the Per- cy's Creek channel and pre- vent the creek from eroding the Lake Mary Road. The rent on this equipment has been quoted at $7,500. Obtain right of way ac- cess for one year to allow for the completion of the Percy Creek dredging project. Get county trackhoe re- paired for use in installing a number of culverts on the Lake Mary Road. Look at needs for Mill- brook Road. The county and group representatives stressed the need to work together to improve the roads and provide safe access to both areas of western Wilkinson County. Chancery Clerk Thomas C. Tolliver, Jr., announced that he had received four bids to purchase two trucks owned by the county. The trucks are a 1994 Ford F350 and a 1996 Dodge dump truck. "The county has not ad- vertised for the sale of these two trucks. We will be doing this at a later date. I don't know why these people got the idea that they were for sale at this time. I will not open these bids," said Mr. Tolliver. The chancery clerk an- nounced that it was an- dit season for Wilkinson County, and three different audit groups would be in the county at one point or another. "We will be working hard to provide these groups with the information they request," said Toltiver. Administrator Lewis said he had been contacted by the Poplarville Fire Depart- ment with an offer to sell a fire truck that they have replaced. Lewis reported that the truck appears to be in excellent condition. The asking price for the 1999 fire truck is $50,000. "I have spoken with Lar- ry Barr with the State Fire Marshall's office, and I was told that the county would receive $35,000 in fire re- bate funds which can be used to pay towards the fire truck. I need one of you su- pervisors with knowledge of large trucks to go and look at the unit before we offer to buy it," Lewis stated. The county administrator said he was still working on acquiring the Ft. Adams Volunteer Fire Department fire station and property. "The FAVFD board of directors is trying to meet and decide whether they want to transfer ownership of the building and land to Wilkinson County," said Lewis. "This board must meet and vote on this. Once they do this we can begin the transfer process." Administrator Lewis re- ported that he had met sev- eral times recently with the IT'S JUST ONE DAY, BUTTHE i! il GRATITUDE LASTS ALL YEAR. Day 3oth county's redistricting firm of Holland & Rigby Political Redistricting Consulting in Ridgeland about the coun- ty plan based on the 2010 Census. "Our consultant, Bill Rig- by, has developed a supervi- sor district plan that meets all federal laws and popu- lation breakdown," said Lewis. "With the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling the county no longer has to ob- tain pre-clearance from the U.S. Justice Department. The plan can be approved by a vote of the Board of Su- pervisors." According to the census figures, the biggest changes for redistricting were in the First and Fifth Districts. "Once we started look- ing at what could be done we saw that changes would also have to take place in the Second, Third and Fourth Districts too," said Lewis. "The changes in these districts were pretty minor." Lewis stated that the East/West Judge and Con- stable District line plan has not been completed. "The plan for the super- visor districts is ready for approval. If it is the wish of the board a public hearing could be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 7, to present it to the public for exami- nation. Mr. Rigby will be in attendance to answer any questions or concerns," said Lewis. On motion by Supervisor Wil Seal and a second by Supervisor Jennings Net- tles, the board voted 5-0 to hold the public hearing on the supervisor redistricting plan as announced. Mr. Lewis said he had received a second notice of lawsuit involving a mo- tor vehicle accident on the Beaver Creek Road. "This is from a different attorney representing another of the individuals involved in the wreck," Lewis stated. Lewis said he also had notice of a possible lawsuit involving property assess- ments on a parcel of agri- cultural land for which the taxes increased some 300- 400% in one year. Administrator Lewis an- nounced that the county's computer system went drr last week, bUt::ws brought back on line. "Last year we looked at replacing the county's com- puter system, but changed our minds because of the estimated cost of up to $130,000," Lewis stated. "We need to address our situation because we have now used up 85% of our memory capability. This could be a dangerous situa- tion. This was caused by the volume of information we recently installed involving the digitalization of a num- ber of county records in the county record room." Lewis said he had re- ceived a quote from the current county computer maintenance company -- Premise -- in the amount of $59,000 as a solution to the memory storage issue. He also said that he got a quote of $7,455 which would be a temporary fix for this stor- age problem which would buy the county 2-3 years more with the current sys- tem. On motion by Seal and second by Nettles, the board voted to go with the tempo- rary fix with a $7,455 price tag. The next item discussed by Mr. Lewis was the good condition of the Jackson La. Road as a result of the as- phalt overlay of the first .8 miles. Supervisor Seal, in whose district the Jackson La. Road is located, negoti- ated a overlay contract for $199,500 which was paid by Encana Oil Company as a result of damage to the road caused by heavy oil- field truck traffic. Supervisor Seal stated, "We cut the overlay from 2-inches down to 1-7/8 inches which allowed us to extend the overlay from .8 miles to .9 miles and to pay for the contractor -- The Blane Company -- to stripe the road and build the shoulders using gravel hauled by the county." On motion by Seal and second by Nettles, the board voted 5-0 to approve the contract change as pre- sented. Mr. Lewis announced that he had sent the pro- posed county road use or- dinance involving all forms of heavy truck traffic to En- cana Oil Company for their approval. "But, since Encana has sold most of their oil leases to a new company -- Hal- con -- their attorney is asking to review our road ordinance. I am sending a copy to him. This will again delay adoption of our plan." Mr. Lewis said that the county sent out over 100 letters last week to in- dividuals who owe past due fines in the Wilkinson County Circuit Court. "We have received a number of our letters back because of incorrect or in- valid mailing addresses," said Lewis. "But, the good news is that we have re- ceived some payments and phone calls for permission to pay out fines owed over time." Also, Lewis stated, he had received a list of over 100 names of individuals who owe fines in Wilkin- son County Justice Court. "This list is only for the past year," said Lewis. "Let- ters will go out to these individuals in the near fu- ture." The next item brought up by Administrator Lewis was the final touches need- ed to get the courthouse heating system running properly. "We had an expert come here last week, and he sug- gested that he be autho- rized to inspect, test and complete a report on what must be done to have the system running like it is designed. His estimate for this is $3,185. With the ap- proach of warm weather, we might want to delay this work." The board agreed with the suggestion. Lewis reported that fence posts have been installed and the barrier marked around a large drainage hole in the parking lot at the J. R. Hamilton Exten- sion Service parking lot. Chancery Clerk Tolliver announced that the Wilkin- son County Industrial De- velopment District, the owners of the Wilkinson County Park, was approved for a $100,000 grant from the Mississippi Depart- ment of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks which is to be used for playground equip- ment and a softball area. Lynette Smith, repre- senting Southwest Mis- sissippi Planning and Development District, an- nounced to the board that it was ime .to consider apply,- ' ing for a CDBG grant, and suggested that it he aimed at correcting accessibility issues into the Wilkinson County Courthouse. On motion by Nettles and sec- ond by Hollins, the board voted 5-0 to approve the application process. Supervisor Seal an- nounced that the culverts for the Rolling Hills Sub- division road renovation project had arrived. "As soon as the county track- hoe is repaired and I can get my hands on it, we will start putting in these cul- verts." SWMPDD Director Wirt Peterson announced that low interest loan funds were available to the coun- ty for up to $250,000 at 2% interest for up to 10 years for economic development. Peterson said that the roads in the second district would be approved for a loan. On motion by Hollins and second by Supervisor Kenyon Jackson, the board voted unanimously to allow Peterson to provide infor- mation on obtaining loan funding. Woodville Attorney Ran Senko, representing Wood- ville Lofts and Studios owners Jim Derbes and Jan Katz, made a presenta- tion to the board of super- visors seeking ad valorem tax relief from the county. Senko reported that ex- tensive repairs in excess of $1.25 million have been made to the former Wood- ville Hotel and Cumbo Frame Shop buildings on the east side of the Court- house Square which took over three years and met all historic guidelines. "These buildings provide new office and habitation spaces in Woodville," said Senko. "And this couple's investment in our town has improved the look and ap- peal of our downtown area." Senko continued, "The Town of Woodville has al- ready approved the couple's request for tax relief from city taxes. What they are seeking from this board's approval is relief on their county taxes." Board Attorney Lewis said, "Mississippi has a law on the books that allows this board to grant this tax break. It is used all over the state to attract new busi- ness in downtown areas. If the board so sees, I sug- gest that you grant their request at 1/2 the assessed value of the Woodville Lofts and Studios building, and freeze the current assess- ment value on the Cumbo building. This will result in a savings on their county tax bill of $15,000 over a seven-year period." After a short discussion, on motion by Seal and a second by Nettles, the board voted 5-0 to approve the tax relief. Owner Jim Derbes stat- ed, "I appreciate your vote today. This law only applies to individuals who come in and make significant renovations and improve- ments to historic proper- ties. It isn't for everyone, only for historic properties. We have met all guidelines of local, state and federal historic preservation. Ev- erything we did was done properly." Human Services Di- rector Larita Brengettsy requested permission to get rid of a number of old chairs and other items at the county facility. She was asked to present the board with a complete list of items, and her request would be granted. Sheriff Reginald L. Jack- son inquired if the county's GPS locating system was available for use, and if not, "When is this going to hap- pen?" Purchase Clerk Consan- dra Christmas reported, "SWMPDD had completed the project and presented it to us, but we have no training on how to use the system." Mrs. Christmas was in- structed to contact SWMP- DD to get the training in place to use the GPS loca- tor system for Wilkinson County." Two bids were received and opened by the county for financing of a dump truck purchased by the First District for $94,788. The truck was purchased to replace the First District dump truck which was sto- len a number of months ago while parked at the county barn on Sweeney- town Lane. Bids were received as fol- lows: United Mississippi Bank, 3.25% Concordia Bank and Trust, 4.95% On motion by Seal and second by Jackson, the board voted to accept the low bid of UMB with a ne- gotiation of length of loan term. The county advertised for lease/purchase of a new motor grader for the Sec- ond Supervisor District, and only one bid offer was received as follows: Puckett Machinery for a new Caterpillar motor grader at a cost of $246,783, with a guaranteed buyback option. On motion by Hol- lins and second by Jackson, a vote of 3-2 with Supervi- sors Bill Bankston and Seal voting nay, approved the purchase for a 60-month term at a monthly payment of $2,067. When Supervi- sor Hollins questioned Su- pervisors Bankston and Seal as to why they voted against the purchase of this much-needed piece of equipment, they replied, "Richard, look at your bud- get. You cannot afford to make these big monthly payments. That's why we voted no. We know you need the motor grader, but you just cannot afford it." Supervisor Seal asked Supervisor Hollins, "Rich- ard you have a motor grader that you say will cost $30,000 to repair. Why don't you get it fixed and use it instead of buying this expensive grader? If you will give it to me, I will have it fixed and use it." Hollins said, "You voted against me getting a new motor grader. I certainly won't give you my old one." The county received a letter confirming that the county had submitted two applications for HOME grant home building fund- ing. The letter stated that applications totaled $34,544,442 in funding requests for $3,948,129 in available money. "We are waiting on the results of our applications," said Board President Bankston. At the end of the meet- ing the board went into ex- ecutive session to discuss three pending lawsuits and to discuss the hiring of a parttime individual to enforce the county's road, garbage and flood plain or- dinances. No information was available on this closed door session. The next regular meet- ing of the Board of Super- visors will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, April 7. Field Memorial Community Hospital Thanl00s our physicians for their dedication to patients and outstanding care.