By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times
WALTHALL — A grant awarded to refurbish the Doss Building in Eupora was discussed at the April 2 meeting of the Webster County Board of Supervisors The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has awarded the county a $117,000 grant to restore the building. The board voted 4-1 last month to enter into a related memorandum of agreement with the Mississippi Community Heritage Preservation Grant Program, with the county agreeing to spend $29,250 as its 20 percent match for the project. Charlotte Fairley, intern architect with Belinda Stewart Architects, told supervisors last week that the board needs to sign a contract with the firm before it can prepare necessary documents and bid specifications for the project. BSA’s fee will be 12 percent of the total construction amount and will not be an additional cost above that, she said. The base bid will be for replacement of the roof. Supervisors indicated that they had not taken the architectural fee into consideration when considering the cost of the project. After raising questions about whether or not the county would have to pay more than the agreed-to local match if the project goes over budget, the board voted to take the matter under advisement until its first meeting in May. Animal Shelter In a follow-up to discussion on March 19, Cheryl Scroggin and Carolyn Sherrill met with the board about locating an animal shelter in the county. Scroggin is with Webster County Animal Rescue and Disaster, to which Sherrill has agreed to donate property for an animal shelter for a nominal lease. The property is at 1089 MS Highway 403 (Wood College Road) north of Mathiston, which is where Sherrill’s house burned last year. “This is something that Webster County has needed for years and years,” said Sherrill, who also noted that the county can adopt an animal control policy. Scroggin had previously asked if the county could help clear/mow the property. Board attorney Buchanan Meek Jr. said last week that, according to the attorney general’s office, the county can contract with a non-profit organization for animal shelter-type services but cannot make straight donations. Meek told Scroggin and Sherrill the board needs documentation that the foundation organized for the shelter is a valid non-profit corporation, a copy of the lease or deed on the property, and a written proposal detailing what the foundation wants the county to do and what the foundation will do in return. Scroggin and Sherrill agreed to provide the documents when completed. A cleanup on the premises is planned for this Saturday from 1-5 p.m., according to Scroggin. Any volunteers wanting to assist may do so, she said. Hospital Wing Membership Coordinator Clint Townsend met with the Board of Supervisors on behalf of Hospital Wing (Memphis Medical Center Air Ambulance Service) about its membership program now being offered. “The Wing” is a non-profit air medical transport that provides interhospital transfers of critically ill and injured patients as well as emergency scene calls within a 150-mile radius of Memphis. Its three bases include one in Oxford. The yearly membership will cover transportation costs for participating individuals or anyone in their household if they need to be flown to a hospital. Townsend said discounts are available for county employees and emergency personnel, for whom membership is normally paid through payroll deduction. The board took the matter under advisement. At the request of Sheriff Tim Mitchell, the board approved the hiring of Tiffany Guess as a part-time dispatcher. March 5 Meeting In previously unreported business from its March 5 meeting, minutes show the board voted to enter into a contract service arrangement agreement with AT&T to enable Webster County to receive a discount on the T-1 from the Justice Court building. Supervisors also voted to allow county trucks to go onto the campus of East Webster High School and remove concrete, concrete blocks and bricks from the demolition of buildings destroyed by last spring’s tornados; the county will use the materials as riprap. Bank Credit Line Extended 1 Year Additionally, the board voted to extend repayment of the credit line on the county’s disaster loan with Regions Bank for one year until March 15, 2013. An attached resolution notes that Webster County was struck by a tornado last April 27, and cleanup of the disaster caused the county to expend funds not budgeted. In July, the county entered into a $2 million line of credit with Regions Bank and from July to October the county borrowed about $1.4 million by drawing against the credit line. The county has now repaid more than $1.07 million and is now indebted to Regions for approximately $330,000, according to the resolution. The document stated that the county would be unable to repay the entire amount by this past March 15, as contemplated in a state statute authorizing boards to borrow the special amount, not to exceed the authorized emergency expenditure. Regions is willing to extend the repayment of the credit line on the same terms for one year, the resolution reflects The board resolved that the county will draw no more from the credit line, as no more emergency expenditures on the emergency are necessary except for one final payment to H2O Partners. Supervisors approved that $61,805 payment on March 19. The resolution stated that the county will issue its note of indebtedness for the remainder of the unpaid emergency expenditures, funded by the credit line. March 30 On March 30, minutes show the Board of Supervisors voted to: • purchase from Golden Triangle Milling service the product GMS slag, or Duro Berm, which is a byproduct of the steel production industry, and which is not covered by the limestone contract with Hoover, as it becomes available and necessary. • allow District 5 Election Commissioner Faye Ford to attend an election commissioner certification makeup session in Jackson on April 24-25. • allow AT&T Communications to construct and adjust utilities within the highway right-of-way on Webster Street, Stallings Road and Nason Road. • enter a bridge on Tomahawk Road into the State Aid program. • accept the resignation of Don Wicha as part-time deputy/bailiff effective March 19. Ansell Hawkeye Access Road Supervisors also voted March 30 to request that the Mississippi Development Authority extend the time for completion of the Ansell Hawkeye access road Rural Impact Project to June 30. According to a letter from board President Pat Cummings to MDA’s Community Services Division, the project was temporarily stalled when two unknown utility service lines were encountered. The construction has also been slowed because of encountering unsuitable material in the subgrade. The contractor is in the process of finding suitable material and processing a change order through the Office of State Aid Road Construction.