County takes building renovation bids

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

WALTHALL — Webster County officials plan to open bids later this month for renovation of the Doss Building, which is a Mississippi Landmark.

The Board of Supervisors will open bids at 10 a.m. June 29 to renovate the county-owned building on East Roane in Eupora. Principal work will include interior demolition, masonry cleaning and tuckpointing, and roof replacement, according to the published invitation for bids.

The state Department of Archives and History has awarded the county a $117,000 grant to refurbish the building, which requires a 20 percent match. The county has contracted with Belinda Stewart Architects for grant administration.

Board minutes show supervisors voted May 21 to advertise for bids on the Doss Building repair project. They did so after discussion with the architectural firm’s Stewart, Charlotte Fairley and Ingrid Gonzalez.

Economic Development During the June 4 meeting, board President Pat Cummings announced he and Vice President Paul Crowley planned to attend the first meeting of a regional economic development committee on June 5.

The meeting was to be at the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District’s boardroom in Starkville. Choctaw and Oktibbeha counties also have two representatives on the committee.

“We’re trying to get something started — some groundwork done,” Cummings said.

All Webster County supervisors and some municipal elected officials from the county, along with representatives from the other two counties, had an initial meeting with PDD Executive Director Rudy Johnson on April 10 to discuss the possibility of forming a regional economic development alliance. County representatives were appointed at that meeting.

Ansell-Hawkeye After meeting with Ansell-Hawkeye attorney Henry Ross and Plant Manager Jerry Riggan, the county board granted the company’s applications for ad valorem tax exemptions for the balance of 2006 assets (2012 to 2015) and for 2011 assets (10 years). The Eupora Board of Aldermen granted the same exemptions that night.

The state Tax Commission must also give approval, followed by a final order from the county board.

In other action , the board authorized Tax Assessor-Collector Barbara Gore to attend an associational conference. It also opened bids for yearly materials, services and culvert/bridge construction. May 21 Meeting

During the May 21 meeting, Ray Evans and Tommie Vance of Community Counseling addressed the board about its services and to remind supervisors that May is Mental Health Month.

They voted to hire Michael Womack as part-time jailer/dispatcher and Terry Jones as a District 4 road hand, both effective June 1. They also voted to sign the lease-purchase documents from Regions bank for the financing of 2013 Mack truck for multidistrict 3, 4 and 5.

DHS Project George Crawford of the GTPDD appeared before the board concerning the energy efficiency project at the Department of Human Services building. The board voted to approve the Application and Certificate for Payment filed by A&H Electrical on the project and authorized payment to A&H for $19,633.88 pending the approval of engineer John Cunningham.

Supervisors also voted to make an interfund loan from the General Fund to the fund for the DHS project. The loan will be repaid when reimbursement from the Mississippi Development Authority is received.

On May 31, the board voted to pay two invoices on the project: $3,020 to GTPDD and $333 to Neal Schaeffer. Supervisors also directed that a letter be written to Daniel Saucer informing him that the county does not wish to purchase a “range.” They also closed, terminated and ended the project.

May 31 Also on May 31, minutes show the board accepted the resignation of Gloris Berryhill as election commissioner for District 2. She resigned because of health reasons, according to her letter of resignation. Supervisors then appointed Joyce Tabb James as District 2 election commission to serve her unexpired term until the Nov. 6 election.

The board voted to return to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality the signed Declaration and Acceptance of MDEQ Financial Assistance for 2011 Natural Disaster Debris Cleanup form; when the funds are received in the storm fund, they will be paid to the bank with proceeds.

Also, supervisors voted to immediately pay to Regions Bank $38,300.62, which is the amount received from FEMA on the final H2O bill, plus any other available in the storm fund.

The board had a public hearing on the issue of obtaining a grant from USDA Rural Development to buy a new tractor for District 3. No objections were heard from anyone at the hearing.

In other action May 31, supervisors voted to:

• hire Scott McGarr as a road hand for District 3 effective June 1

• approve the attendance of county election commissioners at their summer workshop at Grenada on June 21.

• accept the $999 bid of Merle Russell for District 5 junk and bid of $267 from Billy Peacock for a 1993 F150 truck.

The board meets again Friday. Robert Hitt (District 1) , who had knee replacement surgery on May 14, was absent from the May 21 and June 4 meetings.