By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times
WALTHALL —Surplus money from Webster County’s tornado disaster fund has been moved to all five road districts.
The Board of Supervisors created the special fund to hold county funds generated to deal with the consequences of the 2011 tornado disaster, primarily debris pickup and removal. The fund received money from a loan from Regions Bank and from a 2-mill levy put on by the county board.
Webster County spent more than $2 million in the cleanup and related activities, which have been completed.
The federal and emergency state management agencies, and the Mississippi Department of Environment Quality reimbursed the county for its expenses. The county has also repaid the Regions Bank loan in full, along with all contractors and service providers.
A notice of intent to transfer surplus funds in the county treasury stated that $126,482 remained in the fund as of July 21, with no further expenses to be paid. All five county road districts provided extensive labor, materials and equipment during the disaster, according to the notice, and continued to do so until the cleanup and follow-up was completed.
“The road districts have not been compensated for this activity, which was very expensive,” the county stated in the notice. Supervisors voted July 31 to transfer the money remaining in the fund to the five county road districts to partially reimburse them for their expenses in the tornado disaster. Each road district was to receive about $25,740 from the distribution. On Oct. 1, board members approved a motion to move the money from the fund to each of the five road districts equally.
The county published the notice of intent three times during August in the Progress-Times’ legal section. No petition was filed with the chancery clerk’s office objecting to the distribution as proposed.
Additionally on Oct. 1, which was the first meeting of the new fiscal year, the board voted to enter into and renew all jail contracts under the same conditions as last year with the various municipalities. Supervisors also renewed fire protection contracts with all fire departments.
Meeting minutes show that the Board of Supervisors handled these items on the respective dates: Sept. 4 On Sept.4, supervisors adopted an order levying 2012 taxes. They also voted to allow Deputy Jeffery Mann to sign requisitions on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department as well as monthly claims for September. Sheriff Tim Mitchell is recovering from hip surgery. Sept. 17
On Sept. 17, the board voted to allow and direct chancery clerk to disburse the net fire rebate money to the nine volunteer fire departments after deductions.
Also approved were motions to: • place on record the board’s decision to swap land with the city of Eupora. This decision was made in December. In January the board gave a deed to the city conveying away the county’s one-half interest in the Garan property. In return the city conveyed property immediately north of the Garan property to the county. The parcels were approximately equal in value. The clerk was directed to amend the county inventory accordingly. • pay an invoice from Netcomm Wiring dated Aug. 28 in the amount of $175. No requisition was ever made on the service, records show. “But as services were provided the bill should be paid and clerk is ordered to pay same,” the minutes state. • waive a formal exit conference on the 2011 audit. • acknowledge the architect’s notice to proceed dated Sept. 5 directing Dixie Roofing to proceed with the Doss Building restoration project. • apply for the 2012-13 Solid Waste Assistance Grant. • hire Andrew Payne as a part-time road hand. • place on the minutes that Mantee Baptist Church had donated to the county some old concrete to be used as riprap. District 5 employees hauled the concrete away and used it as riprap on Old Congress Bridge in District 5. • delete a 2002 Crown Victoria from county inventory in the Sheriff’s Department. The car will be sold as scrap along with other junked vehicles; the sale was to be posted. • adopt the procedure that appraisals in the case of purchase by Webster County of parcels of real property with a fair market value of $10,000 or less shall be waived and not required if the proposed seller agrees in writing that the proposed sale price represents fair market value and that the seller also waives appraisal as per state code. • for District 4 to purchase property from the Perkins family that is adjacent to the District 4 county shop for the fair market value of the parcel. Also approved was the hiring of Meek and Meek to check the title and prepare a warranty deed. Sept. 28
As reported last week, the board on Sept. 28 voted to contract with Stone-Adams Financial Partners of Jackson to set up a regional economic development organization within 90 days.
The boards of supervisors in Choctaw and Montgomery counties have also voted to join the “Regional Economic Partnership of Mississippi” to consolidate economic development activities and resources in the tri-counties. Stone-Adams will be responsible for the creation of the alliance and industrial recruitment.
Following discussion with EMA Director Barry Rushing and Eupora Alderman Dan Burchfield, the supervisors voted to apply to MEMA for an emergency siren grant for seven sirens and to direct Rushing to do paperwork for the application.
The grant is a 25 percent match but municipalities in the county will reimburse the county in full for 25 percent of sirens in the county.
Additionally, Chuck Putman brought up information on energy-saving lights.
Motions were approved to: • accept the resignation of Christine Denley as a full-time employee but with the understanding that she may work part time on occasion. • hire Becky Pate as a part-time dispatcher for 911, who is leaving as a dispatcher at the jail, and to hire Peggy Stuckey as a part-time dispatcher as well at the 911 Center, effective Oct. 1. • accept the resignation of Charity Silver as a part-time dispatcher at 911. . • rehire Adam Contreras as a full-time deputy, hire Andy McCants as a part-time deputy, hire Melissa Williamson as part-time jailer and terminate Michael Dustin Womack as part-time jailer. All changes were effective Oct. 1. All of the new hires must attain fully certified status no later than Dec. 31 and a copy of certification must be presented to the board or their employment will terminate as of Dec. 31. • allow Rushing to attend as associational midwinter education conference at Tunica on Nov. 13-15.