By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
The Webster County Board of Supervisors discussed personnel matters during an executive session Monday.
Supervisors spent nearly an hour in the executive session for personnel issues, meeting with five different people during that time.
The board initially met in the closed meeting with Richard Love, who is the county’s deputy Emergency Management Agency director. He left the boardroom about five minutes later.
Barry Rushing, county EMA director and fire coordinator, was then called in, followed by Sheriff Tim Mitchell and 911 Director Jimmy McLemore about 15 minutes later. Rushing and Mitchell left the boardroom about 10 minutes later but McLemore remained another 20 minutes.
After McLemore departed, board attorney Buchanan Meek Jr. then called Justice Court Clerk Janice Brunty into the boardroom but she only stayed a couple of minutes. The board took no related action after then coming back into open session
Dan Burchfield, Eupora alderman-at-large and now mayor-elect, gave an economic development update to the board. He has been serving Eupora and the county as their volunteer economic development contact.
Burchfield said economic prospects have shown interest in the former Red Kap building in Mathiston and the former Alloyd building in Eupora.
“We are still in the running for that project,” he said of the Alloyd building prospect, which he referred to as a fuel project.
In other action Monday, supervisors voted to:
• hire BK Edwards Fabrication and Welding to take down the radio tower at the sheriff’s office for $8,335, and to give it the tower and antenna. BK Edwards is the only source the county has been able to find to do the work, but the board directed the purchase clerk to obtain another quote if possible and to go with the lower one.
• enter into a regional interlocal agreement for digital orthophotography aerial mapping at the request of Tax Assessor-Collector Barbara Gore. The mapping will cover a 20-county area. On Friday, the board authorized Gore to attend a meeting at Mississippi State about the project, which was Wednesday.
• enter into a five-year mutual aid agreement with the Natchez Trace Parkway to provide law enforcement assistance.
• terminate employee Christie Ross of the tax assessor-collector’s office, move Bonnie Fulgham from a part-time to full-time deputy clerk and hire Kristi Johnson as a part-time deputy clerk, effective immediately.
• hire Anitra Mays as a part-time jailer.
Additionally, the board opened bids for annual bids for goods and services for the county — accepting the lowest and best bids, and rejecting the others.
Donna Davis appeared before the board on behalf of her daughter, Brandy Davis, concerning the attempted filing of an affidavit at the Justice Court office.
According to minutes of a recessed meeting on May 9, the board voted to hire Meek to represent the county in the pending worker’s compensation case of Danny Wayne Pittman vs. Webster County at the rate of $150 an hour, retroactive to May 7. Pittman is a former Sheriff’s Department deputy.
The board had a public hearing regarding a proposed Community Development Block Grant project for courthouse Americans with Disability Act improvements, during which architect Belinda Stewart addressed the meeting. No one appeared at the hearing who objected to the application for the grant of up to $600,000 and the board accepted the prepared minutes of the meeting as presented by Patsy Patterson of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District.
In related action on May 14, the board adopted a resolution authorizing the county to commit a local match on the CDBG project, and authorized its signing. The resolution states that the county intends to match CDBG funding (if awarded) with available local funds of $2.58 million contingent on the county coming to a financial settlement with its insurance company in order to construct needed ADA improvements to the courthouse, which was severely damaged by fire in January.
Additionally, the board entered into an agreement with BancorpSouth for the lease-purchase of a 2013 Mack truck for districts 1 and 2.
During Friday’s recessed meeting, records show Eddie Mauck of Hopkins Insurance addressed the board concerning the payment of insurance proceeds on the burned courthouse. Justice Court Judge Rebecca Ellison also appeared before the board.
GIS Manager Toby Sanford and GIS Analyst Dave Alexander of the GTPDD appeared before the board about county road mileage. Later in the meeting, the board adopted these percentages for the division of road and bridge levy monies beginning Oct. 1: District One, 0.1771; District Two, 0.2338; District Three, 0.1965; District Four, 0.1400; and District Five, 0.2526.
Doug Burgess (District 5) was absent May 9.