Supervisors accept $29 million county school budget


The Union County Board of Supervisors Tuesday accepted the county school district’s tax request and budget for the 2021-2022 school year.

They are asking county officials to levy enough tax millage to raise a little more than $5.2 million for operation of the district, plus $255,000 to pay for a long-term three-mill note. The extra millage was added years ago to help pay for transportation but has shifted to other uses.

The district has a proposed budget of about $29.8 million in total revenue against $29.1 million total expenditures.

The revenue is to include $6.7 million in local tax revenue with $17.7 million coming from the state and $5.4 million from federal sources. That includes $5.2 million in special revenue.

The bulk of expenditures, $17.1 million, will go to instructional services. Support services will receive $10.1 million, non-instructional services will get $1.8 million and $142,000 will be used for debt service.

Supervisors are required by law to give the schools the amount they ask for. After learning the assessed valuation of the district and how much tax money one mill will bring in, they convert the dollar amount to the appropriate tax levy.

General business

The rest of the agenda dealt with a list of small items that required little discussion and allowed quick votes at their July meeting.

Routine monthly business on the consent agenda included approving the statement of expenditures, jail meal log, claims docket, board minutes, road work schedule, solid waste report and paying the medical examiner-investigator for death investigations (15 this past month).

Personnel

In personnel, supervisors approved longevity raises for Larissa Edwards in justice court, Joe Reed in the solid waste department and Darrell Hall in the road department.

Sheriff Jimmy Edwards was approved to hire three part-time jailers at the county jail. They are Charles Henry Herod Jr., Mary Morgan Beaty and Alec Lashun Lipsey.

Sam Hickey was hired as deputy assessor in the tax office and Tax Assessor-Collector Tameri Dunnam noted that local officials had checked with state officials to make sure no ethics concerns exist because Hickey is related to the chancery clerk.

Supervisors unanimously voted to appointed retired county school superintendent Ken Basil to the Northeast Mississippi Community College Board of Directors. Union County representatives have been Vance Witt, Terry Treadaway and Mike Staten.

Other action items

In general business, the board amended the budget to receive additional funding for the Council on Aging Grant fund and the EMA department.

They approved a contract with ChemPro for roadside herbicide application and approved a change order for utility work on the Martintown North Industrial Park project, extending the time to 60 days.

Supervisors authorized the county engineer to request funds from the second round of emergency road and bridge repair and sign necessary paperwork.

They also approved a low quote of $9,260 by G and O Supply for a needed culvert, rather than the higher total from Adco.

Supervisors approved some Homestead Exemption disallowances from the Department of Revenue. Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey explained that this was a case where individuals claimed Homestead Exemption in other counties and then tried to claim it here also.

The board approved paying the chancery clerk for holding a term of court and also allowed her to apply for a CARES Act COVID-related grant.

She said she obtained the grant last year, for $20,000, and used it to purchase computer equipment for the court. The purchase was then reimbursed.

This year’s grant is expected to be for $10,000.

Finally, they approved 10-year tax exemptions on personal property for several local industries, confirming the state department of revenue’s prior approval.

Industrial development

Before adjourning, the board went into executive session to discuss industrial development with development specialist Gary Chandler. Chandler had no public announcement to make but is working on several projects.

The next scheduled meeting of the board will be at 10 a.m. Monday, July 19.

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