County makes more improvements to industrial park; more pay for poll workers discussed

August 4th, 2020     Featured Government & Politics

Union County supervisors accepted a bid Monday that will provide water and gas service to all of the new Martintown North Industrial Park. Sewer service will be provided for part of the park, which is being actively promoted by industrial development officials.

Eubanks Construction Company of Booneville was the low bidder July 20. Their submitted total of $661,484.75 was more than the engineering estimate of $650,449.25. The county engineer is allowed to negotiate with contractors for up to 10% of the cost. They agreed on a change order to result in a cost of $622,095.75.

The bid was accepted ,contingent on approval by the Mississippi Development Authority. the Authority is providing grant funds through Three Rivers Planning and Development District. The lower cost will have the added benefit of providing contingency funds for the project.

The county board also received bids for renovation work on the county courthouse and old jail since their last meeting. However, board president Randy Owen said the bids had errors in them and the low bidder pulled out anyway.

As a result, supervisors voted to reject all bids. “We will just regroup and start over,” Owen said.

This would be one of several grants the county has received from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for work on the historic courthouse.

In personnel matters, the board approved full-time employment of Billy Kizer for the road department.

In departmental business, Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford told supervisors about House Bill 824.  The bill  passed this session, and relates to elections.

She said the bill allows counties to pay poll workers an extra $50 as pandemic hazard pay. She said poll workers are now paid $100 for the day’s work, with the law allowing up to $125.

Supervisors took no action, but indicated they are in favor of the increase.

Stanford said the state circuit clerks’ association is meeting next week and will discuss the changes and challenges this year’s election will bring.

Supervisors also voted to increase the library appropriation $8,000.  Board President Owen noted that this is not a budget increase, but that appropriations are made on an irregular basis as tax money comes in.

Board members approved a list of increases and reductions in property assessment submitted by Tax Assessor-Collector Tameri Dunnam. She said this is done every year, and the changes are mostly due to businesses that close, changes in land use and errors in mapping.

Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said his department wants to see how they can legally transfer ownership of the drug dog, Dutch, who is being retired, to his handler. Supervisors indicated they are in favor of that.

The sheriff’s office has acquired a new dog that is being trained with its handler this week. The new dog should be in service in the next week or so.

In routine business, the board approved the consent agenda with one overall motion. This includes regular and recurring monthly items such as the claims docket, board minutes, road work schedule, solid waste report, medical examiner fees and jail meal costs.

Near the end of the meeting the board met in executive session to hear an industrial development update from Three Rivers recruiter Gary Chandler, and to discuss the VIP Cinema Seating bankruptcy process. No action was taken.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17. The board has been meeting in the circuit courtroom in the courthouse to allow for social distancing during the pandemic.


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