County discusses industrial buildings, DUI grant

A lack of available industrial buildings has been cited as an obstacle in the community’s effort to recruit new companies, but that situation may have improved slightly this week.

Industrial Developer Josh West, who represents Union, Pontotoc and Chickasaw counties, told Union County supervisors that the owners of the former Hell Creek Industries millwork plant in the Glenfield Industrial Park are willing to donate the building to the county. West said the 50,000-square-foot building is now empty and in decent condition, and would help in the county’s efforts to recruit more industry. Supervisors voted to accept the donation, contingent on its passing an appropriate environmental study.

In another positive note, Sheriff Jimmy Edwards told supervisors his department is eligible for a $5,000 grant to combat driving under the influence.

The grant is an Impaired Driving Special Wave Grant from the Department of Public Safety and will help fund the “Drive Sober or Be Pulled Over” anti-DUI initiative starting Friday and running through Sept. 1 nationwide. Sheriff Edwards said $4,000 will be used for overtime salaries during the DUI-enforcement blitz and $1,000 will pay for accompanying benefits. The sheriff said his department would be participating in the program regardless and it would be nice to be paid for it. Supervisors agreed. The grant sets a goal of at least 15 DUI arrests in two weeks or at least showing some enforcement activity on the part of deputies. Edwards added that participation in the program usually results in his department receiving extra equipment such as portable intoxilyzers at the end of the year. Supervisors approved getting the grant.

Also at the county’s weekly board meeting, Tax Assessor-Collector Randy Dunnam reminded supervisors that the list of unpaid property taxes would appear in the newspaper this week. Publication of the delinquent tax roll usually generates a lot of phone calls to officials and general public interest. Dunnam also reminded the officials the land sale for unpaid old taxes would be held in two weeks.


In other business:

  • Supervisors approved a variance for a manufactured housing resident location on Thomas Road. The board learned that a resident had removed an older manufactured housing structure and replaced it with a newer, larger one 14 by 76 feet, normally too large for the .26 acres on which it is situated. Apparently the homeowner was unaware of the regulation and told the E-911 coordinator he wanted to correct the situation.
  • Supervisors approved deleting a calculator from the tax assessor-collector’s inventory.
  • Supervisors approved an application for certification for expending one mill of tax revenue. The law requires withholding one mill until the county has formally submitted its tax rolls to the state. The county then has to certify it has complied with regulations in order to be allowed to spend that one mill.
  • Supervisors approved a pay increase for E-911 dispatcher Christopher Whiteside going to full time and new payroll authorization to his Phillip Pannell as new E-911 dispatcher. They also approved moving Tiffany Erby back to being TAC officer.
  • Supervisors approved fixing two school bus turnarounds, one on CR 96 and one on CR 126.
  • Supervisors approved paying medical examiner-investigator Pam Boman for 14 death investigations over the month.
  • Supervisors approved an order to pay $4,800 in lab fees for a circuit court case, as ordered by Judge Robert Elliott.


The county board recessed to 10 a.m. next Monday, Aug. 18.