Alcorn County leaders deny engineer payment

county_alcorn_greenBy Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors last week voted to deny payment of a bill for $39,360 from Newcomb Engineering that owner Ricky Newcomb says is due from work he performed for the county.

Newcomb made a presentation to the board in November 2013 to ask that the bill – now almost two years old – be paid. He said the work spanned about two years from 2010 to 2012.

Newcomb was appointed by the 2008-2011 board to serve as Alcorn County’s engineering contractor for that term. At the request of The Alliance and the Board of Supervisors, he had undertaken preliminary work for a planned Caterpillar expansion, with the expectation of being paid from state funding of the project.

Under the original plan for the Caterpillar expansion, Newcomb’s company provided plans for three potential sites that the company evaluated, with a commitment from a Community Development Block Grant, Mississippi Development Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission and Tennessee Valley Authority to provide financing for the project.

After newly elected board members took office in January 2012, they appointed Cook Coggin Engineers to assume county engineering services, and the state funding source for the Caterpillar project also changed.

The Monday vote to deny Newcomb payment reflected board members’ position that since the original funding source from which Newcomb was to be paid did not materialize, the board had no obligation to honor his bill.

Click video to hear audio