Chickasaw County road woes lead to possible partnership

By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – A potential partnership is in the beginning stages for the repair of County Line Road in Okolona following the Jan. 22 meeting of the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors.

The road is under the jurisdiction of both Monroe and Chickasaw counties and Monroe County Supervisor Robert Tomey approached the Chickasaw board with a plan for a potential partnership to repair the road. Tomey said the area north of Hwy. 41 needs to have trees removed that shade the road and contribute to potholes. Tomey also has access to bond money from Monroe County for road repair.

Chickasaw County Supervisor Russell Brooks said his budget will not cover financial expenditure into fixing the road in question, but he could contribute labor and in-kind services to prep the road for repair.

“I don’t have any money to spend up there, but if he’s going to spend the money, I think we can clear off the road with our equipment,” Brooks said.
Brooks said he has other roads in his district that are in worse repair than County Line Road and they will be addressed first.

“I’m letting you know up front that I don’t have any money to spend up there, but I’d be willing to do the in-kind (dozier and zipping) work,” Brooks said.
Tomey did not agree to fund the project alone.

“I’m looking for a little money from you,” Tomey said. “Not a lot, but some partnership.”

Brooks and Tomey asked the road managers from each county to do an on-site evaluation of the road and bring back a plan of action for the next meeting. Tomey also suggested they take the repair in stages, first prepping the road, and then finding the funding for repair.

Okolona Police Chief Tommie Ivy addressed the board requesting permission to use part of the old county jail building for administrative offices for the police department. Ivy said the current facility is too small to accommodate operations and administration. Currently the old jail building is used partially by the Department of Human Services, but the old cell area is not being used and Ivy wants authorization to renovate the unused space for administrative use.

The board approved Ivy to utilize the space with financing for renovations and maintenance coming from the police department.

Okolona councilman Eldridge Lowe asked the board about the use of Diebold voting machines for the upcoming municipal elections in Okolona. Circuit Clerk Sandra Willis addressed the issue, explaining the intricacies of the voting machine system. Willis said trained operators would have to be on-site and transportation costs would have to be factored in for use. She estimated a cost of $800-$1,000 for each use of the machines and each municipality would have to contract with the county to use the machines.

Lowe said he would take the information back to the city council for further discussion.

Currently, each municipality uses a paper ballot for voting while the county uses the electronic machines for county and national ballots.

In other business:

• The board heard from EMA Director Linda Griffin who reported the Sparta fire station received a mobile AED machine paid with grant funding

• The board approved a resolution that partners with the City of Houston in naming the Hwy. 15 overpass in honor of the late Billy Bowles.

• The board approved a bus turnaround for the Okolona Municipal School District

• The board heard a proposal from Kevin Rose of Thompson Machinery on Caterpillar Machinery. No action was taken on the matter.

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