Monroe County supervisors move forward with $5 million road bond

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – A debate regarding the benefits of paving versus chip sealing launched into a lengthy discussion regarding the $5 million bond issue to repair the county’s roads during the Sept. 21 meeting of the Monroe County Board of Supervisors.

The talks began with regards to the county’s four-year road plan, which is updated each February. Road manager Sonny Clay makes recommendations regarding roads in needs of repair.

Tomey is pushing for a joint effort of the supervisors to review road conditions throughout the whole county to validate Clay’s recommendations.

“You have the obligation to come over to my district and tell me what needs to be done,” said District 5 Supervisor Robert Tomey to the rest of the board.

“I want to know what roads I’m voting on and we can’t do a road plan in a day. I suggest we spend two days in October and two days in November to visit these roads.”

Board attorney John Creekmore relayed the attorney general’s recommendations that the county road manager administers the county’s road department and takes the responsibility of maintaining roads within budget, but that the supervisors can overturn an act of the road manager by a majority vote.

“As we visit each other’s roads, I think we can benefit by seeing each other’s roads and then we can evaluate if it makes sense to overlay or not,” Tomey said.

The discussion was the continuation of a meeting from the board’s Sept. 4 meeting that began the process of pursuing a $5 million bond issue to repair county roads.

The mileage of roads per district and soil conditions causing for more problems more than others in certain districts draw the debate of how to distribute the money, given the bond passes.

“The people in the second district elected me so I need to look out for their district,” said District 2 Supervisor Billy Kirkpatrick.

“I want my people to have a voice, but I want to benefit everybody. We all stand to benefit, but if we can’t agree on this, nobody will,” said District 1 Supervisor Doug Wiggins.

Wiggins’ district also encompasses all of Smithville’s city streets, in addition to several miles of county roads.

Clay advised the price of material has the potential to increase the longer supervisors deliberate on the bond issue.

“I wish there was some way you would all come together. We saw how inflation took a major toll and this is a way to save the taxpayers’ dollars and still repair these roads. Somehow you need to throw politics away and see what’s for the best,” Clay said.

By a motion made by Tomey and seconded by District 4 Supervisor Fulton Ware, the board adopted two resolutions to pursue the process of the road bond. District 3 Supervisor Carol Crawford voted in favor of the motion with Wiggins and Kirkpatrick voting against.

In other business, the board of supervisors approved

-A request to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to exceed $1.5 million with a public hearing notice setting out the details.

-A request to proceed with a Cap loan of $1.5 million for capital improvements for a building to boost the local economy.

-An order receiving State of Mississippi warrant for Fiscal Year 2011 Homestead Exemption reimbursement and directing the clerk to deposit same and disburse in accordance with the laws of the State of Mississippi.

-An order directing the clerk to issue warrant on the General County Fund payable to the Regional Rehabilitation Center, Inc. for appropriation to same.

-An order directing the clerk to issue warrant on the General County Fund payable to the Rural Recreation Fund.

- An order directing the clerk to issue warrant on the General County Fund payable to the American Red Cross for appropriation to same.

-An order directing the clerk to advertise for bids for the purchase of certain solid waste equipment for use by the county (one new unused current production year model backhoe loader).

-An order receiving and approving Supplemental Mobile Home Assessment Roll for the month of August 2012.

-An order receiving and approving August 2012 Surrendered Tag Listing as filed by tax collector Pat Birkholz.

-An order receiving, approving and filing on minutes copy of letter to USDA – NRCS, as signed by the board president, in regard to close-out of Grant/Agreement Number 68-4423-12-2326, Tombigbee Watershed Debris Removal.

-An order receiving, approving and filing on minutes letter from the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation officially closing out AIP Project No. 3-28-0001-013-2011, Construction of Hangar Taxiways and T-Hangar for the Monroe County Airport, as of Sept. 17, 2012.

-Orders filing and recording bonds and/or bond continuation certificates for various employees of the Aberdeen Separate School District, Monroe County, Miss.

-Orders filing and recording bond continuation certificates for employees of the Amory Separate School District, Monroe County, Miss.

-An order directing clerk to issue warrant on the general county fund payable to the City of Nettleton tax collector to correct error.

-An order appropriating supplemental funds for the Sheriff’s Department budget for the quarter beginning July 1, 2012, and ending Sept. 30, 2012.

-An order authorizing board president to execute the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit 2012-2013 Interlocal Agreement establishing a joint, cooperative effort to enforce the criminal laws of the State of Mississippi regarding controlled substances in North Mississippi.

-An order receiving and filing on minutes copy of 2012 order re-approving Monroe County Jail and New Monroe County Joint State County Work Program for the Housing of State Prisoners as filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Greenville Division, in Cause No. 4:71CV6-DAS, Nazareth Gates, et al Vs. Phil Bryant, et al.

-An order receiving and filing on minutes fully-executed copy of contract for professional services among the office of the state auditor, Monroe County and Windham & Lacey, PLLC.

-An order authorizing president to execute landlord consent to leasehold deed of trust, granted by supervisors district no. 1 of Monroe County, acting by and through the board of supervisors, the City of Amory and True Temper Sports, Inc., in favor of Regions Bank.

-An order receiving and approving current list of all active school bus turnarounds presently in use by the Monroe County School District and authorizing the graveling and maintenance of same.

-An order receiving and filing on minutes copies of intents to participate in 2014 update of the District 4 Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan and Designated Representative forms as executed by Monroe County, the City of Aberdeen, the City of Amory, the Town of Hatley, the City of Smithville and the Village of Gattman.

-An order allowing travel expense to be incurred by E-911 deputy director Donna Sanderson for attending 2012 Mississippi Fall Training Seminar to be held in Tunica on Oct. 14-17.

-An order allowing travel expense to be incurred by Monroe County Justice Court Judges Adrian Haynes, Robert Earl Fowlkes and Kevin Crook for attending the 2012 Fall Professional Judicial Development Practical Bench Skills: Judicial Decision Making to be held in Choctaw on Oct. 2 and 3.

-An order allowing travel expenses to be incurred by Monroe County Veterans Service officers Betty Kendrick and Scheaffer Humphries for attending County Service Officer School to be held in Flowood on Oct. 10-12.

-An order allowing travel expense to be incurred by Monroe County Chancery Clerk Ronnie Boozer and County Administrator Michael King for attending the 2012 Regional Updates for the Office of the State Auditor to be held in Oxford on Oct. 17.