Supervisors discuss beaver eradication

Barbara Harrington
Staff Writer
Town House Home Furnishings in Smithville is planning an expansion.
Kevin Trautman of Town House and Greg Kennedy, mayor of Smithville, met with the board of supervisors, along with Monroe County Chamber of Commerce director Stephen Surles, on November 7 to discuss the expansion.
Surles said the project entails Town House adding a 60,000 square foot facility adjacent to the present building. This would mean an additional 50-100 new jobs, with the total number probably around 75. The new space will be for warehousing so the manufacturing jobs can be added in the current facility.
The project will involve two grants, a CDBG grant for $500,000, with the county required to put in $20,000; and an ARC grant of $150,000. A resolution will be done to expend TVA in lieu funds to meet the county’s required participation. A request will be made to the MDA to authorize the county to use those funds for dirt work at the site.
The facility is at the Smithville Industrial Park. In addition to that expansion, Town House wants an option on 19.1 acres for future projects. There would be a $1,000 option cost, on a year’s option. The land could be purchased for $3,000 an acre. If the land is purchased within that year, the $1,000 would be applied to the purchase.
Latasha Hodges appeared before the board concerning three and a half acres she is considering buying on Egypt Road. She said there are creeks on each side of the property and the driveway that used to be on the front of the plot has washed away. She said there are two large culverts “just laying there,” on the only right of way to the property.
County administrator Sonny Clay told her, “We need to come out and look at it. I think they were put in by the owners. If it’s not on county right-of-way we can’t do anything. We’ll look at it and see what we can do. It will take a sizable culvert.” Hodges said the person selling the property would like to get the matter resolved this week. Because of the water situation, she said, it might be advantageous to move the culverts down from where they were originally.
Wilchie Clay said, “We don’t want you to think we’re not concerned about you.” He said he and Sonny Clay would not only advise her about the culvert, but whether she would be looking at other problems and the purchase would not be “worth your while.”

Opened bids
The board opened bids for janitorial service at the Monroe County Government Complex in Amory and the Monroe County Chancery Building in Aberdeen. Seven bids were received. All were taken under advisement until the next board meeting on Thursday, Nov. 10. The bids include: Sherry Darling for the Government Complex, $2,100 per month; One Call Services of Amory, Government Complex, $2,670 a month or $32,040 yearly; and Chancery, $1,210 monthly and $14,520 per year; Reeves Building and Painting of Amory, $126,000 total for the year for both buildings; Adams Construction of Smithville, $1,250 per month for the Chancery Building; Smith’s Janitorial Service of Aberdeen, $950 per month for Chancery and $2,000 per month for the Chancery; Kim’s Karpet and Kleanup of Aberdeen, $1,600 for Chancery and $1,800 monthly for the Government Complex; and H&M Janitorial Service of Aberdeen, $1,320 a month for Chancery.
The board discussed beaver eradication programs. Chancery clerk Ronnie Boozer said Ronda Chism at the Natural Resources Conservation Service had called about one beaver program, saying it had a balance of $400 and it needs $4,600 by December 1 to refund it to the original amount of $5,000. Sonny Clay said the county is getting $4,000 from the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, which the county can also use to participate in a BCAP (Beaver Control Assistance) program. This program has federal and state matching funds. Clay suggested participation in both programs, hoping the BCAP program would be fully funded next year after the partial funding this time. Through NRCS, 617 beaver tails were turned in last year. Clay said the beavers do a tremendous amount of damage to timber in the county, “not to mention our right-of-way.”
District 2 supervisor Billy Kirkpatrick said, “If we don’t put a little money in it, I believe it will cost us in the long run.”
Sonny Clay had a request to clean out a portion of Wilson Creek. As a result of Hurricane Rita, he said the creek, which crosses Holloway Road, caused erosion close to a home, where there is danger of the house moving. He said he talked to NRCS about it and said the project, which would cost $20,000, could be done with a 75/25 match. Clay asked to be able to check to see if TRVWMD would fund the county’s 25 percent. This was approved. Clay also had a request from Billy Williams, Monroe County Landfill supervisor, that he has two men wanting to retire, David Sykes and W.H. Hampton, and asked if part-time employee Michael Dean could be hired full time. This was approved. County engineer Mike Waters passed out several utility agreement applications for different projects including Hamilton Water District laying lines, a project on Basinger Road, Bartahatchie Bridge repair, and PeopLoungers Road.
Board president Randle Gray asked if the cost of relocation of utilities is included in the State Aid projects. Waters said in most cases the utility companies are responsible.