Thursday, July 21, 2005

Planning district: $7.1 million brought to county in three years

Staff Writer

A three-year review of federal and state dollars funneled through Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District shows the non-profit brought over $7 million to Marshall County, according to Sharon Gardner with the Booneville office.

She presented the figures at the July 11 board of supervisors meeting.

For every dollar the county paid out ($15,000 per year), state and federal dollars brought $122 in return, she said.

Some sectors that benefit from agency grants are small business, home childcare providers, Medicaid recipients, the economic development sector and schools.

In those areas Gardner reported the following summary of three years’ allocations to projects:

  • $1.8 million in revolving small business loans to individuals in Marshall County with a total active outstanding principal balance of $1.5 million.
  • $1.6 million for home childcare providers.
  • $1.6 million for Medicaid waivers supporting 100 recipients. “The fiscal year 2005 funding is at $649,000.
  • $2.1 million in economic development grants with close to $900,000 of that in loans.
  • Computer services and technical assistance to the county.

Gardner said pending applications awaiting action include economic development authority money for Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park, several industries, Potts Camp Town Hall renovation, and Audubon at Strawberry Plains.

NEPDD also supported applications for improvements on Mt. Carmel Road, Marshall County Strategic Planning and the county’s hazards mitigation plan.

She said the county’s share, $15,000 a year that goes to pay staffing and cost of living raises, has remained the same for about 20 years.

The agency is working with the Appalachian Regional Commission to draw in $200,000 for a web-based imaging system for circuit and chancery court, she said. The grant would pay $7,500 toward a $42,647 front end start-up cost.

In other business, the board:

  • signed a solid waste grant application for $11,920.
  • approved a motion to accept new voting machines from the state. Larry Hall, county administrator/road manager, said the county is expected to receive 56 new Diebold System voting machines from the state. The county will have to purchase any other machines it wants, he said. Currently, the county has 24 voting precincts and 68 electronic voting machines.
  • heard a recommendation from supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett that the county blacktop the driveway at the Marshall County Fairgrounds. Board attorney Tacey Clark Clayton said a review of the lease agreement with the Marshall County Fairgrounds Association will provide answers to whether the county has the discretionary authority to do the blacktopping.
  • approved Jennifer Shackleford to act as county attorney while Fred Belk recuperates from surgery.
  • heard a request from Steve Gaines for the fiscal year 2005-06 allocation to Community Action. The organization provides Meals on Wheels and utility bill assistance to the elderly and disabled.

    Chuck Thomas, chancery clerk, suggested the board consider funding for once-a-week bus transportation for veterans to the VA Hospital in Memphis. Community Action already has a transportation bus, Thomas said.

  • approved claims totalling $49,755.

Other business
At the July 5 meeting the board:

  • approved advertising for bids for improvements on Strickland Road.
  • accepted Vulcan as primary contractor for road and bridge supplies and Custom Products as alternate bidder.
  • approved a budget request for $50,000 from ICS Headstart and $62.50 a month allocation for North East Mississippi Community Services. The agency provides 890 home-delivered meals with 178 clients in Marshall County; homemaker service for 72 county residents; 23 youth Workforce Investment Act clients; two part-time employees in the county and five respite clients.
  • authorized a quarterly transfer of $19,722 to IDA and the fourth quarter budget for Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and Tax Assessor/Collector and other departments.

    Supervisors meet the first and second Monday each month at 9 a.m. and at 5 p.m. on the third Monday, unless the schedule is changed for supervisors to travel.

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