Thursday, November 10, 2005

Deadline set in dispatch conflict

Staff Writer

An unresolved conflict between the Marshall County Board of Supervisors and the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen over the city’s failure to agree to a request for dollars to provide dispatch service to the city continues to brew.

The county has asked for $75,000 to pay the salaries of four dispatchers. So far, no direct talks between the two boards have taken place.

Supervisors have set the date for discontinuing dispatch service to the Holly Springs Police Department as December 3, unless the city offers to help pay for dispatcher salaries and other record keeping services, according to county board attorney Tacey Clark Clayton.

Expanded 911 service to the entire county would not be affected by the measure, according to Irene Harris, Marshall County E-911 executive director.

Clayton said the board of aldermen had been advised by letter that if the county has nothing in writing the city police department will be off dispatch by December 3.

The Town of Byhalia runs its own dispatch for police and fire to avoid residents having to make a long-distance call to Holly Springs to ask for assistance or report a problem.

If Holly Springs fails to work out an agreement with Marshall County, Harris said the police department’s 252-2121 line to the county’s system will likely be taken off and given back to the city. Non-emergency callers who dial 911 will be given the police department’s number to call, she said. All emergency calls will be handled as usual, she said.

The board of supervisors turned to road and bridge concerns taking measures to get as much work done as possible before winter rains and cold weather set in.

The board passed a change order for $38,910 to add another inch to a stretch of Cayce Road between Highway 302 and Highway 72. That will bring the total overlay of asphalt to 3 inches, rather than the 2 inch of overlay scheduled on the state aid project. Because of traffic now and expected heavier traffic when the Exel facility opens, that segment of Cayce will at some point need a total of 4.5 inches of asphalt, according to county engineer Larry Britt.

A one-mile stretch of Mt. Carmel Road is set for reconstruction at Chickasaw Trails Industrial Park. Federal dollars and local money totalling over $680,000 are available to do the reconstruction, which Bill Renick with the county Industrial Development Authority said is “probably the most important road in the park.”

The Mt. Carmel reconstruction will provide access directly from Goodman Road to the Exel facility on Wingo Road.

Plans to widen the intersection at Cayce and Wingo roads continues to expand to accommodate an expected 200 trucks a day in and out of the Exel facility, set to open January 3. The intersection plan calls for north- and south-bound lanes with a slow-down lane in the middle on the approach to Wingo Road. An acceleration lane on each end of that segment of Cayce is also needed, Britt said. Construction plans must be finalized soon to complete the extra lanes and construction before asphalt plants shut down for the winter, he said.

Renick added that Exel representatives are concerned that trucks will add more wear and tear on Cayce Road. The intersection at Cayce and Highway 72 should be redesigned to make it safer and a red light should be placed at the intersection, Renick said. With new truck traffic, the traffic count on Cayce Road will go from 2,700 vehicles a day to close to 3,000 a day, he said.

Other roads and bridges under construction are in various stages of completion, Britt said. Bridge repairs on Red Banks Road are projected to be completed by mid-December, he said. The road will need more overlay as traffic patterns change due to the traffic load on Cayce Road, Britt said.

The Hernando Road project may not be completed until work resumes in the spring, he said.

Renick reported on the job application for forklift drivers at the Exel facility. About 125 applications were taken at the IDA building in Holly Springs several weeks ago and more were taken in Olive Branch. Additional applications will be taken in the Collierville area this coming weekend.

Renick said Exel is very pleased with the quality of applicants. He thinks most of those jobs will go to Marshall County residents.

In other business, the board:

  • learned that new Chickasaw Trails signs are up at Cayce and Highway 72 and Highway 302 advertising the potential for the area. Several major deals are about to be closed between developers and new industries in coming weeks, Renick said.
  • heard that the airport runway lighting improvements are being delayed due to availability of materials affected by Hurricane Katrina. The county has taken over maintenance of the airport grounds.
  • postponed a meeting between supervisors and the Humane Society and No Borders Animal Rescue at the board’s request.
  • opened bids on a lot cleanup at 149 Lake Drive.
  • opened bids and took bids under advisement for a roofing project at the old county jail. Accurate roofing bid $42,217 and Treadway Chambers bid $56,675.
  • heard a request from McIntire Church on Highway 4 West that the board can a garbage bill the church received for $601. Queen Dean made the request saying the church did not know it was enrolled on the garbage service until it received a bill for $601 from Resourceful Environmental Services. She added the church wants to enroll for service now.

    The board agreed to ask R.E.S. to delete the bill and sign on the church for service.

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