Thursday, December 15, 2005

County sets sights on large projects

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

Marshall County supervisors are carefully laying the groundwork to reel in more large projects like the new Exel warehousing and distribution facility, set to open January 3.

With more projects in the sights, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors and Industrial Development Authority (IDA) consider road improvements to match the needs of current residents and businesses and needs for future growth at the Chickasaw Trails Industrial park and elsewhere.

Expansion of Mt. Carmel Road, called a pig trail by one IDA board member earlier this year, is likely to be a key road for handling truck traffic coming into the park near the Exel facility, according to Bill Renick. He said the road could be three, four and five lanes in some places and will be a connector road from Highway 302 to Wingo Road where the 700,000 square foot Exel facility is located.

Other key roads expected to see a lot of traffic are Cayce Road between Highway 302 and Highway 72, a segment of road joining Wingo that will likely see heavy truck traffic and be used by employees who work in the park area.

A traffic study has shown that Cayce Road already carries 2,700 vehicles a day.

Supervisors approved a motion for a three-way intersection at Cayce and Wingo last week. And supervisor Keith Taylor asked Renick to urge Mississippi Department of Transportation to put a traffic light at Cayce Road and Goodman and at Highway 72 and Cayce.

“I would like to see a red light as soon as possible at Cayce and Goodman,” Taylor said. “They just had another fatality there a couple of weeks ago.”

Renick said MDOT has had its hands full with highway problems to solve due to Hurricane Katrina, but he is inviting commissioner Bill Minor and MDOT engineer Dickerson to come look at the traffic situation.

Other road and bridge projects are being moved along throughout the county, according to a report to supervisors from engineer Larry Britt.

The board approved a change order for $8,676 to pave the front of the office building at Old Mississippi Brick, a property owned by the county. Supervisors also approved a permit for Bell South to run an underground line at the back of the property.

Strickland Road will get some washed rock. The board approved a $3,375 change order for the rock that will paid for with state aid money.

Special funding available through the Corps of Engineers will pay for installing a box culvert as a replacement for pipe on Tunstall Road near Valley Cove.

One lane of Cayce Road between Goodman Road and Highway 72 has been overlaid and the remaining lane will be finished as weather permits, Britt said. The intersection at Cayce and Wingo will be a three-way stop once approval is obtained for it from the state aid program.

Construction of two bridges and five box culverts is underway on the final section of APL bypass, Britt said. That work will be completed before more dirt will be moved to shape the road bed.

The bridge project on Red Banks Road is close to being finished. The last slabs for the bridge were completed last week and concrete rails will be poured before the bridge is opened temporarily.

About 35 right-of-way agreements have been prepared and four more are needed before improvements on St. Paul Road can begin, Britt said.

Improvements on Mason Road await signing of rights-of-way and work on Deer Creek Road awaits financing.

Supervisor Eddie Dixon asked for new overlay on South Slayden Road. Potts Camp Road from the town to Waterford needs some attention, according to supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett.

He said sections the county had worked on in the past are breaking down in the subgrade.

Britt said the parts of Potts Camp Road paid for with state aid funds could be fixed but the state would not work on sections done by a county unless the state comes in and tears up those portions of the road and puts down new overlay.

Other departments gave their reports.

Chancery clerk’s report

Supervisors approved the claim docket for November as provided by chancery clerk Chuck Thomas.

Claims came to $813,281 with $289,447 to be paid out of the general fund; $440,719 to be paid from the road and bridge fund; $39,683 paid to Elliott and Britt for engineering; $18,239 and $2,504 paid with homeland security funds; $10,478 paid from Fire Grants and $5,431 paid for from 911 funds. The remaining claims were paid for out of the drug fund, the museum grant, and the shop fund.

Thomas submitted travel requests for circuit clerk Lucy Carpenter and the election commissioners to attend a workshop in Philadelphia and for a 911 employee to go to communication school in Lee County.

Supervisor Keith Taylor asked that the election commissioner from his district be contacted to see if he wanted to resign. The commissioner has moved out of the state, he said. The board tabled the matter until Monday.

Sheriff’s Report

Sheriff Kenny Dickerson obtained approval to appoint a deputy to the Tri-County Drug Task Force. Supervisors also approved his request for expenditure of $7,250 for video and audio equipment, paid for out of the drug fund.

Zoning Report

Conway Moore asked the board about action needed to remove an abandoned single-wide near Highway 72 in Dixon’s district.

Attorney Tacey Clark Clayton asked that the state highway department be consulted first to see who has jurisdiction.

Administrator’s Report

Larry Hall asked the board to spend $17,564 in grant money to make voting precincts handicapped assessable. He said the actual work could be done by using temporary workers provided by the Workforce Investment Act, now providing jobs for hurricane relief for displaced workers.

The board authorized the election commission to add a request for 30 additional voting machines through the secretary of state’s contract. The machines can be ordered in the next two years at a fixed price of $2,900, he said.


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