Thursday, January 12, 2006

County focuses on growth areas

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors launched the new year by continuing a well-planned and paced strategy for expanding industrial and commercial growth.

The board wants to continue to find ways to lay down the infrastructure to support that growth.

Engineer Larry Britt reported that State Aid has agreed to a three-way stop at the intersection of Cayce Road and Goodman Road. The board wants a stop light at Highway 72 and Cayce Road to ease ingress and egress from Chickasaw Trails Expanded Industrial Park.

The board approved two permits for BellSouth to install fiber optic cable on county right-of-way at the Highway 4 Bypass Road.

Early this year Britt and county administrator Larry Hall will review road overlay and reseal projects. Britt said the list of projects the county wants the state aid to consider needs to be programmed before the state legislative session gets too far along.

A snag in driving concrete pilings for piers on bridges along the new section of Bypass Road has not been resolved, Britt said. A second test pile in the area would not go further than 12 feet as established in the first try, he said. If the holes for the pilings are drilled that will triple the cost of installing the pilings. Alternative measures to drilling are to install steel pilings instead of concrete ones, he said.

The Hernando Road project has been shut down for the winter with 34 working days left for the contractor to finish the project and very little progress has been made so far on it, Britt said.

IDA Report

A traffic light consultant completed five of seven warrants for the Federal Highway Administration, paving the way for a possible traffic light on Highway 72 and Cayce Road, according to Bill Renick, executive director of IDA.

“Exel was adamant about the light,” he said. “They started hauling today (January 3) with about 30 trucks in and out.”

The contents of the new 700,000 square foot Exel warehousing facility at Chickasaw Trails will turn over about once a month, he said. When the facility is up to capacity, it will employ approximately 150, according to Renick. The warehouse will serve the warehousing and distribution needs of Carrier air conditioning at the Collierville manufacturing facility.

Exel has enough land at the site to build another warehouse as large as the new one, Renick said. And west of the facility is a 140-acre site that will likely be developed.

Construction on Mt. Carmel Road, the main route in and out of that area of the industrial park is expected to begin in March.

“Our number one priority for IDA in 2006 is Mt. Carmel Road,” he said.

The new sewer line serving the park is close to complete, Renick said. Another priority for IDA in 2006 is to get out of the sewer line business, he said.

“IDA helped them get started (with investments) and we are trying to consummate a joint agreement with private investors with IDA retaining a 20 percent ownership,” he said. “But the debt will be wiped out by investors,” he said.

Other projects on the drawing board at IDA include: prospects for an aggregate distribution company to locate in Holly Springs; the leasing or sale of the Lighthouse Plastics facility to another manufacturer; and new projects for the Byhalia area.

Renick announced the completion of IDA’s new website, www.marshallcoms.com, by WebbGraphics.

“The website has anything you would want to know about Marshall County,” he told supervisors.

Elected Officials Report

Supervisors took count of officials who plan to attend the mid-winter conference of elected officials and cancelled the January 9 meeting so they could attend the conference.

The board mulled a request by Kenny Dickerson for space for probation officers with the state department of corrections. Space is too tight at the sheriff’s department, he said. More space is needed for juvenile offenders, also, who under federal law must be kept separate from adult offenders, he said.

Supervisors voted in opposition to a request to add Coleman Cove to the county’s official road map and register following a report by two supervisors that the private road was not in as bad a shape as indicated by residents on that road.

Chancery clerk’s report

The board approved the December claims docket for $540,314 and approved numerous measures including: advertising for inmate meals; certifying supervisors have ridden and inspected the county roads; authorizing $4,000 to pay for postage; requesting reimbursement for state inmates; renewing agreements with rural fire departments; and passed a resolution supporting a donation of $50,000 to Head Start.

County administrator’s report

The board approved the application for a Mississippi Rural Automatic External Defibrillator Project grant. The machines will be placed in county office buildings for use in emergency situations.

Hall said new voting machines were due to arrive January 5. He requested authorization to apply for an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for strategic planning and leadership training.

The board authorized Hall to apply for an extension of the museum grant with Mississippi Department of Archives and History. With the extension, the county will apply for money to install an elevator at the Marshall County Museum.


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