Thursday, August 10, 2006
County officials issue burn ban
By SUE WATSON
At the recommendation of Emergency Management Director Hugh Hollowell, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors Monday signed an emergency order for a burn ban until the end of August.
If dry conditions persist, the burn ban will be extended into September, Hollowell said.
The burn ban includes any kind of outdoor fires - trash, brush, bond fires - but not barbecue grilling as long as it is done safely. With prolonged drought, now getting well on to six weeks in some areas of the county since the last good rain, conditions are dangerous for fire, Hollowell said. And no significant rainfall is expected in the coming weeks, he said.
Already firefighters are struggling to answer all calls because of the heat, according to Hollowell.
The last good rain south of Waterford was one and a half to two inches of rain on June 16 and 17.
Hollowell also requested that his office, located above the tax assessor’s and collector’s office, be relocated to the old jail. He said no extensive renovations at the jail are needed, just knocking out a few walls to expand some of the cell blocks. The fenced area behind the old jail will be perfect for storing homeland security equipment. Relocation of other equipment stored upstairs over the tax offices, will improve response time and consolidate all homeland security equipment in one place and near the Holly Springs Fire Department, he said.
Supervisor Willie Flemon asked for a feasibility study to get a cost estimate to renovate a few cell blocks for an office.
“I do not want to do a lot of planning, if it’s not feasible,” Hollowell said.
Supervisor George Zinn III motioned to take the request under advisement while a budget can be formulated for the project and the motion passed.
NEMS Community Services Report
Steve Gaines, executive director of Northeast Mississippi Community Services Inc., provided an annual report to the board of supervisors and a budget request for Fiscal Year 2006-07.
The utility (bill) assistance program budget doubled this year due to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, Gaines said, making $340,000 available to Marshall County to pay for air conditioning and utility bills for the elderly who qualify. The CSBG program provided $33,000 for tuition, books and medical care for the elderly in Marshall County. Half of that has been spent, Gaines said.
Two houses in Marshall have been weatherized with dollars to weatherize maybe five more homes.
The Workforce Investment Act’s in school program which serves rising seniors, will provide training for from 15 to 20 students and followups on some 25 to 30 students who have graduated high school.
Meals for the elderly were provided to 178 Marshall County residents, 68 individuals received home-making services, six people received respite program assistance which gives full-time primary care givers a four-hour beak from care giving. The respite program is a new one and there is room for growth of that program, he said.
Transportation services are being provided for renal dialysis patients and veterans who want transportation to the V.A. Hospital in Memphis. Transportation for veterans and their spouses to the V.A. is provided free due to funding in part by the Marshall County Board of Supervisors. A brand new 18 passenger bus and 6 passenger mini-van will improve transportation services for all clients served.
In other business, the board:
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