Thursday, August 23, 2007
Supervisors hear budget requests
By SUE WATSON
With the fiscal year 2007-2008 budgeting process underway, groups are coming before the Marshall County Board of Supervisors with requests and some with congratulations now that some election races are settled.
County school superintendent Don Randolph was first to congratulate those officials already re-elected.
“I consider you, the sheriff and judges, a part of our team,” Randolph said. “I thank you for what you do for the schools of Marshall County. Each one of you has contributed. Every mile of road you pave saves our school buses and (the district) many tax dollars.”
Randolph said some schools moved up a level in the district, that the school dropout rate is not as high as reported by the media, and that the success of the schools is an important ingredient in the growth of the county.
He cited figures supporting a dropout rate for grades 7-12 in the county school district in year 2005-06 as 2.05 percent (35 dropouts per 1,709 students). The same database reported a 5 percent (47 dropouts per 917 students enrolled) dropout rate for grades 9-12 for year 2006-07.
“(The point is) Marshall County Schools are rising,” he said.
Randolph said he is ready for a better place for the school district offices and asked the board to be searching for a suitable spot.
“It’s really not a good work environment,” he said. “We need room enough for employees and records. Don’t keep us on the back burner.”
He added that the front porch at the present office building on College Street is dangerous and the high stairway could pose safety concerns for employees.
“We are going to work there everyday, but see if you can get us a better workplace,” Randolph said.
Betty Yates with Marshall County Industrial Development Authority’s workforce development updated her budget request of a month earlier.
She is still looking for office space, including the Reynolds Funeral Home building.
Several established companies are being asked to supply members for a manufacturing committee who would speak for the industry to the community, she said.
While some industries locally are laying off employees, heavy industry expects to require a large number of certified welders as the region moves into the age of automotive manufacturing and assembly.
Yates said Toyota, Caterpiller and some other fabricators already established in the area have expressed interest in supporting education programs and in training of welders and forklift drivers.
In other business, the board of supervisors:
• held a public hearing on a request for rezoning of 3.35 acres zoned RE to Commercial-1 in the Red Banks area. After hearing arguments from the property owners and objections from five residents who live near the land, the supervisors voted to deny the rezoning request. The board sided with residents who said they feared down the road, as the property would be resold, the community would have no say in what type of business use the property would change to.
“We want it to stay residential,” one resident said.
Supervisor Willie Flemon, in making the motion to deny rezoning, said, “If we grant this, it will be spot zoning and once you open it up to spot zoning, it could go all the way to Victoria. As a representative of the people, I’m concerned what may come in their front door.”
• went into executive session to discuss budget concerns and personnel at justice court with judge Ernest Cunningham and clerk Monet Autry.
• heard a request to apply for power back-up generators under a matching grant. The generators would be mobile and could be used throughout the county in cases of power disruption, said emergency management director Hugh Hollowell.
The generators are large enough to provide power for a water system to small communities, he said. The grant would provide funds to purchase seven generators mounted on trailers.
• approved a motion to accept a 2007 Mississippi Heritage Foundation grant to Marshall County. The money will be used to install an elevator at the Marshall County Historical Museum, according to Larry Hall.
• approved the county claims docket which came to $93,705 from the general fund and a report total of $126,316.
• heard a request presented by Barbara Houston to use the old Isaac’s Chapel School house as a daycare center.
New Beginnings Daycare Center, a private, for-profit business, would provide services for children six months to five years old, before and after school care for children 12 years and older and service during the summer months, Houston said.
The proprietors ask the county to lease or sell the building for daycare use and the business partners would do the renovations, she said.
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