Thursday, November 6, 2008
Anderson asks board to prioritize funding wishes
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors breezed through a light agenda Monday, hearing a report of services offered through Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District, greeting Bill Mobley, who takes the helm of Marshall County Industrial Development Authority December 1, and discussing legislative needs with consultant Gary Anderson.
Charlotte Derrick, Jo Wynne Lollar and Leah DePriest reviewed a battery of community service projects offered to 100 residents of each county it serves with some 50 individuals on a six-month waiting list for services. Eighty individuals receive homemaker services with the remaining 20 in the county being recipients of several other programs, Derrick said.
Derrick is stationed at the Booneville office, while Lollar, a registered nurse, and DePriest, a licensed social worker, work out of the Ashland office.
There is still lots of paving left to do before cold weather sets in. Two State Aid Road projects are waiting for contractors to come and overlay segments of Hernando Road and Mt. Zion Road, according to Kevin McLeod with Elliott and Britt Engineers. The projects have not yet gotten permission to proceed with State Aid. Contractors are expected to get to work on two bridges on Highway 7 South this week.
Mobley and Anderson discussed looking into some $43 million coming to Mississippi as part of the U.S. Congress’s bailout plan for home mortgage foreclosures.
Anderson said he read somewhere that Marshall County had a large number of foreclosures but the Legislature is expected to spend a large portion of the monies in the Jackson area and in DeSoto County. The City of Jackson has already received $5 million to address the foreclosure problem from other sources, he said.
Supervisors wanted to know how the federal dollars would be distributed.
“It sure seems like it should be evenly distributed,” said supervisor George Zinn III.
“The money is to be primarily focused on foreclosures and families about to be foreclosed on and on abandoned houses,” said Anderson.
The Mississippi Development Authority has yet to decide how to structure the distributions - whether to contract with a private company to handle the matter or to hand the funds down through the counties, he said.
“Mississippi has to issue a statement to Housing and Urban Development by December 1 to let them know how we will structure it,” Anderson said.
He said talk in Jackson is there will not be an abundance of money to fund projects in the Legislature next year but if the county can make a solid case for a project, it should go to the legislature.
“We don’t need to be bashful about it,” said Larry Hall, county administrator/road manager. “I expect the emphasis next year will be on infrastructure.”
“Historically, that is how they dug out before,” Hall said.
Anderson encouraged the board to compose a list of projects it wants to send to the Legislature in the next two months and be ready to put in requests when the Legislature convenes for the session in January 2009.
A property owner asked the board to adjust his homestead exemption for the 65 and older rate. The board approved a motion to adjust the homestead exemption for property taxes for the current year, but cannot go back to previous years.
Homestead recipients must apply for the reduced rate (no ad valorem taxes assessed on the first $75,000 in assessed value going to the county) the year they reach 65 in order to qualify for the reduction the following year. It is left up to the property owner to file for the tax exemption at the tax assessor’s office as the tax office does not send out a notice to homesteaders when they become eligible for the exemption. Property owners do not receive a reduction on school taxes and other ad valorem tax assessments.
Also on Monday, supervisors:
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