Thursday, February 5, 2009
Mailbox video Monday
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors will run a short video on new federal and state regulations regarding mailboxes at noon Monday, Feb. 9. The public is invited to come view the video.
The mailbox rules are in effect countywide but will initially be enforced on Cayce Road due to state and federal guidelines that require dangerous mailboxes be removed prior to disbursement of funds on road projects.
The video will run at noon in the board room on S. Market Street.
In addition to this video, the board authorized attorney Kent Smith to send certified and regular letters to addresses on Cayce Road where obstructive and dangerous rural mailboxes are in use. The regulations prohibit use of mailboxes inside a clear zone on road right-of-ways that are not of the break-away type and could be potentially hazardous to motorists.
Enforcement will be extended to additional roads as they come up for improvements, according to the board.
Supervisor Keith Taylor brought up a concern about lack of crossing arms at railroad crossings at Mason and Shinault Roads. The board agreed to initiate action by contacting the Mississippi Department of Transportation, railway division.
Taylor and supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett brought up the topic of railroad overpasses at Byhalia and Potts Camp. Concerns have been discussed by the board for several years because trains stop on the track for extended periods, blocking traffic and emergency and critical services such as fire, law enforcement and ambulance service vehicles in addition to creating waits as long as 40 minutes for local traffic.
County administrator Larry Hall said the cost to build an overpass at Potts Camp was estimated to be over $8 million and the one in Byhalia at $14.9 million. The county has sent requests to the state Legislature to include them in the nationwide economic stimulus (infrastructure) package under consideration by Congress and the Obama administration this year.
Hall said he expects the money coming in the economic stimulus package to Mississippi will most likely be used by the state to balance budgets for items like Medicaid and education.
Bill Mobley and Justin Hall appeared before the board Monday to report on airport work and progress on the GEM building restoration in Byhalia.
Mobley said getting the GEM building ready to lease or sell is a wise move by the board since businesses will be looking for existing structures to move into with the economy on the downturn both nationwide and globally.
Justin Hall requested a public hearing for March 9 at the boardroom to publicize height restrictions for any new cell towers or other high structures that may be requested in the vicinity of the airport. The restrictions are required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Everything there now (existing towers) is OK, but we have to make sure in the future nothing is added that is very tall,” Hall said.
The board of supervisors visited with Rep. Kelvin Buck and consultant Gary Anderson for about an hour to discuss legislative requests. The main item on the table for discussion was whether to continue to wait for funding from the state for an Alcohol and Drug Treatment facility, which could be several years down the road in becoming a reality, or whether to ask the legislature for permission to use $2.1 million already in the bond bill for a treatment facility to complete the overlay of the North Holly Springs Bypass Road.
Buck said the local delegation wants to be clear on the intention of the board and to know if the board wants to redirect the bond money toward the road if possible.
Following a lengthy discussion, supervisor Eddie Dixon tendered a motion to channel the bond money toward the bypass project. The motion was seconded by supervisor Willie Flemon and passed 4-1 with supervisor George Zinn III voting against the move.
Zinn said he continues to believe the people in his district want a treatment facility and he thinks the money for the road “would be found anyway. To take the money away from the crisis center is bad,” he said.
The board considered a resolution opposing the raising of weight limits for haulers by the state.
A new bill under consideration by the state Legislature this year would allow weight limits to be raised to 88,000 pounds. The Mississippi Association of Supervisors is against raising the weight limits, according to county administrator Larry Hall. The board passed the resolution unanimo
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