Thursday, May 27, 2010
Funding still priority for supervisors
By SUE WATSON
With tighter than usual budgets the last two years, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors continues to look for novel ways to fund much-needed projects, including an airport runway expansion.
Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, said the word is out to pilots who would sign letters saying they would use the Holly Springs Airport if the runway was extended. He would like enough funding to extend the runway from 3,200 feet to 5,000 feet. A thriving airport helps with recruiting industry to Marshall County, he said.
“We’re asking to take it to 5,000 feet, but we will take what we can get,” he recently told the board of supervisors.
Supervisors discussed other funding concerns with consulting engineer Larry Britt. Supervisor George Zinn III said residents on St. Paul Road are complaining about speeding and want traffic signs put up.
Britt said a board order would allow him to request speed limit signs from State Aid for the portion of the road listed as a state project.
He and the supervisors are looking for dollars to do extra work on Mt. Carmel Road in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park. The subgrade was found to be waterlogged and Britt said it would cost too much to go in and remove and replace those weak areas. Instead, he recommended the board apply soil cement to about 10 inches to stabilize the road bed then add 13 inches of topping before adding another six inches of cement topping before adding the surface layer. The project will add about three feet to the surface, he said.
Supervisors went to the Appalachian Regional Commission recently for an additional $150,000 to correct this problem on Mt. Carmel, a stretch of road that will ferry traffic from two large warehouses on Wingo Road to Highway 302.
Britt said paperwork needs to be pushed on through because his contractor is getting nervous at the delay. Another $400,000 for construction of the road comes from Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) DIP (Developmental Infrastructure Program) grant monies. The road will be three-laned eventually.
Larry Hall, county administrator, reported on an energy audit performed by HSI Commercial Inc., and paid for with MDA funds. The monies for the studies comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (federal economic stimulus monies). The Byhalia Substation (tax collector’s and sheriff’s offices) was the only building surveyed that needed no work, Hall said. The courthouse was found to have window issues as well as old boiler issues, and auditors recommended putting a lock on the thermostat in one building.
The board of supervisors passed a board order to apply to MDA for block grant dollars to save energy costs.
The board also voted to accept a $12,000 solid waste assistance grant from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The dollars pay a portion of the salary of the solid waste officer.
Marshall County received notice it qualifies for President Obama’s disaster relief program for damages during recent thunderstorms in Mississippi.
In other business, the board:
• approved clearing ditches on private property in the Coldwater Bottom area.
• discussed culvert washout problems and corrections caused on Roberts Chapel, Moore, Rossville, Hogan and Isom Chapel roads.
• learned interlocal agreements are in order for the Marshall /Benton WIN Job Center. Marshall County will be the host and chancery clerk Chuck Thomas will be the host agent.
• discussed a $136 per person increase in health insurance premium for county employees. The 21 percent increase can be offset somewhat by raising the deductible. The policy is up for renewal in June.
• sent regards to supervisor Willie Flemon who is home recuperating from kidney surgery and to supervisor Keith Taylor for the separate accidents of his daughter and his wife which took place prior to the May 17 meeting.
Flemon said his doctor is asking him to cut back on activities for about six weeks. His operation took place May 12 and he returned home May 16.
“I’m feeling pretty good - a little sore,” Flemon said.
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