Thursday, November 25, 2010
By SUE WATSON
Enhanced 911 director Stacey Reed reported to the board of supervisors recently there is a problem with compliance to posting 911 addresses in some areas of Marshall County.
Some homeowners who add more mobile homes to their lot will not accept new 911 addresses for the added homes, she said.
Some homeowners make up their own addresses for additional residences by adding an A, B, or C to their address, she said.
“Only the county has the authority to send out someone to make them post new 911 addresses,” Reed said. “Postmasters are refusing to deliver to some addresses that will not comply.”
There is a street in Byhalia where none of the residents will post their 911 addresses, she said.
Addresses are to be posted in four-inch letters at the entrance to a residence or on mail boxes or mailbox posts. However, many residents are using three-inch letters because they are the size available at stores.
Reed asked for the board to pass a resolution to send to Internet vendors that are providing VoIP (telephone) service over the Internet. The law requires a $1 a month charge to land lines to residents and a $2 charge to business land lines on phone bills, she said.
As customers begin to replace their land line phones with VoIP through bundling of services, Reed said vendors like Vonage are paying 911 fees but some are not. She wants to request other vendors comply with the law, she said.
Another matter of money was brought before the board by Ken Jones, with the county administrator’s office. He is working to recover delinquent garbage bills, many times left when a renter leaves and does not pay his bill.
Counties may flag the registration tags of property owners in Marshall County who live in another county, he said. When renters refuse to pay for garbage collection, the law states that the property owner is liable for the debt.
Jones said he continues to go after those large accounts such as one who owes $2,700 from the delinquent accounts of a number of renters.
“I have come to realize we can flag in any county, if they owe the county money (for garbage service),” he said.
Board attorney Kent Smith said he would send due process to the property owner.
“I am asking for a form letter from the attorney so we do not have to come in with a request for a letter in each case,” said Jones.
Zoning director Conway Moore said her office attempts to determine if individuals are up to date on their accounts before authorizing mobile home permits.
Jones added that there is another individual who is $800 behind on his bill.
“We are going after them any way we can,” he said.
Moore added that sometimes people give a false address when doing business with her office, so she is checking the addresses with 911 to verify them.
“On 911, I am out there checking more than she is,” Jones said.
Moore said there was a fine to not have a 911 address up and now her office is checking to assure the addresses provided to her office are correct.
Smith added he is making an effort to get the fines stiffer for refusal to post 911 addresses.
Supervisor Willie Flemon added that some of the elderly say they have no means to put up a 911 address and others just don’t want to put them up.
“Having the numbers on the mail box or on the post in place is the biggest thing,” Jones said.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett urged action on the matter of enforcement.
“We need to nip it in the bud,” he said. “Lots of folks don’t want it.”
“R.E.S. cannot deliver a can without an accurate 911 address,” Jones said.
Smith said there are issues with collecting delinquent bills when a person has filed bankruptcy. When someone files Chapter 7, the debt cannot be collected, while if a person files Chapter 13, the county could attempt to recover its losses through the bankruptcy court.
In other business, supervisors:
• learned that KP Vinyl has added 70 jobs bringing the workforce at the plant to 160 employees - made possible by a $200,000 job protection grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. KP has said last year it would close and its 90 employees would be laid off without the expansion, said Bill Mobley, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority.
• discussed a complaint about an alleged case of animal negligence in District 3.
• approved the process to gather data necessary for redistricting of supervisor districts next year in case of unavailability of 2010 Census data in time for the candidate qualifying deadline of March 1, 2011. Smith advised that a committee be formed to get to work on the collection of data in the county that could be used to support the redistricting plan required to be filed with the U.S. Department of Justice prior to next year's elections.
• heard two options for spending available State Aid funds for striping of 53.1 miles of roads. Option 1 would have State Aid striping 48.1 miles and the county paying about $30,000 to stripe five miles of road, according to Larry Britt, engineer. Option 2 calls for the county to stripe 21.1 miles at an approximate cost of $6,000 a mile.
State Aid contracts will use higher standards such as setting reflectors in the center line - a measure that makes driving on dark roads at night safer for motorists.
Britt added that some expected monies may be cut pending a possible 15 percent across-the-board cut of budgets in Jackson.
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