Thursday, August 4, 2011
Supervisors hold off on Beale bridge
By SUE WATSON
State Aid engineers may recommend the board of supervisors reject a bid on replacing a bridge on Beale Road because it came in so high and two companies did not bid.
County engineer Larry Britt said, after talks with State Aid engineer Brooks Miller with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, he may recommend keeping the sole bid under advisement.
“If you rebid, you have to change something or what good is it to rebid?” said Britt. “If you get a sole bidder, the bid may go up (next time).”
District 4 supervisor George Zinn recommended the board take the bid under advisement until more word comes from Miller.
“It is a safety issue and the county does not have funds,” he said. “The bridge is in terrible condition. I would like to get the legislators to talk to Miller, too.”
Britt likened the bid specifications required by State Aid to an order for a Cadillac.
“If you order a Cadillac, you will get the same bid price unless you bid for a Chevrolet,” he said. “I don’t think we will get a better price. The same thing happened on the bypass and the costs went up.”
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett asked Britt about the progress on the Callicutt Road bridges. He urged Britt to determine if Rutledge Contractors can finish the bridge in time for harvest. Otherwise, he said he would like the job to be put off until after crops are out. Callicutt Road is the main route west to connect with Highway 7 South to take cotton to the gin in Oxford, he said.
If the bridges are out, the farmers will have to add miles to their trip back and forth to the fields.
Britt said it would take about a month to drive the bridge pilings and about a month to put the bridge up. A stop work order can be issued if supervisors want to wait on bridge replacement until after harvest, he said.
“You would put a stop work order and the contractor would have to sign it to release the county to do a temporary repair,” he said.
A temporary repair by the county road and bridge department would make it possible to open the bridges for harvest. They would close the road for bridge replacement after harvest.
Attorney Kent Smith said the contractor had agreed he would approve a stop work order to protect the county’s interests.
“I will contact Rutledge to find out his intentions,” Smith said. “We have some dry weather and we want to know when he’s coming (to work on the bridges).”
Supervisor Keith Taylor reported that some homeowners in the Carriage Manor and DeSoto Farms subdivisions had asked about resizing their drainage pipes under their driveways. He told Britt the size needs to be established so the pipe can be replaced.
Jennifer Coleman, director with the Northwest Mississippi Red Cross office in Oxford explained some organizational changes and gave some figures for service in Marshall County. She said money donated to the Red Cross by the county is spent in the county. The Red Cross assisted 97 individuals last year and spent $13,400 in assistance in the county. There were 22 fires and 300 certified Red Cross cases assisted, she said. She said negative talk had hindered the organization recently. But the money the county donates is designated for Marshall County, she said.
Joe Gibbons, heading up Readiness Response to any disaster, is trying to grow the volunteer base in the 17 counties served out of this district.
She added that Red Cross chose Mississippi as the first state to reorganize because the state is disaster-prone.
“So, they wanted to streamline,” she said. “We are trying to get a team of volunteers to work cases. Sandra Hodge in Jackson is over the whole state.”
DHS director Elizabeth Kriss, said her agency is pleased with the service Red Cross has provided but has “trepidations” about the reorganization.
Emergency Management director Hugh Hollowell agreed.
“I’m with Elizabeth,” he said. “We have always had good service to burnouts, but anytime there is a change, it is a concern ‘Is there going to be more bureaucracy?’ ”
Coleman suggested a need to get someone in the county on the board of directors of Red Cross.
Larry Hall suggested that Coleman talk privately with Hollowell and Kriss so their concerns could be shared.
Reps. Tommy Woods and Kelvin Buck and Sen. Bill Stone presented a resolution from the Legislature to supervisor Willie Flemon concerning his service to the county. Buck said Flemon spent 12 years as a constable and 16 years as a supervisor.
“That’s a lot of public service,” he said. “He is probably the most approachable public servant I have ever seen.”
Director Conway Moore, presented two items – a water tower to be located near the North Holly Springs Bypass Road which requires a special exception to put it in an I-1 zone; and a request from contract holder Tanner Construction for permission to move dirt for the construction of the road bed and drainage for I-269.
Supervisors approved the permit to the city for the special exception and the removal of topsoil by Tanner Construction.
County administrator Larry Hall read a letter from Richard Allen with the Mississippi Department of Transportation pertaining to MDOT’s list of projects.
The letter commended and thanked Marshall County elected officials for the help with the recent groundbreaking ceremony for I-269. Some projects on the state’s list include a bridge on Highway 349 in the Potts Camp area; Highway 72 right-of-way asquisition; right-of-way acquisition for bridge replacement on Highway 309 North between U.S. 78 and Barton; a Highway 7 bridge project in the Coldwater bottom on 7 North which would raise the road and build new bridges all the way to the Tennessee line; Highway 309 bridges between U.S. 78 and Highway 4; bridges over Chewalla Creek and the Tippah River; and replacement of the Highway 4 East bridge at the railroad overpass on Salem Avenue.
“That’s a lot of action the next few years and they have already designed these projects,” said Hall.
Dedication of meeting
Chancery clerk Chuck Thomas recommended the board dedicate the July 18 meeting to the memory of the late Holly Springs Police Chief Robert Pearson, who died in a motorcycle accident July 17.
The board approved this request, then discussed a request by the family of the late fish and game employee Bully Palmer to dedicate a portion of Wilkins Chapel Road to the late game warden. Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett of District 5 asked for the dedication on behalf of the Palmer family.
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