Thursday, October 3, 2013
Red Banks fire station needs roof
By SUE WATSON
The roof at the Red Banks Volunteer Fire Department station needs replacing, said chief Mark Hannah, and the department needs help from the county with the project.
The 30 x 40 foot building has two layers of shingles. Hannah said the firefighters would provide the labor if the board of supervisors would provide the materials – either shingles or metal sheets. The labor would typically cost about $3,000, he said.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett, also in the roofing business, said the shingles would have to come off down to the deck. The Red Banks Fire Station is the only one the county owns.
Hannah said the fire department has 14 volunteer firefighters and it is trying to build back up. The firefighters will hold a candy giveaway on Halloween in the parking lot at Clancy’s Cafe. He said firefighters like to do something for kids each year.
The fire chief also wants to plan a fund-raiser at the Marshall County Fairgrounds when an open weekend comes up on the calendar. The event will be publicized when it is set on the calendar.
Hannah said the proceeds would be used to buy turnouts and other items firefighters need.
To inquire further on how to help the Red Banks Fire Department, Hannah can be reached at 901-288-5081.
Trucker seeks assistance
Ken Faulkner, who established a trucking business in Marshall County off Highway 4 West, appeared before the board of supervisors asking for help with the entryway to his property. He told supervisors he has had his business in the county since 2005. He employs 11 skilled employees and drivers, he said.
Supervisors, including District 4 supervisor George Zinn III, explained that the county cannot do work on private roads.
Zinn said supervisors have tried to get the Mississippi Legislature to make it legal to help private businesses with driveways.
“We tried to get a bill introduced and the Mississippi Association of Supervisors to consider it, and ran into a solid block wall,” Zinn said. “Nobody wanted to consider it because it caused so many problems in years past.”
Faulkner said he pays good money to the state for tags and taxes and creates jobs that bring in tax revenue to the county.
“All I’m asking for is a simple road grader,” he said.
“I wish we could,” said Bennett.
Supervisors referred Faulkner to the Mississippi Department of Transportation which does the maintenance on Highway 4.
Justin Hall and Bill Mobley, with the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority, reported on a study of what it will take to establish an E-WIN Job Center in Holly Springs.
Hall said talks with Bill Renick at Three Rivers Planning and Development District indicated the state has an interest in a pilot E-WIN site.
It would cost about $70,000 to place a full-time employee at the Holly Springs Technology Center. Renick estimated the Marshall-Benton county area partnership would have to raise about $50,000 and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security would put an employee at the location for one year.
Hall said Benton County is still in with the partnership for an E-WIN. But the municipalities will have to be asked to see if they will remain in the partnership, he said.
Supervisor Charles Terry asked if the state would fund the center in future years if the partnership foots the bill for the one-year pilot project.
“No,” said Mobley. “They would like to try it to see how it works. The person has to be trained by MDES.”
Bennett said he is for the pilot if the municipal governments are willing to pay their portion.
Marshall County and the City of Holly Springs pay the largest share as the partnership is based on the population in each partner’s boundaries. The county’s share has been about $29,000 annually.
Chuck Thomas, chancery clerk, said the partnership has about $40,000 remaining in a fund. The partnership would not have to raise much more money to fund the pilot for one year.
Mobley explained that the partnership would not be obligated to renew the project a second year.
“They will have control because they run it (E-WIN),” he said. “The person will be an employee of MDES.”
Mobley reminded supervisors that IDA is not pushing the E-WIN pilot project.
“You all asked us to go and ask,” he said.
He said Benton County has a program to help job seekers prepare resumés.
Hall said the partnership would get together to see if every entity has approved money for the project next year. For the time being, the pilot would use its reserve dollars and the partners would have to raise about $9,000.
Supervisors discussed the reason the state pulled out of the WIN Jobs Center in Holly Springs – too few employers were listing their jobs at the center, viz., it was underused.
Bennett asked why any other county would want to follow the lead of a Marshall-Benton E-WIN pilot project if they have to pay for it themselves.
Zinn said he thinks it is elected officials’ responsibility to prepare a workforce.
Supervisor Charles Terry expressed disappointment that the WIN Center in Holly Springs failed. He said the E-WIN pilot would not have to be renewed another year if it failed.
Bennett said Marshall County would pay “the lion’s share” of the cost of $9,000 for the pilot.
“When you invest, you want that to make you something,” he said. “The WIN Center we had was very seldom used. They never used it. What is going to be different now, than then?”
He asked Zinn if he had ever posted a job at the WIN Center or hired anyone in his business through the center.
“No,” said Zinn.
“What makes you want to invest in it now?” Bennett said.
Zinn said industries trying to move here in most cases will go outside the county to hire people if there is no center here.
“They know they can blow it back on the county,” Bennett said, meaning the cost to operate an E-WIN.
Mobley said if the county did not want to raise $9,000, a part-time E-WIN could be operated by volunteers.
“There are two questions,” he added. “If it is moved to the technology center, what is Holly Springs going to require to use it? We would have to see if there would be any cost to the city. Would the city charge utilities and rent?”
Larry Hall said the city probably would not charge.
Bennett said it needs to be understood the pilot would be to operate for one year.
“Remember, MDES hires,” said Mobley. “They have the final say who will work at the E-WIN Center.”
Discussion ended, the board voted unanimously to move forward with the E-WIN pilot program for one year.
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