Fire departments achieve 7 rating • Burn ban lifted
Barton, Potts Camp and Potts Camp/Bethlehem fire departments have improved their ratings to a grade 7, joining Cayce which had earlier achieved the designation, according to chancery clerk Chuck Thomas.
The City of Holly Springs is a Class 5 and the Town of Byhalia is a Class 6. Other rural fire departments in the county – Slayden/Mt. Pleasant, Watson, Waterford, Wyatt/Chulahoma, Victoria and Red Banks – are class 10.
The grading districts are based on five road miles from the department, except in the case of Barton which does not go across the DeSoto County line, and in the case of the Holly Springs Fire Department, according to Hugh Hollowell, emergency management coordinator for Marshall County.
In other news, Gov. Phil Bryant lifted the burn ban in most counties December 2. The Marshall County Board of Supervisors also voted to lift the county’s burn ban Monday, Dec. 5.
“I get 10 or 12 calls a day asking about when the burn ban is going to be lifted,” Hollowell said.
Governor Bryant set a burn ban on October 11 in 52 counties due to drought conditions over most of the state.
As of December 1, 68 counties were under a burn ban, with those that were not under a burn ban located on the southern end of the state. But on December 2, Bryant signed a proclamation to lift the partial state level burn ban that has been in force since October 11. The Mississippi Forestry Commission requested the ban be lifted due to the amount of rain received throughout the areas covered by the partial state level burn ban.
The federal money to build a $3.9 million workforce center in Marshall County has been received and is in a state fund, according to Justin Hall, executive director of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority.
There is a $180,000 assessment fee which the county will have to pay. Hall said the Mississippi Development Authority has advised it will not pay the assessment fee, but the county can approach the Appalachian Regional Commission for the money.
“The money typically comes through MDA,” he told the board of supervisors recently. “The goal will be to work with new industries.”
Supervisor Charles Terry asked when the Marshall County WIN Center will open in Byhalia. Hall said there are some final things, such as handicapped accessibility ramps, that have to be finished. The center would be used now by Rockfon, a new facility that specializes in ceiling tile manufacturing in Chickasaw Trail, he said.
“A lot of temp staffing agencies use these WIN Centers,” he added.
County administrator Larry Hall said he expects a $1 million reimbursement from FEMA for the cleanup of tornado damage in Marshall County should be coming in soon. He expects the county will receive the money but said he thinks MEMA may be dealing with some shortfalls and holding on to the reimbursement money until it gets its 12.5 percent or $164,000 matching money in hand.
State revenues have been short during the period covering January to November 2016 and many agency budgets have been cut.
Hall said the FEMA money has been deposited in a Mississippi account.
In other business, the board approved a pauper’s funeral request by coroner James Richard Anderson. No money goes to the funeral home and the county provides a pine-box casket and a burial site to those persons who have no family members to claim the remains.