Takeaways from Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors met yesterday in Poplarville. Here are the major takeaways from the meeting:
1. Pearl River County “Bridge Crisis”
County Engineer Les Dungan updated the supervisors on the progresses of the “bridge crisis” the county has been working to improve. Dungan reported that work on Hickory Grove Road, where a bridge was replaced with a culvert is now complete and has been reopened to traffic.
Spring Hill Road is also open to traffic again. The project is now only waiting on the lines to be painted before work will be completed.
Dungan also reported that bridge repairs have begun on Otis Jones Road and it is currently closed for repairs.
2. Pearl River County to donate concrete bridge slabs to Copiah County. Les Duncan also informed the board that Copiah County, who is also facing their own bridge crisis, reached out to Pearl River County about concrete bridge slabs to help with their repairs. Pearl River county has been storing roughly 100 concrete bridge slabs from the replacement of the relief bridges on Burnt Bridge Road for nearly 10 years. The slabs have been stored on 16th section land leased from Picayune to the county.
“Those are the slabs that came off the Burnt Bridge project and they have been laying there 10 years, so my experience on that has been the slabs are not worth a whole lot just because of the trucking expense to come get them and load them and take them wherever they are needed,” Dungan told the board. “I would recommend charging something for the slabs maybe $100 a piece for them from somebody like that who needs them, or you could give them away because if you could do away with that lease that could save us a lot of money.”
Supervisor Malcolm Perry of District II explained that for several years the county has tried to find a solution for the slabs so that they could end the lease with Picayune, so Perry suggested they donate them to Copiah County.
“It’s just my thoughts that if we have to get rid of them its going to cost us,” Perry said. “This ends the lease with Picayune and helps another county in the process.”
Dungan went on to explain that brand new slabs cost between $1,500 and $2,000 a piece, so Supervisor Hudson Holiday of District V, suggested that instead of donating the slabs to Copiah County, they sell them at a discounted rate of $100.
“I don’t want to be stingy, but you know $100 a piece ain’t nothing for those things,” Holiday said. “And if they can take all 100 thats $10,000 we can use to fix something else in the county. I really think they should have to pay something for them and $100 a piece is basically nothing for those things.”
However, Supervisor Faron Moller of District IV, agreed with Malcolm’s suggestion of donating the slabs and added the condition that Copiah County has to move them themselves. Moller then made a motion to donate the slabs which was seconded by Perry. The motion passed four to one to donate the slabs on the condition that Copiah County must handle the transport of the slabs themselves.
3. Road crews always putting in the miles.
Pearl River County Road Manager Charlie Schielder answered questions from the board regarding road repairs in the county. District IV Supervisor Hudson Holiday asked Schielder about work that could be done where Jacob’s Road meets Main Street in Poplarville. The part of Jacobs Road that was discussed gives access to both Poplarville High School as well as its football and baseball fields, but is inside of the city limits.
“That part is in the city limits but that’s my district and its in terrible shape,” Hudson said. “That also leads to the school and the ball fields.”
Hudson explained that he spoke to ofificials with the city of Poplarville who informed him they have $25,000 budgeted for the repairs. Hudson suggested the county handle the labor and asked Schielder if one of his crews could overlay that part of the road. Schielder said yes and that the project would take one to two days at most.
“City people pay county taxes too, they pay for that equipment so I really think we out to be working with them," Hudson said. "The city has the money for the material so if we could just give them a couple days of labor we could get it done.”
“As long as it only takes a couple days I don’t have a problem with it but I’ve got people complaining about their roads just like everybody else.”
Schielder explained they are working on a bigger project right now but they are trying to take on smaller projects simultaneously to help reduce the amount of road projects in the county.
“We appreciate y’all, we know y’all are working hard,” Smith said. “Believe it or not (the county) is out there working on roads every single day. People are always asking ‘When are you going to do mine?’ But these guys are constantly working.”
County offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 10, in recognition of the Veteran's Day holiday, Saturday.