Takeaways from Board of Supervisors meeting

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday morning to discuss notable county matters.

County Engineer, Les Dungan, gave the Board of Supervisors an update on multiple projects taking place throughout the county, including the completion of two of the Emergency Watershed Protection projects were completed.

Dungan went on to brief the board on the drainage problems at the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home.

With the addition of the new wing, water has become trapped and funneled under the hospital’s foundation. Several contractors have been contacted to fix the drainage issue. As of today’s meeting, only two contractors have bid on the project; HRL for $30,000 and Triple L contracting for $10,175. Board Vice President Hudson Holliday called for a motion to accept the quote from Triple L contracting and the motion carried. The project bid includes placing a pipe under the foundation to drain the water, as well as all repairs needed to correct the erosion.

“I think it’s a situation we can’t hold up anymore,” said Board President Sandy Kane Smith.

Rock Ranch Road has reopened after several weeks of closure due to construction, however Dungan explained that the project is not yet complete, as engineers are waiting on the paving contractors to work on the new bridge.

“It will be completed soon,” Dungan said. ”It’s very near completion now.”

Additionally the Spring Hill Road project is progressing. The first bridge has been completed and the second bridge is currently under construction now. Dungan told the board he expects work on the second bridge to be complete by the end of this week.

Continuing on the subject of bridges, Dungan informed the Board of Supervisors of the two year audit from the Federal Highway Administration coming up.

To be better prepared for the audit Dungan explained that several bridges across the county are listed for replacement including those on Otis Jones, Hickory Grove, Harry Sones, Sones Chapel, McNeil Steephollow, and Silver Hollow roads.

According to Dungan the county also has enough funding for additional bridge replacements on Nelly Burke's, Homer-Ladner, and Ochsner-Smith Roads. Even with the additional bridge repairs, Dungan said the county still has $750,000 from state aid funds and grants remaining and expects to use said funds on surface maintenance.

The Board approved the additional bridges be added to the replacement project list, based on Dungan’s recommendation.

Pearl River County Circuit Clerk, Nance Stokes, discussed election commission budget concerns with the board as well. According to recent budgetary reports, the Circuit Court has gone 25 percent over budget. Stokes stated that their office is holding court when they are out of term and that costs money.

If court is in term, 200 jury summons go out per week. The costs to bring someone to court costs on average $3,000.

“I think it’s just an overflow of picking up the 3rd judge and the expenses associated with that.” Stokes answered when asked about the spending increase. ”And I can tell you this year we’ve opened 141 criminal cases since January.”

“We’re trying to educate ourselves so that when it comes budget time, the budget we give you is realistic,” Holliday said explaining his reason for questioning Stokes.

The Circuit Clerk welcomed each of the Board members to shadow her for a day to experience how the Circuit Court operates.

“We need to know how to prepare for the budget going forward,” Perry said “ If we need to add 25 percent to your budget, somebody else is going to lose 25 percent. Whatever we add somewhere, somebody is going to lose.”

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