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Fire Chief discusses lowering homeowners insurance with Board of Supervisors

On Monday, McNeil Fire Chief, Donny Leonard, addressed the Pearl River County Board of supervisors about a way to lower homeowners insurance for the north east part of the county.

Leonard informed the board that his department was recently able to purchase a new class A fire engine. Along with the 2004 freightliner the department currently uses the new addition means it is time to start exploring option for a possible satellite station to bring fire insurance down for homeowners in other parts of the district such a Millard.

What we’d like to do is get with you guys and see if you all would be interested in helping us lower some insurance in that north east corner,” Leonard said. “That area around Lamar smith road is all level 10 but now that I have another engine all I need is a building to put it in that's in our district to get that level back down with the rest of the county.”

Leonard went on to explain to the board that the department recently underwent an insurance audit which ranked them as a 7, however due to the response time for areas such as Lamar Smith Rd, many residents are still paying premiums as similar to that of a much lower station.

According to regulation a residence must be within five miles of a station to get the better insurance rebates. Leonard feels a satellite station would be the best solution for this problem.

“We don’t need anything fancy. I don’t believe in big fancy fire station I believe that kinda money should be put into trucks and equipment,” Leonard said. “All I need is a shelter to put that engine in that has electricity. We don’t need an office, don’t need a bathroom or anything like that. We just need a place to park.”

The suggestion was made to consider building a multipurpose structure of some sort near the Sheriff's department in Millard, by District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry. The structure could serve a dual purpose of a mechanic bay and tool storage for the mechanic shop at the jail. The supervisors decided to work with Sheriff Allison and Leonard on developing a solution for matter. No decision was made on the matter at Monday’s meeting.

Dr. Kumar Amaraneni of the recently opened Pelican Urgent Care in Picayune, also addressed the Board. Amaranei, who had owned an urgent care facility in Slidell for over seventeen years, explained that he wanted to introduce himself to the Board and gave a short overview of the different services the urgent care will provide Picayune residents.

“We not only take care of minor emergency, we also take care of minor traumas,” Amaranei said. “We are also very active in occupational medicine and are very proactive during the flu season. We even take the shots to the different offices to administer them so employees do not have to leave work.”

The new Pearl River County Community Band director, Dr. Archie Rawls, also addressed the Board on Monday. Rawls gave the board a quick update of the rejuvenation of the organization. After the passing of previous director, Johnny Baker, the band went dormant but thanks to the efforts of Rawls and a few others there are nearly 40 members in the band today. Rawls also informed the board that they have planned a concert for Nov. 12 at 3pm at the Picayune School District Auditorium on Goodyear Boulevard.

The Board will reconvene on Oct. 16 at 9am.


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