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Supervisors receive update from County Engineer; make appointment to PRCUA board

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors received an update on bridge repair work and made an appointment to the Pearl River County Utility Authority (PRCUA) board during Tuesday’s meeting.

County Engineer Les Dungan (pictured) told the board that the recent legislative special session’s passage of the internet sales tax fund diversion to the counties is historic in nature and will create a great opportunity for the county to utilize the expected revenue stream to get a head start on getting projects in place.

The formula used by the Legislature to calculate the money per county was based on Population (55,834 people = $313,608), Miles of roads (1,037 miles = $322,453), and an equal share for all counties = $203,252 giving Pearl River County an anticipated total of $839,313 from the new legislative bill over a four-year phase in period.

One concern is the availability of contractors since every county and city will be getting revenue from the new legislation and that concern was voiced by District 3 Supervisor Hudson Holliday. Based on that possible condition in the contractor market, Dungan suggested that the board go ahead borrow the money and begin their projects and then repay the loan when the internet sales tax funding arrives to the county. Dungan also said that currently, vendors that supplies materials and parts for bridges are already about two months behind in delivery and he anticipates this lag to increase as the demand goes up.

Dungan informed the board that he should have a proposed Memorandum of Understanding for the board to review at the next board meeting that covers maintenance responsibilities with the City of Picayune on roads that surround the city limits.

On current projects, Dungan told the board that the bridge on Harry Sones Road had the last set of pilings were driven in place on Monday and two of the three spans of the new bridge are set in place and he expects the last span to be in place this week. Dungan anticipates the bridge to be open in a matter of days once the bridge approach road work is completed. He said the contractor will move on to Sones Chapel for the next project. Dungan noted that Oscar Smith Road is now closed and the contractor has begun work on the project and is off to a very good start on the project.

Board President and District 5 Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith commended Dungan on his efforts in responding quickly to a request from State Representative Timmy Ladner on information Ladner requested during last week’s special session. Based on that work, Smith stated that F.Z.Goss Road will receive funding in the amount of $525,000 for three miles of road to paved near West Union Road and the Hancock and Pearl River County line.

Smith and Dungan also praised the efforts of Ladner, Senator Angela Hill, and State Representative Stacey Wilkes for their work in getting Pearl River County included in the coastal counties as part of the six which will receive 75 percent of the BP settlement funding.

Also during the meeting, the board appointed Bill Burns to the PRCUA to fill the seat left vacant earlier this summer when Fred Aubrey passed away.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 11th at 9:00 a.m.


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