By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors considered switching their provider of inmate phone service, but tabled the matter to allow a local provider to research the matter further and provide a more detailed quote.
The first quote provided by the local company, Inmate Communications LLC, represented at the meeting by Kendall McClinton, did not provide as much information as two competing companies.
Shane Tucker, Chief Deputy for the Sheriff’s Department, said the two competing companies provided information relating to the kind of equipment that would be used and what features would be included, such as the capability to record inmate phone calls and to determine where the call went.
The amount of revenue to be paid to the jail also was provided in all three bids. Tucker said Securis offered 65.4 percent of the revenue back to the jail, while Globaltel offered 60 percent. Both companies offered the most information in their bids concerning equipment and features.
However, Inmate Communications offered 75 percent of the revenue, but did not have information concerning equipment and features. McClinton said he could provide the board with all the information supervisors need, prompting the board to table the matter until that information could be provided.
Money left in the construction fund for the county’s portion of construction of Highland Commons Parkway will be used to add features to the new roadway. County engineer Les Dungan said he would like to add street lighting to the project, and of the more than $206,000 left in the fund, he would need between $50,000 to $60,000 to install the lighting. The board approved the change to the project. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the county’s portion of the project was budgeted to be $5 million.
A separate portion of that project will include building a road across the street from Highland Parkway on the U.S. Highway 11 side that will connect to Richardson Ozona Road. Lumpkin said that project is still on schedule and expects it to be complete, weather permitting, within a year and a half. The road will start at U.S. Hwy. 11, across from Highland Parkway, and connect to Richardson Ozona Road across the street from Hayden Oaks Road.
Work to repair base failures on Sycamore Road near West Union Road is underway. Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith said the county is out repairing the base failures, but did not have a time frame for when the work would be complete. Dungan and County Road Manager Mike Mitchell said the problem with the road is not just the water that causes base failures, but also the heavy trucks using the road to avoid weigh stations as they head to the Gulf Coast.
In a separate matter, the board approved a motion to begin using services from CountyLyne Conference Solutions to allow inmates to use video conference technology to attend hearings. Lumpkin said the matter was mandated by senior Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell and will cost the county $340 per month. Each of the five counties in District 15 will put in to the cost of the service. Board member Dennis Dedeaux said according to paper work included in his packet, each county spends about $25,000 per year transporting prisoners to those hearings.
In other business the board;
— Approved a motion to accept a grant totaling $30,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase a new truck for the Emergency Operations Center. The board said the old truck would be transferred to the road department for continued use.
— Approved for the road department to purchase two new pickup trucks at $22,000 each to replace aging vehicles.
The next board meeting will be at 9 a.m. on April 1.