By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
Pearl River County’s Board of Supervisors discussed several matters on Monday, including applying for yearly law enforcement grants and changing the company used to provide inmates with phone service.
During Monday’s meeting the board approved motions to apply for a seatbelt grant worth $5,000 and a DUI grant worth $99,907. Sheriff David Allison said the seatbelt grant is used by the department to purchase car seats for families in need, and to pay an officer to teach parents how to use them properly.
The DUI grant provides salaries and supplies for deputies who conduct DUI patrol.
A matter tabled during the last meeting dealing with changing the company that provides inmates at the jail in Millard with phone service was moved to executive session during this week’s meeting. The move occurred after the matter came up on the agenda and Board Attorney Joe Montgomery suggested moving it due to pending litigation on the matter.
County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the board, after executive session, decided to move forward with the local company, Inmate Communications LLC, that is offering the most commission. The two other companies offered grants to help with hardware costs, but Lumpkin said the board expressed concern since the grant was not coming from a public entity. The board approved a motion for Montgomery to draw up a contract to be presented at the next board meeting.
The board also discussed the progress being made with three emergency shelters funded by FEMA. County Engineer Les Dungan said most of the work is complete at the three sites, Picayune, Poplarville and Carriere. Dungan said the site in Picayune, near the high school, has some issues with noise from the duct system for heating and air conditioning. The Poplarville site has an issue with the back-up well. With those things in mind, he recommended releasing only a portion of the $125,000 in retainage until those issues are fixed. The board approved a motion to that effect.
Dungan pointed out that the buildings are complete enough to use should a disaster strike.
The county also is seeking site certification on about 2,400 acres supervisors hope to use to recruit a large business to the area. Board president J. Patrick Lee said the idea is to prepare a site that a large company could use to build upon. Lee said representatives for the county have been speaking to companies around the world, including a gun manufacturing company Lee said was recently forced to move from New York state. Lee did not name the company.
Lee said the purpose is to create jobs in the county and Butler Snow is helping with the recruitment process.
“It’s a team effort, but it takes the players to make it happen,” Lee said.
Soon the county will demolish the old convenience store on Caesar Road that burned. Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero Jr. suggested the board move forward with using county employees and equipment to demolish the building after several attempts to have the property owner do it failed. The board approved moving forward with the demolition, the cost of which will be assessed to the property owner’s taxes as a lien.
The board also discussed a personnel issue in executive session. When the board reentered open session, it approved a motion to accept personnel changes in Justice Court.
The next meeting of the board will be at 9 a.m. on April 17.