County clean-up proposals suggested

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2007

County clean-up proposals suggested
By Jeremy Pittari/Item Staff Writer
POPLARVILLE — It’s time to clean up the county, and two ways proposed are with a possible county-wide litter clean up effort and a drug court.
The newly elected 15th district circuit court judge and the newly formed litter committee for Picayune met with the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors Monday morning to discuss implementing some ideas.
Judge Prentiss Harrell talked to the board about full access to a server for the county law records that would provide him access at night from home to court records. County administrator Adrain Lumpkin said he could get Harrell an access number to get him the access to the files he needs.
Another idea he would like to see implemented is a drug court, which would be for drug offenses only. Harrell said he plans to attend a seminar to give him a good background on that type of court.
He asked the board for a facility to hold the court and some seed money to get the program going. District IV Supervisor Robert Thigpen said the idea had been proposed in the past and never implemented, but that he was excited when he heard of the idea.
“You can just get re-excited because it’s coming,” Harrell said.
No action was taken at Monday’s meeting.
Nancy Griffin and Linda Hanberry with Pick it up Picayune, the city’s clean-up effort, came to see where the board stood on the clean-up effort.
“We want to be known as the cleanest town in the state, but we really want to be known as the cleanest county in the state,” Griffin said.
The groups came up with ideas for catchy nicknames such as Mop up McNeill, Clean up Carriere, Pick up Poplarville, or even Pick up Pearl River County. The group’s main objective is to initiate a recycling program in the county, though such a program would have to be monitored, Griffin said.
Board president Bettye Stockstill said an agreement has been worked out with Waste Management’s Regional Manager Mike Hall to dispose of the trash collected during the clean up effort. Poplarville alderman Shirley Wiltshire said she will suggest the City of Poplarville conduct their clean-up day the same day Picayune does, on March 24, at the aldermen’s next meeting.
Thigpen said he would like to know the number of litter citations written and the number of convictions for those citations.
District III Supervisor Larry Davis said if citations are not being upheld, then taxpayers’ money is being wasted in lost man hours and court costs. Lumpkin said the problem with conviction comes with proving did the littering, because many variables come into play. The only way to ensure a conviction without hard evidence is to get them to admit to the crime, he said.
The board also discussed some building plan changes for the new Chimney Square building in Picayune. They discussed the possibility of adding a third floor, even if it would not be used initially. It would provide a place for expansion when needed.
District II Supervisor Danny Wise suggested adding chancery court space to the new building, providing a place for those in the south end of the county to conduct business.
Thigpen suggested putting a multipurpose meeting room in the building, which could give the supervisors the option of holding meetings in that part of the county from time to time.
“I feel like now is the time to be very proactive in planning,” Wise said.
No matter what they do, Thigpen said he would like to have a solid plan by the next board meeting so supervisors can get the ball rolling on construction.
The board heard a proposal to switch ambulance service providers to American Medical Response. Vice president of government relations John K. Rester and government affairs representative Riley Sayne discussed the services the company could provide to the county. Sayne said the company has more than 50 years of experience in the field and a fleet of about 4,000 vehicles with about 18,000 staff members. No decision was made on the matter.
Emergency Operations Director Bobby Strahan said he recently received a letter of approval for storm shutters for the Emergency Operations Center.
The board went into executive session on pending litigation, but no decisions were made
In other business the board;
— Took bids for a replacement communication tower for Amaker Town Volunteer Fire Department to be paid for with Federal Emergency Agency and insurance funds. The lowest bid turned in was from Miller Company for a used self supporting tower for $19,500 and the next lowest bid was from Diamond K Towers for $19,531.44.
— Accepted bid to repair lights at McNeill ball field for $7,302.
— Awarded bids for road repairs to Huey Stockstill for $1,981,173.75, to Pearl River Paving for the repair of 13 bridges for $178, 012.75 and to Natco Inc. for illegal dumpsite clean up for $32,088.
— Approved travel for county administrator to spring workshop in Jackson for March 21- 22 and for Harold Holmes to Alabama in the spring and to a conference in Bay St. Louis on May 1-3.