Bid approved for Dead Tree Removal

Published 3:27 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors received bids for removing standing dead trees under a Federal Emergency Agency Grant and heard a request from the Pearl River County School District Superintendent Dennis Penton that work begin on permanent new administrative offices for the district.

The board received bids from Hensley Lee, H.S.I., Santa Rosa Inc., and Holiday Construction, LLC. After reviewing the bids, Les Dungan of Dungan Engineering said his firm questioned Santa Rosa Inc. about its plan and ability to do the work. He recommended that the board accept the bid of $822,100 from Santa Rosa.

“They did commit to finishing the job on time, and adding whatever manpower was necessary to finish,” he said. Dungan also said he expects they will start work on Monday.

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Brooks Wallace of Dungan Engineering said about 500 postcards requesting dead tree removal included in notices about the grant that his firm mailed out have been returned. He said several people also have called asking for reimbursement for tree removal. However, the grant is for current standing dead trees, and does not cover reimbursement for prior removal, he said.

The grant only covers trees that could damage personal property if they fell, said Carl Sherrer, FEMA debris specialist. Asked if barns were considered personal property, Sherrer said, “Depending on the size of your property, if you have a barn and 500 head of cattle that you take care of, that’s a business. That’s commercial, and we’re probably not going to protect your barn.”

However, he said that barns would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

School Superintendent Penton told the board the two buildings comprising the district’s superintendent’s office prior to Hurricane Katrina were damaged by the storm. He brought pictures of the rust and mold now in the buildings. He said that in one of the buildings, the mold is hanging down from the ceiling, and there is an unidentified white substance growing in the building.

The district’s administration now is located in temporary FEMA trailers. He wants a start on permanent plans for offices for the district’s administration.

District 1 Supervisor Anthony Hales disputed whether the county’s responsibility for the superintendent’s office included anything more than just one office for the school superintendent.

Penton said the statute provides for any offices that may come under the superintendent.

Hales said it’s the school district’s responsibility to provide a central office for the superintendent.

The board decided to ask the attorney general what are the responsibilities of the board to the school superintendent.

County Road Manager Mike Mitchell said that Anchor Lake Homeowner’s Association is asking for the county to provide asphalt on the dam at the lake.

“We don’t want to do anything structurally to that dam,” Hales said.

Mitchell said the county is not being asked to do any structural work, just to provide paving for repair work that the homeowner’s association is having done by an independent engineering firm. Mitchell said he would discuss the matter further with the engineers for the project.

Mitchell said that on Monday, April 23, there will be a new three-way stop at the intersection of McNeill-Henleyfield Road and Rock Ranch Road. There are signs announcing the new stop, and “rumble strips” are being placed at the intersection in preparation for it.

Mitchell said politicians or their supporters are placing political signs on the shoulders of county roads.

“They need to get them behind the ditch, up on the back slope. Get them out of the way of our mowers, because we don’t have enough time and manpower to move all these political signs,” Mitchell said.

Signs that are on the shoulder are at risk of being mowed down, and candidates need to put them up correctly to start with, he said.

A public hearing regarding the Hills Subdivision Preliminary Plat was opened and closed at the start of the meeting and the preliminary plat was approved.

In other business, the board:

— Accepted Pearl River Basin Development Reimbursement for environmental assessment of lake project.

— Acknowledged Confederate Memorial Day Holiday as Monday, April 30.

Adjourned until Monday, April 23, 2007.