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Jail decontamination needed for scabies, supervisors told

Sanitary conditions at the jail, Poplarville School’s resource officer, and bids for a compressed air foam system in Nicholson dominated discussion at the Pearl River County Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Monday.

Pearl River County Sheriff Joe Stuart addressed the board requesting reimbursement for petty cash and personal expenses incurred during decontamination of the county jail after an inmate came into the jail while infected with scabies.

Stuart said he spent slightly more than $2,000 for decontamination, which included purchasing 100 gallons of bleach, hiring someone to come in to adjust temperatures on washers and boilers, scouring cells and replacing items such as toothbrushes, hairbrushes, etc.

Stuart said the infected inmate entered the jail about three weeks ago, apparently just before the new health system was put into effect.

Stuart and County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin told the board that Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell has asked them to get the Mississippi Department of Health to come in and make sure all traces of the scabies mite were gone.

The board considered a request from the Poplarville School District for the county to pay half the salary of the resource officer at the school.

The resource officer has been covered for the past four years by the Cops and School grant, but that grant money has run out. The school district said that they would pay half of the salary, if the county would provide the other half.

District I Supervisor Anthony Hales asked what the other school districts are planning to do about their resource officers.

Stuart said he is uncertain about Nicholson, which uses a sheriff’s deputy as a resource officer, but that Pearl River Central will create their own police force. Stuart said the Picayune city schools use members of the Picayune Police Department, while the Poplarville School District uses sheriff’s deputies.

Hales said he believes that if they comply with the request from Poplarville, that they will receive requests from the other districts also.

“It’s only fair if we do it for one school district, we do it for all,” said Hales.

“I’m not saying I’m against it, but … I think we need to look at it a little closer,” said District III Supervisor Larry Davis.

The board decided to table the discussion and wait until they have more information to make a decision.

The board received a bid of $38,300 from Deep South Fire Trucks to refit the fire truck in Nicholson with a Compressed Air Foam System.

Howard Ellis of Deep South Fire Trucks said that the CAFS smothers a fire, and causes a lot less water damage than a traditional water system. Ellis said the CAFS can hold 400 gallons of water combined with 12 gallons of foam, and that less water is used in extinguishing a fire.

Ellis said that he has seen a house that was fully engulfed in flames with “flames coming out the back and windows” be completely extinguished in less than five minutes with the foam system, using only 75 gallons of water and 1 quart of foam.

“In some of the counties that have them, it’s the first truck that leaves, and 90 percent of the time, when a pumper gets to the fire, it’s already out (with the foam),” said Ellis.

“Why don’t we apply for a grant to maybe equip all these fire departments with these foam trucks?” asked Hales.

Lumpkin said that the state does not recognize foam trucks and that no credit is given for them from the state.

Lumpkin said there are a couple other foam trucks in the county, but that not all the departments have them.

In other business the board:

— Considered Veteran’s Service Officer 2007 dues of $20.00 and directed clerk to issue check.

— Appointed Velma Seal to Pearl River County Hospital Board.

— Accepted proof of loss on Chimney Square Building.

— Authorized president to sign documents for submission to Mississippi Development Authority to ensure grant funding approval.

— Authorized president to sign documents for CDBG Building Grant for a building for Department of Human Services.

The board adjourned until Monday, June 4, 2007.