Supervisors award roof bid, hear neighbor’s dispute

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Board of Supervisors has awarded the bid roof repairs for the Tax Assessor/E-911 office building that had previously been taken under advisement and Janet Carr wants the supervisors to resolve a dispute she has with a neighbor over a road across her property that she says is causing water to stand in her backyard.

Bids had been accepted and taken under advisement for repair to the roof of the Tax Assessor/E-911 office at the previous meeting on May 14. The bid accepted was from Cornell Malone at $69,419 to replace the entire roof of the building. His was the lowest bid submitted.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said most of the cost for repair to the roof will not be covered by money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or from insurance.

“They (the bids) were pretty much high. FEMA will only cover a small back section of the roof,” Lumpkin said. He said the main leak is located around the hole for the air conditioner, and that is not part of the damage that will be covered by FEMA or the insurance company.

“The insurance company said we had some damage, but … none of it was for the roof,” Lumpkin said.

The county probably will have to pay about $50,000 above what FEMA and insurance will cover, Lumpkin said.

Carr appealed to the board about a dispute she has been having with another property owner, James Bennett. Carr said Bennett’s property is located behind her property off U.S. 11 in Ozona and this dispute has been going on for the past five years.

Carr said Bennett has put a road about five feet high along the fence line leading to his property. This road affects the drainage of Carr’s property, causing water to stand in Carr’s back yard, breeding mosquitoes, and causing damage to her septic tank, said Carr.

Carr said she has talked with County Building Inspector Kirk Pichon, District V Supervisor Bettye Stockstill, the Mississippi Department of Health, the Department of Roads and Bridges and the Corps of Engineers and has received no results. Carr said she has also spoken with an attorney, but does not have the financial means to pursue a lawsuit.

The property is located in Stockstill’s district.

Carr addressed the board in March and the board ordered Bennett to install a culvert on the road to help with drainage. Carr said there was a culvert on the top of the road at the time, and since March, Bennett has removed that culvert instead of placing it under the road.

District I Supervisor Anthony Hales questioned the board’s authority to take any action, since the road is on private property.

“I don’t see where this board will have any authority to tell him to take this road down,” said Hales. “If he has broken some kind of state or federal law by doing this, then it looks like there would be an agency that could address it. We can’t. We don’t have that authority.”

“We can’t go on private property and make somebody change their ways. We can’t do that unless it’s causing a health hazard,” District IV Supervisor Robert Thigpen said.

Thigpen recommended that Carr contact South Mississippi Rural Legal Services, but Lumpkin said following that process could take several years.

Thigpen asked Brooks Wallace of Dungan Engineering to contact the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Corps of Engineers to find out what, if any, authority the county does have, and to find out what can be done.

“We will have our people check and see if it falls up under any kind of federal guidelines that may help you, but I just don’t see where we have the authority to do anything,” Hales said.

Thigpen, District II Supervisor Danny Wise and District III Supervisor Larry Davis were appointed to travel to Jackson at the end of the month to meet with state representatives to discuss proposals for a grant for a project on Ridge Road in Picayune.

The county is applying for a federal grant of $800,000 to draw up a plan for dealing with traffic congestion on Ridge Road, which runs from in front of Wal-Mart down to Mississippi 607. Once the plan has been drawn up, the county can then apply for a second grant of $11 million to complete the project.

The board would like to widen Ridge Road, add additional turn lanes, and straighten lanes as part of the project.

“We’re trying to plan for additional growth,” said Thigpen.

In other business the board:

— Authorized board president to sign grant amendment extending the period of PRC Strategic Plan update from June 1 through the end of December 2007.

— Accepted and acknowledged bids for emergency demolition and disposal of eligible houses, pending final approval from FEMA.

— Accepted a $180,795.00 insurance check on Chimney Square for debris removal.

The board adjourned until9 a.m. Monday, June 11.