Board of Supervisors receives opinion from State Attorney General

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors has received an opinion from the state Attorney General’s office saying the newly elected board, when it takes office in January, may not opt out of the building code requirements now in effect in the county.

The current board had sent a letter to the Attorney General requesting the opinion last month the question of whether the incoming supervisors elect may pass a resolution that would eliminate the building code requirements for the county.

In the request sent to the attorney general for an opinion, the board cited the provision within the Mississippi Code that allowed the county to opt out of the Building Codes within 60 days after adoption and asked, “In January, 2008, a new Board will be seated. There has been much talk about getting rid of Building Codes. Since it has been more than 60 days since Pearl River County Board of Supervisors adopted the Building Codes can the new Board pass a resolution to not be subject to the Codes?”

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In the opinion letter to the board, Leigh Triche Janous, Special Assistant Attorney General states, “It is our opinion that the Pearl River County board of supervisors may not choose to opt out of the code requirements imposed under Section 17-2-1 since sixty (60) days have passed after the provisions of Section 17-2-1 went into effect.”

“But they can still make changes and amendments to the codes, right,” asked District I Supervisor Anthony Hales.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the board was allowed to make changes and amendments, but that those changes would depend on factors such as insurance requirements.

Copies of the opinion letter were provided to the supervisors-elect present at Tuesday’s meeting, including Hudson Holliday, Sandy Kane Smith and Charles Culpepper.

On another matter, District II Supervisor Danny Wise said the Henleyfield Community Center has requested to construct a pavilion near the community center on land leased from the Picayune Municipal Separate School District.

“They have already gone to the state and done everything they need to do on that level to get this done,” Wise said.

“They’re really approaching this in a top-notch manner,” said District IV Supervisor Robert Thigpen.

The board voted unanimously to allow the community center to build the pavilion.

The board also voted to authorize execution of an application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for emergency work to be done on five watershed sites.

“After a storm, if we get high water, they (the Natural Resources Conservation Service) will come in and do an evaluation of county roads. If there is any extreme erosion, they have money you can apply for and they will come in and put in riprap and gravel to help prevent loss of soil,” District III Supervisor Larry Davis said.

The board was presented with an invoice from Dungan Engineering for $8,360 for repairs to the courthouse roof.

“That roof is still leaking. I say we don’t pay it until it is no longer leaking,” Davis said.

“It leaked in two places the last time it rained. When they first started, it leaked all over,” Lumpkin said.

“I know it appears to some people we don’t do nothing, but we’re trying to preserve this building for its historical value. I’m finishing my 12th year, and we’ve been working on this roof ever since I’ve been up here,” said Hales.

The board agreed to research the matter and see if any amount should be paid on the invoice since the roof is still leaking.

In other business the board:

— Approved Pearl River Paving final invoice number three for $77,713.57.

— Approved poll worker checks for general election totaling $20,476.55.

— Accepted Charter Communications franchise fee check of $18,209.57.

— Approved county membership dues of $927 to National Association of Counties.

— Announced a meeting with MEMA regarding the Mississippi Cottages at 11 a.m. Thursday at the courthouse in Poplarville.

— Approved the docket pending investigation travel for Julia Anderson of Planning and Development, guardian ad litem fee of $1,006.74 for Nathan Farmer and $1,107 monthly fee for law library club service.

The board recessed until 9 a.m. Monday.