Supervisors lower cost of mobile home permit fees

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors voted to lower the cost of mobile home permit fees from $100 to $50 at their meeting on Monday.

Chief Building Inspector Kirk Pichon told the board that in addition to the $100 permit fee, there is a $25 inspection fee for a power pole, and asked the board if the $25 fee should be charged when residents are trading one mobile home for another and already have a power pole set up.

“Lots of these people can’t afford all these fees,” Pichon said.

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Pichon said the $100 fee was for inspection for the blocking and set-up of the mobile home, plus inspection of the septic system and water hookups.

“The truth is, we are hurting people with these fees. A hundred dollars is a lot of money,” said District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday.

Pichon said prior to raising the fees to $100, the fee charged was only $50 and recommended lowering the fee to that amount.

“Fifty dollars is fair to me, if it’s fair to the board,” Pichon said.

District I Supervisor and Board President Anthony Hales said he felt like the inspections needed to continue, even if the fees were lowered.

District IV Supervisor Patrick Lee made the motion to lower the permit fee to $50, and also charge the $25 power pole inspection fee only if a resident is putting in a new power pole, not if they are using an existing pole. The motion passed unanimously.

The board also discussed signing an agreement with David Moore, who has been working with the County Emergency Management Agency on the generator grants.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said the agreement should have been signed in the past, but was somehow overlooked. The money for payment to Moore was included in the grant money from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Lumpkin said.

“The money is in this grant to pay him (Moore) for his services, but we never officially signed an agreement with him. … Once the bids were approved and the purchase order was issued, as the project moves through, we’re supposed to pay him according to the agreement,” Lumpkin said.

Holliday was concerned about the amount to be paid to Moore, and the work he had done up to this point.

“Is this money, this $15,168, is this for the generators, or for him doing the paperwork? How much is the county going to be out?” Holliday asked.

Lumpkin said the money was for Moore’s assistance in obtaining the grant money and doing the legwork behind the grant process. Lumpkin also said the grant is a 100 percent reimbursement grant, which means that all the funding, including Moore’s payment, comes from the grant funds.

Lee made the motion to pay Moore, saying that Moore had done a good job on the grant and that the county will benefit from his services. The board voted in 4-1for the motion, with Holliday voting against.

Leon Perry, who is performing the appraisal for the county’s tax roll update, told the board that his firm has finished the preliminary appraisal of the rural areas of the county and is now working in Picayune. After the group finished in Picayune, it will finish up in Poplarville, Perry said.

Holliday was concerned that the preliminary work may not be completed by the end of the month, as Perry had said it would be when he bid on the contract.

“Approximately 25 percent of the county has not been done, and you’re saying will be done in two weeks? I don’t believe it. … I’m speaking for the county. We want it done, and we want it done right and you can’t wait until the last minute. We’re two weeks away and you still have a major portion of the county to do,” Holliday said.

Perry said town property appraisals are more quickly done than rural appraisals and assured Holliday that the work would be completed within two to three weeks.

County Tax Collector Gary Beech said he does not know if Perry will be finished by the end of the month, but he believes he can be finished by the middle of February.

“I’d rather have it turned in by the middle of February and it be thorough than to be turned in by the end of January and it be rushed,” Beech said.

Perry also told the board that the complete appraisal, including paperwork and all properties that he will have to return to, will be completed by the June 1 deadline that was set in the bid.

Hales asked Perry to provide weekly reports between now and the time the preliminary appraisal is finished.

Holliday told Perry he didn’t think he could be finished by the end of the month.

“I hope you can come tell me, ‘I told you so’,” Holliday said.

“I’m telling you right now, ‘I told you so’,” Perry said.

Hales brought up the subject of the board salaries, stating that the state legislature sets the board salaries based on assessed value of property in the county, and that the county supervisors have been due for a raise for more than a year.

“When population and valuation reach a certain amount, the salaries of county officials are automatically set, but the board has to put it in their minutes to make it official. We reached that value last year, but we have not moved on it. Right now, board members are earning $4,600 or $4,700 less than we are supposed to be making. I want the public to fully understand what the law is,” Hales said.

Lee made the motion to accept the pay raise, and District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith seconded the motion. The motion carried, with Holliday voting against the pay raise.

“I’m going to vote against this because told I people would not give myself a raise. Ya’ll can vote for it and I’ll accept it, but I’m voting against it,” Holliday said.

In other business, the board:

— Authorized County Agent Billy Joe Lee to form a committee to make recommendations to improve the county fairgrounds for agricultural and livestock purposes.

— Authorized board president Hales to sign the County Arson Investigator Form naming Albert Lee as the county fire marshal.

— Authorized president to sign CDBG form and issue payment to Samples and Associates when funds are received for work done on the Chimney Square project.

— Authorized clerk to advertise for bids for county depository.

— Passed motion for County Road Manager Mike Mitchell to review bus turnarounds submitted by school districts along with the supervisor in whose district the turnaround will be.

The board recessed until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.