Board hears petitions about Asa McQueen Road Bridge

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Citizens of Picayune who live on and around Asa McQueen Road and Ridge Road presented the board with two petitions at the meeting on Monday, one to keep Asa McQueen Road closed and the other to repair the bridge and reopen it.

One of the citizens in favor of keeping the road closed told the board that the road, which is located behind Wal-Mart in Picayune, had been closed either four or five years due to a bridge being out on Asa McQueen road.

“We live in a good community and had a good road. When they opened that road to through traffic, no one could get in like school buses and mail carriers because the trucks tore up the road. When the trucks would come through there, they come doing 60 miles per hour… If you open that road, the only people it will help is the truckers,” the woman said.

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A man in favor of reopening the road said his concern was the lack of ability for emergency services to get to the area with the bridge closed.

“We have not had fire protection for five years. We are in the Nicholson Fire Department district, and they have to go all the way into Picayune to get down there to us… We’re lucky we haven’t had a serious fire yet, but if the road is opened, then the fire department will have a straight shot of getting at us,” the petitioner said.

District IV Supervisor Patrick Lee said the county has the money available to repair the road.

“State aid came down several years ago and deemed that the road had sufficient usage to give us money to repair it. Since then, that money has just been sitting there,” Lee said.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday said he was in favor of reopening the road.

“There are two parties here. Most of this is about personal issues. Ya’ll want it opened for obvious reasons such as the fire department issue. These other folks don’t want traffic by their house… We have to get past the personal issues. The board is going to make a decision based on what is best for this county. Fire protection services are an issue. We need to repair these roads and we need to open them back up,” Holliday said.

The board voted to accept both petitions and make them part of the minutes, and to look into the necessity and legalities of whether or not to reopen the road.

Michael Spiers requested that the board grant him a variance to split a piece of land into two smaller pieces. Spiers had purchased a lot of .88 acres in the Henleyfield community and said he wanted to split the land in to two .44 acre pieces to be used as hunting camps.

Lee asked Spiers if he had asked the health department and the utility authority about the type of septic system that would need to be used on such a small piece of property.

Spiers said he would not be using the property for full-time residence, but that he was told he had to have a variance granted before he could have the health department and the utility authority determine a safe septic system on the property.

County Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero told the board he was in favor of the variance.

“This is not giving him permission for septic or anything else. This is just giving him permission to split the piece of property,” Pinero said.

“My only concern is about the sewage, but he has to have this split before he can see about the sewage. It’s done everywhere, but this is just one of the many rules we need to address about the building codes. I recommend we approve this,” Holliday said.

The board voted to approve the variance, with District I Supervisor Anthony Hales voting against the matter.

“I just am not sure about this. I want to be sure I’m not breaking a law,” Hales said.

County Engineer Les Dungan of Dungan Engineering brought a contract to be signed by the board for the new trusty dormitory to be placed at the county jail in Millard. Dungan reminded the board that bids for the $580,000 project had been accepted in December and had been awarded to Kanduit Construction.

“I have all the documents together for execution. The office of rural development will review the paperwork after the board approves the contract, and then we can get a start date,” Dungan said.

Dungan also asked the board to consider approving a county reseal project for several state aid roads and authorizing the county road department to perform the work. Dungan said the project would include resealing five roads covering approximately 22 miles in the county.

Holliday asked Dungan if the roads were up for negotiation, and Dungan said they could be, but that the five roads were Salem Road, McNeill-Steep Hollow Road, Hilt Fornea Road, Stanford Lake Road, and Lavell Ladner Roads and that they had been recommended for reseal by the state road engineer.

The board voted unanimously to go ahead with the reseal project and use county forces to do the work.

Emergency Management Director Danny Manley asked the board for a letter of commitment to provide a 25 percent match of funds for a Phase Three generator project. The county’s portion of the project would be $27,560 for four generators for repeater sites throughout the county.

The board voted to provide the letter of commitment for the project.

In other business, the board:

— Accepted proposals for ambulance service for the county and the cities of Poplarville and Picayune and took the proposals under advisement for the ambulance committee.

— Approved Picayune School lease to Buck Naked Hunting Club.

— Acknowledged Monday, Feb. 18 as George Washington’s Birthday.

The board recessed until 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22.