Residents complain about subdivision

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Some community members in Red Hill Estates are unhappy with the board signing a grant application at a previous board meeting.

Several residents of the subdivision said they are concerned with the proposal by John Stuckey to build about 44 homes using a Mississippi Development Authority grant that will provide county residents with $25,000 toward the purchase of a new home.

Red Hill estates resident Jason Morgan told the Pearl River Board of Supervisors at their Monday morning that the subdivision is already dealing with a number of problems, such as failing sewer lines and roads. Those two problems are partially due to substandard construction and also to large trucks entering a gravel pit behind the subdivision.

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Currently, the homes in the area range from about 1,300 to 1,700 square feet in size and range in value from $140,000 on up, Morgan said. One of his concerns is that the new homes would cater to people with an annual salary of $20,000 to $30,000 and may not meet the same covenants the current residents abide by.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said since covenants have been adopted in Red Hill Estates, any future phases in the subdivision would have to adhere to those covenants. The only way to change the covenants would be for the developer to go through the Chancery Court.

Morgan also wanted to know who was going to occupy the proposed homes.

Board president Anthony Hales said that the only aspect of building that they control is the subdivision regulations. The board does not have the authority to determine who lives in which subdivisions.

“You’re asking us to try and dictate your neighbors and we can’t do that. That is discrimination,” Hales said.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday made a motion to withdraw the board’s approval of the addition of their signature to the application for the HOME funds that Stuckey requested at the previous meeting. After some more discussion, the board took a vote, with Holliday, Patrick Lee and Sandy Kane Smith voting to withdraw the last meetings signature. Hales and District II Supervisor Charles Culpepper abstained. Board attorney Joe Montgomery said he will look into the legalities of the matter.

The new building at the jail is closer to completion with construction of the foundation, the building should arrive within the next ten days. Trustee inmates will occupy the building as part of the state mandated regulations for housing those inmates.

A discussion concerning the lake project grew out of last week’s meeting. Holliday wanted to point out that he is not against the project but is concerned that the county may be wasting money if nothing comes of it. In the past eight years, he estimates the county has spent about $360,000 on the project.

“If we’re going to do it let’s do it,” Holliday said.

Lumpkin addressed one of Holliday’s fears concerning a lack of commitment. Lumpkin said the board has received a general letter stating the land in question would be transferred to the county should all of the permitting be completed. Hales said the state also has expressed renewed interest in the project since Hurricane Katrina and the board’s last visit to Washington promised them about $10 million on a project of their choice. The board chose the lake project.

Holliday said he would like set up meetings with the proper people so the board can gather all the needed information on the subject.

Pearl River County’s Clean up effort will kick off this weekend, and interested parties can sign up at this weekend’s Blueberry Jubilee, said. Ed Pinero, Planning and Development director. Interested parties also can sign up at the county’s website at

The board went into executive session to discuss personnel in the Planning and Development office and the E-911 office. Lumpkin said the board decided to move E-911 Director, Marlinda Guerrra, to his office to help apply for grants and consolidate operations of the E-911 office with Planning and Development.

The board also discussed lawsuits against the county jail in that executive session. No action was taken on that matter.

In other business the board:

— Acknowledged Central Landfill’s reports for May 2008.

— Approved entering into an agreement with Tri-State Consulting services to reassess land values and usage.

The next board meeting will be at 9 a.m. June 23, in the board room, located at the Old Court House.