Two organizations ask for money lake plan moved an inch

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The plan for the recreational lake in Pearl River County has moved forward some after the board approved a motion to pursue a permit.

Two agencies also requested funds from the board of supervisors at their meeting Monday morning.

An environmental study has been completed and is in the planning and development office for review. That study needs to be submitted to the Corps of Engineers for their review in order for a permit to be obtained, county administrator Adrain Lumpkin said. The board approved a motion to proceed with applying for the permit after some discussion.

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If the permit is approved, it will be good for five years. District I Supervisor Anthony Hales said the county can not apply for funding for the lake until they have established a cost for the lake, which will be estimated after the permit is approved. Environmental Consultant Dr. Barry Vitor said the county is ready to apply for the permit, but is waiting on their approval.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday asked Vitor what the cost would be to go after the permit. Most of the work has been completed but an additional $25,000 would be required, Vitor said. Lumpkin said that money has already been set aside.

Mitigation credits and how much they would cost was the second concern of Holliday’s.

“The mitigation could actually cost more than the project itself,” Holliday said.

Vitor covered a few of the facts surrounding acquiring credits. He said the cost could be significant.

“I know it could be more costly, but I think it’s a step in the right direction for this county,” Hales said.

The amount of mitigation will not be known until the county submits for the permit, Lumpkin said. At that point the county will know what tit will have to do with the required mitigation.

Holliday made the motion to proceed with the permit application and move forward. That motion was approved unanimously.

Two agencies presented their case to the board to ask for funds, Raine Street and South Mississippi Children’s Center.

Representatives with Raine Street and Pearl River Valley Opportunity described the programs Raine Street offers to senior citizens and families.

Senior citizens receive help through the Caregivers Program. The program is offered in three counties, including Pearl River, said Kimra Torrence.

PRVO helps between 40 to 50 senior citizens with transportation, but like all the programs, they need funding for fuel and vehicle maintenance, said Leonard Thomas.

The parenting classes offered by Raine Street teach parents responsibility, respect and self-esteem, said Melody Nores.

The second request for funds came from the South Mississippi Children’s Center in Hattiesburg. SMCC provides abused, neglected, runaway or homeless children ages nine to 17 with emergency housing. Development Coordinator Rebecca Hartfield said about 21 percent of the children they serve come from Pearl River County. That figure is the highest of the 13 counties they serve. The second highest percentage recorded was from Forrest County with 12.2 percent.

Both requests were taken under advisement by the board.

The board went into executive session to discuss pending litigation and personnel matters. When members came out of executive session, they approved Lumpkin and Board Attorney Joe Montgomery to mediate a lawsuit pending between the county and Southern Health Partners and approved a pay increase for part time jail personnel.

In other business the board;

— Authorized a check for $3,000 to purchase a 2000 Ford F250 from Tunica county via an interlocal agreement for the Road Department.

— Awarded the contract to install generators at the Poplarville Hospital, Picayune waste water facility, Picayune Fire Station 1, and the Millard Jail to Ace Contractors for about $240,000.

— Approved advertising for bids for county bridge repair project. Bids will be received at the Sept. 8 meeting.

The next meeting of the board will be at 9 a.m. Aug. 4.