Board hears community complaints, and donation proposal

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Community residents in Dove Ridge are upset with their drainage problems and the apparent mistreatment of horses in their area.

Four to five residents from that area came to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisor meeting Monday. They had complaints of speeding, improper drainage and horse mistreatment.

Ronny Sartalamacchia said he is concerned about the cars speeding through the neighborhood and four-wheelers riding through the area at night.

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“It’s just a matter of time before somebody gets killed,” Sartalamacchia said.

He asked the county to install some speed limit signs and to keep the kids on the four-wheelers off the roads.

Sartalamacchia’s wife, Kathy, is concerned with the poor drainage in the neighborhood. She said she has culverts to install to help, but was told she could not dig in the county’s right of way.

Horses are kept on one person’s property in Dove Ridge and community members who spoke at the meeting said the owner of the horses is not doing a good job taking care of them. The horses are underfed and excrement from the animals is allowed to enter the neighborhood pond, Kathy Sartalamacchia said.

Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero Jr. said the Department of Environmental Quality was called out to look at the horse-excrement and pond situation. Their analysis of the pond water came back fine.

The horses’ ribs were not showing upon visual inspection, Pinero said.

Board president Anthony Hales said without state backing on laws against animal cruelty taking the owners to jail would not get results. There is the option of the county passing ordinances of their own to provide jail time or fines for mistreated animals.

“But if it won’t stand up in a court of law, then it’s no good,” Hales said.

Hales suggested the board look at the problems brought before them and see if there could be a remedy worked in a few weeks out on the drainage and other problems.

Pearl River County’s Community Band is looking for a few good musicians, and some instruments. They presented the board with a letter to request some monetary funding to help get the organization going, and to help them secure some good used instruments. Johnny Baker, the band’s director, said the band has about 90 members on its rolls. So far they have been averaging between 65 to 75 members at each practice.

Expenses for the band are adding up, such as $150 for arrangements for the band to play. Other expenses include securing larger instruments, including French horns.

Three board members, Hales, District IV Supervisor Patrick Lee and District V Supervisor Sandy Kane Smith, all offered to donate $1,000 each, while District III Hudson Holliday offered to donate $2,000. All donations will come from each supervisor’s recreation funds.

The busing system that used to transport the county’s elderly and disabled may be back on track soon. Partners for Pearl River County Director Ron Fine said he has found a grant to pay for 80 percent of the bus costs and Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation has indicated a willingness to pay for the remaining 20 percent, if the county turns in a grant application and it is approved. Manna Ministries is slated to run the busing program. The board approved a motion for Fine to apply for the grant with LPRVF.

The board went into executive session to discuss how the county handles grant applications. When the members came out, they decided to adopt a temporary policy regarding how they are handled until a permanent policy can be established, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin.

In other business the board;

— Approved a contract between the county and David Moore for communication repair services.

— Acknowledged the purchase of a new $140,000 Quick Attack pumper for the McNeill Volunteer Fire Department.

— Acknowledged Rising Farm Lane as a private road until it is brought up to county specifications with an asphalt overlay.

The next board meeting is at 9 a.m. Dec. 1.