Board moves forward with refinancing

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to move forward with finding a better interest rate on the debt associated with the county jail.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin told the board at their Monday morning meeting that if the process to refinance the debt on the jail is approved then the county could save about $30,000 per year in interest payments and about $323,000 over the remaining life span of the debt.

Monday’s board approval is only one step in the process, Lumpkin said. Now the board will work with lawyers to set up the proper paperwork and then advertise for financing. That process could take a month or two. If the county can refinance that debt it could be paid off a year earlier than expected, in 2022, Lumpkin said. Currently the county is paying an interest rate on the jail of about 3.6 percent, if the financing goes as planned that rate could be reduced between 2 to 2.5 percent.

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Construction of the three emergency shelters in the county is also getting closer to starting. Emergency Management Director Danny Manley said construction documents are complete but now the county must wait on final approval from FEMA. Manley said once FEMA gives that approval the board can advertise for bids and hold a pre bid conference where board members can ask questions about the project. Manley expects that process to take about three weeks, after FEMA gives their approval. The shelters will be used short term during emergencies and be constructed at Picayune Memorial High School, Pearl River Central High School and at the Emergency Operations Center in Poplarville.

The board also approved moving forward with energy conservation work at the jail that will mostly be funded by a $200,000 Energy Conservation grant that is part of the stimulus package, Lumpkin said. The county administrator said about $10,000 will have to come from the county’s pocket however. Board president Anthony Hales said the reason the county will have to foot some of the bill is because when the lowest bidder failed to take into consideration the full scale of the project, and asked to rescind their bid. The next highest bidder’s price was more than the grant was for, so that left the board with a conundrum. Board member Hudson Holliday said the board could rebid the project, leave out drop-in insulation to be installed in the 15,000 square feet of administrative side of the jail or pay the $10,000 associated with the installation of the insulation.

The board approved a motion to move forward with the project and pay the $10,000 to have that insulation installed. According to documentation provided by the Planning and Development office, the work at the jail will include retrofitting light fixtures, installation of direct digital energy management controls to the heating and air conditioning units and the installation of insulation.

Construction of the new Department of Human Services building in Millard next to the jail is almost complete. Board member Sandy Kane Smith said he recently took a tour of the building and noticed that the contractors were working on staining wood in certain areas and finishing up other small items. Hales said the satellite DHS office in Poplarville has asked if when the building in Millard is complete if the trailers currently occupied by DHS in Millard can be moved to Poplarville to give that office more space. Hales asked Lumpkin to see if the state would reimburse the county for the expense of moving the trailers to the Poplarville office before the board would make a decision on moving the trailers to Poplarville.

A public hearing will be held on Thursday concerning the construction of a service road from Anchor Lake Road to West Union Road, Lumpkin said. It will be held at Chimney Square in Picayune from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The board held an executive session on personnel, but took no action on that matter afterwards. After the executive session, Lumpkin said board attorney Joe Montgomery asked the board to authorize an affidavit to reflect the expiration of a lease between a business and the county. Lumpkin said the board approved creating that affidavit to reflect the expiration of the lease.

The next meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 10.