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Supervisors discuss county animal control ordinance

A group of Pearl River County Realtors and business owners expressed their concern about the lack of an animal control ordinance that they said is affecting the image of the county at Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The group led by Rob Porter, a State Farm Agent in Picayune, said potential buyers are turned off by the visible inhumane treatment of animals in the county. Porter asked the board to consider writing an ordinance that would possibly help the situation of animal cruelty.

Ed Pinero, director of planning and development, said he researched the state law and found the current law was very vague in its definition of shelter and how to enforce the law.

After much discussion about funding for a program and about different examples of animal cruelty that audience members had witnessed, the board agreed to research writing an animal ordinance.

Board president J. Patrick Lee and Chief Deputy Shane Tucker with the sheriff’s department said to also talk to your state representatives, who have the power to make changes on a state level.

Another topic of discussion was the purchasing of an acre of land for the Amackertown Volunteer Fire Department.

Emergency Management Agency Director Danny Manley said that the fire department is in need of a new building and that they will use the current building until a new one is finished.

Manley said the fire department would be responsible for the cost associated with the building and operating of the building.

One audience member asked the board what they planned to do with the current building and property. Manley explained that the Amackertown Volunteer Fire Department Board of Commissioners owns the property and building and will decide what to do with it.

The board agreed to buy the property, which was valued at $8,750, from Debbie Morris for $7,000.

The board also accepted the resignation of Regina Walsh from the Carriere Fire District 11 Board of Commissioners and appointed William Boutwell as her replacement.

Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District and the Department of Human Services both gave reports to the supervisors on the services they provide.

Paige Kennedy with SMPDD said a new executive director, Leonard Bentz, was appointed in 2013.

Kennedy also gave a synopsis of the services the SMPDD provides to Pearl River County.

Marvin Houston, county director of DHS, also gave a report on the services they provided to the county last year.

Houston said DHS handles the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and child support enforcement services.

In 2013, the county DHS office received $19 million from the state to provide services to the residents. The board of supervisors gave DHS $80,000 and Houston said about 50 percent of that amount was reimbursed.

The supervisors also approved a $300,000 temporary loan to Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home. County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin said the loan is for operational costs until their line of credit can be secured.

Also at the meeting, the board:

— Approved monthly reports from the building division, E-911 addressing, and road department.

— Approved the claims docket

— Approved travel for the EMA director to attend the 2014 Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla. from April 14-17 and a sheriff’s department officer to basic law enforcement class in Gulfport from April 17-July 11.

— Accepted a workers compensation refund check and CableSouth Media franchise fee check

The board adjourned until March 3 at 9 a.m.