County needs more IT employees

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 2, 2016

During Monday’s Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting, Chancery Clerk Melinda Bowman addressed the county’s need for more IT employees. Currently, the county only has two.
Bowman told the board her office is rolling over to the Mississippi Electronic Courts system, which is mandated by the Supreme Courts, a move that has required a lot of changes she told the board. They now have devices that will be able to scan documents at a rapid rate.
“Since I’ve been in office a month, all the IT needs have been great,” she said. “I just wanted to address the board and ask you to consider adding additional personnel to our IT department because they are pulled from one end of the county to the other. We have more than 20 servers. Every time they would come to chancery and try to hook us up to something, some catastrophe would happen in Picayune. I’m not blaming anybody, just want to ask you all to consider adding to our personnel. For a county as large as ours with as many needs, having two courthouses and offices in between, our IT people are working around the clock.”
She also addressed the bandwidth. The Supreme Court mandates a minimum Internet connection of six megabytes a second, she said. During training this week, they were getting four mps and the Internet kept buffering, Bowman said.
“That’s not going to fly when we’re totally dependent on the Internet system in chancery,” she said. “I just wanted you all to be aware of some of our needs and be thinking about how to make some upgrade.”
After an afternoon meeting with department heads, the board voted to upgrade the county’s Internet connection to 100 megabytes, county administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
In other action:
–– County engineer Les Dungan told board members that a district engineer from Jackson recently completed an inspection of the county’s state-aid projects. A few things need to be taken of, Dungan said, but nothing major. Overall, the report was good, he said.
Dungan also told the board that a $31,000 grant increase had been issued with regard to improvements to the proposed Liberty Road Water Park. The original amount awarded was $100,000 from the Department of Marine Resources’ Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant. The board awarded the project to HRL in the amount of $131,090. The project is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 30 and includes installation of a walking trail, a primitive camping area, a parking area, picnic tables and barbeque grill.
District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday asked Dungan to research the placement of signage from the interstate to direct travelers to the hospitals in the county. Dungan said MDOT places the blue “H” and arrow on state routes, but local government is responsible for the signage leading from the state highway to the hospital. The county engineer said he would check into the matter.
–– County road manager Charlie Schielder asked the board to approve four new hires, a truck driver, two tractor drivers and an equipment operator. Holliday mentioned the need to begin a paving program. However, Schielder said he needs more equipment.
–– The board approved the observance of George Washington’s birthday on Feb. 15 and moved Confederate Memorial Day to Good Friday.
–– Tish Johnson, with the Pearl River County Tax Assessor’s office, presented the board with a list of mobile homes that did not sell.
“We’re not quite sure what to do with them,” Johnson told the board. “They are basically junk out there. The cities of Picayune and Poplarville both did special assessments where they cleaned up these blighted properties and charged it to the landowner. I don’t know if that’s an option you all want to do or have any suggestions about what we can do with these.”
The mobile homes are personal property, and, if the land is cleaned up, Johnson said the fee must be assessed to the landowner. However, in most cases, she said the owners of the property are not the same as the owner of the mobile home. The board took the matter under advisement.
The next board meeting will be held on Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. in the court facilities behind the Pearl River County Courthouse in Poplarville.

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