Supervisors discussing possible satellite station for McNeill VFD

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors heard a number of updates about ongoing efforts to improve access to health care, extracurricular activities and efforts to improve fire response services.

First to speak was Dr. Kumar Amaraneni of Pelican Urgent Care in Picayune. He greeted the Board and gave them a short synopsis of the services the new business provides. Amaraneni said his initial plan was to open the business in Picayune nine years ago, but a family medical emergency pushed that date back.

Then, the new director of the Pearl River County Community Band, Archie Rawls updated the Board on his efforts to revive the organization. It fell into a state of being inactive after the previous director Johnny Baker passed away. But today, there are 30 to 40 members, between the ages of 15 to 75. Rawls said Chancery Court Clerk Melinda Bowman is even in the band.

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A concert by the group has been planned for Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. in the Picayune School District Auditorium on Goodyear Boulevard.

McNeill Volunteer Fire Department Chief Donny Leonard also spoke to the Board about the department’s newest addition, a new fire engine. The addition of the second class A engine in the department means he can begin looking for a location to build a satellite station to bring fire insurance rates for residents in the north end of that district.

Back in April, the department received a 7 rating, but there are several residents that are too far from the station to receive the discount that rating would bring, which means they pay premiums for a department with a much lower rating of 10.

In order for residents to get those insurance rebates, their home must be five road miles from the nearest station. County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said prior to the introduction of readily accessible map applications on browsers and cellphones, the rule was that the house had to be within a five-mile radius.

Leonard said all he needs is a building with electricity to house the second engine. District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry suggested building a multipurpose structure near the sheriff’s department in Millard, which would even serve as a mechanic bay and tool storage for the trusty staffed mechanic shop at the jail. Sheriff David Allison said the trusty staff save the county money by performing a number of repairs, including installing new engines, transmissions and rear ends on his department’s vehicles.

Perry and Allison said they will work out a time to meet and discuss the matter further at a later date. No decision was made on the matter.

For more on Monday’s meeting, see Tuesday’s edition of the Item.