Old timber piling bridges still being, need to be replaced

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Members of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors discussed road projects and funding for future paving efforts.

Les Dungan, with Dungan Engineering, said striping of county roads that have recently been paved has been delayed due to rain. The contractor conducting the work has indicated that striping of those roads, which include Barth, Oak Hill and Derby Whitesand, should start by the end of this week, or beginning of next week depending on the weather.

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Road Department Manager Charlie Schielder said the county has a striping machine, but the machinery has issues and the paint it uses fades after about a year or two.

There are also some bridges in the county that are supported with timber piling, which need to be replaced, some are in the process of being repaired, while others are on the list.

Dungan said due to work to replace bridges on Sones Chapel Road, sections of it will close on Oct. 8 to allow replacement work to begin.

Efforts to repair the bridge on Harry Sones Road are substantially complete. Dungan said that road is now back in service.

Oscar Smith Road is currently closed due to construction work to repair that bridge. The bridges that are next on the list are along Anchor Lake Road and then Nellie Burks. 

Two bridges along Progress Silverun have been replaced.

All of that work was or is being funded with state aid money, totaling about $2.5 million.

To pay for future projects, Dungan said he is counting on $2.25 million worth of state program funding, but in order to repair all of the bridges in the county supported by timber piling the county will need to find another $4 million. He pitched taking out loans in anticipation of the extra funding to be diverted to counties and municipalities as part of the state’s efforts to collect Internet sales tax.  Funding as part of this diversion will start small the first year. Dungan said that it might start at $200,000 the first year, but by the fourth year Pearl River County is expected to receive about $800k per year from then on for use in infrastructure improvements.

In anticipation of that new funding source, he has pitched to the Board to take out a loan to have the bridges repaired now. No decision has been made at press time on that matter. 

There are two bridges on a priority list for repair due to the fact that they are on dead end roads. The first to be repaired will be on Shenendoah Road outside of Poplarville. He suggested the Board seek bids to have the bridge replaced as soon as possible. He estimated the cost to conduct that work to be $150,000. A temporary diversion has been installed to ensure the nine homes past the bridge will continue to have access. The Board approved a motion to seek bids for that work.

Paving work over the last fiscal year was said to total 40 miles in the county. Schielder said that according to road department records, which are not comprehensive, the last time that many miles were paved in a fiscal year was back in 2009, when there were more county employees in that department. Supervisors Malcolm Perry and Hudson Holliday commended Schielder for his department’s hard work and suggested planning a cookout for the staff.

On Oct. 15, a number of mobile homes will be sold for back taxes. Tisha Johnson, deputy assessor with the Pearl River County Tax Assessor’s Office, said owners of those properties have been notified of the impending sale through several methods. This tax sale will be different than those for land. With land tax sales, the previous owner has three years to pay the back taxes and maintain ownership. With the mobile homes, when the back taxes are paid, the mobile home instantly becomes property of the person paying those taxes.

Johnson said that bidding for each mobile home will start at the amount of taxes owed, along with any fees and penalties levied.

A list of the properties to be auctioned off can be found at the tax office.