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Board approves new fee

Pearl River County’s Board of Supervisors approved an archive and history fee of $1 for the Chancery Clerk’s office to support record management in the county during Wednesday’s meeting.

The $1 fee will also be added to filing fees in all clerks’ offices countywide, said Circuit Clerk Nance Stokes. The new fee will go into effect in January 2020. There are 53 counties in the state that already collect the fee, said Chancery Clerk Melinda Bowman.

The fee will be split between the county and the state, with 50 cents paying for the county’s record management needs and 50 cents going to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Bowman said.

With the fee in place, the Department of Archives and History will also assist the county’s Chancery office with advisement on cleaning old records, Bowman said. Many of the physical records the county is required to store in perpetuity have been stored in a basement without climate control for decades and must be cleaned before being moved, Bowman said.

Bowman also discussed the fee changes that the state legislature passed in April, which will go into effect in Jan. 2020. The fee for filing deeds will increase to $26. The fee for filing assignments, a partial release, amendment or cancellation will increase to $27. The fee for oil and gas leases, mineral deeds and royalty deeds will increase to $20. The fee for oil and gas releases, cancellations or assignments will increase to $21. These fee increases include the $1 archive fee approved by the Board.

In a separate matter, the Board heard a request from county resident Shelly Elliott that the county adjust their mowing schedule in the fall to improve the lives of pollinators. Elliott said she is a beekeeper, and that October is a particularly important time of year for pollinators to have access to the kinds of plants that grow in roadside ditches, like purple asters and goldenrods. Elliott said that mowing roadside ditches early causes a significant impact on her beehives, so she assumes it has an impact on pollinators throughout the county. In the previous winter, Elliott lost 13 of her 15 hives over the winter, which she ascribes to the impact of the county’s early mowing.

The Board asked Elliott to write a letter informing them of the locations she believes should have mowing delayed and the timeframe in the calendar year that mowing would affect the bees so that they can take action on the matter.

The next Board meeting will be Monday Nov. 4 at 9 a.m.