Board endorses two bids for Head Start program

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Pearl River County’s Board of Supervisors decided to write a letter of support for the Mississippi Action for Progress’s bid to continue running the local Head Start program during a meeting held Monday.

At their last meeting the Board agreed to submit a letter of support for Pearl River Valley Opportunity, Inc.’s bid to run the Head Start program in the county. Mississippi Action for Progress, who currently runs the Head Start program, is also turning in a bid and asked the Board for a letter of support as well, said County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin. The Board decided to write letters of support for both agencies, Lumpkin said, because both operate in Pearl River County and the Board would rather work with PRVO or MAP than an outside company it does not have a relationship with.

In a separate matter, Chancery Clerk Melinda Bowman expressed concerns to the Board about the new office for her department being constructed in the county courthouse annex. Bowman said the layout for the office and the height of the office desks is ill suited for her staff’s needs and is significantly different from the requests she made of the architect involved in the project. Bowman said she would like to know who signed off on the plans for her department’s office, because she did not. Bowman said the office space needs to be redone to be functional.

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Making adjustments to the office space could cost $10,000, or completely re-doing the office space could cost closer to $40,000.

District Two Supervisor Malcolm Perry said he has also been informed that the court reporter’s desk in the chancery courtroom was built too tall.

County attorney Joe Montgomery said the Board needs to review the contract with the architecture firm before deciding how to address the issues with the office space.

In a separate matter, Cliff Diamond with the Pearl River County Utility Authority came to the meeting to answer the Board’s questions about how the Utility Authority functions.

In his answers to their questions, Diamond informed the Board that the Utility Authority’s budget is balanced since its operational funding comes from fees and rates. He added that its Board of Directors includes seven members—four of which are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and who can be changed by the Board at any time. The Utility Authority’s annual revenue is $4.1 million, Diamond said.