OTR hearing upcoming; Teters lease discussed

By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal

The Winston County Board of Supervisors discussed several upcoming plans involving economic development. OTR maybe coming The Winston County Supervisors noted the upcoming public hearing on the change in the solid waste plan that may spur economic development efforts. The Supervisors will hold a public hearing on May 21 at 10 a.m. in the Winston County Courthouse to discuss changing the solid waste plan to allow a private waste tire processing facility to remove waste tires and to accept tires from customers for a nominal fee ranging from $1 to $3 depending upon the size of the tire. The waste tires will then be recycled by the process of pyrolysis. The recycling facility will have storage capacity for up to 15,000 tires with two piles of 7,500 tires. The proposed facility will accept tires within a 100 mile radius of the City of Louisville. OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc proposes locating the facility on Giffin Industrial Drive in Louisville. The company operates another similar facility in Rome, Georgia and could employee 20 to 25 people at the proposed facility. Teters payments to save county funds The Supervisors voted to create a new account in the budget listed as Teters Lease Payments. The funds received from the Teters lease presently went into the Spartus buy back building fund but the bond on the building will soon be paid off and the Supervisors discussed the usage of the rental funds. Supervisor Mike Peterson requested a special fund be set up with the lease payments used to cover building maintenance, economic development and building taxes. The county agreed with Teters in the recent lease to spend at least $115,000 a year on maintenance of the building with a roof and sprinkler system as the first priorities. Peterson then suggested $70,000 of the funds could go to the Winston County Economic Development Partnership as the county’s payment. He explained another $65,000 would go to pay the taxes on the building. The remaining funds of about $50,000 a year could build up in the budget to help cover unforeseen expenses in the future. The county also assigned Gerald Mills of the Winston County Economic Development Partnership to direct the maintenance and repair of the Teters Building. “This will free up about $70,000 a year in county funds,” said Peterson. “ And cover the taxes on the building. It (Old Spartus Building) is finally a revenue producer for the county.” Justice Court fines collections are up but old ones on the books The Supervisors also discussed collection of Justice Court fines and old balances on the books. Supervisor Peterson first noted the upswing in collections in February and recent dollars collected from fines. Tabby Dempsey of the Justice Court noted the justice court had been suspending licenses and filing notes with all those who owed new fines and collections had picked up. Dempsey added that about $1 million in fines were owed to the county but over $647,000 of those fines were over three years old with some as old as 20 years. She explained some of the older fines would be hard to collect since little information was available on some cases. Dempsey sought information on how to cleanup the old fines and the board discussed ideas of collecting. The board requested Dempsey seeking how other counties have collected old fines. A suggestion of an amnesty day along with publishing all those who owe old fines names in the newspaper was discussed. Of the about $1 million in old fines owed, the county keeps about 58- cents to every one dollar in justice court fines and the rest goes to the state for assessments. In other business, the supervisors: • Approved the sale of a propane tank from the Old Spartus building property for $9,000. The supervisors sought to rebid the three silos on the property. • Approved payment to PERS for 2011 on circuit clerk and chancery clerk. • Approved request to pay $500 for repairs at Dean Park on baseball field fencing. • Approved payment for repairs on the DHS building for lights. • Discussed repair of A/C unit at the Health Department. • Appoint Ben Kirk to the airport board for the county board member after Reynolds recently resigned. • Discussed three of the supervisors attending the annual Supervisors’ meeting in Biloxi. • Reviewed Sixteen Section leases. • Approved a lengthy hold car tag list. • Discussed three upcoming Civil Defense meetings and seeking a possible hire as Clarence Kelly prepares to retire. • Held an executive session to discuss personnel including the hiring of a civil defense director. • Approved hiring two new officers at the correctional facility. • Approved constable training attendance for both county constables. The next regular meeting of the board of Supervisors is May 7.