By Joseph McCain
The Winston County Journal
The Winston County Board of Supervisors discussed development projects and other county business in its regular meeting March 5.
Winston County Economic Development director Gerald Mills addressed the board about upcoming economic development projects and plans underway for the county.
Mills reminded the board of an opportunity to get Winston County added to the Scenic Byways program in the state was upcoming with a visit from state official to review the highways going into the Tombigbee Forrest and Noxubee Wildlife Refuge. Mills noted the program could bring more tourists to the area.
Mills also reviewed the finalization of the Teeters lease with the county and the amount the county would invest in the maintenance and repair of the building as well as the amount the county would received in yearly rent. Mills noted that the roof repair would be the first project to tackle and included cleaning the old debris items off the room. The lease is a 3-year lease with two three-year renewal options. The lease also contains an increase in rental fees each year. The county bond on the building would be paid in May which would allow future lease payments to be used by the county in other ways. This is the first new lease on the building since 1960.
The WCEDD plans a ribbon cutting for Teeters on March 30 to recognize the improvements to be made to the building as well as the jobs Teeters plans to add to its business.
Mills also explained that the WCEDD and the Town of Noxapater were working with Appalachian Regional Commission to apply for funds for a possible Rural Health Clinic to be placed in Noxapater.
Mills also gave the supervisors a briefing of some of the plans for a trip to Washington D.C. Supervisor Burr Warner is expected to representative the county at the meetings. Supervisor Luke Parkes requested Mills and the others attending the D.C. meetings address with the congressmen his concerns over the cost of the upcoming road requirements for highly reflective signs for all roads and signs by 2015. Parkes noted that the cost to the county would be enormous to replace every sign in the county.
“The county can’t afford it,” said Supervisor Mike Peterson.
Mills also requested the board plan for the public hearings to change its solid waste plan for the county in order to help OTR get all of its approvals to start a recycling business in Winston County. OTR could provide over 30 jobs once in place in the county.
Mills added that Polo Custom Products would also be adding several more jobs soon due additional orders for the summer.
In other business:
County engineer Jimmy Kemp notified the board and the audience that Simms Road would be closed for repairs soon and would be closed for 3 to four months. He asked all travelers in the area to be aware of the closed road area.
He also addressed the national bridge inspection report which is in for the county. Kemp requested the board remove Jack Mayo Road as having a deficient wood bridge since the bridge had been replaced with a pipe about 10 years prior.
Kemp also reminded the board of the preconstruction meeting on the Bluff Lake Road project.
Winston Choctaw County Regional Correctional Facility warden Tim Palmer addressed several personnel actions. Palmer had 1 resignation, 3 promotions, and one officer step down to lower rank to move to day shift approved by the board.
The board and Palmer also reviewed the overtime for the county. Palmer provided a full overtime report to the board and outlined the exact dollars spent. The overtime was broken down into pay periods. Palmer noted that with over 8565 hours of overtime last year that he would return to the next board meeting to request two new officers for the facility to help curb the overtime hours.
Palmer also had the board approve returning $20 to an inmate after a count error on his funds when he was arrested.
Approved one 16th Section recreational lease. Approved two school bus turnarounds.
Approved coroner Scott Gregory to reserve a room for summer conference.
Corrected three erroneous tax sales.
Elmetra Patterson of the Friends of Dean Park outlined the upcoming clean up day for the park and requested the supervisors and their crews help prepare for the day. Patterson noted that Winston County Extension Director Mike Skipper had volunteered to use the FireWise Program to help cleanup the walking trail in the park. Patterson also illustrated her concerns over the Park commissioners and those who serve on the board. Patterson also requested the county make a request to the MDOT to place a sign that the Friends purchased to go on the outside of the park.
The Board approved criteria to advertise for a new EMS director for the county upon the retirement of current director, Clarence Kelly. The board approved the advertisement after meeting with MEMA officials.
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for 9 am on March 19.