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Lowndes Supervisors Conduct End of January Business

The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors met for their last of January meeting Tuesday, January 31st at the boardroom of the Lowndes County Courthouse.
County Chief Financial Officer Dave Basinger advised the board of a donation from the U.S. Marshall’s Office to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $4,296 to be used to purchase computer equipment. The supervisors accepted the donation.
Lowndes County Road Manager Ronnie Burns asked the board to approve a request for his department to hire Jerome Sanders as a Class 2 truck driver for the road department. Burns said that Sanders will be hired at a rate of $13.44 an hour and will be raised to $14.44 an hour after 6 months on the job. District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith motioned to approve, seconded by District 3 Supervisor John Holliman. The vote was 4-1 in favor of after District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks opposed the hiring.
Burns also wanted to spread the 2012 County Road Plan on the minutes. He said he had talked with each supervisor and worked with each individually. The supervisors approved the motion unanimously.
County Engineer Bob Calvert came before the supervisors to ask for approval for several permits. The first being an East Lowndes Water Association utility permit on Wenonah Drive. Another for a Caledonia Natural Gas permit on Wolf Road. Calvert was also seeking a permit for a water line for Artesia through the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority. All the permits were approved by the supervisors.
Golden Triangle Planning & Development Project Analyst George Crawford was seeking approval of several invoices for the North Steel Development project. He said that the project is drawing to a close. The first was for Calvert/Spradlin Engineers for the rail part of the project at $7,985. The next invoice was for Eutaw Construction for $82,932.38, also for the rail part of the project. Road development engineering cost $10,054.50, also to Calvert/Spradlin. For the Access Road part, an invoice for $173,437.24 was presented on behalf of Ellis Construction. A water and sewer invoice in the amount of $79,406.56 was presented representing Cornerstone Underground. All the bills were approved.
County Administrator Ralph Billingsley presented the applications for several board openings. Carl Williams held the District 1 appointment on the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority Board and was reappointed to the position after District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders motioned to reappoint and was seconded by Leroy Brooks. the term will begin February 1st, 2012 and run through January 31st of 2016. The District 3 position on the same board was also open. The current appointee, Chris Herring, was the only applicant and was also reappointed after John Holliman nominated him. The vote was unanimous.
The E911 at-large appointment became available after Butch Howard retired in December, then resigned from the board. The supervisors appointed newly elected Sheriff Mike Arledge to the position. The term was an unexpired term that will end February 28th of 2015.
Billingsley also informed the board that February 20th is Presidents’ Day and the supervisors voted to also recognize it as a county holiday meaning county offices will be closed that day.
Leroy Brooks said he was contacted by Carla Petty, the youth grant coordinator at EMCC-Mayhew in workforce service. He said they have a new program where they are training individuals 18-21 in a program called ‘Smart Work Ethics’. He said it was a 3 and a half week training program to enhance their skills and try and place them with employers in different job settings for 320 hours. Brooks said that EMCC will compensate the participant, do the background check and workmans comp stuff, so there’s no requirement of the participating agency. He said at this time all they have particpating in the program (at EMCC) is a couple of young men. Petty was hoping a few young women might also participate in the program. Brooks said he’d be interested in trying to help a young person in a situation like that. It is an internship situation that is no cost to the county, said Brooks.
District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith discussed the possibility of finding funds for a new District 4 Fire Station at the Crawford location. After further discussion, the supervisors decided it was best to start the process of a Rural Development Grant and asked GTPDD’s George Crawford to explore the possibilities of finding grant money for the project. The process can take a few years and might require the town of Crawford to apply for the grant. Sanders brought up a Noxubee County ‘Impact Zone’ that extends 8 miles into Lowndes County and would likely include Crawford. Sanders suggested there may be funds available in that project for seed money for a possible fire station in Crawford.
The supervisors will meet again Monday, February 6th at 9.a.m. inside the supervisors board room at the courthouse.

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