Supervisors plan for budget hearing
by Sherry Soelman
Sep 02, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Rita McDonald, Charlie Prince, Howard Hammons, Benjie Ford, Wilson Hallman, Terry Lee Butler, and Willie Keyes
From left, Rita McDonald, Charlie Prince, Howard Hammons, Benjie Ford, Wilson Hallman, Terry Lee Butler, and Willie Keyes
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The Smith County Board of Supervisors voted on the publication for the 2011 – 2012 budget in a meeting held Thursday morning, August 11, 2011. Charlie Prince, financial advisor, said, “Basically everything stays the same.” The public hearing for the budget will be September 2, and the final adoption will be Monday, September 12.

The advertisement going in the paper states any increase the county receives from taxes will come from new property, not an increase in millage. The supervisors have not received the final budget from the school district, but according to Prince, Duane Fewell, former business manager for the district said any increase will come from new property.

Before leaving Prince suggested the supervisors plan quarterly budget meetings with department heads. “I have a feeling we will all be making adjustments before next year,” he said.

Gene Tullos, local attorney and historian in Raleigh, requested approval for a special ceremony to be held in honor of the 100 year old Smith County Circuit Courthouse Building. The ceremony will be held on April 15, 2012, Sunday at 2 p.m. The building’s birthday will be celebrated with special guest speaker, Bobby Bowden, former football coach for Florida State University. Bowden’s grandfather built the courthouse and in honor of his heritage, the college football icon agreed to waive his normal $25,000 fee for public speaking and come to Raleigh, according to Gene Tullos. NFL football quarterback, Brett Favre will be attending the event also.

The supervisors voted unanimously to approve the request and talked about preparations for the event.

The supervisors approved a special order to pay Watts Clark, the county’s architect, $5000 for services rendered out of the Jail Construction Fund. Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said Clark and he had visited other facilities and worked a lot on the plans.

Terry Lee Butler, Beat One, said, “I would just like for him to be able to tell us something. You can’t keep paying money out of this jail fund without building something.”

Elaine Shelby, Accounting Clerk, presented the supervisors with a request for an amendment to the elections budget. “I paid out over $16,000 for this past poll and we have another coming this next week,” she said. They amended the budget by $29,000 to get through the end of August.

Tate Revette, Emergency Management Director, asked for authorization to use funds in his budget to implement a new kind of warning system for weather alerts. Sirens are costly and can’t always be heard. The system he found to be the best uses the phone lines. For a first year fee of $3750 the population in Smith County can register their landlines and cell phones to receive alerts. Following years will cost $7500 per year with a three-year contract. The price is based on a population of 16,000 taken from the current census numbers. Citizens can register online or through the Emergency Management office, once service is implemented. The supervisors approved the authorization.

The supervisors went into executive session and came out for a bid opening for the lighting and energy efficiency improvements approved for the courthouse and county office buildings. None of the bids were within the budget proposed by the grant requirements, so they were not approved.

Before adjourning for the day, the supervisors hired Sandra Martin to work in the Board of Supervisor’s office in Melissa Walker’s absence, for 3 days a week on a temporary, part time basis.

The last order for the day was a special order for supervisors, Howard Hammons and Willie Keyes, to attend the Smith, Jasper County Beef Cattle Tour. The supervisors voted unanimously for the county to pay $350 each to attend the tour. Hammons explained the county would benefit from the ideas presented for both better production and marketing for beef.

The Economic Development Authority and the Mississippi State Extension Service sponsor the tour each year. Hammons said about twenty-five members of the Economic Development and beef producers from each county tour farms and research facilities in Oklahoma. The charter bus, leaving on September 18, will pick up parties in Bay Springs, Raleigh and Sylvarena. They will return on September 23.

The supervisors met again Monday, August 15, 2011. They appointed Rita McDonald, Purchasing Agent, to be both the Title IV Coordinator and the ADD Coordinator. Stan Sorey, Attorney for the Board of Supervisors said, both positions would be sending responses to grievances filed and accommodating people with disabilities.

Tate Revette, Emergency Management Director, was the only department head presenting a matter for the supervisors. He presented them with a check from MEMA for second quarter reimbursements and requested an extension on the state of emergency for the county for another 30 days from the storms in April.

The supervisors voted to reject all of the bids opened on Friday, August 12 for the Smith County Energy Improvements. The engineer plans to revise the specs for their approval on September 6, 2011.

Before recessing, they approved the road extension requested in the board meeting on August 1. One of them was in Beat 5 on SCR 35 11C and the other was on SCR 4 in Beat 2.

Published in the August 17, 2011 Reformer

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