By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer
Choctaw County must tighten the budget even more after receiving an estimated financial report in the April 30 Board of Supervisors meeting. Steven Flake, hired financial consultant, presented his estimated report of the county’s finances and where he projects the county to be at the end of the fiscal year. He estimates the county to have $700,000 left on Sept. 30 after figuring and projecting the county’s anticipated revenues and expenses. “Your going to have to really watch,” said Flake about the county’s finances. “It’s going to be tight,” said District 3 Supervisor and Board President Chris McIntire. He suggested filing the required paperwork on a $1 million tax anticipation note in case it’s needed. District 4 Supervisors David Carter said, “We’re further down then we thought.” Earlier in the meeting, Simpson Volunteer Fire Department asked the Board of Supervisors to help them any way possible purchase a set of Jaws of Life-the spreader, cutter and hydraulic jack. The total estimated cost is $26,0000. “We appreciate everything ya’ll have done in the past,” said Simpson VFD Chief Smith Raybun. “We will have to come up with the money somewhere. We don’t have that kind of money,” said District 2 Supervisor Larry McClain. McIntire agreed stating “it would be a stretch” with the current budget. Chris Coleman, county fire coordinator, attended the meeting with a representative from the Mississippi Rating Bureau. They explained the process of creating rating districts out of the fire districts and what is needed to become rated. The supervisors agreed to move forward with the rating districts. Also visiting the Board of Supervisors meeting was officials with Quantum Utility Generation which recently purchased the GDF Suez Choctaw Gas Plant. The plant is now named Quantum Choctaw Power. Larry Kellermen, chief executive officer, explained that Quantum is working to make the Choctaw plant the number one power producer of its kind in the southeast. He said this plant is their biggest assets and will be focusing on making it a part of the Choctaw County community. Sean O’Donnell, chief financial officer, explained how Quantum is currently working on securing a long term contract with TVA or one more utility company to supply power. “We are putting all our energy in getting that long term energy contract or renewing out TVA contract,” said O’Donnell. On a different matter, the supervisors opened bids to purchase a new generator and switches needed for the new hospital. Taylor Power Systems bid $398,425 and TAW Power Systems bid $387,395. The board took the bids under advisement. The supervisors agreed, no action required, to pay all county employees hourly instead of salary. McIntire said most county employees are already hourly employees they were being paid by salary. Steve Wright, board attorney, announced that the United States Justice Department had no problem with the approved redistricting of the county districts. The Board of Supervisors also approved: Inter-fund transfer of $12, 000 the Energy Grant fund to the General Fund then to the 911 Fund. Standard ADA policy and grievance procedures. To reappoint Katherine Black, Charlotte Cornish, Ted Taylor and Omnie Ashford to the Choctaw County Economic Development Foundation Board. To pay two invoices from Pryor and Morrow for $1,125 for the medical office building and $11,039 for the new hospital. Both to be paid out of the bonds. A jurisdictional medical control agreement with MedStat that allows them to control the county’s med control. To purchase a half page, black and white ad in the Supervisor Association magazine for $200. For District 3 to repair a drainage problem at 8278 Stewart-Weir Road. To pay an invoice from Crowder Engineering for $9,177 out of state- aid funds. To change the mileage expense to .555 as the state allows. Certifications from the election commissioners of mandatory training. Inventory deletions. Travel for Teresa Weeks to mandatory Justice Court clerk training. Travel for Chris Coleman, fire coordinator, and Michael Holmes, assistant fire coordinator, to training on May 17. District 4 to drill underneath Henson Road. To pay $1,600 for an inspection to check for asbestos on the current hospital roof as apart of a grant to replace the roof. Payment #3 for the medical office building for $287,000 and $465,612 for the new hospital to be paid out of the bonds funds.