Bond payments due earlier than expected

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

October 15 meeting The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors is required to make payments on the bonds in 2013 that they were not expecting until 2014.

In the October 15 board meeting, Chris McIntire, board president and District 3 supervisor, told the rest of the board that it was recently discovered that the county is required to make a bond interest payment in February 2013 and an interest payment and principal payment in August that they were not expecting to make until 2014.

The February interest payment of $523,000 will be paid with $377,000 left in the bonds capital interest funds and the county will have to pay the $146,000 out of county funds.

Then in August 2013 an interest payment of $523,000 and a principal payment of $435,000 will be due. McIntire said the county expects to receive approximately $140,000 from Pioneer Health Services rental payments to help pay the August payments.

These payments were not budgeted in the 2012-2013 county budget, but the board did budget $800,000 to be placed in the bonds sinking fund.

No action was taken on this matter.

Also in the October 15 meeting, Chris Coleman, county fire coordinator, presented the supervisors with a proposal of his suggested fire grading districts. His proposal combined the county’s volunteer fire departments into six rating districts-only for the purpose of trying to reduce each area’s fire rating for insurance purposes. For every other purpose, the volunteer fire departments will stay the same and operate as usual.

After a discussion, the board approved Coleman’s proposal of the six rating districts. The rating districts are: Bywy, Weir and Panhandle, Ackerman and Chester, Simpson and Union, Reform then French Camp.

Before ending the meeting, the board met in executive session with Steve Wright, board attorney, to discuss current litigation with GDF Suez. No action was taken.

The Board of Supervisors also approved: -Travel for the Chancery clerk on October 17, November 14 and 15. -To program the county’s Reseal Project for this term. -To rescind the February 6 motion and approval of placing the Fentress Panhandle Project on the BR list and moving it to the state aid list to be completed. -To program the Fentress-Panhandle Road Bridge project as a BR project with an estimated cost of $810,000. -Two invoices from Marty Crowder subject to payment from North American Coal. -Recognized a 2.17 percent interest rate from Hancock Bank for the hospital generator financing. -Resolution to Hancock Bank without paragraph three and that the county does not represent that the generator is tax exempt. -16 section lease agreement. -Solid Waste deletions, adjustments and postage requests. -Payments to contractor and engineer firm for work don on the new hospital and medical office building and to add three days inclement weather to the construction contract. -Recognize Ron Welch annual reports on the jail and health department.

October 22 meeting The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors also held a meeting October 22. In this meeting, officials from Quantum Choctaw Power met with the board to begin discussions of an agreement between Quantum and the county on their property taxes.

Larry Kellerman, CEO of Quantum Utility Generation, said a permanent long-term agreement on their property taxes would help them gain more “stability and predictability.”

An agreement would help Quantum offer stability and predictability to utility companies when discussing a contact, according to Kellerman.

He also said Quantum hopes this conversation would help “improve their relationship with Choctaw County.”

The supervisors took no official action at this time. They did agree to get facts together and see what kind of agreement Quantum had in mind.

The board also looked at quotes to purchase a walk-in cooler and kitchen equipment for the new hospital in this meeting. They discussed how the county is going to keep track of spending the $750,000 to make sure they did not spend more than that. The county and PHS previously agreed that Choctaw County would buy equipment for the new hospital totaling $750,000.

Steve Montgomery, Chancery clerk, asked board to authorize him to purchase the needed equipment from the lower price.

After a short discussion, the supervisors approved to accept the lowest bid per Pryor & Morrow Engineering’s specs and give clerk authority to purchase the equipment.

The Board of Supervisors also approved to pay an invoice from Weaver Insurance on the county’s insurance premium.

The Board of Supervisors will meet Wednesday, October 31 at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at the Choctaw County Courthouse.

The board will hold their first regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, November 5 at 9 a.m.