By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Reform Water Association’s application for a CDBG grant, CAP loan and other financing may be in jeopardy due to lack of loan re-payment by Bubba Hudspeth.
In the June 10, Board of Supervisors special called meeting, Chris McIntire, board president, said, “All this funds hinge on having nothing outstanding with MDA.”
The funds he mentioned are grants and/or loans from ARC, CDBG grant, Small Population grant and a CAP loan.
Years ago, Choctaw County received a loan from MDA for Bubba Hudspeth for the industry Ackerman Forge. Currently, Hudspeth is behind in payments of approximately $66,000.
Since the loan from MDA came through Choctaw County, the county is ultimately responsible for doing everything necessary to get the payments to MDA.
“We are encouraging all of our local entities to take all grant programs seriously. When you sign on that line, you (county) are ultimately responsible,” said Phyllis Benson, with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development Authority.
McIntire said that Reform Water Association is “in dire need of those funds” and the purchase of a new fire truck for Union Volunteer Fire Department could be in set back. The county plans to use a CAP loan from MDA to purchase the fire truck after applying grant funds toward it.
The board and Steve Wright, board attorney, discussed the county’s position on trying to get payment from Hudspeth. Within in the past year, the county signed a second on a loan for Hudspeth from Citizen’s Bank. This means that the county is second in line to be paid after the bank. Before doing that, Hudspeth said he would keep the loan from MDA current but has failed to do that.
Benson reminded the supervisors that the supervisors of their responsibility to MDA.
“MDA says you (the county) have to do everything possible.”
Wright said the only step left is for the county to file suit against Hudspeth.
After more discussion, District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers left the room. District 1 Supervisor Archie Collins then made the motion to file suit against Hudspeth. District 4 Supervisor David Carter seconded the motion. It was approved.
The board also approved to send a letter to MDA explaining their action taken today to sue for payment of the loan.
In the June 10 special board meeting, the supervisors also approved to purchase approximately $57,000 of kitchen equipment for the new hospital.
In the previous meeting, Allen Gamble, hospital administrator, asked the board to purchase the required kitchen equipment but the supervisors said no. They said no because they had previously approved a list of equipment, provided by Pioneer Health Systems, to purchase.
Now, the board and Pioneer agreed to remove some of the listed equipment so that the county could purchase some of the required kitchen equipment. Pioneer agreed to purchase the other equipment at a later date.
Chris McIntire, board president, said, “It will be more beneficial to us to purchase the kitchen equipment. It’s stationary to the building. It stays.”
The supervisors approved to purchase the kitchen equipment listed, and to adopt that list as an exhibit in their minutes after Gamble signed it.
The board also discussed when Pioneer will become current on all lease payments to the county and when Pioneer may move into the new hospital.
“The catch is, if you have a check in hand on Friday (June 14), ya’ll move in when you want to (June 21-23). No check in hand, we don’t meet again until June 28 and you move in after that,” said McIntire to Gamble.
Gamble said he would let Pioneer officials know that deadline.
The Board of Supervisors also approved:
-Inter-local agreement with 20 plus counties to get the required flyover photography for a reduce rate.
-Resolution honoring Jim Walter Moore for his lifetime of dedication and service to Choctaw County.
-Easement for AT&T on Burton Road.
-To pay dues, $250 each, for both Justice Court Judges to the Justice Court Judges Association.
-Travel for Lori Kerr, tax assessor to training and travel for Libby Beard, deputy chancery clerk to PERS workshop.
-Pay invoice of $11,870 for the re-roof of the current hospital to Amerson Roofing.
The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors approved the following in their June 3 meeting:
-To accept the bid from Rosenbauer Fire Apparatus with option for $265,508 to purchase the new 2,000-galloon pumper/tanker for Union Fire Department and to seek financing quotes. The options include the top mount and foam system. Bids were received on May 13.
-Transfer $4,866 from Fund 001-General Fund.
-Recognize cash in bank report and enter it into the minutes.