By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer
The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors agreed to join a previously proposed three-county economic partnership agreement to establish the Regional Economic Partnership of Mississippi during their Dec. 30th meeting held at the Choctaw County Courthouse.
The Board of Supervisors last discussions regarding the partnership were in their Dec. 10th meeting, in which the Choctaw County Economic Development District had agreed to provide the funds that would allow the county to enter into the agreement.
During the present meeting, board members reviewed amendments which had recently been added to the agreement. In the original agreement, it was stated that the members of the partnership’s Board of Trustees were to be currently elected supervisors from the county which he or she represents.
In the amendments made to the agreement, however, supervisors would not be asked to serve on the Board of Trustees. Now, each Board of Supervisors from each of the three counties shall appoint two members to the Board of Trustees. Also mentioned in the agreement is the term limits, including one member from each county serving a two-year term and one a four-year term, with each subsequent appointment being for a four-year term.
After a review of all changes and discussion of each by the board, a motion was made to enter into the agreement to form the Regional Economic Partnership of Mississippi with Webster and Montgomery County. District 5 Supervisor Eric Chambers was the only supervisor that voted against entering into the agreement.
The board members also discussed lease payments and square footage issues with Pioneer Community Hospital of Choctaw. The board had previously discussed the issues in their Nov. 12 meeting, in which Pioneer and the county disagree on the total square footage that is used to calculate their lease payment for the medical office building. Hoping to resolve these issues, the board was informed by President Chris McIntire that Pioneer would be making amendments to the lease for the county to review during their next meeting.
The board reviewed the proposed amendments during today’s meeting with board attorney Steve Wright. Wright felt that the amendments made by Pioneer were not satisfactory. Some of the issues the board found in the amendments were the square footage listed in the amendments was not correct, as well as the due dates for the payments from Pioneer to the county were not correct.
McIntire stated that he would address these concerns with Pioneer before any decision was made in regards to the lease. No action was taken on the matter.
In other news, the board:
Approved request for board president to sign Reform Water Eng Contract with Golden Triangle Planning and Developing District. The engineering contract was signed and the administration agreement for the first payment request was passed to be paid when grant money is received.
Approved for board president to sign agreement for digital aerial photography for the county. The county is required to have new photography every 10 years for mapping and taxes purposes.
Approved tax assessment reductions by the request of the Lori Kerr, tax assessor.
Approved chancery clerk to set up a separate account in Solid Waste for solid waste credit payments.
Approved to transfer funds from Regions Escrow account in the amount of $17.09 into general fund. This is an old account that is no longer used. Moving the balance of $17.09 will close out this account.
Tabled discussion regarding Drug Free Workplace. The County receives a 5% discount of workman’s Comp insurance if we are a drug free workplace. There are some things we have to do to meet this requirement. We will discuss it further in their January 6 meeting.
Approved to increase pay scale for part time workers in Waste Services and Justice Court to $9 initial pay rate with an increase to $10 after 90 days.
Approved inventory deletions of tow tractor sold by the County.
Acknowledged final approval of land and personal rolls. The law requires that the approval of the State of the Land rolls be finally entered into the minutes of the Board.
Approved to accept lowest bid from Infoware for purchase of new audio recording system for the courtroom.
Recognized the hiring of Kim Moore by Lori Kerr, tax assessor, to work part-time at the pay rate of $13 per hour.
Recognized the hiring of Pam Bradberry by Sheriff Cloyd Halford, to work part-time at the pay rate of $9 per hour.