Supervisors set budget hearing for Sept. 8

By Chuck Bailey
The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors met August 22, 2016 at 9 a.m. in the boardroom of the Choctaw County Courthouse to work out the final details in what appears to be a 23.4 million dollar budget for the 2016-2017 calendar year that begins October 1.

The budget has increased over the past 18 years. In 2000 it was 4.1 million, 2003-4.7 million, 2006-5.6 million, 2009-9.5 million and in 2016-21million.

“State law requires us to cut cost not to increase cost,” said District 5 Supervisor, Eric Chambers. “This board has preached in the past that we haven’t had a tax increase. When you go from 4 million to 23 million and say you haven’t had a tax increase, well that’s just ridiculous. We should either be lowering the taxes or cutting costs.”

In the General Expense Accounts of the proposed budget there are 38 accounts that range anywhere from the Board of Supervisors to the Sherriff’s Office to the Council on Aging. Of those 38 accounts 15 will show an increase from last year of approximately $220,810. 14 will show no increase and the remaining will be lowered by $39,863.

Under Other Expense Fund Accounts of the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 there are 31 accounts that range anywhere from Legal Defense to Solid Waste to the Choctaw County Medical Facilities. Of those 31 accounts 4 show an increase of $746,937. 13 will show no change and the remaining will be lowered by $5,344,585.

One of the main goals supervisors have stressed during these budget work meetings is to build a reserve fund and to pay down the hospital debt.
The board plans aims for next year the budget to have over 3 million in reserves and beginning in 2018 start making three hospital bond payments a year worth approximately 4.2 million.

“At that rate I would expect they could pay the hospital off in four to five years,” said budget consultant, Joe McCraney. “ I am also amazed that Choctaw County has some of the lowest taxes in the state.”
The proposed millage rate is projected to be 79.09 mills. I mill in taxes brings in about $204,837.

The millage rate is the amount per $1,000 used to calculate taxes on property. Millage rates are most often used to calculate property taxes, where the expressed millage rate is multiplied by the assessed value of the property to arrive at the property taxes due.

The proposed budget hearing will be Thursday, September 9, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the boardroom of the Choctaw County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors met in the Boardroom of the Choctaw County Courthouse three times for the July term, the minutes from those meetings were approved at the August 1, 2016 meeting.

July 5

A motion was made by District 4 Supervisor, John Shumaker, to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Board President and District 1 Supervisor, Joey Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Shumaker to approve the board minutes for the June 2016 term with the addition of bush hog model 2815 as a description for District 2. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by District 5 Supervisor, Eric Chambers, to approve the resolution on the Home Grant and authorize the President to sign on the board’s behalf with the public meeting to be held on August 1, 2016. The motion was seconded by District 4 Supervisor Chris McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to adopt the affirmative action plan and authorize the President to sign on the board’s behalf with the public meeting to be held on August 1, 2016. The motion was seconded by District 2 Supervisor, Greg Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.
A motion was made by Shumanker, to approve the Jail Inspection for the month of June 2016 as all Supervisors have toured the county facilities. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

Bids were opened on the courthouse east entrance and parking area. Bulldog Construction Company bid $119,548.50 and Ralph McKnight & Son Construction bid $118, 613.19.

A motion was made by Chambers, to take the bids under advisement. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.
A motion was made by Stephenson, to approve the payroll docket dated June 30, 2016 and order the clerk to settle by means of pay warrants. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Fondren, to GranthamPoole with a bill to be presented every two weeks. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Shumanker, to approve the Emergency Management Performance Grant and authorize the President to sign. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to extend the Medstat Ambulance Contract for 30 days. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted by majority in support with Fondren and Chambers against.

A motion was made by Chambers, to have Medstat return the ambulance owned by Choctaw County and advertise same for sale by end of July. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to approve the interlocal agreement with Attala County dealing with Old Highway 12 and authorize the President to sign on the board’s behalf. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to grant the inventory deletion of item 265-051 which is inoperable. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to order a refund of prepayment of Solid Waste fees to Charles C. Sexton in the amount of $98.00 and order the clerk to settle by means of a pay warrant from fund 105. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Chambers, to recognize the rolls presented by the Tax Assessor and authorize the President to sign receipt on the board’s behalf. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to set the pay of Craig Campbell at $15.92 per hour. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to authorize the advertisement of the reseal project pending the approval of State Aid. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to recognize the pay rate of $11.00 per hour for Tim Cutts as he has completed his 90 day probationary period at the request of the Sheriff. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to authorize the advertisement for bids of garbage trucks and use SPS reverse auction for same. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted by majority in support with Fondren and Chambers voting against.

A motion was made by Fondren, to approve the claims docket dated July 5, 2016 and order the clerk to settle by means of pay warrants. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Shumanker, to recess the July term until July 18, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

July 18

Pursuant to the recess order of July 5, 2016 with all members being present, the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors took up for consideration the following to-wit:

A motion was made by Stephenson to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to approve the request of stamps from the Solid Waste Department in the amount of $288.00 and order the clerk to issue a pay warrant to settle same. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson, to approve the contract with Golden Triangle Planning and Development for use of billing software for the Solid Waste Department and authorize the President to sign on the board’s behalf. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to approve the Solid Waste deletions, adjustments, and assessments. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to order the clerk to issue a purchase order in the amount of $5,800.00 out of Fund 106 for 2-40 foot containers for use in fire training. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to order the clerk to issue a pay warrant in the amount of $100.00 to the Mississippi Forestry Commission for the purchase of a 2 ½ ton 4 wheel drive truck for use in the county fire service. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Shumanker, to approve travel and expenses for the constables to a meeting July 28 and 29, 2016. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to approve advertisement of a job opening in Beat 3 for Equipment Operator/Driver. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to recognize the employment of two part-time emergency hires of David Carter and Larry McClain at the rate of $13.88 per hour. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

Bids were opened on advertisement for used Dump Trucks. Thomas Auction Company bid a 2007 Mack for $55,000 and a 2007 Mack for 55, 500.

A motion was made by Fondren, to grant inventory deletions of items 250-069, 230-006, 340-111 due to them being inoperable and transfer item 302-325 as requested by the inventory clerk. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to recognize the notice of receipt from the Department of Revenue dealing with Land Rolls. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to approve the sixteenth section lease of the Mildred Grissom Trust. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to order the clerk to issue a purchase order in the amount of $55,00.00 for District 1 and $55,500 for District 4 to Thomas Auction for the purchase of used dump trucks per the bid opening in today’s meeting. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to approve the claims docket dated July 18, 2016 and order the clerk to settle by means of pay warrants. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to recognize the receipt of the outstanding receivables from Justice Court with $203,848.82 and $627,272.73 being the totals provided. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Chambers, to recognize the audit presented by Josh Shumaker and request he appears before the board on August 1, 2016. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.
A motion was made by Chambers, to approve the letter of engagement with GranthamPoole as presented and authorize the President to sign on the board’s behalf. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted by minority in support with Supervisors Stephenson, McIntire and Shumaker against.

A motion was made by Chambers, to approve the letter of engagement with GranthamPoole with changes as requested by the board. The motion dies due to lack of support.

A motion was made by McIntire to close the session to consider the criteria for moving today’s meeting to executive session. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Chambers, to open the session and inform the public that the criteria for moving to executive session has been met dealing with the ongoing litigation with NRG Power Generation. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to move today’s meeting to executive session dealing with ongoing litigation with NRG Power Generation. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

Present in executive session were the entire board, Kasey Young, Board Attorney; Chancery Clerk, Steve Montgomery and by phone Attorney, Paul Stephenson.

A motion was made by McIntire to move today’s meeting back to open session and to inform the public that no action was taken in executive session. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Chambers, to instruct the county bankruptcy attorney to file a claim in the amount of $6,223,343.10 dealing with Pioneer Healthcare Magee, MS and Ackerman, MS . The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to order the clerk to issue a purchase order in the amount of $27,765.00 to Crowson Auto for a patrol car in accord with State Contract Pricing. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to recess the July term until July 21 at 1:00 p.m. The motion was seconded by Fondren and the board voted unanimously in support.

July 21

Pursuant to the recess order of July 18, 2016 with all members being present, the Choctaw County Board of Supervisors took up for consideration the following to-wit:

A motion was made by McIntire to approve the agenda with the addition of legal updates. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to close the session to consider the criteria for moving today’s meeting to executive session. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire, to open the session and inform the public that the criteria for moving to executive session has been met dealing with the ongoing litigation with Pioneer Healthcare. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

Present in executive session were the entire board, Kasey Young, Board Attorney; Sheriff, Cloyd Halford,Chancery Clerk, Steve Montgomery and by phone Attorney, Richard Montague.

A motion was made by McIntire to move today’s meeting back to open session and to inform the public that no action was taken in executive session. The motion was seconded by Chambers and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to select Crowder Engineering as the engineer for the Airport Grant from the three firms reviewed by the board in accordance with selection of professional services guidelines. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to approve the claims of Thomas Auction Company on dump trucks for District 1 and District 4 in the amount of $55,000.00 and 55,500.00 respectively and order the clerk to issue a pay warrant to settle same. The motion was seconded by McIntire and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Stephenson to approve the 1.89% quote of Bank of Kilmichael for the financing of dump trucks for District 1 and District 4. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.
A motion was made by McIntire to equalize the land rolls. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by McIntire to approve advertisement of equalization of the land rolls which makes them open for inspection by the public. The motion was seconded by Shumaker and the board voted unanimously in support.

A motion was made by Chambers, to adjourn the July term. The motion was seconded by Stephenson and the board voted unanimously in support.

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors will meet Monday, August 29 at 9:00 a.m. in the boardroom of the Choctaw County Courthouse. The public is invited to attend.