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Parking gets county attention

Parking and other courthouse improvements got supervisors’attention Monday during a routine regular board meeting.

Supervisors are again considering developing property acrossfrom the government complex on South First Street for parking. Thecounty purchased the property several years ago for that purpose,but has yet to act on those plans.

County officials Monday discussed removing a layer of top soiland installing a layer of gravel. However, they said they need towait for a South First Street storm drain project to be completedand for county crews to finish some clean-up activities followingsome recent storms.

“That’s our biggest hold up right now,” said District 5Supervisor Gary Walker about the storm-related work.

District 3 Supervisor Nolan Earl Williamson mentioned the needto remove some trees on the property before work could be done.

“Some of them need to come down,” he said.

Officials also mentioned making the area an off-site parkinglocation in connection with the city’s proposed multi-modaltransportation facility on North Railroad Avenue. Supervisors didnot discuss a more definite timetable for pursuing the parking lotwork.

In another courthouse-related matter, County Administrator DavidFields said it would cost an estimated $21,000 to $29,000 for ductwork improvements behind the tax office and chancery clerk’s officerecords room. He indicated materials used during complexconstruction approximately 20 years ago are now causing mold tobuild up in that area of the building.

“That’s where our problem is there,” Fields said.

Fields said about $35,000 is remaining from a bond issue passedfor library expansion and new jail completion. He suggested thosefunds be used for the duct work.

Fields said the duct project would have to be advertised forbids since estimates exceed $15,000. Supervisors approvedEngineering Associates drawing plans for the project.

Also Monday, Southwest Mississippi Planning and DevelopmentDistrict planner Roy Geoghegan urged supervisors to decide on aproject for this year’s Community Development Block Grant fundingcycle. A public hearing is scheduled for Friday, but the county hasnot determined a project.

The county may apply for up to a $450,000 grant. Projects underconsideration include a South First Street drainage plan or one toaddress drainage near Highway 51 in Bogue Chitto.

The county pursued the Bogue Chitto project last year, but itwas not funded. Geoghegan said the pursuing the South First Streetproject would require a door-to-door survey of potentialbeneficiaries.

“We’ve got to get all the estimates and knock on some doors ifnecessary,” Geoghegan said.

Because of time constraints, officials indicated they may haveto pursue the Bogue Chitto project again. Supervisors were expectedto contact Engineering Associates about project plans andestimates.

In a road matter, supervisors set a 50 miles per hour speedlimit on Dunn-Ratliff Road in District 5. The road was recentlyreworked and resurfaced as part of a State Aid road project.