Board will travel to Washington D.C.

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors will travel to Washington D.C. to lobby for funding from the federal government.

Lincoln County Board of Supervisors President Bobby Watts presented the motion for the trip at Tuesday’s board meeting. Supervisors will meet with Mississippi Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, and Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper.

Watts said the flow of federal funding has slowed, and if it supervisors do not keep it going the county will end up with no money.

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District 1 Supervisor Rev. Jerry Wilson said it will take the supervisors traveling to Washington D.C. to jump-start the federal funding process.

“We need to build relationships,” Wilson said. “When you build relationships by being in the presence of people all the time, you see results.”

Tillmon Bishop said to see all three politicians, one representative and two senators, the supervisors must travel and advocate for the needs of Lincoln County.

“Our representative, Harper, is more likely to be here than a senator,” Bishop said. “Senators can’t go to all the counties. In the time that I’ve been here, I’ve never seen a senator walk in the door to a board meeting. They just don’t do that.”

The board passed the motion that a minimum of two board members will make the trip to Washington, but that all supervisors can attend if their schedules allow it. A motion was also passed that will allow County Engineer Ryan Holmes and County Administrator David Fields to participate in the trip.

Bishop said the board travels to Washington every year to meet with legislators.

“We normally go up there one day, try to make all the appointments the next day and then return home the following day,” Bishop said. “It’s normally a middle of the week kind of thing.”

Holmes and Fields are in the process of planning the trip for April. The board will compile a list of funding priorities at the next meeting to present to the representatives.


Yearly funding

Holmes received a letter from the state regarding the amount of money it has awarded Lincoln County for the next four years. Holmes said he has met with all five supervisors to discuss the needs of each district.

“We’ve got lots of needs, and y’all probably realize we are going to have more needs and wants than we are money,” Holmes said. “Our goal is to try to do as much as we can and spend it as wisely as we can.”

The board of supervisors will hold a work session Feb. 1 at 1 p.m. to discuss the allotment of state funding.


Extension agent resignation

Lincoln County extension agent Rebecca Bates requested the board of supervisors’ support in the hiring of a new 4-H extension agent. The current 4-H extension agent, Brandon Alberson, has resigned and will leave at the end of February, Bates said.

“All the board order says is that the county will support this position as you have in the past,” Bates said.

The county provides $6,800.04 a year to the 4-H extension agent position. The board signed the order, accepting Alberson’s resignation and giving support to the Mississippi State University Extension Service to begin the hiring process.


In other board business:

• The board moved to refund Wanda Parker, daughter of Louise Walker, $114 for a solid waste bill. Walker paid for an entire year, but recently died. Tax Assessor/Collector Blake Pickering requested and approved the refund.

• The board moved to refund Charlotte Martin $299.23 in taxes. Martin was given two pin numbers for the same piece of property, and from 2010 to 2014 paid taxes on both pin numbers. Pickering requested and approved the refund.

• The board approved a reimbursement of $555.72 to the City of Brookhaven for the interchange lighting on I-55.

• Bishop announced to the board that he will attend the Fall Judiciary College hosted by the Chancellery Clerk Association in Jackson. The board approved the trip.

• The board announced that the Delphi tax exemption of $626,561 was approved by the state. The supervisors moved to support the exemption.

• Board attorney Bob Allen presented the board with information regarding a new 10-panel drug testing method. Currently, state officials are subject to drug testing using the five-panel test. The 10-panel test will now test for prescription drugs. The board approved the motion to adopt the 10-panel drug test for Lincoln County.

• The board accepted the annual bids for Lincoln County.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors will be Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.