Supervisor upset about budget changes

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

District 1 Supervisor Rev. Jerry Wilson on Tuesday confronted his fellow board members about the recent change in road and bridge funds.

A recent decision by the Board of Supervisors changed the amount of money each district receives to better reflect the number of roads and bridges each one has, effective March 1. District 1 lost $159,000 due to the change.

Rev. Jerry L. Wilson

Rev. Jerry L. Wilson

“The issue is, I know you all cut my budget and I know you’re the governing body, — I do know that much — but I did ask y’all for mercy because I have some guys that I have to lay off four guys, four, four guys,” Wilson said. “And y’all wouldn’t work with me.”

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“All of the districts have different mileage, and some of us were running real low on funds, and some were getting too much, is what it amounted to,” said District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown. “If you look by the old figures, the mileage was so unbalanced. We decided to amend the budget.”

According to county documents, District 1 has 105 of the county’s 1,037.4 miles or 10.1 percent. District 1’s percentage of the funds will now reflect that, ensuring that district receives $275,417 — a difference of $159,945 or 36.7 percent less than its previous budget. District 2, having 218.6 of the county’s 1,037.4 miles, will receive 21.1 percent. District 3, having 266.9 of the county’s 1,037.4 miles, will receive 25.7 percent. District 4 has 232.8 of the county’s 1,037.4 miles or 22.4 percent, and District 5, with 214.1 of the county’s 1,037.4 miles, will receive 20.6 percent.

“I’ve been talking to Nolan (Williamson), and he talked like we would work something out, but when we get to the board meeting it was something different,” Wilson said of the previous board meeting. “I was just shocked and surprised. Now, I couldn’t have did that to you all. It ain’t about Rev. Wilson; it’s about my district, and I don’t want my district to come up short.”

District 1 will be affected the most. District 5 will receive $9,825 less, District 2 will receive $1,979 more, District 3 will receive $128,671 more and District 4 will receive $39,121 more toward roads and bridges.

“It seemed like you could’ve at least worked with me,” Wilson said. “I would have never ever done you all like that, but the motive was wrong. It was all about taking the money. God’s gonna take care of this.”

Wilson said he would not be helping any district other than his own from now on.

Baseball complex change order

Lincoln County Engineer Ryan Holmes on Tuesday presented the Board of Supervisors with a change order for the baseball complex.

“This was a unit course project and just through the course of the project, we had some adjustments to make,” Holmes said. “This is change order number two. It’s actually reducing the contract by $24,000, which brings the total devised amount from $2.3 million to $2.287. We also added five days to the contract with this change order request.”

The board unanimously approved the change order request.

In other board business:

• David Crawford and Tom Harrington from U.S. Next, a website company, presented the board with information regarding the opportunities Lincoln County has to improve its website.

• The board approved the travel expenses for both district court judges to attend a required continuing education conference in April.

• The board approved travel expenses for Tax Collector/Assessor Blake Pickering and his employee Angie Weeks to attend a certification class in Clinton.

• The board approved travel expenses for Wilson to attend the mass minority caucus at the Hilton Garden Inn in Pascagoula on April 19-21.

• The board approved a reimbursement of $156 to Gary and Rusty Goldman for a solid waste refund. The Goldman’s paid for a year, unaware that they had dumpster agreement.

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

• Curtis Oliver, a volunteer through the VA work-study program in the Veterans Service office, informed the board that he would be resigning on March 28.

• Holmes updated the board on the Warren Avenue Bridge. The state Department of Archives and History are requiring the county to do an HABS report, which requires an archeologist to study it at a price of $3,500. Holmes said this would be the last requirement before the county can tear the bridge down.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel.