Lincoln County extends burn ban

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to extend the county’s burn ban into next year.

Clifford Galey, county fire coordinator and emergency management director, explained to the board at its Monday meeting that the National Weather Service did not predict any significant rainfall throughout the next month.

“I’m asking that the board extend the burn ban to Jan. 3, 2017,” Galey said. “After consulting with everyone from the Mississippi Fire Commission all the way down to our county forester and the National Weather Service, we don’t see any measurable rainfall between now and the new year.”

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Rain is expected this week, but it will not be enough to lift the ban, Galey said.

“There are no exemptions to the ban at this time,” he said. “All fires are to be extinguished by the responsible party. If not, a fire department must be dispatched to do so.”

Anyone who violates the burn ban may be charged with a misdemeanor crime and may be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500, according to the Mississippi code.

Hurricane Isaac funding

Galey passed out a list of expenses, incurred after Hurricane Isaac, to each supervisor. He said it has taken him some time to find and correct the information that MEMA lost regarding Lincoln County’s contribution to the repairs after the hurricane.

“What I have next is Hurricane Isaac paperwork,” he said. “I’m finally finished. I had to go through an old computer to find all of the information to fix MEMA’s report.”

When MEMA sent a representative to Lincoln County following the hurricane, the employee did not complete the initial damage reports correctly or get them approved before leaving the agency, Galey said. This is what has caused the delay in receiving the FEMA money, he said.

Since Galey has correctly completed the paperwork for the initial cleanup of the roads, he feels confident the county can now receive the money.

“The guy that I’m dealing with at MEMA is supposed to be giving his boss it this week, and he assured me that everything’s in order,” Galey said. “He should sign off on it. It should go to FEMA by the end of this week, so I’m hoping within a month or so, we should have that done, but I can’t make that promise.”

Despite the forward progress, Galey still does not know when FEMA will send a check for 75 percent of the damage expenses.

“I don’t know when it will come, but at least now I know it will come through,” he said.

In other business:

• Wastepro has rescheduled its trash pick up for Thanksgiving. They will pick up Thursday’s route on Friday and Friday’s route on Saturday this week.

• A county resident requested information from the board regarding the requirements to have a septic tank. County attorney Bob Allen said that the ordinance states if a property is less than two acres, a septic tank is required. The Lincoln County Health Department is supposed to regulate the ordinance.