Lincoln County may receive Ida relief funds

Published 2:00 pm Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lincoln County may get emergency funding to aid in cleanup after Ida.

Chaston Bullock, District 7 representative for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, told supervisors Monday the state must meet a threshold of $4.5 million and each county in the affected area must meet their thresholds in sustained damages — determined based upon the county’s population — for the president to declare a disaster. The state had recorded about $10 million in damages so far, but Lincoln County must still meet its threshold of approximately $135,000.

The county will be responsible for 12.5% of the cost of cleanup and must establish a debris collection site, county Emergency Management Director Chris Reid said. The Department of Environmental Quality requires one collection site for all debris where it can be mulched or burned, Reid said.

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Reid said although the county had not yet been officially declared a disaster site, the board would need to be ready to move ahead once the declaration comes, if it does.

“I’m ready to go with it,” District 3 Supervisor Nolan Williamson said.

“Does it need to be weighed?” District 2 Supervisor Jerry McGehee asked. Reid said trucks must be near full with 80-90% of the load claimed.

“We will need to meet all FEMA and MEMA regulations,” he said.

District 1 Supervisor Jerry Wilson said he did not want to pay to collect debris at the same level as other districts if his area was not as severely affected.

“We’re going to have to pay for it initially, and then you’ll get reimbursed,” Reid said.

“It’s according to what you pick up, the number of loads,” Williamson said. “You’ll get reimbursed for what you pick up.”

Williamson moved to go ahead with any necessary preparation for the debris site in anticipation of the county being included in the Hurricane Ida disaster area. McGehee seconded the motion and the board voted in favor, 4-1, with Wilson voting in opposition.

“I’m against it,” he said.

The board previously voted to hire a firm to organize and file paperwork for public assistance funding.

In other business, the county board:

• approved accepting the low bid of $11,495 from B & E Communications to replace the server for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office camera system. The server will have increased capacity and run updated software, replacing the older server that has “outlived its usefulness,” Sheriff Steve Rushing said.

• tabled Tax Assessor Blake Pickering’s request to move the county mapping system to a cloud-based server until board attorney Will Allen could review the contract. The unlimited-capacity cloud server would be $900 per month, which Pickering said would be much more economical than purchasing a new server for approximately $13,000 that had limited capacity. The setup fee of $6,700 would be waived for the county if the contract is approved.

• approved using the firm of Butler & Snow to assist in mandatory redistricting of the county districts based on 2020 U.S. Census data.