Alcohol to be on ballot


Whether Simpson County stays dry on goes wet will now be up to voters in November. 

The Simpson County Board of Supervisors approved placing the initiative on the ballot, which is a matter of protocol, for the General Election to be held November 5.  The county held a special meeting last Friday to approve the measure.

The required petition has been circulated, and the signers’ names have been certified. 

The wording on the ballot will be “I vote for coming out from under the dry law in Simpson County” or “I vote against coming out from under the dry law in Simpson County.” 

According to the Mississippi Code, a special meeting had to be called  last Friday to comply with laws that would allow the initiative on the ballot.  Passage  will require a majority of votes cast in favor in the election.

County Administrator Rhuel Dickinson stated that Brien Hubbard of Magee  was to turn the petitions in to the board.  By law, the board  must then call for it to be placed on the ballot.  The county board has no choice other than to allow the issue to go to the voters. 

In other business, the county will apparently be entering into a reciprocal agreement with Carfax to receive information on vehicles involved in investigations.  The only obligation from the county is that they agree to enter accident reports on wrecked cars and submit those to Carfax.  Lt. Chris Wallace presented the information to the board.  The agreement will allow the county to check records through Carfax. 

Terms of the county’s lease to Howard Manufacturing were reported by Danny Welch.  He said that Dick Yoder, who is the attorney for Howard’s, is not willing to agree to a Consumer Price Index, CPI, of 17 percent increase since the lease was negotiated 10 years ago.  Yoder claims that the increase has been offset by capital infusion on which Howard’s is supposed to get credit for each $50,000 invested. 

According to Yoder, Howard’s has invested over $3 million.  They also want to modify the existing lease to take out the manufacturing requirement, and  they are also asking for a 90 day opt out clause.  The board did not act on the issue. 

The board did approve extending the emergency bridge repair order.  This allows for a quicker response time in regard to bridge repair issues. 

The board approved the reassignment of two county vehicles.  The first was a 2016 vehicle formerly assigned to the sheriff.  The other was assigned to Emergency Management, a 2018 Ford Explorer with police package. Emergency Management is getting the pickup in exchange for the Explorer. 

Emergency Management received a grant in the amount of $26,322.38.  A total of 351 911 calls came in during the month of July.  911 donated old breathing apparatuses to Magee so they could use them as trade in for new equipment.  They are considering making a social media page because of inaccurate information that is being released in the community over the internet. 

The next regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors is set for September 13.