County adds assistant fire coordinator

By PAT BROWN,

The Simpson County fire marshal has submitted a request to the county to employ an assistant fire coordinator.

The Board of Supervisors heard the request from Fire Marshal Charlie Valadie at their meeting Monday.  Valadie told the board that the county position was intended to be full time but that his work as fire marshal with the City of Magee did not allow for him to be full time with the county . 

Valadie requested that the county hire Phillip Magee as assistant fire coordinator.  He is currently employed full time with the City of Magee.  There was no indication that either Valadie’s or Magee’s employment status would change with the City of Magee.  The request was only to hire Magee as an assistant at a salary of $500 a month.  According to County Administrator Rheul Dickinson the funds are in the budget to pay Magee the additional $500.  There was no mention of work requirements or benefits for Magee. 

The board approved the Valadie’s recommendation to create the new position.

In other business the board approved membership in the Sheriff’s Association in the amount of $1,000. 

They approved sending Kevin Freeman and Randy Moore to Harrison County Law Enforcement Academy.  Felisha Hamilton was approved to attend training for full-time certification in dispatch. 

Budgeted raises were approved for Jeanette Barnes, Cedrick Crosby, Cambree McCullum, Michael Schuler, Lavallin Skiffer, Amanda Warren, Brianna Williams, Schynies Williamson, Mark James, Bruce Rosse, Ed Hartwig and Penny Loftin. Diahanna Perkins and Carolyn Ball were approved as new hires. 

Tommy Joe Harvey, who works with Solid Waste disposal, said a resident near the new landfill is refusing to allow the county right of way to provide power to the office at the new facility.  Because of this, the county is having to trench utilities in approximately 1/4 mile in the road from the residence of John Rawls to 352 Tom Coats Road.  The county will also have to trench in a water line because a resident would not allow right of way.  The county could use eminent domain to take possession, but Harvey expressed his reluctance to do so.  A cost estimate of $15,000 was mentioned at the meeting. 

County Tax Assessor Charles Baldwin reported  that an additional $750,000 would be added to  county ax revenue based on locating business who had stored natural gas at Mississippi Hub storage.  He said half of the funds would be directed to the school district and one quarter would go to the county general fund.  It was also reported that the sale of Mississippi Hub was nearing completion and that all employees had been offered jobs with the new company. 

County Administrator Rhuel Dickinson reported the county continues to have issues with the reverse auction process because, he said, it was not well thought out before the legislature implemented the new process.  It is preventing the county from getting equipment bids in an efficient way to do business.  He said the latest issue was getting buy back quotes from vendors. 

Trustmark was approved for the finance of new equipment the county is purchasing through reverse bid.  Trustmark offered an interest rate of at 3.57 percent for the new equipment. 

Dickinson also made the board aware of a proposal to transfer county property in the Mendenhall industrial park from the county to the city.  The property is the water tank along with the system.  The improvements were made by a grant from the federal government. 

The next meeting of the board is set for Friday, February 15, at 9 a.m.