HOUSTON – Chickasaw County has 38 road listed as damaged by recent weather and the rain continues to fall.
Emergency Management director Linda Griffin said Chickasaw is one of 22 counties asking for state and federal funds to help pay for repairs following more than 11-inches of rain in late February. Griffin came before the Board of Supervisors last week with paperwork seeking help for the county.
“The county has a threshold of $52,000 (for damages) and we are well above that,” said Griffin. “Okolona has listed 15 roads that need repair and we have also been in contact with Houlka and Houston,” said Griffin. “We have been taking pictures and getting a dollar amount for each repair.”
Griffin said the way it works is the county makes a list and can start making repairs and then can be reimbursed for the work.
“We also had two businesses and two residences that were flooded, but they both had private insurance,” said Griffin. “A local engineering procurement form was submitted Feb. 19 and state forms were submitted Feb. 26.”
The county got similar funds last year when rains damaged roads. But getting reimbursed takes time.
Obtaining state funds usually takes several months but landing federal dollars for disaster relief can take up to a year.
The money comes in the form of reimbursement grants to help the counties affected by the heavy rains, winds and flooding and helps cover the cost of road and bridge repair, debris removal and overtime hours for first responders.
Multiple roads around Chickasaw County were closed during the week-long rains in late February as part of public safety concerns.
If Chickasaw County is declared a disaster it opens up federal and state money for those repairs
The U.S. Corp of Engineers said Mississippi’s four flood control reservoirs – Grenada, Enid, Sardis and Arkabutla lakes – each averaged capturing nine inches of rainfall runoff, which generated an estimated 320,000 cubic feet per second of combined inflow into the reservoirs.
Mississippi has been approved, statewide, for the “Hazard Mitigation Grant Program,” following heavy rains in December. Those funds will offset costs by local governments that take measures to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural or man-made disasters.
Supervisors voted last week to document and to continue to document damages from February and spread numbers provided by Griffin on its minutes.
In other business:
• TRC’s Brian Smith told supervisors he met with Houston city leaders and Trace Regional Hospital for the first time to discuss needs in the community.
Smith also said TVA appears to be interested in purchasing power from two possible solar farms that could locate in the county. One proposed site is roughly 300 acres and the second site is more than 1,000 acres.
Plans for a transmodal site near a railroad on the eastern side of the county is progressing and would be formally announced when funding is secured. Smith also said he is working with local sweet potato farmers and cooperatives to get their product to market.
• Supervisors were briefed on state emergency bridge repair projects. Chickasaw County has been allocated $1.5 million for CR 407, $1.1 million for CR 405 and $934,000 for CR 410.
Dist. 3 Supervisor Russell Brooks asked if any money left over from those projects could be allocated for roads. The county was urged to get another bridge project shovel ready for the next round of state emergency bridge repair funds.
The county will open bids for CR 93 on March 27.
• Mississippi Association of Supervisors Insurance Trust (MASIT) and insurance agent Mary Margaret Smith explained the county’s insurance plan for property and liability. The premium went from $151,630 to $159,082.
Dist. 4 Supervisor Jerry Hall asked why crisis management was added to the policy and was told this clause would handle a shooter incident or act of terrorism against the county.
• Supervisors approved the jail meal log and Sheriff James Myers said the regional jail was up to 308 inmates.
Myers also asked to purchase a vehicle from the Sheriff’s Special Fund from Griffin Motors for$23,935.
Supervisors were informed Warden Brand Huffman will travel to Dallas for training April 8-10 at no expense to the county.
• The board discussed fixing a leaking roof for the county jail that has leaked for years. The leak is endangering the 911 dispatching equipment. Supervisors discussed a pole barn design to remedy the problem.
• The county rescinded the hiring of Corey West, who has taken another job and hired Curtis Gathing to take his place at at $2,081 a month.
• The county agreed to support of Senate Bill 3075 which will allow Okolona, New Albany and Holly Springs to be allowed to have a broadband co-op. Recent legislation excluded them since they are owned by cities.
• The board was informed that internet service at Van Vleet continues to be problem. Supervisors have been told getting high speed services to that facility would cost several thousand dollars.
• The county opened bids for culverts, gravel, rip-rap and asphalt. Bids were taken under advisement in the absence of the purchase clerk.
• The board agreed to purchase dirt from Elizabeth Weaver at 75-cents a yard.
• Supervisors discussed repairs to a trailer purchased last month.
• The board approved minutes, tag surrender list, reduction in real property list and voided a tax sale, paid county claims or bills, accepted February minutes and recessed until March 19.