HOUSTON – The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors met at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 19 at the Courthouse in Houston.

Among the business conducted, was discussion about the potential re-opening of the Chickasaw County Agri-Center.

Angie Abrams came before the board, to ask about re-opening for events such as rodeos, with the 20 person limit and distance requirements in place. This is in light of other area Agri-Centers re-opening their doors. She said that she understood the board was faced with a difficult decision, and she just wanted a definitive answer to carry back to the Agri-Center board as well as people who have been calling asking to schedule events.

The board expressed concerns, with board president, Russell Brooks saying he did not think Chickasaw was in a position to do so yet with the number of cases still increasing.

After some deliberation, the board unanimously voted to table the discussion, and resume it at the June 1 board meeting, to give it two weeks to see how the county is doing then.

The board also voted to set an end-date for the county-wide curfew that is in place currently. The curfew, which is from 8 p.m.-5 a.m., has been in place for several weeks, with the individual cities adopting similar curfews to remain unified with the county.

The curfew will be lifted effective June 1, as voted unanimously by the board.

Supervisors also:

– Heard from Sheriff James Meyers, who had no new updates.

– Welcomed EMA Director Linda Griffin, who provided a report of the drive-thru testing in Okolona that was held on Monday. She said that it was a success, with 57 people being tested. According to Griffin, there is approximately a 48 hour turnaround on results.

– Accepted a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for a vehicle for Emergency Management, that must be spent by July 1.

– Took no action on quotes for the vehicle, pending more quotes being brought in at the next meeting.

– Approved spreading the Governor's executive order number 1484 on the minutes.

– Approved advertising the lifting of the curfew in both newspapers.

– Approved tag surrenders.

– Heard from County Engineer Kyle Strong, who informed them that plans were being drawn up for the bridge on County Road 413. He also informed them that they are still waiting on quotes for a handicapped ramp, however, the money is on a time schedule, and Purchase Clerk Tommie Morgan said no local contractors have returned bids. Brooks said that due to the lack of in-county quotes as well as time table for money to be spent, she is to begin searching out of county for contractors.

– Approved hiring Sky Neal to replace one of three retiring Road Department workers from Woodland.

– Approved moving three employees to seasonal, which means that they are permitted more hours than part-time.

– Approved culvert requests.

– Approved spreading on the minutes that Road Department had accepted a truck transferred from the Sheriff's Department.

– Accepted quotes from the Rail Road Yard on culverts for FEMA projects. The quotes included $6,900 for a 5x4, $10,500 for a 10x42 and $12,870 for a 9x50.

– Approved a motion to reject quotes for a front-end loader.

– Approved a motion to advertise for a used front-end loader equivalent to the one currently owned.

– Accepted agreement with Three Rivers to take place in the hiring of three seasonal workers, to be employed by Three Rivers, but work for Chickasaw County. The program is funded by a Department of Labor Grant that Three Rivers received.

– The board was presented with the revenues and expenditures for February and March.

– Approved ending department heads from granting administrative leave to employees due to COVID-19. Employees will now have to use personal leave for time off. This is effective immediately.

– Took no action on re-opening the access doors of the courthouse, as the board never took formal action to close the doors in the first place. The doors are open, and the individual offices are allowed to remain closed.

– Approved voting for Bobby Rushing as an appointee to the MASIT Board of trustees.

– Welcomed TRC, who gave their monthly report.

– The representative also clarified that TRC is responsible for Economic Development in Chickasaw, for the board and citizens present.

– Heard an update on the trans-load facility.

– Approved setting aside $50,000 for local matching funds for planning studies, comprehensive plan, feasability study and marketing analysis.

– Entered executive session with TRC for economic development and personnel matters.

– Upon reentering regular session, Brooks informed the public that no action was taken in executive session.

– Approved designating funds from the recent loan to go towards county improvement.

– Adjourned until June 1 at 10 a.m. in Okolona.

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