ABERDEEN – During its Jan. 6 meeting, the board of supervisors approved to accept donated funds from Monroe County citizens towards the purchase of an armored vehicle for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Kevin Crook said it is an MRAP [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected] vehicle.
“Joey Miller is probably our most tactically-minded deputy. He’s been working on this for a while and finding people who were willing to help out with it,” he said. “We just need to ask for the green light to do that.”
Crook said the vehicle will be useful to the county in a number of ways.
“It does have its use to protect and for special operations and training. It’s also going to be available for rescues. It can travel in up to six feet of water and go through tornado debris and whatnot. It will be an asset for our county and surrounding counties,” he said.
County administrator Bob Prisock asked if the county’s work center was still on lockdown following incidents last week at Mississippi Department of Corrections facilities that left five inmates dead, and two others escaped.
“We are off lockdown,” said Crook, who was given the update that morning. “We were on statewide lockdown. All it did was shutdown for a few days for visitation and coming to pick up inmates [for work detail].”
Chancery clerk Ronnie Boozer asked about the latest regarding the county rejoining the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit. Crook expects a vote to be taken in mid-January by the agency regarding the matter.
For a separate first responder item, county fire coordinator Terry Tucker said a new fire truck for Hatley is on order, and it should be available in June.
New year, new business
The board of supervisor has new leadership. Following a motion by District 2 Supervisor B.R. Richey and a second by District 1 Supervisor Joseph Richardson, District 4 Supervisor Fulton Ware was elected as board president.
Richardson was elected as board vice president following a motion by District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan and a second by District 3 Supervisor Rubel West.
Supervisors reappointed David Houston as board attorney, which prompted his appreciation and indication that this may be his last year serving in the position.
“I’ve enjoyed working with the board of supervisors, and now will be the third administration. It’s really been a learning experience,” Houston said. “While I don’t want to leave this job right now because of unfinished business I need to take care of, I suspect this is going to be my last year and I think the board needs to think about looking at someone else to fill this spot.”
Supervisors approved a number of other beginning of the year items such as continued employment of Prisock and county engineer Kyle Strong. The board also accepted bids from Cadence Bank, Community Bank, BancorpSouth and Renasant Bank to designate the county’s depositories.
Four bids were taken under advisement regarding the lease of 97.25 acres of agriculture property in Prairie, which is jointly owned by the City of Aberdeen. The bids ranged from $1,600 per year to $6,100 per year.
Resumes for a veterans service officer for Amory were received. Board members will review them and schedule interviews for a later date.
The board received an appraisal totaling $32,800 for a hangar at the Monroe County Airport and took it under advisement. It will have to be destroyed to extend a ramp as part of a Federal Aviation Administration-funded project. The building has three separate tenants, but only one is storing an aircraft, and according to airport manager Wes Kirkpatrick, it hasn’t flown in eight years.
“These hangars were built somewhere between 1958 and 1960. They’re beyond use of life and they’re dilapidated. We’ve got to tear them down to make room to expand the ramp. The FAA doesn’t give us the money to buy the building because they didn’t buy it. It’s privately owned; all they do is lease the ground from us. We’ve got to buy the building,” Kirkpatrick said.
In a related matter, Kirkpatrick said the members of the airport’s committee – Brian Jones, Cecil Boswell, Tommy Griffith and Todd Wilemon – agreed to continue to serve for the year. Kirkpatrick, Prisock and Strong also serve on the committee.
During his input, Prisock said John Allmond, who is chairing the county’s census committee, has reached out to volunteers and plans to meet with them in the next week or two.
Prisock added Money Matters will no longer be taking payments for the Monroe County Solid Waste Department effective Jan. 31. After discussion, Richardson asked Prisock to ask around to other businesses in Aberdeen to see if any of them would be interested in collecting the fees. Amory has a drop box, which is an option for Aberdeen.
During his input, Richardson said the board of supervisors needs to look at filling places on Keep Monroe County Beautiful soon.