ABERDEEN – In a meeting predominately focused on the county's volunteer fire departments, the board of supervisors Monday voted to help the Splunge Volunteer Fire Department with an $11,500 contribution to a U.S. Fire Act federal grant, which would allow for a new tanker truck.

Monroe County Fire Coordinator Terry Tucker brought the board up to speed with communication he had with State Fire Coordinator Brad Smith, which included an anticipated July date before Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program funds should return from the county from Round 11, which secured a new truck for Rural Hill VFD.

The $70,000 reimbursement for the purchase has been approved by the Mississippi Legislature, but the county is just waiting for money to be moved to the account.

In speaking about legislature requests to support volunteer fire departments across the state, Smith relayed the need for more timely fire service incident reports from fire chiefs.

"Brad Smith said Monroe County is going in the right direction and doing a great job, but the fire chiefs aren't getting reports in," Tucker said.

As per Tucker's report, the county's volunteer fire departments have made 1,156 runs as of Sept. 30. In reading off data from the state's incident reports list, some of the county's departments' reports are up to date, but others haven't logged on to report the number of runs in more than a year.

District 5 Supervisor Robert Tomey suggested withholding county funds until the county's departments file the reports online in a more timely manner. The 4-1 vote passed with opposition from District 3 Supervisor Carol Crawford.

County administrator Mike King suggested the formation of a Brownfields Grant advisory group for the upcoming work at the Prairie Industrial Site. District 4 Supervisor Fulton Ware offered to serve and select a citizen from his district to serve. Additionally, King suggested Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Skip Scaggs serve, along with a representative from the Aberdeen Board of Aldermen.

In other business, the board approved the adoption of courthouse closing dates for Thanksgiving holidays for Nov. 27 and 28; for Christmas holidays for Dec. 24 and 25; and for New Year's holidays for Jan. 1 and 2.

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