ABERDEEN – Unmanned aircraft could soon be flying from the Monroe County Airport through a partnership with Mississippi State University’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory.
The board of supervisors authorizing Monroe County Airport Manager Wes Kirkpatrick Nov. 22 to sign a letter of agreement, pending board attorney David Houston’s blessing after further review.
Raspet has worked with the military and other entities such as NOAA, NASA the FAA for research, which has included floodplain mapping. One its engineers, Caden Teer, said there are existing partnerships with airports in Starkville and Ackerman, and the agreement will expand its airspace.
“This could be next month, it could be months from now, or it may not happen. It depends on what funding we have and what mission we’re trying to complete,” he said. “We always try to be guests on the field and play well with everybody.”
He said there would always be ample notice ahead of unmanned aircraft flights, and it would not tie up airspace at the airport.
“It could range from helping us secure grant money to community outreach,” Kirkpatrick said of benefits. “There isn’t a downside. We’re aiding in pretty important research that’s the way of the future.”
In other business, supervisors approved a global resolution dealing with components such as the installation of equipment for the Monroe County 911 office to be a National Crime Information Center. It will expand it to an enhanced center for law enforcement dispatch, which will improve communications.
For the transition, supervisors also approved for 911 dispatcher Tanya Willems to be the tactical officer/911 supervisor over the immediate dispatchers and travel for her to attend training in Pearl.
The board also approved a change of inventory between a Dodge four-wheel drive at 911 and a Ford Escape at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
The board approved a bid of $349,268.10 from Glasgow Construction for a bridge on Old Columbus Road. The projected cost is $352,000.
Although there was no action taken, there was discussion about the need to change the name of Highway 25 through Becker due to the bypass being known as the same. A suggested name was Becker Highway, and county officials will discuss the matter with Amory city officials.
Supervisors also heard from a citizen who had issues with recently being notified of delinquent garbage bills from previous renters, which date back to 1994. She now has liens on her license plate and property.
“There should be a better system set up that nobody’s going back 20, 25 years and then getting a bill,” said District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan.
The board will check with Three Rivers Planning and Development District about what can be done. A new system being used is detecting delinquent garbage bills dating back so long.