ABERDEEN – For the second year in a row, the board of supervisors is partnering with Three Rivers Planning and Development District to offer Medicare Part D prescription drug participants counseling to find better coverage rates.
It runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 at two locations in the county. It will be available at the Monroe County Government Complex, located at 1619 Highland Dr. in Amory, Mondays through Wednesdays and the Monroe County Chancery Courthouse, located at 201 W. Commerce St. in Aberdeen, Thursdays and Fridays. The hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and Patsy Hill will be the local counselor.
“They can search for a cheaper plan for next year. Over the last few years, we’ve learned that 80 percent of the people who have searched for a new plan found a new plan and saved over $1,000 for the next year,” said Wade Holland with Three Rivers’ area of aging division during Oct. 9’s supervisors meeting. “Anyone on Medicare that has a Medicare drug plan can search for a new plan during open enrollment.”
For more information on the program, call 669-0830.
Garbage bill concerns
In other business, supervisors heard from District 5 resident Alicia Humphres who voiced concerns with two garbage bills tied to her property prohibiting her from getting a license plate.
A delinquent garbage bill dates back to the person who previously owned the property and passed away in May 2010. Humphres didn’t get her first notice on the bill until September. Her second issue was even though she has paid her own garbage bill, she received a notice that the previous month’s bill was past due, even though she is paid up through November.
“They’re saying they sent a bill 108 times but it went to the wrong mailbox,” she said of the previous owner’s bill.
She asked for the board to discharge the lien.
“If we discharge it, it’s like the county’s taxpayers gave you money, and that’s a donation in kind. By law, we can’t do that,” said District 3 Supervisor Rubel West.
Board members agreed the situation isn’t right, but there should be changes in state law giving them authority to help.
Supervisors have heard similar instances from residents since Three Rivers switched to a new system detecting delinquent garbage bills dating back through the years.
“If you’ve got the checks proving you’re current with the bill, let’s look at them and show you’ve paid them and you don’t owe them. The problem with that old bill is the attorney general with the State of Mississippi says that if you are a bona fide purchaser without notice of the lien, then that lien can be discharged. We’ve looked at the records in the chancery clerk’s office when the title was changed over to you, and that lien was of record. Whoever was examining the title missed it and they should have caught it,” said board attorney David Houston.
Monroe County has $829,600 worth of delinquent garbage bills on record, and supervisors wondered how much of it stems to instances like this one.
“I told the board 25 years ago when it was $200,000 that they needed to hire a person, send them on all the garbage trucks when they make their stops, run it by address,” said chancery clerk Ronnie Boozer of better tracing what addresses don’t have garbage put out anymore in order to prevent bills from stacking up through the years.
Supervisors were to talk to Three Rivers solid waste officials about Humphres’ matter after the meeting. It was also noted there should be communication with state lawmakers about the limitations county officials have in such matters.
“This is a tough law. Every time you try to find a way to get around it, there’s an attorney general’s opinion that says that you can’t do this,” Houston said of the older bill.
District 1 resident Jerry Lann showed board members pictures of a few flooding incidences in his yard alongside Clay Hill Road, which began within the past couple of years. He asked for the board’s help, but it was noted a resolution was approved a few months ago requesting assistance from Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District (TRVWMD), since it will require going on private property to clear a ditch.
The board is awaiting easements to be signed by neighbors before it can be submitted to TRVWMD to be added to its list.
County road manager Daniel Williams said part of the problem is flash floods in the area, and it was noted beaver control programs have focused on the area in recent years.
After West asked, Lann said he’s not above the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood hazard area.
In other business, Monroe County Chief Deputy Curtis Knight said during individual input the sheriff’s office received a $16,000 grant for tactical equipment such as protective vests, plates, communications and helmets.
District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan said he has been in continued communication with Okolona’s mayor about continued efforts to allow for state legislation that would give authority for municipal electric departments to offer broadband. He wants to keep people aware of it.