July 2, 2013 9:38:10 AM
Lowndes County supervisors unanimously approved installation of six warning siren, which will be funded almost entirely by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency during their meeting Monday.
MEMA will pay for 95 percent of the $295,846 it will cost to install the sirens, with the county taking care of the remaining $14,792.
The sirens will be installed in the following locations: Wilcutt Block Training Center at 80 Wilcutt Block Road; Lowndes County Fire Station 1 on 347 Stadium Road, Columbus Middle School on 175 Highway 373, West Lowndes Elementary School on 1000 Gilmer Wilburn Road.; Golden Triangle Regional Airport on 2080 Airport Road; and Tri South Aviation on 368 Fabritek Road.
Supervisor John Holliman said installation of the new sirens is part of a continuous effort to ensure a severe weather siren is audible for everyone in Lowndes County.
"We've got some areas where they can't hear the sirens," he said. "We're trying to get it where you can hear them in different parts of the county, especially in your populated areas."
County Administrator, Ralph Billingsley, who made supervisors aware of the MEMA grant fund availability and recommended they pursue the grant, said in July 2011 that the county needed 20 new sirens. He said then that it would cost anywhere from $325,000 to $350,000 to install them in the county's most heavily populated and under-served areas.
In other business, the board:
■ Approved a one mill certification for the county tax assessor's office. Tax assessor and collector Greg Andrews asked for about $281,000 from this fiscal year budget, about $50,000 less than what he budgeted last year. What is not spent from the mill will be returned to the county's general fund;
■ Approved a state aid special inspection for a bridge on Waterworks Road;
■ Approved utility permits for service lines on Jamison Road and Aurora Way and
■ Authorized the Golden Triangle Regional Airport board to approve potential grant opportunities as mentioned by Billingsley.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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