March 7, 2014 11:13:24 AM
For the next five months, Clay County supervisors will hold their last board meetings of the month in the afternoon instead of in the morning.
They meet three times a month, typically at 9 a.m. But the meetings they hold on the last Thursday of each month will be held at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.
Discussion on whether to hold night meetings has been a long-standing subject of disagreement between board members. The pro: It gives people who can't be present for morning meetings a chance to watch elected officials conduct county business and offer input. The con: It requires more utility use on the county dime to keep the courthouse open longer than the usual 5 p.m. shutdown time.
Board President Floyd McKee said he received a letter from county resident David Cox requesting that he and his colleagues once again entertain moving some meetings to the afternoon after previous discussions about the idea yielded no changes.
Supervisor Shelton Deanes suggested the board take the idea under advisement. McKee pointed out the amount of discussion supervisors have had in the past about it.
"We've had it under advisement," McKee said. "We're going to get this over with."
The dates for the afternoon meetings are March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26 and July 24.
Multi-modal port project receives no bids
Last month, grant administrator Phylis Benson with the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District informed supervisors that the county had been awarded an $84,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to make improvements to its port. The county then advertised for construction services.
Benson was scheduled to open bids Thursday, but there weren't any. The county will re-advertise and visit the situation again next month.
Supes agree to apply for CDBG block grant for Siloam
Supervisors agreed to apply for a Community Development Block Grant through the Mississippi Development Authority on Siloam Water Association's behalf for the second straight year.
They applied for the CDBG grant for the same reason in 2013 but were not awarded funding to install a new 300-gallon-per-minute well. Siloam Water Association does not have a back-up well, so if the one currently being used malfunctions, its 300 customers' water supply will be compromised.
Siloam Water Association operator and general manager Harvey Cummings emphasized the need for a second well.
"It is important that we get the ball rolling this time. We need to get this well out on Highway 46," Cummings said. "We have about 400 customers on that well, and Lord forbid if that well goes down, there is no water."
There will be a public hearing next Monday at 5 p.m. on the grant process. Benson said she will encourage the county to dedicate more matching funds than it did in last year's application because MDA tends to award funding to applicants that are willing to match grant amounts dollar for dollar.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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