Indianola Ward 4 City Alderman, Marvin Elder went before the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors on Monday and requested the county's help in digging out a ditch located on the east side of Charles Ellis Road to aid in drainage and to prevent flooding of the residents’ property.
The graveled road is located in the southwest section of the city, off Wiggins Road. Elder said the easements have not been properly kept up and the drainage and elevation needs to be completed.
Using photos and maps, Elder made his plea before the county leaders, “We got to get those people some relief, and we need the county’s blessings and help to assist us. We need the board to be united to help those citizens down there,” Elder said.
He added that the city has already invested $10,000 in a first phase of work that was done some years ago, but he is now requesting help for the next phase. Ron Cassada, Gardner Engineering, presented the members with some of the history of the project and said one of the hold ups has been determining if the road was a city road or a private road.
Mentioning that the portion of road in question is situated entirely within the confines of the city limits, Attorney Johnny McWilliams said the county is authorized to help, but only if the city agrees and wants the county’s help because the county has no authority within the city limits.
He said that if the city does want the help then the city must certify any easements or necessary right of ways. Elder said the city is going to do their part. McWilliams said two things are needed, certification that it is public property or there's an easement and then a formal written request from the city for help on the specific work.
In other business,
Bishop Willie B. Knighten of Moorhead asked the county lawmakers about the status of the old clinic building in Moorhead that he had expressed an interest in purchasing.
After it was determined at a previous meeting that the building, which is reportedly in a serious state of disrepair, had been transferred to Moorhead by the county (the city leaders were reportedly unaware that they owned it) the county decided to ask the city to transfer the property back to them so Knighten could purchase it.
McWilliams said that he has prepared a deed and it was ready to be submitted to the city of Moorhead for signatures. Once that is done the building would be put up for bids and anticipating that the advertisement would start this week. McWilliams said the bids would be opened on the first Monday in March.
In other business,
McWilliams said that he has prepared a letter to send to the state with regard to the situation at Parchman. He said the letter was not on behalf of the board of supervisors specifically, but from him personally and it referenced at least four things.
One, state officials need to be mindful that Parchman should have its own ambulance service so they should not be utilizing the county’s medical service provider and taking services away from the county’s citizens.
Two, he's asking for an increase to the fee in lieu of tax for the agricultural land that the prison facility uses from the current amount of $9. He said that price was set years ago and hasn’t changed. According to him, farmers in that area are being taxed at around $15 per acre.
Three, he wants them to consider the provisions for the workers for the county’s roads. He stated that the county is supposed to get 35 workers, but that hasn’t happened in years.
Four, he's asking that MDOC consider providing for the towns around the prison, because they are some of the more impoverished areas.
The lawmakers also received a letter from Governor Tate Reeves acknowledging that a $400,000 CDBG Grant has been awarded for the Parmida LED Technologies project.
The board has apparently been waiting on verification to get the project started, so McWilliams asked them to do a board order authorizing a contract for Gardner Engineering to complete the design work to get the project moving.
The lawmakers also voted to provide office space on the lower floor of the courthouse for the Indianola Municipal Drug Court Coordinator and for the County Attorney. Those items were approved on a 4-0 vote since District 1 Supervisor Glenn Donald had excused himself from the meeting.