In conjoined motions, the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the town of Inverness and contingent upon that signing, they voted to purchase a new fire truck with donated and borrowed funds for the town’s use.
The new truck will reportedly cost $356,147 and normally the county would be required to pay the full cost for the vehicle; however, the Town of Inverness received a special $150,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Insurance that must be used towards the purchase of a fire truck.
The town plans to contribute that amount to the cause leaving the county on the hook for only the remaining $206,000, which they previously agreed to borrow through a short-term loan.
The MOA stipulates that although the new purchase will be assigned to Inverness, it will be wholly owned by the county, it must be used to service Mississippi Delta Community College and other areas inside the county and outside of the town of Inverness and that Inverness officials are aware and will act in accordance with the agreement.
The contract became necessary after Attorney Johnny McWilliams raised concern at a prior meeting over whether the state would follow through with the grant since the county would need to be designated as owner of the truck with it simply being assigned to the town.
McWilliams had said he also wanted to make sure he had written confirmation from the town’s lawmakers and the state insurance office that they were aware and in agreement with the provisions.
He said the proposed document has quieted all of his apprehensions and he advised the members to sign it. McWilliams said the Inverness attorneys have reviewed the MOA and it satisfies the state requirements.
The county lawmakers previously voted to borrow $210,000, which includes loan costs and other fees, contingent upon the above-mentioned verifications.
By law, the county board of supervisors is required to furnish each municipality with a new truck periodically and it is set up on a rotating schedule. The money typically accumulates in the fire rebate fund, but that money was used earlier to purchase two sets of Jaws of Life.
Inverness city officials still have to sign off on the MOA before it becomes official, so the board’s vote to make the purchase is hinged upon that. The arrangement also provides that the old truck be sold back to Inverness for one dollar.
Typically, the municipalities buy back the formerly used trucks for $30,000; however, since the town is contributing the $150,000 from that special grant, Inverness gets a $29,999 break.
McWilliams and President Glenn Donald made it clear that the negligible amount is due only to the contribution from the town’s special allotment and that other municipalities should not expect the same arrangements unless they too acquired special funding. Donald said he doesn’t want other cities to think they can get their prior used trucks for a dollar.
McWilliams told the members, “This is a unique circumstance. “Any other town in the county, if they can get the $150,000 like that, I certainly would recommend that you treat them all the same.” They added that delivery of the truck could take 10 to 12 months from the date it is ordered.
In other business,
By an order of the governor, which was approved by the board, the Sunflower County Courthouse and all county offices will be closed for Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday that follows as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
However, only New Year’s Day will be observed as a paid holiday. So, any county employee that wishes to take an additional day such as New Year’s Eve will have to use accumulated personal time or take the time off without pay. In addition, they must give prior notice to their department heads.