BONIFAY — Holmes County Board of County Commissioners agreed to listen to a request from Bill Williams, a consultant with SCG Governmental Affairs, LLC, during their meeting Tuesday for a special session to discuss the Restore Act.
Williams is representing area counties in their collaborative effort to seek BP funding due to the oil spill that occurred in April of 2010.
“There’s a pool of money from that oil spill and now they are trying to figure out how to dispense that money,” said County Attorney Jeff Goodman. “The Restore Act is an effort to get the different counties on the same page to gain better leverage to push towards obtaining that money. I’ll continue to go to these meetings and I hope that Holmes County will be willing to work with the other counties.”
Williams said that it would basically be a commitment made by the counties to include the Restore Act in their future plans and requested that the county appoint a mediator on behalf of the county, which after discussion they agreed on County Engineer Cliff Knauer.
After some discussion the Board agreed to discuss the matter in a workshop later.
After the final reading and public hearing for the One-Cent Surtax Ordinance the Board approved.
Resident Tamphus Messer was present to request the name of Besma Road be renamed after his father, Tom Messer.
“Some time ago a woman came down here with a petition to name that road Besma Road, after herself and said she was the only one living on that road,” said Messer. “The petition was signed by people who don’t even live on that road, but I let it go. Last year Commissioner Philip Music said that if I could get a petition together that I could have it changed.”
He said he requested it because she didn’t live on the road any more and that it was his father who helped build the road.
Goodman said that there is a lengthy process in order to rename a road and requested that he present the information at the next Board meeting.
Knauer gave an update on the progress made with his meeting with the City of Bonifay to investigate an issue they were having with items being flushed down the toilets at the prison and clogging their waste water treatment pumps.
“We met and there made a report and recommendations,” said Knauer. “They were saying that there were various debris being flushed down the toilet like tennis shoes, grocery bags and bed sheets and I must say what we saw wasn’t very pretty. You see the prison has no garbage cans so anything you or I would’ve thrown in the garbage was what they were flushing down the toilet.”
Knauer’s recommendation was to install a rod mess box filter to catch all the excess debris, which would be cleaned daily by the inmates.
“The bad news is that it’s expensive and we don’t know the exact depth,” he said. “Based on the info we have now it is estimated to cost anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000. I recommend that the city help with probing for the depth.”
He also said there would be some expense in have to bypass the system to install it and for an override system to bypass it when an inmate was working on cleaning it each day.
“It’s a big and costly situation but so is stopping pumps with bed sheets and tennis shoes and when it stops we have overflow issues; we can’t have that,” said Commissioner Bill Parish. “I wish there was a simple and cheap way to fix this but that’s just not the case here.”
Knauer said he was going to move forward with asking the city for help probing for the depth and then bring a more accurate estimation to the board at the next meeting.
Board approved of Emergency Management Director Greg Barton’s request to hire Dakota Ward as the newest full time Emergency Management Technician.
Parish said that he was receiving complaints about a couple of waste management companies taking their trash home and storing it there and requested that at least those they hold contracts with stay within the land development code.
Goodman confirmed that they can require that compliance and agreed to send the waste management company a letter of compliance.
“I just recommend that if you hold one to certain standards that you remain consistent and require it of them all,” said Goodman.
Board approved of re-advertising for an additional secretarial position at their office.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 29.