BONIFAY — Wanda Stafford, Director of Holmes County Emergency Management visited the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners to give them an update on what the severe weather means for Holmes County during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
“The rain started Friday,” said Stafford. “We expect the river to crest at 17.01 feet on Thursday. All the residents are taking the necessary precautions but it’s nothing we’re not use to.”
Historically, Stafford said that they start experiencing flooding problems at 17.09 feet, like the area experienced in 2009; the worst being the flood in 1994 when the river crested at 23.85 feet.
“Our 10-day forecast doesn’t show any additional rains coming into the area to worry about additional swelling,” she said. “Schools start back tomorrow and we’re working on getting as many roads back open as possible.”
She said there had to be a declaration of a state of emergency so that the county could receive additional equipment, such as barricades and sandbags.
Though, for national aide there would have to be a certain amount of damage statewide. She said that on the county level they had enough in damages, however as a state they do not and the requirements is they meet it locally and statewide before those additional funds would be made available.
BOCC approved of the Consent Items, which includes the minutes for Special Session of Feb. 5, 2013, Regular Session of Feb. 12, 2013 and Special Session of Feb. 18, 2013; Limited Right of Entry Agreement; and World Spay Day Resolution.
BOCC approved of the final auction list of surplus county items and for the auction to be held at 9 a.m. on April 12.
BOCC also approved of EMS Director Greg Barton’s request to purchase a cardiac monitor with FEMA money, which was already previously budgeted for purchase.
Holmes County Extension Director Shep Eubanks was present with quotes for the recent assessment of the air conditioning unit at the Holmes County Agricultural Center.
Eubanks said that the quote was around $45,000 to replace the system and $5,000 to try to save the compressor, however the engineer said that it would be useless to replace the compressor.
Commissioner Bobby Sasnett suggested that they look into finding more quotes.
“We’ve spent a lot of money up-keeping these air conditioning units,” said Commissioner Bill Parish. “We need to insure that the lease agreement insures sufficient income to maintain good, running equipment.”
BOCC agreed to look into getting a couple more quotes before taking action.
Eubanks also said that he had a couple lots that needed maintenance, “nothing major,” but requested that it be placed on the special projects list.
Commissioner Kenneth Williams request that they look into putting a window in one of their metal buildings because workers had little or no cell phone or radio reception in the building and it made it difficult for communication on rainy days.
BOCC approved of the Holmes County Public Library request to use excess funds to repair the roof of the library’s annex in the amount of $3,200.
There was also a request that a local patron wanted to build a gazebo for the library using donated money and the Holmes County Public Library requested that an engineer come out to see if that is even feasible.
Parish said that he thought it would be best to set some guidelines for such requests.
“I can understand someone wanting to build something for the community and having their name placed on it, however if we have everyone wanting to build many things this could easily get out of hand,” said Parish. “We just need to set some guidelines. For example, the annex didn’t really match the library aesthetically, though you did you’re best to make it work with what you had; I’m just saying we don’t want a repeat of that if we can avoid it.”
Commissioner David Whitaker also suggested that they keep in mind costs of maintenance.
“Even though it is donated, it will be up to you to maintain it,” said Whitaker.
BOCC agreed to allow the engineer to look at into the details.
County Attorney Jeff Goodman updated the BOCC on their new dirt policy they requested he draft.
“I’ve drafted it so that the county can still use it for public purposes and on right-of-ways to maintain public usage but restricts it from being used on private land,” said Goodman.
Parish requested that the policy also include rocks.
Chair Monty Merchant suggested that the BOCC review the content of the policy and bring it up for further review at the next meeting.
Goodman also said that he drafted the PTO policy, adding that he did so without limiting the BOCC to further disciplinary action if they see fit and requested they review it for further review at the next scheduled meeting.
BOCC agreed to accept the resignation of Robert Dinkins from the Holmes County Development Commission and Parish agreed to have another candidate presented for the BOCC’s approval by the next meeting of HC BOCC.
Merchant also informed the BOCC that he had a road foreman who had recently lost his home in a fire and this included several sets of uniforms, which together cost $299.55. Goodman agreed to accept the costs to replace those uniforms.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the HC BOCC is set for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at the BOCC located next to the Holmes County Court House.