By David Howell
County supervisors started the month with a public hearing on real and personal property tax assessments in a lengthy “first Monday” supervisors meeting a day before the primary election.
In that hearing the sole objection that the county received by the July 31 deadline was submitted by the county’s largest employer, BorgWarner.
Tax Assessor/Collector Linda Shuffield told supervisors that a senior appraiser with the State Tax Commission was set to visit the factory the following day to meet with BorgWarner officials. The objection was continued until Wednesday, August 8, which was the date of a similar hearing in Coffeeville. Each year, supervisors set a date in both judicial districts to allow input from citizens about the assessments prior to entering the budget process.
At the Wednesday meeting, BorgWarner formally withdrew its objection to the assessment.
Other business conducted by the county included:
• Approved a 36 month lease for the sheriff’s department to purchase a copying machine. The payment will be $54 per month. The decision was made after Humphreys told supervisors that the department was operating without a copying machine.
• Constables Randy Simmons and Charlie Calder appeared before supervisor to request consideration that each men be paid for acting as bailiffs during criminal cases heard in Justice Court.
Simmons told supervisors a new law had been passed earlier this year which allowed, at the board’s discretion, payment to constables for baliff duties in the amount of $55 per day.
“We can’t make a decision today,” Beat Three Supervisor Butch Surrette told the pair. The request was deferred until budget time.
• Allowed Justice Court clerks to close their office on Sept. 4, which is a day before a training seminar is scheduled to begin.
• Granted a request from hospital administrator Terry Varner to move the ambulance service in Coffeeville to the building that formerly had housed the health department.
Varner told supervisors that the crew needed the room.
“This definitely means the health department is not coming back, not going to give shots or anything?” Beat Five Supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman asked, who added that he understands that the ambulance neweds a new place.
“We were told that nobody was coming (health department), so they (health department officials) quit coming,” Beat One Supervisor Tommy Vaughn said.
• Fielded a request from Yalobusha County Economic Development Foundation board members Taylor Trusty and Pierce Epes asking for the board to pass a resolution to fund a county-wide economic development entity and director.
The request surfaced a day before the election as Trusty and Epes worked to get a public commitment from supervisors.
“My main concern is what kind of money we are talking about,” Vaughn told Epes and Trusty. Vaughn said he would like to know an actual dollar amount.
“I think we are a month-and-a-half early,” Surrette said, deferring the request until supervisors begin work on the 2007-2008 fiscal year budget.
“There is total agreement from the board that we are going to do this,” Surrette also said.
“What would be the harm in adopting a resolution?” Trusty asked.
Again, county officials said that without knowing the exact amount of money, they were hestitant to take action during the meeting.
“We are still three weeks or a month early in getting something done,” Surrette said. “Things are done at the beginning of a new fiscal year.”
The county’s fiscal year begins October 1.
There was a consensus at the table that the economic development entity would likely operate as the Yalobusha Economic Development Authority with a nine-person board. Each supervisor would appoint a board member, with three others being appointed, one from each municipality in the county. The ninth appointee could come from the business community.