COFFEEVILLE – Supervisors appointed Frank Hyde as the county’s arson investigator during a recessed meeting Monday in Coffeeville. Hyde will replace Cecil Harrison, who had held the position since 1998.
Harrison will retain his job as Civil Defense Director, but was told he could no longer serve as fire investigator because the job requires him to be deputized as a Yalobusha sheriff’s officer.
“We are doing away with Cecil because of Lance’s (Sheriff Humphreys) policy?” District Five Supervisor Bubba Tillman asked before the vote was taken. The matter had also been discussed in executive session in a previous meeting, held a month earlier.
The sherriff’s department adopted an extensive policy in 2007. One portion of the policy prohibits deputies from being affiliated with an alcohol-related establishment. Harrison opened a restaurant which serves alcohol in March, 2008.
Ironically the vote, which was 4-0, came while Harrison was on the fire scene of the Mt. Moriah District Association building with investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
Hyde currently serves as the county’s fire and E-911 coordinator. He will attend a three-day training course and told supervisors he would need a digital camera and tape recorder to perform the duties.
In other county business:
• Hyde received the go-ahead to add a bay on the Tillatoba Fire Department. His budget will furnish the concrete and building, at an estimated cost of $10,000. Department volunteers, using money raised in fundraisers, will pay to have the building erected. The new bay at the fire department will be used to house a new truck, which will arrive in September.
Hyde also asked if money, which was left in a GO Rural Fire account years ago, could be transferred to his budget for the department expansion expenditure.
Just over $15,000 had been left in the account according to Hyde. The money had been transferred into the county’s general fund in recent years.
“Let us look and make sure,” District One Supervisor Tommy Vaughn told Hyde.
• Approved a request from Town and Country Garden Club representative Mary Lou Jones to place four new garbage cans at the Water Valley Courthouse.
• Approved an application from Lovorn Logging Inc. to exceed the county’s posted weight limit on County Road 175 and 215. A similar application was approved from Timberland Harvestors to exceed the weight limit on County Road 215.
These permits do not allow log trucks to exceed the 80,000 pound weight capacity, which is the maximum on state and federal roads.
• Hired Nathan Hill to work in District 3. Hill will start at $1,600 a month, plus benefits.
• Approved a request for Harrison and Mark Story to travel to a June conference.
• Approved a request for travel for Amy McMinn, Janet Calder and John Crow to attend the Mississippi Association of Supervisor’s convention in June.
• Approved a request for the county Veteran’s Service Officer, George Rounsaville to attend a seminar in Tupelo in May.