By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – A Huntsville, Ala., firm was hired by Yalobusha County to update the county’s aerial tax maps at a cost of $28,000.
The Alabama company, Spatial Net, sent Kirk Neill to the August 30 board meeting that coincided with tense budget deliberations as supervisors planned for a tight upcoming fiscal year that starts October 1. While the required expenditure was not the best news for supervisors, county officials learned the expense could have been as much as $80,000.
Neill, a former county mapper for Hinds County, explained to supervisors that two factors contributed significantly to the savings for the service. First, images for rural areas in the county could be used from existing photography recorded during a 2006 flight by the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
This means that only urban areas in the county will have to be photographed during a flight, which will cost $12,000. Other expenses associated with the service include $7,000 to rectify to aerial maps so they will match up with tax parcel maps Tax Assessor /Collector Linda Shuffield currently uses. The remainder of the $28,000 expense comes from printing the 55 urban area maps and 152 rural area maps.
The second factor attributed to the cost savings was digital scans of the current tax maps that Shuffield had obtained.
“Somebody had come in and wanted the maps scanned, and she (Linda) kept a copy of it,” Neill explained. “She is saving the county a bunch of money,” Neill continued.
The aerial maps are required to be updated every dozen years, based on the number of land parcels in Yalobusha County. The maps currently in use were flown in 1999, according to Shuffield.
Neill told supervisors the flights will be scheduled during the winter months, when the leaves are off the trees. The new maps will be delivered in June or early July next year.
“I think this lady does a great job,” Neill said, after the board voted to hire the company.
“We do too,” District One Supervisors Tommy Vaughn answered.
Other business conducted at recent meetings include:
• Accepted a bid for 19 concrete bridge beams in District 4 from Fly Timber Company. Suggs approved the $1,629.44 bid for the surplus property.
• Approved an application from Golden and Corbett, LLC, to exceed the weight limit on County roads 203 and 216 in District 5 while hauling logs.
• Denied a request from Donald Martin to release a hold on his car tag. The hold was placed on the tag because of a past due $866 garbage bill.
After consulting with Board Attorney John Crow, supervisors denied the request, citing that the electricity was not cut off at the residence and he did inform the county that he had left the residence.
• Heard an update from Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Hyde about a grant request the county submitted to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency for seven tornado warning siren.
Hyde reported the county was approved for one warning siren, but the county could reapply in the future.
The grant will cover the bulk of the expense for the siren, which Hyde estimated at $15,000 plus a pole and accompanying hardware.
Supervisors agreed that the warning siren should be installed at the Water Valley Boat Landing area, citing the number of people who live in the area.
• Updated the daily fee paid to the American Legion Hut for the elderly feeding program. The fee was increased from $10 per day to just over $17, following a request from Joe Black. The increased was needed due to increased expenses.