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Supervisors Meeting Report

Located on Hwy. 51, the old Oakland School and acreage around it was the topic in a meeting on August 14 when supervisors discussed the possibility of selling the property.

Supervisors Contemplate Property Sale

By David Howell

OAKLAND – A portion of the 13-acre tract of land on Hwy. 51 that includes the old Oakland school could be declared surplus and offered to the public. The building and acreage is owned by the county and supervisors briefly discussed the matter during a recessed Board of Supervisors meeting held August 14.
    “Could we disperse that out in road funds?” Board President Tommy Vaughn asked, referring to distributing the proceeds of property sale.
    “I will have to check on that,” Board Attorney John Crow answered. Crow added that the actual property is likely more valuable than the old school.
    The 13-acre tract also includes the District 4 county barn, property that will be excluded if  supervisors decide to sell.

Current Lease
    The school was a recurring topic as 2013 came to a close after two competing groups expressed interest in leasing the building.  In recent years West Yalobusha Community Action Agency had dibs on the building even though their lease expired in 2008.
    In 2007, Melvin Gary first approached supervisors about a potential lease or lease-purchase of the building to operate a non-profit center for on-the-job training for at-risk, unemployed people in the county. Last November, he came back to supervisors with the same question, citing sporadic use of the facility by West Yalobusha Community Action Agency.
    That visit brought the status of the lease into question and county officials determined the lease had been expired since 2008.
    In January, supervisors voted to execute a new, five-year lease with Lizzie Earl and West Yalobusha Community Action Agency, Inc. after letting Suggs make the recommendation on which group to select. The lease requires the agency to maintain liability insurance and pay the utilities on the property which primarily includes the use of the gym.
    Earl told supervisors the kids play ball in the school and it is also used for family reunions and other gatherings.

Three Beer Permits Renewed At Meeting

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – County beer permits for Griffis Truck Stop in Tillatoba, VFW Post 4100 outside of Water Valley and the Yalobusha County Club were renewed during the August 14 supervisor meeting.
    First on the list was the renewal application for the truck stop to sell hot beer to be consumed off-premises, although supervisors indicated the owners would like to sell cold  to go, prompting a short discussion to go.
    “He wants to, but by the statute he can’t,” District 5 Supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman explained, referring to the 2008 beer ordinance adopted by the county which requires hot beer sales only unless it is served in a restaurant with a beer.
    “What he wanted before, he wanted it cold on the retail side because on both sides of him it was being sold cold,” District Three Supervisor Lee McMinn explained, referring to the stops on I-55 nearest the truck stop. The next north exit is in Grenada County, which does not regulate the temperature of beer. The next stop south is in Oakland, which also allows the sale of cold beer inside the city limits which includes the businesses adjacent I-55.
    “He can’t do that,” Board President Tommy Vaughn added, referring to the 2008 ordinance.
    The truck stop beer application for hot beer only was then renewed and next was the VFW beer permit renewal for cold, on-premises consumption in conjunction with the organization’s restaurant that was renewed with no discussion.
    The last permit was for on-premises consumption at the country club.
“They understand they have to be selling a meal with it. Do they understand that?” Crow asked.
    Chancery Clerk Amy McMinn reminded supervisors that they had discussed the ordinance with country club manager Bebo Howell when he started running the facility.
    “He had to sign something,” Lee McMinn recalled as the country club’s renewal was passed 5-0.

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