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Speed Limit Signs Are Going Up On CR 211

Water Valley Alderman Kagan Coughlin asked supervisors to consider adopting a tax abatement program for business investments as an economic development incentive. His comments came during a recessed meeting held April 23, marking his second trip to pitch the idea.

By David Howell

Editor


WATER VALLEY – Supervisors voted to post speed limit signs on County Road 211 following a recommendation from District 4 Supervisor Timothy Booker. 

Booker recommended that 55 MPH speed limit signs be posted and explained that he had received several complaints after motorists received tickets from state troopers.  

“There are no speed limit signs out there now,” Booker explained during a recessed meeting held Monday at the Water Valley courthouse. County Road 211 connects Coffeeville and Oakland and motorists often drive fast on the road.

In previous years the Board of Supervisors voted to post 35 MPH speed limit signs on County Roads 80 and 82 in District 5 and 40 MPH speed limit signs on County Road 436 in District 1.  

Other business discussed in Monday’s meeting included: 

• Requested Board Attorney John Crow to send letters to two junkyards in the county advising the owners to comply with the county’s ordinance regulating the businesses. In both cases, the owners will be given 30 days to bring the property into compliance or be cited under the ordinance. One junkyard is on Hwy. 51 near Oakland and the second is located on Country Road 436, just outside Water Valley. 

“Give them 30 days to get into compliance or be served,” recommended Board President Cayce Washington during discussion on the matter.

• Discussed an industrial tax exemption granted to Yalobusha Brewing Company after county officials questioned if the business was still in operation during the April 2 meeting. The 10-year tax exemptions were granted by supervisors in 2013 and 2015 as an incentive to provide jobs in the community, similar to other manufacturers.

“My concern is the jobs,” Washington said about the current status of the brewery, noting that the original tax exemption application stated they would employ 20 people.

The owners were invited to Monday’s meeting to provide an update on their business but did not attend. In an email sent to District 3 Supervisor Lee McMinn and the North Mississippi Herald on April 22, co-founders Andy O’Bryan and Dr. Mac Nichols explained they were unable to attend the meeting. The founders provided an overview of their status in the email, which was read in the meeting and stated they were still in operation. They also reported that their actual hours of brewing vary greatly, depending on what style of beer they are brewing, 

“The actual hours that we are brewing vary greatly depending on what style of beer we are brewing, but to further explain:  we are making beer 24/7, 365 days per year, because a huge percentage of the beer we make is aged in barrels, some times up to a year. So the brewing of the beer is only the first step of the cycle towards the consumable product. One hundred percent of what we make originates in our facility in Water Valley.  We want to make this clear, as some breweries ‘contract brew’ where some part of their production is done at other sites, by different breweries. We have never participated in any part of ‘contract brewing,’” the email stated. 

The email also stated they have plans to expand the brewery into other cities, but their federal alcohol manufacturing license is tied to the Water Valley location, and they will always have a base of operations in Yalobusha County.  The email also stated the current hours of operation for the public is each Friday, from 4 to 9 p.m.

“If they have shut down temporarily, that is one thing. But if they don’t have any intent to come back here and do what they said they are going to do, the exemption is void, by statute,” Crow explained. 

Supervisors agreed to request a site visit at the Main Street location before making a final decision on the exemptions. 

• Heard a request from Water Valley alderman Kagan Coughlin for supervisors to implement a tax abatement program for business investments made in the county’s three municipalities, similar to an ordinance implemented by the City of Water Valley. 

Coughlin explained the program is an incentive for economic development and delays the impact of tax increases on the taxable value for new investments for up to seven years.

In Water Valley, the tax abatement program adopted by aldermen on April 3 allows the portion of city taxes assessed for renovations and improvements, or for new structures, to be deferred over a five-year period.

 The abatement is staggered, with 100 percent of the new investment exempt in year one, 80 percent exempt in year two, 60 percent in year three, 40 percent in year four and 20 percent in year five.

Supervisors took the request under advisement. If adopted the county’s abatement would apply for county taxes and not school or city taxes.

•  Approved applications for two logging companies to exceed the posted weight limits on county roads while hauling timber. The applications were for Joey Shaw in District 1 on County Roads 129 and 222 and Harrison Logging in Districts 1 and 5 on County Road 215.


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