The summer construction season is in full bloom in Coahoma County with Supervisors busy on a variety of construction projects and making plans to replace a major bridge in the county.
County Road Manager Otis Griffin updated supervisors on various road projects and work done this summer that delayed paving projects in the county. With those projects behind him, Griffin said the focus now is roads.
“We worked on the Justice Center parking lot, we worked hauling dirt to the new fire station and we just had limited resources,” said Griffin. “We are looking at roads now.”
Board President Johnny Newson pointed to the county’s four-year road plan as a good place to start.
Supervisors ranked the following projects at their July 6 meeting.
1.) Sunflower River Road – reseal.
2.) Little Simmons Road – reseal.
3.) Bennett Road – reseal.
4.) Young Road – reseal.
5.) Install reflectors on Lee Drive from West Second to Oakhurst Drive.
6.) Coahoma-Moon Lake Road – reseal.
Supervisors were also handed a bid last week from Joe McGee Construction for $2,359,241.30 to replace the Johnson Road Bridge over the Sunflower River. The project will reduce the number of piles under the bridge that has allowed debris to build up and block the flow or water.
County Engineer Ken Weiland brought the board a funding plan using State Aid Bridge Funds, Emergency Bridge Replacement Funds and county dollars.
Weiland said the Johnson Road Bridge is load limited and could easily fail under heavy ag traffic at any time.
Plans are to begin work on the bridge this fall and hopefully have the bridge in place next summer.
The board also approved Weiland to be the consulting engineer for the county on the Jonestown Bypass project. Under this agreement, Weiland will work with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to monitor the work. This agreement will give Weiland the right to ask questions of the contractor and work with MDOT to make sure specifications are followed for the project.
Supervisors also approved – at Weiland’s request – the 2020 rail replace and improvement project for the county.
Weiland pointed out this is the fourth project he has conducted with MDOT and MDA funding.
“We are making positive headway getting the county’s rail upgraded and improved beginning at the tie in to the CNI rail below Webb,” said Weiland. “The manner and design of the work we are completing should eliminate all but minor maintenance of those sections of rail.”
In other business:
• At Tuesday’s meeting the board approved a request from Justice Court Clerk Darlean Lake to hire Shanta Lofton as a deputy and the vote to hire Markeetha Trotter be rescinded.
• Approved travel for Tax Assessor Collector Ann Williams to attend the 2020 Miss. Assoc. of County Assessors Conference in Biloxi on Oct. 25-29 and real property appraisal Oct. 29-30 in Bay St. Louis.
• Accepted the resignation of Greg Spencer from the Coahoma County Planning Commission Board.
• Accepted the resignation of Madge Howell from the Coahoma County Tourism Board.
• Recognized Samuel Sarpong offering insurance and investments to county employees.
• Heard a comparative budget report from Comptroller Ann Hoskins who all but two funds are under budget and most are at 87-percent of expected expenditures for the fiscal year.
Hoskins also gave the monthly gaming fee report with monthly transfers at $108,169.56 for August. The fund balance is a negative $20,253.86 for the year.
• Received a letter saying the county did not qualify for funds from the Mississippi Home Corporation, 2020 Home Investment Program.
• The board met with Network Ballistix about its current contract of $2,400 a month, expanding to $8,970 under a new contract. Network Ballistics chief technology officer Joe Maury said he wanted to return to the board with a presentation explaining the company’s scope of work for the county.
• The board recessed until 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at the Coahoma County Courthouse.