Supervisors approve purchase of land near fairgrounds

The Union County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of  35.7 acres of land that lies on the eastern side of the Union County Fairgrounds for $250,000.

Union County Board President Danny Jordan said, “We have been wanting to buy this property for a long time, so when it came up for purchase, we bought it. There are no plans for the land right now, but in the future we may talk about putting some county offices over there, but nothing is definite yet.”

The board then said they are placing a bid in the paper for community storm shelters to be placed at some of the volunteer fire departments in the county. Currently, there are two shelters at Blue Springs Fire Department, two at Sherman Fire Department, two at North East Fire Department, two at East Union Fire Department, two at Alpine Fire Department, and two at South East Fire Department.

According to Emergency Management Director Hal Sanders, “The community storm shelter is a concrete box with two four-inch vents at the top and the door has to have a one-inch space at the bottom, battery-powered lights and battery-powered radios are in the shelter, it is wheelchair accessible, and has to hold a minimum of 24 people or more. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay $5,000 per unit and the board will pay up to $2,000. Anything over that the local fire departments will pay.”

The bid opening will be on March 23, 2009.

The board then approved entering into an interlocal agreement between city and county regarding the New Albany Union County Drug Task Force.

“The city of New Albany and Union County have agreed to agree to split all forfeited seized assets 50/50 between the city and the county. The city will have primary responsibility for all assets seized in the city and the county will have primary responsibility for all assets seized in the county,” said Union County Board Attorney Thad Mueller.

At the February 23, 2009 board meeting, Union County Sheriff Tommy Wilhite and Union County Fire Coordinator Steve Coker discussed a meeting they attended with the Mississippi Wireless Communications Commission.

“The commission has $10, 989,345 available to help counties with wireless communications throughout the state of Mississippi. The wireless communications hooks all of public safety together: the City of New Albany Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Medical Association, Emergency Medical Services, and the city and county fire departments,” said Wilhite.

An interlocal agreement and a joint resolution needed to be signed by the city and county and sent to the commission. In turn, they will come to Union County and conduct a site survey and tell the county what is needed and what amount out of $10, 989, 345 the county will receive.

“The commission will pay 80 percent and the county will have to come up to 20 percent,” according to Wilhite.

 According to Mueller, “There is a grant program that is established through the Department of Homeland Security, but is administered by the Mississippi Wireless Communications Commission. Through that agency, we have grant money available to look at creating an interoperability radio communication between public safety agencies between the city and county. The lead agency will be the Union County Sheriff’s Department.”

The county passed a joint resolution to enter into an interlocal agreement with the city.

The board also approved the following: manual checks, claims docket, February board minutes, an inventory deletion of a fax machine at the Union County Extension Office, election commissioner’s per diem claim form, and the resignation of David Garcia from the Union County Sheriff’s Department.

About Chris Elkins

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