By CARL SMITH
The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors began discussion Tuesday for possibly developing projects to facilitate future economic and community growth.
While the board took no action, District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said he will develop a list of potential projects in the coming weeks. The board agreed a work session should be held in the future, but one was not officially scheduled Tuesday.
Trainer told board members now is the time to act on community projects, which includes road work and recreational opportunities, so the tangible, finished product would be completed by the end of the board term. Developing projects to match county growth could be a “signature move” for the board, he said.
“We need to get the ball rolling now ... and have something we can be proud of,” Trainer said.
District supervisors, Trainer said, need flexible project money which can be assigned to a variety of district-specific projects. County road quality is a need Trainer said he wants to address with projects in his and other districts.
“I think we need to have the best roads in the state of Mississippi,” Trainer said. “The sky is the limit.”
District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams agreed with the need for improved road quality.
“My constituents want better roads. The present course to pave roads isn’t getting it done,” Williams said. “I pretty much shed tears (while campaigning) for people who say they’ve been on a rock road all of their life. (The county) can fund the hospital but not roads. We need to look into possibilities.”
Project funding could come in a variety of ways. Instead of seeking a bond issue, Trainer said he believes the county can borrow money without increasing the millage rate or find funding by realigning its current budget.
“I’m about giving people choices,” Trainer said. “We get what we pay for.”
Board Attorney Jack Brown said supervisors might have to seek special legislation from state government for flexible funds. Brown advised the board to develop project ideas and then seek proper legislation if so needed.
The board also scheduled a public hearing in February for a potential name change to Redbud Road.
If approved, the road would be renamed St. Matthews Church Road after the church located east of Artesia. A church representative approached the board with the request and signatures from local land owners and congregation members.
Board President Marvell Howard said supervisors would work with members of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District’s GIS team if any name change occurs. The GTPDD is handling the county’s readdressing and 911 listing project.
In other business, Oktibbeha County Volunteer Firefighter Austin Check presented a copy of the title to the county’s newest unit to the board. The Peterbilt tanker was secured by the East Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department through an Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The grant covered 95 percent of the $220,000 cost — some money was spent purchasing improved equipment — while the remainder was covered by fundraising efforts.
“(It’s) a deal of a lifetime,” Check said to supervisors Tuesday. “(We) brought our tax dollars back home.”
As the tanker rolls into service, EOCVFD Chief Greg Ball said two fire services vehicles built in the ’80s will be decommissioned.