Earlier this month, two Oktibbeha County leaders travelled to Washington D.C. for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference.
Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors President and District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer and District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller both attended the annual conference. While in Washington, both supervisors met with Republican Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker to discuss issues pertinent to Oktibbeha County. Miller also met with Republican Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Republican Mississippi Rep. Michael Guest. The meetings were facilitated by the Jackson-based Clearwater Group.
“All three of them were receptive to the needs of Oktibbeha County,” Miller said. “I felt good about it.”
Miller listed infrastructure needs in the south side of the county on Longview Road and Poorhouse Road, funding for needed repairs to the Oktibbeha County Lake Levee and a $1 million Assistance to Firefighters grant to support updates to communications systems used by Oktibbeha County firefighters as issues discussed with the legislators.
“I appreciated the senators and staff taking the time to visit with us about the needs of Oktibbeha County,” Miller said.
Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department Training Officer Austin Check, who wrote the fire department’s grant, said discussions with legislators would not be a bad thing for the department.
“We’re just trying to bring ourselves up to what other people are doing, and to be able to have redundancy by being able to go to the state system,” Check said.
He said the Starkville Fire Department would also benefit from the grant.
“Now it’s in the hands of the federal government,” Check said. “We’ve got high hopes on it.”
Trainer said he had been able to network with other county elected officials during the event. He said he also had the opportunity to hear from Trump White House officials such as Kellyanne Conway and Dr. Ben Carson. He also attended a seminar on civility.
“We got a lot of ideas on things that we seem to think maybe could be of interest to Oktibbeha County as it relates to unique funding mechanisms, also as it relates to positioning ourselves for some of the things that are going to come down the pipeline from our federal government,” Trainer said. “Regardless of what you hear on the news, there’s still a lot of good things out there that our federal government is doing.”