Jail fund helps pay for move

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 7, 2003

WOODVILLE &045; A 2-year-old Community Development Block Grant for a new law enforcement center cannot be closed out until the sheriff’s department and justice court staff move into the facility, according to the administrators of the grant.

Facing that reality &045; and knowing the open grant prevents the county from applying for new CBDG funding &045; Wilkinson County supervisors agreed Monday to use a $60,000 jail fund created by a prior tax millage to pay for labor and equipment to expedite the move.

The board also asked the Southwest Planning and Development District &045; coordinators of the $300,000 grant &045; to seek permission for it to tap into the $20,000 contingency fund remaining in the grant to pay for additions and modifications to the new Wilkinson County Law Enforcement Complex Center.

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In a related development, SPDD director Wirt Peterson attended the meeting and attempted to alleviate Chancery Clerk Thomas Tolliver’s concern over the whereabouts of the grant file.

At the board’s previous meeting, Tolliver said the file should be located in his office so that he can answer auditors’ questions about the allotment.

Peterson assured Tolliver and board members that the grant file has been properly maintained in his office, but offered to return the file to the county if the board desired.

&uot;We’ll keep the records wherever the board wants us to. This is just the way that we’ve been doing it for the 17 years that I’ve been there,&uot; said Peterson.

After discussion, supervisors agreed to allow SPDD to maintain the file until the grant is closed out.

In December 2000, the county paid local businessman Julius Carter $200,000 from the grant for the office building, and later spent $70,000 for a used modular jail, which was purchased from Grenada County and positioned next to the building.

Another $10,000 was earmarked to pay SPDD for administrative costs.

In other action, Purchasing Clerk Consandra Stewart opened four sealed bids for the purchase of a new front-end loader for the Fourth District.

On motion from Fourth District Supervisor Robert Morgan, the board unanimously voted to accept the low bid of $82,500 from DeViney Equipment of Jackson.

Third District Supervisor Jack R. &uot;Buck&uot; Darden asked about the feasibility of hiring an outside agency to help the county collect approximately $798,000 in unpaid justice court fines and $270,000 in delinquent garbage fees.

&uot;If we could just get half of it, we’d be better off,&uot; Darden said.

The board deferred action to allow board attorney Ron Senko time to research the matter.