County OKs crane repair

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A $171,508.55 bid for crane and truss repairs by Konecranes, 607 Grantham Ave. West Monroe, La., won the open bid process Monday at the Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Bids were sought to repair the 15-ton overhead crane at the Port of Vicksburg. The only other bid came from Crane 1 Services 808 Phoenix Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $179,770.

After review, county engineer John McKee advised the board accept the lesser bid. McKee said they had expected the bid to be in between $150,000 and $200,000 and were pleased to see the numbers right down the middle.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In other business, a point of contention came when CAM2 International LLC’s certificate of approval from the Mississippi Department of Revenue for ad valorem taxation exemption was amended to less than the board had submitted without explanation.

“We give tax exemptions to certain companies at certain times for certain things,” board president Bill Lauderdale said.

CAM2 originally submitted $4.3 million in 2014 assets to be considered for the exemption.

“When a company puts in an application, they put in a list of assets they would like the board to exempt,” Chancery Clerk Donna Hardy said.

“The first person that looks through it once it’s submitted is the tax assessor,” Lauderdale said. “They look through the list and then they say it is or it’s not eligible.”

The board of supervisors and the tax assessor analyzed the numbers and came back with an adjusted total of $3.2 million by taking out items they said were purchased by Shell, the original owner, like a deep water port-barge loading facility, tank farm tankage and plant equipment.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue, for the first time Hardy or Lauderdale can remember, came back with a lesser number of $1.8 million by also disqualifying network equipment, routers, fire walls, servers, software and storage hardware; as well as, Chempax software, implementation and servers.

“This is the first time we ever had anything come back from the Department of Revenue saying that it’s different,” Lauderdale said.

Hardy said there was no explanation as to why the department barred those items. After much discussion and questions raised by supervisors Charles Selmon and John Arnold, the board, upon investigation by Board Attorney Blake Teller, gave the approval and acceptance of the certificate at the lesser number.

Even though the exemption has been approved, there will be further investigation into why the department adjusted the number.

“We OK’d the smaller amount in going along with the Department of Revenue and what they said,” Lauderdale said. “Basically our tax exemptions are to help and encourage industries to locate here and stay here.”

Also, the board:

Gave approval of final orders granting ad valorem tax exemption and acceptance of the certificate of approval from the Mississippi Department of Revenue for ad valorem taxation exemption for Eaton Electric-Cooper Lighting, International Paper Company and Cameron Rig Solutions, Inc.

Received word that the attorney general approved the interlocal agreement between the Vicksburg Warren School District and Warren County for the sheriff’s department use of the vacant Culkin School for law enforcement purposes.

“All interlocal agreements, once we approve them and the school approves them, then it’s got to go to the attorney general’s office over in Jackson and they’ve got to look at it and approve it,” Lauderdale said.

“That’s all they did today was just receive the attorney generals approval,” Hardy said.

Approved issue of a check for two invoices submitted by Stantec Consulting Services Inc. for the continued improvement efforts of the Haining Road Slide Repair Project for $20, 925.06 and $5,827.50. Progress Payment Estimate No. Eight was also approved by the board to Unicom, Inc. for work performed in the amount of $90, 557.32 on the same project. Lauderdale said they put a new bridge in, widened it for trucks and made a slope on Industrial Drive.

“What we did is go in and take all the trees out, clean it off, put rocks down at the bottom to keep from sliding and we did that on Industrial Drive first then we’ve done it on Haining Road,” Lauderdale said. “What it did was, it was threatening some of the underground cables and all that supplied some of the companies on the port.”

Some of the buried utilities and the roadway itself were endangered and now because of the project they are not anymore.

Approved the reappointment of Ruth Nixon as Warren County’s commissioner for the Region XV Mental Health/Mental Retardation. It will be a four-year term. Members of the board, including Selmon and Lauderdale, voiced their appreciation of Nixon’s 37 years of service.

Ratified the burn ban request for Warren County through Thursday, Nov. 12.