County might be able to match state grants

Published 7:27 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Warren County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution during their regular Monday meeting to request a local and private legislation from the Mississippi Legislature authorizing the board to contribute funds at its discretion to local economic development organizations, as well as match any program or grant administered from the state.

Jimmy Gouras with the private Economic Development Foundation went before the board to request the resolution.

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“It has become apparent over the last few months that the county does not have the legal authority to match state grants, from MDA (Mississippi Development Authority), from MDOT (Mississippi Department of Transportation) from law enforcement agencies of the state,” Gouras said. “We suspect the legislature in its 2020 session would consider general legislation to allow all counties to match state grants.”

In another matters, Richard Dunaway, the Warren County representative on the Vicksburg Tallulah Regional Airport Board, asked the supervisors to help fund an unbudgeted expense to repair damage to a ramp that is currently not up to specifications at the airport.

Dunaway told the board the ramp that was built several years ago near two newly constructed hangars at the airport was supposed to have 5-inches of asphalt, but only has just more than an inch and the bond with the paving company is no longer in effect. The damage to the ramp prevents the use of the hangar.

“The airport will have to make the repair,” Dunaway said. “You’ve got a multi-million dollar airplane, you don’t want to be running over gravel.”

Central Asphalt, which is doing parking lot paving at the airport, estimated the cost at just over $37,000 to make the repair. Dunaway asked the board for a verbal commitment of just over $10,000 to fund the cost.

When asked, county administrator John Smith said the airport has the money available in their budget.

“On their operating budget, they’ve been spending about $50-60,000, and they’ve got about $90,000 in there,” Smith said.

The supervisors approved the request.

Katie Martin, the county environmental officer, told the board there is a change of venue for the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day due to construction projects at Warren Central High School.

This year’s event on June 8 will take place at Sherman Avenue Elementary School.

The board adjourned until 9 a.m. Monday, March 4 in their boardroom on the third floor of the Warren County Courthouse.