Supervisors declare Kings Point land surplus, pay $11,700 for recovery of submerged truck

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

The Kings Point area was a point of discussion during the Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, with the board voting on an emergency expenditure and a declaration of surplus property in the area.

On Jan. 10, a Warren County Road Department vehicle fell off the ferry and became submerged in the Yazoo River. County Purchasing Agent Victoria Bell said Monday that the accident required immediate mobilization of divers, cranes, boats and personnel to retrieve the sunken vehicle, such that the “delay to obtain competitive bids would have caused an adverse impact upon governing authorities” as well as the road department employees themselves.

The Board voted unanimously to ratify an emergency expenditure of $11,700 payable to Big River Shipbuilders for the recovery of the truck, a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup.

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Kings Point land declared surplus, county to sell to private landowners

In a separate matter, the Board of Supervisors voted for President Kelle Barfield to sign a resolution declaring approximately 9 acres of land on both sides of the canal at Kings Point surplus property.

According to state statute, this decision gives the board authority to sell that property in the interest of the county.

“The current idea is to develop that property into a ferry across Kings Point, which would relieve the county of some of the issues involved with the current ferry and would also go back on the tax roll to provide additional revenue for the county,” said Josh Dixon, who presented the item in place of Board Attorney Blake Teller.

Barfield elaborated on the matter, explaining that a group of private landowners at Kings Point formed an LLC and are seeking to operate their own ferry to the island. The sale of the property, Barfield said, will serve a couple of purposes.

“(The board) previously hired a private company to oversee operations of the ferry,” she said. “But due to the operating costs and associated expenses, the hours of service for the ferry were limited.

“A group of private individuals have plans to buy a boat of their own that they can operate when the ferry is not operating,” Barfield added. “They want to be able to secure their boat, and that’s why they approached us about buying the land at fair market value. The property would allow them to secure their boat.”

As to why the private group could not dock its boat at the existing landing where the Kings Point Ferry is stationed, Barfield said public property cannot be used to secure private property.

The Kings Point Ferry is, at least for now, still operating.

Regarding whether Warren County will still be in the ferry business next fiscal year, Barfield stated that budget sessions will take place during the summer. During those budget sessions, it will be determined whether the county will keep operating the ferry, or if the private ferry will be the only mode of transport for those traveling to the island.