By Mark Thornton
The Lamar County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have anything that belongs to Jones County, according to a letter that Sheriff Danny Rigel sent the Board of Supervisors.
Board Attorney Danielle Ashley read the letter from the Lamar sheriff at the supervisors’ meeting on Monday morning. The letter, received last week, said in part that the department in Lamar “does not possess any property belonging to Jones County or the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.”
In November, the Leader-Call reported that former Sheriff Alex Hodge gave “throw phones” — which are used in hostage-negotiation situations and cost “several hundred dollars” — and other items to the LCSD, where his son Brayden Hodge is a deputy. Rigel did not return a phone message from the Leader-Call when asked about that in November. Rigel’s correspondence with the board was in response to a letter sent to him by Ashley. She said there has been no response from a similar letter to Jasper County Sheriff Randy Johnson.
In another matter, Wiley Pickering of Clark Engineering asked that seven bridges be removed from the county’s inventory because they are on roads that have been closed permanently or have been replaced by different kinds of structures. Two of the bridges are on Old Highway 84, and the others are on Oilwell Road, Berry Road, Tom Windham Road, Walters Road and an alley over the “Gardiner Park tributary” off 4th Avenue.
Those bridges, which county officials have no intention of reopening, have been counting as “closed bridges” in reports about the county’s bridge closing, Pickering said.
He also reported that the county has $4 million in State Aid money for new road and bridge projects. Engineers and supervisors will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to discuss which projects will be done.
Diane Shoemake of Clark Engineers said that some residences on State Aid roads still have to get their mailboxes in compliance with regulations or the funds will be withheld. Residents with steel, brick or other “substantial mailbox enclosures” have to make sure they’re at least 10 feet off the roadway.
Shoemake reported that the security renovation to the Jones County Adult Detention Center is complete and “the changes are great.”
Supervisors Phil Dickerson and David Scruggs were appointed to a committee to search for a new location for the Jones County School District administration building and Supervisors Travares Comegys and Larry Dykes were appointed to a committee to look for a new location for the coroner’s office.
Ashley also asked the board to consider hiring a company called Tri-State to do online mapping for the county. The cost would be $1,000 for setup and $4,800 per year. The county has been using Geo Joe at a cost of $6,500 per year.