An industrial prospect is looking at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport as a potential place to locate, so the Jones County Board of Supervisors pledged $75,000 to help make it a better spot to land. That matched the $75,000 that Forrest County supervisors were set to pledge for the project.
Supervisors made the decision to pledge the money for the infrastructure-related project behind closed doors, in a short executive session. The name of the prospect was not revealed, but having the site ready — whether it’s for this prospect or another one down the road — is a good thing, economic-development officials said.
“We continue to make progress in advance of the (airport) site with Forrest County,” said Ross Tucker, executive director of the Jones County Economic Development Authority. “We’re being proactive. This is a good opportunity for us to put our best foot forward.”
Ex-Ellisville Mayor Tim Waldrup was reappointed to the airport commission. In March, the board’s Chief Administrative Officer Danielle Ashley was appointed to serve on a newly formed advisory committee for economic development at the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport.
In other business, the board agreed to put more than $21,000 in unclaimed money from circuit court decisions in the general fund. There was $17,451 in civil decisions and $3,829.25 from criminal decisions that has gone unclaimed over the last several years. If someone can prove they have a claim on any of the cash, it will be paid out of the general fund, supervisors agreed.
In bridge matters, the board approved orders for emergency work to begin on a bridge on Tuckers Crossing Road and on repair work on Old Highway 15 South. The damage was caused by flash-flooding in December and the costs will be 100 percent reimbursed, supervisors said. Supervisors also declared emergency repairs for bridges on Augusta Road, Lower Myrick Road and Ovett-Petal Road.
In another matter, the Powers Volunteer Fire Department offered to donate a fire truck and $20,000 for equipment at the planned VFD in the Landrum Community in exchange for the Board of Supervisors paying the monthly note on its new ladder-equipped fire truck. That proposal was rejected by the Jones County Fire Council and supervisors.
Supervisors did agree to spilt the $16,000 cost with the Parks and Recreation Department for getting grant-funded work done on the two tennis courts at Merchant Park.
The board also rejected a resident’s request to lower the speed limit on AJ Evans Road from 20 mph to 10 mph because children play in the road there. “Legally, it can’t be below 15 mph,” Ashley said.
Sheriff Alex Hodge said, “This board supports radar, but the state doesn’t,” he said, referring to a long-standing feud between sheriffs in the state and the Legislature. “We will add extra patrols there.”
Other agenda items that were unanimously approved in recent meetings include:
• Trustmark National Bank as the low bidder for financing two big purchases — the lease-purchase of three new garbage trucks that cost $397,500 and an HVAC system for the Emergency Operations Center at a cost of $13,000. Trustmark won with a bid of 2.85 percent on both;
• Ad valorem tax exemptions for PG Technologies, LLC and Mission at the Cross;
• A utility permit for AT&T to do work in Beat 4 and seismic permits for Venture Oil to do work at the Shelton Community Center and at Old Progress and Jenkins roads;
• A quote of $228.99 per month for C-Spire Internet to help the Ellisville courthouse upgrade from landlines to a wireless phone system;
• Travel for sheriff’s department personnel to attend the Mississippi Law Enforcement Violence Against Women seminar and for the coroner’s office personnel to attend a summer conference;
• A private cemetery on Brown Cemetery Road.
The board’s next meeting is at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Jones County courthouse in Laurel.