Supervisors OK plan on issuance of new permits

by Nicole Stokes

A recent change by the Mississippi Legislature regarding construction activities was much of the focus during the Franklin County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on Monday, June 20.

House Bill No. 1163 amends existing sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 dealing with construction, and states “regardless of whether a county or municipality has adopted certain construction codes, a county or municipality, as the case may be, shall require permitting as a condition to construction.”

The bill further states permits are not required for the erection, maintenance, repair or extension of farm buildings or structures in the county built outside of city limits, unless permits are required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973.

It also says the necessary permit must have on the front — in conspicuous print — the contractor’s material purchase certificate number as furnished by the Department of Revenue or their taxpayer identification number as furnished by the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the contractor’s license or certificate of responsibility number.

Questions were raised as to how the law would be enforced in Franklin County and who would provide contractors with the necessary permit once the law goes into effect on July 1.

“You’ve got to have somebody to enforce it,” District 5 Supervisor Jimmie “Bodi” Bass said. “You’ve got to have somebody to write a fine if they don’t do it. But who’s going to do that? If you’re not going to enforce the law, the law is for nothing.”

“It’s on the contractors to come get the permits,” board attorney Morgan Halford Poore said. “It’s no liability or repercussion on the county (if they do not get a permit).”

It was decided that contractors would need to come to the Chancery Clerk’s office to get a permit for $100 with half of the fee going to the county’s general fund and the other half to the Chancery Clerk’s fund to cover the cost of printing.

To purchase a permit, contractors must provide the county with either a copy of their material purchase certificate or a copy of their W-9 with their permit application.

Also at the meeting, the panel received quotes on stretchers and heart monitor-defibrillators, which will be purchased for use by Rural Rapid Response ambulance service through American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Quotes received on the stretchers were from Ferno, in the amount of $14,582.52 per unit, and from Stryker, in the amount of $31,279.96.

Quotes for the heart monitor-defibrillators were received from Ferno, in the amount of $30,412.64; Zoll, in the amount of $36,762.54; and Stryker, in the amount of $40,826.25.

The board voted to purchase one stretcher from Ferno and one heart monitor-defibrillator, also from Ferno.

The stretcher and monitor-defibrillator purchased will belong to the county, but will be used by the local ambulance service.

In other action, supervisors conducted the following business:

• Heard an update from county engineer Mike McKenzie on construction taking place on Burt Jordan Road where a portion of the road has been closed to traffic for several months.

“They’re pouring (concrete) today,” he said. “They’ve probably got about three more pours. If they stay on the same schedule they’ve been on for the last three weeks it’ll take them three more weeks just to finish pouring the concrete out.

“So that’s going to stretch out at least another six to eight weeks before that thing is finished and back open again.”

• Accepted a quote from United Mississippi Bank for a 2.99 percent interest rate to finance a backhoe for District 2.

Other quotes received were from Trustmark at 3.13 percent; Bank of Franklin at 3.39 percent; and Bancorp South at 3.15 percent.

• Approved payment to Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance in the amounts of $350 for a $100,000 bond on Erica Havard, purchasing clerk-deputy chancery clerk; $175 for a $50,000 bond on Max Wilkinson, Sheriff’s Office manager; $175 for a $50,000 bond on Lawrence Foley, District 1 receiving clerk; $250 for a $50,000 bond on Robert Smith, deputy sheriff; and $263 for a $75,000 bond on Melanie Harrell, receiving clerk-deputy chancery clerk.

• Gave approval to pay $75 to District 5 Fire Department for renting the building for the June 7, 2022 primaries election.

• Approved a payment in the amount of $665 to the McGehee, McGehee & Torrey law firm for services provided in a public records request-litigation matter.

• Approved payment of claims to The Franklin Advocate in the amount of $433.50 for legal advertising.

• Gave approval to remove two items from the county asset list — a chain saw from District 4 and a winch.

• Voted to pay $3,549 to Franklin Telephone Co., for relocating fiber optic cable and a copper line on Burt Jordan Road due to a road construction project taking place in that area.

The Franklin County Board of Supervisors will hold its next business meeting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 5, due to the Independence Day holiday observance on Monday, July 4.