Supervisors addressing yet another slide issue on Berrytown Road

by Nicole Stokes

Another slide has developed along Franklin County’s Berrytown Road, but in a different location than the one previously repaired by local officials.

During the Monday, March 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, county engineer Mike McKenzie said he spoke with someone from Burns Cooley Dennis Inc., a geotechnical firm based in Ridgeland, about testing the soil at the problem site to see what would need to be done to fix the issue.

“It is a slide, without a question,” McKenzie said. “We went and looked at it and got Burns Cooley to come out and look. We actually went out and looked at the rest of Berrytown (Road) from there going east to see if there are any other (slides) that are waiting to sneak up and get us that we might could see while the leaves are still off, but we couldn’t find anything right now.

“When Burns Cooley Dennis comes out in a couple of weeks, (they will) drill two borings right on the shoulder of the road, through the slide, and they will be able to tell us why it’s sliding, how it’s sliding and the best way to repair it.

“More than likely — if it’s like all the other stuff we’ve seen — it’s going to be that it’s just that tremendous clay that we have out there. You get down to a point that it’s sitting on a layer of really hard material and it essentially just can’t get any grip on it.

“So with all that water coming through the hill, gravity is just going to pull it down the slope. It’s just a question of how long it’s going to take to do it. Nevertheless, their two bores will tell us the best way to approach it.”

According to District 5 Supervisor Jimmie “Bodi” Bass, who also serves as president of the board, action was also taken to fix the area of the road affected until something more could be done.

“We went in and filled the cracks the best we could with cold mix and put nine tons of asphalt on it to finish sealing it, and got the big dip out of it,” he said.

In an unrelated road matter, McKenzie informed the board that Allen Laird with the Southwest Mississippi Planning and Development District was helping look into funding possibilities to repair or replace a bridge in Bude by an under-construction sawmill.

Supervisors were approached by Bude town officials last month about seeking the county’s help in repairing the old bridge located between the railroad tracks and the Franklin County School District’s bus barn.

Sawmill operators said work was needed on the bridge due to the current levels of truck traffic along with an increase in loaded and unloaded trucks once the facility is in full operation.

In other business to come before the panel, supervisors took the following actions:

• Approved payment of $1,483.75 to Walter Beesley for collecting $5,935 in Justice Court fines for February.

• Gave approval to pay Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance the following amounts — $100 for a $2,000 bond on Chancery Court reporter Leah Nations; $175 for $50,000 bond on Deputy Circuit Clerk Melissa Bales; and $175 for a $50,000 bond on part-time Deputy Justice Court Clerk Akima Winston.

• Approved the payment of claims to The Franklin Advocate in the amounts of $102.36 for legal advertising and $123 for publishing the January cash disbursement journal.

• Approved paying $337.50 to the McGehee, McGehee & Torrey law firm for services rendered in a current litigation matter.

• Spread on the minutes certificates of attendance for Chancery Clerk Jill Gilbert and Circuit Clerk Warren Walker for mandatory attendance at the Mississippi Judicial College’s annual continuing education course.

• Voted to allow Bass to sign a Mississippi Landmark Permit issued by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Board of Trustees concerning the grant for historic courthouse improvements.

• Gave approval for Gilbert and Tonya Blackwell to attend a two-day spring educational workshop sponsored by the Center for Government and Community Development, as well as for Gilbert to attend the annual Chancery Conference in Bay St. Louis.

• Added to the county’s personnel policy three paid death-leave days in the event an immediate family member — defined as a spouse, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent — of any employee passes away.

• Voted to reimburse Bass in the amount of $52 and Sheriff’s Investigator Dewayne Whetstone in the amount of $60 for gasoline purchased while picking up a new sheriff’s department truck from Grenada.

• Gave approval to reimburse Bass for two shovels and tie wraps from Harbor Freight in the amount of $29.82.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Franklin County Board of Supervisors will be held at 9 a.m., Monday, March 20 at the courthouse in Meadville.