By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal
The Winston County Board of Supervisors discussed several road projects and covered other business in its first meeting in May. In the May 7 meeting, county road engineer Jimmy Kemp updated the board on the Bluff Lake Road project and several bridge projects in the county. The board approved a resolution to expedite the process and hopefully the work on Bluff Lake Road project. The road project is a Federal Lands highways project and aims create a paved scenic route through the federal lands in the county using federal funds. Kemp noted that the bridge project on Old Robinson Road should be funded through the state aid bridge funds. The estimated $784,000 project will replace .189 of the bridge over Tallahaga Creek along with approaches and guardrails. Kemp also noted that the Lobutcha Bridge project was about two thirds of the way done and the Sims road project was about one third of the way done. In other business: • Discussed the Redistricting process for the county denoting that the Department of Justice had approved the county’s plan but that the NAACP lawsuit on redistricting was still pending but hoped it would be dismissed. In March 2011, local branches of the NAACP including Winston County filed lawsuits that sought to extend election qualifying deadlines in the counties until voting boundaries could be redrawn based on new, 2010 census information. Mississippi’s census numbers were released in February 2011 and local officials said they needed time to redraw districts and get the new boundaries approved by the federal government. Supervisor Mike Peterson noted the lawsuit had cost the county close to $20,000 in attorney fees. Peterson contented those county funds could have been better spent if the county had not been brought into a lawsuit where the county officials were working their fastest to meet all deadlines but late census data reporting prevented the matter being completed prior to qualifying for the 2012 elections. • Approved the minutes of the previous meeting. • Requested funds to pay contractor and other invoices for the HOME program on Hoskins home. • Denoted Dell Gillett county election attendance at required seminar. Mike Peterson recognized election commissioners and Kim Ming for upholding smooth elections in comparison to other places in the state. • Received update on Dean Park. Claudell Weaver, Dean Park Commissioner, outlined that all 5 commissioners were present at the April meeting and that several items needed addressing at the park. Weaver requested funds to repair and upgrade electric panels at the park, requested gravel for the playground area, requested to borrow two backup generators for Junefest, paint to paint parking lines for cars at the park. Weaver also noted that the park would have 3 volunteer helpers this summer and hoped to get complete several projects as well as better maintain the park. • Recognized and reviewed the Grand jury report which included inspection report and recommendations for repairs on county buildings. • Approved signing a landlord agreement for Teeters. • Mike Peterson presided over the meeting with Larry Duran out due to medical reasons. The next regular board meeting will be May 21.