Supervisors Updated on Paving, Approve Tax Request – Picayune Item

Paving work as part of Phase Two of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors countywide paving project is progressing.

The Dungans of Dungan Engineering provided an update to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors last week, saying actual progress on the project is around 25%, with around 8.7 miles of road completed by the contractor. at the June 22 Council meeting and about 5.3 miles covered by the departmental crews.

Most of the road work has taken place in Districts Two and Three, with Dove Ridge Road being completed in District Five.

Roads Department Director Charlie Schilder said his crews still had six miles ready for paving.

Dungan said state aid projects are also on the table, with a total of 27 miles of road in that tally falling into that category. Dungan said the goal of this project will be to repair the most damaged roads.

When the bids opened, only one was submitted by Huey Stockstill Inc., priced at $1.45 million. Dungan said the current market and fuel prices led to a higher bid than the estimate he made a year ago by $900,000. Despite the significant price increase, Dugan said he was able to get justification from the state to award the bid. Part of the reason for this rationale was due to state engineers who recently heard from Lamar County, who also reported that unit prices for asphalt and other supplies had gone up and that those prices reflected what Huey Stockstill had put back in the offer for the local project.

After discussion of the offer, the Supervisory Board approved a motion to award the offer to Huey Stockstill Inc.

In other matters, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said efforts to purchase new vehicles for county departments, such as a brush truck for the Steephollow Volunteer Fire Department, are always difficult. Those that can be found for purchase cost between $55,000 and $59,000. He suggested the Board wait until the first meeting in July to look for a new truck since a new law will come into effect in July raising the minimum required to solicit bids to $75,000.

Lumpkin also informed Council that tax rolls will no longer be printed in 25 pounds and placed for public inspection on a table in Council Chambers. Instead, tax rolls will be available digitally at the tax office. He said the decision was made to save on printing expenses, as well as the fact that if anyone had questions about his assessment, they would have to go to the tax office anyway.

The Board also approved a motion to approve a tax abatement request from Heritage Plastics for planned improvements. Pearl River County Director of Economic Development Lindsay Ward said the company plans to invest approximately $13.7 million over a three-year period, which will create a total of eight new jobs, which will add an additional $250,000 to the company’s payroll.

Ward added that the company also invested $3.1 million in a rail spur and another $6.1 million in new equipment.

The Board approved Heritage Plastic’s request for a tax deduction for 10 years.

Tax abatements only apply to the entity approving the application, so Ward said she is working with the Picayune City Council to have that body approve a similar application. Tax abatements do not apply to taxes paid to school districts.

“I’m thrilled to have an existing business in the county for so long and want to continue to help grow our community,” Ward said.