CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County has a new not-for-profit corporation to handle grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development division.
Mississippi County commissioners approved the formation of the Mississippi County Development Corporation and adopted its bylaws during their regular meeting Thursday.
County Clerk Junior DeLay explained the new corporation was needed because "the Public Facilities Corporation did not meet Rural Development's requirements."
DeLay said Rural Development's requirement that is not met by the Mississippi County Public Facilities Corporation is related to the method for selecting board members and that changing that method would have required extensive changes in the corporation's bylaws.
"So it was easier to just form another corporation," he said.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg will serve as the new corporation's president; Commissioner Homer Oliver will by the vice president; Commissioner Martin Lucas will be the secretary; and County Treasurer Sandra DeField will be the treasurer for the Mississippi County Development Corporation.
DeLay will serve as the initial registered agent for the corporation.
In other county business Thursday:
* Despite what the State Tax Commission says, County Assessor W.R. "Bill" Thompson will not raise the county's assessments.
"I will not raise taxes in Mississippi County," Thompson said.
Thompson explained the STC says the county's assessments are too low
"The index will not change," said Shirley Coffer, deputy assessor.
Blumenberg said the STC is probably looking at the escalated property values in the urban areas.
* Commissioners agreed to use the same salary and benefit package for Butch McHaney, the new administrator of the Mississippi County Detention Center, that was in place for former jail administrator Bob Whitehead.
Blumenberg said Whitehead "walked into a mess" when he first accepted the position and did a good job straightening things out during his time as jail administrator.
* Blumenberg suggested two road and bridge department workers work Saturdays during the blacktop season during which they would mix blacktop to streamline the process.
"We need to start that blacktop sooner and quit it sooner," he said.
July and August have the ideal weather to get the best results from cold mix asphalt, Blumenberg said, while nights are too cool in September.
"If he puts plenty of oil in it, with the hot weather we won't have no problems," he said.
Blumenberg said they should plan to finish the cold-mix blacktopping by mid-August and then in September do some chip-and-seal blacktopping in which a thin layer of gravel is laid down and then sprayed with a bonding oil to create a blacktop surface. "In some areas it works good," he said.
In some areas where the process was used in previous years, "you can't tell that's chip-and-seal," Blumenberg said.
He also suggested they experiment with following the regular chip-and-seal process with a tack shot of oil on top "to fill the voids."
* Commissioners approved the appointment of Brian Cox of Charleston to the Mississippi County Public Facilities Corporation.
The Mississippi County Public Facilities Corporation board made the appointment which then had to be approved by the County Commission.
DeLay reminded commissioners they still have an appointment to make on the Senate Bill 40 board.
Blumenberg said he would like to see potential board members submit applications which include why they think they would make a good SB-40 board member.
The SB-40 board administers money collected for the Sheltered Workshop Fund which serves the county's mentally and physically handicapped.
"I really think the Senate Bill 40 board is an important board," Blumenberg said, adding that he was pleased with the way they conducted business during the SB-40 board meeting Monday.
Commissioners also discussed consulting with Betty Hearnes about the county's Industrial Development Authority to see if they need to keep it active, revamp it, or get new board members appointed.
Oliver said he thinks the IDA should remain in place even if not active so "it's always there if you need it."