Tag Archive for: Union County Board of Supervisors

NEMiss.News County Supervisors March 6, 2023



The Union County Board of Supervisors dealt with a short agenda during its Monday, March 6 meeting.

The board approved the lowest bid from Riddle Heating and Air for $15,939 to replace the HVAC unit in the Chancery Court Building.

The consent agenda included routine approvals of statements of expenditures, claims docket payments, and board minutes.

The county administrator, comptroller, and chancery clerk were approved to attend the Mississippi Association of County Administrators & Comptrollers (MACAC) Spring Conference in Ridgeland in April.

The board discussed proposals for Engineering Services and approved services from the Elliott & Britt engineering firm for the industrial project at Martintown North.

New sheriff’s department employees were approved.

Deleting a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Dodge Ram from the inventory was approved.

The board approved G&O Supply, Inc. for a culvert project for $7,009.

The tax assessor’s office received approval for the surrendered tag list, petitions for assessment reduction/increase, and payroll authorization for Cody Roberts as deputy assessor.

The Union County board will meet again at 10 a.m. Monday, March 20.

Video of full meeting by Kenny S Studio: https://youtu.be/l5ww1Be5IPc

NEMiss.News County Board Meeting 1-17-2023



The board approved a Resolution proposed by Board Attorney Chandler Rogers for a Medal of Honor Trail.

At the request of County Administrator Terry Johnson, supervisors rescinded previous quotes on fans at the Fairgrounds Arena (low bidder required payment in advance) and discussed new quotes once everyone has a chance to look them over again.

Additionally, the board discussed quotes on additional garbage carts to be purchased with ARPA funds; three bids were received: TBS Supply for $27,743.00, Cascade for $28,563.00 Schaefer for 29,810.01 The board approved the bid from Cascade due to its better product quality.

They also amended budgets for Toyota Debt Service Fund by $500 an increase paying agent fees as well as E-911 purchase of 911 Road Signs, respectively.

At the request of Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey, the board approved County Departments Budget Comparison for December 2022 and semi-annual payments as Clerk of Board (MS Code 25-7-9).

County Coroner Pam Boman was granted payment of 13 Medical Examiner Fees.

The Board discussed quotes for Emergency Management Administrator Curt Clayton for purchasing a 2023 Argo Responder, which will be paid for through a grant received by EMA. There were two bids considered:  Star Power Sports ($36,779) and Adventure ATV ($35,949.) The Adventure ATV bid was approved.

The road department was given approval for new part-time employment of Darren Timmons. Three new school bus turn arounds were approved. The contract with Chem-Pro for winter road service was approved, along with part time employment for David Herod.

The Sheriff’s Department received approval for a manual check payable to the PIPE fund, also MS DARE Training Centre in Louisville for training, lodging, and meals supplies for Terry Dowty, Jr.

Approval was granted to the Solid Waste Department for the promotion of John Moody as Foreman and Richard “Chris” Jordan. These promotions take effect January 17, 2023.

Tax Assessor/Collector Tameri Dunnam received approval for the surrendered tag list, the outstanding checks, inventory deletions, and three petitions for reductions of assessments.

A motion to adjourn until 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, was approved.

Video of full meeting by Kenny S studiohttps://youtu.be/KO043YP-oRk

–Kendall Stancil

NEMiss.News County Board, January 3, 2023


The Union County Board of Supervisors met January 3, 2023.

It being the first meeting of the new year, the board accepted the resignation of board president C. J. Bright. The board unanimously elected District 2 Supervisor Chad Coffey as board president for the coming year.

The board allocated second quarter budgets for the Tax Collector, Sheriff’s Department and Jail, and appointed a new Public Defender for Circuit Court. The allocated budget amounts are as follows: Tax Collector – $184,199.67; Sheriff’s Department – $774,261.67; and Jail – $410,637.33. Mark McClinton will replace Mason Wages in the role of Public Defender for Circuit Court.

The consent agenda that included Sheriff’s Department and Jail, meal log for jail, claims docket payments and board minutes from December was unanimously approved.

Additionally, a road department work schedule for January 2023 was approved, as well as approval of solid waste register and medical examiner statement of fees (14).

The County Administrator was authorized to loan funds from the General Fund to Help MS Vote Fund, in anticipation of grant proceeds in the amount $98,907.50. Amendments to budget for Election Support Funds were also approved, with an additional $26,761.78. An additional $2,050 for December 2022 & January 2023 (totaling at $4100) was approved for Skinner & Ellis Properties MDHS programs.

In matters of the Sheriff’s Department, the board passed approvals of payroll authorizations for Alec Lipsey to switch from full-time to part-time Jailer and Joshua A. Jones as a new hire as full-time Jailer, both effective January 3rd. Additionally, Terrica Smith was approved as a new hire as part-time Dispatcher, also effective January 3rd.

Furthermore, quotes for roofing work on the Sheriff’s Department were discussed with two bids received — B&C’s quote for $51,300 and Dewees and Swearingen Roofing and Remodeling’s quote for $43,450. The board voted in favor of going with the lowest bid of $43,450 from Dewees and Swearingen Roofing and Remodeling.

The Road Department supervisors authorized the transfer of Solid Waste Foreman David Self from Solid Waste to the Road Department. The board also authorized new employment for Robert Carlisle in the Solid Waste Department and discussed employment to replace Solid Waste Foreman David Self.

In the next 30 days, the county is going to start removing any old bins, totes, freezers, etc. that have been on the road right of way. Only county furnished carts or ones similar to those furnished will  be acceptable for solid waste collection.

The board then adjourned until Tuesday, January 16th 2023.

~ Kendall Stancil


Video of complete January 3, 2023, County Board Meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ1ewCI2N5o

NEMiss.News County Clerk Phyllis Stanford and DS200 voting machine.



Starting with next year’s statewide elections, voters in Union County will again be using paper ballots.

The Union County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its Monday, Dec. 5, meeting to spend $204,167 for the new paper ballot system. The supplier will be Election Systems and Software, LLC, (ES&S) an Omaha, Nebraska company.

During this year’s session, the Mississippi state legislature passed Senate Bill 2879 and the governor signed it into law. The new law provides that, by January 1, 2024, every election in the state “must produce voter-verifiable paper ballots.” The law did provide a “grant program” by which counties could receive a substantial part of the necessary money for purchasing new equipment to scan and store the paper ballots. A strict requirement of the grant program is that the equipment must not in any way be able to transmit information electronically to another device.

Senate Bill 2879 says, “To be eligible for purchase under this grant program, any voting machine, voting device, precinct ballot scanner, ballot marking device or vote tabulating device shall ‘not have the capability of wireless remote connections.”

Union County Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford, like most state election officials, has been studying the new voting laws and equipment requirements for several months. She told the board ES&S is a reliable company, the one the county has used for several decades as supplier of its voting equipment and software.

Circuit Clerk Stanford said the state grant to Union County for purchase of the new required equipment would be $98,807.50. The county will be eligible for another grant from the Secretary of State for $46,000. The remainder of the purchase price would be paid from funds already on hand and budgeted for that purpose. Thus, no money from the county general fund will be needed for the $204,167 purchase.

With the new voting system, voters will complete a paper ballot, which will then be scanned and stored for purposes of verification. The DS200 Ballot Scanner system is a portable electronic voting system that uses an optical scanner to read marked paper ballots and tally the results. This system allows for paper ballots to be immediately tabulated at your polling site.  

In other business Monday, the county board received bids for road maintenance materials that will be needed during 2023. The bids were all taken under advisement until the road manager and others can determine which bids are in the best interest of the county.

The next meeting of the Union County Board of supervisors will bet at 10 a.m., Monday December 19.

Videos on Using a paper ballot and Scanning instructions:  https://www.elections.ny.gov/machine-ds200.html

NEMiss.News Brush fire



Wildfires are a growing danger in Mississippi. The forestry commission has issued a statewide fire risk alert.

In the last 35 days – since September 15, 2022 – 3,032 acres have burned in Mississippi. There were a half-dozen or more brush fires south of Jackson yesterday alone, although none of significance have been reported in Union or adjacent counties so far this week.

However, Union and at least two dozen other Mississippi counties remain under a ban against outdoor burning.

Yesterday’s lead national news story on NEMiss.News was about the Mississippi River being so low that century-old boat wrecks have been reported emerging from the muddy bottom. One, near one of the several Mississippi River bridges in and near Baton Rouge, is believed to be a 100-foot wooden ferry boat that sank in a 1915 storm.

Union County has been especially dry the last two months. Joe Wilson of New Albany does a meticulous job of measuring rainfall and keeping detailed records.

Last Month, September, Wilson recorded only .51 inches for the entire month. That compares with 1.48 inches last year.

So far in October we have had only 1.31 inches of rain in New Albany. During all of October 2021, New Albany received 3.32 inches of precipitation. October 2020 was especially wet with 8.29 inches of rain.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission reports 100% of the state as either “abnormally” or “moderately” dry.

The outlook for the rest of October is not encouraging. Both Accuweather and the Weather Channel predict no rain here the next few days with a slight chance of rain Monday or Tuesday of the coming week.

Readers are reminded that the ban against outdoor fires made by the Union County Board of Supervisors on October 12 remains in effect until further notice.

Consider putting out a container of water for wandering animals during this dry spell.

See Mississippi Forest Service drought map
Mississippi River exposes century-old ship wreck

NEMiss.News Dry grass



Board of Supervisors President C. J. Bright has informed NEMiss.News that Union County has been placed under and official BURN BAN.


What is a Burn Ban?

Burn bans are restrictions on outdoor burning during drought or wildlife conditions. The County Board of Supervisors has requested a burn ban, and the Mississippi Forestry Commission has approved the request.

A burn ban means no outdoor burning of ANY KIND!

The local sheriff’s department enforces burn bans. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates a burning ban is guilty of a misdemeanor. These persons may receive a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.*

Exemptions from a Burn Ban

  1. Mississippi Forestry Commission
  2. Certified Burn Managers
  3. County fire Services
  4. Commercial contractors with heavy construction equipment, providing that said burn meets Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) regulations. Read MDEQ’s open burning regulations on their website.

What is not allowed during a Burn Ban?

Anything with an open flame that produces an ember is not allowed during a burn ban. The wind can carry floating embers away from the original fire and start a spot fire up to one-half mile away from the burning area. this includes:

  • Campfires
  • Bonfires
  • Fire pits
  • Fire rings
  • Burn barrels
  • Debris burning
  • Field burning

What is allowed during a Burn Ban?

  • Propane / Gas grills
  • Propane / Gas heaters
  • Charcoal grills

Use these items as described by their manufacturer, safely away from combustible materials, and never left unattended. Dispose of them properly after use.

Charcoal grill briquettes are of great concern. After use, always let the coals cool completely and douse in water before dispersing of them in a metal container. The residual ash should be cold to the touch before disposal.

NEMiss.News Union County Courthouse at sunset


The Union County Board of Supervisors approved two major expenditures during its Monday, Oct 3 meeting.

The air conditioning system in the 113-year-old courthouse building has required extensive maintenance in recent years, but it has still failed to keep the building cool. The board voted Monday to have a new “chiller” installed for $88,487.

A controller/thermostat for the new unit will cost an additional $8,822, a total of $97,309.

There was only one bid for the chiller, which came from Tristar Company. As board president C. J. Bright commented, “You can’t go to Walmart and get one of those.” The board voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

The board approved a contract for labor for paving County Road 1. The bids were originally opened a week ago on Sept. 26. The contract was awarded to Roberts Paving at a total price of $71,300 or $46 per ton. The next lowest bid for the same paving labor was $50 per ton.

In other routine business, the supervisors also:

  • approved longevity raises,
  • authorized travel for training, and
  • authorized payment of routine fees to constitutional officers.

The next meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be Monday, Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. There will be only one Board of Supervisors meeting this October.

Click the link below for video of Oct 3, 2022, meeting of Union County Board:

NEMiss.News C. J Bright, Larry Britt at 9-26 Board meeting


The Union County Board of Supervisors renewed the county’s property and liability insurance at its meeting Monday, September 26.

The total premium for these insurance coverages for county operations during the coming year will be $283,966, an increase of 14.7% over the previous year’s premium.

The board opened bids for signs identifying county roads for Emergency/E911 purposes. Riverside Traffic made a bid of $8,076. Vulcan Sign Company bid $7,309.22. The bid was awarded to Vulcan.

Larry Britt, the county’s consulting professional engineer, opened bids for labor only for laying asphalt on County Road 1. Gregory Co. LLC/Murphy Paving bid $221,375; Roberts Paving bid $94,555.50; Southern Paving LLC bid $89,250; and A&B Construction bid $84,500. Britt made a preliminary study of the bids and asked the board to defer awarding the labor contract so he could study the bids more carefully and assure compliance with all parts of the bid request. The board agreed and tabled awarding the bid until a future meeting.

At the request of County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards, the board approved the employment Kirklin Wayne Crutchfield as full-time jailer effective Sept. 26

Chief Deputy Sheriff Baron Baker told the board of a plan to acquire Kevlar protective vests for 25 county deputies and investigators. Baker said the total cost of the 16 vests would be $25,000. He said he had learned how to cover the entire cost by combining state and federal grants. The county will have to pay part of the cost upfront, but the amount would be reimbursed to the county by one of the grants, thus acquiring the vests at no direct cost to Union County general revenue funds.

The Union County Board of Supervisors will next meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 3, 2022.

NEMiss.News Pannell at work station


Priority Ambulance, which operates Union County ambulances for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County, opened its new operating center to the public Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Until recently, Priority’s operations were run from the hospital campus. The new operations center is located on the east side of Highway 15 North, across the highway from New Albany High School. Priority management believes the new location will improve response times because of better access to Interstate 22 and other principal roads.

NEMiss.News Robertson and Coker at Priority open house

New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson and EMT Jada Coker are shown during the Priority open house.

The new center provides comfortable sleeping accommodations, showers and a complete kitchen for EMT’s, who sometimes work 24-hour shifts.

In negotiations with the Union County Board of Supervisors, Priority Ambulance recently agreed to put an additional ambulance vehicle and crew in regular service in Union County. This was in response to numerous complaints of slow response times during the years since Priority took over ambulance operations from Baptist.

The county board was prepared to pass an ordinance with detailed and strict requirements that would give it a measure of regular oversight of ambulance operations. Because of the negotiated commitment from Priority to improve service, county officials have, for now, tabled any action that would give them direct oversight of ambulance operations.

As in the past, the New Albany Fire Department (NAFD) will continue to perform as first responders. The NAFD performs rescue operations, such as extracting passengers from wrecked motor vehicles and providing immediate first aid and CPR if ambulance crews have not arrived. NAFD Chief Mark Whiteside said that the fire department, as in the past, will have no role in ambulance operations.

County Board discusses ambulance service: https://newalbanyunionco.com/priority-responds-to-complaints-promises-improved-ambulance-services/

NEMiss.News Union County Courthouse at sunset



Residents of Union County, especially college-bound students, will enjoy a substantial benefit resulting from an agreement the Board of Supervisors recently struck with the Master-Bilt company.

More than 60 years ago in the 1950s the Union County Board of Supervisors leased a building and about 80,000 square feet of land to Master-Bilt, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment. The company has been making lease payments to the county of $1,875 per year.

Master-Bilt has gone through a number of ownership changes over the decades. It was acquired a few years ago by Refrigerated Solutions Group (RSG) of Hudson, Wisconsin. RSG announced in April 2020 that it was closing its manufacturing operation about three miles north of New Albany on Highway 15. Four months later, in August 2020, RSG reversed itself and announced that the New Albany Plant would remain open and would continue manufacturing components of the company’s refrigeration equipment.

RSG learned that, under the original agreement from the 1950s, it did not actually own the land on which a key part of its New Albany manufacturing operation was located. RSG decided it needed to own the land on which it intends to sustain and grow its business.

The Board of Supervisors has agreed to sell the tract of not quite two acres to Master-Bilt/RSG for a sum that will total one million dollars. Under terms of the sale agreement, Master-Bilt will pay the county $700,000 at closing. It will also contribute $50,000 each year for six years to the county’s college tuition program.

The county pays the full tuition at Northeast Mississippi Community College for any Union County resident who wishes to attend NEMCC at the school’s New Albany or Booneville campuses.

The sale is to be closed tomorrow, Sept. 9, 2022.

Union County Board of Supervisors President C. J. Bright said the $700,000 will go directly into the county’s general fund.
“This $700,000 is money we can use for county needs that will not have to come from property taxes paid by county residents,” said Bright. “The $50,000 annual payments, a total of $300,000, will directly benefit Union County residents who wish to attend classes at Northeast.”

Details of the million-dollar sale were announced at the Union County boards meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Also at the Sept. 6 meeting the board

  • Approved its operating budget for the fiscal year running from Oct. 1, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023. Total budgeted expenditures are $9,869,000, an increase of about two percent over what was budgeted for the current fiscal year.
  • Approved the property tax rate remaining the same as for the current fiscal year.

The new budget is a balanced budget, meaning expenditures are not anticipated to exceed incoming revenue.

The next meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 26.


NEMiss.News Tony Anteau at County Supervisors' meeting



The privately-owned Tennessee company that provides ambulance service in Union County says it has made changes to help it do a better job in life-or-death emergencies.

Local law enforcement and other public safety personnel have complained during recent years that ambulances were sometimes not available when needed to transport accident victims and others urgently in need of emergency medical care.

On July 17, 2017, Walter Grace, then the CEO and Administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County (BMHUC), told the Union County Board of Supervisors that Priority Ambulance Service would be taking over operations of the ambulance service previously provided by the hospital. Those changes took effect Aug. 15, 2017.

Founded just eight years ago in 2014, Priority Ambulance is headquartered in Knoxville, TN. A for-profit operation, Priority now operates ambulance services in 14 states, including New York, Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, Wyoming, Tennessee, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Priority has been recognized by Inc. Magazine for five consecutive years as one of the “5,000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America.” Priority employs about 4,100 paramedics and EMTs and operates 840 ambulance vehicles across the United States. The Inc. “5,000 Fastest” evaluation is based on the gross revenue, profitability and other financial performance factors of the companies it rates.

Concerned about what it believed was ambulances too often not being available when needed for emergencies, the Union County Board of Supervisors started working on a plan earlier this summer to impose its authority over the operation of ambulance services. The county board had drafted a 16-thousand-word, 23-page “Ordinance Adopting Regulations for Ambulance Services in Union County, Mississippi.” The proposed ordinance laid out in considerable detail and technical language exactly what would be required of emergency ambulance services allowed to operate in Union County.

“We have a responsibility to the people of Union County to see that they have good ambulance service,” said Union County Board of Supervisors President C. J. Bright.

The ambulance ordinance was on the agenda for the August 1 meeting of the supervisors. Tony Anteau, whose business card identifies him as “Regional President Baptist Ambulance” and shows a priority ambulance.com email address, attended that August 1 meeting, as did James Grantham, now the CEO and Administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County.

NEMiss.News Front door at Priority Ambulance operations facility.

Front door at new Priority Ambulance operations facility.

During the meeting Anteau asked the board, “Is there really a need for an ordinance?”

Anteau said Priority would be willing to discuss with the board “parameters” regarding ambulance service. “I think most of what you are trying to accomplish through the ordinance can be accomplished through other mechanisms,” he said.

Baptist Administrator Grantham asked the board to delay action on the proposed ordinance for 90 days, and the board agreed.

County Board members had discussed complaints about ambulance service with Priority and Baptist officials before the board’s official Aug. 1 meeting, and those discussions have continued during the past four weeks.
In response to questions from NEMiss.News, Priority gave us a written statement late Friday afternoon, Aug. 26. The Priority statement says in part, “Priority Ambulance [has now] increased the number of staffed ambulance hours by an additional 40 hours each week. Priority Ambulance provides two 24-hour ambulances seven days a week staffed with a paramedic and EMT. An additional ambulance covers the peak hours of the day when 911 call demand is highest. This peak ambulance was extended from 10 daily hours to 12 hours and was extended from four days (Monday-Thursday) to seven days a week.”

The August 26 statement from Priority also says it is working with Union County to “transition the radios in its ambulance and emergency vehicles to the statewide radio network to further improve communications between local first response agencies and dispatch center.” Snarled and inaccurate communications from the Priority dispatching operation in Memphis have been blamed for some of the emergency response problems.

Late in July, Priority moved the base of its Union County operations from a building on the Baptist-Union County campus to a building across from New Albany High School on Highway 15.

NEMiss.News Priority Ambulance facility on Hwy. 15 in New Albany.

Priority Ambulance’s new operations facility on Hwy. 15 in New Albany.

It is believed the Highway 15 location could improve response times, because it will give quicker access to Interstate 22 and to the residential neighborhoods north of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks.

Access to I-22 from the hospital is often slow because of the heavy traffic and too many traffic lights at the intersection of Highway 30 and the interstate highway. Access to the northside neighborhoods from the hospital is slow because of traffic through downtown and only one unimpeded downtown crossing of the railroad.

Will the changes made by Priority significantly improve ambulance service in New Albany and Union County?

Board President Bright told us, “Right now, everything is working a lot better than it has in the past. The ambulance availability and response time is better.”

Experience in coming months will tell the tale.

It is believed unlikely that the county board will move forward with its ambulance ordinance at this time.


Walter Grace tells county board in 2017 that Priority will operate ambulances: https://newalbanyunionco.com/union-county-supervisors-july-2017/


NEMiss.News Union Co. redistricting maps

The Union County Board of Supervisors has approved revisions in the lines of the five districts from which they are elected. The supervisors also approved changes in the district lines for the county’s two justice court districts.

The changes are the result of the population count in the 2020 federal census. The census shows a total 2020 population for Union County of 27,777 compared to 27,134 people counted in 2010. That is population increase of 643 persons between 2010 and 2020, an increase of 2.4 percent.

Larry Britt of the Elliott & Britt civil engineering firm, the county’s engineering consultant, was in charge of analyzing the census data and re-drawing the district lines. Law requires that the districts be as close to equal in population as possible. The engineers said they also tried to minimize changes in the supervisory and justice court districts as much as possible.

Britt said he would be providing electronic maps of the new voting districts soon. NEMiss.News will publish those maps when they are available. Using the maps, voters should be able to determine what changes if any have been made in their districts.

The unanimous vote to approve the new districts was taken after a hearing at the Monday, August 15, 2022, meeting of the county board. Their were no speakers at the hearing except for the presentation by Elliott & Britt.

The population growth of 2.4 percent for Union County between 2010 and 2020  was much lower than many expected. Throughout the United States the 2020 census was, to put it  generously, a mess. However, that ship has sailed.

Other business at the county board’s meeting included approval of several significant expenditures:

The supervisors approved a low bid of $23,554 for 20 computers to be used throughout county government operations. The computer purchase, requested by Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey, is to replace old computers with Microsoft’s System 7 operating software. System 7 is obsolete and no longer supported by Microsoft.

At the request of Sheriff Jimmy Edwards, the board approved the low bid of $14,550 for a new 85-gallon commercial hot water heater for the county jail. The next lowest bid was nearly $2,000 more, and some board members expressed surprise at the price of the unit. The price of hot water heaters increased by as much as 50 percent in 2021 alone, the price increases blamed on increased material and transportation costs.

County Fire Coordinator Butch Cobb presented bids for the purchase of a new pumper fire truck for the Center Volunteer Fire Department. The board approved the low bid of $374, 600 for a pumper built by Pierce Manufacturing of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The next lowest bid was $384,000.

The next meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.