Meeting Monday morning, the Union County Board of Supervisors awarded a $1.456-million contract for re-surfacing roads to a Kansas City, Missouri, company.
The unanimous vote gives the contract for re-paving about 19 miles of county roads to Vance Brothers Construction Company of Kansas City, Missouri. The resurfacing will be done on roads throughout all five supervisory districts of Union County
The work will be done using a relatively recent paving technique called “slurry seal.” The slurry seal method combines asphalt, small gravel, and water into a homogenous mixture that is applied to the prepared road surface with a specialized machine.
The board also received a bid of $1.25-million for the road resurfacing from W. G. Construction Company of Ripley, Mississippi. However, W. G. Construction does not have the equipment to utilize the slurry seal method. The county’s consulting engineer recommended the slurry seal product because it is more durable than older methods of using “cold mix” to re-surface roads.
Ricky Ford, president of Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC), appeared before the board to report on the impact on Union County of NEMCC’s operations. The main NEMCC campus is in Booneville, but the community college also operates a campus in New Albany. Ford said Union County residents receive $2.5-million annually in total benefits from NEMCC. He was including wages paid to Union County residents and assistance given to Union County students.
The board was told of the increasing use of portable buildings for residential use in rural areas. There are concerns about the suitability of such buildings for human habitation including construction quality, electrical and plumbing installation, and their ability to withstand high winds and other weather conditions. The board approved a resolution stating its intent to adopt ordinances that would allow the inspection of such buildings.
The board approved the purchase of a new $260,000 fire truck for the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Department.
The board approved part-time employment in the sheriff’s department for Lewis E. McAlexander as a transport officer and Ryan Baker as a deputy sheriff.
The board also approved the employment of Amanda Barnes as an accounts payable and inventory clerk.
The board approved adding “synthetic opioids” to the list of drugs that may not be sold legally over-the-counter in Union County. This was in response to information about a natural plant product called kratom, which Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards presented to the board at its October 2 meeting. (See links to two articles about kratom below)