First responders praised for service during storm
by Paisley Boston
Feb 19, 2014 | 2646 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sheriff Kelvin Williams told the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors last week's weather conditions were terrible but he is grateful to have had such a great team of individuals working with him.

"The ice storm we recently experienced was bad and it caused our roads and highways to be extremely dangerous for travel — this was a very busy time for us," said Williams.

"We had to respond to over 30 accidents in one day and (I) would like to commend our deputies and highway patrol officers for doing such a tremendous job. With the resources that we had, I think they did a wonderful job with assisting people when they needed it," he continued.

According to Williams most of the accidents occurred during the morning hours because this is usually when people commute to work and school.

Although he praised to his deputies and other emergency officials, Supervisor Preston Billings was outraged about the number of accidents that occurred within the county.

"During the inclement weather conditions, I noticed that all of our schools were shut down but some of the businesses in the Cleveland area were conducting business as usual," said Billings.

"When the good Lord decides to put that much ice out there I am asking for citizens to please use common sense. It did not make sense for the county to have had as many accidents as we had. Most of the accidents were a result of individuals trying to get to work but it all boils down to common sense and sound judgment," he added.

Afterwards Billings expressed his gratitude to emergency officials.

"I really appreciate the amount of dedication that the sheriff’s department, ambulance drivers, state troopers and those people with tow trucks who helped to save the lives of so many people that were in ditches," he continued.

Williams also announced that he recently attended an American Correctional Association Conference in Tampa, Fla.

"When I was in Tampa, the Bolivar County Correctional Facility received a compliance rating of 100 percent from the review board — now we have two 100 percent ratings," he said.

After Williams made his announcement, Warden Ora Starks presented a request to members of the board that would allow staff members to attend a mandatory Pressure Control Point Training in Parchman.

"Every year staff is required to get pressure point training and we are required to have a personal instructor onsite," said Williams.

Road Manager James Pritchett presented requests from a number of municipalities.

"The town of Duncan requests pot hole patching, street repairs and fire hydrant repairs. Rosedale request that we remove a tree and clean out a drainage ditch," said Pritchett.

"West Bolivar School District wants a load of dirt and the city of Shelby requests one load of dirt to repair holes from clean up project," he added.

He also presented minutes to board members from each municipality to ensure that they were in compliance.

Justice Court Clerk Gloria Klauder reported the county's deposits and revenues for the month of January.

"The deposit report for January is $65,652.37 and $33,858.62 — this is up from last year in January which was $20,149 and $17,003," Klauder said.

Bolivar County Engineer Project Manger Josh McPherson gave an update on some ongoing projects within the county such as the Eastgate Subdivision drainage project and the Noblin Street project.

"Ms. Coleman and I have spoken with the owner of the Eastgate property regarding the removal of the iron fence that prohibits us from beginning the project. We are trying to get an easement for the property from the owner. She had a few issues but I think that we pretty much ironed them out," he added.

McPherson announced that the county is in the process of creating a shorter route for ambulances that are in route to the Shelby Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Members of the board convened for executive sessions with Jamie Jacks for economic development in the city of Cleveland, possible litigation for Pritchett and Starks for personnel matters.

No decisions were announced.