Town board ups water, sewer rates
According to municipal officials, to date just over $460,000 of gaming tax revenue has not been passed on to the Town by Tunica County. On Jan. 20, the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to tap into another revenue stream.
The board action will start the process to raise water and sewer rates for customers outside the corporate limits.
Mayor Chuck Cariker distributed data on water usage and energy costs for wells, lift stations and the wastewater treatment plant.
Cariker said Deputy Clerk Charles Hailey selected three months at random and generated a breakdown on residential, commercial, sprinkler/pool, church/non profit, government, school, large commercial and hotel accounts. The three month average shows that 34 percent of water is used by customers inside the corporate limits and 66 percent of water is used outside of the corporate limits.
County’s bills top $4 million this month
In what was formerly a rare occurrence but is now becoming routine, the county Board of Supervisors approved manual checks totaling $422,974.86 at last Thursday’s payroll meeting, adding to over $3.5 million in claims and payroll approved at the first Board meeting of the year on January 5. These checks were to Entergy for $55,158.04; United Heathcare for $193,991.33; and Cigna for $173,825.40.
Board president James Dunn asked county administrator Michael Thompson why the Entergy invoice was not included in the first of the month claims. Thompson said he was researching that.
District 4 supervisor Henry Nickson and District 2 supervisor Cedric Burnett voted against approving the manual checks. Nickson objected to paying the balance owed to Cigna, the county’s former health insurer.
Qualifying period for county office continues through Feb. 27
Nineteen Tunica Countians have qualified thus far as candidates in the 2015 election cycle. Qualifying for a variety of local and statewide offices started January 2 and continues until 5 p.m. on Friday, February 27. Both party and independent candidates must meet that deadline.
The office of Tunica County Sheriff has drawn two qualifiers, incumbent K.C. Hamp and challenger Shelia McKay. Dr. Valerie Davis and Derrick “Coach” Dace have filed to run for Superintendent of Education. In County Supervisor District 2, incumbent Cedric “Bam Bam” Burnett is being challenged by Edward (Mr. Ed) Walls. Incumbent James B. Dunn and Jamorris Watts have filed for County Supervisor District 1; Evada Bullock and Keith F. Willis for County Supervisor District 3; and Craig Jones and Curley Matthews, Jr. for County Supervisor District 5. All other races have drawn single qualifiers: incumbent Rechelle R. Siggers for Chancery Clerk; incumbent Sharon G. Reynolds for Circuit Clerk; incumbent Justice Court Judges Rodney Hibbler (Northern District) and Louise Linzy (Southern District); incumbent Tax Assessor Norma J. Anderson; incumbent constable (Northern District) Eugene Bridges; and incumbent county attorney Charles B. Graves, Jr. No one has qualified yet in other county races.
‘Sick out’ keeps public school teachers at home
In the remaining months of a four year term, Superintendent of Education Steve Chandler is fighting battles on several fronts.
In December, the Tunica County Committee for Educational Improvement in Tunica County, MS petitioned the Mississippi Board of Education, State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright and the Mississippi Department of Education to remove Chandler as Tunica County Superintendent of Education. And last Friday, as the district’s spring semester was just getting underway, an undetermined number of teachers and administrators at Tunica Middle School and Rosa Fort High School staged a “green flu” sickout organized by the same committee.
Spokesperson Robert Hall, a retired public school teacher, said about 40 teachers and administrators from the high school and middle school participated in the sick out, about half of the faculty from each campus, he added.
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