Monroe Journal

Storm shelter conversations continue at the county level

By Ray Van Dusen, Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – A presentation about funding for wish list projects professional services firm Horne LLC is exploring for the county led to board of supervisors discussion July 7 about storm shelters.

Chris Richardson of Horne LLC said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested more information regarding the 2,000-plus applications submitted through last year’s individual storm shelter program.

District 3 Supervisor Rubel West passed along a conversation he had with a representative from Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s office regarding a push for community shelters rather than individual shelters in the event more funding is made available again.

“It stinks for our rural folks and elderly folks who can’t get out of the house and can’t drive,” said District 1 Supervisor Joseph Richardson of community shelters. “It makes more sense in municipalities but for our folks out in the county, they can’t get there.”

West and District 4 Supervisor Fulton Ware expressed their desire for both individual and community shelters.

“It’s something we need to be looking ahead about,” West said of community shelters. “If it is what it is and if it does roll out, we need to look at our current community centers and ones that might need replacing and replace them with a dome.”

Richardson said county officials need to continue pushing state officials for storm shelter funding.

Among its services, Horne LLC researches and pursues funding sources for numerous projects for cities and municipalities throughout the state.

Other wish list projects discussed include improvements for the airport, Prairie Industrial Park, the sheriff’s office’s part-time training academy and county-maintained boat ramps.

“What I’d like to see is some of these come to fruition. I’m really on board but as long as we just talk and nothing ever happens, I am where I am,” said board president Hosea Bogan.

During his input, board attorney David Houston talked about taxes associated with United Furniture Industries personal property.

“There was concern whether or not we need to equalize the roads as to the personal property, and I said it needs to be done. Because this is an operating Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, it is not out of business so we need to do it because that’s a ministerial function under state law,” he said. “They will have to pay taxes on that personal property as it’s liquidated.”