Meridian, Miss. The first step Supervisors say, is to take bids for 92 air units, or "handlers" at an estimated cost of $350,000. Board members also tackled a couple of other controversial issues, even giving the City of Meridian a deadline to make good on what board members say is a broken promise.
District Three Supervisor Josh Todd says there is relief in sight for the employees of the Lauderdale County Courthouse, but he says the purchase of air handlers is just the beginning. "This is a first step," said Todd. "We have to get these replaced because you can't do any kind of cosmetic work or any other work until these are in place, and then you can work around these." The Board also confirmed Scott Stokes as the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Assistant Director, something board members were criticized for since they only accepted internal applicants. "He has been with LEMA now for several years, " explained Supervisor Todd. "It was actually the recommendation of the LEMA director, Mr. Scott Spears. We went ahead and hired him. He has two years to get the qualifications, and there are only two that he needed to have, and you really don't get those qualifications unless you hold the position."
Supervisors are also putting the city of Meridian on notice, a 45-day notice specifically, to rectify its breach of an interlocal agreement that dates back to 2001. The City and County agreed to each maintain three officers for Animal Control. The City has provided only one officer for more than a year. "We are just not getting any answers other than 'We're going to do this next week'," said Todd. Todd says if the City doesn't comply, the Board of Supervisors will take a vote to decide whether to end the agreement.