County servants honored at retirement reception

Published 1:31 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Jefferson Davis County Board of Supervisors met for the final meeting of the year and term on Dec. 18 at the board room in Prentiss.

After prayer was given by county engineer Les Dungan, the meeting was called to order and the agenda and additions were approved.

Prentiss Assistant Fire Chief Michael Davis updated the board on the progress of the central dispatch E911 agreements with the towns of Bassfield and Prentiss.

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Engineer Les Dungan reported that he had been looking into an enhanced E911 service for the county. The original plan was to move the existing equipment from the current jail location at the courthouse to the new facility. That posed a problem because the time it would take to move the equipment and re-install it, would leave the county without service. Another factor is that the current equipment is old and dated. Dungan reached out to Blake Spiers with ComSouth to discuss the possibility of upgrading the system for the new jail.

Speirs gave an overview of the upgraded equipment to the board. Among the many improved features, the most significant would be that the dispatcher would have an instant location of each caller. That has been a problem as cell phone calls increased and landline usage declined. Another plus with the Rapid SOS Technology is that if the caller is a diabetic or has some sort of medical issue, it alerts the dispatcher at the time of the call. The dispatcher can relay the information to emergency personnel on the scene if the victim is incapacitated and unable to communicate. The same technology would allow real-time locations of all personnel, and will put all deputies, police officers, fire departments and AAA on one system so emergencies are communicated efficiently. With the new system, call and detail reports can be pulled instantly from a server which is an improvement from searching through paper and pen logs.

ComSouth is on state contract negating the bidding process, so the board voted unanimously to purchase the new enhanced E911 system using county COVID funds.

County accountant Cathy Slocum and attorney Wes Daughdrill gave their reports.

In other board news, the board approved the following without opposition before the meeting was adjourned.

•Approved minutes.

•Approved Board President signing County Application and Workplan for Emergency Management Performance Grant Program.

•Approved quote of roadside ditch repair on Shivers Lane for District 5.

•Approved spreading into the Minutes Employee Action Forms for District 4.

•Approved Purchase Clerk obtaining an additional trash bin for the new jail.

•Approved deleting from inventory District 4 Asset #2092, Blower BH200.

•Approved employees attending meetings and conventions.

•Approved payment without a purchase order Kevin McCullum for $3,100.00 District 3.

•Approved payment of invoices for Dungan Engineering Sam Graham Road project for $12,000; Magco, Inc. Sam Graham Road project for $193,967.32 and AVS (Audio Video Specialist) for $774.99 (invoice dated 5/25/2021).

•Approved report and payment of credit card.

•Approved advertising county resources with WJDR during the holidays.

•Approved request for allotment for FY24 for Economic Development.

•Approved claims.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a reception was held honoring the service of retiring supervisors Bobby Rushing and Charles Reid and retiring chancery clerk Charlene Hall Fairley. 

“I want to thank everyone for being here with Charles, Charlene and myself,” said Rushing. “We have been longtime servants of the county and have enjoyed working with each and every one of you. We just want to thank you so much for being a friend to us. It has been a long ride.”

Fairley is retiring after a total of 30 years of service to the county. “Thank you for your patience,” said Fairley. “And thank you for having my back.”

“On behalf of the county and county employees, we appreciate all you have done over the years,” said District 1 Supervisor Corky Holliman. “I don’t know if the public realizes how much a supervisor does. They are out clearing roads during every thunderstorm, windstorm, ice storm, hurricane and tornado. But that’s not all you have done. You have improved the county over the years and also taken private time to serve on boards and we are going to miss you all.”