Sam Abraham, Eric Mitchell

Leflore County Supervisors Sam Abraham, left, and Eric Mitchell look over and discuss the county’s new coronavirus leave policy at the board’s meeting Monday.

The Leflore County Board of Supervisors approved a coronavirus leave policy for county employees Monday. 

The proposed policy had sparked some debate at previous meetings. The county needed a new policy after one set up by the federal government ended at the end of 2020.

The new rule states that in order for an employee to qualify for paid time off due to COVID-19, that person must have completed 30 days of service and may not telework. The employee must also provide a positive test result from a health care provider.

In a 4-1 vote, the supervisors approved the policy as drafted by attorney Joyce Chiles pending three major changes.

For one, the policy — which is in effect until July — will now state that an employee will be granted only 10 days total and cannot be granted additional sick time if reinfected or told to isolate by a medical professional.

The second change is that County Administrator Johnny Gary Jr. must give approval for all those who need to be away from work due to the virus.

Lastly, Chiles said she plans to add a stipulation that voids the policy if any state or federal policy — such as the one issued last year — is released.

District 3 Supervisor Anjuan Brown cast the sole vote against the policy. After the meeting, Brown said he did not feel comfortable accepting it until he had a tangible copy with the added alterations.

In other business:

• The board heard about a new organization called Delta Advantage Center, which aims to provide social services and food resources to those in need.

Clara Crossland, the co-founder of the Moorhead-based group, gave a brief overview of its work. Some of its services include employment prep training, emergency food assistance and a literacy program.

Crossland said she looks forward to working with the board in the future. The board took no action.

•  The board discussed two potential sites for a possible grant with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for public recreational trails.

This 80/20 matching grant is part of the Recreational Trails Program Funding Cycle.

Brown suggested an education park in Schlater; District 4 Supervisor Eric Mitchell suggested a walking trail in Itta Bena. Originally, Board President Reginald Moore had hoped that both projects could be partly funded through this program, but Shane Correro, the county engineer, said this is not the case.

The board took no action and agreed to discuss the issue further.

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or abakst@gwcommonwealth.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.

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