The Leflore County Board of Supervisors has approved proceeding with the construction of a road to connect Viking Road to Mississippi 7.

On Monday, the supervisors voted to award the contract to Malouf Construction Co. of Greenwood to build the 1.5-mile connector road, but not before pausing over the extra $546,000 the county had to commit in order to get the project approved by the Office of State Aid Road Construction.

The project, including engineering costs, is projected to run about $9.1 million, with federal highway funds covering almost $7.5 million of the total and Leflore County the rest. The county had previously committed $1.5 million, leaving it just $133,000 short of fulfilling its local match.

The state aid office, however, is also requiring Leflore County to put up another $413,000 in a contingency fund to cover any cost overruns.

Although the county will get that money back if there are no overruns, District 1 Supervisor Sam Abraham said it would be two years before that happened. He questioned Jerry G. Gilliland, the assistant state aid engineer, about whether the state would pay the county interest on the contingency money.

Gilliland’s answer was no.

“State Aid is not a bank. State Aid funds road-building and bridges,” he said.

When bids on the project were opened last month, Malouf Construction was the lone bidder coming in at around $8.2 million.

This was the second time the project has been bid. The first time, the supervisors did not award the contract because the bids came in higher than they had anticipated.

The vote Monday was 4-0 to proceed with the project. District 5’s Robert Collins was absent.

The supervisors also heard a plea from a Texas woman to allow her to put campers on a piece of family property at 1606 Grenada Blvd. so that her brother and a friend would have a place to live.

Darlene Chrisamore of Houston, Texas, said she had spent more than $3,700 tearing down the house and hauling in dirt on the lot after she had been notified earlier this year by the county of the property’s dilapidated condition.

Darlene Chrisamore

Chrisamore

She said she paid $5,000 to put a camper on the lot for her brother to live in, and a friend of his brought in a second one.

The residential property, however, is not zoned for campers or even for mobile homes.

She apologized to the board for proceeding with the temporary housing without permission but asked that it approve an exception.

“My brother will be homeless if I have to move that camper,” she said.

The board opted to give Chrisamore 30 days, during which time she is supposed to work with County Engineer Shane Correro and Building Inspector Victor Stokes to see what she would have to do to get the campers and their siting up to the county’s regulations for mobile homes. At that point, they told Chrisamore, she would have to come back before the board and ask for the zoning change from conventional residential to general residential.

Chrisamore said that she was willing to accommodate whatever the board requested.

“I’ll put up fences. I’ll do whatever needs to be done,” she said.

She pointed out that there are several mobile homes already along Grenada Boulevard. In fact, the board on Monday approved  a zoning change that will allow another one to be located there.

The supervisors discussed three other pieces of property — two that are deemed dilapidated and a third that is covered in high grass.

They voted to advertise the county’s intent to demolish the structures and clear the lots at 2203 Sherman Ave. and 1388 County Road 165, with the cost to be added to the taxes on the property.

Perez Westbrook

Perez Westbrook, Leflore County ordinance officer, shows members of the Board of Supervisors pictures of dilapidated property during its meeting Monday.

They also authorized county workers to cut the high grass at 132 Grenada Lane and assess the cost to the owner, listed as Dennis Horton of Sallis, according to the county’s Ordinance Enforcement Office.

nContact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or tkalich@gwcommonwealth.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.