From Staff Reports
An error occurred in this week’s edition (Oct. 4, 2018) of the Herald that needs to be corrected.
A portion of our story titled “McLain officials want to join county waste system” dealt with town officials’ efforts to work with the Mississippi Department of Corrections to better control flood waters coming through box culverts underneath U.S. 98. The problem is that the story stated that Mayor Steve McCluskey and Chief Pugh had used surveying equipment during a recent flood event and determined there was over four inches more flood water inside the town than there was on the other side of the 4-lane highway.
The article should have said that McLuskey and Pugh determined the difference in water levels was more that four feet, not four inches.
We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused. The corrected article is published below.
McLain officials want to join county waste system
Move just one step in plan to develop better relationships with county neighbors
By RUSSELL TURNER
The mayor of McLain says he and other officials are working hard to address problems in their community and could benefit with better cooperation with their neighbors in other parts of the county.
Mayor Steve McCluskey and Fire Chief Ricky Pugh were on hand Monday at the regular monthly meeting of the Greene County Board of Supervisors. The main topic of discussion was a request from the town to join the county waste services program, but McCluskey said there are other issues he would like to partner with county officials on as well.
“We’ve made great strides in McLain this past year,” McCluskey said Monday. “We’ve addressed the issue of utility theft, put on a full-time police officer and continue to have a very solid volunteer fire department. We are not the same McLain we used to be.”
McCluskey told supervisors that he and town aldermen would prefer to be part of the Greene County Waste System and have the county crews pick up garbage in the town limits. He said he believes it will be a better use of tax dollars and provide better service. He added that his records indicate 162 paying garbage customers currently in the town, which was information county officials had asked for when Alderwoman Jan Guest first proposed the idea a few weeks ago.
However, supervisors countered by saying the information they had obtained indicated there were over 300 addresses inside the town limits.
“That is a big discrepancy,” Dist. 1 Supervisor G.L. Dearman said. “That is my biggest concern.”
McCluskey said the town did have over 300 addresses registered in the county’s 911 system, but that most of those were vacant properties and not active waste producers. He said he would be happy to have a town employee verify the addresses or even ride the route with a waste department officials to get the correct customer count.
“If you pick up at 300 addresses, we will pay for 300,” McCluskey said.
Expressing a different issue, Dist. Four Supervisor Wayne Barrow said he had concerns over reported drug and gang problems in McLain and said that was already a big issue for the GCWS, since it uses state inmate labor on the garbage trucks. Barrow said county officials already have to have someone monitoring the routes to make sure contraband is not being funneled to state inmates working on the trucks and asked how McCluskey town officials would address that.
McCluskey said he was willing to work with the county sheriff’s office and waste department officials to address any concerns along those lines. He went on to say he would welcome a stronger relationship with the sheriff’s office and said he wanted to see a stronger presence from sheriff’s deputies in the town.
“We welcome those officers in McLain,” he said.
After discussion, supervisors agreed to have GCWS Director Stanley Mathis get with McCluskey to verify the numbers. If all checks out, county officials said they would be interested in taking on the new accounts under an agreement similar to the one they have with the Town of State Line, where town officials handle all the billing and paperwork and pay the county $12 per customer for regular accounts and $10 for senior citizens.
McCluskey also told supervisors he was working on continued flooding issues in McLain and was working with officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to address concerns he had with flood gates under U.S. 98. McCluskey said he and Chief Pugh had used his equipment during a recent flood event and determined the water level there was over four feet higher inside the town than on the other side of the 4-lane highway. He said he was working to get MDOT officials to install gates to shut off the flow and force water back toward the main river channel during high water periods. He asked supervisors to keep that issue on their radar and consider joining the town in working with MDOT for a solution.