HOUSTON – The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors continued their quest to keep a handle on insurance costs by scheduling mandatory meetings of all employees on the best use of county-paid insurance benefits.
Acting on the recommendation of insurance provider, Houston Minnece, during the November meeting, the board will require county employees to attend informational meetings this Thursday or Friday in Houston, Van Vleet or Okolona to educate them on wellness benefits and how to properly use gap policies.
Minnece had told the board that one of the highest costs to the county is employees utilizing emergency services for non-emergency ailments instead of properly using wellness procedures of timely doctor visits and management of existing conditions.
The board will notify employees of the day and time of each meeting which will be facilitated by the Extension Service as an educational project for the county.
Officers, interim attorney appointed
The board opened the meeting by holding election of officers. Motion was made by Jerry Hall and seconded by Russell King to re-elect officers as they stood at the close of 2012 due to ongoing business carried over to the new year. The motion was approved and Anderson McFarland will remain as Board President with David Gene Walters as Vice-President.
The board chose to employ Gary Carnathan as Interim Board Attorney in place of Elizabeth F. Ausbern . Ausbern was appointed to fill the position January 2011 to replace John Andrew Gregory who was elected as Third Circuit Court Judge. Ausbern was reappointed in 2012.
Carnathan is an attorney with Carnathan-McCauley law firm in Tupelo and Pontotoc and also serves as board attorney for the Lee County Board of Supervisors.
New year, same old troubles
The board also heard a report on issues at the county jail from Chief Deputy James Meyers who said the roof above the administrative offices is leaking badly.
“In Brittany’s (Ard) office, we’re having to cover computers every time there is a chance of rain,” Meyers said.
Supervisor Russell King questioned whether the roof of the dome was still under warranty since it’s construction in 2005. Chancery clerk Wanda Sweeney said she believed the warranty was still good but would check.
Road Manager Kenneth Funderburk reported to the board on problems with heavy trucks causing damage to county roads. Funderburk said he is routing a logging operator on a county road near the Pontotoc line to avoid low weight bridges and cause minimal stress to roads. Supervisor Russell Brooks said the board doesn’t want to impede economic gains received by citizens from trucking, but would like to see a bond in place for trucking companies to help repair roads.
“We don’t want to do anything to deter our landowners from selling timber, but we have to cover ourselves on our roads,” Brooks said.
Sweeney is to check with other counties to see what policies they implement and report back to the board on possible alternatives. No action was taken in the matter.
Funderburk also suggested the board set up a program of bridges that could be repaired by replacing wooden pilings. Funderburk said the concrete tops are still good, but the wooden pilings will cause damage to the bridges eventually. No action was taken.
In other business, the board
Heard a request from Justice Court Judge Garry Turner to beef up security in the courthouse using the existing metal detector and hand-held wands. No action was taken on the matter.
Moved to go into executive session with Toby Dexter on a legal matter.
Renewed their contract with Eddie Lancaster of Houston as Public Defender.