Safety measures in place at Courthouses

1STOCK NEMS Chickasaw_Co_news_OKOLOKOLONA – The Chickasaw County Courthouses in Houston and Okolona took another step toward increased safety with the installation of panic buttons in the offices of the Circuit and Chancery Clerks and the Tax Assessor.

The safety measures are added to an earlier decision to close three doors of the Houston Courthouse on court days, allowing traffic to enter and exit only through the north door and through a metal detector. The Okolona Courthouse already has limited access to the courtroom.
The new panic buttons ring directly to the E-911 office in an emergency situation.
Jonathan Blankenship reported to the Board of Supervisors Oct. 7 the installation was complete and operational.
“Everything seems to be working,” Blankenship said.
Live tests were performed at the Houston Courthouse while off-line tests were performed at the Courthouse in Okolona.
Chickasaw County resident, Zora Cousin addressed supervisors about the condition of County Road 169, saying work on the road has not been completed and asking for an update.
Board President, Anderson McFarland told Cousin there is currently no money in the budget to complete the work.
“We did not raise taxes this year and we just don’t have the funds to do it right now,” McFarland said.

Ausbern, county at odds again
Terry Ausbern addressed the board asking for payment for a chip and seal job he completed on CR 7 in August 2012. Ausbern said he was told the road failed by State Aid standards and he replaced and repaired the areas he felt were not up to standard.
Supervisor Russell Brooks said the board’s understanding was the road was failed by State Aid per Joel Bridges due to improper curing.
Bridges was present at the supervisors meeting and said his office did not make that decision. Bridges said he did say at the time the road was not in good shape and needed more work, but the State Aid Office left the decision up to County Engineer, Ed Springer who recommended the entire 1.1 mile project be redone.
Ausbern said he repaired the road and is due payment for the project, adding he has duly filed the complaint with the board of supervisors.

In other matters:

n Approved an annual donation of $1,500 to the C.O.P.E.S. (Correcting Our Pasts and Establishing Skills) program that works with at-risk children and youth.
n Requested the Houston Board of Aldermen attend the next meeting (Oct. 22) to discuss how to improve water pressure at the Regional Correctional Facility.
n Approved a private cemetery on CR 406 after recommendation by Coroner Andy Harmon
n Approved the annual $3,000 contract with the Chickasaw County Agri-Center

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