By CARL SMITH
Oktibbeha County District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said dates for public hearings to determine interest in a potential county government change were not set or announced during Thursday’s supervisors’ meeting.
In the board’s previous meeting this month, supervisors approved the usage of Oktibbeha County Courthouse for the hearings after Trainer presented the request.
In that meeting, Trainer said his desire to see improvements to county roads as the main reason behind the potential change from the unit system to the beat system.
“I think it’s going to be a situation where I’m the lone driving force,” Trainer said Sunday.
A return to the beat system would allow district supervisors to have more impact and access to plans and work in their district, Trainer said, and also remove a level of bureaucracy.
“There’s a whole other gambit other than just operating equipment,” he said. “It gives you opportunities to jump in and make an impact.”
Currently, Trainer said he hasn’t received much official feedback on the idea besides comments from his constituents and most of those have been positive in nature.
“This is one of those types of things we need to have public support of,” he said. “It’s based upon the will and desire of the people.”
In other board news, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department will soon receive bids for the acquisition of new rifles after supervisors unanimously approved advertisements for the weapons Thursday.
Deputies’ patrol cars are equipped with a 12-guage shotgun and a Ruger .223-caliber rifle, Sheriff Dolph Bryan said, and the rifles have been in service for quite some time.
“They’re fine guns, but they’re just getting a good age on them,” Bryan said. “I’m happy with my .223, but I’ve been carrying it for 15 years; it’s been stored in my trunk and exposed to heat over the years.”
Supervisors also took three bids for various energy-saving modifications to several county buildings under advisement Thursday. The project calls for updates to heating and cooling systems and lighting at numerous buildings, including the court house, Health Department and Red Cross building.
Three companies — Woodall Electric, The Service Company and McLain Plumbing — submitted varying bids for the project.
The Service Company’s bid of $177,194.18 was the lowest according to a document provided by the county, while Woodall Electric’s bid of $46,822 was incomplete because the company did not bid on eight of the individual projects.