POPLARVILLE – Pearl River County officials explained the basics of county operations and financing Thursday, April 6, to members of the Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce at a Lunch and Learn hosted by Pearl River Community College.
The presentation was one of a series held recently to give taxpayers information on where their money goes.
“We don’t want you kept in the dark,” said District 3 Supervisor Hudson Holliday. “We want you to understand what’s going on.”
He took the audience through a brief explanation of county departments, how much money they spend and the source of that money. Much of the waste taxpayers complain about can’t be eliminated, he said.
The combined budgets of the sheriff’s department, jail, courts, prosecutors and public defenders eat up about half of the county’s $16.9 million general fund, he said.
“Fifty percent of our money goes to bad behavior,” Holliday said. “That’s a waste. We spend $200,000 picking up litter. That’s a waste. But if we didn’t, imagine what our roads and highways would look like.”
The county maintains 851 miles of road with local funds only. Of those, 250 miles are rated as fair, poor or very poor. Material costs for county employees to fix them come to about $9 million while the county has $1 million in the budget.
“We’ve got to be creative and make the most out of whatever we do,” District 1 Supervisor Donald Hart said.
Upkeep of roads, a primary complaint of taxpayers, accounts for a small portion of property tax bills, county administrator Adrian Lumpkin said.
“About two tanks of gas is what you pay to drive on 851 miles of roads,” he said.
County officials are working to create an economic development entity to attract more business and industry, he said.
“We have to embrace that goal as leaders in Pearl River County that we’re going to have to expand and grow,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out how to embrace this.”
District 4 Supervisor Farron Moeller also attended.
The Lunch and Learn was sponsored by Wells Insurance.
Pearl River County Supervisor Hudson Holliday explains the organization and financing of the county during a Lunch and Learn meeting on April 6 at Pearl River Community College.
PRCC Public Relations photo
Pearl River Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, or disability. For inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies or to request accommodations, special assistance, or alternate format publication please contact Tonia Moody, Director of Admissions and Records, ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator, and Title IX Coordinator at P.O. Box 5537, Poplarville, MS 39470 or 601-403-1060.