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Supervisors questioned about city-county Homeland Security

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 3, 2003
Lauderdale County supervisors asked Clarence Butler on Thursday how Meridian's new homeland security department will affect county emergency services.
Butler is Lauderdale County's volunteer fire department coordinator, Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency director, and Lauderdale County's homeland security officer.
Meridian Fire Chief H.C. "Bunky" Partridge will retire from his job Oct. 31 and then begin work the next day as director of the city's Department of Homeland Security.
District 1 Supervisor Hank Florey asked if there is a mechanism in place to allow the county and city to work together in the area of homeland security.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell, other supervisors and Butler all said they had received several calls asking whether the new position would oversee county services.
Butler asked supervisors to let him transfer money in his budget to pay for a course that would teach rescue techniques to county volunteers. He said the class focuses on train derailments.
Butler proposed taking money out of his training fund to pay instructors. He estimated it would cost about $750. Butler said six, three-hour classes will be held at night at the Meridian-Lauderdale County Training Facility on Sandflat Road.
In other business, the board was asked to consider the following matters at its regular board meeting Monday:
Adopt a county wastewater ordinance, recommended by officials from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Approve a budget change in the sheriff's department that would transfer $7,000 from the uniform fund to contractual services for the county jail. The sheriff is proposing that the jail enter into a uniform lease agreement for detention officers, which he said would save money and provide more uniforms for detention officers.
The next regular meeting of the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors will be Monday at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Raymond P. Davis courthouse annex at 410 21st Ave.