Sheriff asks supervisors to renew phone contract
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Feb. 27, 2004
Lauderdale County supervisors were asked Thursday to renew its five-year contract with Evercom, the company that supplies the inmate telephone service in the county jail.
Evercom operates the jail's Inmate Telecommunications System, including all local and long-distance collect calling.
Sheriff Billy Sollie said the county and Evercom is currently operating on a month-to-month basis, but he said the company has agreed to increase its compensation to the county and provide a $20,000 technology grant for the sheriff's department.
Under terms of the new contract Sollie said Evercom will pay the county 42.5 percent of its gross revenue, up from 40 percent.
If supervisors approve the contract, Sollie said the $20,000 technology grant will be used to buy 14 personal computers for detention officers in the jail and investigators in the sheriff's department.
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt asked the sheriff to update the board on several bills introduced in the Legislature that would allow county law enforcement agencies to use radar systems to catch speeders.
Sollie told the board there are currently about nine versions of the bill in the House and about three versions in the Senate. He said some of the bills pertain to specific counties wanting to use radar, while other bills would pertain to counties within certain population ranges.
Sollie also told the board that efforts are still in place to reduce the compensation for counties housing state inmates from $20 per day to $15 per day. Sollie said the $5 per day reduction would cost Lauderdale County between $150,000 and $200,000 based on last year's reimbursements.
In other business, supervisors were asked to consider switching from a microwave communications system to a T1 phone line system for the new E-911 communications tower at the Meridian training center.
The recommendation came from the local 911 commission.
Dale Purdy, representing ComSouth, the Hattiesburg contracting firm that built the tower, said Thursday that parts are difficult to find for microwave systems. The county could change its communications system when it switches to the new tower, or move its current microwave system from its old tower, which was condemned about two years ago.
The next regular meeting of the board of supervisors will be 9 a.m. Thursday. The board typically meets on the first and third Monday of the month, but Supervisors Eddie Harper of District 1, Joe Norwood of District 4 and Jimmie Smith of District 2 will be in Washington for the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference.