LIBERTY — Amite County Supervisors have adopted an $8.3 million budget along with a 3-mill tax increase. And with the Nov. 3 general election right around the corner, the board also authorized hazard pay for pollworkers on Tuesday.
Board attorney Reggie Jones said Wednesday that the budget has projected expenses of $8,841,824.
Along with the new budget, millage increased from 78.90 to 82.02 for the incoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 from an increase of 1.58 mills for the Amite County School District, a 1 mill increase for economic development linked to Scenic Rivers, and a half-mill increase for the county’s general fund.
This increase means for property in the county valued at $100,000, the taxes paid by the end of the year will pay about $30 more annually in taxes than the current budget.
The board also approved hazard pay for poll workers and election commissioners on election day, hearing from District 5 election commissioner Frank Noto on the subject.
Noto noted there will be 84 poll workers in Amite County and five election commissioners and the total cost for the county will be $1,650, adding that the board already approved to pay the cost of sanitation and PPE.
Supervisor Jackie Whittington asked why the county had so many poll workers. Noto said the county needed at least an average of four workers per voting precinct and that Mississippi Secretary of State was actually pushing for more poll workers than he felt would be needed.
“We are lucky to be able to run the polls with an average of four poll workers,” Noto said. He ended his address to the board by asking them to help recruit poll worker volunteers.
The board voted 4-1 with supervisors Warren Leake, Will Powell, Melvin Graves and Rickie Williams voting for the pay and Whittington voting against.
The board forgave about $15,000 property tax for businesses that closed down, but board attorney Reggie Jones noted that the county clerk must reach out to every business on the list and ask again for them to pay their balances.
The board also took a moment to hear from Amite County resident Jay Nauta on the county’s lack of a used motor oil recycling site, noting that “something had to be done.”
Nauta came prepared with information on different grants involved with installing an underground used oil storage container. He said there would be a hefty price tag in up front costs, but the grants will help in upkeep.
“This is really important. One gallon of oil can contaminate a million gallons of ground water,” he said. “There is no place here — private or governmental — that will take it, and you know what is happening out here with farmers. They are dumping their oil around trees and shrubs. We are in a position now that we can no longer do that.”
The board asked solid waste enforcement officer Murry Toney to look into the possibility of installing the container.
In other news, the board:
• Approved an $2,584 raise for officer Jent Reese.
• Requested Amite County Emergency Management Director Grant McCurley advertise for debris cleanup for the April 23 storm, which will come with 75% reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
• Authorized a $1,551 raise for Solid Waste Enforcement employee George Blackmon
•Approved a beer permit for Michelle’s Crossroad Grocery
• Hired Lushedric Mays as a full time hopper and Charles Shiftlet as a full time driver.
• Approved Toney’s hotel and food expenses for a Solid Waste Association of North America conference held in Natchez Oct. 13-15.
• Renewed firefighter death and disability insurance.
• Approved hunting and fishing leases for Charles Smith and Stacy Lawrence.