Ballard’s first commission meeting as chairman, Howard’s last as EMA director

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 22, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Monday marked a new chapter in Dallas County history.

Newly-elected Probate Judge Kim Ballard presided over his first county commission meeting as chairman and it was the last meeting for Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Brett Howard.

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“I’d like to welcome Judge Ballard here today,” Commissioner Roy Moore said. “The citizens of this county have spoken and they’ve said they like what this commission is doing and they like the leadership here and they have enough trust in you to continue that.”

Ballard responded by saying he was humbled by Moore’s statements and he was glad to be working with Commissioners Moore, Connell Towns and Curtis Williams.

“I’m a little nervous about the new role and I appreciate what the public has said,” Ballard said.

“I’ll do my best not to let any of you down.”

Howard will be going home to Pike County to work with the State EMA.

“I will be over a seven-county area down there,” Howard said.

“I hate to see him leave,” Towns said.

“He has done a great job.”

Williams and Ballard echoed what Towns said.

“I couldn’t have done it without y’all,” Howard said. “It was a team effort.”

According to Howard, his official last day is Jan. 31.

Getting down to business, Paul Jackson of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood approached the commission on behalf of Dallas County Water and Sewer Authority.

“We’ve had some problems with some sewer mains out on the base that were put in in the 1940s,” he said.

Jackson stated the collapsing sewer lines, located in the Selmont area, were causing problems in the State Trooper facility and some residences.

“We’re asking that the county commission work with the Water Authority to apply for a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) grant to get some federal funding to replace the sewer (lines),” Jackson said.

Ballard asked Jackson to leave written documentation with the commission to be reviewed “between now and the next commission meeting.”

On the agenda under new business was the Summer Feeding Program. According to Financial Director Nancy Wilson, the program is an extension of the public schools’ free lunch program where children will continue to receive a nutritious meal during the summer at predetermined sites.

“The program worked extremely well last year,” Ballard said.

The commission voted to continue to participate in the program.

On a sad note, Ballard reported that his father-in-law died recently and asked all for their prayers.

In other business:

Herbert Fields of Selmont approached the commission about speed bumps on his street and putting in some water lines.

Towns told Fields that a petition from the residents on his street had to be submitted before the speed bumps could be put down.

Attorney Blackwell had his clients’ request to close roads that are no longer used by the public to be heard in a public hearing as required by state statute.

December accounts payable invoices were approved.

A request for advertising in the 2007 Selma Times-Journal Horizons edition is to be further reviewed.

Jim Minor Garden Homes’ $485.88 contract agreement with Waste Management was approved.

Property insurance renewal with EMC insurance, $14,542, for Dallas County Jail was approved.

Approval for Annex boiler insurance with Colonial Insurance is pending. The commission had questions about the specifics of the policy. The premium is $3,717.71.

A December invoice for County Attorney John Kelly III was approved.

A $24,450 repair bid was approved to rebuild the under carriage of a county dozer.