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Union County Board 19AUG2019: Storm shelter, guns, politics

Union County MS Union County Board 19AUG2019 meeting John Caldwell, a retired Marine Corp colonel and candidate for the post of Northern District Highway Commissioner, spoke to the Union County Board of Supervisors. Caldwell will face Oxford businessman Geoffrey Yoste in the August 27 Republican Primary run-off.

At the Union County Board 19AUG2019 meeting, approval of funding for volunteer fire departments and purchase of new handguns for the sheriff’s department were among the items on the mid-month agenda.

Two non-agenda items were considered in the early part of the Board of Supervisors meeting Monday morning, August 19:

  • Henry Cobb asked the board to consider building a community storm shelter in the extreme eastern part of the county near the Lee County line. The board took no action on Cobb’s request, as there is no funding available.
  • John Caldwell, a candidate in the August 27 Republican primary run-off for the office of Northern District Highway Commissioner, spoke briefly to the five supervisors and about 15 others. Caldwell, a Desoto County resident, led the Republican ticket in the August 6 primary with 31,953 votes (31.5%).

A reserve colonel in the United States Marine Corps, Caldwell had three combat commands in the Middle East and earned a Bronze Star. He was twice elected a member of the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors. He retired as Transportation Director and Chief Emergency Management Director for the Desoto County Public Schools. Caldwell faces Geoffrey Yoste of Lafayette County in the August 27th run-off.

Union County Fire Commissioner Steve Coker reported to the board that $161,125 is available in funds from insurance rebates and the county fire tax for operations for ten volunteer fire departments that serve rural Union County.

Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards presented the board with a proposal to acquire fifty (50) 9-millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistols for the use of sheriff’s officers. They will replace handguns, mostly 20 years old and 40 caliber. Edwards said ammunition for the 9-millimeter Glock is less expensive than that used for the old 40 caliber semi-automatics.

The supplier is taking the used pistols in a trade-in arrangement. No tax funds will be needed for the purchase and all money will come from assets seized in drug-related arrests and convictions. The board approved the deal to acquire the new handguns for county officers.

Supervisors approved a $6,600-increase in a contract to Steel-Con Construction Company of New Albany for a bridge on County Road 194. While work was being done, it was discovered that an existing headwall had been installed, apparently several decades ago, without steel reinforcement bars. The additional $6,600 is to replace the headwall with a properly re-enforced installation.

The Union County Board of Supervisors will next meet on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 10 a.m. The meeting is moved to Tuesday because Monday, Sept. 2, is the Labor Day holiday.

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