Monday, July 23, 2018
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

County adds temp jobs for students

A self-imposed tight rein on hiring and spending has brought about a bit of a slow down in actions taken by county supervisors.

Among exceptions to that was approval of an extra appropriation to the Parks and Recreation department for summer jobs for youth. Parks and Rec director Billy Willis told the board in mid-May that 51 youth were eligible to participate in the jobs program, consisting of 25 hours of work per week for six weeks. Willis said the total cost for this program was $59,706 at the rate proposed.

The board then added 20 additional jobs for college students, after some board members questioned why these were not originally included. Willis said the funds to operate the summer programs were not in his department budget.

The issue came back up on June 19, when District 4 supervisor Henry Nickson asked why the summer hires were only working three days per week. County administrator Adrian McKay said some were working 24 hours per week and others, 32 hour weeks. The board approved a motion to have “all the kids” work 32 hour weeks.

Minutes approved for May show that the total cost for 2017 summer programs will be $135,892, with projected income from the Aquatic center and the day camps of $90,000 to offset those costs.

Supervisors are also moving ahead with an energy efficiency project at the Battle Arena. A presentation on May 1 indicated that the county could realize big savings on utilities at the arena alone if existing halide-type lighting was replaced with LEDs. The Entergy company also offers incentives in the form of rebates for undertaking such a project, and the Mississippi Development Authority lends money to counties at low interest for doing so. In less than three years, the projects pay for themselves in savings, utility officials say.

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