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County's garbage pickup cost rising

The amount that Alcorn County pays for household garbage collection can be added to the list of rising costs.

In a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Board of Supervisors inked a new contract with Waste Connections that will bring a 7.6 percent cost increase. The board negotiated a phased increase to lessen the blow of the higher cost.

The county currently pays $6.49 per household monthly for 8,300 addresses. Residents do not pay any monthly fee; the cost is entirely paid out of funds generated from property tax collections.

With the new contract, the monthly household cost will rise to $6.74 effective July 1 and $6.98 as of Jan. 1. Waste Connections also agreed to delay a 2 percent consumer price index adjustment to kick in at the third year of the contract rather than the second year.

A representative of Waste Connections said the increase is a result of rising costs such as fuel and metals and the “wage storm” taking place. The company has recently given its drivers a significant bump in pay in order to keep good, qualified drivers, she said.

The current round of bids was the second attempt by the county to get a rate that will work within the statutory constraints the county faces in funding the garbage service through millage. Waste Connections, the current provider, did not bid in the first round.

Waste Management was the only bidder in the first round and did not change its bid in the second round – $9.53 per household monthly or $10.53 per household if 95-gallon carts are provided. Those figures would far exceed the 6 mills the county can expend.

The new contract with Waste Connections is for six years with the option to renew for an additional four years.

The county stopped handling garbage pickup on its own six years ago and entered a contract with Waste Connections at a cost of $5.98 per household.

It is estimated the county now has about 8,450 garbage customers.


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Federal internet program offers discount to some

Local AT&T and Comcast home internet customers can receive a discount on monthly bills through a new program from the federal government.

Almost 19,000 Mississippians have already applied for the FCC’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program since it launched in mid-May. The program is funded by President Joe Biden’s American Recuse Plan Act.

AT&T and Comcast are the two largest Corinth area internet service providers whose customers can apply for a discount of up to $50 per month. Other internet providers participating include Hughes Net and Verizon.

In addition to internet service discounts, residents can also apply to receive a one-time device discount of up to $100 on a new laptop, desktop computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider.

Targeted to help low-income households or those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, qualifying for the program is easy.

A household qualifies for the program if it has an income at or below 135 percent of federal poverty guidelines. A two-person household is $23,517, a three-person household is $29,646 and a four-person household is $35,775.

Households can also qualify through the use of existing assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline or if a child received reduced-price school meals programs in the last two school years.

Other ways to qualify for the benefit include if the household is already eligible for a broadband provider’s existing COVID relief program, those who have received a federal Pell Grant during the current award year and those low-income households who suffered a significant loss in income during the pandemic due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020.

The program is temporary and will end once funds are gone or the Department of Health and Human Services declares the end of the COVID-19 health emergency.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said on Monday over 2.3 million households had enrolled in the program.

“I am thrilled to see that the great need for affordable broadband support is being met,” said Rosenworcel in the release. “I’ve also said we need good data to know how the program is progressing and to inform any long-term efforts to address broadband affordability.”

Such information is available to the public through an online portal that also allows users to determine qualifications and apply.

Customers can sign up by contacting a participating provider or enroll online at getemergency broadband.org.

For questions or to access a mail-in application, contact (833) 511-0311.


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Rienzi elects two new alderwomen

The town of Rienzi had the only election action in Alcorn County on Tuesday with voters sending a couple of new members to the Board of Aldermen.

Incumbent Dale A. Leonard led the pack with 55 votes, followed by incumbent Harold W. Palmer, 51; incumbent Jimmy Harwood, 49; Amy Norvell, 48; and Melissa Bearden Morgan, 37. Those five will make up the board, and Morgan is a former member of the board.

Two other candidates were on the ballot – incumbents David W. Massey and James Strickland, who each received 35 votes.

Mayor Walter Williams was unopposed and will serve a fourth term.

Rienzi had 76 votes cast.

Corinth’s municipal elections are in 2022. Glen and Kossuth were not required to hold elections because they had only enough candidates to fill the available slots. Farmington’s election was settled in the primary.

The new term of office for municipal elected officials begins July 1.

Other area results, with “X” indicating elected candidates:

Iuka

Mayor

X Joel Robertson – 274

Police chief

X Randy Stringer – 285

Alderman

X Emily S. Bell – 201

X Kenny W. Carson – 256

Dustin Dick – 132

X Sandra Kay Perkins – 178

X Johnny A. Southward – 242

X Nancy South Stripling – 221

Bradley “Brad” Thompson – 153

Burnsville

Mayor

Dainie Lambert – 58

X David Nixon – 134

Alderman

X Jason Blakney – 135

X Niesha Carpenter – 149

X Robert Davis – 154

X Billy D. Hamm – 147

Edward Meeks – 91

X Denise Timbes – 116

Cindy Yarbrough – 75

Farmington

Results in Farmington were settled in the Republican primary in April, with Reece Wallin unseating incumbent Dale Fortenberry for mayor. The city elected three new aldermen – Ricky Gibens, Shane Bridges and Tammy Philamlee – along with incumbents Johnny Potts and Jeff Patterson.

Glen

David W. Derrick, who took office as mayor in 2018 following the death of Danny Beavers, advances to his first full term.

Although there was no election, there will be a change on the Board of Aldermen. Incumbent David S. Derrick, son of the mayor, did not seek reelection. New to the board will be Bryan O. White, joining incumbents Frances Null, Ruth Sellers, Shirley Tutor and James A. “Tony” White.

Kossuth

Mayor Donald R. Pace advances to a sixth term in Kossuth, and the incumbent aldermen will return – Billy White, Paul Rollison, Dusty Essary, Steve Jones and James Allen.


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Booneville mayor gets second term

Booneville Mayor Chris Lindley will serve a second term at the helm of the City of Hospitality after defeating challenger CJ McCoy in Tuesday’s general election.

The city’s new board of alderman was also completed on Tuesday as Jimmy Clyde Hicks won the race for Ward 3 Alderman, Carolyn Miller claimed the Ward 4 seat and LaVaile Shields took the Alderman-at Large post.

Republican Lindley defeated independent challenger CJ McCoy 964 to 347 in the hotly contested race for mayor.

“I want to thank the citizens of Booneville for their confidence four years ago in me. We have accomplished so much in the last four years and there are things in the works already for the next four years that are just going to grow the city of Booneville and it’s going to bring prosperity to the city of Booneville. I just can’t explain the thanks that I have for the citizens showing their support for me,” said Lindley

Former City Clerk Shields, a Republican, defeated former mayor and independent candidate Derrick Blythe 853 to 438 in the race for Alderman at Large. The winner takes the seat currently held by Lisa Stevens who did not seek reelection.

Republican Hicks won the Ward 3 seat on the board with a vote of 241 to 50 over independent candidate Tai Grove. He will fill the post currently held by Mark McCoy who did not seek reelection.

Independent Miller claimed the Ward 4 seat with a win over Republican Alan Prentiss 250 to 181. Miller will fill the seat being vacated by William Scott who did not seek reelection.

“I’d like to thank all of the voters of Booneville for your confidence and support in electing me as your Alderman at Large. You, the citizens, are the greatest asset there is for the City of Booneville. You are the reason I sought the position of Alderman at Large, so I could be a voice for every citizen and represent you. I look forward to working together with each board member, mayor, and the dedicated employees of the City of Booneville to continue to make it possible for Booneville to grow and thrive. Thank you to all my family and friends for your support throughout this election as it would not have been possible without you. And most of all to my Lord and Savior who makes all things possible,” said Shields.

“I’m glad to get started and get things rolling for the city of Booneville. I want to have a voice for the people and it’s my goal to see everything working together. I appreciate everybody in ward 3 that got out and voted for me,” said Hicks.

“I feel so humbled by the vote that I got and I will try to do the best of my ability to serve the people of Booneville. I love Booneville,” said Miller.

The three newly elected board members will join Ward 1 Alderman Tara Green Lauderdale and longtime Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Williams on the board when new terms begin at the start of July.

Williams, a Democrat, was elected to his sixth term on the board in the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election. Williams was the lone board member to seek reelection this year as the other four members decided not to seek another term.

Lauderdale was sworn in earlier this month to complete the unexpired term of former Ward 1 Alderman Jason Michael and will begin her first full term in July. The Republican won her seat in the Republican primary and was unopposed in the general election. She was appointed to fill the remainder of Michael’s term after he resigned due to moving out of the ward. Michael was also not seeking reelection.

Jumpertown alderman Cindy White will be the town’s new mayor.White won the general election Tuesday with a vote of 43-36 over Stanley Michaels. Incumbent Mayor Coy Perrigo did not seek reelection.

Incumbent Susan Smith Bane and newcomers Pam Shook Holder and Christoper Robinson were elected without opposition to the town’s board of aldermen.

With five seats on the board and only three candidates, the town will be required to set a special election later in the year to fill the two remaining seats on the board.


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