400 Forrest County employees to get pay raise

By BETH BUNCH,

Forrest County employees will be getting a pay raise. During Monday’s meeting of the board of supervisors, the board unanimously agreed to increase salaries based on a sliding scale.

“It’s been three years since most county employees have had a pay increase,” said Board President David Hogan of the approximately 400 county employees. “I thank the board for seeing fit to give them (county employees) one.” 

The payraises are based on a sliding scale increase, anywhere from four sliding down to 3 and then to 2. 

“The more you made the less of a percentage, but no one in the county got less than $1 pay raise,” Hogan said. “We’re happy that the county’s financial numbers are improving. We paid off the multipurpose center, and some other things are looking good and with this increased revenue from the internet sales tax we will be receiving from the state, we thought it was fitting and time. I know that a lot of jurisdictions try and do a small cost of living annually, but it’s been several years. The board is proud to be able to increase this for our greatest asset, our employees.”

In other action, the board opened bids from all qualified banks in Forrest County to quality as County Depository for a two-year period.

Submitting bids were Trustmark, The First, Regions and Bancorp South.

Chancery Clerk Jimmy Havard recommended that the board remain with BancorpSouth, the current provider, until the end of his term in about 11 months. BancorpSouth also provided the best fixed interest rate at 2.53 percent. The contract will be for one year in order to allow the newly-elected chancery clerk to choose who he’d like to use as the county’s depository during his term.

In other business, the board:

• acknowledged the Notification of Project Award to Warren Paving Inc. for the construction of the overlay on Browns Bridge Road, jackson Road, Eastabuchie (Warren Lott Parkway)-159 Road, Macedonia Road, Lynn Ray and Otis Lee Road and Old Hwy. 49 South.

• Approved the resignation of James D. Johnson as special prosecutor in Lunacy, Drug and Alcohol Commitments and approved the the appointment of David Myers to serve the remainder of the term beginning Feb. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2019, unless sooner terminated.

• Authorized a stage sponsorship advertisement in the amount of $5,000 for the Main Street Stage during this year’s HUBfest Festival set for March 30 in downtown Hattiesburg.

• issued a proclamation recognizing the Petal JROTC Panther Battalion for recent achievements at the state level. The team will be advancing to national competition during March in Richmond, Va.

• heard from Kristi Hicks with the Census Bureau in regard to establishing a committee to help with the 2020 census. 

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