PRINCETON — Gibson County Commissioners awarded a $80,475 bid Tuesday to Naas and Sons for demolition of 10 buildings in the county's Blight Elimination Program.

The contractor's bid was the lowest of four submitted for the third round of demolition of blighted properties with state grant funding. Grant administrator Debbie Bennett Stearsman reported that when the demo and cleanup of the 10 properties is completed, the county will have successfully cleaned up 73 properties with grant proceeds.

During Tuesday's session, Gibson County Health Department Nurse Administrator Diane Hornby introduced the health department's newest nurse, Dana West, and reported that flu vaccines are administered to the public on Mondays and Thursdays at the department. The shots cost $20.

Hornby said the department administered 202 immunizations, six pregnancy tests, did 13 tuberculosis tests, investigated seven dog bites cases, issued 41 birth certificates and 104 death certificates last month.

Gibson County Emergency Medical Services Director Jim Allen reported 379 runs last month, and said the department has collected $1.36 million year-to-date. The department billed $252,567 in new runs last month, collected $155,567 last month, wrote off $673, accepted $18,712 in insurance adjustments and sent $7,286 in billings to collections.

County Engineer Matt Holden reported Gibson County received $670,000 in Community Crossings grant funding for road work, and all the entities in the county received a collective $2.5 million.

Commissioners signed an agreement with Triad Mining for completion of a temporary road closure for a portion of County Road 75 North, approved a contract for property reassessment work and approved release of bond to Peabody Energy for a temporary closure of a portion of County Road 550 East.

The board heard a request from Chris Buck for some signage to help prevent mis-directed truck drivers from traveling down county roads en route to Toyota. "They're ending up everywhere," Highway Superintendent Chuck Lewis reported. Lewis said incorrect GPS directions have routed trucks to Port Gibson and to dead-end roads.

Before the board adjourned, members took more questions regarding proposed spot zoning within the Interstate 69 economic development area. "We have not organized any meetings and will not organize any meetings that conflict with harvest," Board of Commissioners President Alan Douglas promised.

"We'll keep everyone informed about meetings and will pick a larger facility," County Attorney James McDonald reported.

Some residents asked who's paying for the zoning study. Bottoms said the commissioners have funds budgeted for consultants, and McDonald said other organizations are helping to pay for the study.

In another matter, Roy Lynch asked commissioners not to endorse tax abatements for a Fort Branch apartment complex project if the developer receives use of Tax Increment Finance district revenue. The Gibson County Redevelopment Commission meets Oct. 9 to decide whether the project will be awarded use of up to $1.5 million in TIF revenue.

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