During their scheduled meeting on Thursday, the Board of Supervisors were met with the unfortunate task of replacing County Engineer Duane Stanford, who had passed away suddenly on Nov. 13.
The Board heard from John R. Lewis and two other engineers from Chas N. Clarke Associates. Lewis, a relative of Stanford’s, had been filling in as engineer for some county projects as Stanford was dealing with illness in the past. Board President Joe Alexander extended condolences to Lewis on the loss of Stanford.
“We are sorry for your family’s loss,” said Alexander. “But let me tell you, it was our loss, too. Duane was that guy. A super, super guy.”
Lewis said that last week, Stanford had reached out to him to request that he come to the board meeting on behalf of him. Unfortunately, now it was under different circumstances.
“I was coming here to help Duane,” Lewis said, “In that promise I made, we’re still here to help, it’s just in a different manner.”
The concern was on State Aid projects within the county. In the past, Lewis said that Stanford would sign paperwork of these projects over to him and the project would move forward. But now, he could not see upcoming projects through with Stanford’s name on the paperwork.
“Before, it would have been fine. Duane would sign things over to us and we’d help you out,“ said Lewis. “But now, it’s a whole new ballgame.”
Beat 3 Supervisor Charles Moulds was unable to attend due to being out on a job within the county.
Seeing the urgency of hiring a new engineering firm so no state funding would be lost for projects scheduled in 2023, the board conference-called Moulds and the unanimous decision was made to hire Chas N. Clarke Associates, of Laurel, as the county engineering firm.
In other business, the board:
• Was introduced to Chris Hunter, the new Operations Manager of Ameripro/Care Med in Mississippi.
• Made a decision to work up a proposal to send to Scott County, who had asked if Newton County could help make some road signs for them.
• Heard from a representative from Burroughs Companies in Laurel, offering their business when in the market for trucks.