In a special called meeting Thursday morning in Carrollton, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors officially decided to part ways with their auditing firm, Fortenberry and Ballard. The board has had trouble getting their audits from the auditing firm.
In October 2021, the board held a special called meeting where David Engle went before the board to explain the backlog. At that time, they didn’t have 2018, 2019, 2020 or 2021 audits. Engle said he has 17 counties, and he was having to take some time to catch up.
It was agreed upon that Engle would finish the audits he began and then the board would go with another auditing company. However, the board still doesn’t have the 2019 or 2020 audits and have grants that are being held up because of the audits.
The board voted to terminate the contract with Fortenberry and Ballard and move to Bridgers, Goodman, Biard and Clark, PLLC., contingent upon all parties terminating the fiscal year 2019 and 2020 contracts with Fortenberry and Ballard.
Also, the board discussed getting an inmate to cut the grass, clean up and do odds and ends around county buildings. Currently, the board is paying to have the buildings cleaned up. At their last board meeting in Carrollton on Monday May 2, Chancery Clerk Casey Carpenter told the board the women they hired to clean up can’t come every day. He said he and his clerks are having to clean the bathrooms, take out trash and maintain the grounds themselves as best as they can.
And, he wasn’t very fond of cleaning the bathrooms. The discussion began at the May 2 board meeting because the board approved to pay Chase Williams $1,200 for cutting the Vaiden Courthouse, library, DHS office and Vaiden Clinic twice. That led to a discussion as to why the Town of Vaiden, who under former mayor Mel Hawthorne would help the county by cutting the grass when they cut the town’s grass, no longer cuts the grass around the buildings.
The board decided then they wanted to bring back inmates because it was more cost effective on the county.
At their special called meeting, the board president said there would be a rotation and each supervisor would take turns picking up the inmate and taking them to Carrollton and Vaiden for cleaning.
“That would save $11,000,” Board President Jim Neill said, stating it would give the board some sense of normalcy like before the pandemic hit.
The board also discussed the library system. Neill said he was told the IRS would need 30 to 45 more days before they ended their investigation.
Neill said the county won’t get out of their payment of the interest, but they may not have to pay the penalty.
“I talked to the [State of Mississippi] Library Commission and they are aware and are monitoring the situation,” Carpenter said.
Circuit Clerk Durward Stanton said they moved three polling places in McCarley, Carrollton and North Carrolton.
“This move had nothing to do with redistricting,” Stanton said. “We just wanted to have better facilities.” He said McAnerneys didn’t renew their lease to be a polling place and it was moved to the education building at McCarley Baptist which is right across the street. "We were voting behind the extension service here in Carrollton but that wasn’t ADA accessible,” he said. “So we moved to the Historic Carrollton Community House. And in North Carrollton we were in the board meeting, but that space was so cramped. Now we’re at the fire station.”
Stanton said for the June election, voters who were moved due to redistricting will remain on their old voting lines, however in November they will vote on the new lines. He said he has contacted every affected voter.