by Hunter Dawkins

Following the presentation of a short agenda Monday morning at the Harrison County Courthouse in Biloxi for the monthly meeting, the Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized a $150,000 loan to the county Circuit and Chancery Clerks to meet payroll for the month of April due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Additionally, this allows the clerks to arrange times for staff to come work in the office and designate administrative leave pay.

“I was hoping to do this through the Payroll Protection with the Small Business Administration (SBA) by not having to request it from the county,” said Harrison County Circuit Clerk Connie Ladner.  “Unfortunately did not qualify.”

Before the supervisors casted their votes, Board Attorney Tim Holleman expressed this proposal would be for two separate orders from the board to the administrator.  Harrison County Chancery Clerk John McAdams explained the proposal would help the clerks set times for staff to come in, but acknowledged that if the COVID-19 crisis lasts until May or June, “we’re in trouble.”

In other actions, the Supervisors unanimously adopted four recommendations of the Planning Commission to allow zoning district classification, approval of jail upgrades for the Harrison County Adult Detention Center (HCADC), and concurred with a real estate purchase agreement of county property on Popps Ferry Road in Biloxi only after the board approves a new appraisal.

Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson reported a total of 521 inmates being held at the HCADC along with 161 of them being women and only 30 misdemeanors.