After fulfilling their end of a 15-year bargain, the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors is not satisfied with the push from Holmes Community College for more money outside of its original agreement.
And the disagreement could come to about $220,000 on the backs of Yazoo County taxpayers.
“I would say to all of the counties involved, do not sign an agreement with Holmes Community College because they are not going to do what they say,” said Supervisor Cobie Collins.
Nine counties are included within the HCC district, with locations on five of those counties. Those locations include Yazoo, Attala, Holmes, Grenada and Madison counties.
In 1999, Yazoo County contributed 2.25 mills to HCC as part of its inclusion in its district. Within that same year, HCC requested that the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors assist them in the building of two dormitories on the Goodman campus in Holmes County. That request came with an increase of one mill, bringing Yazoo County’s total to 3.25 mills each year for a period of 15 years.
The Yazoo County Board of Supervisors agreed and fulfilled the 3.25 mills request for 15 years. A location within Yazoo County was even established in August of 2015 at the Yazoo County Economic Development and Education Center on Fifteenth Street. The facility offers select educational and workforce training programs.
After the 15-year period in the previous agreement, Yazoo County decreased its contribution to HCC. During Monday’s county board meeting, the board approved sending HCC 2.25 mills, the same as they were providing prior to the 2015 resolution.
But the county board said HCC is not receptive of their new offer, adding that HCC is wanting to stand firm on 3.25 mills.
Collins said the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors has fulfilled its end of the bargain and doesn’t understand why HCC is not accepting of Yazoo County reducing its contribution.
“We are paying more than any other county,” Collins said. “They never fulfilled what they promised us. They were going to send us teachers over here from the college. They were going to put in a nursing school and a truck driving school. We have never got it. I don’t feel like we should reward them for things they haven’t done.”
During the opening ceremony of the Yazoo location in 2015, HCC President Dr. Jim Haffey told the public that “three 18-wheeler and trailers will be used for a future CDL program.” Five years later, the program remains unavailable at the local location.
With Monday’s approval of 2.25 mills, Yazoo County will provide about $495,000 to HCC each year. With the request of the continued 3.25 mills from HCC, that contribution would increase to about $715,000.
Grenada County provides a total of 3.05 mills to HCC, totaling about $559,000 annually. Attala County contributes a total of 3.14 mills. The other counties with a HCC campus were unable to provide their contribution as of press time.
Collins said Yazoo County has gone above and beyond to accommodate HCC. But he does not agree on contributing such a high amount of mills to the institute for the services that are offered in Yazoo County in comparison to other counties.
Collins added that taxpayers should be concerned as well since the $220,000 difference in what Yazoo County is willing to provide and what HCC is requesting outside of its previous agreement will come at a cost to taxpayers.