About the Governmental Functions Division
The Division of Governmental Functions provides a wide variety of both administrative and technical services to local governments and other related entities. The following highlights some of the projects worked and/or services started or provided during the 2016-17 fiscal year:
- Provides technical support to the E-911 districts in seven counties.
- Provided responses to approximately 1,500 requests for information technology (IT) support (hardware, software, network, etc.) with almost 15,000 total requests for IT assistance responded to since the inception of the “Request for Support” email system was implemented in 2009.
- Works in partnership with Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) in administering the County Records Management System (CRMS) software system. This software system is in place in ten counties and is open-source, public domain software that is available statewide for any County to use as a document management system. Phase 3 will consist of electronic filing of land and court records and will begin before the 2017 calendar year end.
- Provides accounting software and support for eleven counties and two cities.
- Provides computer network connectivity, website and email hosting, and computer network security services for a customer base of over 1,000 local government users.
- Completed upgrade of the email servers to Microsoft Exchange for all partners in an ongoing project to modernize and improve the function of email in those counties and municipalities.
- Helped several partners procure fiber internet to greatly improve performance and efficiency in an ever changing technological world.
- Improved and secured the networks in Prentiss and Tishomingo counties by assisting in the purchase and installation of domain servers to better manage end users and meet new standards set for computer authentication and security.
- Implemented new policies and security measures for all partners to help them comply with new standards set forth by the Office of the State Auditor.
- Implemented a new backup and Disaster Recovery solution in the counties and municipalities that provides data protection and recovery in case of hardware or software failure both at the local site and the Cspire Data Center in Starkville. Partnering together on this project greatly reduced individual costs and allows our entities to have a state of the art solution for very little budget impact.
- Added Barracuda’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to our email filter that blocks spam and viruses before they are delivered to the end user’s mailbox. ATP adds a new layer of security by opening and examining all attachments in a safe environment and examining the behavior of the file. If the file (attachment) is deemed suspicious or threatening, the file will be immediately blocked, thus even threats that are not yet known to be viruses will be neutralized.
- Continued support in AS-400 mainframe computer hosting services for eleven counties (Calhoun, Itawamba, Kemper, Lee, Monroe, Newton, Oktibbeha, Pontotoc, Sunflower, Union, and Panola) and two municipalities (Byhalia and Pontotoc). Providing High Availability Disaster Recovery, which provides Three Rivers and its participating partners the ultimate in protection of data housed on the AS-400 and a near immediate disaster recovery solution.
- Provided solid waste collection system design and operation assistance to multiple cities and counties.
- Conducted successful Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days in both Lee County and the City of Oxford.
The Governmental Functions Division provides administrative support to the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority (Authority) as well. Please see below for further information regarding the Authority:
- Has maintained its landfill tipping fee at the pre-1997 price of $22.00 per ton for ALL residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Authority’s region.
- Continued to market Authority-owned surplus land situated adjacent to the Three Rivers Regional Landfill for economic development projects.
- In continued partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Pontotoc Electric Power Association, the Authority is generating up to 999kwh of electricity from methane gas produced by the Landfill and distributing that electricity to the “grid” for use by residents and businesses in the area.
- Continued to provide regional waste tire and white goods (scrap metal) collection and recycling programs.
- Provides regional waste tire and white goods (scrap metal) collection and recycling programs
Tuition Assistance Program
The District continued to administer the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), a partnership created for Counties (and their partners) in the District that will allow graduating high school seniors to receive tuition assistance for four (4) regular semesters at a Community College. The TAP is a ten (10) year program with a $25,000 maximum grant per year from the District that requires a local/private match equal to the lesser of 4 to 1 or the equivalent of what one (1) mill will produce in the participating County. The TAP is administered by the District through a contract at no cost to participating Counties. Students in participating Counties that wish to apply should contact their Community College Financial Aid Department for details. Federal and State grants, scholarships and VA benefits shall be applied first toward tuition with the TAP being the last funding source applied. Participating students shall enroll in and successfully complete fifteen (15) semester hours and maintain a 2.0 grade point average throughout the program. The TAP served several hundred students in the District during both the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters.
The GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District of North Mississippi (District) is comprised of the partnership of Union, Pontotoc and Chickasaw counties along with the municipalities of New Albany, Ecru, Algoma, New Houlka and Houston. These counties and municipalities developed and provide support for the growing success of the Trail. In September 2013, the multi-use recreational trail, known as the Tanglefoot Trail®, joined the national ranks of rails-to-trails projects and officially opened for public use. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service designated the Tanglefoot Trail® as a National Recreational Trail (NRT), which recognizes exemplary trails of local and regional significance. The Tanglefoot Trail® attained state and national acclaim when it was chosen by the Mississippi Department of Tourism as one of the trails to host a cycling ride for journalists during the Mississippi Bicentennial celebration in 2017. The paved trail provides a safe and scenic route for bicyclists, walkers, runners and others that live in our local communities as well as drawing visitors from multi-state and international destinations. Trail facilities such as Whistle Stop comfort stations, rest stops, rain stops, pavilions and warm-up stations are in place along the entire length of the Trail. The addition of other facilities and amenities will continue. The positive impact to the local economy has been seen by the increase of visitors to our area and the opening of new businesses along Trail towns and counties. Local businesses and citizens have embraced this regional asset by providing sponsorship support which assists the District to continue enhancements and growth along the trail.