Hancock County Leaders Unsure How To Disburse Katrina Fund Donations - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hancock County Leaders Unsure How To Disburse Katrina Fund Donations

Hancock County leaders have spent the past 15 months trying to figure out a way to legally disburse nearly $150,000 in donations that came to the county to help Katrina victims.

Connie Strong is a deputy clerk in the Hancock County tax assessors office. She, along with most county employees, lost everything she owned in the storm.

"I lost two houses, they were next door to one another. I lost my vehicle."

Strong says she could really use a cut of the donations that poured into the county after Katrina struck.

"It would help me to remove my slab and have it hauled off, so I can begin rebuilding," Strong said.

Sheriff's Deputy Jody Richardson says he could also put the cash to good use.

"We have some borrowed furniture from our in laws right now that's kind of sliding us by, but eventually they're going to need that," Richardson said.

WLOX spoke with several county employees who declined to go on camera for fear of losing their jobs. They all want to know why, after 15 months, they still haven't seen a dime from the Katrina Victims Fund.

"Unfortunately, there are all kinds of rules when you receive donations through a 501 3-C, a non-profit organization," Board of Supervisors President Rocky Pullman said. "You just don't take the money and hand it over to the individuals the donors would love it to go to."

Pullman says there were more than 110 donors from eight different states who generously sent money. They included churches, civic organizations, foundations and individuals. In total, the county received about $148,000. That cash is now sitting in a special bank account.

"What we looked at was different ways we might could comply with the law and one was to do an equal disbursement to each individual employee," Pullman said.

But one of the donors wanted the the greatest portion of his money to go to employees who lost the most. Pullman says that would be hard to do with more than 220 county employees. And about $60,000 was specifically requested by donors to be given to organizations like the local food pantry.

Supervisors rejected the idea of hiring a private company to do the job.

"We didn't think that was a good thing. We want every penny that comes into this county, which was earmarked for county employees, that's where they wanted those funds to go and that's where we intend for them to end up at."

By Al Showers

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Jury to hear more evidence before deciding life or death for Scotty Street

    Jury to hear more evidence before deciding life or death for Scotty Street

    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:05 AM EDT2017-07-27 12:05:33 GMT
    Scotty Lakeith Street (Photo source: D'Iberville Police Dept.)Scotty Lakeith Street (Photo source: D'Iberville Police Dept.)

    A Jackson County jury has found Scotty Street guilty of capital murder in the 2014 stabbing death of Frankie Fairley.

    More >>

    A Jackson County jury will hear a second day of evidence before heading back to a conference room and determining whether Scotty Street should receive the death penalty. That jury found Street guilty of capital murder in the 2014 stabbing death of Frankie Fairley, the retired special education teacher from Hurley.

    More >>
  • D'Iberville hosts three-day redfish tournament

    D'Iberville hosts three-day redfish tournament

    Thursday, July 27 2017 8:01 AM EDT2017-07-27 12:01:30 GMT
    Fishermen set sail from the D'Iberville boat launch to compete in the Elite Redfish Series tournament (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)Fishermen set sail from the D'Iberville boat launch to compete in the Elite Redfish Series tournament (Photo Source: WLOX News Now)

    A three day fishing tournament brings some of the best professional anglers to South Mississippi. Opening ceremonies for the third and final event of the Yamaha Outboards Eastern Division Redfish Elite Tournament started at sunrise. Once the formal portion of the tournament ended, fishermen boarded their boats and headed out to reel in redfish.

    More >>

    A three day fishing tournament brings some of the best professional anglers to South Mississippi. Opening ceremonies for the third and final event of the Yamaha Outboards Eastern Division Redfish Elite Tournament started at sunrise. Once the formal portion of the tournament ended, fishermen boarded their boats and headed out to reel in redfish.

    More >>
  • WLOX Editorial: Time for Mississippi to do the same

    WLOX Editorial: Time for Mississippi to do the same

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 11:32 AM EDT2017-07-26 15:32:26 GMT

    This Friday and Saturday is the state of Mississippi's annual sales tax holiday. It's a chance to save 7% on clothing and shoes. This is a good thing, it gives parents an opportunity to save money on back to school clothes. 

    More >>

    This Friday and Saturday is the state of Mississippi's annual sales tax holiday. It's a chance to save 7% on clothing and shoes. This is a good thing, it gives parents an opportunity to save money on back to school clothes. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly