Panola County Board of Supervisors

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 7, 2011

Supervisors plan to approve new rules for mobile home

By Billy Davis

A set of eight regulations for manufactured homes in unincorporated Panola County received tepid-but-unanimous support from county supervisors Monday.

The five-person board agreed to formally approve the regulations when the Board of Supervisors convenes for its First District meeting on February 7.

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The new rules cover the setup, transport, and maximum age of trailer homes that are not “grandfathered,” already established on an existing lot.

Members of the Panola County Land Development Commission, after more than two years of discussion, approved the regulations at an August meeting that included a public hearing.

The new rules then moved to the Board of Supervisors as a set of recommendations but remained as unfinished business through the remainder of the year. 

The languishing topic was resurrected Monday when county building inspector Michael Purdy pointedly asked the Board of Supervisors to meet with him and make a final decision.

Supervisors agreed to the request and recessed until four o’clock later that day.

Supervisors briefly discussed several of the rules, including the requirement for a licensed transporter and installer, and the controversial 20-year maximum on new manufactured homes.

The 20-year rule remained a controversial topic for months among the land commission, and supervisors Gary Thompson and Kelly Morris said Monday they also received complaints from constituents.

But the time limit remained intact Monday, seemingly bolstered by a third supervisor, Bubba Waldrup, who urged his colleagues to support a set of rules.  

“I understand where the concerns are coming from,” Waldrup said. “But you’ve got to set a base — have a set of rules to go by.”

Supervisors also discussed the licensed transportation requirement. Purdy explained that homeowners have unwittingly paid an unqualified person to set up the manufactured home — then pay a second time for a licensed installer to do the job correctly.

Supervisors were also told that Mississippi’s rules for new mobile homes have become so stringent in recent years that installers are now required to send the GPS coordinates of a newly installed manufactured home to the State Fire Marshal.

The State Fire Marshal’s office enforces numerous manufactured home regulations in the state.

Thompson, the board president, noted that the eight new regulations have already been published as a legal in the newspaper and a public hearing has been held.

If the board alters the language in the regulations, “is it worth going back to square one?” Thompson asked.

“My personal opinion is no,” Waldrup replied.

Thompson then suggested that the Board of Supervisors vote on the regulations at a “regular meeting” of the board, with a 60-day window before the rules become county law.

Others who attended the meeting were Board Attorney Bill McKenzie, Panola EMA director Daniel Cole, county building inspector Chad Meek, and Department of Health inspector Field Dew.

Proposed regulations for manufactured homes

•The manufactured home must be built on a pier foundation.

•Water and sewer connections must be done in accordance with county plumbing codes.

•Electrical systems and connections must be done in accordance with county electrical codes.

•A landing must be built, at all entrances, with minimum dimensions of three feet by three feet.

•No manufactured home shall be permitted that is older than 20 years from the date of application for building permit.

•Manufactured homes cannot be used for storage purposes.

•Manufactured homes, if moved on a public road, must be transported and installed by a transporter licensed by the State Fire Marshal.

The owner of the manufactured home can move it on private property without a license, but not on a public road.

•In county documents, references to “mobile” homes will be changed to “manufactured” homes.