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Officials, supporters hope to expand Boys-Girls Club

Lincoln County officials, Boys and Girls Club leaders andparticipants in a chamber of commerce community leadership programhave begun the process of trying to expand the club’s facility onSouth Second Street.

“We’ve outgrown this building,” said Bobby Bell, Lincoln CountyBoys and Girls Club president.

Bell, County Engineer Carl Ray Furr, Chancery Clerk TillmonBishop and others toured the facility Monday afternoon.

“We’ll see if it’s cost effective to rehabilitate it or rebuildit,” Furr said.

Bell said a larger facility is needed to allow the club to servemore children and to create more isolated study areas. Currently,he said the club can serve a maximum of 105 children at any onetime.

“This group wants to have a better, more sound, more usablebuilding,” Bishop said.

The idea for improving the club facility, which is owned by thecounty, came from a discussion during the latest CompetitiveCommunity Program (CCP), a leadership training program sponsored bythe chamber of commerce. Bell indicated the idea is in itspreliminary stages.

“Before we draw up any plans, we have to make sure this buildingis sound,” Bell said, adding that the club hoped to pursue federalfunding assistance next year if the structure is deemed OK.

Furr gave the facility a good review Monday.

“Structurally, I don’t see a problem,” Furr said.

The engineer estimated the project could be done for around$500,000. He recommended the club get an architect.

“You’ve got to have a plan,” Furr said.

Bishop said supervisors had agreed to split costs of putting ona new roof with the club, which Bell said would be around $5,900.Bishop and club officials were optimistic about funding chances forthe project.

“Hopefully, by this time next, it will be in the pipeline,”Bishop said.

Club expansion is the goal of social infrastructure group of CCPparticipants. Members of that group include Cynthia Price, DebbieQuerns, Rosie Oates, Yulonda Byrd, Stephen Davis, Cindy Ratcliff,Todd Peavey and Dixie Chance.

Price said the expansion is important for the club to be able toserve more children. She said club services can provide educationalbenefits as well as helping to foster a spirit of communityunity.

“As they grow, there won’t be these gaps between us,” Pricesaid.

In other engineering-related activity Monday, Furr toldsupervisors he had received good indicators on the possibility offunding assistance for Government Complex renovations.

County officials are seeking help in trying to install a newroof and are expected to discuss those possibilities during a tripto Washington in May. Bishop said the Boys and Girls Club’s needscould be mentioned as a possibility for next year.

Also Monday, Furr said a new access road through the HomochittoNational Forest will be called the Eddiceton-Caseyville Road.Lincoln County recently received a $2 million federal appropriationto construct and pave the over eight-mile stretch between Highway84 and Highway 550.

‘There’s no cost to the county at all,” Furr said.

Because federal funds are involved, Furr said the county mustadvertise for an engineer on the project. Supervisors approved amotion to do that.

“Once we get that done, we can go to work on the project,” Furrsaid.

A railroad crossing on Jackson-Liberty Road is slated for anupgrade, Furr told board members. He and District 5 Supervisor GaryWalker said the crossing at the old Cobb’s wood yard will receivenew crossing lights and arms.

Supervisors and Furr briefly discussed bridge concerns in thecounty and agreed that more funding is needed.

Furr praised supervisors for their “aggressive” approach tobuilding new bridges and their use of all available state funds. Hesaid he was compiling of bridge projects done and the money spenton them.

“We’ve spent every dime we can to fix every bridge we can,” Furrsaid.

In other unrelated action, following an executive session forpersonnel reasons, supervisors voted to terminate a deputy justicecourt clerk for “failure to follow proper procedures in thehandling of funds belonging to the county.”

County officials said the deputy clerk was allowed to addressthe board during the closed meeting, but they did not elaboratefurther on the situation. A state audit of justice court matters iscontinuing, officials said.