Supervisors OK new contract on bridge project

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Work on a stalled Bogue Chitto bridge project is expected toresume soon, and King’s Daughters Medical Center officials tookanother step toward an improvements project at the community’shospital.

Lincoln County supervisors Monday approved a project completionagreement with the Insurance Company of the West to finish the$2.78 million Bogue Chitto bridge.

“In 10 days, there’ll be somebody working on the bridge,” CountyEngineer Carl Ray Furr said following the board meeting.

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ICW is responsible for completing the project after originalcontractor Mid-South Construction was declared in default and itscontract was terminated May 16. The original contract with thatcompany was signed in July 2003.

So far, $2.32 million of the contract amount has been spent onconstruction of the bridge.

In other business Monday, KDMC officials appeared for a publichearing on their plans to seek a $9 million loan from the U.S.Department of Agriculture to help fund a renovation at thehospital. KDMC leases the building from the county.

KDMC Chief Financial Officer Dean Snider said the total projectis estimated to be around $11 million.

“We’re going to pay for some of that out of operations and whatwe have on hand,” Snider said.

Expected to be included in the renovation are a new emergencydepartment, intensive care unit, and a 10-bed patient unit as wellas the renovation of the existing patient rooms. The project willalso add a sprinkler system for fire suppression to the second andthird floors, a new pharmacy and a heliport.

Some services will be relocated to a tower to be built on thewest side of the hospital. Also, extensive renovations to thehospital’s second and third floors are planned.

Snider said KDMC’s loan application will have to be reviewed byUSDA. That process estimated to take about two months. He wasoptimistic about approval.

“If USDA funds it, it’s going to happen,” Snider said.

However, work is not likely to begin until later this year.

“I don’t think the project will get started until this fall,”Snider said.

One reason, Snider said, is that the hospital must also beapproved for a certificate of need through the state Department ofHealth. He said that process is expected to take about fourmonths.

Also during Monday’s meeting, supervisors approved a $17,620 bidfor installation of a security fence near the sheriff’sdepartment.

The fence will be erected near the jail’s sally port and enclosethe area where inmates wash cars and perform other tasks outside.It will include a motorized gate for vehicle access to thearea.

“It’s being purchased through Homeland Security money,” SheriffWiley Calcote said of the fence.

Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop announced that an interlocalagreement creating a regional economic alliance had been approvedby the attorney general’s office.

The alliance, composed of representatives from the city, countyand chamber of commerce, is overseeing activity related to the newindustrial park. Officials are very close to finalizing thepurchase of land for the new park west of the city.

Also on Monday, Carolyn Patterson, longtime member of theLincoln County Public Library board of trustees, submitted herletter of resignation from the board.

In her letter, Patterson cited health reasons for her decision.Supervisors have not named a replacement and are consideringrecommendations.