Supervisors eye KDMC roof replace

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finances and public safety were the topics of the day at the Lincoln County supervisors’ Monday meeting.

     The first item discussed was getting a grant to perform $400,000 worth of work to the roof of the main building at King’s Daughters Medical Center.

     Ryan Holmes with Dungan Engineering said the roof is in need of replacing after being installed more than 20 years since ago.

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     “It’s been there for a long time and it needs to be replaced,” Holmes said.

     Lincoln County Administrator David Fields said he’s already spoken to the Mississippi Development Authority regarding a grant to cover the repairs.

     “We did it in the past, and we’ll try to get it again,” said Fields. “It’s around a 90 percent grant and King’s Daughters has agreed to match the remainder.”

     Another financial matter was the sale of the speculative building in the old industrial park to Rex Lumber.

     The deal, approved by the supervisors but waiting approval from the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night, calls for a 10-year, $20,000 a year lease-purchase agreement and a $200,000 balloon payment at the end for a total price of $400,000.

     “It’s really just a shell of a building without concrete or anything,” said Fields. “They’d have to go in and do some work on it, but it is a large building that they could use.”

     On the public safety front, supervisors discussed two key potential dangers.

     One was the manner in which road and bridge repairs are coordinated after vehicle accidents damage them. Supervisors asked about the proper course of action to report them as being damaged and have them fixed.

     Sheriff Steve Rushing said he would notify the supervisor whose district the damage occurred in as well as the engineers so an estimate could be made of how much damage was done.

     After that has been completed, the county would turn to legal action if necessary to get the at-fault person’s insurance company to cover the repairs.

     But in some cases, having insurance cover the cost would not be an option. District One Supervisor the Rev. Jerry Wilson pointed this out.

     “We had one case recently in my district where someone ran into a bridge and did thousands of dollars in damage, but they didn’t have insurance,” Wilson said.

     In that scenario, the county would have to pay for repairs.

     Another issue was communication during times of emergency.

     Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey mentioned to the board that residents of Woodward, Okla., had little to no warning of a tornado over the weekend due to the tornado warning sirens being knocked out when a transmitter blew.

     The city of Brookhaven approved tornado warning sirens in the past, but they have not been installed as of yet.

     Galey said even when installed, the sirens are only effective within a one-mile radius around them, meaning they would have little or no impact on the people outside the city. The sirens also would not be audible inside most people’s homes, especially if the inside of the home was noisy already.

     District Three Supervisor Nolan Williamson expressed his disappointment that emergency communications have not improved in years.

     “We’re no better off than we were a day before Hurricane Katrina,” Williamson said.

     The supervisors then agreed that a countywide emergency alert system needed to be formed that included multiple methods of warning the public both inside and outside of their homes. The board took no action, but Galey is expected to look into the matter further.