County Commission approves $1.8 million in upgrades

Published 10:36 pm Monday, May 12, 2014

Pike County Commissioners voted to spend $1.8 million in the maintenance of county buildings, but it was not a unanimous decision.
Commissioner Charlie Harris voted against the resolution and Commissioner Joey Jackson abstained.
“I can’t vote for that because there are too many roads … I’ve got roads falling to pieces,” said Jackson. “If money coming out in 2017 is roads and bridges money, I have a problem with that.”
Money for the project would come from a bond issue that would not be due until 2017.
Chief Financial Officer Debra Gibson clarified that the funds would be taken from the county’s capital improvements fund, not roads and bridges. Under state law, only 50 percent of capital improvements funds may be used on bridges.
Jackson reiterated is reservations about spending money on the courthouse when roads should be the priority.
“Funds are constantly being used in other capacities in the courthouse,” he said. “Our job up here as commissioners is public safety first.”
Trane, an official Energy Service Company, audited all county buildings in order to find areas where energy could be saved. The company called in experts to look at each facility’s lighting, HVAC equipment, controls, insulation, storm windows and doors, indoor air quality and natural resources.
The audit included the savings the county would see by replacing, fixing or upgrading systems and the costs of the replacements and a guarantee that savings would be met.
The most extensive work will be done to the courthouse and include a new roof, upgrades to the HVAC and work on the bricks and mortars.
“They’ll go in between each brick at the courthouse and reestablish that joint,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders.
Trane auditors found moisture in the walls of the building and leaks that had cost water damage. While there was no mold detected, it was a concern that mold might develop if the damage was not addressed.
“They have promised me that … we should be able to conduct business throughout the process,” Sanders said.
Chairman Homer Wright advised the board to tell constituents that the county would get to road repairs as soon as possible.
“You just have to ask them to bear with us,” he said.
In other action, commissioners voted to skip the next meeting, which was scheduled for Memorial Day. The next meeting will now be June 9.
Commissioners also approved the hire of two part-time operators in the roads department and a clerk in the revenue commissioner’s office.
County Engineer also requested the formation of a committee to review the policy on how to handle driving turnouts on rights of way. Wright said he would take it under consideration.

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