Board goes over some bids for repair work

Published 5:48 pm Friday, September 8, 2006

Restoration and repairs of old county buildings went under bid while an application process for grant funds to restore the old county courthouse continues.

Pearl River County Board of Supervisors took bids for the repair of the county court house roof and for the demolition of Chimney Square in Picayune. Those bids were acknowledged and taken under advisement. The bids on the courthouse roof ranged from $493, 800 to $165,500. Bids on the demolition of Chimney Square ranged from $277,000 to $88,270.

The lowest bid on the courthouse roof repairs appeared too far off to the board members, so they decided to contact the bidding company to ensure they understand the specifics of the repair.

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Restoration of the county courthouse might be funded with grant money from the state or the federal government, if the application process is successful. Louise Smith, Support Staff Specialist for Poplarville schools, has been charged with applying for that funding. There are state funded grant funds of $4 million available for historic preservation and restoration, but competition for the money will be stiff, Smith said. The federal government is also sending down another $25 million for the six coastal counties only, Smith said. She said the second, larger pot may yield better results for Pearl River County.

“If we present a really good application on the $4 million and we don’t get it, then we can again present another application for part of the $25 million, so I feel we stand a really good chance at getting some money,” Smith said.

In order to receive the grant, the county will need to match 20 percent of the grant applied for, Smith said. The county seeking about $880,000 to restore the old building, she said.

The board approved certification of the 20 percent cost share match for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History grant.

Smith suggested bringing in a focus group of residents from the community to take a tour of the courthouse to give input on what they would like to see done to restore the historic building. Not all ideas and suggestions would be used, Smith said.

In other business, the board went into executive session to discuss personnel matters concerning a pay raise for the board attorney, when the board came out of executive session no action was taken, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.

The board also;

— Accepted the contract from Telecom Audit Group that was presented at the previous meeting.

— Accepted minutes from North Central Volunteer Fire Department for January 2006 to June 2006, Partners for Pearl River County for August 2006 and the Pearl River SPCA for August 2006.

— Took the Picayune school district bus turnaround master list for 2006 – 2007 under advisement for the road manager to review.

— Acknowledged Hancock County’s solid waste authority proposal.

— Approved personnel changes in the Sheriff’s Department.

— Directed board president to sign amended contract with Benchmark.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors is 9 a.m. Monday in the county courthouse.