Supervisors OK renovations

After much discussion and delay, Pike County supervisors voted to put $127,000 into renovation of the old Holmesville courthouse, which is used as a county voting precinct. The rest of the $284,700 cost will be covered by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Pearl River Basin Development District.

After months of delaying, and facing an immediate deadline, Pike County supervisors agreed Friday to spend $127,000 to stabilize the old courthouse at Holmesville.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to accept a $284,700 bid by Paul Jackson & Son to do the work. Grants from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Pearl River Basin Development District will pay the balance.

Jackson submitted the bid in May, noting it would remain valid for 45 days. But supervisors delayed accepting it in hopes of getting a second MDAH grant, which didn’t happen.

On Friday, architect Steve Cox said Jackson would honor his bid until the end of the day but no longer.

Questioned by supervisors, Cox said there’s really no way to trim the cost of the project, which is meant to shore up a brick building constructed in the 1800s.

“Mostly it’s structural repairs,” he said, citing flooring, roof and walls. “We’re not really doing anything to dress up the building.”

Supervisor Chuck Lambert suggested going ahead with the work and doing cosmetic improvements later if more grant funds can be secured.

Board president Faye Hodges said the work appears necessary to save the structure.

“If we do the project at this cost it will preserve the building,” she said.

Supervisor Luke Brewer offered a motion to accept the bid.

“We’ve either got to do it or not do it, so I make a motion we accept it,” he said, getting a second from Supervisor Gary Honea.

Supervisor Tazwell Bowsky voted against the measure.

Door problem at new building

In another matter, supervisors discussed problems with the metal bay doors at the new county central maintenance facility.

The slatted doors leading to work areas catch rainwater and spill it onto the floor, supervisors said.

“I don’t think we got what we paid for,” Brewer said. “The doors are really flimsy. They pour water inside.”

He said the sample door seemed much heavier.

“You’ve got one door that’s already buckling,” Brewer said.  

“I believe the doors were made out of sardine cans, weren’t they?” Honea quipped.

Lambert suggested having board attorney Wayne Dowdy write the contractor, Owen Holland & Son, a letter saying the board will not accept the doors, which were provided by a subcontractor. Other supervisors agreed.

In other business, supervisors:

• Approved a new comprehensive emergency management plan, at the request of civil defense director Richard Coghlan.

• Approved travel advances of $347 each to justice court employees Andranette Jordan and Angela R. Smith to attend a three-day conference at Natchez in February.

• Noted the resignation of Amatine Dillon from the road and bridge department, and the promotion of Chris Bell to chief sheriff’s investigator.

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