DHS could move into new building soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 26, 2002

WOODVILLE &045; After a 14-month delay and despite a continuing lawsuit between the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors and a Greenwood contractor, workers from the Department of Human Services may soon move into a new office building on U.S. 61 south of Woodville.

DHS workers were supposed to move in October of 2001, but a leaking roof on the new structure

has forced them to remain in a 1920’s school building on First South Street.

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Board President Robert Morgan told fellow supervisors at their regular meeting on Monday that the leaks appear to have been fixed, and the move could begin as soon as telephone service is installed at the new building.

&uot;The building seems to be in pretty good condition, and I think we need to go ahead and move,&uot; Morgan said.

In December of 1999, the county hired Integrated Management Services of Jackson to design the building, and contracted Mike Rozier Construction Company of Greenwood to build the new edifice in March of 2001.

The original contract price for the project was $412,757, which was funded through a Community Development Block Grant. In April, after paying $365,857 and claiming the roof still leaked, supervisors filed suit in Wilkinson County Chancery Court naming both Rozier and IMS as defendants.

In October, Natchez attorney Robert Lathum &045; who represents the county in the dispute &045; said efforts were underway then to resolve the case through mediation. An attempt to reach Lathum for comment on Monday was unsuccessful.

Morgan said the litigation is still pending.

In another matter, Wilkinson County Engineer Phillip Chaffin said neighboring Adams County has applied for a $100,000 grant through the National Research and Conservation Service to repair the Lake Mary Spillway, which is owned jointly by both counties.

Chaffin said the grant requires matching funds of $25,000, which Adams County has offered to split evenly with Wilkinson County.

The board discussed the possibility of providing equipment and materials for the project, but took no formal action on the issue.

In other action, the board voted to:

4Renew its memorandum of agreement with the Mississippi State University Extension Service for the 2003 Title III Forestry Program.

4Accept a list of properties designated by Tax Assessor Wevlyn James for deletion from the county tax rolls.

4Take a lengthy list of commodity bids under advisement until its next meeting on Jan. 6.