County approves up to $2.1M bond to pay for roof repairs

Published 12:12 am Thursday, November 6, 2014

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to authorize the negotiation of an up-to-$2.1 million five-year bond to repair county building roofs.

The roofs in question are on the Adams County courthouse chancery annex, the Department of Human Services building and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said the $2.1 million figure was used because that is the county’s debt capacity for the financing process.

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The actual cost will likely be much lower, he said, though the projects are still being advertised.

The DHS building roof will cost the county $160,000, while estimates for the courthouse roof ranged from $110,000 to $180,000, Murray said.

Architect Johnny Waycaster will be bringing estimates about the jail roof to the next supervisors’ meeting, he said.

Board President Darryl Grennell said half of the DHS roof will be paid for by a community block development grant (CDBG).

The total DHS project is $220,000.

“When you apply for a CDBG, the greater percentage we as a local government put up, the better we score on the application and the better chance we have to get the grant,” Grennell said.

“Our thought was we need a roof on the DHS building no matter what, so why not apply for a CDBG, put up 50 percent and have an achievable chance of getting the grant?”

The county is also looking at financing repairs to the mortar at the sheriff’s office, Murray said, but has only received one bid for the mortar project and will look to get more.

The sheriff’s office has been reported to have a list of minor structural and potentially major environmental problems — particularly mold growing because of poor ventilation in the jail area and leaks in the roof — and the supervisors have said in the past that fixing the roof would be the first step in stemming the general decline of the building.

The courthouse annex’s metal roof is thin enough a person can poke through it with a finger, officials have said.

The supervisors had a second meeting Wednesday. The emergency meeting called late in the business day was conducted in executive session.

Board attorney Scott Slover said the discussion was kept behind closed doors because it pertained to the medical treatment of a specific employee of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.

The supervisors took no action following the meeting, but Slover said the county would investigate to ensure the employee’s illness — which he did not specify — was not connected to county property.